Fallows Shares Insights on China

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At an event organized by the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University on October 21, 2015, Atlantic Monthly contributor and thought leader James Fallows took attendees on a journey to modern China.

“Soft Power and Success: An Update on China from America’s Heartland” was cosponsored by the Primary Source organization, which supports global education for elementary and secondary education students.

“Our mission is to support global learning for students, to make sure they learn about the world and maybe eventually attend schools like this,” said Jennifer Boyle, Executive Director of Primary Source, who introduced Fallows. “China is of course near and dear to our hearts, so we are thrilled to sponsor an event like this.”

“Soft Power and Success” was moderated by Professor Erik Goldstein of the Pardee School. It included remarks by Fallows, a discussion period, a reception at the Boston University Castle, and a welcome and video presentation by Pardee School Dean Adil Najam.

“We are delighted to host not only such an exciting speaker, but also to partner with an organization like Primary Source in bringing him here,” Najam said. “We hope to invite all attendees to continue to be involved with the Pardee School and its vibrant calendar of events on crucial topics.”

Fallows described some of the contradictions of China’s international image.

“China is one of those places where people who visit it like it more than people who have never been there. They respond to the people, to the culture,” Fallows said. “The irony is that the disconnect comes from the way China projects power on the world stage.”

In addition to working for The Atlantic, Fallows spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.