MARK THOMPSON (“Environment: Fighting for Cleaner Air”) is a senior writer for California Lawyer He has contributed to Science 85, The Far Eastern Economic Review, and The Wall Street Journal.

J. C. SHARES (cover artist), who lives in New York City, was born in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1942. He is the creative director at Prentice Hall. Suarès has designed and illustrated numerous books and is the author of Manhattan (1981) and The Indispensable Cat (1984). He is also a frequent contributor to Connoisseur. Suarès has illustrated several cover stories for The Atlantic, including “A Consumers’ Guide to the Democrats in ‘88,” which appeared in April, 1987.

BENJAMIN DEMOTT (“Rediscovering Complexity”) is the Mellon Professor of English at Amherst College, where he has taught since 1951. DeMott graduated from George Washington University in 1949 and received a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1953. He is the author of several books, including Supergrow (1969), Surviving the Seventies (1971), and America in Literature (1977).

PETER DAVISON (“Time, Please”) is the poetry editor of The Atlantic and the editor of Peter Davison Books, at Houghton Mifflin.

ROBERT D. KAPLAN (“Afghanistan: Driven Toward God”) is a journalist based in Athens. Kaplan is the author of Surrender or Starve: The Wars Behind the Famine (1988). He is at work on a book about Afghanistan.

GEORGE A. CARVER, JR., (“Washington: The Fifth Man”) is the John M. Olin senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, at Georgetown University, and the president of C and S Associates, in Washington, D.C. Carver is retired from the Central Intelligence Agency, where he worked from 1953 to 1979. He served as deputy to the director of central intelligence for national intelligence from 1973 to 1976. His articles on subjects related to intelligence and foreign policy have appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.

ROY BLOUNT, JR., (“The Wind Rewound”) is a contributing editor of The Atlantic. He is the author of several books, including What Men Don’t Tell Women (1984) and Not Exactly What I Had in Mind(1985). His book Crackers will be re-issued by Ballantine this month.

CHARLES BAXTER (“Fenstad’s Mother”) is a professor of English at Wayne State University, in Detroit. He is the author of Harmony of the World (1984) and Through the Safety Net (1985), collections of stories, and First Light (1987), a novel.

BRENDAN GALVIN (“Swallow”) teaches at Central Connecticut State University and is a Guggenheim fellow for 1988. His most recent book is Seals in the Inner Harbor (1986).

JAMES FALLOWS (“When East Met West”) is The Atlantic’s Washington editor. Fallows, who is currently based in Malaysia, is writing a series of articles from Asia for the magazine.

SVEN BIRKERTS (“The Hipness Unto Death”) teaches expository writing at Harvard University. He is the author of An Artificial Wilderness: Essays on Twentieth Century Literature (1987) and The Electric Life: Essays on Modern Poetry, to be published next year.

PHOEBE-LOU ADAMS (Brief Reviews) is a staff writer for The Atlantic.

EDWARD SOREL and NANCY CALDWELL SOREL (First Encounters) live in Manhattan. Edward Sorel has been a free-lance illustrator since 1957. He won the George Polk Award in 1981 for his satiric drawings and received a gold medal from the Society of Illustrators in 1985. He is the author and illustrator of Making the World Safe for Hypocrisy (1972) and the illustrator of many other books, including Word People (1970), written by his wife. Nancy Caldwell Sorel’s second book, Ever Since Eve, was published in 1984.

BARBARA WALLRAFF (“Bons Voyages”) is an associate editor of The Atlantic.

ROBERT P. CREASE (“The Return of the Shag”) is an assistant professor of philosophy at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He is the coauthor, with Charles Mann, of The Second Creation (1986). Crease wrote about swing dance in the September, 1986, Atlantic.

CORBY KUMMER (“Tomato Sauce”) is a senior editor of The Atlantic, for which he regularly writes about food.

DOROTHY OSBORNE (Acrostic No. 38) crafts puzzles at her home in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

ANNE H. SOUKHANOV (Word Watch) is an executive editor of the trade and reference division of Houghton Mifflin, the publishers of The American Heritage Dictionary.

The September Almanac was compiled with the assistance of Stephen Malcolm, of the University of Florida; Neil Spitzer, of The Wilson Quarterly; Suzanne Gaventa, of the Centers for Disease Control; Gail Cleere and the staff of the U.S. Naval Observatory; and the House Banking Committee.