The economy is strong now, right? Or is that a smokescreen while the middle class is slouching into lower-paying, unstable gigs? You can try to crystal-ball whether America as a whole is on the right path — but why bother with that 50,000-foot view? Respected senior journalist James Fallows and his linguist wife Deborah Fallows informally surveyed the nation’s small cities — by flying their prop plane at just a few thousand feet, and then making stops where they’d heard about individual and group initiatives. The findings are in the new book “Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America.” The couple saw innovation and hard work overcoming the obstacles. Some local success gets a mention, including GE’s micro-factory.
TUESDAY, MAY 22Louisville Free Public Library
7 p.m. | Free (online reservations required)