From America’s secret wars to the downward spiral of once-promising conservative journalist Tucker Carlson, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.
The Rise of the Killer Drones
Michael Hastings, Rolling Stone
How America goes to war in secret.
Earth to Ben Bernanke
Paul Krugman, The New York Times Magazine
The Federal Reserve chairman has the power, and the obligation, to end the slump and the human misery that comes with it. So what’s stopping him?
Tucker Carlson’s Downward Spiral
Alex Pareene, Salon
Once a promising young magazine writer, the bow-tied Daily Caller pundit has come to epitomize right-wing hackdom.
Mitt Romney’s Dark Knight
Jason Zengerle, GQ
If Karl Rove was George W. Bush’s brain, Eric Fehrnstrom is Mitt Romney’s balls.
Get Rich U.
Ken Aluetta, The New Yorker
Is Stanford too close to Silicon Valley?
The Tabloid Turncoat
Steve Fishman, New York
Colin Myler, the New York Daily News’ new editor, knows his enemies at Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post. Maybe too well.
For more great longreads, visit our friends at Longreads.com.
From the state of America’s income inequality to the dramatic sinking of the Costa Concordia, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.
The White Plight
Andrew Hacker, The New York Review of Books
Charles Murray writes another book about race.
Another Night to Remember
Bryan Burrough, Vanity Fair
When the Costa Concordia hit a rock off the Italian coast on Jan. 13, it became the largest passenger ship ever wrecked, supplanting the Titanic in maritime history.
Six Degrees of Aggregation
Michael Shapiro, Columbia Journalism Review
How The Huffington Post ate the internet.
Truth or Consequences
Joe Hagan, Texas Monthly
Eight years ago, Dan Rather broadcast an explosive report on the Air National Guard service of President George W. Bush. It was supposed to be the legendary newsman’s finest hour. Instead, it blew up in his face. Joe Hagan finally gets to the bottom of the greatest untold story in modern Texas politics.
How America Came to Torture Its Prisoners
Larry Siems, Slate
I read nearly 140,000 formerly classified documents about America’s abuse of prisoners since 2001. Here is what I learned.
Can You Make Yourself Smarter?
Dan Hurley, The New York Times Magazine
A new memory game has revived the tantalizing notion that people can work their way to a higher I.Q.
From a 3,000-plus-page biography of Lyndon Johnson to the blockbuster increase in Americans living alone, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the Web this week.
The Big Book
Chris Jones, Esquire
Robert Caro has spent 38 years writing the biography of one man. The fourth volume of that work, like its three predecessors a giant achievement and certain bestseller, is about to be published. But Caro is not done.
Why Noah Went to the Woods
Mark Sundeen, Outside
He was a proud Marine who survived three brutal tours in Iraq and had plans to redeploy with the National Guard. But when 30-year-old Noah Pippin vanished inside Montana’s remote Bob Marshall Wilderness, he left behind a trail of haunting secrets—and a mystery that may never be solved.
Nathan Heller, The New Yorker
Why are so many Americans living by themselves?
The Camorra Never Sleeps
William Langewiesche, Vanity Fair
For years before they caught him, the Italian police had no idea that Paolo Di Lauro was one of Naples’s most powerful crime bosses, running a drug and counterfeit-goods empire—and responsible for a peace his turf had rarely known. Now they long for the days when he was in charge.
The Crisis in American Walking
Tom Vanderbilt, Slate
How we got off the pedestrian path.
The Devil in Deryl Dedmon
Tony Dokoupil, Newsweek
In a parking lot in Mississippi, he killed a black man with his truck. He's in jail for a hate crime—but his black friends disagree.
For more great longreads, visit our friends at Longreads.com.
From the spread of addictive viral games to the case against having kids, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.
What Isn’t for Sale?
Michael J. Sandel, The Atlantic
Market thinking so permeates our lives that we barely notice it anymore. A leading philosopher sums up the hidden costs of a price-tag society.
Just One More Game…
Sam Anderson, The New York Times Magazine
How time-wasting video games escaped the arcade, jumped into our pockets, and took over our lives.
The Book That Drove Them Crazy
Andrew Ferguson, The Weekly Standard
Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind, 25 years later.
The Case Against Kids
Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker
Is procreation immoral?
My Racial Profiling Lesson
Edward Conlon, The Daily Beast
A former New York cop tells the story of an arrest of three Mexican tourists that took an unprecedented turn.
From the legacy of Karl Marx to the bristling newspaper that rules Britain, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the Web this week.
Marx at 193
John Lanchester, The London Review of Books
Marx had stunning insight into the nature and trajectory of capitalism. But he underestimated just how adaptive it could be.
Lauren Collins, The New Yorker
How the Daily Mail rules Britain.
Confessions of an Ivy League Frat Boy
Janet Reitman, Rolling Stone
A Dartmouth degree is a ticket to the top—but first you may have to get puked on by your drunken friends and wallow in human filth.
J. Jon Wertheim, Sports Illustrated
A century ago, more than 1,500 people died in the most famous shipwreck in history. Two of the world's best tennis players, Richard Williams and Karl Behr, survived the disaster—in very different ways.
Why Won’t They Listen?
William Saletan, The New York Times Book Review
There’s a reason partisan tribes can’t have a reasonable debate: our emotions, not our reason, are the primary factor in determining our political beliefs.
For more great longreads, check out our friends at Longreads.com
From Rihanna’s team of hitmakers to the secret implosion of Google, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.
The Song Machine
John Seabrook, The New Yorker
The hitmakers behind Rihanna.
The Age of Double Standards
Robert Kuttner, The American Prospect
American Airlines can declare bankruptcy and wipe away debt. But you can’t—and that’s just the beginning.
The Case Against Google
Matt Honan, Gizmodo
Is search no longer central to Google’s mission? And are its recent moves "evil" by its early company standards?
Nathaniel Rich, The New York Times Magazine
Since Katrina, the cartoonish pace of vegetation growth in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward resembles something out of a Chia Pet commercial.
Should Science Pull the Trigger?
Carl Zimmer, Wired
They could produce drugs that would zap the viruses behind common illnesses. But is it a good idea?
The Cardinal Sees Red
Peter J. Boyer, Newsweek
Cardinal Dolan is not satisfied with the Obama compromise on contraception. America’s pope girds for battle.
From a story about an NSA spy center to the tale of a missing computer programmer, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the Web this week.
The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)
James Bamford, Wired
In a story that should strike fear in the hearts of all privacy-seeking Americans, James Bamford examines an expansive new facility the National Security Agency is building in Bluffdale, Utah. Its purpose: to collect a ginormous amount of data and crack the ultimate encryption.
Foxwoods Is Fighting for Its Life
Michael Sokolove, The New York Times Magazine
The 6.7 million–square–foot Foxwoods Casino is in big trouble. Its owners, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, mismanaged the giant casino’s expansion, and it now sits $2.3 billion in debt. A new CEO—Foxwoods’s seventh since 2007—hopes to guide the unsteady ship into calmer waters.
Annie Lowrey, Slate
Where in the world did a mysterious and beloved computer programmer go? A writer—in her journey to learn to code—explores the disappearance of _why.
‘We Have No Choice’: One Woman’s Ordeal with Texas’ New Sonogram Law
Carolyn Jones, Texas Observer
The brutal realities of Texas’s new sonogram law torment a woman’s decision to terminate a pregnancy.
Good Riddance to Al-Shabab
Laura Heaton, Newsweek
Citizens of Somalia’s Baidoa are so ecstatic the radical Islamist group Al-Shabab has fled, they don’t even mind being occupied by the Ethiopians—yet.
From the GOP’s last chance to turn back America’s clock to the stunning success of Southwest Airlines, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the Web this week.
Why the Global Warming Skeptics Are Wrong
William D. Nordhaus, New York Review of Books
A scientist responds to climate change deniers who distorted his work.
2012 or Never
Jonathan Chait, New York
And if the GOP can’t win this one, what does that mean for its future? The real reasons behind the party’s existential panic.
Luv and War at 30,000 Feet
S.C. Gwynne, Texas Monthly
Since the late ’80s, every major airline in the country has gone bankrupt—except one. How on earth did scrappy, lovable, cut-rate Southwest hunt down its competition and emerge from all of the turbulence as the nation’s largest domestic carrier?
The Wrath of Putin
Masha Gessen, Vanity Fair
From Steve Jobs’s chilling dark side to Mitt Romney’s long evolution on abortion, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the Web this week.
The Book of Jobs
Maureen Tkacik, Reuters
The chilling, sociopathic dark side of Apple’s celebrated CEO.
Scott Ritter’s Other War
Matt Bai, New York Times Magazine
The former United Nations weapons inspector and fierce critic of the Iraq invasion is still fighting, but now against only himself.
William Saletan, Slate
How, when, and why Mitt Romney changed his mind on abortion.
The Forgetting Pill
Jonah Lehrer, Wired
Scientists are discovering how chemicals can affect the way memories are formed, paving the way for a future where it could be possible to forget anything we wanted by taking a single pill.
The Great American Novel
Roger Kimball, The Weekly Standard
Will there ever be another one?
After the Fact
Josh Dzieza, The Daily Beast
A provocative new book describes a seven-year battle between an essayist who believes facts aren’t important and the fact-checker assigned to verify them. But the book itself is not all that it seems.
For more great longreads, check out our friends at Longreads.com.
From the wild rise and fall of Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom to the making of gay-marriage foe Maggie Gallagher, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the Web this week.
A Newsman Breaks the Mold in the Arab World
Anthony Shadid, The Washington Post
In this story from 2006, Anthony Shadid, who died of an asthma attack Thursday while covering Syria for The New York Times, profiled the editor of Dubai’s al-Arabiya news channel. (For more of Shadid’s best stories, click here.)
Kim Dotcom, Pirate King
Brian Gruley, David Fickling, and Cornelius Rahn, Bloomberg Businessweek
Is Megaupload's founder a criminal mastermind, or the world's most entertaining scapegoat? A file-sharing wizard's ridiculous rise and fall.
The Making of a Gay Marriage Foe
Mark Oppenheimer, Salon
How Maggie Gallagher's college pregnancy made her a single mom, and a traditional-marriage zealot.
How Companies Learn Your Secrets
Charles Duhigg, The New York Times Magazine
From the story of a gay Rutgers student’s suicide to Mitt Romney’s determination to keep his passion a secret, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the Web this week.
Story of a Suicide
Ian Parker, The New Yorker
Two college roommates, a webcam, and a tragedy.
Who in God’s Name Is Mitt Romney?
Frank Rich, New York
The Republican candidate has been running for president for half a decade, but familiarity has done nothing to dispel his mystery. And it’ll stay that way as long as he refuses to discuss his driving passion—his faith.
Jay Kirk, GQ
On his first tour of duty in Afghanistan, Sam Brown was set on fire by an improvised explosive device. He survived, doomed to a post-traumatic life of unbearable pain. Then his doctors told him about an experimental treatment, a painkilling video game supposedly more effective than morphine.
The Doctor Will Sue You Now
Mark Seal, Vanity Fair
When famed dermatologist Arnold Klein, the Father of Botox, landed Michael Jackson as a client, it was a dream fulfilled. But in the wake of Jackson’s death, Klein has been engulfed by a toxic cloud of accusation, litigation, and bankruptcy.
What’s Wrong With the Teenage Mind?
Alison Gopnik, The Wall Street Journal
Children today reach puberty earlier and adulthood later. The result: a lot of teenage weirdness. Alison Gopnik on how we might readjust adolescence.
Linda Perlstein, Newsweek
They raise chickens. They grow vegetables. They knit. Now a new generation of urban parents is even teaching their own kids.
For more great longreads, check out our friends at Longreads.com.
From the game of chicken between Israel and Iran to the memos that reveal Obama’s intimate decision making, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the Web this week.
Israel vs. Iran
Ronen Bergman, The New York Times Magazine
When will it explode?
The Obama Memos
Ryan Lizza, The New Yorker
The making of a post-post-partisan president.
Amazon’s Hit Man
Brad Stone, Businessweek
Larry Kirshbaum was the ultimate book-industry insider—until Amazon called.
A Life in Writing
Stuart Jeffries, The Guardian
“The nirvana would be if the questions raised by Oprah Winfrey would be answered by the faculty at Harvard,” says Alain de Botton, author of Religion for Atheists.
The Revolt of the Salaried Bourgeoisie
Slavoj Žižek, London Review of Books
How the chance to be exploited in a long-term job came to be seen as a privilege.
From Andrew Sullivan’s Washington-shaking essay on Obama to the end of George Lucas’s career, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the Web this week.
Obama’s Long Game
Andrew Sullivan, Newsweek
The right calls him a socialist, the left says he sucks up to Wall Street, and independents think he’s a wimp. But the president may just end up outsmarting them all.
The Good Wife
Ariel Levy, The New Yorker
Can Callista Gingrich save her husband from himself?
What Future for Occupy Wall Street?
Michael Greenberg, New York Review of Books
As Occupy marches on the Supreme Court, the prospects of its survival.
George Lucas Is Ready to Roll the Credits
Bryan Curtis, The New York Times Magazine
The filmmaker has one last mission: to prove that, with Red Tails, he can still make the kind of movie everyone will want to see.
How Empire Ruled the World
Jane Burbank and Frederick Cooper, Le Monde Diplomatique
Compared to 600 years of Ottoman Empire and two millennia of imperial Chinese rule, the nation-state is just a blip on the historical horizon.
Richard Beck, n+1
A critical history of the indie-music fan’s online bible, Pitchfork Media, from its inception in 1995 to the present.
From Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s plan to beat Apple to the twilight of Joan Didion, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.
State of the Union
David Remnick, The New Yorker
Jodi Kantor’s new book about the Obama marriage, and why the president and first lady have it so much better than most of their predecessors.
Steve Ballmer Reboots
Ashlee Vance, Businessweek
Cooler tech, more energy, higher profit—the Microsoft CEO is out to prove Steve Jobs wrong and make Redmond relevant again
Why Write Novels at All?
Garth Risk Hallberg, New York Times Magazine
Writers of the Franzen Generation have decided that the purpose of fiction is to make us feel less alone. Will that be enough to save the novel?
I’ll Be Your Mirror
Madiha R. Tahir, The Caravan
How a former cricket star Imran Khan became Pakistan’s most loved politician.
The Autumn of Joan Didion
Caitlin Flanagan, The Atlantic
Her work is a triumph—and a disaster.
Letter from New Orleans
Wright Thompson, Grantland
The National Championship Game, Louisiana politics, and Edwin Edwards's last campaign.
From the zany split personality of Stephen Colbert to neurosis inside the Obama campaign machine, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the Web this week.
How Many Stephen Colberts Are There?
Charles McGrath, New York Times Magazine
A suburban dad. A fictional television blowhard. And now a political money launderer. How one funny guy became three.
The Meaning of Mitt
Michael Kranish and Scott Helman, Vanity Fair
Digging into Mitt Romney’s record as a Mormon leader, his business deals at Bain Capital, and that infamous car trip with the family dog strapped to the roof, the authors pierce the Mitt bubble to find that the contradictions, question marks, and ambivalence go deeper than his politics.
Eliza Gray, The New Republic
Did a famed connoisseur of political memorabilia commit an audacious crime?
How the CIA Screws Up
Paul R. Pillar, Foreign Policy
I served in the CIA for 28 years and I can tell you: America's screw-ups come from bad leaders, not lousy spies.
Kelefa Sanneh, The New Yorker
Newt Gingrich’s return.
Yes We Can (Can’t We?)
Andrew Romano, Newsweek
While the GOP votes, team Obama is crafting a juggernaut. Andrew Romano talks to top advisers about their 2012 strategy—including David Axelrod, who admits that he shares some of the blame for the president's dismal approval rating.
Every week, we pick the best long-form journalism from the newest magazines and journals.
Gchat as dialogue, endless drugs, misused words—welcome to the genius of Tao Lin’s new novel Taipei. Emily Witt on how he writes like we speak and text and drift.
Featuring Avery Corman, Patricia Bosworth, Michael Chabon, Jean Halberstam, and others. From Open Road Integrated Media.