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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Wednesday, June 10

Longform Podcast #145: Ashlee Vance

Ashlee Vance covers technology for Bloomberg Businessweek and is the author of of Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future.

“To be totally clear, I don’t cover them (apps). I like people who try to solve big problems. Wherever I go, I try to run away from the consumer stuff. I love writing about giant manufacturing plants that make stuff and employ tens of thousands of people.”

Thanks to this week's sponsors: TinyLetter, Trunk Club, QuickBooks, and The School of Continuing Education at Columbia University.


Show Notes:

  1. The Atavist Magazine Podcast: Episode 1
  2. @valleyhack
  3. ashleevance.com
  4. Vance on Longform
  5. [15:00] Vance's Register archive
  6. [15:00] Vance's New York Times archive
  7. [16:00] "Data Analysts Captivated by R’s Power" (New York Times • Jan 2009)
  8. [19:00] The "Semi-Coherent Computing" Podcast
  9. [22:00] Longform Podcast #123: Nicholas Carlson
  10. [27:00] "This Tech Bubble Is Different" (Bloomberg Businessweek • Apr 2011)
  11. [31:00] "Larry Ellison Is Spending a Fortune to Save American Tennis" (Bloomberg Businessweek • Apr 2011)
  12. [31:00] "Multiplayer Game 'Eve Online' Cultivates a Most Devoted Following" (Bloomberg Businessweek • Apr 2013)
  13. [33:00] "The New Space Race: One Man's Mission to Build a Galactic Internet" (Bloomberg Businessweek • Jan 2015)
  14. [41:00] Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo! (Nicholas Carlson • Twelve • 2015)
  15. [41:00] "Yahoo Sues Ex-Staffer Claiming She Gave Secrets to Writer" (Joel Rosenblatt, Brian Womack • Bloomberg • May 2015)
  16. [46:00] "The Killing of Osama bin Laden" (Seymour M. Hersh • London Review of Books • May 2015)
  17. [54:00] "Elon Musk, a Biography by Ashlee Vance, Paints a Driven Portrait" (Dwight Garner • New York Times • May 2015)

Wednesday, June 3

Longform Podcast #144: Cheryl Strayed

Cheryl Strayed is the author of Wild and Tiny Beautiful Things.

“There's a long history, of women especially, saying 'Well, I just got lucky.' I didn't just get lucky. I worked my fucking ass off. And then I got lucky. And if I hadn't worked my ass off, I wouldn't have gotten lucky. You have to do the work. You always have to do the work.”

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


Show Notes:

  1. @CherylStrayed
  2. cherylstrayed.com
  3. The Complete Dear Sugar Archive
  4. Strayed on Longform
  5. [1:00] Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Knopf • 2012)
  6. [1:00] Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar (Vintage • 2012)
  7. [4:00] "Dear Sugar #44: How You Get Unstuck" (The Rumpus • July 2010)
  8. [9:00] "What Wild Has Wrought" (Nicholas Kristof • May 2015 )
  9. [13:00] Torch (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt • 2006)
  10. [28:00] "Dear Sugar #48: Write Like a Motherfucker" (The Rumpus • Aug 2010)
  11. [28:00] "Write Like a Motherfucker" coffee mug
  12. [1:11:00] Into the Wild (Jon Krakauer • Random House • 1996)
  13. [1:13:00] "Oprah Talks to Cheryl Strayed" (O Magazine • July 2012)

Wednesday, May 27

Longform Podcast #143: Masha Gessen

Masha Gessen has written for The New York Times, The London Review of Books, Vanity Fair, and others. Her book about Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, The Brothers: The Road to an American Tragedy, came out in April.

“The moment she said it, it was obvious that I'd been created to write this story. I'd covered both wars in Chechnya. I'd covered a lot of terrorism. I'd studied terrorism. And I'd been a Russian-speaking immigrant in Boston, which actually is the most important qualification for writing this book. It didn't give me special knowledge, but it gave me a lot of questions that I knew to ask that other people wouldn't.”

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


Show Notes:

  1. @mashagessen
  2. Gessen on Longform
  3. [1:00] The Brothers: The Road to an American Tragedy (Riverhead Books • 2015)
  4. [34:00] Longform Podcast #30: Keith Gessen
  5. [48:00] Blood Matters (Harcourt • 2008)
  6. [50:00] Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot (Riverhead Books • 2014)
  7. [50:00] The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin (Riverhead Books • 2012)
  8. [50:00] Dead Again (Verso • 1997)

Wednesday, May 20

Longform Podcast #142: Sarah Maslin Nir

Sarah Maslin Nir, a reporter for The New York Times, recently published an exposé of labor practices in the nail salons of New York.

“The idea of a discount luxury is an oxymoron. And it’s an oxymoron for a reason: because someone is bearing the cost of that discount. In nail salons it’s always the person doing your nails, my investigation found. That has put a new lens on the world for me.”

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


Show Notes:

  1. @SarahMaslinNir
  2. sarahmaslinnir.flavors.me
  3. [1:00] "The Price of Nice Nails" (New York Times • May 2015)
  4. [1:00] "Perfect Nails, Poisoned Workers" (New York Times • May 2015)
  5. [12:00] "Saying Court Win Helps, Nail Salon Workers Rally" (New York Times • Apr 2012)
  6. [30:00] "Fighting a McDonald’s in Queens for the Right to Sit. And Sit. And Sit." (New York Times • Jan 2014)
  7. [37:00] Nocturnalist archive
  8. [38:00] "Alec Baldwin: Actor, Charmer, Fish Deboner" (New York Times • Jun 2011)
  9. [44:00] "City Agencies to Investigate Nail Salons, Mayor Says" (New York Times • May 2015)
  10. [47:00] "The Economics of New York’s Low Nail-Salon Prices" (James Surowiecki • New Yorker • May 2015)

Wednesday, May 13

Longform Podcast #141: Stephen J. Dubner

Stephen J. Dubner is the co-author, with Steven D. Levitt, of Freakonomics. Their latest book, When to Rob a Bank, came out last week.

“I’ve abandoned more books than I’ve written, which I’m happy about. I’m very pro-quitting. We get preached this idea that if you quit something, if you don’t see something through to completion then you’re a loser, you’re a failure. I just think that’s a crazy way to look at things. But it’s also easy to overlook opportunity costs. Like, what could I be doing instead?”

Thanks to this week's sponsors: TinyLetter, HP Matter, The Great Courses, and Aspiration.


Show Notes:

  1. stephenjdubner.com
  2. Dubner on Longform
  3. [2:00] "The Desert Blues" (Joshua Hammer • The Atavist Magazine • May 2015)
  4. [3:00] When to Rob a Bank (with Steven D. Levitt • William Morrow • May 2015)
  5. [11:00] "When Numbers Solve a Mystery" (Steven Landsburg • The Wall Street Journal • Apr 2005)
  6. [13:00] "Do Parents Matter?" (with Steven D. Levitt • USA Today • May 2005)
  7. [13:00] "The Probability That a Real-Estate Agent Is Cheating You (and Other Riddles of Modern Life)" (New York Times Magazine • Aug 2003)
  8. [16:00] "Steven the Good" (New York Times Magazine • Feb 1999)
  9. [16:00] Choosing My Religion: A Memoir of a Family Beyond Belief (Harper Perennial • 2006)
  10. [25:00] Freakonomics: The Movie (Magnolia Pictures • 2010)
  11. [42:00] Freakonomics Radio
  12. [43:00] "I'm Stephen Dubner, Co-Author of Freakonomics, and This Is How I Work" (Lifehacker • Sep 2014)
  13. [44:00] "Tell Me Something I Don’t Know: A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast" (Freakonomics • Oct 2014)

Wednesday, May 6

Longform Podcast #140: George Quraishi

George Quraishi is the co-founder and editor of Howler.

“We raised $69,001. And that paid for the first issue. I call it subsistence magazine making, because every issue pays for the next one.”

Thanks to this week's sponsors: TinyLetter, Squarespace, The Great Courses, and Aspiration.


Show Notes:

  1. @quraishi
  2. georgequraishi.com
  3. [23:00] "Dispatches From the World Cup" (Luke O'Brien • Slate • Jun 2006)
  4. [23:00] "The Beast Of Brazil: A Savage Trip To The Dark Heart Of The World Cup" (Luke O'Brien • Howler • Nov 2014)
  5. [23:00] "The Miami Connection" (Robert Andrew Powell • Howler • Mar 2015)
  6. [24:00] This Love Is Not For Cowards (Robert Andrew Powell • Bloomsbury • 2012)
  7. [42:00] "I'm George Quraishi. Ask Me Anything." (Reddit • Nov 2014)
  8. [50:00] Quraishi on Fusion

Wednesday, April 29

Longform Podcast #139: Andy Greenwald

Andy Greenwald covers television for Grantland.

“People are enthusiastic about TV. People want to read about it. They want to talk about it. They want to know more. They want to extend its presence in their lives. People used to talk about the water cooler show, but the internet is that water cooler now and people want to be part of the conversation.”

Thanks to TinyLetter, Two5six Festival, The Great Courses, and Aspiration for sponsoring this week's episode.


Show Notes:

  1. @andygreenwald
  2. Greenwald's Grantland archive
  3. [26:00] "The Bottom of the Glass: Legacy and the Last Season of ‘Mad Men’" (Grantland • Apr 2015)
  4. [28:00] "‘Hollywood Prospectus Podcast’: ‘Mad Men,’ ‘Game of Thrones,’ and ‘Batman v Superman’" (Grantland • Apr 2015)
  5. [30:00] "‘Empire’ Records: Fox’s New Music-Mogul Drama Embraces Its Soapy Heart" (Grantland • Jan 2015)
  6. [33:00] "Marco … YOLO! Why Netflix Spent $90 Million on Its (Terrible) New Series" (Grantland • Dec 2014)
  7. [40:00] Nothing Feels Good: Punk Rock, Teenagers, and EMO (St. Martin's Griffin • 2003)
  8. [41:00] Miss Misery (Simon Spotlight Entertainment • 2005)

Wednesday, April 22

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)