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Wed Aug 26, 2015, 06:42 AM

Fallowses talk creating successful cities, bettering America

The solutions to America’s biggest problems can be found in its smallest communities, according to James and Deborah Fallows.

The Fallowses returned to Chautauqua for the third time Tuesday to discuss highlights of their ongoing project for The Atlantic titled “City Makers: American Futures.” The duo has spent the last two years crisscrossing the country in a single-engine, propeller plane to investigate how small and mid-size cities are forging livable communities in the aftermath of the Great Recession.

What they both found is a landscape of audacious, pragmatic communities banding together to forge an American future in opposition to the negativity emanating from what James called an “insurmountable coastal centrism.” The headlines might shout doom and despair, he said, but the actions of individuals at the local level say otherwise.

“News media often portray the country as if we’re all objects of these big historic forces,” he said. “But the country is made of people who don’t think of themselves as objects. They think of themselves as taking creative control of what they’re doing.”


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