What happened on October 19, 2003
A necessary evil? Vince Beiser, Vince Beiser is a California-based freelance writer who writes often on criminal justice issues.
Love, Unlimited Steven Ivory, Steven Ivory is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer who last wrote for the magazine on Vidal Sassoon.
Increasing Face Value Adam Tschorn, Adam Tschorn last wrote for the magazine about pineapple.
The Reluctant Savior Diane Haithman, Diane Haithman is an arts writer for The Times' Calendar section.
The Poet of Plants Emily Green, Emily Green is a Times staff writer.
Hidden Pain in Pain Pill Greg Critser, Greg Critser is the author of "Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World" and the forthcoming "One Nation, Under Pills."
The Clouds May Be Clearing for Bush and GOP Walter Russell Mead, Walter Russell Mead, a contributing editor to Opinion, is senior fellow for U.S. foreign policy at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the author of "Special Providence: American Foreign Policy and How It Changed the World."
Why Seek a County CEO When We Have No Crisis? William J. Popejoy, Retired Orange County businessman William J. Popejoy served as chief executive of several financial institutions, Freddie Mac, the California Lottery and Orange County.
Our Wild Lands Can Give No More Rick Bass, Rick Bass is the author of "The Hermit's Story," a collection of short stories.
By Road, Rail and Foot, a Revitalized Metropolis Hank Dittmar and Gloria Ohland, Hank Dittmar is president and Gloria Ohland is a staff member at Reconnecting America. Their forthcoming book is "The New Transit Town: Best Practices in Transit-Oriented Development."
Wheels of Misfortune John McCormick, Besides teaching ESL, John McCormick was a producer of the documentary film, "Bukowski: Born Into This."
Can L.A. Survive? William Deverell And D.J. Waldie, William Deverell is an associate professor of history at Caltech. D.J. Waldie is a Lakewood city official and author of "Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir."
China's Engines of Change Sam Crane, Sam Crane is a professor of Chinese politics at Williams College and is the author of "Aidan's Way."
A Native Daughter Puts Ax to Myth Kevin Starr, Kevin Starr is university professor at USC and state librarian of California. His "Coast of Dreams: California on the Edge, 1990-2003" is forthcoming from Alfred A. Knopf.
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Flirting with disaster Edmund White, Edmund White is the author of numerous books, including "Fanny: A Fiction," "The Married Man: A Novel" and the guidebook "The Flaneur: A Stroll Through the Paradoxes of Paris." He teaches writing at Princeton University.
Almost too awful to be true Jonathan Kirsch, Jonathan Kirsch, a contributing writer to Book Review, is the author of the forthcoming "God Against the Gods: The History of the War Between Monotheism and Polytheism."
After the cataclysm, what? Regina Marler, Regina Marler is the author of "Bloomsbury Pie: The Making of the Bloomsbury Boom."
The Africa of our deepest dread Gloria Emerson, Gloria Emerson is the author, most recently, of "Loving Graham Greene: A Novel."
Our language's defining moment Robert McCrum, Robert McCrum is the literary editor of the Observer in London and the coauthor of "The Story of English."
An enigma wrapped in a conflict Nicholas Goldberg, Nicholas Goldberg, a reporter in the Middle East from 1995 to 1998, is the editor of the op-ed page of The Times.
The fine art of listening Leon Botstein, Leon Botstein is the president of Bard College and the music director of the American Symphony Orchestra and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra.
Forced peace Michael Frank, Michael Frank is a contributing writer to Book Review.
Words that transcend the evil of the Holocaust Aleksandar Hemon, Aleksandar Hemon is the author of the novels "Nowhere Man" and "The Question of Bruno" and teaches at Northwestern University.
Himalayan descent Pico Iyer, Pico Iyer is the author, most recently, of the novel "Abandon" and a forthcoming book of travels, "Sun After Dark."
A sportswriter out in left field Allen Barra, Allen Barra is a sports columnist for the Wall Street Journal.