Clear writing: Jim Fallows is my hero

Several years ago, a friend gave me a paperweight featuring the quote: 

“Good writing is clear thinking made visible.” 

The quote is ascribed to Bill Wheeler (a quick Google search doesn’t shed any light on who exactly Bill Wheeler is/was).  I always keep the paperweight nearby because I aspire to express ideas clearly through writing. 

Jim Fallows of The Atlantic Monthly magazine is my hero in this regard.  If you haven’t already, please read his article China Makes, The World Takes in the July/August 2007 issue.  It is written in a straightforward style, but Jim weaves anecdotes and larger points together in a way that gives me new insights into China. It is quite long – 15 pages with the occasional photo or enlarged excerpt thrown in – but it is never boring.  There’s an abbreviated slide show available online that is narrated by Jim.  The slide show is good.  But the full article is much, much better.

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