Wednesday, October 22

Longform Podcast #114: Jessica Pressler

Jessica Pressler writes for New York, Elle and GQ.

"I really like hustlers, stories about someone who comes out of nowhere and tries to do it for themselves. Those people are just easy to like. Even when they're sort of terrible, they're easy to like."

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

Show Notes:

  1. @jpressler
  2. Pressler on Longform
  3. [3:00]
  4. [11:00] "Philadelphia Story: The Next Borough" (The New York Times • Aug 2005)
  5. [17:00] Longform Podcast #77: Dan P. Lee
  6. [24:00] "It’s Too Bad. And I Don’t Mean It’s Too Bad Like ‘Screw ’Em.’" (New York • Jul 2011)
  7. [29:00] "The Dumbest Person in Your Building Is Passing Out Keys to Your Front Door!" (New York • Sep 2014)
  8. [29:00] "Let’s, Like, Demolish Laundry" (New York • May 2014)
  9. [30:00] "20/30 Vision" (New York • Aug 2013)
  10. [39:00] "The GQ Cover Story: Adam Driver" (GQ • Sep 2014)
  11. [41:00] "Adam Levine Doesn't Care If You Like Him (But He'd Really Prefer That You Did)" (GQ • Jul 2014)
  12. [41:00] "The Full Tatum" (GQ • Mar 2011)
  13. [43:00] "American Marvel" (Edith Zimmerman • GQ • Jul 2011)
  14. [49:00] "A Holly Golightly for the Stripper-Embezzlement Age" (New York • Sep 2011)

Wednesday, October 15

Longform Podcast #113: Wendy MacNaughton

Wendy MacNaughton is a graphic journalist and the co-author of Pen & Ink: Tattoos and the Stories Behind Them.

"We mostly hear stories from big personalities who already have a spotlight on them. I think that everybody carries stories that are just as profound as the ones we hear from celebrities or whoever. I’m interested in the stories of people who don’t usually get to tell them. I think those are sometimes the most interesting."

Thanks to TinyLetter for sponsoring this week's episode.

Show Notes:

  1. @wendymac
  4. [1:00] Pen & Ink (with Isaac Fitzgerald • Bloomsbury • Oct 2014)
  5. [4:00] Pop-Up Magazine
  6. [14:00] Meanwhile in San Francisco (Chronicle Books • Mar 2014)
  7. [16:00] "The Making of Longshot"
  8. [20:00] "Meanwhile, The San Francisco Public Library" (The Rumpus • May 2011)
  9. [31:00] Lost Cat (with Caroline Paul • Bloomsbury • Apr 2013)
  10. [37:00] "The Price of Black Ambition" (Roxane Gay • VQR • Oct 2014)
  11. [40:00] "Universal Laws of Safe Distance"
  12. [45:00] "Meanwhile, Mission Bartenders" (The Rumpus • Mar 2011)

Wednesday, October 8

Longform Podcast #112: Don Van Natta Jr.

Don Van Natta Jr., a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner, writes for ESPN and is the author of several books, including Wonder Girl.

"The nature of the kind of work I do as an investigative reporter, every story you do is going to get attacked and the tires are going to get kicked. It’s going to get scrutinized down to every phrase and down to every letter. You have to have multiple sources for key facts on this type of story. We set out to get that and we got it."

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

Show Notes:

  1. @DVNJr
  2. Van Natta Jr. on Longform
  3. [3:00] "The Trials of White Boy Rick" (Evan Hughes • The Atavist • Sep 2014)
  4. [3:00] The Matthew Power Literary Reporting Award
  5. [4:00] "His Game, His Rules" (ESPN • Mar 2013)
  6. [4:00] "Rice Case: Purposeful Misdirection by Team, Scant Investigation by NFL" (with Kevin Van Valkenburg • ESPN • Sep 2014)
  7. [11:00] "Sources: Rice Told NFL He Hit Fiancee" (ESPN • Sep 2014)
  8. [14:00] "Ravens Respond to OTL Story" (ESPN • Sep 2014)
  9. [14:00] Steve Bisciotti responds to Van Natta's report (Baltimore Ravens)
  10. [15:00] "Here's Every Edit ESPN Has Made To Its OTL Ray Rice-Ravens Report" (Timothy Burke • Deadspin • Sep 2014)
  11. [17:00] "Van Natta Defends Ray Rice Report" (ESPN • Sep 2014)
  12. [24:00] League of Denial (Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru • Crown Archetype • 2013)
  13. [24:00] "League of Denial: The NFL's Concussion Crisis" (Frontline • 2013)
  14. [24:00] "N.F.L. Pressure Said to Lead ESPN to Quit Film Project" (James Andrew Miller and Ken Belson • The New York Times • Aug 2013)
  15. [25:00] "The Match Maker" (ESPN • Aug 2013)
  16. [28:00] "Jerry Football" (ESPN • Aug 2014)
  17. [43:00] "Questions Linger About Why N.F.L. Destroyed Patriots’ Tapes" (Greg Bishop • The New York Times • Dec 2007)
  18. [47:00] Wonder Girl (Little, Brown and Company • 2011)
  19. [58:00] "Comfort Inn Hero" (The Miami Herald • Aug 1992)
  20. [105:00] "The Whistleblower's Last Stand" (ESPN • Mar 2014)
  21. [107:00] "The Half-Time Hero" (Jeff Maysh • Howler • Oct 2014)

The Matthew Power Literary Reporting Award

"The kind of stories I've gotten to do have involved fulfilling my childhood fantasies of having an adventurous life."

We are re-airing our February 2013 interview with our friend Matt Power, who died earlier this year while on assignment in Uganda, to help raise money for The Matthew Power Literary Reporting Award.

Founded by Matt's friends and family, the annual award will support promising writers early in their careers with a stipend of $12,500 to bring forward an unreported story of importance in some overlooked corner of the world.

Please donate today.

Wednesday, October 1

Longform Podcast #111: Anne Helen Petersen

Anne Helen Petersen writes for BuzzFeed. Her book Scandals of Classic Hollywood is out this week.

"I was obsessed with Entertainment Weekly from the very first issue and I obsessively catalogued it. I made a database on my Apple IIe where I put in the title of the magazine and the number and whether it was a little 'e' or a big 'E' on the cover and the different topics and then I gave it a grade. You know how in Entertainment Weekly they give everything a grade, so I’d be like 'Oscar’s Issue: A minus.' But I learned how to obsessively track Hollywood industry even though I grew up in a very small town in northern Idaho."

Thanks to TinyLetter, Bonobos, and EA SPORTS FIFA 15 for sponsoring this week's episode.

Show Notes:

  1. @annehelen
  3. Petersen on Longform
  4. [1:00] "The Down and Dirty History of TMZ" (BuzzFeed • Jul 2014)
  5. [1:00] Scandals of Classic Hollywood (Plume • Sep 2014)
  6. [3:00] EA SPORTS FIFA 15 Readers' Poll Results
  7. [5:00] "The Gossip Industry" (Petersen's Dissertation • 2011) [pdf]
  8. [5:00] "Celebrity Gossip, Academic Style"
  9. [6:00] "The Trials of Entertainment Weekly" (The Awl • Jun 2014 )
  10. [14:00] Longform Podcast #50: Edith Zimmerman
  11. [28:00] Lainey Gossip
  12. [32:00] "Jennifer Lawrence and the History of Cool Girls" (BuzzFeed • Feb 2014)
  13. [37:00] "Talking to Anne Helen Petersen About Leaving Academia for BuzzFeed" (The Hairpin • Mar 2014)
  14. [43:00] "Angelina Jolie’s Perfect Game" (BuzzFeed • May 2014)
  15. [45:00] "Confidentially Yours" (The Believer • May 2014)
  16. [50:00] "At Least One Real, Authentic Moment of Humanity With Cameron Diaz" (Alex Pappademas • Grantland • Jul 2014)
  17. [53:00] "How I Rebuilt Tinder and Discovered the Shameful Secret of Attraction" (BuzzFeed • Sep 2014)
  18. [100:00] "Take Time" (John Herrman • The Awl • Jun 2014)

Wednesday, September 24

Longform Podcast #110: Chris Hayes

Chris Hayes hosts All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC and is an editor-at-large for The Nation.

"The instability was so intense and the anguish and frustration were so intense that there wasn’t a ton of time to think through, 'Well, what is my role in this?' Mostly it was: wake up in the morning after two or three hours of sleep and start going to stuff, talking to people, and keep doing that until the show happens."

Thanks to GoDaddy for sponsoring this week's episode. Apply for the TinyLetter Writers Residency by September 26. And nominate your favorite soccer article for a chance to win a free Xbox One and EA SPORTS FIFA 15.

Show Notes:

  1. @chrislhayes
  2. [1:55] Evan on The Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC • Apr 2014)
  3. [7:30] "Al-Jazeera runs from teargas in Ferguson" (YouTube)
  4. [10:30] "St Louis police officer shoots Kajieme Powell [Graphic]" (YouTube)
  5. [26:00] Hayes's archive in The Chicago Reader
  6. [28:00] "Trapped" (The Chicago Reader • Dec 2002)
  7. [34:00] Hayes's archive in The Nation
  8. [39:30] "The NAFTA Superhighway" (The Nation • Aug 2007)
  9. [40:30] Hayes's first TV appearance (C-SPAN • Sep 2007)
  10. [47:30] "Chris Hayes on 'Heroes' Controversy: 'I Fell Short at a Crucial Moment'" (Jack Mirkinson • The Huffington Post • May 2012)
  11. [59:00] Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy (Crown • 2012)
  12. [100:30] "The Real Story Behind Chicago’s Crime Numbers" (MSNBC • Jun 2014)
  13. [100:30] "A Town's Only Hospital Closes" (MSNBC • Jul 2014)
  14. [100:30] "The (Too) Slow March of Desegregation" (MSNBC • Jun 2014)
  15. [101:00] "Years of Living Dangerously" (Showtime)

Wednesday, September 17

Longform Podcast #109: Buzz Bissinger

Buzz Bissinger, a Pulitzer Prize winner, has written for Vanity Fair, The New York Times Magazine, GQ and more. He is the author of several books, including Friday Night Lights.

"It’s quiet. And I really felt I needed that quiet. People say, 'Well anger was your edge, and agitation was your edge, and that’s going to hurt your writing.' I don’t know, maybe. It may be that in order to live a happier life you become a shittier writer. I don't know. But I just couldn't live in that fashion anymore, I just couldn't. It would've destroyed my marriage. It was destroying me."

Thanks to this week's sponsors. Apply for the TinyLetter Writers Residency by September 26. And nominate your favorite soccer article for a chance to win a free Xbox One and EA SPORTS FIFA 15.

Show Notes:

  2. Bissinger on Longform
  3. [7:00] Friday Night Lights (Da Capo Press • 1990)
  4. [7:30] "Pursuit Of A Big Blue Chipper" (Sports Illustrated • Sep 1968)
  5. [12:00] "Disorder in the Court" series (The Philadelphia Inquirer • with Daniel R. Biddle and Fredric N. Tulsky • 1987) [unavailable online]
  6. [17:45] Father’s Day (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt • 2012)
  7. [18:00] Three Nights in August (Mariner • 2005)
  8. [20:30] A Prayer for the City (Vintage • 1998)
  9. [28:30] Shooting Stars (Penguin • 2009)
  10. [31:30] "Who Is Nick Foles?" (Philadelphia Magazine • Jun 2014)
  11. [39:00] "The Plane That Fell From the Sky" (St. Paul Pioneer Press • Apr 1979) [pdf]
  12. [44:00] "My Gucci Addiction" (GQ • Apr 2013)
  13. [1:01:00] "Darkness in August" (Vanity Fair • Feb 2014)
  14. [1:02:00] Wherever I Wind Up (R.A. Dickey • Blue Rider Press • 2012)
  15. [1:20:00] "Shattered Glass" (Vanity Fair • Sep 1998)
  16. [1:20:00] "The Runaway Doctor" (Vanity Fair • Jan 2011)
  17. [1:20:30] After Friday Night Lights (Byliner • 2012)

Wednesday, September 10

Longform Podcast #108: Sean Wilsey

Sean Wilsey has written for The New Yorker, The London Review of Books, The New York Times, and McSweeney’s Quarterly, where he is an editor-at-large. His latest book is More Curious.

"I’m actually apparently a fairly competent person at getting things done, making deadlines and all these things. But the Wilsey you might get in the piece about NASA is the guy who eats a ton of oysters and drinks a lot of beer before getting on the vomit comet."

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

Show Notes:

  1. @seanwilsey
  2. [1:20] More Curious (McSweeney's • 2014)
  3. [3:04] Oh the Glory of It All (The Penguin Press • 2005)
  4. [16:15] "The Republic of Marfa" (McSweeney’s • Mar 1999)
  5. [24:00] "The Next Giant Leap" (GQ • Jun 2009)
  6. [30:05] "Brotherhood of the Plank" (Play • Jun 2009)
  7. [30:06] "Using So Little" (London Review of Books • Jun 2003)
  8. [31:10] American Catch (Paul Greenberg • The Penguin Press • 2014)
  9. [32:30] "Italy's German Accent" (Gourmet • Jan 2007)
  10. [37:00] "Diary: Going Slow" (London Review of Books • Jul 2008)
  11. [39:30] "Open Water" (New Yorker • Apr 2013)
  12. [43:15] "Honest Writing Is Funny Writing" (The Atlantic • Aug 2014)
  13. [47:30] Down and Out in London and Paris (George Orwell • 1933)

Wednesday, September 3

Longform Podcast #107: Emily Bazelon

Emily Bazelon is a staff writer at the New York Times Magazine and the author of Sticks and Stones.

"There’s nothing purely, or maybe even at all, altruistic about this exchange. It’s transactional in the Janet Malcolm classical sense, but also in the emotional sense. There is a way in which I’m super open. I take in these experiences. They keep me up at night. They really get inside me. But then, I'm also using them to craft whatever I’m working on."

Thanks to TinyLetter for sponsoring this week's episode.

Show Notes:

  1. @emilybazelon
  3. Bazelon on Longform
  4. [17:30] "What Really Happened to Phoebe Prince?" (Slate • July 2010)
  5. [25:45] Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy (2013 • Random House)
  6. [27:15] "The Price of a Stolen Childhood" (New York Times Magazine • Jan 2013)
  7. [37:45] Double X
  8. [41:00] Political Gabfest
  9. [45:00] Bazelon on Colbert Report (Mar 2012)
  10. [46:00] Bazelon’s television appearances
  11. [47:45] "The Dawn of the Post-Clinic Abortion" (New York Times Magazine • Aug 2014)
  12. [57:30] "A Long Day’s Journey Into Haircut" (Walter Kirn • New York Times • Apr 2003)
  13. [58:00] "Review: Redeeming the Dream, on Marriage Equality by David Boies and Theodore Olson" (Washington Post • Jun 2014)

Wednesday, August 27

Longform Podcast #106: Zach Baron

Zach Baron is a staff writer for GQ.

"People love to put celebrity stuff or culture stuff lower on the hierarchy than, say, a serial killer story. I think they're all the same story. If you crack the human, you crack the human."

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

Show Notes:

  1. @xzachbaronx
  2. Baron's personal site
  3. Baron on Longform
  4. [7:00] "Kanye West: A Brand-New Ye" (GQ • Jul 2014)
  5. [17:30] "Steve McQueen: Auteur of the Year 2013" (GQ • Dec 2013)
  6. [22:50] "The Secret Double Life of Mister Cee" (GQ • Feb 2014)
  7. [39:10] Baron's archive on Grantland
  8. [45:00] "Fear and Self-Loathing in Las Vegas" (The Daily • Oct 2011)
  9. [45:40] "50 Cent Is My Life Coach" (GQ • Jun 2014)
  10. [52:00] "Cliven Bundy's War" (GQ • Jul 2014)
  11. [52:20] "Why Are They (Armed) 'Patriots' in Nevada But (Unarmed) Rioters in Ferguson?" (GQ • Aug 2014)

Wednesday, August 20

Longform Podcast #105: Ben Anderson

Ben Anderson is a war journalist and documentary filmmaker for Vice News. His latest book is The Interpreters.

"You're surrounded by people who are so poor. Maybe their family members have already been killed. And they still can't leave. So compared to that, I can't really take the idea that I've suffered and that I need stop and go to a spa for a few days. I can't take that idea that seriously. Compared to them, it feels like I am leading an almost privileged existence."

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

Show Notes:

  1. @BenJohnAnderson
  2. Ben Anderson on Vice News
  3. [12:00] The Slaves of Dubai (Vice News • Apr 2009)
  4. [15:30] "My Holidays in the Axis of Evil" (BBC • Feb 2003)
  5. [20:43] No Worse Enemy (Oneworld Publications • Oct 2012)
  6. [21:15] This is What Winning Looks Like (Vice News • May 2013)
  7. [23:20] The Battle for Marjah (HBO • Feb 2010)
  8. [33:16] Vice on HBO
  9. [40:00] James Wood's New Yorker archive
  10. [42:40] Afghan Interpreters (Vice News • Jul 2014)
  11. [42:40] The Interpreters (Vice News • Aug 2014)
  12. [43:00] King Leopold's Ghost (Adam Hochschild • 1998)
  13. [54:30] Longform Podcast #1: Matthieu Aikins

Wednesday, August 13

Longform Podcast #104: Lewis Lapham

Lewis Lapham, formerly the editor of Harper's, is the founder of Lapham's Quarterly.

"The best part of my job was to come across a manuscript. You never knew what would show up. ... I always had the sense of opening a present, hoping to be both delighted and surprised. Often I was disappointed. But when I wasn't, it was a lot of fun. And word got around that I was that kind of an editor, that I was willing to try anything if you could make it interesting."

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

Show Notes:

  1. Lapham's Quarterly
  2. Lapham on Longform
  3. [2:30] With the Beatles (Melville House • Oct 2005)
  4. [17:00] "Who is Lyndon B. Johnson?" (The Saturday Evening Post • Sep 1965) [unavailable online]
  5. [21:00] "Monk: High Priest of Jazz" (The Saturday Evening Post • Apr 1964)
  6. [29:00] "Alaska: Politicians and Natives, Money and Oil" (Harper's • May 1970)
  7. [31:00] "The Coming Wounds of Wall Street" (Harper's • May 1971) [paywall]
  8. [43:30] "Harper's Lapham: Good-bye, Long Tale" (Christopher Swan • The Christian Science Monitor • July 1985)