07.07.124:45 AM ET

The Week’s Best Longreads: The Daily Beast Picks for July 7, 2012

From the peril that awaits the American pullout in Afghanistan to the strange career of porn star James Deen, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week. Plus, see this week’s special edition featuring the best longreads on the Church of Scientology.

After America
Dexter Filkins, The New Yorker

Will civil war hit Afghanistan the instant the U.S. pulls out?

Can Democrats Catch Up in the Super PAC Game?
Robert Draper, The New York Times Magazine

They have a distaste for the new rules of the campaign-finance game. But they are playing.

‘Where Was My Mind Wandering?’
Geoffrey Gray, New York

In the perfect sky of Roger Federer’s tennis world, something has been amiss. And only he can find it.

The Well-Hung Boy Next Door
Wells Tower, GQ

Men aren’t porn stars; at best, they’re props. But not James Deen, who’s gotten huge with teenage girls by being average.

Rachel Maddow’s Quiet War
Ben Wallace-Wells, Rolling Stone

America's leading lefty wonk has seen the enemy, and it's not just the GOP—it's the battles she fights every day with herself.

How the Modern Olympics Got Their Start
Frank Deford, Smithsonian

As London gets set to host the XXXth Olympiad, acclaimed sportswriter Frank Deford connects the modern Games to their unlikely origin—in rural England.

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