The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

Josh Clark

The Long Con. Writer Michael Rubino weaves a real-life account of a Ponzi schemer from Indiana as skillfully as one would with a well planned novel in this long-form article published in June on Indianapolis Monthly.

How the Case for Austerity Has Crumbled. New York Times' liberal economist Paul Krugman examines in the New York Review of Books how the academic papers that provided the basis for austerity as a means of curing the global recession probably actually worsened it. Krugman manages to point out that not one, but two faulty papers may have ruined the economy of Greece and come close with other nations.

Chemically Burned: Dow Chemical Tries to Avoid Hot Water in Worker's Death. In the Houston Press, author Dianna Wray writes about how a Dow Chemical subsidiary followed every step in the corporate malfeasance playbook to protect themselves from liability after a worker dies due to negligence. The acts described make the article almost unreadable.

Edward Snowden: How the spy story of the age leaked out. In the Guardian, Ewan MacAskill writes a story about a real-life cloak and dagger story, how Edward Snowden came to settle on trusting the Guardian, an in particular Guardian blogger Glen Greenwald, with the highly classified documents he pilfered from the NSA to be the source that helped him leak them to the rest of the world.

Demonizing Edward Snowden: Which Side Are You On? New Yorker blogger John Cassidy casts his lot in a lately unpopular direction, allying himself with NSA whistleblower (and, possibly, traitor and spy) Edward Snowden. As Cassidy points out, despite how the White House and media are spinning the story, the Snowden story isn't about Snowden. It's about what the documents concerning domestic surveillance that he leaked reveal about the U.S. government.

Monopoly is Theft. In the October 2012 issue of Harper's Magazine, Christopher Ketcham travels to the Annual Corporate Monopoly Tournament as the backdrop for the investigation into the true origin of the board game. Surprisingly, not only was the game first conceived of as a lesson to teach the value of socialism, the man Parker Bros bought it from actually lifted it from the original designer.

You Don't Have the Right to Remain Silent. On Slate, Brandon L. Garrett writes about a recent Supreme Court ruling that found that suspects who invoke their Fifth Amendment right to silence can incriminate themselves by doing so when the court upheld prosecutors' use of police officers' characterization of a suspect as uncomfortable when he'd stop answering questions.

How James Turrell Knocked the Art World Off Its Feet. In the New York Times Magazine, Wil S. Hylton writes about a huge multi-city exhibit of the absorbing work of artist James Turrell, a 70-year-old Quaker-raised cattle rancher who specializes in installations using often nothing but light.