Karima Bennoune conducted hundreds of interviews with Muslims from 26 countries to piece together the untold stories of nonviolent revolutionaries who are fighting against extremists and fundamentalists.
Although we are learning that child refugees from the Syrian civil war now number more than a million, and that Western allies are considering an intervention within days, we have been more possessed by Batfleck and Miley Cyrus. Our sensitivities have progressively dulled during nearly three years of the Arab Spring. We know what to expect from that part of the world: bombs will be detonated, governments will remain unstable, and people will be massacred.
The Polish-born writer, whose new novel is ‘Memories of a Marriage,’ talks about WWII and what he thought of the movie version of ‘About Schmidt.’
Where did you grow up?I was born in 1933 in a town called Stryj in the eastern part of Poland which is now Ukraine, and lived there until I was 7 and a half. During the rest of WWII, and until the fall of 1946, I lived successively in Lwów, Warsaw, and Kraków, with a spell between Warsaw and Kraków in the Mazowsze, a remote Polish countryside. My first novel, Wartime Lies, draws on memories of my life in that period. In March 1947, I arrived with my parents in New York City and did the rest of my “growing up” there.
Why did ‘The Princess Bride’ captivate America in the year of Watergate? Nathaniel Rich revisits William Goldman’s classic and finds it grippingly readable—and bluntly honest.
In 1973—“the year of infamy”—the last American bombs were dropped on Cambodia, OPEC issued an oil embargo, the stock market crashed, and Woodward and Bernstein revealed that there was more to the Watergate break-in than had first appeared. Even by American standards, it was a moment of extravagant uneasiness, disillusionment, and mania. In the midst of this maelstrom came a strange and determinedly anachronistic new novel by William Goldman. It told the fairy-tale story of a Princess named Buttercup, her abduction by an evil prince and a six-fingered count, and her rescue by a soft-hearted giant, a vengeance-mad swordsman, and a debonair masked hero named Westley.
So how exactly did Michele Bachmann’s 2012 presidential campaign go from winning in Ames to crashing in the Iowa caucuses—and embroiled in ethics investigations? Ex-aide Peter Waldron says he has the answers.
Why is the 2012 presidential campaign of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) under investigation? In a new e-book, Bachmannistan, Peter Waldron, a longtime evangelical activist who worked on Bachmann’s campaign as a national field coordinator, details the campaign’s implosion and how he says it broke trust with those across the country who volunteered for, donated to, and supported the four-term congresswoman.In a phone interview with The Daily Beast, Waldron said Bachmann sought to quash the publication of his book, which was published online Monday.
Before Gillian Flynn and Tana French, a whole generation of women writers were pioneering psychological thrillers every bit as good as the crime fiction of Raymond Chandler and Dashiel Hammett. Sarah Weinman, editor of the new anthology ‘Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives,’ meets Dorothy Salisbury Davis, the last survivor among the trailblazers of domestic suspense.
On a gloriously sunny July afternoon, I took the bus up from the George Washington Bridge Station to Palisades, New York, to meet one of the mystery genre’s living legends. The point of my visit with Dorothy Salisbury Davis, at an assisted-living facility she’s called home the past three years, was to give her a finished copy, just off the press, of Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives, the anthology of domestic suspense fiction I edited for Penguin.
That was the feeling of the marchers gathered on August 28, 1963 as they heard Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speak. Former New York Times reporter Hedrick Smith recalls covering that famous, joyful day.
Fifty years ago today, August 28, 1963, I watched the first advance elements of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom arriving in the nation’s capital. As the sky dawned pink-then-orange behind the stiletto spire of the Washington Monument, an army of overnight buses rolled into the city from points north—New York, New England, the Middle West. They parked single file along the Mall, delivering a small army of people.The early arrivers bubbled with quiet excitement.
Megan Abbott’s newest novel, ‘Dare Me,’ out in paperback today, imagines the world of high-school cheerleading, where teenagers follow their coaches and best friends down dark, twisted paths of loyalties. Here the crime novelist celebrates her biggest inspirations—the books that were her own dangerous mentors.
Prime of Miss Jean Brodie By Muriel Spark“Give me a girl at an impressionable age, and she is mine for life.” For any writer tackling the theme of dangerous mentors, it begins with Spark’s novel, and so it was for me. For the six pupils under the tutelage of the seductive, witty and poisonous Miss Brodie in 1930s Edinburgh, the risks extend well beyond the classroom, culminating in disillusionment and ultimately betrayal for some and far worse for her most devoted disciple, the lamentable Mary Macgregor.
On the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, what should you be reading? Columbia professor Samuel G. Freedman offers his list of classic books on the civil-rights movement. Plus, read an excerpt from his new book, ‘Breaking the Line.’
When the sculptor Lei Yixin recently removed a condensed and altered quotation from his monument to Martin Luther King Jr., his action attested to the power of words in the civil-rights movement. Not coincidentally, the outraged reaction to that editing of King’s “drum major” speech was led by a writer, Maya Angelou.Certainly, the civil-rights era supplied memorable tableaux of physical courage: the child protesters in Birmingham, Alabama, braving water hoses and police dogs, the marchers at Selma striding straight into the horses and clubs of a law-enforcement mob.
With the spectacular show trial for corruption of disgraced leader Bo Xilai now concluded, Wenguang Huang and Pin Ho write on the strange and eerie parallels with Bo’s own father’s purging under Mao. Their new book is ‘A Death in the Lucky Holiday Hotel.’
For Bo Xilai’s siblings, the dramatic trial they witnessed in the courtroom over the past week was probably a nightmarish déjà vu.Thirty-six years ago, their father, Bo Yibo, who was China’s vice premier, was dragged before “struggle sessions” in front of thousands of people at stadiums in Beijing and paraded around with a big iron plaque around his neck as “a traitor and corrupt official.” Their mother, Hu Ming, died in mysterious circumstances while on a train being escorted by her handlers back to Beijing to expose her husband’s crimes.
The late J.D. Salinger reportedly instructed his estate to release at least five more books, potentially joining the ranks of stellar books posthumously published.
The world never saw a new J.D. Salinger story after he stopped publishing in 1965, but the famously reclusive author was said to have continued writing until his death at the age of 91 in 2010. So, where are they? Salinger biographers David Shields and Shane Salerno claim to have solved the mystery, and says that at least five unpublished Salinger books could be released starting in 2015, including more stories about the Glass and the Caulfield families.
From a debut novel where besieged journalists take asylum to a biography of the missionary who made California.
The House of Journalists By Tim Finch A debut novel about oppressed journalists who live together in LondonThere’s no lack of repressive regimes that will persecute, muffle, torture and kill journalists who shine a light where malignant leaders would prefer darkness. What if such journalists could seek asylum in a centralized placed? Not a country, but a house in London, where the exigencies of living together creates its own brand of tension? That’s the terrifically engaging conceit from Finch, a debut novelist who once served as political journalist for the BBC and now works for the Institute for Public Policy Research.
Poetry has been taken hostage by the academy and its obsession with “meaning,” but former poet laureate Robert Pinsky rides to the rescue with his new book celebrating language and sound. Daniel Bosch on a call to bring music back to poetry.
Was there church wedding? An elopement in Reno, with the Department Chair as witness? Was a shotgun necessary? Did it happen all at once, en masse, as in the ceremonies held in Shea Stadium by the Reverend Moon, five thousand couples joined at a go? Are poetry and the academy long-term “friends with benefits”? Maybe they just live together.However it was, and is, several generations of their offspring have gone forth and multiplied, and the union of age-old poetry and young upstart academy has altered how and what we talk about when we talk about poems.
His son, Peter Leonard, hopes to complete.
This is bittersweet. There’s likely one more Elmore Leonard novel on the way after the author died last week at the age of 87. His son, Peter Leonard, also a writer, said he hopes to finish his father’s 46th novel, which has the working title of Blue Dreams. “[It’s] been discussed among family members and I’ve talked to Greg Sutter, Elmore’s longtime researcher,” the younger Leonard said—although he admitted he doesn’t know how many pages have been written. The book reportedly will feature Leonard’s popular federal marshal, Raylan Givens, as well as a rogue Immigration and Customs agent. Get those Amazon queues ready now.
Biographers say at least five additional works could be released as soon as 2015.
Great news for angsty teens everywhere: there are more J.D. Salinger books coming—and we’ll find out new details about what happened to Holden Caulfied (don’t disappear!), the Glass family, and more. A new documentary about J.D. Salinger, who died in 2010, claims that there are at least five unpublished books by the author that could be released as soon as 2015. The film is set to air in September. The works were largely written before 2008, when Salinger assigned his output into a trust. One collection will be called The Family Glass (does this mean we’ll find out who won the Yale game?), and another, called The Last and Best of the Peter Pans, will focus on the Caulfields (hopefully Phoebe), the clan at the center of Salinger’s best-known work, The Catcher in the Rye.
What’s the state of religion behind bars? A Princeton-educated scholar studies the diverse ways that prisoners find and keep faith today. Joshua Dubois on what we can learn from them.
That Joshua Dubler made it out alive is perhaps the most telling thing about his book. Down in the Chapel is a fascinating look inside an American prison—a fact alone that's dangerous enough. But Dubler is a Princeton-educated religion scholar, and his focus of study is the prison chapel of Graterford Maximum Security Prison outside of Philadelphia. He surrounds himself with murderers, and then proceeds to poke and prod them on the topics of politics and religion.
Are law enforcement officers invading our privacy and bending the rules when they take to the Internet to fight crime?
A woman, home alone at night, receives an instant message from a mysterious stranger who claims to know her. He accurately describes the room she’s sitting in, gives her some personal details that no one else could possibly be privy to, and, as her horror mounts, sends her private nude photos of herself, threatening to release them if she doesn’t engage in cyber sex with him. When she messages her boyfriend, the stranger can read her screen. When she contacts campus security, the stranger can hear their conversation.
From the NRA’s secret database of gun owners to missionaries trying to save Massachusetts, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.
How The NRA Built A Massive Secret Database Of Gun OwnersSteve Friess, BuzzFeedWhile the National Rifle Association publicly fights against a national gun registry, the organization has gone to incredible lengths to compile information on “tens of millions” of gun owners—without their consent.Roger Federer Can Still Get His Game Face OnMichael Steinberger, The New York Times MagazineBut has tennis left him behind?Ripping Off Young AmericaMatt Taibbi, Rolling StoneThe federal government has made it easier than ever to borrow money for higher education, saddling a generation with crushing debts and inflating a bubble that could bring down the economy.
How did we go from regular old college admissions to seven ‘early action’ applications and 11 personal essays? Former private college counselor Lacy Crawford, author of ‘Early Decision,’ breaks down the craziness for Lizzie Crocker.
At this point in the summer, most high school juniors are already acquainted with the horrible agony that is the college admissions process. They’ve taken the expensive SAT prep courses, visited at least a dozen campuses, and spent weeks agonizing over their personal essays.Indeed, the personal essay in particular causes students and parents to tear their hair out, knowing it could make or break their application. For 15 years, Lacy Crawford worked with high school students to hone these essays, a torturous but rewarding experience that she chronicles in her forthcoming book, Early Decision.
The Army launched a program during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to have academics and scholars advise them. Did it work? John Kael Weston considers the evidence.
In early 2009, about midway through an assignment with the State Department at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, I received an unexpected message from a top military leader in the Pentagon. He had read my diplomatic cable sent to Washington detailing the situation, a street-level view, in Baghdad’s largest slum, Sadr City. I had briefly referenced the work of a deployed social scientist, part of a vast program designed to insert anthropologists and the like into the war zones to help commanders better understand local dynamics.
CHILL YOUR BONES
CBS Buys ‘Scary Stories’ Film
1980s children’s horror books.More
Oldest U.S. Book Sells for $14.1M
Printed in 1640.More
National Book Award Winners Announced
The Good Lord Bird takes fiction prize. More
STRIKE A POSE
Selfie Is Word of the Year
Beat out twerk, bitcoin.More
Author Barbara Park Dies
Wrote the “Junie B. Jones” series.More
Writer Doris Lessing Dies
Nobel Laureate was 94.More