The New Yorker Is Temporarily Making All Of Its Archives Free - Here Are 8 Stories You Should Definitely Read
The New Yorker
Part of that initiative is the magazine's decision to open up its archives to the general public for the rest of the summer. Until the website puts up its metered paywall sometime in the fall, the New Yorker editors will be releasing curated collections of stories periodically.
We pulled out a selection of our favorite stories from the archives that you should definitely check out while they're free.
German-American political theorist Hannah Arendt examined nothing short of the nature of evil in her 1961 reporting on the trial of Nazi SS officer Adolf Eichmann. In her dispatches -which many have called a "masterpiece"- Arendt coined the phrase "the banality of evil" to describe Eichmann, who she contended was not a "monster" but "terribly and terrifyingly normal." While some have since criticized her conclusions about Eichmann, her work still forms the basis for much of our understanding of the Nazi apparatus.
From the first dispatch:
Half a dozen psychiatrists had certified Eichmann as "normal." "More normal at any rate, than I am after having examined him," one of them was said to have exclaimed, while another had found that Eichmann's whole psychological outlook, including his relationship with his wife and children, his mother and father, his brothers and sisters and friends, was "not only normal, but most desirable … Behind the comedy of the soul, experts lay the hard fact that Eichmann's was obviously no case of moral insanity.
A hundred thousand people were killed by the atomic bomb and these six were among the survivors. They still wonder why they lived when so many others died. Each of them counts many small items of chance or volition - a step taken in time, a decision to go indoors, catching one streetcar instead of the next - that spared him. And now each knows that in the act of survival, he lived a dozen lives and saw more death than he ever thought he would see. At the time, none of them knew anything.
Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has one species - man - acquired significant power to alter the nature of the world.
As the international furor grew, senior military officers, and President Bush, insisted that the actions of a few did not reflect the conduct of the military as a whole. Taguba's report, however, amounts to an unsparing study of collective wrongdoing and the failure of Army leadership at the highest levels. The picture he draws of Abu Ghraib is one in which Army regulations and the Geneva conventions were routinely violated, and in which much of the day-to-day management of the prisoners was abdicated to Army military-intelligence units and civilian contract employees. Interrogating prisoners and getting intelligence, including by intimidation and torture, was the priority.
AP Photo/Jean-Marc Bouju
From the first dispatch:
As I travelled around the country, collecting accounts of the killing, it almost seemed as if, with the machete, the nail-studded club, a few well-placed grenades, and a few bursts of automatic-rifle fire, the quiet orders of Hutu Power had made the neutron bomb obsolete. Then I came across a man in a market butchering a cow with a machete, and I saw that it was hard work. His big, precise strokes made a sharp hacking noise, and it took many hacks-two, three, four, five hard hacks-to chop through the cow's leg. How many hacks to dismember a person?
Ali still walked well. He was still powerful in the arms and across the chest; it was obvious, just from shaking his hand, that he still possessed a knockout punch. For him, the special torture was speech and expression, as if the disease had intentionally struck first at what had once please him -and had pleased (or annoyed) the world - most. He hated the effort that speech now cost him.
At first, some intelligence experts were uneasy about drone attacks. In 2002, Jeffrey Smith, a former C.I.A. general counsel, told Seymour M. Hersh, for an article in this magazine, "If they're dead, they're not talking to you, and you create more martyrs." And, in an interview with the Washington Post, Smith said that ongoing drone attacks could "suggest that it's acceptable behavior to assassinate people. . . . Assassination as a norm of international conduct exposes American leaders and Americans overseas."
Seven years later, there is no longer any doubt that targeted killing has become official U.S. policy. "The things we were complaining about from Israel a few years ago we now embrace," Solis says. Now, he notes, nobody in the government calls it assassination.
The voice went on, as though speaking to hear itself, an effect Brando's speech often has, for, like many persons who are intensely self-absorbed, he is something of a monologuist-a fact that he recognizes and for which he offers his own explanation. "People around me never say anything," he says. "They just seem to want to hear what I have to say. That's why I do all the talking."
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