What They're Made Of

It's often said these days that journalists like to build up heroes so they can tear them down. That's a bit of a misunderstanding. What journalists appreciate about heroes is the kind of journey they're on. It makes a great story, not least because the hero is taking a dangerous new path, fraught with setbacks and surprises. But it's the third act that really makes the story newsworthy, when "the hero comes back from his mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man," as Joseph Campbell wrote in The Hero with a Thousand Faces. In this magazine...

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