Sunday, May 20

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Brothel, Washington DC

A summer as a whorehouse Madame.

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The Pretender

A profile of singer-songwriter Will Oldham.

He has settled into character as an uncanny troubadour, singing a sort of transfigured country music, and he has become, in his own subterranean way, a canonical figure. Johnny Cash covered him, Björk has championed him (she invited him to appear on the soundtrack of “Drawing Restraint 9”), and Madonna, he suspects, has quoted him (her song “Let It Will Be” seems to borrow from his “O Let It Be,” though he says, “I’m fully prepared to accept that it’s a coincidence”).

Saturday, May 19

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To Be or Not to Be?

An essay on the “history, meaning and practice of suicide, from third-century Christian death cults to the Aurora Bridge.”

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Is Lindsay Too Tall to Be Mayor?

The author reflects on his mayoral run with Norman Mailer against John Lindsay.

At the bar one night a couple of weeks after the primary, I looked up from a drink and saw my face and Norman's face floating across the screen on the NBC First Tuesday show. It is a network thing, and they did a 20-minute look at our campaign. The show reinforced my opinion that Norman and I had some of the most terrific lows in the history of anything that ever took place in this city. And, perhaps, a couple of highs that could be recognized as time passes a bit. Like maybe colleges for years will be using the things Norman Mailer was saying out in the streets.

Friday, May 18

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The Most Dangerous Game

The parallel lives of a KGB defector and his CIA handler.

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The Madness of General Mladic

A profile of former Bosnia Serb military commander Ratko Mladic, whose war crimes trial began, and was abruptly suspended, this week.

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All the World is Staged

Catching “the world’s most prolific criminal fixer of soccer matches.”

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The Devils in the Diva

A posthumous profile of Whitney Houston.

Thursday, May 17

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Money Unlimited

How Chief Justice John Roberts pulled off Citizens United.

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Mother of God, Child of Zeus

On the perils and poisons of mining for gold in southeastern Peru.

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An Interview With Thom Steinbeck

“I didn’t realize who my father was. So it didn’t make a whole lot of difference. I wasn’t there believing that I was receiving genius from on high. My father was my father.”