The Couple Who Went Searching for America’s Future in Its Small Towns

James Fallows and Deborah Fallows Logged 100,000 Miles Through a Nation Divided Politically but Cooperating Locally

The mass-media storyline is that America is a country split between prosperous liberal coastal elites and struggling, resentful conservative heartlanders, spewing vitriol at each other across an unbridgeable partisan gulf.

But don’t tell that to James Fallows and Deborah Fallows. In their just-published book, Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America, the couple lay out a road map of a much more complex, contradictory, and hopeful nation, where residents of a number of small towns and mid-size cities are working together to solve civic problems and improve their …