This Week’s Best Reads

From Germany’s reluctance to lead Europe out of economic crisis to the cultural impact of ‘Friday Night Lights,’ The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.

08.13.11 3:43 AM ET

It’s the Economy, Dummkopf!
Michael Lewis, Vanity Fair

With Greece and Ireland in economic shreds, while Portugal, Spain, and perhaps even Italy head south, only one nation can save Europe from financial Armageddon: a highly reluctant Germany. Michael Lewis investigates German attitudes toward money, excrement, and the country’s Nazi past, all of which help explain its peculiar new status.

Leap of Faith
Ryan Lizza, The New Yorker

The transformation of Michele Bachmann from fringe representative to Republican frontrunner.

Very Deep in America
Lorrie Moore, New York Review of Books

What Friday Night Lights tells us about the country.

Did the IMF Look the Other Way?
Sheelah Kolhatkar, BusinessWeek

Before he became tabloid fodder, Dominique Strauss-Kahn steered the International Monetary Fund through an epic financial crisis, even as questions mounted about his private behavior

The Two-Minus-One Pregnancy
Ruth Padawar, New York Times Magazine

A woman pregnant with twins can now decide to have only one. Is there anything wrong with this choice?

Hollywood Hacker Breaks His Silence
Christine Pelisek, Newsweek

Long before the Murdoch empire’s phone-hacking scandal, Anthony Pellicano was the private eye that stars feared (and used) most. In his first interview since going to prison, he reveals new details on spying for Schwarzenegger, clearing Cruise's name—and why he dumped Michael Jackson.