America's Best

In this group of profiles, the third in TIME's series, we honor people who sustain the life of the mind, body and spirit. That's a category broad enough to include, among other job titles, a teacher, a social critic, a couple of athletes, a feminist writer and a chef. (Hey, just try to keep your spirits up after a bad meal!) There's even an advice columnist and an interior designer. The life of the mind, after all, begins somewhere in the realm of common sense, and the spirit likes a comfortable place to kick back. Think of most of them as...

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