Wednesday, November 23

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Barack and Hamid's Excellent Adventure

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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Confidence Game

The limited vision of the news gurus.

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The Muppets in Movieland

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

Tuesday, November 22

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How the Plummeting Price of Cocaine Fueled the Nationwide Drop in Violent Crime

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 End of Borders and the Future of Books

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 Sicario: A Juárez Hit Man Speaks

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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The Assassination: The Reporters’ Story

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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How We Were All Misled

On Michael Lewis and the global financial crisis.

Previously: The Michael Lewis World Tour of Economic Collapse
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Pre-Occupied

The Occupy Wall Street origin story.

Sunday, November 20

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Our Bella, Ourselves

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.