We could look at people who veer off society’s dominant tracks into moral gray zones as simply bad, or damaged, or living the consequences of bad choices. But from the inside, people always have reasons for doing what they do, and when all the cards are on the table, morality can become murkier. New Yorker writer Patrick Radden Keefe is fascinated by what drives people who land outside the norm, and especially those who do bad things. His latest book, “Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels and Crooks,” compiles some of his best New Yorker pieces on “successful” outliers, including Mexican drug lord El Chapo Guzmán, the Sackler family, and late chef Anthony Bourdain. In the first event of the Winter Words 2023 season from Aspen Words, Keefe talks to Mitzi Rapkin, host of the literary podcast “First Draft,” about what draws him to these subjects, how he pulls information from his sources, and how he crafts narratives that keep us glued to the page.
Though it can sometimes feel like conflict and discord is human nature, our brains are actually predisposed to forming groups and working together. In our individualistic society, we may think our minds stop at our skulls, but when people come together and connect effectively, they actually think in different ways, and they all become smarter and healthier together. Scienc...
Hate has unfortunately been a part of the United States since the founding of the country, enshrined at various times in policies and regulations, and showing up in the practices and everyday behavior of individuals. We have made progress in addressing some of those harms and removing some of the structural barriers people face, but we still have a ways to go as a society....
We are in a golden age for organized crime and corruption, according to watchdog groups. Bad actors have spent decades building tangled webs of enablers and tactics, and they now have more resources and capital than ever to invest in new crime enterprises.