Longform Podcast #131: Josh Dean

Josh Dean has written for GQ, Fast Company, New York, and more. His latest piece, "The Life and Times of the Stopwatch Gang," was just published by The Atavist.

“I sort of reject the whole idea of something being beneath me. There are obviously some stories I wouldn’t do or that I have no interest in, but this job is fun and should be fun. And I wouldn’t turn something down that seems like a fun thing for me to do just because maybe the story is not something that 10,000 people are going to tweet about. I don’t give a shit.”

Thanks to TinyLetter, Squarespace, Lynda and HP Matter for sponsoring this week's episode. If you would like to support the show, please leave a review on iTunes.


Show Notes:

  1. @joshdean66
  2. joshdean.com
  3. Dean on Longform
  4. [2:00] "The Life and Times of the Stopwatch Gang" (The Atavist • Feb 2015)
  5. [10:00] "Federer as Religious Experience" (David Foster Wallace • The New York Times • Aug 2006)
  6. [29:00] Longform Podcast #126: Taffy Brodesser-Akner
  7. [29:00] "Please God Stop the Rain" (New York • Aug 2012)
  8. [31:00] "For $100,000, You Can Clone Your Dog" (Businessweek • Oct 2014)
  9. [32:00] "Riding Giants" (Outside • Oct 2009)
  10. [38:00] "Powder Keg" (Outside • Jul 2007)
  11. [42:00] Generation Kill (Evan Wright • Putnam Adult • 2004)
  12. [44:00] Show Dog (It Books • 2012)

Wednesday, February 25

Longform Podcast #130: Mac McClelland

Mac McClelland has written for Mother Jones, The New York Times Magazine, Matter and others. Her book Irritable Hearts: A PTSD Love Story came out this week.

“I would just suddenly start sobbing, which is not something I usually do. I felt like I needed to be drunk all the time, which is also not something I usually do. I was having nightmares and I was having flashbacks. I was terrified and confused and disoriented all the time. I was a completely different person, completely unrecognizable even to myself.”

Thanks to TinyLetter and Alarm Grid for sponsoring this week's episode. If you would like to support the show, please leave a review on iTunes.


Show Notes:

  1. @MacMcClelland
  2. mac-mcclelland.com
  3. McClelland on Longform
  4. [1:00] Longform Podcast #6: Mac McClelland
  5. [1:00] Irritable Hearts: A PTSD Love Story (Flatiron Books • 2015)
  6. [6:00] "Aftershocks: Welcome to Haiti's Reconstruction Hell" (Mother Jones • Jan 2011)
  7. [6:00] "Depression, Abuse, Suicide: Fishermen's Wives Face Post-Spill Trauma" (Mother Jones • Jun 2010)
  8. [11:00] "I Was a Warehouse Wage Slave" (Mother Jones • Mar 2012)
  9. [11:00] "For Us Surrender Is Out of the Question" (Mother Jones • Mar 2010)
  10. [16:00] "I’m Gonna Need You to Fight Me On This: How Violent Sex Helped Ease My PTSD" (GOOD • Jun 2011)
  11. [16:00] "Is PTSD Contagious?" (Mother Jones • Jan/Feb 2013)
  12. [32:00] "'It's War': Being a cop in post-Charlie Hebdo France" (Medium • Feb 2015)
  13. [43:00] "SugarDaddy.com: Old Dogs, New Tricks" (Mother Jones • Jan 2008)

Thursday, February 19

Longform Podcast #129: Rukmini Callimachi (Part 2)

Rukmini Callimachi covers ISIS for The New York Times. Part 1 of this episode is available here.

“Ever since I started in journalism, I feel like I'm perpetually winded. Like I'm just running as hard as I can to stay ahead of this train that's crashing. The caboose is falling off the back and I'm trying to run faster than the train to get to this very limited pool of amazing jobs. Once I got overseas I would say a prayer every night for the amazing life I was finally able to lead.”

Thanks to TinyLetter and Lynda for sponsoring this week's episode.


Show Notes:

  1. @rcallimachi
  2. Callimachi on Longform
  3. [11:00] "The Horror Before the Beheadings" (The New York Times • Oct 2014)
  4. [15:00] "The Dynamics Of Demanding Ransom From Nations" (Robert Siegel • NPR • Aug 2014)
  5. [15:00] "Tremor Mortis" (Time • Feb 2001)
  6. [23:00] The Daily Herald
  7. [30:00] "Katrina's Nameless Dead" (AP • Dec 2006)
  8. [36:00] "From Amateur to Ruthless Jihadist in France" (with Jim Yardley • New York Times • Jan 2015)

Wednesday, February 18

Longform Podcast #129: Rukmini Callimachi (Part 1)

Rukmini Callimachi covers ISIS for The New York Times. Part 2 of this episode is available here.

“Nine out of 10 Americans said they were aware of James Foley's execution. That's a huge win for ISIS. That's what they want. I think they've realized that journalists are the crème de la crème as far as targets. And that's a really scary thing for our profession.”

Thanks to TinyLetter and Lynda for sponsoring this week's episode. If you would like to support the show, please leave a review on iTunes.


Show Notes:

  1. @rcallimachi
  2. Callimachi on Longform
  3. [4:00] "The Horror Before the Beheadings" (The New York Times • Oct 2014)
  4. [4:00] "From Amateur to Ruthless Jihadist in France" (The New York Times • Jan 2015)
  5. [7:00] "ISIS Declares Airstrike Killed a U.S. Hostage" (The New York Times • Feb 2015)
  6. [11:00] "With Proof From ISIS of Her Death, Family Honors Kayla Mueller" (The New York Times • Feb 2015)
  7. [12:00] "As U.S. Bombs Fall, British Hostage of ISIS Warns of Another Vietnam" (The New York Times • Sep 2014)
  8. [21:00] Callimachi's Pulitzer-nominated work for the AP
  9. [26:00] McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld (Misha Glenny • Random House • 2008)
  10. [27:00] The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 (Lawrence Wright • Alfred A. Knopf • 2006)

Wednesday, February 11

Longform Podcast #128: Jack Shafer

Jack Shafer covers the media for Politico.

“This is a true story, not a ‘Brian Williams story’: my first report card said ‘Jack is a very good student, but he has a tendency to start fights on the playground and bring them back into the classroom.’ That's been my career style — start a fight and bring it back to the classroom.”

Thanks to TinyLetter and Lynda for sponsoring this week's episode. If you would like to support the show, please leave a review on iTunes.


Show Notes:

  1. @jackshafer
  2. jackshafer.com
  3. Shafer on Longform
  4. [2:00] "Why Did Brian Williams Lie?" (Politico • Feb 2015)
  5. [2:00] "Brian Williams’ Slow Jam" (Politico • Feb 2015)
  6. [18:00] aol.com: How Steve Case Beat Bill Gates, Nailed the Netheads, and Made Millions in the War for the Web (Kara Swisher • Crown Business • 1998)
  7. [21:00] Shafer’s archive on Slate
  8. [34:00] "The Trial of Stephen Glass" (Reuters • Dec 2011)
  9. [37:00] "'I Would Have Loved To Piss on Your Shoes'" (Slate • Jun 2011)
  10. [37:00] "'I Would Have Loved To Piss on Your Shoes,' Part 2" (Slate • Jun 2011)
  11. [42:00] "The Making of a Suspect: The Case of Wen Ho Lee" (Matthew Purdy • The New York Times • Feb 2001)
  12. [46:00] "House to Probe White House Role in FCC’s ‘Net Neutrality’ Proposal" (Gautham Nagesh and Siobhan Hughes • The Wall Street Journal • Feb 2015)

Wednesday, February 4

Longform Podcast #127: Molly Crabapple

Molly Crabapple is an artist and writer. She is a columnist for VICE and her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Paris Review and Vanity Fair.

“As long as the marginalized communities I’m writing about don’t think I’m full of shit, that’s success to me.”

Thanks to TinyLetter, Squarespace and Lynda for sponsoring this week's episode. If you would like to support the show, please leave a review on iTunes.


Show Notes:

  1. @mollycrabapple
  2. mollycrabapple.com
  3. mollycrabapple.tumblr.com
  4. [1:00] "Love and Ruin" (James Verini • The Atavist • Feb 2014)
  5. [1:00] "Slaves of Happiness Island" (VICE • Aug 2014)
  6. [10:00] Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
  7. [16:00] "My Arrest at Occupy Wall Street" (CNN • Sep 2012)
  8. [19:00] "It Don’t Gitmo Better Than This" (VICE • Jul 2013)
  9. [24:00] Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (James Agee and Walker Evans • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt • 1941)
  10. [25:00] Discordia: Six Nights in Crisis Athens (with Laurie Penny • Vintage Digital • 2012)
  11. [30:00] "Caught Between ISIS and Assad" (VICE • Jun 2014)
  12. [36:00] "I Confronted Donald Trump in Dubai" (VICE • Jun 2014)
  13. [39:00] "Special Prostitution Courts and the Myth of 'Rescuing' Sex Workers" (VICE • Jan 2015)
  14. [45:00] "Talking About My Abortion" (VICE • Apr 2013)
  15. [48:00] "The World of a Professional Naked Girl" (VICE • Oct 2012)

Wednesday, January 28

Longform Podcast #126: Taffy Brodesser-Akner

Taffy Brodesser-Akner is a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine and GQ.

“My writing career was something that was always about to happen, just as soon as the baby falls asleep, just as soon as I finish watching this five-hour bout of As the World Turns, just as soon as... What do you do when you realize that you have not been doing the thing you were going to do? You're in your 30s. You get to work.”

Thanks to TinyLetter and Lynda for sponsoring this week's episode. If you would like to support the show, please leave a review on iTunes.


Show Notes:

  1. @taffyakner
  2. taffyakner.com
  3. Brodesser-Akner on Longform
  4. [20:00] "The Trials of a Chubby Yogi" (Self • Oct 2011)
  5. [26:00] "Who Controls Childbirth" (Self • Jul 2010)
  6. [31:00] "Who's Killing the Soaps?" (The Daily Beast • Dec 2009)
  7. [33:00] "Nicky Minaj: Cheeky Genius" (GQ • Nov 2014)
  8. [34:00] "2 Generations of Comedy Musicians Meet!: Weird Al Yankovic and The Lonely Island" (GQ • May 2013)
  9. [44:00] "Girls Fight Out" (Matter • Dec 2014)
  10. [46:00] "The Leftovers" (Matter • Sep 2014)
  11. [46:00] "Miss American Dream" (Matter • Jun 2014)
  12. [47:00] "The Chelsea Hotel Had Its Own Eloise" (New York Times Magazine • Jul 2013)
  13. [47:00] "Zosia Mamet Is Still Getting Used to Being Your New Best Friend" (New York Times Magazine • Jan 2013)
  14. [51:00] "The Tragedy of Britney Spears" (Vanessa Grigoriadis • Rolling Stone • Feb 2008)
  15. [51:00] "Don't Go Away Mad" (Grantland • Jun 2013)

Wednesday, January 21

Longform Podcast #125: Anand Gopal

Anand Gopal has written for The Wall Street Journal, Harper’s and Foreign Policy. He’s the author of No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War Through Afghan Eyes.

“When I got to the Taliban, I got out my notebook and tried to ask the hard-hitting questions. ‘What are you fighting for? Why are you doing this? What’s happening with the civilians you’re killing?’ And of course you do that and you get boilerplate answers and icy stares. So I just started asking them questions about their childhood. ... People love to talk about themselves and he began to open up and very subtly something shifted and it no longer became about the war and America versus the Taliban, it became about him being an Afghan and his experience.”

Thanks to TinyLetter and Lynda for sponsoring this week's episode. If you would like to support the show, please leave a review on iTunes.


Show Notes:

  1. @Anand_Gopal_
  2. anandgopal.com
  3. [9:00] Longform Podcast #1: Matthieu Aikins
  4. [12:00] "Ousted By Iran, Afghan Refugees Languish At Home" (Inter Press Service • Feb 2008)
  5. [18:00] "Kandahar’s Mystery Executions" (Harper’s • Sep 2014)
  6. [19:00] No Good Men Among the Living (Metropolitan Books • 2014)
  7. [28:00] "Welcome to Free Syria" (Harper’s • Aug 2012)
  8. [28:00] "Decoding the Syrian Propaganda War" (Harper’s • Aug 2012)

Wednesday, January 14

Longform Podcast #124: Alex Blumberg

Alex Blumberg is a former producer for This American Life and Planet Money. Last year he founded Gimlet Media, a podcast network, and hosts its first show, StartUp.

“When someone starts talking about something difficult, when they get unexpectedly emotional, your normal human reaction is to sort of comfort and steer away. To say, ‘Oh I’m sorry, let’s move on.’ What you need to do, if you want good tape, is to say, ‘Talk more about how you’re feeling right now.’ It feels like a horrible question to ask. It feels like you're going against your every instinct as a decent human being to go toward the pain that this person is experiencing.”

Thanks to TinyLetter, Lynda and Alarm Grid for sponsoring this week's episode.


Show Notes:

  1. @abexlumberg
  2. gimletmedia.com
  3. Blumberg’s archive on This American Life
  4. [2:00] Longform on Reply All #7: This Website Is For Sale
  5. [2:00] Longform Podcast #23: Starlee Kine
  6. [4:00] "Company Eight" (Matthew Pearl • The Atavist • Jan 2015)
  7. [20:00] "91: 33 Million Dollar Box" (This American Life • Jan 1998)
  8. [20:00] "115: First DayFirst Day" (This American Life • Nov 1998)
  9. [27:00] "236: Stock Making Sense" (This American Life • Apr 2003)
  10. [30:00] "355: The Giant Pool of Money" (This American Life • May 2008)
  11. [34:00] "365: The Day The Market Died" (This American Life • Oct 2008)
  12. [36:00] StartUp

Wednesday, January 7

Longform Podcast #123: Nicholas Carlson

Nicholas Carlson writes for Business Insider. His book Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo! came out this week.

“To me people are what’s really interesting. Marissa Mayer is a once in a lifetime subject. She’s full of contradictions. … There are a million business stories, but if you don’t have that character at the center then you’re lost.”

Thanks to TinyLetter, Lynda and Squarespace for sponsoring this week's episode.


Show Notes:

  1. @nichcarlson
  2. Carlson on Longform
  3. [6:00] Longform Podcast #81: Kevin Roose
  4. [13:00] "What Happened When Marissa Mayer Tried to Be Steve Jobs" (New York Times Magazine • Dec 2014)
  5. [16:00] "Viacom Takes Google, YouTube Fight to Court" (InternetNews.com • Mar 2007)
  6. [18:00] Disney War (James B. Stewart • Simon & Schuster • 2005)
  7. [19:00] Longform Podcast #19: Choire Sicha
  8. [23:00] Longform Podcast #88: Sam Biddle
  9. [23:00] Carlson’s archive on Valleywag
  10. [33:00] "Google Gave Employees This Smartwatch As A Holiday Gift, And Some Of Them Are Whining About It" (Business Insider • Dec 2014)
  11. [34:00] Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo! (Twelve • 2015)
  12. [38:00] Googled: The End of the World As We Know It (Ken Auletta • Penguin Press • 2008)
  13. [48:00] "The Story Behind Why AOL CEO Tim Armstrong Fired An Employee In Front Of 1,000 Coworkers" (Business Insider • Nov 2013)
  14. [48:00] "This Man Was Supposed To Become Steve Jobs 2.0 — Here’s What Happened Instead" (Business Insider • Nov 2014)
  15. [54:00] "The Untold Story Of Larry Page's Incredible Comeback" (Business Insider • Apr 2014)
  16. [1:01:00] "Hacks Into Hackers" (The New York Times • Sep 2010)

Wednesday, December 17

Longform Podcast #122: Hanna Rosin

Hanna Rosin is a senior editor at The Atlantic and a founder and editor at DoubleX.

“I often think of reporting as dating, or even speed dating. You’re looking for someone where there’s a spark there between you and them. Sometimes that happens right away and sometimes it takes forever. ... You have to determine if they're reflective, friendly, open. It could be love at first sight and they're still all wrong, which is really heartbreaking.”

Thanks to TinyLetter, Bonobos and The Los Angeles Times' Bookshelf Newsletter for sponsoring this week's episode.


Show Notes:

  1. @HannaRosin
  2. hannarosin.com
  3. Rosin on Longform
  4. [1:00] "Murder by Craigslist" (The Atlantic • Aug 2013)
  5. [1:00] "Hello, My Name Is Stephen Glass, and I’m Sorry" (The New Republic • Nov 2014)
  6. [7:00] The End of Men: And the Rise of Women (Riverhead Books • 2012)
  7. [18:00] The Executioner's Song (Norman Mailer • Little, Brown • 1979)
  8. [18:00] "The Evil Empire: The Scoop on Ben & Jerry's Crunchy Capitalism" (The New Republic • Sep 1995)
  9. [23:00] "The New Republic: An Appreciation" (Ta-Nehisi Coates • The Atlantic • Dec 2014)
  10. [25:00] "Who Shot Johnny?" (Debra Dickerson • The New Republic • 1996) [pdf]
  11. [31:00] "A Boy's Life" (The Atlantic • Nov 2008)
  12. [38:00] "The Case Against Breast-Feeding" (The Atlantic • Apr 2009)
  13. [41:00] "The Vanishing Male Worker: How America Fell Behind" (Binyamin Appelbaum • The New York Times • Dec 2014)
  14. [42:00] "The End of Men" (The Atlantic • Jul 2010)
  15. [43:00] "By Noon They'd Both Be in Heaven" (New York • Oct 2014)
  16. [46:00] "Why Kids Sext" (The Atlantic • Oct 2014)
  17. [49:00] "The Missing Men" (with Allison Benedikt • Slate • Dec 2014)
  18. [49:00] Sabrina Rubin Erdely on DoubleX Gabfest (with June Thomas and Katy Waldman • Slate • Nov 2014)
  19. [49:00] "Blame Rolling Stone" (Slate • Dec 2014)
  20. [49:00] "DoubleX Gabfest: The Aftermath of Rolling Stone Edition" (with Noreen Malone and June Thomas • Slate • Dec 2014)

Wednesday, December 10

Longform Podcast #121: Meghan Daum

Meghan Daum's latest book of essays is The Unspeakable.

“As writers we think, well there has to be closure, there has to be a beginning middle end, the character has to go through a change. And then in life we're supposed to have some sort of arc or aha moment, as if the experience isn't legitimate unless we get something out of it. That's so culturally constructed, as they say. It's so artificial.”

Thanks to TinyLetter, Scribd, and Oscar for sponsoring this week's episode.


Show Notes:

  1. @meghan_daum
  2. meghandaum.com
  3. Daum on Longform
  4. [1:00] The Unspeakable (Farrar, Straus and Giroux • 2014)
  5. [1:00] "My Misspent Youth" (New Yorker • Oct 1999)
  6. [18:00] "All About My Mother" (The Guardian • Nov 2014)
  7. [35:00] Daum’s archive of Los Angeles Times columns
  8. [38:00] My Misspent Youth (Open City Books • 2001)