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The Ten Best Reads of 2014

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A lot of things changed in 2014. Assumptions about privacy were upended, as were America's perception of itself. These ten curated articles will help you make better sense of the world.

They were selected by the following criteria:
They are interesting.
They explain the business, political and social world we live in.
They provide historical context to the modern world.

Published in: News & Politics
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The Ten Best Reads of 2014

  1. 1. 2014 THE TEN BEST READS OF
  2. 2. WHY SPEND THE TIME IDENTIFYING THE BEST 10 ARTICLES OF THE YEAR?
  3. 3. WHY NOT?
  4. 4. ARTICLES WERE CHOSEN FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS
  5. 5. 1. INTERESTING
  6. 6. 2. ANALYZE A CURRENT TOPIC* *CURRENT TOPIC
  7. 7. 3. PROVIDE HISTORICAL CONTEXT* *HISTORICAL CONTEXT
  8. 8. 10bestreadsof2014 the WWW.ERICGARDNER.NET REMBERT BROWNE - GRANTLAND The Front Lines Of Ferguson At that moment, I didn’t feel like a journalist. There was nothing about this event that I felt the need to chronicle. There was no time to find out what the bombs actually were and what was actually coming out of the guns and what type of gas was coming out of the canisters. In this moment, there was nothing I felt the need to broadcast to the world. I didn’t even have the desire to communicate my safety or lack thereof. I was just a black man in Ferguson. ❞ 2014 CIVIL PROTEST US RACE RELATIONS RELEVANCE A COMPELLING AND PERSONAL NARRATIVE ABOUT FERGUSON 10
  9. 9. 10bestreadsof2014 the WWW.ERICGARDNER.NET SAM BORDEN – NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE How Jurgen Klinsmann Plans to Make U.S. Soccer Better (and Less American) ❞ Strictly speaking, when Klinsmann signed a contract with U.S. Soccer in 2011, he became the first foreigner to coach the Americans in 16 years. From the beginning, though, everyone knew this hire was different. Klinsmann was not Bora Milutinovic, the last non-American to hold the job. Milutinovic was a mercenary, his coaching résumé basically a map of the world. Klinsmann is an immigrant, a hybrid whose job is to do well in Brazil, to be sure, but also to bring an enduring European approach to the way soccer is played in America. RELEVANCE CHANGE MANAGEMENT INTERNATIONAL SOCCER A WORLD CUP PREVIEW + PRIMER FOR REFORMING AN OLD ORGANIZATION 9
  10. 10. 10bestreadsof2014 the WWW.ERICGARDNER.NET MATT TAIBBI – ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE The 9 Billion Dollar Witness ❞ After that meeting, Fleischmann testified, she approached a managing director named Greg Boester and pleaded with him to reconsider. She says she told Boester that the bank could not sell the high-risk loans as low-risk securities without committing fraud. "You can't securitize these loans without special disclosure about what's wrong with them," Fleischmann told him, "and if you make that disclosure, no one will buy them." RELEVANCE GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS GOVERNMENT CORRUPTION JP MORGAN PAID $9 BILLION TO KEEP HER QUIET. FIND OUT WHY. 8
  11. 11. 10bestreadsof2014 the WWW.ERICGARDNER.NET GEORGE PACKER – THE NEW YORKER The Quiet German RELEVANCE ❞ Among German leaders, Merkel is a triple anomaly: a woman (divorced, remarried, no children), a scientist (quantum chemistry), and an Ossi (a product of East Germany). These qualities, though making her an outsider in German politics, also helped to propel her extraordinary rise. Yet some observers, attempting to explain her success, look everywhere but to Merkel herself. THE POWER OF PRAGNATISM A RE-EMERGED GERMANY HOW AN UNASSUMING EAST GERMAN PHYSICIST BECAME THE MOST POWERFUL PERSON IN EUROPE 7 GEORGE PACKER – THE NEW YORKER
  12. 12. 10bestreadsof2014 the WWW.ERICGARDNER.NET ALEX PASTERNACK - VICE The Woman Who Captured Snowden ❞ Poitras, who was already more than a year into her surveillance documentary, pushed back. "I said that 'really, it's important for you to articulate your motivations and for me to understand your motivation. It's important because people are going to speculate.'" Snowden, she added, "had taken every risk there was to be taken." A video camera "added risk, but added risk to what? He risked pretty much everything. So I made an argument of why it would be of importance to have a record. It's not every day that somebody risks so much." RELEVANCE STORY TELLING IN THE MODEN AGE PRIVACY AND EDWARD SNOWDEN THE WOMAN EDWARD SNOWDEN TRUSTED TO TELL HIS STORY 6
  13. 13. 10bestreadsof2014 the WWW.ERICGARDNER.NET DAVID GRAEBER AND THOMAS PIKETTY – THE BAFFLER Soak the Rich ❞ Is it possible to fight tax evasion? Yes, if you want to, you can. When modern governments really want their decisions to be respected, they succeed in getting them respected. When Western governments want to send a million soldiers to Kuwait to prevent Kuwaiti oil from being seized by Iraq, they do it. Let’s be serious: If they are not afraid of an Iraq, they have no reason to fear the Bahamas or New Jersey. Levying progressive taxes on wealth and capital poses no technical problems. It is a matter of political will. RELEVANCE ROLE OF THEORY IN POLICY ECONOMIC INEQUALITY TWO EXPERTS DISCUSS THE YEAR’S MOST IMPORTANT TOPIC 5
  14. 14. 10bestreadsof2014 the WWW.ERICGARDNER.NET Svetlana V. - MEDIUM Sex is Sex. Money is Money. ❞ Clients knew me as Angelina or Anna…Angelina cost $800 an hour, $4,000 for the night; Anna ran $900 and $5,000. According to rankings in The Erotic Review (TER), the Yelp of the commercial sex world, each rated in the top 1 percent of all escorts. But there are lots of young, pretty girls in my business. What got me to the top — and what kept me there — was my work ethic and attention to detail. I was successful because I learned some hard, valuable lessons about making it in the sex- for-money business. RELEVANCE THE BLACK MARKET ECONOMY CAPITALISM IN PRACTICE A CASE STUDY ON THE WORLD’S OLDEST PROFESSION 4
  15. 15. 10bestreadsof2014 the WWW.ERICGARDNER.NET FRANK RICH – NEW YORK MAGAZINE In Conversation: Chris Rock ❞ Lost in Translation is a black movie: That’s what it feels like to be black and rich. Not in the sense that people are being mean to you. Bill Murray’s in Tokyo, and it’s just weird. He seems kind of isolated…But the thing is, we treat racism in this country like it’s a style that America went through. Like flared legs and lava lamps. Oh, that crazy thing we did. We were hanging black people. We treat it like a fad instead of a disease that eradicates millions of people. RELEVANCE RACE/POWER IN 2014 THE BUSINESS OF ENTERTAINMENT A MODERN PHILOSOPHER TALKS SOCIETY 3
  16. 16. 10bestreadsof2014 the WWW.ERICGARDNER.NET JENNIFER GONNERMAN – THE NEW YORKER Before the Law ❞ Browder could not believe what was happening. His battle to prove his innocence had ended. No trial, no jury, no verdict. An assistant district attorney filed a memo with the court explaining that Bautista, the man who had accused Browder, had gone back to Mexico…Browder had to spend one more night on Rikers... By now, he had missed his junior year of high school, his senior year, graduation, the prom. He was no longer a teen-ager; four days earlier, he had turned twenty. RELEVANCE INCOME INEQUALITY CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM 3 YEARS IN PRISON W/O BEING CONVICTED OF A CRIME 2
  17. 17. 10bestreadsof2014 the WWW.ERICGARDNER.NET ESTHER KAPLAN – VQR ONLINE Losing Sparta ❞ For something so vital to the future of the US economy, there’s disturbingly little data collected about plant closings and offshoring, let alone analysis of what goes into these decisions. Corporate annual reports and SEC filings are silent about the logic behind closings. Philips’s 2010 SEC filings, for example, reveal nothing.., beyond a brief reference to “initiatives to structurally reduce our overall cost structure” and “transferring technologies to low-​cost countries.” RELEVANCE DECLINE OF THE AMERICAN MIDDLE CLASS GLOBALIZATION THE MOST EFFICIENT FACTORY IN AMERICA WAS SHUT DOWN. BUT WHY? 1
  18. 18. FOR THE FULL 27 VISIT www.ericgardner.net @edubcb
  19. 19. IMAGE CREDITS Introduction. Spyros Papaspyropoulos – “Magazine Stand” 1. Stefan Ray - “Abandoned factory in Lurgan” 2. Thomas Hawk – “Prison Bound” 3. Derek Key – “Mic Stand” 4. Tom Coates – “This is not a brothel..” 5. F Delventhal - “The Brea Line Sculpture” 6. Kris Krüg – “Laura Poitras – PopTeh 2010” 7. European Council – “Angela Merkel” 8. Allison Harger – “Untitled” 9. George – “#WordCup” 10. Joe Newman – “#DCFerguson”

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