Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home

The Atlantic Picks 19 Brave Thinkers of 2010

by Susan Ohanian

Here is The Atlantic's list of the 19 "Brave Thinkers" of 2010. It is the Atlantic's second annual assessment of "the year's most intrepid and original thinking risk-takers."

NOTE: The Atlantic comments on last year's choice of Ben Bernacke:

Ben Bernanke: Chairman of the Federal Reserve

Why We Picked Him: He was using almost every tool in the box--and creating some new ones--in order to stop the economy from falling apart in 2008 and 2009.

Report Card: By all accounts, quantifying Bernanke's success requires proving a negative: the true measurement of his ingenuity isn't how well the economy is doing, but how much worse it could have been if he hadn't acted as he did. He helped to bring the recession to its official end in June 2009, but no one--least of all Bernanke--claims the recovery will be quick and easy. He will continue to oversee U.S. monetary policy for the next few years, as he was nominated by President Obama to a second term as chairman and confirmed by the Senate in January

And Barack Obama:

Barack Obama: President of the United States

Why We Picked Him: He'd decided to bail out auto giants GM and Chrysler--forcing them to make major institutional changes in the process.

Report Card: GM's changes have reaped rewards: the company has repaid an $8.2 billion U.S. and Canadian government loan and posted profits for two quarters. In August, it filed for an initial public offering, in which the Treasury Department plans to sell around 20% of its stake. Chrysler has been taking losses overall in 2010 due to payments on its government loans, but--after selling a stake to Fiat, shuttering dealerships, reducing incentives to buyers, and beginning an overhaul of all its brands--its automotive production is once again profitable.

No mention of the banks.

The Atlantic's 19 Brave Thinkers of 2010.

19 People risking their reputations, fortunes, and lives in pursuit of big ideas

* The Journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas
* The Doctor Carol Ball
* The Prime Minister David Cameron
* The Soldier Dan Choi
* The Actor Kevin Costner
* The General Michael T. Flynn
* The Farmer John Hantz
* The Scientist John Ioannidis
* The Inventor Lonnie Johnson
* The CEO Elon Musk
* The Congressman Ron Paul
* The Historian Diane Ravitch
* The Team Owner Robert Sarver
* The Businessman Tom Sullivan
* The Watchdog Elizabeth Warren
* The Judge Jack Weinstein
* The Media Mogul Guillermo Zuloaga
* The Humanitarian Sakena Yacoobi

* The Educator Deborah Gist

In just her first year on the job as the head of the Ocean State's public schools, Gist put forth a bold agenda for reform—one that included changing the way teachers get evaluated. The efforts by this former grade school teacher have caught the attention of the White House—as well as Rhode Islanders, who she's enlisted in her campaign for change.

The Atlantic failed to note that Gist has flown in a F-18 fighter jet with the Blue Angels, run the New York City Marathon, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, and broken a Guinness Record for kissing. Oh, and attended the Broad Center leadership academy. As well as being at the forefront of all those teacher firings at Central High School.

And she's purportedly on the short list to replace Michele Rhee.

— Staff with notes by Susan Ohanian
The Atlantic





This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of education issues vital to a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.