About This Project and Website

This is the site of the “American Futures” reporting project that Deborah Fallows and James Fallows have been undertaking since August of 2013.  The’ve been visiting some of America’s smaller towns and cities overlooked by the national media, to see how people are adjusting to the economic, environmental, and technological opportunities and challenges of this era.

Their approach to this is a variant on the classic road-trip approach to reporting the diverse realities of America, the variant being that they are making the journey in a little Cirrus SR-22 propeller plane. Since only a few small towns are on an Interstate, but nearly all of them have local airports — a total of 5,000 across the country — this has allowed them to range from from Eastport, Maine to Redlands, California, from Duluth, Minnesota to Columbus, Mississippi. In 2015 , they plan to travel through the Central Valley of California; to the American Prairie Reserve in Montana; to coal country in Tennessee and Kentucky, and rural Alabama; and many places more.

They’re joined in this effort by their reporting partner, John Tierney. The three of them have done hundreds of on-line features for The Atlantic‘s busy website, TheAtlantic.com. The website you’re viewing now aims to organize the large amount of reporting material they’re producing and make it more readily accessible to people interested in following their reporting.

You can go here to read a longer “Introduction to the Project” that Jim wrote on August 1, 2013, when the project launched.