The Terrazzo Jungle →
by Malcolm Gladwell Fifty years ago, the mall was born, and America changed forever.
The American Male at Age Ten →
By Susan Orlean If Colin Duffy and I were to get married, we would have matching superhero notebooks. We would sleep in our clothes. We would both be good at Nintendo Street Fighter II, but Colin would be better than me. We would eat pizza and candy for all of our meals. We wouldn’t have sex, but we would have crushes on each other and, magically, babies would appear in our home.
Your Favourite Reads →
The 10 Most Poplular Articles from Tetw Over the last year The Electric Typewriter has posted links to around 400 outstanding articles and essays. These are the 10 Tumblr’s users showed the most love by liking and reblogging: How Not to Talk to Your Kids by Po Bronson - The dangers of praise — how telling kids they are great can mess them up. On Keeping a Notebook by Joan Didion -...
The Ones You Missed →
10 Seminal Articles that Everyone Ignored Over the last year The Electric Typewriter has posted links to around 400 outstanding articles and essays. These are 10 that got little love, but you should really take the time to read. Don’t sleep: Phoning It In by Stanley Bing - A full rounded philosophy of modern living. Looking for a credo? Look no further. Violence of the Lambs by John...
It's Our Birthday →
Tetw is one year old today. The Electric Typewriter, bringing you the best in magazine-length non-fiction since February 2011. Stay tuned for more of the same…
Japanese Roots →
by Jared Diamond Among world powers today, the Japanese are the most distinctive in their culture and environment. Japan’s rising dominance and touchy relations with its neighbors make it more important than ever to strip away myths and unearth the origins of the Japanese.
What if It's All Been a Big Fat Lie? →
By Gary Taubes The American medical establishment spent 30 years ridiculing Robert Atkins, author of the best-selling ”Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution,” accusing the Manhattan doctor of quackery and fraud, only to discover that the unrepentant Atkins was right all along.
Maximum Speed! →
by Joshua Foer Over in Germany, water sliding is serious sport. Hiking up their Speedos, athletes of all shapes have learned how to top 50 miles per hour with only the occasional bloody nose and forehead stitches. This I had to try.
By Ariel Levy Caster Semenya does not look like most female athletes. She became accustomed to visiting the bathroom with a member of a competing team so that they could look at her private parts and then get on with the race. “They are doubting me,” she would explain to her coaches, as she headed off the field toward the lavatory.
Disorders Made to Order →
by Brendan I. Koerner Pharmaceutical companies have come up with a new strategy to market their drugs: First go out and find a new mental illness, then push the pills to cure it.
The Oil We Eat →
By Richard Manning The journalist’s rule says: follow the money. This rule, however, is not really axiomatic but derivative, in that money is really a way of tracking energy. We’ll follow the energy.
The Wisdom of Saint Marshall →
By Gary Wolf By the time of his death, Marshall McLuhan had been dismissed by respectable academics. But in light of the digital revolution, McLuhan’s relevance is being recognised again.
Nostalgia on Repeat →
by Chuck Klosterman Why do we feel nostalgia? And are infinite entertainment choices changing the way we look back?
The Origin of Aids →
by Tom Curtis In one of the greatest triumphs of twentieth-century medicine, but there was a shadow over the conquest of polio. The vaccines administered to many millions of people around the world may have been inadvertently contaminated.
More Recommended Reading →
from Front of Book Another selection of top-quality essays from writer, reviewer, blogger and lit-spotter Kate Silver, a.k.a. Front of Book: My Bird Problem by Jonathan Franzen Now That Books Mean Nothing by Nell Boeschenstein The Lynching of Claude Neal by Ben Montgomery The Syncher, Not the Song by Douglas Wolk Writer’s Writer and Writer’s Writer’s Writer by Julian Barnes For more tips...
The Weasel, Twelve Monkeys and The Shrub →
by David Foster Wallace Bullshit 1 and Bullshit 2, names conceived as usual by the extremely cool and laid-back NBC News cameraman Jim C. and—to their credit—immediately seized on and used with great glee at every opportunity by McCain’s younger Press Liaisons, who are themselves so cool and unpretentious it’s tempting to suspect that they are professionally cool and unpretentious.
Wall Street's Bailout Hustle →
By Matt Taibbi Goldman Sachs and other big banks aren’t just pocketing the trillions we gave them to rescue the economy — they’re re-creating the conditions for another crash.
Articles that Inspired Films →
A Tetw reading list Four Good Legs Between Us by Laura Hillenbrand - Seabiscuit The Man Who Knew Too Much by Marie Brenner - The Insider Death of an Innocent by Jon Krakauer - Into the Wild The Muse of Coyote Ugly Saloon by Elizabeth Gilbert - Coyote Ugly Racer X by Kenneth Li Rafael - The Fast and the Furious The Return of Superfly by Mark Jacobson - American Gangster Life’s Swell by...
The Naked Face →
by Malcolm Gladwell Face-reading depends not just on seeing facial expressions but also on taking them seriously.
The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved →
by Hunter S. Thompson I got off the plane around midnight and no one spoke as I crossed the dark runway to the terminal. The air was thick and hot, like wandering into a steam bath. Inside, people hugged each other and shook hands…big grins and a whoop here and there: “By God! You old bastard! Good to see you, boy! Damn good…and I mean it!”
Violence of the Lambs →
by John Jeremiah Sullivan The greatest threat to civilization in the next half century is not nuclear arms or global warming or a super-resistant virus that will wipe us out by the millions. John Jeremiah Sullivan contemplates the coming battle between man and beast.
A Fleet of One →
By John McPhee While Ainsworth was outside fuelling the truck, I sat inside in my freedom hat saying “Biscuits and gravy” to a waitress. She went “Oooooo wheeeee” and I thought my cover wasn’t working, but a trucker passing her had slipped his hand between the cheeks of her buttocks, and she did not stop writing.
On Morality →
by Joan Didion I cannot seem to make the air conditioner work, but there is a small refrigerator, and I can wrap ice cubes in a towel and hold them against the small of my back. With the help of the ice cubes I have been trying to think, because The American Scholar asked me to, in some abstract way about “morality,” a word I distrust more every day, but my mind veers inflexibly toward the...
The Peekaboo Paradox →
By Gene Weingarten There are dozens of professional children’s entertainers in the Washington area, but only one is as successful and intriguing, and as completely over-the-top preposterous, as the Great Zucchini. And if you want to know why that is, it’s going to take some time…
To College, or Not To College? →
What higher education is really about… ***Update: Another article that definitely belongs on this list: College for $99 a Month by Kevin Carey - How online education could be great for students - and catastrophic for universities.*** The University Has No Clothes by Daniel B. Smith - A critical review of the spate of prominent attacks aimed at college education. Learning by Degress by Rebecca...
The Case Against Babies →
by Joy Williams Babies, babies, babies. There’s a plague of babies. Too many rabbits or elephants or mustangs or swans brings out the myxomatosis, the culling guns, the sterility drugs, the scientific brigade of egg smashers. Other species can ‘strain their environments’ or ‘overrun their range’ or clash with their human ‘neighbours’, but human babies...
If You Knew Sushi →
By Nick Tosches In the end, it’s one of those choices we have to make in life: icefish and tuna sinew or that new TV for the next season of American Idol.
How I Stopped Multitasking →
by A.J. Jacobs One man’s quest to go from manic multitasker to Zen unitasker in one month flat.
City of Fear →
By William Langewiesche For seven days last May the city of São Paulo, Brazil, teetered on the edge of a feral zone where governments and countries lose their meaning. That zone is a wilderness inhabited already by large populations worldwide, but officially denied and rarely described.
Jonathan Lebed's Extracurricular Activities →
By Michael Lewis On Sept. 20, 2000, the SEC settled its case against a 15-year-old high-school student named Jonathan Lebed, the first minor ever to face proceedings for stock-market fraud.
Or Are You Just Pleased to See Me? →
by Evan Hughes Her first move, it must be said, was devastating. Straddling my legs with her knees on my chair, she flicked her long blonde hair over the top of my head so that the two of us were now in a sort of dark, warm tent, eye to eye.
The Coming Anarchy →
By Robert D. Kaplan How scarcity, crime, overpopulation, tribalism, and disease are rapidly destroying the social fabric of our planet.
The Height Gap →
by Burkhard Bilger Why Europeans are getting taller and taller - and Americans aren’t.
The Radioactive Boy Scout →
By Ken Silverstein …the truth is far more bizarre: the Golf Manor Superfund cleanup was provoked by the boy next door, David Hahn, who attempted to build a nuclear breeder reactor in his mother’s potting shed as part of a Boy Scout merit-badge project.
The Atlantic's Ideas Tour →
A Tetw reading list In 2007 The Atlantic celebrated 150 years in circulation by putting together a collection of outstanding articles from its archives. Timely as ever, here is a selection of our favourite pieces: No Apparent Motive by P. J. O’Rourke Master of political polemic, O’Rourke looks at the sickness that drives people into politics. Building Wealth by Lester C. Thurow A...
Zion's Vital Signs →
by P. J. O’Rourke A journey through modern Israel, where terrorism has been a fact of ordinary life for decades and where ordinary life defeats terrorism.
They Know What Boy's Want →
By Alex Morris It’s 1:32 a.m., and I’m on my computer, clicking through pictures of a young girl named Cristal. There she is lounging on a bed in short shorts, her knees drawn up to show the undersides of her thighs, her hot-pink bra peeking out from behind a low-cut tank top….
Beautiful Brains →
by David Dobbs Moody. Impulsive. Maddening. Why do teenagers act the way they do? Viewed through the eyes of evolution, their most exasperating traits may be the key to success as adults.
Space Stasis →
By Neal Stephenson There is no way to guess how rockets might have developed, or failed to, were it not for the fact that, during the 1940s, the world’s most technically sophisticated nation was under the absolute control of a crazy dictator who decreed that vast physical and intellectual resources should be hurled into the project of creating rockets of hitherto unimagined size.
How to Operate a Shower Curtain →
by Ian Frazier Dear Guest: The shower curtain in this bathroom has been purchased with care at a reputable “big box” store in order to provide maximum convenience in showering. After you have read these instructions, you will find with a little practice that our shower curtain is as easy to use as the one you have at home.
Triumph Of The Swoosh →
By Donald Katz With impressive speed Nike has come to signify status, glamour, competitive edge and the myriad intricacies of cool. Especially for the young, Nike shoes conjure up a yearning and fascination that for much of the century has been inspired by cars.
Different Kinds of People →
by Lindy West Am I making this up? I feel like every time someone uses the word “hobo” to mean “homeless person,” somebody else has to climb up on their high horse and don their semantics cap and start getting highfalutin all over town about how “a hobo is someone who rides the rails in the Great Depression…”
Haggling for Hot Dogs →
By Tom Chiarella Buying a hot dog is an essential, unquestionable transaction, the lowest common denominator of American commerce. That’s why I wanted a deal.
The Sanguine Sex →
by Caitlin Flanagan Women will always have emotional needs that they can fill through sex, and men will always use those needs to their advantage. But men will never bear the brunt of sexuality.
Being James Brown →
By Jonathan Lethem When James Brown enters the recording studio, the recording studio becomes a stage. It is not merely that attention quickens in any room this human being inhabits. The phenomenon is more akin to a kind of grade-school physics experiment: Lines of force are suddenly visible in the air, rearranged, oriented. The band, the hangers-on, the very oxygen, every trace particle is...
More Great Reads from... →
Another collection of excellent reading recommendations from our friends over at the American Scholar: A Jew in the Northwest by William Deresiewicz The author muses on Jewishness, his forebears, and the East Coast/West Coast culture clash Stuttgart: Continental Drifter by Olufemi Terry A West African émigré reports on Stuttgart 21, a controversial project that was marred with with heavy...
A Brief History of the Corporation →
by Venkat Rao It is a sort of grim privilege for the generations living today to watch the slow demise of such a spectacularly effective intellectual construct. The Age of Corporations is coming to an end. The traditional corporation won’t vanish, but it will cease to be the center of gravity of economic life in another generation or two. They will live on as religion does today, as weakened...
The Roots of Muslim Rage →
By Bernard Lewis (From 1990) Nowhere in the Muslim world, in the Middle East or elsewhere, has American policy suffered disasters or encountered problems comparable to those in Southeast Asia or Central America. There is no Cuba, no Vietnam, in the Muslim world, and no place where American forces are involved as combatants or even as “advisers.” But there is a Libya, an Iran, and a Lebanon,...
The Movie Set That Ate Itself →
by Michael Idov Five years ago, a relatively unknown director began one of the wildest experiments in film history. Armed with total creative control, he invaded a Ukrainian city, marshalled a cast of thousands and thousands, and constructed a totalitarian society in which the cameras are always rolling and the actors never go home.
Generation Why? →
By Zadie Smith How long is a generation these days? I must be in Mark Zuckerberg’s generation - there are only nine years between us - but somehow it doesn’t feel that way. This despite the fact that I can say (like everyone else on Harvard’s campus in the fall of 2003) that “I was there” at Facebook’s inception.