Menu lock


Mar 31, 2017

What to read this weekend: recommendations from the bunker

What we're reading: the former Islamist trying to make being moderate cool, what it's like to be the token American on Russian state TV, how one man survived in the woods for 27 years, fleeing Boko Haram, and why do we feel our lives are so hard?

Crikey long reads

Cass Knowlton, editor

Can a former Islamist make it cool to be a moderate?” by Thomas Chatterton Williams in The New York Times Magazine

“A former Islamist, for the past nine years Nawaz has made a name for himself as an indefatigable anti-extremist activist. These days he blends seamlessly into the sort of cosmopolitan circles that extremists decry; at his club, dressed in an olive bomber jacket over fitted workout sweats, he could have been a senior marketing exec or a music-video director.”

Emily Watkins, media reporter

This is what it’s like to be the token American journalist on Russian state TV” by David Filipov in The Washington Post

“Most Russians get their news from state-controlled TV broadcasts that dole out the stories the Kremlin wants told. But it is on political talk shows such as ’60 Minut’ where the Kremlin’s view of the world is sized up, shouted over and ultimately deemed the only right one. On ’60 Minut,’ the guests face off from two small glass tables on opposite sides of the stage: pro-government on one side, foreigners and dissenters on the other. I’m one of the foreigners.”

Josh Taylor, journalist

Why is my life so hard?” [podcast] by Stephen J. Dubner on Freakonomics

“Most of us feel we face more headwinds and obstacles than everyone else — which breeds resentment. We also undervalue the tailwinds that help us — which leaves us ungrateful and unhappy. How can we avoid this trap?”

Bernard Keane, politics editor

Into the woods: how one man survived alone in the wilderness for 27 years” by Michael Finkel in The Guardian

“Knight did not tell anyone where he was going. ‘I had no one to tell,’ he says. ‘I didn’t have any friends. I had no interest in my co-workers.’ He drove down the east coast of America, eating fast food and staying in cheap motels – ‘the cheapest I could find’. He travelled for days, alone, until he found himself deep into Florida, sticking mostly to major roads, watching the world go by. Eventually, he turned around and headed north.”

Dan Wood, subeditor

S-Town” [podcast] by Brian Reed for NPR

S-Town is a new podcast from Serial and This American Life, hosted by Brian Reed, about a man named John who despises his Alabama town and decides to do something about it. He asks Brian to investigate the son of a wealthy family who’s allegedly been bragging that he got away with murder. But then someone else ends up dead, and the search for the truth leads to a nasty feud, a hunt for hidden treasure, and an unearthing of the mysteries of one man’s life.”

Charlie Lewis, journalist 

Fleeing Boko Haram, thousands cling to a road to nowhere” by Dionne Searcey (words) and Adam Ferguson (photos) in The New York Times

“More than 130,000 people have amassed along this desert highway outside Diffa, Niger — National Route 1. They now call its barren, sandy shoulders home. All of them have been chased from their villages by Boko Haram, the Islamist militant group that kidnaps and kills indiscriminately in a campaign of violence that has lasted eight years. The New York Times spent weeks documenting the stories of people living along this road, interviewing more than 100 residents — including 15 in the following image 00 clinging to its edges to survive.”

Sally Whyte, deputy editor

Karen Pence is the vice president’s ‘prayer warrior,’ gut check and shield” by Ashley Parker in The Washington Post

“Now, as second lady, Karen Pence, 60, remains an important influence on one of President Trump’s most important political allies. She sat in on at least one interview as the vice president assembled his staff, accompanied her husband on his first foreign trip and joins him for off-the-record briefings with reporters, acting as his gut check and shield. “

We recommend

From around the web

Powered by Taboola


Leave a comment

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.