From the sprawling sex-abuse scandal that shattered an Oklahoma megachurch to the shocking, decades-long ordeal of an innocent man convicted in Texas, The Daily Beast picks the best essays and journalism of the year.
Grace in Broken Arrow
Kiera Feldman, This Land
How lust, greed, and denial corroded an Oklahoma megachurch and shattered the lives of its victims and their families.
On Aug. 13, 1986, Michael Morton came home from work to discover that his wife had been brutally murdered in their bed. His nightmare had only begun.
The Yankee Comandante
David Grann, The New Yorker
A story of love, revolution, and betrayal.
Freddie de Boer, The New Inquiry
Liberal pundits are surprisingly radical in their critiques of American meritocracy. But their material comfort and proximity to power forces them to compromise their real convictions.
From the man behind America’s favorite doomsday shovel to an American gadfly at the Bank of England, The Daily Beast brings you the best business and finance journalism for the week of December 23, 2012.
Meet The Entrepreneur Behind The Apocalypse's Must-Have Accessory
Chadwick Matlin, BuzzFeed
How did Tim Ralston become America’s most famous “prepper”? He built the ultimate end-of-civilization tool: a weaponized shovel.
The Full Story Of How Facebook IPO Buyers Got Screwed
Henry Blodget, Business Insider
When Facebook was shopping its IPO, it realized that its earnings might not be as good as they expected. Who did the company tell? Only a few big-time investors
The Bribery Aisle: How Walmart Got Its Way in Mexico
David Barstow and Alejanda Xaniv von Bertrab, The New York Times
Mexico is one of the fastest growing middle-income countries in the world. Walmart needed to expand there fast. And so it resorted to systematic bribes.
The King of Con-men
You think that Argentina does badly with its sovereign debt? It’s nothing compared to Poyais, the small Latin American country that defaulted on its debt in the 1820s. Why? It was the invention of a Scotsman named Gregor MacGregor.
From Zadie Smith’s reflections on the meaning of joy to a made-up language that went haywire, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the Web this week.
Zadie Smith, The New York Review of Books
What is it, and why does it hurt so much?
Jerry Seinfeld Intends to Die Standing Up
Jonah Weiner, The New York Times Magazine
The comedy star is 58, rich beyond imagination and still working.
Utopia for Beginners
Joshua Foer, The New Yorker
An amateur linguist loses control of the language he invented.
How a Gun-Loving West Texas Girl Learned to Fear Assault Weapons
Haley B. Elkins, XOJane
For every outraged indigence about “trampling” on the second amendment, with every word and breath, I am that young woman again, sitting in her truck in a parking lot, alone except for a 911 operator.
The Woes of an American Drone Operator
Nicola Abé, Der Spiegel
A soldier sets out to graduate at the top of his class. He succeeds, and he becomes a drone pilot working with a special unit of the United States Air Force in New Mexico. He kills dozens of people. But then, one day, he realizes that he can’t do it anymore.
The Shit We’re In
John Lanchester, The London Review of Books
The failure of Britain’s finances.
From what one journalist learned from ‘The Economist’ to the dark side of a fondly remembered banker, The Daily Beast brings you the best business-and-finance journalism for the week of December 14.
17 Things I Learned From Reading Every Last Word of The Economist’s “The World in 2013” Issue
Mark Leibovich, The New York Times Magazine
Since college, Leibovich has been telling friends he reads The Economist. What happens when he actually does?
What Those Glowing Obits Didn't Tell You About Joe Allbritton
Ken Silverstein, The New Republic
Joseph Allbritton, who died this week, was remembered in the press as a kindly banker and media mogul, but he was also Pinochet’s favorite banker.
Building a Showcase Campus, Using an I.O.U.
Andrew Martin, The New York Times
All too often, students go deep into debt in pursuit of college degrees that may not pay off. Are the colleges doing the same thing with their massive building boom?
Meet Them in St. Louis: Bankers Move
Dan Fitzpatrick, The Wall Street Journal
St. Louis is doing everything it can be become the next financial hub: one brokerage is even building a bull statue.
FT Person of the Year: Mario Draghi
By Lionel Barber and Michael Steen, Financial Times
This summer, European Central Bank head Mario Draghi said “the ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro.” He wasn’t bluffing.
In the wake of the massacre of 27 people in Newtown, Conn., The Daily Beast picks the best journalism about America’s deadly history of gun violence and the debate surrounding it.
The Secret History of Gun Rights
Adam Winkler, The Atlantic
The Ku Klux Klan, Ronald Reagan, and, for most of its history, the NRA all worked to control guns. The Founding Fathers? They required gun ownership—and regulated it. And no group has more fiercely advocated the right to bear loaded weapons in public than the Black Panthers—the true pioneers of the modern pro-gun movement. In the battle over gun rights in America, both sides have distorted history and the law, and there’s no resolution in sight.
12 Facts About Guns in the U.S.
Ezra Klein, The Washington Post
Eleven of the 20 worst mass shootings of the past 50 years happened in America, and more disturbing facts.
Glock: America’s Gun
Paul Barrett, Businessweek
How Gaston Glock—a former curtain-rod maker from Austria whose company manufactured the pistols used in Tucson and Killeen—managed to dominate not just the American handgun market, but America's gun consciousness.
From the real story of a CIA financier’s brutal murder to Afghanistan’s basketball culture, The Daily Beast picks the best post-election journalism from around the Web this week.
Ken Aluetta, The New Yorker
The measured rise of Elisabeth Murdoch.
James Bond and the Killer Bag Lady
Mark Ames and Alexander Zaitchick, Salon
New clues and a powerful Wall St. skeptic challenge the official story of CIA financier Nick Deak’s brutal murder.
The Basketball Diaries, Afghanistan
Peretz Partensky, n+1
Playing basketball was one of the last things I thought I would do in Afghanistan. Yet, there I was, in a foreign land, in a barely comprehensible cultural landscape, in a stinky hotel, mediating an inter-ethnic conflict in the guise of a skirmish on the court.
A Bishop Behind Bars
M.L. Nestel and Jebediah Reed, The Daily
An Amish sect leader tells of the beard-cutting that could lock him up for life.
Chris Hughes is About to Turn 100
Carl Swanson, New York
The Facebook co-founder has already served as Mark Zuckerberg’s in-house humanist and Barack Obama’s digital consigliere. Now, in buying the venerable, century-old New Republic, he’s out to prove that a 29-year-old worth $600 million is just the man to make the “life of the mind” scalable.
An Intimidated Victim Testifies
Allison Yarrow, The Daily Beast
A young woman from Brooklyn’s tightly knit Satmar community breaks with it to stand by her allegation that a community elder raped her.
From the end of the war on drugs to a Republican’s exit from the right, The Daily Beast picks the best post-election journalism from around the Web this week.
‘The Truce on Drugs’
Benjamin Wallace-Wells, New York
From the marijuana growers of Humboldt County to the narcotics cops of Baltimore, from the voters of Colorado and Washington to the governments of Mexico and Central America, a negotiated surrender is being implemented in the war on drugs. But will it be enough to end the fighting?
‘Revenge of the Reality-Based Community’
Bruce Bartlett, The American Conservative
My life on the Republican right—and how I saw it all go wrong.
‘The Insourcing Boom’
Charles Fishman, The Atlantic
After years of offshore production, General Electric is moving much of its far-flung appliance-manufacturing operations back home. It is not alone. An exploration of the startling, sustainable, just-getting-started return of industry to the United States.
‘Loving a Child on the Fringe’
Cristina Nehring, Slate
A terrified single mother falls in love with her Down-syndrome daughter.
From the struggles of a long-shot NFL hopeful to the dangers of a permanent Democratic majority, The Daily Beast picks the best post-election journalism from around the Web this week.
The Man Who Charged Himself With Murder
Jennifer Gonnerman, New York
Trevell Coleman wasn’t sure whether he’d killed a man. But after seventeen years, he needed to find out.
Is This It?
John B. Judis, The New Republic
The agonies and ecstasy of a permanent Democratic majority.
The Hard Life of an NFL Longshot
Charles Siebert, The New York Times Magazine
The story of a rookie hanging on to the fragile hope of a professional football career, as told by his uncle.
Were the Pilgrims Thankful for Spirochete?
Madeleine Johnson, Slate
A gruesome disease granted them uninhabited, cleared land and a sweet brook.
William Langeweische, Vanity Fair
It’s the dark romance of the French Foreign Legion: haunted men from everywhere, fighting anywhere, dying for causes not their own.
12 Ways to Stop the Next Sandy
David Cay Johnston, Newsweek
Far greater disasters loom—unless we move fast to fix a badly broken system. David Cay Johnston lists a dozen possible solutions, from building seawalls to getting tough on AT&T.
From America’s bunkerized diplomacy to the harrowing story of an innocent man imprisoned for 25 years, The Daily Beast picks the best post-election journalism from around the Web this week.
Can American Diplomacy Come Out of Its Bunker?
Robert F. Worth, The New York Times Magazine
With the ever-rising need for security abroad, some of the United States’ former ambassadors are asking what diplomacy can achieve from fortress-like embassies.
The Party Next Time
Ryan Lizza, The New Yorker
As immigration turns red states blue, how can Republicans transform their platform?
From the inside story of the rough final months of Obama’s presidential campaign to the reasons the GOP can no longer win the electoral college, The Daily Beast picks the best post-election journalism from around the web this week.
How a Race in the Balance Went to Obama
Adam Nagourney, Ashley Parker, Jim Rutenberg, Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times
Seven minutes into the first presidential debate, President Obama’s staff were in full panic. But though they played the rest of the game in catch-up mode, their machine had been programmed to win all along.
How the GOP Got Stuck in the Past
David Frum, Newsweek
The finger-pointing misses a bigger truth: Republicans have become estranged from modern America. Why fixating on the old glory days is bogging down the party’s future.
Come On, Feel the Buzz
Alex Pareene, The Baffler
How Politico sold out journalism and ushered in post-truth politics.
The Politics of Fear
Mark Danner, The New York Review of Books
The 2012 campaign featured endless drama about the American relationship with Israel, but scarcely a word about the horrors in the West Bank.
The Right’s Jennifer Rubin Problem
Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic
Conservatives lobbied hard to install one of their own at the Washington Post. But it didn’t work out as they imagined.
The World Is Watching
Roads & Kingdoms
Election night from 23 countries around the world.
For more great longreads, visit our friends at Longreads.com. [http://www.longreads.com]
From the Mormon historian excommunicated from the church he loved to the CIA’s secret role in the reporting of the Benghazi attack, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.
The Case of the Mormon Historian
David Haglund, Slate
What happened when Michael Quinn challenged the history of the church he loved.
CIA Takes Heat for Role in Libya
Adam Entous, Siobhan Gorman & Margaret Coker, The Wall Street Journal
The newly revealed CIA operations that clouded the aftermath of the U.S. consulate attack in Benghazi.
Underneath the tired narrative of a president who failed to deliver on his rhetoric is a pragmatic fighter with an impressive list of accomplishments. His opponent is the embodiment of the country’s faux-besieged, delusional one percent.
Nightmare on Coney Island
Paula Szuchman, The Daily Beast
New York’s iconic neighborhood is a disaster zone, as shattered residents try to pick up the pieces—while fighting off looters.
Big Sugar’s Sweet Little Lies
Gary Taubes & Kr, Mother Jones
From the outrage of American solitary confinement to the Romney family’s myth of self-reliance, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the Web this week.
Solitary in Iran Nearly Broke Me. Then I Went Inside America’s Prisons.
Shane Bauer, Mother Jones
We throw thousands of men in the hole for the books they read, the company they keep, the beliefs they hold. Here’s why.
The Voter-Fraud Myth
Jane Mayer, The New Yorker
The man who stoked fear of impostors at the polls.
A Ruling Family’s Hidden Riches
David Barboza, The New York Times
How did so many relatives of China’s prime minister go from rags to riches since he’s been in office?
Growing Up Romney
Noam Schreiber, The New Republic
Mitt, Tagg, and the Romney family myth of self-reliance.
The Truck Stop Killer
Vanessa Veselka, GQ
He was methodical, he rode the highways, and he preyed on teenage girls no one would miss. In the summer of 1985, the author was such a girl. Now, years later, she returns to the scenes of her fugitive youth looking for clues to that terror—and the girls who lost their lives to it.
The New Pot Barons
Tony Dokoupil, Newsweek
Pot use in the United States is rising sharply, and voters may make it fully legal in two states this fall. Smart businessmen are banking on that happening.
For more great longreads, visit our friends at Longreads.com. [http://www.longreads.com]
From the hidden Nov. 7 agendas of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama to the biggest troll on the Internet, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the Web this week.
Jonathan Chait, New York
Though their agendas are hidden, both Romney and Obama have plans to dramatically remake the size and character of American government. Very, very quickly.
The Innocent Man
Pamela Collof, Texas Monthly
The first in a two-part series deconstructing the case against Michael Morton, who was convicted in 1987 of killing his wife but has maintained his innocence.
Unmasking the Biggest Troll on the Web
Adrien Chen, Gawker
The man behind Violentacrez, the Reddit persona responsible for forums full of racism and pornograhy.
James Wood, The New Yorker
The Book of Common Prayer at 350.
What Can You Really Know?
Freeman Dyson, The New York Review of Books
How philosophy lost its bite.
The Great Deformer
David Stockman, Newsweek
Is Mitt Romney really a job creator? Ronald Reagan’s budget director takes a scalpel to the claims.
From Argentina’s crazy, menacing soccer underworld to a man’s Google Earth search for his childhood home, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.
The Dead Are Real
Larissa Macfarquhar, The New Yorker
Hilary Mantel’s imagination.
The Revolution Eats Its Own
Jonathan Chait, The New Republic
How the GOP destroyed its moderates.
A Home at the End of Google Earth
David Kushner, Vanity Fair
Separated from his older brother at a train station, 5-year-old Saroo Munshi Khan found himself lost in the slums of Calcutta. Nearly 20 years later, living in Australia, he began a painstaking search for his birth home, using ingenuity, hazy memories, and Google Earth.
The Not-So-Beautiful Game
Patrick Symmes, Outside
In Argentina, rival soccer fans don’t just hate, they kill, and the violent partisans of top clubs fuel crime syndicates that influence the sport at its highest levels. Patrick Symmes braves the bottle rockets, howling mobs, urine bombs, and drunken grannies on a wild ride through the scariest fútbol underworld on earth.
The Life of a Salesman
Eli Saslow, The Washington Post
Selling success when the American dream is downsized.
From allegations that ExxonMobile paid Indonesian torturers to a fearless one-eyed matador, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.
The League of Dangerous Mapmakers
Robert Draper, The Atlantic
Who’s most to blame for our divisive politics? How about the gerrymanderers quietly deciding where your vote goes. Inside the dark art and modern science of making democracy a lot less democratic.
Did ExxonMobile Pay Torturers?
Ian Shearn and Laird Townsend, Mother Jones
The oil giant claims it has no responsibility for atrocities committed by the government soldiers it hired to protect its plant in Indonesia. Will the Supreme Court agree?
Down and Out in the Top 10
Nitsuh Abebe, New York
The indie-rock quartet Grizzly Bear just released a hit record and sold out Radio City Music Hall. But forget about renting a private jet. Some of them don’t even have health insurance. Welcome to the new rock-star economy.
Swallowed by the London Whale
Susan Dominus, The New York Times Magazine
The rise and fall of Ina Drew, whose career at JPMoran came to an end over a $6 billion mistake.
China in Revolt
Eli Friedman, Jacobin
Few in the West are aware of the drama unfolding in today’s “epicenter of global labor unrest.” A scholar of China exposes its tumultuous labor politics.
The Blind Faith of the One-Eyed Matador
Karen Russell, GQ
Last fall, one of Spain's greatest matadors took a horn to the face. It was a brutal goring, among the most horrific in the history of bullfighting. Miraculously, Juan Jose Padilla was back in the bullring—sí, fighting bulls—a mere five months later.
Every week, we pick the best long-form journalism from the newest magazines and journals.
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