paper trail

Gloria Steinem's medal; heavy metal cats; book fetches $14.2M

The US Justice Department has concluded that it will most likely not bring charges against Wikileaks mastermind Julian Assange for publishing classified documents. According to the Washington Post, Assange published rather than leaked the classified documents, and therefore government lawyers cannot press charges “without also prosecuting U.S. news organizations and journalists.”

A book of awesome heavy metal bands and their adorable feline friends? Yes, please

Yesterday, Sotheby’s auctioned one of the first English-language books published in America, The Whole Booke of Psalmes, for just under $14.2 million—a record for an auctioned book. The small translation of the Psalms, also known as the Bay Psalm Book, was printed by Puritan settlers in 1640 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The book was purchased by businessman and philanthropist David Rubenstein, "who plans to lend it to libraries around the country."

Last week, legendary feminist and journalist Gloria Steinem received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Accepting the award, she acknowledged her fellow feminists, saying, “I’d be crazy if I didn’t understand that this was a medal for the entire women’s movement.” But at Dangerous Minds, Amber Frost rejects the notion of a united feminist front. To prove her point, she invites anti-capitalist feminists to recall that Steinem used to work for the CIA, and reported to the organization, in 1959, on a Communist World Youth Festival. “Some of us worked for the CIA for four years, others of us want to smash capitalism,” Frost writes. “Guess which ones get medals from the President?”

Moby Lives reports that Mahmoud Dowlatabadi’s “dissident novel,” The Colonel, which has long been banned in his native Iran, may soon be officially printed in the country, thanks in part to support from the new Deputy Cultural Minister Seyyed Abbas Salehi.

The BBC interviews Patti Smith about her frequent visits to Charleston House, the country home of painters Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, and a gathering place for Virginia Woolf, E. M. Forster, and other members of the Bloomsbury Group.