Episode for March 8, 2022
Wajahat Ali and James Fallows Episode 557
Wajahat Ali is a columnist at The Daily Beast and a Senior Fellow at The Western States Center and Auburn Seminary. He has previously been a New York Times contributing op-ed writer, CNN commentator, host for Huff Post, and co-host of Al Jazeera America’s The Stream. He is also a recovering attorney and playwright. He is currently working on his first book, “Go Back To Where You Came From: And, Other Helpful Recommendations on How to Become American” scheduled for Spring 2022 publication. He makes Pakistani food and Lego sets “for his kids” during his free time.
James Fallows is a contributing writer at The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s.
James Fallows is based in Washington, D.C., as a contributing writer at The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for more than 40 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Sydney, Shanghai, Beijing, and London. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. He has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and as a Fellow of the American Geographical Society. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for President Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of U.S. News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot.
Fallows won the National Magazine Award for his 2002 story “Iraq: The Fifty-First State?” warning about the consequences of invading Iraq; he has been a finalist four other times. He has also won the National Book Award for Nonfiction for his book National Defense and an N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America foundation. His books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. Before Our Towns, his most recent book was China Airborne (2012). He is married to Deborah Fallows, the author of the book Dreaming in Chinese. Together from 2013 to 2017 they traveled across the United States for their American Futures project, which led to Our Towns. They have two married sons and five grandchildren.
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