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Charlotte Talks: 'Our Towns' A Glimpse Into Small Town America With James And Deborah Fallows

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WFAE/Jennifer Worsham

Monday, August 5, 2019

Travel 100,000 miles around the country and you’ll find that rural America isn’t necessarily in decline. James and Deborah Fallows took that trip and share what they found.

This show originally aired November 14, 2018.

There's a common narrative that often comes out of rural America – one of communities in decline. But James and Deborah Fallows have found a much more vibrant picture of America's small towns than we usually hear in the national media.

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Credit James and Deborah Fallows
James and Deborah Fallows flew across the country in a single-engine plane to document the stories of some of America's successful small towns.

They set out across the country in a single-engine plane to document stories of reinvention and innovation in towns that only seem to make the news when there's an election, natural disaster, or shooting.

Their journey took them to small and mid-sized towns from Bend, Oregon to Greenville, South Carolina and became the subject of the New York Times bestselling book Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey Into the Heart of America.

They join Mike Collins to talk about what they learned when they flew into what's often described as "fly over country" and about the common threads they've found in some of America's successful small towns. And in our increasingly divisive political landscape where the urban-rural divide has only deepened in the midterm election, what can we learn from these communities?

Guests

James Fallows, correspondent for The Atlantic magazine and Co-Author, Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey Into the Heart of America

Deborah Fallows, linguist and writer, and Co-Author, Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey Into the Heart of America

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Map of the small and mid-sized towns and cities visited by the Fallows.

  Vistit the book's website for more photos and information about 'Our Towns'

Erin Keever is Senior Producer of WFAE's Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. She has been with the show since joining the station in 2006. She's a native Charlottean.