Wednesday, November 23

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On the occasion of Hamid Karzai’s visit to the White House, a fever dream tour of the Afghanistan war through the eyes of the leaders who gave birth to its narrative.

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The limited vision of the news gurus.

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A profile of Jim Henson before the release of the first Muppet movie.

Tuesday, November 22

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A statistics-based argument that drug pricing, not drug use or law enformencement, is the only way to predict swings in violent crime rates.

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The demise of America’s favorite mega-bookstore and the factors beyond the e-book boom that fueled the book retail meltdown.

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The author travels to Mexico to meet a retired assassin and kidnapper, now himself a target of the faceless cartels that once employed him

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Breaking the news of the Kennedy assassination, an oral history:

Wicker: [In the press room] we received an account from Julian Reed, a staff assistant, of Mrs. John Connally’s recollection of the shooting…. The doctors had hardly left before Hawks came in and told us Mr. Johnson would be sworn in immediately at the airport. We dashed for the press buses, still parked outside. Many a campaign had taught me something about press buses and I ran a little harder, got there first, and went to the wide rear seat. That is the best place on a bus to open up a typewriter and get some work done.

Monday, November 21

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On Michael Lewis and the global financial crisis.

Previously: The Michael Lewis World Tour of Economic Collapse
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The Occupy Wall Street origin story.

Sunday, November 20

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Because women and girls don’t always kick ass, and neither should our heroines:

Bella Swan, by contrast, is a much more honest though cringe-inducing representation of adolescence. She doesn’t know who she is or what she wants. She’s clumsy, obtuse, and aggravating in her helplessness. She is also entirely internal, almost alienatingly so. One of my favorite passages from the novel New Moon is when Stephenie Meyer inserts a series of blank pages to stand in for the months that pass while Bella mourns — out of any reasonable proportion — Edward’s desertion. Bella, kind of wonderfully, takes her time.