The Week’s Best Longreads for December 7, 2013

From the death of Nelson Mandela to the exploding Christian entertainment industry in Dallas, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.

12.07.13 10:45 AM ET

The Miracle Maker
Sam Seibert, The Daily Beast

The extraordinary life of the man who liberated South Africa—and then kept the country from falling apart.

On Smarm
Tom Scocca, Gawker

From literature to politics, smarm—an insistence on civility, a finger-wagging disapproval of negativity—is doing its best to keep the cultural elite insulated from criticism.

The Homeschool Apostates
Kathryn Joyce, The American Prospect

They were raised to carry the fundamentalist banner forward and redeem America. Now, the “Joshua Generation” is rebelling.

What Would Jesus Film?
Christopher Kelly, D Magazine

With a little oil money and a lot of faith, Dallas has become the production center for Christian entertainment.

The Men Who Leaked the Secrets
Janet Reitman, Rolling Stone

How two angry, isolated geeks—Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald—broke the story of the year.

Netflix’s War on Mass Culture
Tim Wu, The New Republic

Binge-watching was just the beginning. Netflix has a plan to rewire our culture.

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