The Swastika and the Crescent

On Nazi Germany’s efforts to recruit Muslims

“Himmler, who had left the Catholic Church in 1936, bemoaned that Christianity made no promises to soldiers who died in battle, no reward for bravery. Islam, by contrast, was “a religion of people’s soldiers,” a practical faith that provided believers with guidance for everyday life.”

David Motadel | The Wilson Quarterly

Read It Now (16 min)

“They forget we are human”

Why do people in ‘the Jungle’ really want to get to Britain?

“Like many of the refugees I meet, he is educated: he was studying life sciences in Eritrea. He has been in the camp for a week and has already tried five times to jump over the fence; he shows me his bandaged hand as proof. He tells me in detail about how he tries to get over fences, “crawling like a tiger” to avoid the attention of guards.”

Owen Jones | New Statesman

Read It Now (14 min)

The trials of Ed Graf

When modern forensics meets old-fashioned Texas justice

“The reason Ed Graf’s case was reviewed a quarter of a century after he barely escaped the death chamber was because of one man: Cameron Todd Willingham. He was convicted, based on similarly faulty scientific evidence…Willingham was executed 11 years ago.

Jeremy Stahl | Slate

Read It Now (68 min)

Just below the surface

On the war over the Californian Oyster

“Since then it had been the Drakes Bay Oyster Company—the infamous Drakes Bay Oyster Company, if you will, whose plight has garnered national media attention. Its opposing sides had brought together strange bedfellows, from anti-government militia groups to locavore celebrity chefs, and its fate had been debated heavily and contentiously across the country.”

Summer Brennan | Longreads

Read It Now (20 min)

The meaning of Kissinger

Niall Ferguson takes on the conventional view of Henry Kissinger

“But by then, he had already realized that the war against North Vietnam could be ended only by negotiation. The United States, he had seen for himself, “lacked any overall concept for the conduct of military operations against the guerrillas, and for the building of a nation.” Its stock recipe of copious resources and complex bureaucracy was inappropriate.”

Niall Ferguson | Foreign Affairs

Read It Now (15 min)

War in Donbas

Julian Evans travels to the frontlines of the war that’s not a war

“As you get nearer the front, the country, like the road, empties. A calm, beautiful evening drive turns cooler and shadier, the light goes orange, and after the third checkpoint, near a lake where boys are diving off a listing jetty into gleaming black water, an eerie silence falls. At the fourth checkpoint the Seagull’s engine stalled again.”

Julian Evans | Granta

Read It Now (24 min)

Here’s what’s missing from Straight Outta Compton

On the women who suffered at the hands of Dr. Dre

“That event isn’t depicted in Straight Outta Compton, but I don’t think it should have been, either. The truth is too ugly for a general audience. I didn’t want to see a depiction of me getting beat up, just like I didn’t want to see a depiction of Dre beating up Michel’le, his one-time girlfriend who recently summed up their relationship this way: “I was just a quiet girlfriend who got beat on and told to sit down and shut up.””

Dee Barnes | Gawker

Read It Now (11 min)

The Bin Laden tapes

Listening to the 1500 cassettes left behind in Kandahar as militants fled in 2001

“Another unexpected name to make an appearance in the tapes is Mahatma Gandhi, who is cited as an inspiration by Osama Bin Laden in a speech made in September 1993. This is also the first speech in the collection in which Bin Laden calls on supporters to take action against the US… by boycotting its goods.”

Richard Fenton-Smith | BBC News Magazine

Read It Now (6 min)

The hunt for narco subs

Tracking down the makeshift boats built in Colombia’s coastal jungles

“The vessel cut a low profile as it slipped through international waters, hundreds of miles off the coast of El Salvador in the eastern Pacific Ocean. It was mostly submerged, except for an exhaust pipe and a windowed cockpit that poked a few feet above water. Painted a dull blue-green, the 40-foot semi-submersible pressed on with a silent intent that belied its load…”

Brian Anderson | Motherboard

Read It Now (18 min)

Inside Amazon

The investigation that sparked a debate about Amazon’s ‘bruising’ workplace culture

“The rivalries at Amazon extend beyond behind-the-back comments. Employees say that the Bezos ideal, a meritocracy in which people and ideas compete and the best win, where co-workers challenge one another “even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting,” as the leadership principles note, has turned into a world of frequent combat.”

Jodi Kantor and David Streitfeld | The New York Times

Read It Now (25 min)

Aristotle’s Masterpiece

On a bestselling 17th Century sex manual

“The book that Cannon read so eagerly was neither by Aristotle nor usually considered a masterpiece. It is, however, one of the best-selling books ever produced in English on sex and making babies. First published in London in 1684, it went through hundreds of editions in England and America.”

Mary Fissell | The Public Domain Review

Read It Now (8 min)

Corn wars

The battle between China and the US to dominate the world’s food supply

“The men acknowledged that they were Chinese seed growers but claimed they were there to offer advice to the owner of the farm. When the FBI learned of the report—and recognized Mo’s name—they dispatched an agent from the Omaha field office to interview the farmer. He had never heard of the three men, much less sought their advice.”

Ted Genoways | The New Republic

Read It Now (29 min)