Everyone cheered this past Friday when it was announced that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was tragically and senselessly shot in the head outside an Arizona supermarket on Jan. 8, wants to attend the April 29 launch of Endeavor, the space shuttle her astronaut husband is commanding. But has the constant media pressure for a movie-ending recovery for the brave congresswoman created unrealistic medical expectations? NEWSWEEK’s new special correspondent, Peter Boyer, goes inside the drama, both personal and political, of what has been happening to Gabby as the painful hoping of her family and inner circle overlaps with the jostling realities of Arizona politics.
Priscilla Gilman’s account of confronting the fact that her beloved child Benjamin is not the child she had dreamed of in romantic fantasies of motherhood is another very moving personal story. She traces her gradual realization first that Benj was “different” from other kids, and then how his development was markedly off track due to hyperlexia, a condition that makes the challenges of parenting both uniquely difficult and uniquely rewarding. As the mother of a wonderfully different Asperger’s son, I was immensely touched by Priscilla’s journey to joyful acceptance.
Also in NEWSWEEK: our trenchant columnist Niall Ferguson writes of how exalted technologies that have been lauded as the key to overthrowing dictators can be used for evil as well as good. Dennis Quaid tells NEWSWEEK about his favorite pharmacological mistake. Muammar Gaddafi’s former nurse, a glamorous Ukrainian, writes a My Turn column about life with “Papik.”