We recommended 928 articles last year. These were our favorites.
What Joe Biden Can’t Bring Himself to Say
His verbal stumbles have voters worried about his mental fitness. Maybe they’d be more understanding if they knew he’s still fighting a stutter.
I Am Not a Soldier, but I Have Been Trained to Kill
Inside America’s fast-growing civilian tactical training industry.
Drew Brees Has a Dream He'd Like to Sell You
It’s a multilevel marketing company called AdvoCare. Or maybe it’s a pyramid scheme.
The Memory War
On the controversy behind the False Memory Syndrome Foundation.
The Hunt for One of the World's Most Wanted Men
Following the United Nations’ war crimes detectives who tracked down a man who helped unleash the Rwandan genocide of 1994.
Letter from Birmingham Jail
On the moral responsibility to break unjust laws.
“There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience. You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court's decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for us consciously to break laws. One may well ask: "How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?" The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that ‘an unjust law is no law at all.’”
The Truck Stop Killer
When she was a 15-year-old runaway, the writer was nearly killed by a truck driver. Twenty-seven years later, she investigates whether her attacker was truck stop serial killer Robert Ben Rhoades, who often kept his victims chained in the back of his truck for weeks before killing and dumping them.
Among the Insurrectionists
The Capitol was breached by Trump supporters who had been declaring, at rally after rally, that they would go to violent lengths to keep the President in power. A chronicle of an attack foretold.
On modern motherhood and the birth narrative.
The Wikipedia Story
An oral history of Wikipedia.
On Black nonchalance.
Gold and diamond grills. Stilettos you can’t walk in. Grandly arching fingernails, lovingly adorned. Such flouting of functionality is an obvious fuck-you to the days of scrutinized teeth at auctions and picking cotton on plantations.
Trolling the Great Outdoors
As the wilderness gets overrun, the most hated man in the Rockies finds an audience of emulators and antagonists.
On the rescue in July of two children from a burning apartment in southern France.
A Most American Terrorist: The Making of Dylann Roof
“I decided that if he would not tell us his story, then I would.”
Kenneth R. Rosen has written for The New York Times, Wired, The New Yorker, and many other publications. His new book is Troubled: The Failed Promise of America's Behavioral Treatment Programs.
“When I report, I keep two journals. … I keep my reporting notebook, which is sort of an almanac of dates, times, names, quotes, phone numbers. And then I have my personal notebook, which has all my fears and anxieties. And it invariably makes its way into the reporting … which is sort of an amalgamation of those two journals, of those two experiences, the internal and the external.”
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Sculpture and Flow
Ghanaian sculptor El Anatsui is redefining Africa’s place in the global art scene.
The Invention—and Reinvention—of Impeachment
A history of the ultimate political weapon, which we’ve never understood how to use.
The Last Handoff
It was a fraught, utterly uncharted presidential transition—four years ago, from Obama to Trump. It was a prelude for so much that followed.
Sheldon Adelson Bets It All
The inside story of the megadonor and the Chinese casino money flooding our elections.
A Capitol rioter tells his story from inside.
Lost Lost Causes
On the Capitol assault.
Some people may treat the appearance of a Confederate flag as another bit of absurdity, but I’ve never had the luxury of taking it in any way other than literally and seriously.
The Man Who Turned Credit-Card Points Into an Empire
Brian Kelly, The Points Guy, has created an empire dedicated to maximizing credit-card rewards and airline miles. What are they worth in a global pandemic — and why are they worth anything at all?
Welcome to Zollywood
A profile of Zendaya.
After The Sacred Landslide
The stories that sprung up around if not quite about Trump were as brutal and lazy as the man himself; they teased themselves endlessly from one episode to the next, building toward a brutal grand finale in which America’s heroes would murder its villains, on TV, at some time to-be-determined.
Larry Farwell Claims His Lie Detector System Can Read Your Mind. Is He a Scam Artist, or a Genius?
Thirty years after it was first pioneered, the Brain Fingerprinting system is finally being put to the test.