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The Week’s Best Reads

The Week's Best Reads

From the epic fraud behind the popular drug Lipitor to higher education’s new internet craze, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.

Dirty Medicine
Katherine Eban, Fortune

The epic inside story of long-term criminal fraud at Ranbaxy, the Indian drug company that makes generic Lipitor for millions of Americans.

Some of My Best Friends Are Germs
Michael Pollan, The New York Times Magazine

Medicine used to be obsessed with eradicating the tiny bugs that live within us. Now we’re beginning to understand all the ways they keep us healthy.

Laptop U
Nathan Heller, The New Yorker

Has the future of higher education moved online?

Maxed Out on Everest
Mark Jenkins, National Geographic

How to fix the mess at the top of the world.

How Gitmo Imprisoned Obama
Daniel Klaidman, Newsweek

Five years later, Guantánamo is still open. It’s the president’s biggest failure. Now he tries to close it—again.

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The Week’s Best Reads


From the White House’s intense internal debate on Syria to a Spanish village that won the biggest lottery in history, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.

The Thin Red Line
Dexter Filkins, The New Yorker

Inside the White House debate over Syria.

The Clinton Legacy
Michael Hirsch, Foreign Affairs

How will history judge the soft power of Hillary’s State Department?

The Luckiest Village in the World
Michael Paterniti, GQ

It was a tiny town of farmers, a village where everyone knew everyone and nearly all struggled to make ends meet. But then, a few days before Christmas, they won the largest lottery in the history of Spain.

A Suicide on Live TV
Jessica Testa, BuzzFeed

Last September, a car chase through Arizona turned from afternoon diversion to tragedy to referendum on media ethics, but lost in the noise was any sense of who was on the run or why. This is the story behind the spectacle.


The Week’s Best Reads


From the harrowing memoirs of a Guantánamo detainee to a year without the Internet, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the Web this week.

The coming-out story that rocked basketball—and the world.

The Guantanámo Memoirs
Mohamedou Ould Slahi, Slate

How the U.S. kept a detainee quiet for 12 years.

I’m Still Here
Paul Miller, The Verge

Back online after a year without the Internet.

Crash Test
Nate Blakeslee, Texas Monthly

Two decades ago, Texas became ground zero for the “accountability” movement in public education. Now, after a revolt by teachers and parents, the legislature is posed to undo its own reforms.

Out in the Great Alone
Brian Phillips, Grantland


The Week’s Best Reads


From how the U.S. government killed three American citizens to the failed breast cancer movement, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.

The Rise of Big Data
Kenneth Neil Cukier and Viktor Mayer-Shoenberger, Foreign Affairs

How it’s changing the way we think about the world.

Inside America’s Dirty Wars
Jeremy Scahill, The Nation

How three US citizens were killed by their own government in the space of one month in 2011.

Our Feel-Good War on Breast Cancer
Peggy Orenstein, The New York Times Magazine

The battle to raise awareness has been won. So why aren’t more lives being saved?

The Limits of Evolutionary Psychology
Thomas de Zengotita, The Hedgehog Review

Can we really find ethical guidance in a natural world shaped by evolution?


The Week’s Best Reads


From America’s horrific, unregulated day-care centers to the new search for life on Mars, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the Web this week.

“The Story Behind the Bombers”
Christopher Dickey, Eli Lake, and Daniel Klaidman, Newsweek

Did al Qaeda ideology inspire the attack, or were the two brothers driven by other motivations?

“The Hell of American Day Care”
Jonathan Cohn, The New Republic

An investigation into the barely regulated, unsafe business of looking after our children.

“The Martian Chroniclers”
Burkhard Bilger, The New Yorker

A new era in planetary exploration.

“Waking Up on the Wrong Side of the Ratings War”
Brian Stelter, The New York Times Magazine

How a toxic clash of personalities cost NBC’s Today its No. 1 ranking. Matt Lauer may yet lead the show back to the top spot, but the morning is tougher now than ever.


The Week’s Best Reads

Sessions: Longreads April 13, 2013

From the spy who killed America’s relationship with Pakistan to West Virginia’s cellphone-free refuge, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.

How a Single Spy Turned Pakistan Against the U.S.
Mark Mazzetti, The New York Times Magazine

What really happened after Raymond Davis killed two men in the street in Lahore.

Is It Time to Forgive Greg Mortenson?
Jon Krakauer, The Daily Beast

Two years after Jon Krakauer revealed that Greg Mortenson’s book Three Cups of Tea was riddled with lies and his charity was being mismanaged, many questions remain unanswered. In a new report, Krakauer reveals that the charity continues to waste donated dollars and Mortenson is still dodging accountability.

Death of a Revolutionary
Susan Faludi, The New Yorker

Shulamith Firestone helped to create a new society. But she couldn’t live in it.

Refugees of the Modern World
Joseph Stromberg, Slate

The “electrosensitive” are moving to a cellphone-free town. But is their disease real?


The Week’s Best Reads


From the promise of healthy fast food to George R. R. Martin’s addictive fantasy, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.

Big Veg
Mark Bittman, The New York Times Magazine

Yes, healthy fast food is possible. But is it edible?

A Failed Startup and a Founder Driven to Suicide
Alyson Shontell, Business Insider

On January 27, an entrepreneur named Jody Sherman had plans to see a movie with a friend. But that afternoon, the friend received a call from Jody's wife, Kerri.

When Did You Get Hooked?
John Lanchester, The London Review of Books

Game of Thrones was first described to me, by someone familiar with the project from before its initial broadcast, as ‘The Sopranos meets Lord of the Rings.’ At that point, I knew I was going to like it.

A Nightmare in Real Life
Susan Svrluga, The Washington Post

The harrowing story of a Virginia mother and son who were kidnapped by terrorists on vacation in the Philippines.

The Bad-Boy Brand
Lizzie Widdicombe, The New Yorker

The Vice guide to the world.

“Harlem Shake” Didn’t Go Viral
Kevin Ashton, Quartz

Big corporations just made you think it did.

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The Week’s Best Reads

From what iPads are doing to babies’ brains to bringing dinosaurs back from the dead, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.

The Touch-Screen Generation
Hanna Rosin, The Atlantic

Young children—even toddlers—are spending more and more time with digital technology. What will it mean for their development?


Bringing Them Back to Life
Carl Zimmer, National Geographic

The revival of an extinct species is no longer a fantasy. But is it a good idea?


The Hostage
Richard Engel, Vanity Fair

Last December, a quick trip into Syria turned deadly, NBC News’s Richard Engel recalls, when his team of six was kidnapped by the vicious, pro-government shabiha militia and toyed with by a sadistic captor as they fought against their panic—and for their lives.


The Week’s Best Reads

Sessions: Longreads

From the mysterious murder of a gay, black Mississippi politician to the crazy world of urban explorers, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.

A world-renowned physicist meets a gorgeous model online. They plan their perfect life together. But first, she asks, would he be so kind as to deliver a special package to her?

A Mysterious Mississippi Murder
Ben Terris, National Journal

It’s tempting to think Marco McMillian was killed because of his race, his sexuality, or because he was running for mayor. The truth is more elusive.

By day they work as computer programmers and stock boys and academics. But at night they are known as urban explorers. The Brooklyn Bridge, London's Shard, Notre Dame—each structure is an expedition waiting to happen.

The Informant
Kevin Charles Redmond, Washingtonian

It was one of the worst killing sprees in Washington history. The defendants stood accused of killing five young people and wounding eight. The case against them hinged on the testimony of their accomplice Nathaniel Simms. What made him break the code of the streets and help send his friends to prison?

Pope Who?

Six Best Reads on Pope Francis

New pope

A man reads a special edition of L’Osservatore Romano newspaper, which carries a photograph of newly elected Pope Francis I, on Wednesday in Vatican City. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty)

A new pope has been named! The Daily Beast rounds up some of the best reads to introduce you to Pope Francis—and explain why he was picked.

Who Is Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio?
John L. Allen Jr., National Catholic Reporter

A profile of the first Jesuit to be elected pope, a runner-up in the 2005 conclave, which picked Joseph Ratzinger to succeed John Paul II.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Joan Acocella, The New Yorker

Francesco di Bernardone, whose name Bergoglio chose as his new papal moniker, was considered a saint even before his death. He posed a challenge for the church: he was too revered not to claim, too radical not to neutralize.

How They Pick the Pope
Daniel J. Wakin, The New York Times

It might begin with prayers and chants, but the election of the pope is all politics, characterized by a conclave full of secrecy.

A look at Jorge Bergoglio’s long career in Argentina, where his fierce criticism of same-sex marriage didn’t prevent the country from becoming the first in the region to legalize it.


The Week’s Best Reads


From Nora Ephron’s final project to Bob Woodward’s undeserved status as an icon of American journalism, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the Web this week.

Nora Ephron’s Final Act
Jacob Bernstein, The New York Times Magazine

The play Lucky Guy, Nora Ephron’s last completed work, is about a journalist who kept striving to do his best work even as he was dying of cancer. He was her inspiration to do the same.

The Myth of Bob Woodward
Max Holland, Newsweek

Why is this man an American icon?

When the Jihad Came to Mali
Joshua Hammer, The New York Review of Books

On the ground during the French intervention.

Back on the Trail
Jason Zengerle, New York

When disgraced former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford decided to run for office again, he asked his ex-wife, Jenny, for her blessing. Whether he has her vote is another matter.


The Week’s Best Reads

Sessions Longreads Mar. 2 2013

From Eric Cantor’s effort to redeem his party to the military’s culture of rape and coverup, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.

The House of Pain
Ryan Lizza, The New Yorker

Can Eric Cantor redeem his party and himself?

We Arent the World
Ethan Watters, Pacific Standard

Joe Henrich and his colleagues are shaking the foundations of psychology and economics—and hoping to change the way social scientists think about human behavior and culture.

The Rape of Petty Officer Blunter
Sabrina Rubin Erdely, Rolling Stone

Inside the military’s culture of sex abuse, denial and coverup.

In the Footsteps of a Killer
Michelle McNamara, Los Angeles

From 1976 to 1986, one of the most violent serial criminals in American history terrorized communities throughout California. He was little known, never caught, and might still be out there. The author, along with several others, can’t stop working on the case.


The Week’s Best Reads


From the chilling science of addictive junk food to the France’s amusing war over the actor Gérard Depardieu, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.

The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food
Michael Moss, The New York Times Magazine

Inside the hyperengineered, savagely marketed, addiction-creating battle for American “stomach share.”

Lauren Collins, The New Yorker

Gérard Depardieu and France part ways.

Bitter Pill
Steven Brill, Time

Why medical bills are killing us.

The Evolution of Irregular War
Max Boot, Foreign Affairs

Pundits tend to treat terrorism and guerrilla tactics as something new, but nothing could be further from the truth.


The Week’s Best Reads


From the young Republicans trying to save their party from certain death to the sinking of a ship that never should have sailed, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the Web this week.

Kathryn Miles, Outside

The incredible truth about a ship that never should have sailed.

Can the Republicans Be Saved From Obsolescence?
Robert Draper, The New York Times Magazine

To drag the GOP into the 21st century, young, tech-savvy dissidents may have to overthrow their party’s disconnected old guard.

Joseph Hall, an abused and neglected 10-year-old, was convicted last month of murdering his father, a neo-Nazi leader. His sentencing is scheduled for this week—but who do you punish when a child becomes a cold-blooded killer?

Why Cant Beyoncé Have It All?
Nitsuh Abebe, New York

As her new documentary reminds us, pop’s reigning overachiever is at her best when she’s wrestling with that very identity.


The Week’s Best Reads

Long Reads

From the neurologist who became a mass murderer to the GOP’s plans to win elections without a majority, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the Web this week.

“A Loaded Gun”
Patrick Radden Keefe, The New Yorker

The tragic past of a University of Alabama neurologist who became a mass murderer.

“Greetings From Williston, North Dakota”
Stephen Rodrick, Men’s Journal

In recession-strapped America, Williston, North Dakota, may be some kind of paradise: a town where oil jobs are plentiful, lap dances are cheap, and desperate—possibly meth-addicted—men can change their luck. On the loose in the new Wild West.

“Frank Ocean Can Fly”
Jeff Himmelman, The New York Times Magazine

Being the hottest thing in pop music means believing you can do absolutely anything you want.

“The Idealist”

Justin Peters, Slate

Aaron Swartz wanted to save the world. Why couldn’t he save himself?

“Who Needs to Win to Win?”
Jonathan Chait, New York

About Longreads

Every week, we pick the best long-form journalism from the newest magazines and journals.

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