Best of Salon: 2005

A photo gallery of Iraq's unseen war, a journey through the "ex-gay" Christian ministries, and Scientology's war on psychiatry.


Salon Staff
November 14, 2005 3:00PM (UTC)

In honor of our 10th anniversary this month, Salon is scouring our archives for the best stories we've published. Every day for the next 10 days, we will be highlighting one year's worth of memorable pieces. We hope you enjoy them. And use our automated-letters feature at the bottom of this story to tell us what you think we missed.

"The Best of Youth"
This six-hour, two-part movie about an Italian family spans 30 years, and stays with you for a long, long time.
By Stephanie Zacharek

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The scandal sheet
Print it out, send it to Harry Reid, or just read it and weep. Here are 34 scandals from the first four years of George W. Bush's presidency -- every one of them worse than Whitewater.
By Peter Dizikes

Letting my brother die
Like Terri Schiavo, Phil was never going to recover. Removing his feeding tube was a devastating decision. But at least my family got to make it privately.
By Lori Leibovich

Why cant I mourn the pope
Dying of cancer, my mother was driven away from the church she loved by its doctrinal rigidity. That I can't forgive.
By Joan Walsh

Scientologys war on psychiatry
The controversial church, whose founder called shrinks "terrorists" and which labels mental illness a fraud, is closer than you think to implanting its extreme beliefs in the nation's laws and schools.
By Katharine Mieszkowski

The press vs. Scientology
After years of conflict, the church and the media seem to have reached a truce. Is it because Scientology has become less confrontational -- or because the press is scared?
By Joe Strupp

Life of the party
Brian Schweitzer, the blue governor of the red state of Montana, may just have the answer to the Democrats' woes.
By Tim Grieve

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A fine romance
I'd never had so much pleasure with another human being," Anne Bancroft said of her husband, Mel Brooks. "It was that simple." We should all be so lucky.
By Rebecca Traister

I like to watch
Warning: It's "Deadwood"-speak week, whores and whoremongers! Those with fragile sensibilities should follow their fancy elsewhere!
By Heather Havrilesky

Sticker shock over shell shock
The U.S. government is reviewing 72,000 cases in which veterans have been diagnosed with severe post-traumatic stress disorder, claiming that misdiagnosis and fraud have inflated the numbers. Outraged vets say the plan is a callous attempt to cut the costs of an increasingly expensive war.
By Mark Benjamin

My date with Mr. eHarmony
Neil Clark Warren is the Christian evangelical who runs Internet dating titan eHarmony. I'm a pagan feminist who's leery of the religious right. Would sparks fly?
By Rebecca Traister

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Where no TV show has gone before
With its hot, androgynous heroine leading the remnants of humanity against evil, God-fearing robots, "Battlestar Galactica" is boldly re-creating sci-fi TV.
By Laura Miller

Attack of the listless lads
Passionless and confused, they swim torpidly about in the dating pool, driving me and my single girlfriends to despair. I asked Benjamin Kunkel, author of the hit novel "Indecision," to explain to me what's wrong with young American men.
By Rebecca Traister

Verily, I sell unto you
Increasing numbers of evangelical business owners are hanging out their shingles with the word "Christian" prominently displayed. Are they bringing godliness to Main Street -- or making hay on holiness?
By Lynn Harris

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Iraq: The unseen war
The grim reality of Iraq rarely appears in the American press. This photo gallery reveals the war's horrible human toll.
By Gary Kamiya

Christopher Hitchens last battle
The British hawk gives 10 reasons why Americans should be proud of the Iraq war. He goes 0 for 10.
By Juan Cole

The victim and the killer
Yasser Salihee was an Iraqi journalist. Joe was an American sniper. On June 24, 2005, fate brought them together on a Baghdad street.
By Phillip Robertson

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The death of Al Mutanabbi Street
Iraqi culture was reborn when Saddam fell, only to die again. A report from Baghdad's fear-haunted literary cafes.
By Phillip Robertson

The next Web revolution
The Web celebrates its 10th anniversary and it's still a pain to use -- clunky, slow and unresponsive. But thanks to creative small companies like Chicago's 37 Signals, the Web is finally becoming as fun and flexible as your favorite software.
By Farhad Manjoo

Turning off gays, Part I of IV
A loose network of Christian ministries and social workers, with the blessing of the political right, are putting gays and lesbians on the couch, determined to "cure" them.
By Mark Benjamin

My gay therapy session, Part II of IV
Men who have been through "ex-gay" Christian ministries share their stories. While some insist they have overcome homosexuality, others say they were driven to attempt suicide.
By Mark Benjamin

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Getting straight with God, Part III of IV
The Rev. J. Grace Harley used to be a lesbian who posed as a man to marry a woman. Now she has overcome cocaine and "little hot-to-trot women" and is speaking out to save homosexual sinners.
By Mark Benjamin

True confessions, Part IV
Men who have been through "ex-gay" Christian ministries share their stories. While some insist they have overcome homosexuality, others say they were driven to attempt suicide.
By Mark Benjamin

The FCCs cable crackdown
The indecency war is ready to heat up -- and Tony Soprano, Jon Stewart and the "South Park" kids better watch their mouths.
By Michael Scherer

An Alan Ball postmortem
The "Six Feet Under" creator on the show's death, and on asking tough questions in an era of simple answers.
By Heather Havrilesky

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Finding Fargo
For years, I fought fiercely for my autistic son. When he came back, I was still driven and relentless. Now, celebrating his 17th birthday in this strange city, I must learn from him the art of softness, and forgiveness.
By Ann Bauer

A lost house, a lost life
A blogger's words took me back to that rainy day when everything began to fall apart.
By Ann Bauer

A city in ruins
Fear and violence lurk in New Orleans, where Geraldo Rivera mugs for the camera, transvestites bicycle down Toulouse Street, and rescue workers and reporters still wonder why so many people were left behind to die.
By Stephen Elliot

Flushing out the ugly truth
The horror in New Orleans has exposed the nation's dirty secrets of race and poverty. Americans are ready to help. Will our leaders show the way?
By Joan Walsh

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Toxic gumbo
The EPA is failing to protect the Gulf Coast's homebound citizens from Katrina's poisons.
By Mark Benjamin and Katharine Mieszkowski

Just like a woman
Thousands of men are shelling out $6,500 for hyper-realistic dolls that answer all their needs -- and don't talk back.
By Meghan Laslocky

Fall of the Rovean empire
Drunk on power, the Republican oligarchs overreached. Now their entire project could be doomed.
By Sidney Blumenthal

The road to hell
In the definitive book about the Iraq war, liberal hawk George Packer tells the whole story of America's worst foreign-policy debacle -- and reveals how good intentions can go terribly wrong.
By Gary Kamiya

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Free American broadband!
In France, you can get super-fast DSL, unlimited phone service and 100 TV channels for a mere $38 a month. Why does the same thing cost so much more in the U.S.?
By S. Derek Turner

Judy Miller and the damage done
The long-awaited New York Times report uncovered an internal mess that's "bigger than Jayson Blair." And it looks even worse for Scooter Libby.
By Farhad Manjoo

A Scalia by any other name
Conservatives have their man in Samuel Alito. Liberals have their worst fears realized. The battle over the Supreme Court nominee is about to get ugly.
By Michael Scherer

The long goodbye
In her extraordinary memoir, Joan Didion grieves for her family and connects with her past -- and us.
By Andrew OHehir

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Archeology from the dark side
Creationists and New Agers have formed a common front to undermine mainstream archaeology and its scientific view of the human past. Are they winning?
By Andrew OHehir

The journalist and the murderer
A disgraced New York Times reporter learns his identity has been stolen by an all-American hunk who killed his wife and three children. The result is the most unlikely "True Story" you'll ever read.
By Andrew OHehir

The tired girls
Paula Kamen has had a headache for 14 years. Her unlikely and often hilarious memoir explores the secret history of women and pain, and introduces us to a new (but very old) social phenomenon: The Tired Girls.
By Andrew OHehir


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