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Contributors: Oct. 28, 1996

3 minute read

DAVID VAN BIEMA reread the Book of Genesis three times–in three different translations–in preparation for writing this week’s cover story. He was impressed not only with the book’s importance as “one of the ultimate faith statements in our culture” but also with its power as “the granddaddy of family sagas.” The reaction was typical of Van Biema, who is fascinated with how issues of faith affect both the secular and religious communities in America. In this, he was guided by the expertise and reporting of TIME’s longtime religion correspondent Richard Ostling. The revival of interest in Genesis, Van Biema surmises, may put the Bible back “on the front burner of conversation among people who haven’t talked about religion since their Sunday school days.”

PAUL QUINN-JUDGE joins TIME as Moscow bureau chief, a beat he is thoroughly familiar with, having spent six years there, from 1986 to 1992, as bureau chief for the Christian Science Monitor and the Boston Globe. Along with a grounding in Russian language and history, he says, “the most crucial tool for understanding the place is a thorough knowledge of Monty Python. Only this enables you to fully grasp the whiplash-like changes, from comedy to tragedy and sobriety to surrealism.” A nose for news helps: Quinn-Judge was already at work on a story about infighting in the Kremlin when the firing of General Lebed proved the prescience of his reporting.

CATHY BOOTH barely had time to glance at the Pacific before she leaped into her new job as West Coast bureau chief with the fervor that has kept colleagues’ heads spinning for years. This week her bureau contributed to a typical array of stories, including Bob Dole’s last-ditch campaign effort in California, the state’s ballot initiative on marijuana, the latest rush of O.J. Simpson revelations and the retooling of the CBS sitcom Ink. Booth, who did standout reporting from Haiti and Cuba while heading TIME’s Miami bureau, says of her new turf, “We have every story of the 21st century here, from Hollywood to high tech, from crime and the environment to immigration.”

THOMAS MCCARROLL’S interest in TLC Beatrice, the minority-owned global food company, dates from his first meeting with founder Reginald Lewis in 1988, when Lewis was selling assets to finance his $1 billion leveraged buyout of the company. Only later did McCarroll meet Lewis’ wife (and now widow) Loida, whose successful turnaround of the company is the subject of this week’s story. “She’s just as smart, savvy and shrewd as the next guy, but without all the macho and bluster,” says McCarroll, who has covered his share of corporate movers and shakers, including Bill Gates, Michael Milken and Donald Trump. “I can see how her adversaries often make the mistake of underestimating her.”

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