James and Deborah Fallows spent four years crisscrossing the United States in a small plane, visiting dozens of small towns. The stories they found were surprising—and entirely contrary to the narrative we've all read about in the news. They saw communities engaged in a vigorous process of economic renewal—a stunning portrait, in sum, of an America reinventing itself, literally from the ground up. They published their findings in “Our Towns: a 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America,” (Penguin Random House, 2018) and produced an HBO documentary of the same name in 2021. They also founded Our Towns Civic Foundation, a nonprofit initiative that continues their work.
Because their story overlaps so forcefully with the theme of our Winter 2022 issue, “Reviving Our Abandoned Small Towns”, we snagged Jim and Deb for a sit-down interview with Todd Oppenheimer, founder and executive director of The Craftsmanship Initiative.
This episode is part of the series of “Artisan Interviews,” produced by Craftsmanship Quarterly, in which we bring you conversations with the artisans behind the stories, and with those who write about them.
Written by CRAFTSMANSHIP EDITORS
Introduction by CHRIS EGUSA
Narrated by TODD OPPENHEIMER WITH JAMES & DEBORAH FALLOWS
Produced by CHRIS EGUSA