Take some time this weekend to delve a bit deeper and enjoy these long reads.
The plot to destroy America’s beer – Devin Leonard (Business Week)
Brian Rinfret likes imported beer from Germany. He sometimes buys Spaten. He enjoys an occasional Bitburger. When he was 25 years old, he discovered Beck’s, a pilsner brewed in the city of Bremen in accordance with the Reinheitsgebot, the German Purity Law of 1516. It said so right on the label. After that, Rinfret was hooked.
Rio: the fight for the favelas – Misha Glenny (FT Magazine)
At noon on July 27, when thunderstorms threatened to crack Rio’s warm and humid winter sky, a unit from Bope (the Battalion of Special Police Operations) stormed the favela of Quitanda Costa Barros in the north of the city. As the heavily armed officers moved with their hallmark stealth through the unpredictable alleys of the slum, they came under attack from gunmen hidden in the narrow stairwells and higgledy-piggledy rooftops.
Monopoly is theft – Christopher Ketcham (Harper’s)
The official history of Monopoly, as told by Hasbro, which owns the brand, states that the board game was invented in 1933 by an unemployed steam-radiator repairman and part-time dog walker from Philadelphia named Charles Darrow. Darrow had dreamed up what he described as a real estate trading game whose property names were taken from Atlantic City, the resort town where he’d summered as a child. Patented in 1935 by Darrow and the corporate game maker Parker Brothers, Monopoly sold just over 2 million copies in its first two years of production, making Darrow a rich man and likely saving Parker Brothers from bankruptcy. It would go on to become the world’s best-selling proprietary board game.
Inside the secret world of the data crunchers who helped Obama win – Michael Scherer (Time)
In late spring, the backroom number crunchers who powered Barack Obama’s campaign to victory noticed that George Clooney had an almost gravitational tug on West Coast females ages 40 to 49. The women were far and away the single demographic group most likely to hand over cash, for a chance to dine in Hollywood with Clooney — and Obama.
The secret history of guns – Adam Winkler (The Atlantic)
The Ku Klux Klan, Ronald Reagan, and, for most of its history, the NRA all worked to control guns. The Founding Fathers? They required gun ownership—and regulated it. And no group has more fiercely advocated the right to bear loaded weapons in public than the Black Panthers—the true pioneers of the modern pro-gun movement. In the battle over gun rights in America, both sides have distorted history and the law, and there’s no resolution in sight.