Thursday, May 30

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The Greatest Vendetta on Earth

Why the head of Ringling Bros.-Barnum & Bailey hired a former CIA agent to ruin a freelance writer’s career.

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Wednesday, May 29

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Access Hollywood

How Jeffrey Katzenberg became the Democrats’ kingmaker.

Longform Podcast #43: Margalit Fox

Margalit Fox is a senior obituary writer for The New York Times.

"You do get emotionally involved with people, even though as a journalist you're not supposed to. But as a human being, how can you not? Particularly people who had difficult, tragic, poignant lives. But there are also people that you just wish you had known. And, of course, the painful irony is that you're only getting to know them by virtue of the fact that it's too late."

Thanks to this week's sponsor, TinyLetter!

Show Notes »
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Private Ceremonies

The author, an abortion counselor, was 40 and pregnant when a conflicted Catholic woman came to her clinic.

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The Death and Life of Chicago

How the foreclosure crisis ignited a new form of activism in Chicago’s vacant homes.

Tuesday, May 28

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Allegation Ends Coach's Career

A college football coach is falsely accused of producing and possessing child pornography.

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The Legend of Buster Smith

A profile of the greatest checkers player of all time.

The Longform Guide to Articles That Became Movies

The Longform Guide to Adaptations

Argo, The Insider, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Dog Day Afternoon—a collection of great articles that became (mostly) great movies.

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Firestorm

The story behind the iconic photograph of the Holmes family, hiding in the water amidst violent Tasmanian bushfires.

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The Borough Mystery: Dr William Kirwan

“Southwark’s petty thugs must have thought all their birthdays had come at once: a well-dressed toff stumbling round their borough in no state to defend himself, and with an alcoholic street whore as his only companion.”

Reconstructing a mysterious 1892 London murder.

Monday, May 27

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The Girl Who Turned to Bone

“Jeannie Peeper’s diagnosis meant that, over her lifetime, she would essentially develop a second skeleton. Within a few years, she would begin to grow new bones that would stretch across her body, some fusing to her original skeleton. Bone by bone, the disease would lock her into stillness. The Mayo doctors didn’t tell Peeper’s parents that. All they did say was that Peeper would not live long.”