Longform Podcast #156: Renata Adler

Renata Adler is a journalist, critic, and novelist. Her latest collection of nonfiction is After the Tall Timber.

“Unless you're going to be fairly definite, what's the point of writing?”

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


Show Notes:

  1. Adler on Longform
  2. Adler's New Yorker archive
  3. [7:00] I, Libertine (Theodore Sturgeon • Ballantine Books • 1956)
  4. [8:00] After Tall Timber: Collected Nonfiction (Ballantine Books • 2015)
  5. [9:00] "Letter from Selma" (New Yorker • Apr 1965)
  6. [9:00] "Fly Trans-love Airways" (New Yorker • Feb 1967)
  7. [15:00] "Letter from Israel" (New Yorker • Jun 1967) [sub req'd]
  8. [17:00] "Letter from Biafra" (New Yorker • Oct 1969) [sub req'd]
  9. [34:00] Adler's New York Times film reviews archive
  10. [47:00] "An American Original: Excerpts from Pat Moynihan's letters" (Steven Weisman • Vanity Fair • Oct 2010)
  11. [50:00] "The Perils of Pauline" (The New York Review of Books • Aug 1980)
  12. [1:08:00] "Two Trials" (New Yorker • June 1986) [sub req'd]
  13. [1:09:00] Reckless Disregard: Westmoreland v. CBS, et al; Sharon v. Time (Knopf • 1986)
  14. [1:03] Gone: The Last Days of the New Yorker (Simon & Schuster • 1999)
  15. [1:10:00] "Decoding the Starr Report" (Vanity Fair • Dec 1998)
  16. [1:19:00] Canaries in a Mineshaft: Essay on Politics and Media (St. Martin's Press • 2001)

Wednesday, August 26

Longform Podcast #155: S.L. Price

S.L. Price is a senior writer at Sports Illustrated.

“The fact is, if you write about sports and people think they're just reading about sports, they'll read about drug use. They'll read about sex. They'll read about sex change. They'll read about communism. They'll read about issues they couldn't possibly care about, issues that if they saw them in any other part of the paper they would just gloss over. But because it's about sports—because there's a boxing ring or a baseball field or a football field—they'll be more patient and you can get some issues under the transom.”

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


Show Notes:

  1. @bySLPrice
  2. Price on Longform
  3. Price's Sports Illustrated archive
  4. [8:00] "Too Slick, Too Loud, Too Successful: Why John Calipari Can't Catch a Break" (Sports Illustrated • Mar 2011)
  5. [9:00] "A Death in the Baseball Family" (Sports Illustrated • Sept 2007)
  6. [9:00] Heart of the Game: Life, Death, and Mercy in Minor League America (Ecco • 2009)
  7. [14:00] "Max Lenox's Amazing Journey to Much-Admired Army Hoops Captain" (Sports Illustrated • Nov 2011)
  8. [17:00] "The Damage Done" (Sports Illustrated • Jun 2006)
  9. [18:00] The Staircase (New Video Group • 2005)
  10. [23:00] "Shadow of Shame" (Sports Illustrated • May 1994)
  11. [25:00] "The Heart of Football Beat in Aliquippa: Hope and Despair in a Pennsylvania Mill Town" (Sports Illustrated • Jan 2011)
  12. [28:00] Pitching Around Fidel: A Journey into the Heart of Cuban Sports (University of Press Florida • 2000)
  13. [28:00] The Domino Diaries: My Decade Boxing with Olympic Champions and Chasing Hemingway's Ghost in the Last Days of Castro's Cuba (Picador • 2015)
  14. [32:00] "Diplomacy By Other Means" (Sports Illustrated • May 2004)
  15. [44:00] "The Mystery of the Vanishing Screwball" (Bruce Schoenfeld • The New York Times Magazine • July 2014)
  16. [48:00] "The Life and Times of Rick Majerus: The Coach You Didn't Know" (Sports Illustrated • Feb 2015)
  17. [49:00] Longform Podcast #94: Gary Smith (May 2014)

Wednesday, August 19

Longform Podcast #154: William Finnegan

William Finnegan is a New Yorker staff writer and the author of Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life.

“I suppose in retrospect I was just trying to find out what the world held that nobody could tell me about until I got there. I was a big reader and had a couple of degrees by that point, but there was something out well over the horizon that I wanted to get near and record and understand, and I even felt like it would transform me.”

Thanks to TinyLetter, SquareSpace, and The Great Courses for sponsoring this week's episode.


Show Notes:

  1. Finnegan on Longform
  2. Finnegan's New Yorker archive
  3. [6:00] "Playing Doc's Games" (New Yorker • Aug 1992)
  4. [8:00] Crossing the Line: A Year in the Land of Apartheid (Persea • 1986)
  5. [37:00] "The Emergency" (New Yorker • May 1989) [sub req'd]
  6. [38:00] "Getting The Story" (New Yorker • June 1987) [sub req'd]
  7. [40:00] "A Theft in The Library" (New Yorker • Oct 2005) [sub req'd]
  8. [41:00] "Tears of the Sun: A Fortune at the Top of the World" (New Yorker • Apr 2015)
  9. [49:00] Of a Fire on the Moon (Norman Mailer • Grove Press • 1985)

Wednesday, August 12

Longform Podcast #153: Tim Ferriss

Tim Ferriss is the author of The Four-Hour Workweek and The Four-Hour Body.

“If you have a fitness magazine, you can’t just write one issue, ‘Here are the rules!’ ... My job, conversely, is to make myself obsolete. The last thing I want to be is a guru, someone people come to for answers. I want to be the person people come to for better questions.”

Thanks to TinyLetter and The Great Courses for sponsoring this week's episode.


Show Notes:

  1. @tferriss
  2. Ferriss's blog
  3. Ferriss's podcast
  4. [8:00] "Brigade De Cuisine" (John McPhee • New Yorker • Feb 1979) [sub req'd]
  5. [10:00] "How to Live Like a Rock Star (or Tango Star) in Buenos Aires…" (Four-Hour Workweek • Mar 2007)
  6. [13:00] George Plimpton’s Longform Archive
  7. [20:00] Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character (Richard Feynman • W.W. Norton • 1985)
  8. [22:00] José Aldo MMA Highlights (YouTube)
  9. [24:00] "How Choose Your Adventure Was Born" (Marketplace • Apr 2014)
  10. [30:00] Episode #304: Heretics (This American Life • Dec 2005)
  11. [40:00] "Some Practical Thoughts on Suicide" (Four-Hour Workweek • May 2015)
  12. [49:00] "Tim Ferriss and Amazon Try to Reinvent Publishing" (David Streitfeld • The New York Times • Nov 2012)

Wednesday, August 5

Longform Podcast #152: Carol Loomis

Carol Loomis retired last summer after 60 years at Fortune. She continues to edit Warren Buffett's annual report.

“Writing itself makes you realize where there are holes in things. I’m never sure what I think until I see what I write. And so I believe that, even though you’re an optimist, the analysis part of you kicks in when you sit down to construct a story or a paragraph or a sentence. You think, ‘Oh, that can’t be right.’ And you have to go back, and you have to rethink it all.” 

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


Show Notes:

  1. [1:00] "Carol Loomis, Editor for Warren Buffett, Leaves Job After 60 Years" (Christine Haughney • The New York Times • July 2014)
  2. [14:00] "My 51 Years (and Counting) at Fortune" (Fortune • Sep 2005)
  3. [22:00] "You May Be Missing a Bet in Bonds" (Fortune • Sep 1962) [not available online]
  4. [22:00] "Should a Company Promote Its Own Stock?" (Fortune • Dec 1965) [not available online]
  5. [26:00] "The Jones Nobody Keeps Up With" (Fortune • Apr 1966) [pdf]
  6. [32:00] "The Inside Story of Warren Buffett" (Fortune • Apr 1988)
  7. [35:00] "Untangling the Derivatives Mess..." (Fortune • Mar 1995)
  8. [36:00] "The Risk That Won't Go Away" (Fortune • Mar 1994)
  9. [39:00] "Why Carly's Big Bet is Failing" (Fortune • Aug 2011)
  10. [42:00] "The Tragedy of General Motors" (Fortune • Feb 2006)
  11. [43:00] "AOL + TWX=??? Do the Math..." (Fortune • Feb 2000)
  12. [57:00] "BlackRock: The $4.3 Trillion Force" (Fortune • July 2014)

Friday, July 31

Longform Podcast Bonus: Noreen Malone

Noreen Malone wrote "Cosby: The Women — An Unwanted Sisterhood," this week's cover story in New York.

“We interviewed them all separately, and that was what was so striking: they all kept saying the same thing, down to the details of what they say Cosby did and how they processed it. Those echoes were what helped us know how to shape the story.”

Thanks to our sponsor, TinyLetter.


Show Notes:

Wednesday, July 29

Longform Podcast #151: Ian Urbina

Ian Urbina, an investigative reporter for The New York Times, just published "The Outlaw Ocean," a four-part series on crime in international waters.

“It is a tribe. It has its norms, its language, and its jealousies. I approached it almost as a foreign country that happened to be disparate, almost a nomadic or exiled population. And one that has extremely strict hierarchies—you know when you’re on a ship that the captain is God.”

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


Show Notes:

Wednesday, July 22

Longform Podcast #150: Margaret Sullivan

Margaret Sullivan is the public editor of The New York Times.

“Jill Abramson said to me early on, ‘What will happen here is you’ll stick around and eventually you’ll alienate everybody, and then no one will be talking to you, and you’ll have to leave.’ I’m about three-quarters of the way there.”

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


Show Notes:

  1. @Sulliview
  2. [5:00] "One Year Later, 11 Questions for Dean Baquet"(The New York Times • May 2015)
  3. [6:00] The Public Editor's Journal
  4. [7:00] "AnonyWatch" (The New York Times)
  5. [9:00] "The Disconnect on Anonymous Sources" (The New York Times • Oct 2013)
  6. [10:00] "Trend-spotting, With Wink at Mr. Peanut" (The New York Times • March 2014)
  7. [11:00] "...Introducing The Monocle Meter" (The New York Times • Nov 2014)
  8. [11:00] "Women Who Dye Their Armpit Hair" (Andrew Adam Newman • The New York Times • July 2015)
  9. [14:00] "Tennis's Top Women Balance Body Image With Ambition" (Ben Rothenberg • The New York Times • July 2015)
  10. [16:00] "Double Fault on Article about Serena Williams and Body Image?" (The New York Times • July 2015)
  11. [21:00] "Post Ombudsman Will Be Replaced By Reader Representative" (Paul Farhi • The Washington Post • March 2013)
  12. [24:00] "The Conflict and the Coverage" (The New York Times • Nov 2014)
  13. [26:00] "Gender Questions Arise in Obituary of Rocket Scientist and Her Beef Stroganoff" (The New York Times • April 2013)
  14. [29:00] "What Might Leadership Change Mean for Times Readers?" (The New York Times • May 2014)
  15. [31:00] "Diversity, Strong Editing, and Moving Forward From the Shonda Rhimes Furor" (The New York Times • Sept 2014)
  16. [33:00] "Facts, Truth...and May the Best Man Win" (The New York Times • Sept 2012)
  17. [38:00] "Everything I Know About Journalism in 395 Words" (The New York Times • May 2015)

Wednesday, July 8

Longform Podcast #149: Ross Andersen

Ross Andersen is the deputy editor of Aeon Magazine.

“One of the things that’s been really refreshing in dealing with scientists—as opposed to say politicians or most business people—is that scientists are wonderfully candid, they’ll talk shit on their colleagues. They’re just firing on all cylinders all the time because they traffic in ideas, and that’s what’s important to them.”

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


Show Notes:

  1. @andersen
  2. Andersen on Longform
  3. [2:00] Aeon on Longorm
  4. [5:00] "Zapped" (Mary H.K. Choi • Aeon • Sept 2013)
  5. [5:00] "Awaiting Renewal" (Heather Havrilesky • Aeon• July 2013)
  6. [5:00] "Brigid Hains on the Launch of Aeon" (Interview by Catherine Balavage • Frost Magazine • Oct 2012)
  7. [11:00] "Are We Alone?" (Caleb Scharf • Aeon • June 2013)
  8. [14:00] "In The Beginning" (Aeon • May 2015)
  9. [15:00] Andersen’s Atlantic archive
  10. [20:00] "Gravitational-Wave Detectors Get Ready to Hunt for the Big Bang" (Ross Andersen • Scientific American • Oct 2013)
  11. [21:00] "Golden Eye" (Los Angeles Review of Books • Feb 2012)
  12. [23:00] The Elegant Universe (W. W. Norton & Company • 1999)
  13. [24:00] "Are We Disappointed with Space Exploration?” (The Atlantic • April 2011)
  14. [27:00] "The Vanishing Groves” (Aeon • Oct 2012)
  15. [29:00] "Talk Like an Egyptian” (Grayson Clary • Aeon • Dec 2014)
  16. [30:00] "Exodus" (Aeon • Sept 2014)
  17. [33:00] "Elon Musk: Triumph of His Will" (Tom Junod • Esquire • Nov 2012)
  18. [35:00] Hamish McKenzie
  19. [38:00] "Is Cosmology Having a Creative Crisis?" (Aeon • May 2015)
  20. [44:00] Orion Magazine
  21. [45:00] "Why Hawaiians are Protesting Construction of the World’s Second Largest Telescope" (Joseph Stromberg • Vox • May 2015)

Wednesday, July 1

Longform Podcast #148: Anna Holmes

Anna Holmes, the founding editor of Jezebel, writes for The New York Times and is the editorial director of Fusion.

“I think that Jezebel contributed to what I now call ‘outrage culture,’ but outrage culture has no sense of humor. We had a hell of a sense of humor, that's where it splits off. ... The fact that people who are incredibly intelligent and have interesting things to say aren't given the room to work out their arguments or thoughts because someone will take offense is depressing to me.”

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


Show Notes:

  1. annaholmes.com
  2. @annaholmes
  3. [2:00] "Is Self-Loathing a Requirement for Writers?" (New York Times Book Review • June 2015)
  4. [8:00] Irin Carmon's Jezebel archive
  5. [12:00] "The Five Great Lies of Women's Magazines" (Anna Holmes and Moe Tkacik • Jezebel • Nov 2007)
  6. [19:00] "Linda Hirshman: I Didn't Call Anyone at Jezebel a Slut" (Emily Bazelon • Double X • May 2009)
  7. [24:00] "How to Be a Good Bad American Girl" (New Yorker • Mar 2014)
  8. [33:00] Longform Podcast #146: Rembert Browne
  9. [36:00] Alexis Madrigal's Fusion archive
  10. [40:00] "David Carr Confronts Vice" (Page One)
  11. [42:00] "I Sing Backup for Stevie Wonder” (Anna Holmes and Mona Panchal • Fusion • Jun 2015)
  12. [50:00] Longform Podcast #118: Emma Carmichael
  13. [55:00] The Book of Jezebel: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Lady Things (Grand Central Publishing • 2013)
  14. [57:00] Hell Hath No Fury: Women's Letters from the End of the Affair (Carroll & Graf • 2002)

Wednesday, June 24

Longform Podcast #147: James Verini

James Verini, a freelance writer based out of Nairobi, won the 2015 National Magazine Award for Feature Writing.

“That is probably the most alien, jarring thing about working in Africa: life is much cheaper. More to the point, death is very close to you. We're very removed from death here. Someone can die at 89 in their sleep here and it's called a tragedy. In Africa, I find that I'm often exposed to it. That's part of why I wanted to live there.”

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


Show Notes:

  1. jamesverini.com
  2. Verini on Longform
  3. [1:00] "Love and Ruin" (The Atavist Magazine • Feb 2014)
  4. [2:00] "Escape or Die: Capture by Somali Pirates" (New Yorker • Apr 2015)
  5. [5:00] "Hostage Support Programme"
  6. [9:00] @andrewmarantz
  7. [10:00] "Close Your Heart" (Slate • Sep 2014)
  8. [27:00] Homebody/Kabul (Tony Kushner)
  9. [31:00] Verini's New York Observer archive
  10. [32:00] "Will Success Spoil MySpace.com? " (Vanity Fair • Mar 2006)
  11. [33:00] Verini's Portfolio archive
  12. [34:00] "The Pirate Pose" (Tom Wolfe • Portfolio • Apr 2007)
  13. [35:00] "Putin's Power Grab" (Portfolio • Nov 2007)
  14. [40:00] Luke Mogelson's archive on Longform
  15. [46:00] "The War for Nigeria" (National Geographic • Nov 2013)

Wednesday, June 17

Longform Podcast #146: Rembert Browne

Rembert Browne is a staff writer at Grantland.

“I'm ok with not being at my most refined online at all times. It's happening in real time and some of that is therapeutic. I could write a lot this stuff privately, but I'd rather just hit publish and see what happens. It's a weird world. But I'm super deep in.”

Thanks to this week's sponsors: TinyLetter, Trunk Club, and QuickBooks Self-Employed.


Show Notes:

  1. @rembert
  2. REMBLR
  3. Browne on Longform
  4. [6:00] 500 Days Asunder
  5. [7:00] The Dartmouth, America's Oldest College Newspaper
  6. [10:00] "Stankoff 2011"
  7. [10:00] "Outkast Superfan Puts A Great Amount Of Time And Energy Into Thinking About Outkast Songs" (Dave Bry • The Awl • April 2011)
  8. [10:00] Hovafest 2011
  9. [23:00] Browne's complete Grantland archive
  10. [23:00] "Rembert Explains the '80s: Double Dare" (Grantland • Jan 2012)
  11. [25:00] "Going Way Too Deep Down the Rabbit Hole With Nicki Minaj’s Recent Bar Mitzvah Appearance" (Grantland • Apr 2015)
  12. [28:00] "The Front Lines of Ferguson" (Grantland • Aug 2014)
  13. [36:00] "Barack and Me" (Grantland • Mar 2015)
  14. [41:00] "Glover's Lane: Q&A with Donald Glover" (Grantland • Jan 2015)
  15. [50:00] "ESPN Is Splitting With Bill Simmons, Who Offers an Uncharacteristic Word Count: Zero" (Richard Sandomir • The New York Times • May 2015)
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