Shikha Dalmia swears it isn't her politics that led her to a first job at a Marxist newspaper in New Delhi. "I was walking door to door looking for a job on New Delhi's version of Fleet Street," she explains, "until I reached the Patriot, and they hired me." In "The Iconoclast" (page 22), Dalmia, who now lives in Michigan, probes the politics of another Indian migrant: novelist Salman Rushdie. Dalmia, who has written for National Review, The Weekly Standard, and the Chicago Tribune, spent more than 10 years on the editorial board of The Detroit News.
Assistant Editor Kerry Howley says at least some of her writing has been inspired by drug use–notably, this month's "Locking Up Life-Saving Drugs" (page 38). Howley, just back from a 15-month stint in Burma, says she enjoyed unfettered access to pharmaceuticals in the repressive military dictatorship. Now she's wondering why she doesn't have the same freedom at home. "Access to everything from Insulin to Viagra," she writes, "still requires a day off work and a trip to the doctor's office."
Sally Satel is no fan of licensed trauma counselors, a class of people known as "trauma tourists," who descend on victims of tragedy with warped ideas about how to help. Nevertheless, she is one herself. "For $190, you too can be a trauma counselor," jokes Satel, who snagged a license as part of the research for a book she co-wrote, One Nation Under Therapy (St. Martin's Press). In "The Mental Health Crisis That Wasn't" (page 48), Satel exposes the folly behind post-9/11 mental health hysteria. A practicing psychiatrist, Satel is the W.H. Brady Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
Satel's co-author and AEI colleague, Christina Hoff Sommers, says her antipathy to over-analyzing emotional well-being was at least partly inspired by her son, who once helped start a bonfire with a "feelings notebook" given to him on a camp trip. "The counselor was horrified," she recalls with relish. The author of Who Stole Feminism? and The War Against Boys, Sommers holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Brandeis University.