Must Reads: Crammed in a tractor cab for 10 hours with a U.S. senator

The 5 compelling, ambitious reads you can’t afford to miss this week.
Compelling, ambitious reads you can’t afford to miss.
To profile Montana Sen. Jon Tester, Post reporter Ben Terris spent three days with him on his farm, including 10 hours crammed into a tractor cab with the nearly 300-pound lawmaker. “It did not really fit two people,” Terris says, “and I had a giant bruise on my right leg to prove it.” But the memorable story he produced about a rural Democrat fighting for his political life was definitely worth the injury. Terris had great access to Tester, which made it easier for him to create a vivid portrait.

In contrast, Post reporter Ian Shapira never met or interviewed the subject of his story, Mark W. Levin, a former administrator at a national security graduate school. Levin is accused in a lawsuit of inventing a clandestine career to manipulate young men at two different Washington graduate schools into sexually abusive encounters. Shapira combed through court documents and interviewed two dozen people to learn as much as he could about Levin and how he persuaded his alleged victims and the ex-spies around him that he was, as he told one co-worker, “a trained assassin” who’d killed 38 people. You won’t want to miss these fascinating stories or the others in this week’s newsletter.   — Lynda Robinson, Local Enterprise Editor 

Jon Tester could teach Democrats a lot about rural America — if he can keep his Senate seat

Part farmer, part D.C. insider, and fully vulnerable in 2018, the gentleman from Montana plows forward.
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He convinced former CIA operatives he was one of them. Was he an impostor?

Mark Levin is accused in a lawsuit of inventing a clandestine career to sexually prey on young men at Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security.
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Why your ‘organic’ milk may not be organic

Consumers can pay double for that label. But critics say big farms can fall short of standards.
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Fifty years after Vietnam’s bloodiest battles, the ‘lucky ones’ are gathering for what could be a final reunion

In 1967, these graduates from Quantico were shipped to Vietnam. They would fight in some of the bloodiest battles of the war. Some lasted only a few days.
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The ANC is Mandela’s legacy. Now his granddaughter has renounced South Africa’s ruling party.

The movement that defeated apartheid is under fire for corruption and failing to help poor blacks.
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