Best Longreads: The Daily Beast Picks for June 18, 2011

From Bachmann’s fundamentalist beliefs to the history behind 'The Story of O,' The Daily Beast scans the Web.

“Michele Bachmann’s Unrivaled Extremism”

Michelle Goldberg, The Daily Beast

Rep. Michele Bachmann's impressive performance at Monday's debate has catapulted her near the front of the GOP pack, but the radical roots of her ideology remain poorly understood.

“The Brain on Trial”

David Eagleman, The Atlantic

Advances in brain science are calling into question the volition behind many criminal acts. A leading neuroscientist describes how the foundations of our criminal-justice system are beginning to crumble, and proposes a new way forward for law and order.

“Turkey’s Moment”

Suzy Hansen, Bloomberg Businessweek

Turkey is showing the world how a Muslim country in a turbulent region can achieve stability and prosperity. Will it last?

“Living the Good Lie”

Mimi Swartz, The New York Times Magazine

Should therapists help God-fearing gay people stay in the closet?

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“The Story of The Story of O”

Carmela Ciuraru, Guernica

Not many authors can boast of having written a bestselling pornographic novel, much less one regarded as an erotica classic—but Pauline Réage could. Forty years after the publication of the French novel Histoire d’O, the full truth about her multiple secret identities is revealed.

“Trading Stories”

Jumpa Lahiri, The New Yorker

Notes from a literary apprenticeship.