"For 12 years, I walked the same route to the same building, every day. And when I arrived, I looked at the clock, and said, 'All right, only seven hours more until I can leave,'" recalls Daniel H. Pink, the author of this month's cover story (see "School's Out" on page 28) and the recent Free Agent Nation: How America's New Independent Workers Are Transforming the Way We Live. He isn't describing the worst job he's ever had; he's remembering what it was like attending Ohio public schools in the 1970s. According to Pink, a contributing editor to Fast Company and a former speechwriter for Al Gore, one-size-fits-all compulsory schooling does more than just bore kids to distraction. It teaches them that obedience is the highest value—the very last trait that workers need in an economy that increasingly demands and rewards independent and innovative thinking. In "School's Out," Pink makes the case that old-style schools, fashioned on a factory model, are finally giving way to something else.

As the author of works such as Knowledge and Persuasion in Economics and If You're So Smart: The Narrative of Economic Expertise, longtime REASON Contributing Editor Deirdre McCloskey is an expert on "sweet talk"—the language of persuasion that she believes to be a driving force of the economy. In this issue, she reviews a new biography of Nobel-winning economist and social thinker F.A. Hayek (1899-1992), the man who has perhaps most influenced her own work. (See "Persuade and Be Free" on page 52.) Ironically, McCloskey remembers being less than impressed with Hayek the first time she encountered him in person. "He was a dull speaker," she recalls. "I viewed him then the way most American economists trained in the mainstream techniques did, as a relic of an earlier method in economics: before math. I have since repented." Indeed, her theory on "sweet talk" springs from what she considers Hayek's most important insight: The economy is not just about "housing and machinery; it's also about the content of people's minds."

Few histories are bloodier or more tragic than the one involving Native Americans and those who came after. One of the reasons, notes Amy H. Sturgis in this issue, is the persistence of distorting and dehumanizing stereotypes. (See "Brutal History" on page 58.) Sturgis knows the territory inside and out: She's Native American herself and fluent in Cherokee; in 1998, she completed her doctoral dissertation on Cherokee intellectual history. She's also written about ongoing U.S. government mischief and corruption involving the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. (See "Tale of Tears," March 1999.) In reviewing The Wild Frontier, a new history about the brutal violence between Native Americans and white settlers, Sturgis finds that disturbingly little has changed.