When I was a college student, I worked at the student newspaper. I was a longhaired, hard-drinking journalist — a Woodward and/or Bernstein in training — who would someday expose wrongdoers and bring down corrupt powerbrokers.

Well, at least that’s how I saw myself back then. It didn’t quite work out that way. And it’s not just because my chosen field, print journalism, soon became as relevant as the telegraph.

In truth, I got soured on the crusading-reporter thing pretty quickly. One of my first interview subjects was an intense man who proudly called himself a black separatist. He gave lectures around the country that outlined how African Americans needed to reject integration and establish their own nation.

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