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.
From his epic takedown of Henry Kissinger to his petty crime spree in Bloomberg’s New York, The Daily Beast picks just a few highlights from Christopher Hitchens’s prolific career.
“The Case Against Henry Kissinger”
Harpers, March 2001
Hitchens’s sprawling takedown of Nixon’s secretary of state appeared in two installments in Harpers, making the definitive case that Kissinger is a war criminal.
“Assassins of the Mind”
Vanity Fair, February 2009
When Iran’s Ayatollah Khameini issued a fatwa on novelist Salman Rushdie for The Satanic Verses, it was the opening shot in a war on cultural freedom. Two decades later, the violence continues, and Muslim fundamentalists have gained a new advantage: media self-censorship.
“The Medals of His Defeats”
The Atlantic, April 2002
Hitchens takes the Great Man down a peg or two—and still finds that Winston Churchill was a great man.
“As American As Apple Pie”
Vanity Fair, July 2006
Fellatio has a long and storied history, but not until 1972—with the release of Deep Throat—did it come out, so to speak, in polite company. From the Wild West to the Wild White House, Hitchens explores the blowjob’s emergence as the nation’s signature sex act.
“Believe Me, It’s Torture”
Vanity Fair, August 2008
What more can be added to the debate over U.S. interrogation methods, and whether waterboarding is torture? Try firsthand experience. The author undergoes the controversial drowning technique, at the hands of men who once trained American soldiers to resist—not inflict—it.
Brooks Kraft / Corbis
“I Fought the Law”
Vanity Fair, February 2004
To protest the petty ordinances of Mayor Bloomberg’s New York, Hitchens went on a one-man crime spree: taking his feet off his bike pedals, feeding pigeons, and sitting on a milk crate, among other offenses. Why are the people of America’s most cosmopolitan city being treated like backward children?
“I’ll Be Damned”
The Atlantic, March 2005
Graham Greene's most fervent loyalty was to betrayal.
From the king of all real-estate scams to the strange divisiveness of Tim Tebow, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.
A Boy Learns to Brawl
John Branch, The New York Times
The King of All Vegas Real Estate Scams
Felix Gillette, Businessweek
A twisted tale of how homeowners were bilked by those they least suspected: their neighbors.
The Trial of Stephen Glass
Jack Shafer, Reuters
Journalism’s most famous, most shameless fabulist is back, and his fight to practice law in California gives us a look at his sordid psyche.
The People Who Hate Tim Tebow
Chuck Klosterman, Grantland
On the most (curious, complicated, downright strange) polarizing athlete of our age.
From the fatal indecision of German chancellor Angela Merkel to the inner mechanisms of the robotic Mitt Romney, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.
Will Angela Merkel Act, or Won’t She?
Peter Coy, Businessweek
Germany’s chancellor has her reasons for insisting on severe measures to resolve Europe’s economic crisis, but while she stalls, further damage is being done.
Building a Better Mitt Romney-Bot
Robert Draper, The New York Times Magazine
His camp doesn’t need to turn their guy into someone you’d have a beer with. They just need to eliminate the bugs in the machine.
Dahlia Lithwick, New York
People who think Justice Elena Kagan should recuse herself from the looming “Obamacare” case might want to take a closer look at her first term.
One Nation Under Arms
Todd S. Purdum, Vanity Fair
The private papers of the late George F. Kennan, Cold War architect and diplomat extraordinaire, reveal his anguish over the way his famous 1947 warning about Soviet expansionism helped transform the America he loved into one he no longer recognized: a national-security state.
From new baby science that will revolutionize the fight against poverty to America’s hellish relationship with Pakistan, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the Web this week.
This Is Penn State
L. Jon Wetheim & David Epstein, Sports Illustrated
Had Sandusky not been so brazen, had he simply restricted himself to the football facilities, there is little to suggest he would have been caught. For Sandusky—if not for the boys—Penn State football was a safe haven.
The Two-Year Window
Jonathan Cohn, The New Republic
The new science of babies and brains—and how it could revolutionize the fight against poverty.
The Ally From Hell
Jeffrey Goldberg & Marc Ambinder, The Atlantic
Pakistan lies to us, sponsors militants who attack American troops, and may have knowingly harbored Osama bin Laden. With a friend like this, who needs enemies?
Teaching Good Sex
Laurie Abraham, New York Times Magazine
Introducing pleasure to the peril of sex education.
It Does Take a Village
Melvin Konner, New York Review of Books
Can the strong human tendency to help mothers care for children produce the species-wide level of cooperation that we now need to survive?
The Resentment Machine
Freddie deBoer, The New Inquiry
How upward-oriented young strivers use the Internet to express their class anxiety.
From America’s failing universities to the secrets of great innovators, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the Web this week.
The Rising Price of an Israeli Life
Ronen Bergman, New York Times Magazine
Understanding the exchange of a single Israeli prisoner for 1,027 Palestinians.
Why Are Our Universities Failing?
Anthony Grafton, New York Review of Books
They’re charging students more and giving them less. But that’s only one of the problems.
The Party of the Rich
Tim Dickinson, Rolling Stone
How Republicans abandoned the middle class.
Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker
The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the Web this week. By David Sessions.
Is Obama Toast?
Nate Silver, The New York Times Magazine
The killer calculus of the president’s re-election chances.
King of Kings
Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker
The last days of Muammar Gaddafi.
Murder by Text
David Kushner, Vanity Fair
Kim Proctor was no different than your ordinary teenage girl. Easily hurt by insults and just as easily swayed by compliments, she dwelled in an angsty purgatory familiar to most adolescents. But when Kim went from average kid to missing girl, her storyline took a tragic turn.
Nicholas Carlson, Business Insider
From the inside story of a previously unreported Ponzi scheme to the secretive company behind China’s economic exploitation of Africa, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the Web this week.
The Turnaround Men
Mariah Blake, The New Republic
A charismatic entrepreneur, an ex-con turned devout Christian, and the politicians who championed them.
Laura Rena Murray, Beth Morrissey, Himanshu Ojha, and Patrick Martin-Menard, Caixin Online
The mysterious brokers behind China’s large-scale economic exploitation of Africa.
How Ready Are We for Bioterrorism?
Wil S. Hylton, New York Times Magazine
Ten years after anthrax attacks, biodefense is busted.
It’s Time for Debt Forgiveness, American-Style
William Greider, The Nation
From the billionaire Koch brothers’ secret deals in Iran to the harrowing tale of a couple captured by pirates, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the Web this week.
I will not be so presumptuous as to mourn the loss of Steve as a personal friend, but I will mourn his loss as a man who changed my world completely.
The Koch Brothers’ Secret Iran Deals
Asjylyn Loder and David Wells, Bloomberg
A Bloomberg investigation has revealed that Koch Industries, one of the most secretive global corporations in the world, bribes governments to win contracts and has made billions off covert illegal deals with Iran.
Andrew Romano, GQ
On New Year’s Day in 1953, Hank Williams, the man who invented modern country music, died of an overdose in the backseat of his Cadillac at age 29. A few days later, his mama searched his house and made a secret discovery that—60 years later—would allow old Hank’s ghost to rise from the grave.
Taken by Pirates
Jeffrey Gettleman, New York Times Magazine
One couple’s 388-day ordeal—and their unlikely saviors.
Daniel Luban, n+1
The “conversion” narrative of 20th-century neoconservatives—in which erstwhile leftists or liberals saw the light after being “mugged by reality”—mischaracterizes their intellectual development, which was hawkishly anti-communist almost from the very beginning.
How Dan Harmon Drives Himself Crazy Making Community
Brian Raftery, Wired
Dan Harmon is the creator of Community, a sitcom about a group of community-college study buddies and the most giddily experimental show on network TV. He comes up with his plots by drawing circles. Lots of circles.
You Got Your Sperm Where?
Tony Dokoupil, Newsweek
Meet a “donorsexual” on the Web—and he’ll service you anywhere.
Every week, we pick the best long-form journalism from the newest magazines and journals.
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