Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America (2018)

信息 // Info

书名:Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America
作者:James Fallows, Deborah Fallows
语言:英语
页数:432
出版社:Pantheon
出版日期:2018年5月8日
ISBN-10:1101871849
ISBN-13:978-1101871843

简介 // About

A vivid, surprising portrait of the civic and economic reinvention taking place in America, town by town and generally out of view of the national media. A realistically positive and provocative view of the country between its coasts.

For the last five years, James and Deborah Fallows have been traveling across America in a single-engine prop airplane. Visiting dozens of towns, they have met hundreds of civic leaders, workers, immigrants, educators, environmentalists, artists, public servants, librarians, business people, city planners, students, and entrepreneurs to take the pulse and understand the prospects of places that usually draw notice only after a disaster or during a political campaign.

The America they saw is acutely conscious of its problems—from economic dislocation to the opioid scourge—but itis also crafting solutions, with a practical-minded determination at dramatic odds with the bitter paralysis of national politics. At times of dysfunction on a national level, reform possibilities have often arisen from the local level. The Fallowses describe America in the middle of one of these creative waves. Their view of the country is as complex and contradictory as America itself, but it also reflects the energy, the generosity and compassion, the dreams, and the determination of many who are in the midst of making things better. Our Towns is the story of their journey—and an account of a country busy remaking itself.

作者 // Author

JAMES FALLOWS has been a national correspondent for The Atlantic for more than thirty-five years, reporting from China, Japan, Southeast Asia, Europe, and across the United States. He is the author of eleven previous books. His work has also appeared in many other magazines and as public-radio commentaries since the 1980s. He has won a National Book Award and a National Magazine Award. For two years he was President Jimmy Carter’s chief speechwriter.

DEBORAH FALLOWS is a linguist and writer who holds a PhD in theoretical linguistics and is the author of two previous books. She has written for The Atlantic, National Geographic, Slate, The New York Times, and The Washington Monthly, and has worked at the Pew Research Center, Oxygen Media, and Georgetown University. She and her husband have two sons and four grandchildren.

笔记 // Note

想要知道美国为什么强大,不仅仅要读美国伟人传记,或者是那些解释美国为什么能发展好的书。美国的强大,一大部分原因在于其政治体制;而美国政治体制之所以能够成功且不可以复制,在于美国人,这就是所谓的“社会资本”。

如今(2018年),我们从美国的很多主流媒体上,已经看不到社会资本的存在了。各大媒体的政治偏见显而易见。但在这本书中,作者让我们看了这种伟大的力量。作者James Fallows和Deborah Fallows是一对夫妻档记者。他们开着小型的飞机,访问了美国50多个城市。这些一般都是名不见经传的中小型城市;他们走访工厂、学校、艺术馆、图书馆、甚至是孤儿院,并记录了在这些城市里观察到的一些事情和认识的一些人。被访问的人,大多都是普普通通的美国人,但是我们可以看到的,是美国人对“社区”这个概念的认识。很多美国人,都会想着为自己的社区做点什么。所谓“All politics is local”,这本书中记录的点点滴滴都是这个理论最好的事实依据。 
 
这本书和被人和托克维尔的《论美国的民主》相比,我个人觉得这个比较是十分恰当的。要想了解当代的美国,特别是对不在美国长大的人,这是一本必读的书。

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