Weekend reads | 10 February
Here's my pick for this week of longer articles from all over the web. If you've got a Kindle or other eReader, consult the first in this series for how to send them straight from your browser to your device to enjoy later
Truth, lies and Afghanistan - Daniel Davis
On the lack of leadership and the artful concealment involved in the US military campaign in Afghanistan. This Armed Forces Journal essay takes you through what was published about the expedition, compared with what seems actually to have happened. Contains the assertion, particularly chilling from an experience soldier: "I witnessed the absence of success on virtually every level".
Room for everyone at the Hague - Eric Ellis
If you can get over the irritating horizontal format this article is presented in, it's well worth reading. We all agree that the International Criminal Court is A Good Thing, but what does it actually get up to? You may be surprised to read that for all the publicity it garners, it has never concluded a case.
Made to disorder - Jessa Crispin
Does therapy make mental illness worse? Fascinating exploration from The Smart Set of fads in mental ilnness, focusing particularly on multiple personality disorder. Encouraging thought - maybe you aren't crazy, but if you are, make sure you're the kind of crazy that's in fashion at the moment.
Human experiments: First, do harm - Matthew Walter
In the 1940s, the US ran a secret experiment in Guatemala on the control sexually transmitted diseases. This involved infecting people with venerial disease. Because of the lack of medical treatment, two or sometimes three generations of families suffered. This Nature piece, part investigation, part interview, explores how we reconcile harm with medical progress.
He wanted a boy - Deborah Friedell
From January 2011, Deborah Friedell's review of Condoleezza Rice's autobiography in the London Review of Books is an expert pen portrait of the former US secretary of state. We may know she's a spectacular pianist, but did you know her parents became Republicans in the fifties because her father was 'too dark' for the Democrats? Or that her grandfather got a college scholarship by pretending he wanted to be a Presbyterian minister?