Shikha Dalmia is a senior analyst at Reason Foundation and a columnist for The Week. She emigrated from India to the United States in 1985, and lately she’s noticed one of the main sources of conflict from her native country—”there’s always been a lot of tension between the majority Hindu population and the minority Muslim population,” she explains—is rearing its head here in her adopted home, especially in the Detroit area, where she now lives. In “Muslim in America,” she explores that development (page 34). “The same tropes that are becoming popular in America have always been popular in India, and it’s led to a lot of bloodshed” against Muslims, Dalmia, 54, laments.
Freelance journalist and researcher Tate Watkins recently published Haitian Coffee Grows on Trees, an account of his time working with small-scale coffee farmers in the troubled island nation. In an excerpt from that book (“Why Are Haiti’s Coffee Trees So Tall?,” page 46) the 31-year-old Tennessee native explains just why that industry is such a mess. (Spoiler alert: International “aid” programs aren’t helping.) Tate, who interned at reason in 2011, says he “had never really thought too hard about where coffee beans came from before” he got to Haiti. But he adds that, not surprisingly, “I’m definitely a full-fledged nerd from tree all the way to cup these days.”
In 2008 reason contributor Lenore Skenazy let her 9-year-old ride the subway in New York City on his own. For that act of social disobedience, she was dubbed “the world’s worst mom” on The Today Show. Skenazy, 56, responded by launching the Free-Range Kids movement (and authoring a book of the same name) to teach hyperactive parents that their children are not, in fact, in peril at all times. It’s a lesson Scottish authorities in particular need to hear: On page 62, she reports on a law that appoints a bureaucrat to oversee the raising of every single child in the land (“Are Crusty Boogers Child Abuse?“). Skenazy’s hilarious talks on parenting have taken her all over, from Yale to Microsoft’s headquarters to the Sydney Opera House—and her son, now 18, is doing just fine.