Long Reads Of The Week - 8 December

5 great stories you missed from around the web

1 | Writing for The New York Times Magazine, Kevin Sack tells the remarkable story of Jacob Deng Mach, a Sudanese immigrant who escaped war, poverty and crocodile attacks to find himsef on the verge of passing the entry exam to join the Atlanta police academy.

2 | What is it like spending the holidays in prison? Writing for US Esquire, David McConnell joins an inmate on San Quentin’s death row for a thanksgiving meal in its own way as ritualistic as those taking place on the outside. 

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3 | Why can't gamers stop playing first-person shooters? The New Yorker's Maria Konnikova explores the psychology of games like Call of Duty and discovers their appeal lies in a lot more than just violence.

4 | James Arthur Ray is an American self-help guru who became a millionaire after his teachings were endorsed by Oprah Winfrey. But in 2009, he led three people to their death in a lodge. Here on The Verge, Matt Stroud tells the story of a charlaton they dubbed 'The Death Doctor'.

5 | Finally, in the deluge of obtuiarites and commentary that followed the death of Nelson Mandela on Thursday, one the most thoughtful and clear-sighted was the Guardian leader column, entitled 'Nelson Mandela: a leader above all others'.