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Thursday, March 8

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Hitler Is Dead

All violence is not like all other violence. Every Jewish death is not like every other Jewish death. To believe otherwise is to revive the old typological thinking about Jewish history, according to which every enemy of the Jews is the same enemy, and there is only one war, and it is a war against extinction, and it is a timeless war.
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Ghosts in the Newsroom

Can The Washington Post be saved?

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The Gray Box

On solitary confinement:

"Two or three hundred years from now people will look back on this lockdown mania like we look back on the burning of witches."

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'Bizarro World'

In which the author’s wife attempts to break the world record in Tetris.

Wednesday, March 7

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Encounters with the Calabrian Mafia: Inside the World of the 'Ndrangheta

The profile of a crime syndicate which dominates the European cocaine trade.

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Takeout Story

A profile of the Bronx immigrant family on the other end of your Chinese takeout menu.

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Paperback Writer

A profile of thriller writer Harlan Coben and what it takes to succeed as a novelist even when the literary establishment doesn’t acknowledge your existence.

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Why I Became a Conservative

In 1970s Britain, conservative philosophy was the preoccupation of a few half-mad recluses. Searching the library of my college, I found Marx, Lenin, and Mao, but no Strauss, Voegelin, Hayek, or Friedman. I found every variety of socialist monthly, weekly, or quarterly, but not a single journal that confessed to being conservative.

A young Brit goes against the political grain.

Tuesday, March 6

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Shelter and the Storm

Sometimes a writer does a really amazing piece that makes me jealous. Other times they do a piece that just makes me want to give up. Every time I read Katherine Boo I'm just glad that I don't even attempt to do narrative writing. It would be embarrassing to have anything I write put up against her. This dispatch from a refugee center for Katrina victims is heart wrenching and does more than anything else to bring home the psychological dimensions of American urban poverty.

-M. Yglesias

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White Collars Turn Blue

People know Krugman these days as a feisty political polemicist, but back when he was less politically engaged he was absolutely one of the very finest popularizers of economic ideas ever. This piece is a wonderful, brief introduction to the fundamental economic forces driving the world and a lot of my current thinking is preoccupied with the questions it raises. Reading it again, I realized that a point I like to make about the elevator being a great mass transit technology is almost certainly something I subconsciously picked up here.

-M. Yglesias

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Downtown Is for People

Jane Jacobs has a somewhat ambiguous legacy—or at least one that's contested by different factions in the present-day debate over cities and urbanism—but to me her most important idea is encapsulated in the title and spirit of this piece. It's old and, I think, utterly prescient about what successive waves of planning fads miss. The purpose of urban space is for people to use it. A great place is a place where people want to be.

-M. Yglesias