Longform Podcast #138: Alexis Okeowo

Alexis Okeowo, a foreign correspondent, has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine and Businessweek.

“Nigeria is a deeply sexist country. It can be difficult for people to take you seriously. But that also has its benefits, because it’s very easy to disarm your subjects. If I’m interviewing people who underestimate me, I can get them to open up because they somehow think that I’m naïve or I don’t know what I’m doing. So I don’t mind if some sexist general or banker thinks I’m this young little student who doesn’t know what she’s talking about. As long as you tell me what I want to know, it’s great.”

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


Show Notes:

  1. @alexis_ok
  2. alexisokeowo.com
  3. Okeowo on Longform
  4. [7:00] "Nigeria’s Stolen Girls" (New Yorker • Apr 2014)
  5. [19:00] "Inside the Vigilante Fight Against Boko Haram" (New York Times Magazine • Nov 2014)
  6. [31:00] "Freedom Fighter" (New Yorker • Sep 2014)
  7. [33:00] "Lagos Must Prosper" (Granta • Apr 2015)
  8. [51:00] "How the Lord’s Resistance Army Forced Captives to Become Couples" (FT Weekend Magazine • Jul 2013)

Wednesday, April 15

Longform Podcast #137: Rachel Syme

Rachel Syme has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, Grantland, and more.

“You have this sense that you’re bonding, but at the same time you're also going to betray them. Because if you hear this quote that they say or you see it in a mannerism, you write it in your notebook and you think ‘I got it.’”

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


Show Notes:

  1. @rachsyme
  2. rachelsyme.com
  3. [4:00] "The Broad Strokes" (Grantland • Jan 2014)
  4. [4:00] "Azealia Banks on Why No One Really Wants to See Her Naked, Her Impure Thoughts About Barack Obama and Why She's 'Not Here to Be Your Idol'" (Billboard • Apr 2015)
  5. [5:00] "Id Girls" (Nick Paumgarten • New Yorker • Jun 2014)
  6. [7:00] TLC's Kickstarter
  7. [29:00] "Laura Marling Bids Goodbye to All That" (T Magazine • Mar 2015)

Wednesday, April 8

Longform Podcast #136: Anna Sale

Anna Sale is the host of Death, Sex & Money.

“It's the result of listening, of feeling listened to, that people open up. I look like a crazy person when I do interviews, because sometimes someone will be describing something and I will close my eyes and try to picture what they’re telling me. And if I can’t picture the moment they’re describing I’ll just try to dig in a little bit more.”

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


Show Notes:

  1. @annasale
  2. annasale.com
  3. [3:00] The Atavist Magazine
  4. [3:00] "Operation Red Falcon" (Ronen Bergman • The Atavist Magazine • Apr 2015)
  5. [4:00] Another Round with Heben & Tracy
  6. [7:00] "This Senator Saved My Love Life"
  7. [10:00] "Brooklyn Left Me Broke and Tired"
  8. [15:00] "How to Be a Man With Bill Withers"
  9. [32:00] "Living Alone and Liking It. Sometimes."
  10. [32:00] "Cheating Happens."
  11. [38:00] "Ellen Burstyn's Lessons on Survival"

Wednesday, April 1

Longform Podcast #135: Scott Anderson

Scott Anderson is a war correspondent and novelist. He’s written for The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, Vanity Fair, and more.

“I really feel that what’s at the root of so many wars now, modern wars, unconventional wars, it really just comes down to a bunch of young guys with access to guns coming up with a pretext to rape and murder and pillage and steal from their neighbors.”

Thanks to TinyLetter, MarketingProfs, and WealthFront for sponsoring this week's episode.


Show Notes:

  1. Anderson on Longform
  2. [5:00] The Man Who Tried to Save the World (Doubleday • 1999)
  3. [5:00] "Prisoner of War" (Harper’s • Jan 1997) [sub required]
  4. [5:00] War Zones (with Jon Lee Anderson • Dodd Mead • 1988)
  5. [14:00] "What Happened to Fred Cuny?" (New York Times Magazine • Feb 1996)
  6. [19:00] "The Hunger Warriors" (New York Times Magazine • Oct 2001)
  7. [29:00] "Besieged" (New York Times Magazine • Sep 2006)
  8. [34:00] "None Dare Call It a Conspiracy" (GQ • Sep 2009)
  9. [35:00] "Why 'GQ' Doesn't Want Russians To Read Its Story" (David Folkenflik • NPR • Sep 2009)
  10. [41:00] Lawrence in Arabia (Doubleday • 2013)
  11. [50:00] "Bringing It All Back Home" (New York Times Magazine • May 2006)
  12. [52:00] "Greg Ousley Is Sorry for Killing His Parents. Is That Enough?" (New York Times Magazine • Jul 2012)
  13. [55:00] "The Great Paper Caper" (Wells Tower • GQ • Oct 2014)
  14. [58:00] "Life in the Valley of Death” (New York Times Magazine • May 2014)

Wednesday, March 25

Longform Podcast #134: Dayna Tortorici

Dayna Tortorici is the editor of n+1.

“You can't fetishize conflict so much. Because conflict does generate a lot of good work, but it also inhibits a lot of good work. I think people do their best work when they feel good. Or at least don't feel like shit. ... So I've tried to create a culture of mutual encouragement. Especially when you're not paying anybody, that's all you can really offer.”

Thanks to TinyLetter and Wealthfront for sponsoring this week's show.


Show Notes:

  1. @dtortorici
  2. nplusonemag.com
  3. [2:00] Longform Podcast #30: Keith Gessen
  4. [19:00] "Hands Up: A Roundtable on Police Brutality" (Cosme Del-Rosario Bell, Elias Rodriques, Doreen St. Felix, Dayna Tortorici • n+1 • Nov 2014)
  5. [19:00] No Regrets
  6. [25:00] "Occupy! Scenes from Occupied America"
  7. [39:00] What Was the Hipster?
  8. [51:00] Subscribe to n+1

Wednesday, March 18

Longform Podcast #133: Adam Platt

Adam Platt is the restaurant critic for New York.

“My job was described to me recently as ‘the last great job of the 20th century.’ I think there might be something to that.”

Thanks to TinyLetter, Lynda, Casper, and Wealthfront for sponsoring this week's show.


Show Notes:

  1. @plattypants
  2. [1:00] Longform Podcast #43: Margalit Fox
  3. [12:00] "Apple of the Times" (New Yorker • Jan 1993) [sub required]
  4. [12:00] "Messing About" (New Yorker • Mar 1993) [sub required]
  5. [18:00] "The Apotheosis of Fresh" (New York • Dec 2009)
  6. [41:00] "Restaurants" A review of Le Cirque (Ruth Reichl • The New York Times • Oct 1993)
  7. [43:00] "Hi, I'm Adam Platt, Your Restaurant Critic" (New York • Dec 2013)

Wednesday, March 11

Longform Podcast #132: Erik Larson

Erik Larson is the author of several books, including The Devil in the White City. His latest is Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania.

"I realized then and there, that afternoon: the thing that was going to make this interesting was the juxtaposition of light and dark, good and evil. This monument to civic goodwill versus this monument to the dark side of human nature. ... But that was really hard to pull off. And, frankly, on the eve of publication I was pretty convinced my career was over. I'd violated every single concept of good narrative."

Thanks to TinyLetter, Wealthfront, and Love and Other Ways of Dying, the new collection from Michael Paterniti, for sponsoring this week's episode. If you would like to support the show, please leave a review on iTunes.


Show Notes:

  1. @exlarson
  2. eriklarsonbooks.com
  3. [1:00] Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania (Crown • Mar 2015)
  4. [1:00] Longform Podcast #93: Michael Paterniti
  5. [1:00] "Eating Jack Hooker's Cow" (Michael Paterniti • Esquire • Nov 1997)
  6. [4:00] Thunderstruck (Crown • 2004)
  7. [22:00] Bucks County Courier Times
  8. [29:00] "The Story of a Gun" (The Atlantic • Jan 1993)
  9. [34:00] The Naked Consumer (Penguin • 1994)
  10. [34:00] Lethal Passage: The Story of a Gun (Crown • 1994)
  11. [36:00] The Alienist (Random House • 1994)

Wednesday, March 4

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)