The Week’s Best Longreads: The Daily Beast Picks for Feb. 11, 2012

From the two competing narratives of the Obama presidency to the billionaire monk behind 5-Hour Energy, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the Web this week.

02.11.12 9:45 AM ET

Obama, Explained
James Fallows, The Atlantic

Two conflicting narratives of his presidency have emerged. Is he a skillful political player and policy visionary—a chess master who always sees several moves ahead of his opponents? Or is he politically clumsy and out of his depth—a pawn overwhelmed by events, at the mercy of a second-rate staff and of the Republicans?

My Debt to Ireland
John Jeremiah Sullivan, New York Times Magazine

An Irish-American returns to his roots—again.

The Mobility Myth
Timothy Noah, The New Republic

Why everyone overestimates American equality of opportunity.

One Town’s War on Gay Teens
Sabrina Rubin Erdely, Rolling Stone

In Michele Bachmann's home district, evangelicals have created an extreme anti-gay climate. After a rash of suicides, the kids are fighting back.

The Mystery Monk Making Billions With 5-Hour Energy
Clare O’Connor, Forbes

Manoj Bhargava is so under the radar that he barely registers on Web searches. His paper trail is thin, consisting primarily of more than 90 lawsuits. This is his first press interview.

Taking Charles Murray Apart
David Frum, The Daily Beast

In a five-part review, The Daily Beast’s David Frum critiques a new book by the conservative sociologist Charles Murray, Coming Apart: The State of White America.

For more great longreads, check out our friends at Longreads.com.