Maia Szalavitz remembers the precise day she stopped using heroin: August 4, 1988. Having wrestled with addiction herself, Szalavitz is acutely aware that it "isn't something that just happens to you; you have to make a lot of choices for it to happen." So she's especially incensed by the misguided assumptions behind aggressive anti-drug policies that make doctors reluctant to treat pain effectively, a problem she chronicles in "Dr. Feelscared" (page 32). "It bothers me that addictions like mine, at least partly the result of poor choices, are used to rationalize denying medication to people in pain," she says. Szalavitz is a senior fellow at the media watchdog group STATS; she is writing a book on "behavior modification" camps for juveniles.

John Blundell has always kept an eye on South Africa, where much of his family lives. But he didn't visit the country until 1985, when he wrote a story on the region for reason. Last summer, Blundell, the director general of London's Institute of Economic Affairs, returned to take stock of South Africa today. He gives his optimistic account in "Try, Beloved Country" (page 50).

Trained as an economist, Prakash Loungani was convinced of the benefits of globalization by his review of the academic literature. But what really hammered it home, he says, was going back to his hometown of Bombay during the last 15 years and seeing how trade had "really freed that society." So he was gratified to find that same mix of empirical rigor and powerful anecdotes in Jagdish Bhagwati's In Defense of Globalization, which he reviews this month ("Globalization Without Tears," page 68). Loungani is a contributing editor for the International Monetary Fund's IMF Review and a former Federal Reserve Board staff economist.