What happened on December 30, 2007
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
The un-generation Morris Dickstein, Morris Dickstein teaches English at the City University of New York's Graduate Center. His books include "Leopards in the Temple" and, most recently, "A Mirror in the Roadway: Literature and the Real World."
The golden fleece Wendy Smith, Wendy Smith is a critic and the author of "Real Life Drama: The Group Theatre and America, 1931-1940."
The food chain Susan Salter Reynolds, Susan Salter Reynolds is a Times staff writer.
Choice situations Sarah Weinman, Sarah Weinman writes the Dark Passages column appearing monthly at latimes.com/books. She blogs about crime and mystery fiction at www.sarah weinman.com.
Hidden pictures Emily Barton, Emily Barton is the author of the novels "Brookland" and "The Testament of Yves Gundron" and is the distinguished visiting writer at Bard College.
Minds over bodies Diana Wagman, Diana Wagman, a professor at Cal State Long Beach, is the author of the novels "Skin Deep," "Spontaneous" and "Bump."
Acting out Art Winslow, Art Winslow, a former literary editor and executive editor of the Nation magazine, writes frequently about books and culture.
The great fall of China Walter Russell Mead, Walter Russell Mead, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, is the author of "God and Gold: Britain, America and the Making of the Modern World."
Last laughs Joel Pett, Joel Pett is the Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist of the Lexington Herald-Leader. His work also appears in USA Today.
Open to the public Jim Newton, Jim Newton is editor of The Times editorial pages.
Clues to Chandler Judith Freeman, Judith Freeman is the author of four novels and, most recently, a work of nonfiction, "The Long Embrace: Raymond Chandler and the Woman He Loved."
Bush's best-laid plans Andrew J. Bacevich, Andrew J. Bacevich is a professor of history and international relations at Boston University.
Right for the part? Daniel W. Drezner, Daniel W. Drezner is associate professor of international politics at the Fletcher School at Tufts University. This article is adapted from a longer essay that appears in the current issue of the National Interest.