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Friday, August 8

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How Libya Blew Billions and Its Best Chance at Democracy

Following Muammar Qaddafi’s death in 2011, Libya had hundreds of billions of dollars. This is the story of how it was erased.

Previously: David Samuels on the Longform Podcast.

Thursday, August 7

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While The World Watched

The World Cup and Argentina’s “Dirty War.”

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John Hersey: The Art of Fiction No. 92

“My mother kept scrapbooks of everything any of her children did all their lives, and among my scrapbooks are newspapers that I wrote on the typewriter at the age of six, The Hersey Family News, with ads offering my older brothers for various kinds of hard labor at very low wages.”

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The Most Fascinating Profile You’ll Ever Read About a Guy and His Boring Startup

On Stewart Butterfield, the founder of Flickr and now Slack, a wildly popular, difficult-to-describe messaging service that has 38,000 paying subscribers just a few months after launching.

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Don't Be Afraid Of The Clowns

A dispatch from the World Clown Association Convention.

Wednesday, August 6

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Get Out of Jail, Inc.

On the private, for-profit probation industry.

Longform Podcast #103: Adam Higginbotham

Adam Higginbotham has written for Businessweek, Wired and The New Yorker. His latest story is A Thousand Pounds of Dynamite, for The Atavist.

"There's always a narrative in a crime story. Something has always gone wrong. These guys are always in prison, because they all fucked something up or trusted the wrong person. They always get caught in the end. Because if they hadn't, you wouldn't be reading about it."

Thanks to TinyLetter for sponsoring this week's episode.

Show Notes »
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Richard Branson Turns 50

Partying with a lost tycoon on his birthday.

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Vladimir Putin’s Chess-Master Nemesis

A profile of Garry Kasparov, who exiled himself from Russia last year and is running for president of FIDE, the governing body of chess. The election has become the dirtiest in FIDE history and a proxy debate over freedom and Russia’s future; Kasparov’s opponent has the full backing of Vladimir Putin.

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Me, Myself, and I

On the history of masturbation.

Tuesday, August 5

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On Being Stalked

“I write this with a baseball bat by the bed.”