The Week’s Best Longreads: The Daily Beast Picks for May 5, 2012

From Obama’s previously untold romance during his Columbia years to the crazy run of fugitive George Wright, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.

05.05.12 8:45 AM ET

Becoming Obama
David Maraniss, Vanity Fair

When Barack Obama met Genevieve Cook in 1983 at a Christmas party in New York’s East Village, it was the start of his most serious romance yet. But as the 22-year-old Columbia grad began to shape his future, he was also struggling with his identity: American or international? Black or white?

Michael Finkel, GQ

George Wright, America’s most elusive fugitive, ran from authorities on three continents. Now that he’s been found, he may pull off the greatest escape of all.

Forgive Us Our Debts
Benjamin Kunkel, The London Review of Books

How money made debt a tool of violence and injustice.

The Operator
Charles Homans, The New Republic

What does the 2012 campaign’s biggest donor really want?

How McDonald’s Came Back Bigger Than Ever
Keith O’Brien, The New York Times Magazine

The fast food giant is growing explosively even as its PR battle gets harder. Now, it’s setting its sights on the holdouts who aren’t convinced.

What Your Klout Score Really Means
Seth Stevenson, Wired

The annoying influence metric isn’t going away, and soon a low Klout score could mean not getting jobs or getting worse customer service.


Paris Match
Maureen Orth, Vanity Fair

Sunday’s elections could make Nicolas Sarkozy the first one-term French president since the 1980s. In this 2008 profile, Maureen Orth reconstructs the sensational romantic roller-coaster ride that followed Sarkozy to the Élysée Palace, and the beginnings of France’s deep discontent with his leadership.

For more great longreads, visit our friends at Longreads.com.