Three community leaders come together to tell the stories of American renewal in their towns.

What do Ajo, Arizona; Eastport, Maine; and Charleston, West Virginia have in common? The answer leads down a rural path.


A Rural Health Center With a Pandemic Plan

Read the story in The Atlantic  here. Downtown Eastport, from above Courtesy of Don Dunbar The Rowland B. French Medical Center is the primary health-care facility for the residents of Eastport, Maine, a tiny Down East fishing town, population 1,400. Eastport was one of the first of some 50 towns that Jim and visited during our reporting across […]

Immigrants & Refugees

Ajo, Arizona, is the story of a better America

The village of Ajo, Arizona near the Organ Pipe cactus national monument   Deborah Fallows is the co-author with her husband, Atlantic writer James Fallows, of “Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America.” An HBO documentary based on the book is currently in production. Fallows is also a fellow at New America. […]

Economic & Business Development

When Small Towns Take the Big Stage

Connecting Ajo, Columbus, and Erie

Economic & Business Development

The End of the Journey

N435SR parked at its new home at the San Bernardino Airport in California (Deborah Fallows) Arriving in Tucson, we felt the inklings of coming full circle with our American Futures project. Only one more leg of our journey, about 400 miles, before we reached our destination of the San Bernardino airport, and on to a writing base at the University […]

Parks, Rec & Fun

A Good Start

Bobby's Story

Economic & Business Development

Finding Health Care in the Desert

With the closest hospital 100 miles away, Ajo, Arizona's Desert Senita Health Center acts as the region's clinic

Economic & Business Development

Farming in the Desert

A small town in Arizona grows a thriving food scene.


How America Is Putting Itself Back Together

Most people in the U.S. believe their country is going to hell. But they’re wrong. What a three-year journey by single-engine plane reveals about reinvention and renewal.


American Futures Updates, from MS to AZ to CA

NPR conveys the sound of an innovative school in Mississippi, plus other news from the road

Leaders & Governance

Isabella Greenway, Pioneering American Woman

The first Arizonan congresswoman, a lifelong friend of Eleanor Roosevelt, lived a remarkable life.


A Word Cloud of Ajo, Arizona

The words we use about ourselves reveal surprising truths


Growing Up in Ajo

What it takes to get from the desert to college

Economic & Business Development

From Xizhou to Eastport to Ajo: Big Dreams in Small Towns

The same kind of ambition you see in political campaigns, races for sports championships, or attempts to score a big IPO—but toward a different end.


Ajo, Arizona: Oasis in the Desert

How a city with century-old "good bones" tries to reinvent itself.

Reports From America

On the Road, in Arizona and Colorado

A small city struggling to come back, a larger one already thriving, and the implications for civic vitality