September/October 2012
Table of Contents

Editor’s Note

Where Credit Is Due By Paul Glastris

Tilting at Windmills

The enthusiasm gap… Clinton’s catch-22… The Me-First Era… By Charles Peters

Ten Miles Square
Do Presidential Debates Really Matter?

Remember all the famous moments in past debates that changed the outcome of those elections? Well, they didn’t. By John Sides

The Clintonites' Beef With Obama

It's not his policies they complain about but his messaging. Is that fair? By Simon van Zuylen-Wood

Party Animals

Any chance Romney might govern as a moderate? For a clue, look at his senior staff. By Jonathan Bernstein

Cover
Features
America's Best-Bang-for-the-Buck Colleges

In this year's rankings, we show which schools get their students over the finish line at a reasonable price. By Rachel Fishman and Robert Kelchen

The Siege of Academe

For years, Silicon Valley has failed to breach the walls of higher education with disruptive technology. But the tide of battle is changing. A report from the front lines. By Kevin Carey

Getting Rid of the College Loan Repo Man

Our current system for collecting student loans makes no distinction between deadbeats who cheat and the much greater numbers of people who just don’t have the money to repay. As predatory debt collection agencies ruin the lives of more and more Americans, we are ignoring an easy and fair solution. By Stephen Burd

Got Student Debt

By Minjae Park and Danny Vinik

On Political Books
Why Aren't Conservatives Funny?

An academic’s doomed attempt to explain why there are no good right-wing comedians. By Joshua Green

First-Rate Temperaments

Liberals don’t want to admit it, and conservatives don’t want to pay for it, but building character—resilience, optimism, perseverance, focus—may be the best way to help poor students succeed. By Thomas Toch

A Malevolent Forrest Gump

Strom Thurmond's loathsomeness on race obscures his larger role; he was there at all the major choke points of modern conservative history. By Michael O'Donnell

Broken in Hoboken

How the poor used to live. By Jamie Malanowksi

Identity Politics Revisited

By most accounts, economic issues are the real core of politics, and social issues are a distraction. A historian begs to differ. By Mark Schmitt