Thursday, March 13

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“There was this brief moment when people who wrote blogs also cared about so-called literary fiction. Now it seems they’ve moved on. My doctor doesn’t give a fuck.”

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On the campaign trail with Florida’s malleable ex-governor.

Wednesday, March 12

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On the burrneshas of Albania.

Longform Podcast #83, Part 2:
Lawrence Wright, Live from Austin

Lawrence Wright, author of The Looming Tower and Going Clear, is a staff writer for The New Yorker.

"If I had the chance to interview Osama Bin Laden, should I kill him? It’s a fair question. Suppose we’re having dinner — should I stab him with the bread knife? Do I have a moral obligation to kill him? Or do I have a moral obligation as a reporter to simply hear him?"

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


Show notes:

  1. lawrencewright.com
  2. @lawrence_wright
  3. Wright on Longform
  4. [6:00] Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief (Knopf • Jan 2013)
  5. [6:00] The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 (Knopf • Aug 2006)
  6. [7:45] The Siege (Twentieth Century Fox • 1998)
  7. [14:45] "The Apostate" (The New Yorker • Feb 2011)
  8. [30:15] My Trip to Al-Qaeda (Jigsaw Productions • Apr 2010)
Longform Podcast #83, Part 1: Pamela Colloff & Mimi Swartz, Live from Austin

Pamela Colloff is an executive editor and staff writer at Texas Monthly.

"That sense of loss, that sense of normal life turning on a dime is something that, in a very different way, I’ve experienced. And I carry that with me into some of the more difficult stories."

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

Show notes:

  1. @pamelacolloff
  2. Colloff on Longform
  3. [2:15] Longform Podcast #16: Pamela Colloff
  4. [10:00] "A Bend in the River" (Texas Monthly • Jul 2002)
  5. [10:00] "A Question of Mercy" (Texas Monthly • Mar 2014)
  6. [10:30] "The Innocent Man, Part One" (Texas Monthly • Nov 2012)
  7. [10:30] "The Innocent Man, Part Two" (Texas Monthly • Dec 2012)
  8. [14:45] "Innocence Found" (Texas Monthly • Jan 2011)

Smiley face Mimi Swartz has written for Talk, The New Yorker and Vogue. She is an executive editor at Texas Monthly.

"Here’s this great [public interest] story that nobody’s ever told. Now how can I write it so the maximum number of people want to read it? I try to make the homework part as interesting and compelling as possible."

Show notes:

  1. @mimiswartz
  2. Swartz on Longform
  3. [25:30] "Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, Wives" (Texas Monthly • Aug 2012)
  4. [33:30] "The Ring and I" (Texas Monthly • Jan 2014)
  5. [35:15] "Sexual Misconduct in the Military--and Why Kirsten Gillibrand Is Pushing Reform to the Top of Her Agenda" (Vogue • Feb 2014)
  6. [35:45] "Failure is Not an Option" (Texas Monthly • Oct 2013)
  7. [41:00] Power Failure: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Enron (Crown Business • Mar 2004)
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Searching for Puddles the Clown, whose cover of Lorde’s “Royals” made him an Internet star.

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A father’s undiagnosed dementia reveals a family’s vulnerability.

Tuesday, March 11

Matthew Power, 1974-2014

"The kind of stories I've gotten to do have involved fulfilling my childhood fantasies of having an adventurous life. Even though I don't make a ton of money doing it, I've never felt like I was missing out on something."

Matthew Power, a freelance journalist and friend, died on assignment in Uganda on Monday.

Above is Matt's Longform Podcast, recorded in February 2013. Some of our favorite stories from his archive:

Confessions of a Drone Warrior (GQ • Oct 2013)
During his nearly six years in the Air Force, Airman First Class Brandon Bryant flew hundreds of missions and logged almost 6,000 hours of flight time. He killed or helped kill 1,626 people. And he never left Nevada.

Mississippi Drift (Harper's • Mar 2008)
An ill-fated trip down the river with a group of anarchists.

Excuse Us While We Kiss The Sky (GQ • Mar 2013)
Navigating the sewers of London and summiting the peaks of Paris with a group of urban explorers.

Blood in the Sand (Outside • Jan 2014)
Investigating the murder of a Costa Rican conservationist.

One More Martyr in a Dirty War (VQR • Jun 2007)
The life and death of Brad Will.

Lost in the Amazon (Men's Journal • Jun 2009)
One man's absurd quest to become the first person to walk the entire length of the Amazon River—floods, electric eels, and machete-wielding natives be damned.

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Despite its association with piracy, BitTorrent is a company in its own right, and one desperate to hit upon a way to monetize its revolutionary file transfer technology.

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A surprising trip into the propaganda machine.

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The battle for Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Cristo Redentor statue.

Monday, March 10

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A Chicago housing project resident reports intruders breaking into her apartment through a medicine cabinet. Days later, she’s found dead.