Phillips Foundation fellow Damien Cave calls Cuba "the most inspiring and the most frustrating place I've ever been." (See "Havana Hustle," page 38.) Having traveled for six months in South America after graduating from Columbia University's journalism school, he knows what he's talking about. He's now living in Havana, on his second two-month trip to the island to write about the effects of tourism. "In December, I found people remarkably willing to talk," says Cave, on sabbatical from his position as a Salon contributing writer. "This trip has been different -- that kind of openness is much more dangerous" since Castro's most recent crackdown on dissent.
Brooklyn native Sam Kazman didn't even own a car until he graduated college, and he doesn't drive an SUV. Nevertheless, he's fighting moralizing critics of the plus-sized vehicles in court -- and winning. (See "Is Big Bad?," page 62.) In 1992, Kazman, general counsel at the Washington, D.C.-based Competitive Enterprise Institute, won a case against the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, arguing that it had concealed the harm wrought by fuel economy standards discouraging larger, safer cars. As head of the institute's Death by Regulation project, he's recently filed a follow-up suit.
"It belongs in the canon," says former reason editor Virginia Postrel of her favorite TV show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (See "Why Buffy Kicked Ass," page 72.) Postrel, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, reconceived the political spectrum in her groundbreaking first book, The Future and Its Enemies (1998). Her second, The Substance of Style: How the Rise of Aesthetic Value Is Remaking Commerce, Culture, and Consciousness (HarperCollins), was written from her Dallas home; it's due out this September. "Dallas turned out to be a great place to do the book," says Postrel, who writes monthly columns for The New York Times and D Magazine. "If I still lived in Los Angeles, people would have said, 'Well, that's just L.A. -- Hollywood and all.' Dallas is more suburban middle America."