An archive profile of Lyndon B. Johnson, US President between 1963 and 1969, a period that included both the passing of the Civil Rights Act, and much of The Vietnam War. The piece reflects on a change in the relationship between Americans and their President in times of crisis that was seen in Johnson’s time in office. He writes of Johnson’s predecessor – “to the day of his death Kennedy could have commanded the virtually unanimous support—even fealty—of the nation in a foreign crisis, a summit setback, a missile confrontation. In the jargon of the time, “bipartisanship” would have seen to it that the people “rallied around the President” while “politics stopped at the water’s edge.” In crisis, people would have trusted—even expected—him not only to do the right thing, but to know the right thing.”
Devin Nunes is amongst President Trump’s most enthusiastic cheerleaders in Congress, so his family running a large scale dairy in Iowa employing undocumented workers would be politically inconvenient. The investigative aspect of the story is gripping – featuring uncomfortable interactions with Nunes family members, chance meetings in the local cafe, sit downs with the mayor and the priest, and being followed around town by mysterious white SUVs. Of even greater value perhaps are the nuanced portraits of Iowans carefully balancing politics, faith, immigration, the global economy, personal finances, and human relationships.
A profile of George Osborne and his renewed lease of political life as editor of the Evening Standard. The piece contains insider comment including a memorable line they report the former chancellor throwing out about Theresa May – that he won’t stop until she is “is chopped up in bags in my freezer”.
This is the sort of business profile usually reserved for tech unicorns. It turns out that this billion pound company, built by selling a vast volume of cheap pints (and coffees, and curries, and breakfasts), shares many similarities with Silicon Valley disruptors. It starts with a maverick founder and a relentless culture of innovation and competition, leads to the criticism that inevitably comes with scale, and ends up with the mixing of business and politics.