A Syrian man walks through a devastated street following an air strike. (Photo credit: Abdulmonam Eassa / AFP / Getty Images)
A Syrian man walks through a devastated street following an air strike. (Abdulmonam Eassa / AFP / Getty Images)

This week, we’re sharing stories from Anand Gopal and Azmat Khan, Claire Dederer, Dale Maharidge, Leslie Jamison, and Nina Coomes.

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1. The Uncounted

Anand Gopal, Azmat Khan | The New York Times | November 16, 2017 | 46 minutes (11,576 words)

A multi-media investigative report on the vast discrepancy between the actual number of Iraqi civilians killed by American-led coalition airstrikes against ISIS, and the number the coalition itself reports. In addition to uncovering likely truer math, the report puts human faces on the air strikes’ victims and survivors.

2. What Do We Do with the Art of Monstrous Men?

Claire Dederer | The Paris Review | November 20, 2017 | 20 minutes (5,175 words)

We is an escape hatch. We is cheap. We is a way of simultaneously sloughing off personal responsibility and taking on the mantle of easy authority.”

3. Bumpy Ride: Why America’s Roads Are in Tatters

Dale Maharidge | Harper’s Magazine | November 1, 2017 | 12 minutes (3,000 words)

“Roads symbolize one of the fundamental contracts between a government and its citizens,” Dale Maharidge reports in Harper’s Magazine, with support from the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. “If the roads are failing, it means government is failing.”

4. The Digital Ruins of a Forgotten Future

Leslie Jamison | The Atlantic | December 1, 2017 | 36 minutes (9,171 words)

Leslie Jamison profiles several long-term, hard-core users of Second Life, an online platform in which you create a fantasy alter-ego. Your “selective self” resides in a virtual world that allows you to leave behind everything you don’t like about yourself and your real life.

5. Why My Family Takes a Thanksgiving Vow of Silence

Nina Coomes | Catapult | November 22, 2017 | 6 minutes (1,533 words)

A personal essay in which Nina Coomes recalls her family’s tradition of extreme unplugging — no reading, talking, using digital devices — while taking silent retreats at a Catholic seminary each Thanksgiving.