Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

 See the
Conversations with History Blog

See a webcast of this interview:
 Fallows

See also the 2005 interview
with Fallows: "U.S. Foreign
Policy and the Bush
Administration"

A Journalist's Craft: Conversation with James Fallows, National Correspondent, the Atlantic Monthly, 12/7/00 by Harry Kreisler.

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Welcome to a Conversation with History. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our guest today is James Fallows, who is the national correspondent of the Atlantic Monthly. He served as the Atlantic Monthly's Washington Editor from 1979 to 1996. James Fallows graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard in 1970 and then studied economics at Oxford University as a Rhodes scholar. He's been an editor of the Washington Monthly and of Texas Monthly, and from 1977 to 1979 he served as President Jimmy Carter's chief speech writer. He's the author of several books, including National Defense, More Like Us, Looking at the Sun, and most recently, Breaking the News: How the Media Undermine American Democracy.

  1. Background ... an "American Graffiti" kid ... influence of parents ... father as emblem of the American spirit ... books read ... education at Harvard ... choosing journalism at the Crimson ... Rhodes scholar
  2. Being a Journalist ... first jobs ... seeing and telling ... experiencing many worlds ... conclusions ... living in Asia ... journalist as an intelligence system ... shaking up thinking ... the interview
  3. Ideas that Matter ... the decline and reform of institutions ... focusing on the reformers ... core values of an institution ... reformers as teachers ... the best version of ourselves
  4. The Internet Revolution ... additive, not revolutionary ... politics ... economic concentration ... antitrust and intellectual property ... importance of culture
  5. Lessons Learned ... reflections on writing ... advice to students

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