BOOKS: Blinded by the Light

James Fallows warns that Japan will come back from its economic troubles stronger and more aggressive than ever

When James Fallows began sending his dispatches from Tokyo to the Atlantic Monthly in 1986, his articles revealed a country far different from that portrayed in most other American coverage. He had the ability to take perfect slices of Japanese life -- how the Japanese handle household garbage, for example -- and offer the reader something far more authentic than cliches about geishas and salarymen. Since leaving Asia in 1989, Fallows has often returned to survey the world's most dynamic economic region, and in his new book, Looking at the Sun (Pantheon Books; 517 pages; $25), he demonstrates that his reportorial...

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