Alison Stein Wellner knew it wasn?t quite normal to move 13 times in 10 years, as she and her husband did the decade after she graduated from college. Still, she says, ?I didn?t think we were off-trend?; she took it on faith that Americans today are hopelessly footloose. It wasn?t until she looked at the data that she realized such serial relocation was more typical of her grandparents? generation than of her own. In ?The Mobility Myth? (page 30), Wellner tears apart the notion that we?re a nation of rootless wanderers. A former editor at American Demographics, Wellner has written on culture and trends for Mother Jones, The Washington Post, and many other publications. She lives in Manhattan, for the moment.
As soon as Robert H. Nelson tells people he writes about community associations, they start telling him about theirs. That?s why his most recent book, Private Neighborhoods and the Transformation of Local Government, ?was the easiest book in the world to research.? In ?Welcome to the New?and Private?Neighborhood? (page 36), adapted from that volume, he argues that community associations do more than regulate paint jobs and Christmas lights: They portend a future of completely privatized governance. Nelson is a professor at the University of Maryland?s School of Public Policy, the author of seven books, and a prolific writer on urban and environmental issues.
Since first joining Reason?'s staff in 2003 after years of globetrotting and freelancing, Associate Editor Matt Welch has taken on media myths ranging from the alleged violent chaos of post-Katrina New Orleans to the purported depth of New York Times columnist Tom Friedman. His parting shot, ?Farewell to Warblogging? (page 16), looks at how the moment of cross-ideological mixing that came immediately after 9/11 has evaporated, leaving pundits divided along the same familiar lines. Welch will keep trying to buck the trend and blur those lines at his next gig, as an assistant editor of the Los Angeles Times opinion page.