Reporting "The Devil on Paradise Road," about the murder of ranger Margaret Anderson inside Washington's Mount Rainier National Park, hit close to home for Seattle-based contributing editor Bruce Barcott. "I've snowshoed across the creek where the killer's body was found," says Barcott, who took dozens of trips to the park while researching his first book, The Measure of a Mountain: Beauty and Terror on Mount Rainier. "My connection to the place was a bit part of why I wanted to write this story. But I also wanted Anderson to be remembered for more than just the tragedy. A lot of courageous, heroic actions—from her and others—went into keeping backcountry visitors safe."
Contributing editor Tom Vanderbilt spends a lot of time writing about the systems that govern human behavior. He's written for Wired, The New York Times Magazine, and Rolling Stone about everything from why we drive the way we do to how GPS affects our brains. But when we asked him to report on the surprisingly hopeful trend of gear companies bringing their manufacturing operations back home ("Born in the USA"), he was skeptical. "Companies decide whether to make products here or in China based on their bottom line," says Vanderbilt, of Brooklyn. Still, he found a side benefit in the trend. "I got a warm feeling when I saw the impact these companies are having on local communities. It makes a huge difference."