Journal 119 — the financial crisis, the man trying to fix the subways, the lawyer taking on Trump, Rupert Murdoch, and the life of Joanna of Naples

The Lehman Brothers building, New York, 2008

This week — the man trying to fix the subways, the lawyer taking on Trump, an analysis of Rupert Murdoch’s reign, and the life of Joanna of Naples.

If you only read one thing — The London Review of Books on the financial crisis is worth the time.


After the Fall | The London Review of Books | Society

John Lanchester analyses the impact of the financial crisis a decade on. A potent mix of fine writing, economic analysis, and a concern to place the narrative in a political and social context that helps the reader to make sense of what happened.

The Fast and Furious Michael Avenatti | The New York Times | Politics

A profile of Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, who is leading the charge in her lawsuit against Donald Trump on three fronts — in the court room, on social media and on the talk shows. As his client puts it — “every time I watch him work, I think, This is what it must have been like to see the Sistine Chapel being painted. But instead of paint, Michael uses the tears of his enemies.”

The endless reign of Rupert Murdoch | The Monthly | Business

A profile of Rupert Murdoch, fittingly epic in length given its subject’s lifetime spent “in the business of speaking power to truth”.

Can Andy Byford Save the Subways? | The New Yorker | Politics

A look at the work of the Plymouth Argyle supporting former London Underground station foreman who is charged with solving New York’s transport woes. The author tails him in meetings with staff, customers and officials and the resulting piece offers insight into tangled local politics, complex logistics, and the art of management.

Queens of Infamy: Joanna of Naples | Longreads | History

A new entry in a series that profiles “badass world-historical women of centuries past.” Joanna of Naples had an extraordinary life even by the standards of the 14th century’s topsy-turvy geopolitics. Escape from her castle by night, papal trials, attacks on her kingdom by her own relations and four husbands of varying quality all feature in this engaging portrait.


Thank you for reading the one hundred and nineteenth edition of Journal, a weekly circular of writing worth reading. We’d really appreciate you sharing Journal with people you think would like it.

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