The father of the Sandy Hook killer searches for answers:
In Peter Lanza’s new house, on a secluded private road in Fairfield County, Connecticut, is an attic room overflowing with shipping crates of what he calls “the stuff.” Since the day in December, 2012, when his son Adam killed his own mother, himself, and twenty-six people at Sandy Hook Elementary School, strangers from across the world have sent thousands upon thousands of letters and other keepsakes: prayer shawls, Bibles, Teddy bears, homemade toys; stories with titles such as “My First Christmas in Heaven”; crosses, including one made by prison inmates. People sent candy, too, and when I visited Peter, last fall, he showed me a bag of year-old caramels.
PUBLISHED: March 17, 2014
LENGTH: 30 minutes (7650 words)
Nicholas Lemann looks at the implications of the media’s coverage of the Kitty Genovese story:
An excellent example is the murder of Kitty Genovese, a twenty-eight-year-old bar manager, by Winston Moseley, a twenty-nine-year-old computer punch-card operator, just after three in the morning on Friday, March 13, 1964, in Kew Gardens, Queens. The fact that this crime, one of six hundred and thirty-six murders in New York City that year, became an American obsession—condemned by mayors and Presidents, puzzled over by academics and theologians, studied in freshman psychology courses, re-created in dozens of research experiments, even used four decades later to justify the Iraq war—can be attributed to the influence of one man, A. M. Rosenthal, of the New York Times.
PUBLISHED: March 10, 2014
LENGTH: 13 minutes (3347 words)
Our favorite stories of the week, featuring the Boston Magazine, ESPN Magazine, Washingtonian, Mother Jones, and The New Yorker.
Cartoonist Roz Chast’s illustrated memoir on the final years of her parents’ lives.
It's no accident that most consumer ads are pitched to people in their 20s and 30s. For one thing, they are less likely to have gone through the transformative process of cleaning out their deceased parents' stuff. Once you go through that, you can never look at YOUR stuff in the same way.
A deeper look at the legendary jazz musician’s work and thoughts on race in America:
Armstrong chose his battles carefully. In September, 1957, seven months after the bombing attempt in Knoxville, he grew strident when President Eisenhower did not compel Arkansas to allow nine students to attend Little Rock Central High School. As Teachout recounts in “Pops,” here Armstrong had leverage, and spoke out. Armstrong was then an unofficial goodwill ambassador for the State Department. Armstrong stated publicly that Eisenhower was “two-faced” and had “no guts.” He told one reporter, “It’s getting almost so bad a colored man hasn’t got any country.” His comments made network newscasts and front pages, and the A.P. reported that State Department officials had conceded that “Soviet propagandists would undoubtedly seize on Mr. Armstrong’s words.”
Doing things Armstrong’s way, no one had to accept responsibility for his actions but Louis Armstrong. When Eisenhower did force the schools to integrate, Armstrong’s tone was friendlier. “Daddy,” he telegrammed the President, “You have a good heart.”
PUBLISHED: March 7, 2014
LENGTH: 10 minutes (2547 words)
Our favorite stories of the week, featuring The New Yorker, The New Republic, Outside, The Dissolve and Playboy.
On life as a nonagenarian:
I get along. Now and then it comes to me that I appear to have more energy and hope than some of my coevals, but I take no credit for this. I don’t belong to a book club or a bridge club; I’m not taking up Mandarin or practicing the viola. In a sporadic effort to keep my brain from moldering, I’ve begun to memorize shorter poems—by Auden, Donne, Ogden Nash, and more—which I recite to myself some nights while walking my dog, Harry’s successor fox terrier, Andy. I’ve also become a blogger, and enjoy the ease and freedom of the form: it’s a bit like making a paper airplane and then watching it take wing below your window. But shouldn’t I have something more scholarly or complex than this put away by now—late paragraphs of accomplishments, good works, some weightier op cits? I’m afraid not. The thoughts of age are short, short thoughts. I don’t read Scripture and cling to no life precepts, except perhaps to Walter Cronkite’s rules for old men, which he did not deliver over the air: Never trust a fart. Never pass up a drink. Never ignore an erection.
PUBLISHED: Feb. 17, 2014
LENGTH: 20 minutes (5062 words)
This week's picks from Emily include stories from The New Yorker, Rookie, Buzzfeed, and Salon.
Our story picks of the week, featuring The New Yorker, Tampa Bay Times, Planet Money, Rookie and Indianapolis Monthly, with a guest pick by Chris Mahr.