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Atlantic Monthly

The Way of the Strangers

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My book The Way of the Strangers: Encounters with the Islamic State is out! Read an excerpt in The Atlantic here.

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Atlantic Monthly

What ISIS Really Wants

In The Atlantic.

With a follow-up here.

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Atlantic Monthly

How Gangs Took over Prisons

My latest, in the October Atlantic.

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Atlantic Monthly

The Future of College?

I wrote about Minerva University for the September Atlantic.

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Atlantic Monthly

Burmese Daze

Originally appeared in The Atlantic.

The Drug Elimination Museum, a brutalist eyesore about the size of Grand Central Station, occupies a weedy lot next to the state-television headquarters in Rangoon, Burma’s most important city. The building is silent and sepulchral, like a cavernous opium den whose patrons have set down their pipes and slipped into nap time. Since 2011, the military-allied government of Burma has softened restrictions on tourism, but hardly anyone seeks out this particular attraction. A mile and a half away is the golden spire of Shwedagon Pagoda, the foremost Buddhist monument in Burma and an architectural, aesthetic, and spiritual must-see. But for fans of irony and unintentional humor, this vast temple of propaganda should be a pilgrimage site in its own right.

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Atlantic Monthly

The Defector

I profiled Charles Robert Jenkins, a US soldier who defected to North Korea, in The Atlantic.

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Atlantic Monthly

The Atheist Who Strangled Me

I interviewed and profiled Sam Harris in The Atlantic.

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Atlantic Monthly

Hyperinflation Vacation

I traveled to hyperinflationary Iran for The Atlantic.