The Week’s Best Longreads: The Daily Beast Picks for May 5, 2012

The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week. By David Sessions.

Becoming ObamaDavid Maraniss, Vanity FairWhen Barack Obama met Genevieve Cook in 1983 at a Christmas party in New York’s East Village, it was the start of his most serious romance yet. But as the 22-year-old Columbia grad began to shape his future, he was also struggling with his identity: American or international? Black or white?

UncatchableMichael Finkel, GQGeorge Wright, America’s most elusive fugitive, ran from authorities on three continents. Now that he’s been found, he may pull off the greatest escape of all.

Forgive Us Our DebtsBenjamin Kunkel, The London Review of BooksHow money made debt a tool of violence and injustice.

The OperatorCharles Homans, The New RepublicWhat does the 2012 campaign’s biggest donor really want?

How McDonald’s Came Back Bigger Than EverKeith O’Brien, The New York Times MagazineThe fast food giant is growing explosively even as its PR battle gets harder. Now, it’s setting its sights on the holdouts who aren’t convinced.

What Your Klout Score Really MeansSeth Stevenson, WiredThe annoying influence metric isn’t going away, and soon a low Klout score could mean not getting jobs or getting worse customer service.


Paris MatchMaureen Orth, Vanity Fair

Sunday’s elections could make Nicolas Sarkozy the first one-term French president since the 1980s. In this 2008 profile, Maureen Orth reconstructs the sensational romantic roller-coaster ride that followed Sarkozy to the Élysée Palace, and the beginnings of France’s deep discontent with his leadership.

For more great longreads, visit our friends at Longreads.com.