Confessions of a Watch Geek

A reported personal essay by Gary Shteyngart. The Russian-born novelist and memoirist confesses to an obsession with expensive mechanical watches, which intensified through the 2016 Presidential race. He quells his growing anxiety by taking tours of German watchmaking facilities, and comparing rarefied ticking treasures with other watch geeks.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Mar 20, 2017
Length: 21 minutes (5,474 words)

The Sage of Yale Law

One lawyer-philosopher had to coin the term “born-again paganism” to capture the theological doctrine he outlines in his 4-pound book about god and reverence and what daily life has to do with eternity. It’s kind of confusing.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Mar 16, 2017
Length: 10 minutes (2,608 words)

The Reclusive Hedge Fund Tycoon Behind the Trump Presidency

How Robert Mercer exploited America’s populist insurgency.

Author: Jane Mayer
Source: The New Yorker
Published: Mar 27, 2017
Length: 41 minutes (10,470 words)

Shorting a Rainbow

A must-read by Sheelah Kolhatkar. An activist hedge fund thought it had the perfect target by shorting Herbalife, a company accused of being a pyramid scheme that preyed on poor people. It turned into all-out war between investors and the company.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Mar 6, 2017
Length: 37 minutes (9,364 words)

Donald Trump’s Worst Deal

Davidson does some deep reporting on a sketchy deal the Trump Organization oversaw in Azerbaijan. The building of the Trump Tower Baku is linked to notoriously corrupt oligarchs and financiers of terrorism.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Mar 6, 2017
Length: 32 minutes (8,095 words)

Leaving Aleppo

Pauls Toutonghi lovingly recalls his grandfather, Philippe Elias Tütünji, a writer, poet, and translator from Aleppo, Syria. Tütünji immigrated to America during World War II and never gave up his dream to achieve success as a poet in his adopted homeland. Working menial and low-paying jobs to support his family, and “full of immigrant ambition,” he once visited actor Danny Thomas (who was born Muzyad Yakhoob Kairouz in 1912, in Lebanon) in a bid to entice Thomas to record the poem as a song — a feat Tütünji felt would make him a star.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Feb 28, 2017
Length: 9 minutes (2,297 words)

The Librarian of Congress and the Greatness of Humility

Armed with a drawerful of butterscotch candy and a charge to safeguard America’s past, Carla Hayden may be the last person left in Washington with a hopeful eye to future.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Feb 17, 2017
Length: 10 minutes (2,600 words)

When Things Go Missing

On two forms of loss: grief and the misplacement of everyday objects.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Feb 6, 2017
Length: 27 minutes (6,996 words)

The Desperate Battle to Destroy ISIS

The Nineveh Province swat team are part of the multi-agency effort to take Mosul back from ISIS, but their approach differs from other groups. The elite force is composed entirely of Iraqis who ISIS has physically or personally injured, and who want revenge. Their war is personal, and they will not back down.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Feb 6, 2017
Length: 77 minutes (19,470 words)

How Jokes Won the Election

“It’s the thrill of hyperbole, of treating the extreme as normal, the shock (and the joy) of seeing the normal get violated, fast. “Buh-leeve me, buh-leeve me!” Trump said in his act, again and again. Lying about telling the truth is part of the joke.”

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Jan 17, 2017
Length: 16 minutes (4,050 words)