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11 of Our Best Weekend Reads

So much great journalism, so little time. It’s a modern problem, but this is the weekend. Sit back, relax, get another cup of coffee and lose yourself in one, two or 11 great stories.‘The Lion King’ EffectPhotoCredit Brinkhoff MogenburOver 20 years, hundreds of South African performers have joined the musical in cities around the globe, The New York Times theater reporter Michael Paulson writes. Many play Rafiki, often learning to sing in languages not their own. Here are some of their stories, laced with hope, tragedy, homesickness and triumph. Arts & LeisureMother Knows BestPhotoCredit Eric YahnkerThe Vanity Fair columnist James Wolcott looks at two portraits of modern matriarchy, reviewing Ivana Trump’s new book “Raising Trump” and “The Kardashians: An American Dream” by Jerry Oppenheimer. Book ReviewThe UncountedPhotoCredit Giles Price for The New York TimesAn on-the-ground investigation reveals that the United States-led battle against ISIS — hailed as the most precise air campaign in history — is killing far more Iraqi civilians than the coalition has acknowledged. The New York Times MagazineContinue reading the main storyBattlefield New YorkPhotoCredit De Agostini Picture Library/Getty ImagesWith old maps in one hand and Google Maps in the other, the author Russell Shorto roams across the city’s five boroughs, searching for remnants of the American Revolution. TravelContinue reading the main story […]

Nonfiction: What Trump Can Learn From a Gold Star Family

Khan had had enough. A Pakistani-born and Harvard-trained lawyer, a Muslim, but, most important, a patriotic, naturalized American citizen, Khizr Khan revered the Constitution. He came to Philadelphia to teach Donald Trump a lesson […]

How Steve Bannon and Donald Trump Rode the Honey Badger Into the White House

Green reminds us that it wasn’t long ago that both men were looked at as political jokes, and not even bad ones. When Ivanka Trump told Rupert Murdoch over lunch that her father intended to run for president, the media baron replied, without even looking up from his soup: “He’s not running for president.”As for Bannon, when Green first met him in 2011 he came across as a “political grifter seeking to profit from the latest trend.” Later, as Bannon took the reins of the Trump campaign, he was seen by Beltway Republicans as “an Internet-era update of the Slim Pickens character in ‘Dr. Strangelove’ who rides the bomb like a rodeo bull, whoopin’ and hollerin’ all the way to nuclear annihilation.”But whatever the pair lacked in conventional political experience, they made up for with other gifts. Both understood showmanship: slogans, narrative, put-downs and especially conflict. They knew the value of rage and outrage alike — the first as fuel for a movement; the second as the indispensable foil for that movement.Continue reading the main storyThey also grasped that much that was supposed to matter in politics no longer did — detailed policy papers, for instance, or personal decorum. Trump, Green writes, “figured out that the norms forbidding such behavior were not inviolable rules that carried a harsh penalty but rather sentiments of a nobler, bygone era, gossamer-thin and needlessly adhered to by politicians who lacked his willingness to defy them.”That’s why Trump’s birtherism — the support he gave to the lie that Barack Obama was born abroad — never disqualified his candidacy, even as it helped him “forge a powerful connection with party activists.” It’s a tactic he would repeat straight through the end of the campaign, when he took to denouncing “international banks” in terms that shaded into anti-Semitism.“Darkness is good,” was Bannon’s advice for dealing with criticism from groups such as the Anti-Defamation League. “Don’t let up.” At another moment, when the campaign feared House Speaker Paul Ryan would try to steal the G.O.P […]

Washington Memo: Trump as a Novel: An Implausible ‘Soap Opera Without the Sex and Fun’

“It’s early. We’re getting introduced to the characters,” said John Dean, the White House counsel and Watergate supporting player during the Nixon administration, who has become a frequent author in the decades since. “We’re not quite sure how this story is going to unfold, as comedy or tragedy.”He does have a guess. He pleaded guilty to a felony once.At present, though, the elements for either genre are slotting into place — an Allen Drury novel crossed with Shakespeare, with final touches entrusted to producers for the E! network.Foreign intrigue. Strained alliances at the Capitol. A blundering son […]

Whimsical Urban Debris as Art in Detroit

NYT

Read the original here: Whimsical Urban Debris as Art in Detroit

An Addict, a Confessed Killer and Now a Debut Author

The novelist Nickolas Butler said he was hesitant to endorse the book, given the gravity of Mr. Dawkins’s crime. He ultimately gave it a glowing blurb, calling the stories “authentic and rare” after learning of Mr. Dawkins’s remorse. “I wanted to know what happened and where he is with that now, because obviously there was a family that was shattered by his actions,” he said.Photo“The Graybar Hotel,” written by Curtis Dawkins.Credit Sonny Figueroa/The New York TimesPerhaps unsurprisingly, some of members of that family have serious misgivings. Kenneth Bowman, the victim’s younger brother, said he wished that Mr. Dawkins, now 49, had received the death penalty. “I don’t think he should have the right to publish anything,” said Mr. Bowman, a contractor in Phoenix. “He should be doing nothing in that prison but going through hell for the rest of his life.”Readers may have their own qualms and questions […]

Op-Ed Contributor: U.S. Veterans Use Greek Tragedy to Tell Us About War

NYT

Go here to see the original: Op-Ed Contributor: U.S. Veterans Use Greek Tragedy to Tell Us About War