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On the 1962-1963 printers strike in New York that effectively shut down the seven biggest newspapers in the city, killed four of them, and made names for writers like Gay Talese, Tom Wolfe and Nora Ephron:

A city without The New York Times inspired rage and scorn, ambivalence and relief. A ‘Talk of the Town’ item in The New Yorker lamented a weekend without the ‘fragrant, steamy deep-dish apple pie of the Sunday Times.’ James Reston—pillar of the Establishment, Washington bureau chief and columnist for the Times, and intimate of the Sulzberger family, to whom he directed a controversial entreaty to use non-union shops—was allowed to read his column on New York’s Channel 4 in early January 1963: ‘Striking the Times is like striking an old lady and deprives the community of all kinds of essential information. If some beautiful girl gets married this week, the television may let us see her gliding radiantly from the church. But what about all those ugly girls who get married every Sunday in the Times?’
A city without newspapers was a city in which civic activity was impeded, as two out-of-work Times reporters hired by the Columbia Journalism Review soon documented. Without the daily papers, the Health Department’s campaign against venereal disease was ‘seriously impaired.’ So was the fight against slumlords: ‘There’s a distinct difference,’ the city’s building commissioner said, ‘between a $500 fine and a $500 fine plus a story in the Times.’ The New York chapter of the Congress on Racial Equality discovered that, without newspaper attention, its boycott of the Sealtest Milk Company was considerably undermined. The newspaper strike, the C.J.R. study concluded, had ‘deprived the public of its watchdog.

"The Long Good-Bye." — Scott Sherman, Vanity Fair

On the 1962-1963 printers strike in New York that effectively shut down the seven biggest newspapers in the city, killed four of them, and made names for writers like Gay Talese, Tom Wolfe and Nora Ephron:

A city without The New York Times inspired rage and scorn, ambivalence and relief. A ‘Talk of the Town’ item in The New Yorker lamented a weekend without the ‘fragrant, steamy deep-dish apple pie of the Sunday Times.’ James Reston—pillar of the Establishment, Washington bureau chief and columnist for the Times, and intimate of the Sulzberger family, to whom he directed a controversial entreaty to use non-union shops—was allowed to read his column on New York’s Channel 4 in early January 1963: ‘Striking the Times is like striking an old lady and deprives the community of all kinds of essential information. If some beautiful girl gets married this week, the television may let us see her gliding radiantly from the church. But what about all those ugly girls who get married every Sunday in the Times?’

A city without newspapers was a city in which civic activity was impeded, as two out-of-work Times reporters hired by the Columbia Journalism Review soon documented. Without the daily papers, the Health Department’s campaign against venereal disease was ‘seriously impaired.’ So was the fight against slumlords: ‘There’s a distinct difference,’ the city’s building commissioner said, ‘between a $500 fine and a $500 fine plus a story in the Times.’ The New York chapter of the Congress on Racial Equality discovered that, without newspaper attention, its boycott of the Sealtest Milk Company was considerably undermined. The newspaper strike, the C.J.R. study concluded, had ‘deprived the public of its watchdog.

"The Long Good-Bye." — Scott Sherman, Vanity Fair

A writer takes a trip to visit his wife’s family. What has changed in the country over the years, and what hasn’t:

For obvious reasons, the actual Cuban peso is worth much less than the other, dollar-equivalent Cuban peso, something on the order of 25 to 1. But the driver said simply, ‘No, they are equal.’
'Really?' my wife said. 'No … that can’t be.'
He insisted that there was no difference between the relative values of the currencies. They were the same.
He knew that this was wrong. He probably could have told you the exchange rates from that morning. But he also knew that it had a rightness in it. For official accounting purposes, the two currencies are considered equivalent. Their respective values might fluctuate on a given day, of course, but it couldn’t be said that the CUP was worth less than the CUC That’s partly what he meant. He also meant that if you’re going to fly to Cuba from Miami and rub it in my face that our money is worth one twenty-fifth of yours, I’m gonna feed you some hilarious communist math and see how you like it. Cubans call it la doble moral. Meaning, different situations call forth different ethical codes. He wasn’t being deceptive. He was saying what my wife forced him to say.

"Where Is Cuba Going?" — John Jeremiah Sullivan, New York Times Magazine
More by Sullivan

A writer takes a trip to visit his wife’s family. What has changed in the country over the years, and what hasn’t:

For obvious reasons, the actual Cuban peso is worth much less than the other, dollar-equivalent Cuban peso, something on the order of 25 to 1. But the driver said simply, ‘No, they are equal.’

'Really?' my wife said. 'No … that can’t be.'

He insisted that there was no difference between the relative values of the currencies. They were the same.

He knew that this was wrong. He probably could have told you the exchange rates from that morning. But he also knew that it had a rightness in it. For official accounting purposes, the two currencies are considered equivalent. Their respective values might fluctuate on a given day, of course, but it couldn’t be said that the CUP was worth less than the CUC That’s partly what he meant. He also meant that if you’re going to fly to Cuba from Miami and rub it in my face that our money is worth one twenty-fifth of yours, I’m gonna feed you some hilarious communist math and see how you like it. Cubans call it la doble moral. Meaning, different situations call forth different ethical codes. He wasn’t being deceptive. He was saying what my wife forced him to say.

"Where Is Cuba Going?" — John Jeremiah Sullivan, New York Times Magazine

More by Sullivan

An excerpt from Kriegel’s new book, on the fatal fight between Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini and Duk-koo Kim, and 30 years later, how it changed both families: 

In early November, Young-mi found herself on a second-floor balcony at Incheon International Airport. In observing that ancient Asian prohibition against fighters taking lovers, she could not be seen with Duk-koo’s modest entourage, or by the gaggle of reporters following them as they boarded their flight to the United States for the Mancini fight. Her fiancé had made news with intemperate remarks that he would beat Mancini, that only one of them would return home alive.
'Either he dies,' Duk-koo said, 'or I die.'
And now Young-mi was forced to watch without saying goodbye. She could not so much as wave. Even as tears streamed down her face, the dance had begun, the ballet of blood and light in her tummy. She was pregnant with Duk-koo’s son.

"A Step Back." — Mark Kriegel, New York Times
More on boxing

An excerpt from Kriegel’s new book, on the fatal fight between Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini and Duk-koo Kim, and 30 years later, how it changed both families: 

In early November, Young-mi found herself on a second-floor balcony at Incheon International Airport. In observing that ancient Asian prohibition against fighters taking lovers, she could not be seen with Duk-koo’s modest entourage, or by the gaggle of reporters following them as they boarded their flight to the United States for the Mancini fight. Her fiancé had made news with intemperate remarks that he would beat Mancini, that only one of them would return home alive.

'Either he dies,' Duk-koo said, 'or I die.'

And now Young-mi was forced to watch without saying goodbye. She could not so much as wave. Even as tears streamed down her face, the dance had begun, the ballet of blood and light in her tummy. She was pregnant with Duk-koo’s son.

"A Step Back." — Mark Kriegel, New York Times

More on boxing

A look behind the introverted life of James E. Holmes, a graduate student in the neuroscience department at the University of Colorado, Denver, before the shooting in Aurora:

In the days after the shooting, faculty members and graduate students, in shock, compared notes on what they knew about Mr. Holmes, what they might have missed, what they could have done. Some said they wished they had tried harder to break through his loneliness, a student recalled. Others wondered if living somewhere besides the dingy apartment on Paris Street might have mitigated his isolation.
At a meeting held at Dr. Ribera’s house, a student said, Barry Shur, the dean of the graduate school, said Mr. Holmes had been seeing a psychiatrist. When the authorities told him the identity of the shooting suspect, Dr. Shur said, his reaction was “I’ve heard his name before.”
But all that came later.
No one saw Mr. Holmes much after he left school in June.

"Before Gunfire, Hints of ‘Bad News’." — Erica Goode, Serge F. Kovaleski, Jack Healy, Dan Frosch, The New York Times

A look behind the introverted life of James E. Holmes, a graduate student in the neuroscience department at the University of Colorado, Denver, before the shooting in Aurora:

In the days after the shooting, faculty members and graduate students, in shock, compared notes on what they knew about Mr. Holmes, what they might have missed, what they could have done. Some said they wished they had tried harder to break through his loneliness, a student recalled. Others wondered if living somewhere besides the dingy apartment on Paris Street might have mitigated his isolation.

At a meeting held at Dr. Ribera’s house, a student said, Barry Shur, the dean of the graduate school, said Mr. Holmes had been seeing a psychiatrist. When the authorities told him the identity of the shooting suspect, Dr. Shur said, his reaction was “I’ve heard his name before.”

But all that came later.

No one saw Mr. Holmes much after he left school in June.

"Before Gunfire, Hints of ‘Bad News’." — Erica Goode, Serge F. Kovaleski, Jack Healy, Dan Frosch, The New York Times

A high school basketball star’s career derailed by drugs and bad decisions. Jonathan Hargett also says he was offered $20,000 to attend West Virginia (a claim university officials deny):

Hargett wanted to go to Arizona. The Wildcats won the national title in 1997 and had recently had a string of star guards like Miles Simon, Mike Bibby and Jason Terry on their roster. Coach Lute Olson made two trips to watch Hargett in high school, but the Wildcats could not get Hargett to visit their campus. He said that Arizona refused to break N.C.A.A. rules and fly out his mother for a recruiting trip.
But West Virginia put together a more intriguing package for the Hargett family. Mike Hargett’s wife, Joy, said that West Virginia planned on hiring her husband for a low-level staff position, which was allowable under N.C.A.A. rules. Mike Hargett had worked for the West Virginia assistant Chris Cheeks at a Richmond high school years before. Jonathan Hargett did not want to go to West Virginia, but he said that he was offered $20,000 a year to go there and that he committed at Mike’s urging.

‘What Happened to Him?’ — Pete Thamel, New York Times
More from the Times

A high school basketball star’s career derailed by drugs and bad decisions. Jonathan Hargett also says he was offered $20,000 to attend West Virginia (a claim university officials deny):

Hargett wanted to go to Arizona. The Wildcats won the national title in 1997 and had recently had a string of star guards like Miles Simon, Mike Bibby and Jason Terry on their roster. Coach Lute Olson made two trips to watch Hargett in high school, but the Wildcats could not get Hargett to visit their campus. He said that Arizona refused to break N.C.A.A. rules and fly out his mother for a recruiting trip.

But West Virginia put together a more intriguing package for the Hargett family. Mike Hargett’s wife, Joy, said that West Virginia planned on hiring her husband for a low-level staff position, which was allowable under N.C.A.A. rules. Mike Hargett had worked for the West Virginia assistant Chris Cheeks at a Richmond high school years before. Jonathan Hargett did not want to go to West Virginia, but he said that he was offered $20,000 a year to go there and that he committed at Mike’s urging.

‘What Happened to Him?’ — Pete Thamel, New York Times

More from the Times

A look at the rights of same-sex parents after a mother abducts her daughter and heads to Nicaragua after a civil union dissolves:

Isabella’s tumultuous life has embodied some of America’s bitterest culture wars — a choice, as Ms. Miller said in a courtroom plea, shortly before their desperate flight, ‘between two diametrically opposed worldviews on parentage and family.’
Isabella was 7 when she and Ms. Miller jumped into a car in Virginia, leaving behind their belongings and a family of pet hamsters to die without food or water. Supporters drove them to Buffalo, where they took a taxi to Canada and boarded a flight to Mexico and then Central America.
Ms. Miller, 44, is wanted by the F.B.I. and Interpol for international parental kidnapping. In their underground existence in this impoverished tropical country, she and Isabella have been helped by evangelical groups who endorse her decision to flee rather than to expose Isabella to the ‘homosexual lifestyle’ of her other legal mother, Janet Jenkins.

"Which Mother for Isabella? Civil Union Ends in an Abduction and Questions." — Erik Eckholm, New York Times

A look at the rights of same-sex parents after a mother abducts her daughter and heads to Nicaragua after a civil union dissolves:

Isabella’s tumultuous life has embodied some of America’s bitterest culture wars — a choice, as Ms. Miller said in a courtroom plea, shortly before their desperate flight, ‘between two diametrically opposed worldviews on parentage and family.’

Isabella was 7 when she and Ms. Miller jumped into a car in Virginia, leaving behind their belongings and a family of pet hamsters to die without food or water. Supporters drove them to Buffalo, where they took a taxi to Canada and boarded a flight to Mexico and then Central America.

Ms. Miller, 44, is wanted by the F.B.I. and Interpol for international parental kidnapping. In their underground existence in this impoverished tropical country, she and Isabella have been helped by evangelical groups who endorse her decision to flee rather than to expose Isabella to the ‘homosexual lifestyle’ of her other legal mother, Janet Jenkins.

"Which Mother for Isabella? Civil Union Ends in an Abduction and Questions." — Erik Eckholm, New York Times

After a Leukemia doctor and researcher develops the disease himself, he finds an effective treatment when his colleagues sequence his cancer genome:

Dr. Wartman’s doctors realized then that their last best hope for saving him was to use all the genetic know-how and technology at their disposal.
After their month of frantic work to beat cancer’s relentless clock, the group, led by Richard Wilson and Elaine Mardis, directors of the university’s genome institute, had the data. It was Aug. 31.
The cancer’s DNA had, as expected, many mutations, but there was nothing to be done about them. There were no drugs to attack them.
But the other analysis, of the cancer’s RNA, was different. There was something there, something unexpected.

"Genetic Gamble: New Approaches to Fighting Cancer." — A three-part series by The New York Times on the new frontier of cancer treatment.
• Part One: "In Treatment for Leukemia, Glimpses of the Future"
• Part Two: "A New Treatment’s Tantalizing Promise Brings Heartbreaking Ups and Downs"
• Part Three: "A Life-Death Predictor Adds to a Cancer’s Strain"

After a Leukemia doctor and researcher develops the disease himself, he finds an effective treatment when his colleagues sequence his cancer genome:

Dr. Wartman’s doctors realized then that their last best hope for saving him was to use all the genetic know-how and technology at their disposal.

After their month of frantic work to beat cancer’s relentless clock, the group, led by Richard Wilson and Elaine Mardis, directors of the university’s genome institute, had the data. It was Aug. 31.

The cancer’s DNA had, as expected, many mutations, but there was nothing to be done about them. There were no drugs to attack them.

But the other analysis, of the cancer’s RNA, was different. There was something there, something unexpected.

"Genetic Gamble: New Approaches to Fighting Cancer." — A three-part series by The New York Times on the new frontier of cancer treatment.

• Part One: "In Treatment for Leukemia, Glimpses of the Future"

• Part Two: "A New Treatment’s Tantalizing Promise Brings Heartbreaking Ups and Downs"

• Part Three: "A Life-Death Predictor Adds to a Cancer’s Strain"

A look at the Obama Administration’s process for approving drone strikes on Al Qaeda suspects. Insiders say President Obama is personally approving the final decisions:

President Obama, overseeing the regular Tuesday counterterrorism meeting of two dozen security officials in the White House Situation Room, took a moment to study the faces. It was Jan. 19, 2010, the end of a first year in office punctuated by terrorist plots and culminating in a brush with catastrophe over Detroit on Christmas Day, a reminder that a successful attack could derail his presidency. Yet he faced adversaries without uniforms, often indistinguishable from the civilians around them.
'How old are these people?' he asked, according to two officials present. 'If they are starting to use children,' he said of Al Qaeda, 'we are moving into a whole different phase.' “It was not a theoretical question: Mr. Obama has placed himself at the helm of a top secret 'nominations' process to designate terrorists for kill or capture, of which the capture part has become largely theoretical.

"Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will." — Jo Becker, Scott Shane, The New York Times
More #longreads about Obama

A look at the Obama Administration’s process for approving drone strikes on Al Qaeda suspects. Insiders say President Obama is personally approving the final decisions:

President Obama, overseeing the regular Tuesday counterterrorism meeting of two dozen security officials in the White House Situation Room, took a moment to study the faces. It was Jan. 19, 2010, the end of a first year in office punctuated by terrorist plots and culminating in a brush with catastrophe over Detroit on Christmas Day, a reminder that a successful attack could derail his presidency. Yet he faced adversaries without uniforms, often indistinguishable from the civilians around them.

'How old are these people?' he asked, according to two officials present. 'If they are starting to use children,' he said of Al Qaeda, 'we are moving into a whole different phase.' “It was not a theoretical question: Mr. Obama has placed himself at the helm of a top secret 'nominations' process to designate terrorists for kill or capture, of which the capture part has become largely theoretical.

"Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will." — Jo Becker, Scott Shane, The New York Times

More #longreads about Obama

Why was New York Times CEO Janet Robinson fired? A look inside the political battles and financial troubles that led Arthur ­Sulzberger to let Robinson go (with a $24 million exit package):

Interviews with more than 30 people who are intimately familiar with different aspects of the Times’ business (none but a spokesperson would speak for attribution—this is the paper of record, after all) have made it clear that Gonzalez’s rise and Robinson’s fall, and the ensuing leadership vacuum inside the paper, were symptomatic of larger forces at work. Even as a new pay wall was erected on the Times’ website last spring to charge customers for access, the company’s performance, including an alarming dive in print advertising when other media companies were beginning to recover, was faltering, and Sulzberger was under pressure both financial and familial to throw Robinson overboard. “As the paper’s stock price has declined in recent years, there has been increasing unease among the Ochs-Sulzberger clan, who control the paper through a special class of shares. Three years ago, facing huge debt problems, the company suspended the lucrative stock dividend that once flowed quarterly to the family’s 40-plus members, intensifying the need to solve the intractable advertising problems of the newspaper in the digital age and figure out a way to turn the family’s cash spigot back on. Janet Robinson, the company’s advertising brains, found herself caught between her increasingly remote boss and a frustrated family worried over the future of its 116-year-old fortune.

"A New York Times Whodunit." — Joe Hagan, New York magazine
More #longreasds from Joe Hagan

Why was New York Times CEO Janet Robinson fired? A look inside the political battles and financial troubles that led Arthur ­Sulzberger to let Robinson go (with a $24 million exit package):

Interviews with more than 30 people who are intimately familiar with different aspects of the Times’ business (none but a spokesperson would speak for attribution—this is the paper of record, after all) have made it clear that Gonzalez’s rise and Robinson’s fall, and the ensuing leadership vacuum inside the paper, were symptomatic of larger forces at work. Even as a new pay wall was erected on the Times’ website last spring to charge customers for access, the company’s performance, including an alarming dive in print advertising when other media companies were beginning to recover, was faltering, and Sulzberger was under pressure both financial and familial to throw Robinson overboard. “As the paper’s stock price has declined in recent years, there has been increasing unease among the Ochs-Sulzberger clan, who control the paper through a special class of shares. Three years ago, facing huge debt problems, the company suspended the lucrative stock dividend that once flowed quarterly to the family’s 40-plus members, intensifying the need to solve the intractable advertising problems of the newspaper in the digital age and figure out a way to turn the family’s cash spigot back on. Janet Robinson, the company’s advertising brains, found herself caught between her increasingly remote boss and a frustrated family worried over the future of its 116-year-old fortune.

"A New York Times Whodunit." — Joe Hagan, New York magazine

More #longreasds from Joe Hagan

Inside the Emergency Surgical Center for War Victims, a hospital in Afghanistan that’s funded by an Italian NGO and is committed to helping all victims:

Last year, Emergency’s three hospitals and 34 clinics across Afghanistan treated nearly 360,000 patients. During the course of reporting this article, after visiting these facilities and meeting a number of these patients, I began to wonder how such a responsibility had fallen to a small, modestly financed Italian NGO. This, of course, was connected to a larger question: What is our responsibility to the Afghans who are maimed, burned, disabled and disfigured by a war we started and can’t seem to end?
According to NATO, even civilians who are injured during operations by U.S. or other coalition forces are only ‘entitled to receive emergency care if there is threat to their life, limb or eyesight.’ In such cases, ‘discharge or transfer to an appropriate Afghan civilian facility is recommended as soon as the patient is stabilized.’ On paper, this might appear to make sense; after all, the United States and other foreign donors have invested vast sums of money in Afghanistan’s public health system. But given the poor quality of care, scarcity of equipment and pervasive graft that still defines most government hospitals, ‘discharge or transfer’ can look a lot like abandonment.

"Pacifists in the Cross-Fire: The Kabul Hospital That Treats All Sides." — Luke Mogelson, New York Times
More from Mogelson

Inside the Emergency Surgical Center for War Victims, a hospital in Afghanistan that’s funded by an Italian NGO and is committed to helping all victims:

Last year, Emergency’s three hospitals and 34 clinics across Afghanistan treated nearly 360,000 patients. During the course of reporting this article, after visiting these facilities and meeting a number of these patients, I began to wonder how such a responsibility had fallen to a small, modestly financed Italian NGO. This, of course, was connected to a larger question: What is our responsibility to the Afghans who are maimed, burned, disabled and disfigured by a war we started and can’t seem to end?

According to NATO, even civilians who are injured during operations by U.S. or other coalition forces are only ‘entitled to receive emergency care if there is threat to their life, limb or eyesight.’ In such cases, ‘discharge or transfer to an appropriate Afghan civilian facility is recommended as soon as the patient is stabilized.’ On paper, this might appear to make sense; after all, the United States and other foreign donors have invested vast sums of money in Afghanistan’s public health system. But given the poor quality of care, scarcity of equipment and pervasive graft that still defines most government hospitals, ‘discharge or transfer’ can look a lot like abandonment.

"Pacifists in the Cross-Fire: The Kabul Hospital That Treats All Sides." — Luke Mogelson, New York Times

More from Mogelson