SPECIAL SECTION: THE HEALTH REPORT:
"When the Body Attacks the Mind": The idea that madness might have a discrete, biological cause—that it's not just in your head—stretches back at least to the late 19th century. But now, after languishing for almost a century, the notion of targeting the immune system to cure insanity has reemerged. As Moises Velasquez-Manoff reports, the field of autoimmune neurology is expanding, and may force a reexamination of mental illness generally.
"After Ebola": "Life after Ebola is worse than the Ebola virus itself." Less than two years after the peak of the outbreak in Liberia, the vast assemblage of foreign disease experts and health workers have left, but epidemiologists believe another outbreak is likely. Lois Parshley traveled to the West African country to find out what life is like after the ravages of the epidemic. She reports that many Liberians still don't know how the virus spreads and, as the country teeters on the edge of famine, street-market vendors break the law daily by selling bushmeat that could carry the disease. As a result, an increasingly fragile status quo is severely at risk of collapsing again.
Sketch: "The Good Daughter": "More than once, Chelsea has publicly expressed how 'frustrating' it was for her to set out to blaze her own trail only to wind up following her parents down theirs. But to what extent this is the product of their neediness or hers is unclear, perhaps even to the Clintons." After an impressive array of educational and career accomplishments, Chelsea Clinton is once again barnstorming the country for her mom. In this month's Sketch, Michelle Cottle explores Clinton's life in and out of the spotlight, and why the former and potentially future first daughter never quite stands alone.
Society: "The War on Stupid People": These days, the gulf between the intellectual haves and have-nots may be at its widest point. David H. Freedman writes that, rather than looking for ways to give the less intelligent a break, the successful seem more determined than ever to freeze them out. This is borne out in job applications—which routinely demand cognitive-skills testing or SAT scores—in the evaporation of careers that can be acquired without a college degree, and in the fetishization of high IQ as a relationships prerequisite. Freedman argues that we must stop treating our society as a playground for the smart minority, and instead shape our economy, our schools, even our culture with an eye toward the abilities and needs of the full range of human capacity.
Business: "The Curse of the Loyal Sports Fan": The Chicago Cubs' customers show up win or lose—which may explain why, until now, the team has mostly done the latter. From 2000 to 2014, the Cubs compiled the eighth-worst record in baseball and still drew more fans than almost all the other Major League clubs. The Cubs want to win, but do they really have to? Jerry Useem traces how a chewing-gum magnate turned a competitive sport into a relaxing, all-American, hot-dog- and beer-laden pastime.