The book, "Our Towns: a 100,000 Journey Into the Heart of America," depicts the five-year study by authors Deborah and James Fallows of small-town urbanism's under-the-radar success.
The Fallows traveled to more than 24 small towns in flyover country in a single-engine plane, and discovered "a groundswell of energy in moving to, returning to, or staying in the country’s smaller urban centers," reports Patrick Sisson. Says Deborah Fallows, “In the places we visited, people can be operators, and feel the fruit of their labor.” James Fallows told Curbed, “If you want to consume a great community, you go to Paris. If you want to create one, you go to one of these places.”
The Fallows don’t want to oversell the extent of this grassroots energy. The economic inequality that has harmed small-town U.S.A. in the last few decades isn’t resolved, and the federal government remains gridlocked when it comes to solutions. But after extensive reporting (both are widely published authors, and James is a national correspondent for The Atlantic), they believe that if more Americans knew about the reversals that remain underreported and under-appreciated, they’d feel more optimistic, and likely to take action.