The Week’s Best Longreads for December 14, 2013

From New York’s homeless children to the retired FBI agent who disappeared on a rogue CIA mission, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.

12.14.13 10:45 AM ET

Invisible Child
Andrea Elliott, The New York Times

There are more than 22000 homeless children in New York, the highest number since the Great Depression. This is one of their stories.

The Lobotomy Files
Jenn Ackerman and Tim Gruber, The Wall Street Journal

A cache of musty documents lost to memory exposes a time when the U.S. lobotomized some 2,000 veterans. The nation forgot. But Roman Tritz remembers.

Missing American in Iran Was on Unapproved Mission
Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman, Associated Press

Retired FBI agent Robert Levinson was arrested in Iran in 2007 and is now the longest-held hostage in American history. Now, a new investigation shows he was working for the CIA—and went on a rogue mission.

State of Deception
Ryan Lizza, The New Yorker

Can the intelligence community be reformed?

Reverse-Engineering a Genius
Kurt Andersen, Vanity Fair

How did Johannes Vermeer manage to create such photo-realistic paintings in the 17th Century—and did he get help? A Texas tech company founder named Tim Jenison decided to try to find out if Vermeer could have used a camera-like contraption to create his art, by recreating one of the paintings himself.

Inside the Power of the NRA
Robert Draper, The New York Times Magazine

It has been a year since the Newtown shootings. Federal gun laws haven’t changed. Here is why.

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