The National Magazine Award Finalists: Reporting
The Obama Doctrine
Walmart’s Out-of-Control Crime Problem Is Driving Police Crazy
The Tennis Racket
Present At The Creation: The never-told-before story of the meeting that led to the creation of ISIS
My Four Months As A Private Prison Guard
Sources: Megyn Kelly Told Murdoch Investigators That Roger Ailes Sexually Harassed Her
The Assad Files
The Longform Guide to Wine
Red, white, expensive, cheap, fake, poisoned.
Can Wine Become an American Habit?
One man’s dream to turn America into a post-prohibition wine utopia.
The Assassin in the Vineyard
Who would poison the vines of the tiny, centuries-old vineyard that produces what most agree is Burgundy’s ﬁnest, rarest, and most expensive wine?
Fred Franzia makes a lot of money selling really cheap wine.
The rare-wine world gets conned.
The Red and the White
Investigating whether or not anyone can really tell them apart.
The Million-Dollar Nose
A profile of wine critic Robert Parker.
On wine’s sacred and profane history.
The Longform Guide to Diaries
Nina Simone, Guantánamo’s youngest prisoner, and a murderous college student — a collection of articles based on private journals.
I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free
The secret diary of Nina Simone.
Tuesdays with Saddam
The diary of a Scranton, PA National Guardsmen tasked with guarding the highest profile prisoner in U.S. history: a surprisingly amiable Saddam Hussein.
In Search of Baseball's Holy Grail
Is an ancient diary the key to discovering the origins of baseball?
The youngest prisoner held at Guantánamo on his seven years in detention.
My Love Affair With The New York Observer
Diary of a veteran gadfly.
Diary of a Murder
On the last day of their junior year at Harvard, one roommate kills the other, then hangs herself.
The Longform Guide to Imposters
The Spanish police believed he was a missing American teen. So, seemingly, did the Texas family who had lost him three years prior. Who they had actually found was Frédéric Bourdin, was a 23-year-old Frenchman on the run.
An IM Infatuation Turned to Romance. Then the Truth Came Out.
He was an 18-year-old Marine bound for Iraq. She was a high school senior in West Virginia. They grew intimate over IM. His dad started contacting her. No one was who they claimed to be.
The Lies of Laura Albert, a.k.a. JT LeRoy
For nearly a decade, Laura Albert lived a double life as troubled teen turned cult writer JT LeRoy, writing books, chatting constantly with celebrities, and convincing another woman to appear as JT LeRoy in public.
Jerry Joseph showed up in a small Texas town seemingly out of nowhere, produced a birth certificate that said he was of age, and quickly became a star for the local high-school basketball team. It was a role he’d played before.
The Talented Mr. Young
The story of Alan Young, a career con whose go-to move was to pose as a member of the Temptations and smooth-talk his way into luxury hotel rooms and limo rides.
The Man in the Rockefeller Suit
When a man named Clark Rockefeller snatched his daughter during a custody dispute, what the D.A. called “the longest con I’ve seen in my professional career” unraveled.
The Longform Guide to Bob Dylan
Three of our favorite articles on the latest Nobel Prize winner.
The Longform Guide to Bank Heists
The most prolific duo in history, the Texas woman who robbed banks dressed a pudgy cowboy, and the story that inspired Dog Day Afternon — a collection of our favorite stories about bank robberies.
The Trenchcoat Robbers
Ray Bowman and Billy Kirkpatrick, who began boosting together as teenagers, were arrested only twice during their prolific partnership. The first time was for stealing 38 records from a K-Mart in 1974. The second arrest came in 1997. In between, Bowman and Kirkpatrick robbed 27 banks, including the single biggest haul in United States history: $4,461,681 from the Seafirst Bank in suburban Tacoma.
The Last Ride of Cowboy Bob
Peggy Jo Tallas, a soft-spoken bachelorette, spent much of her adult life doing two things: taking care of her ailing mother and robbing bank after bank dressed as a pudgy, bearded cowboy.
The All-American Bank Heist
Anthony Curcio was the pride of his small town in Washington state. A former football star, he had married his high-school sweetheart and was making good money flipping houses. Then the real estate market crashed, and Curcio turned his obsessive attention to planning an ingenious heist involving Craigslist, an inner tube, and $400,000.
The robbers had a helicopter, explosives, and inside information on a $150 million cash repository. But the police were on to them—sort of.
The Boys in the Bank
A young man named John Wojtowicz, desperate to provide for his children and finance his lover’s sex-change surgery, attempts to rob a Chase branch in Brooklyn. The bank is surrounded almost immediately and a 14-hour standoff ensues. The story inspired Sidney Lumet’s Dog Day Afternoon.
The Incredible True Story of the Collar Bomb Heist
In 2003, a man named Brian Wells robbed a bank in Erie, Pa., with a bomb around his neck. Shortly thereafter, with Wells surrounded by cops and claiming he’d been forced to commit the crime, the bomb detonated, leaving authorities to piece together who had put it there. Eight years later, they’re still not entirely sure who was behind this bizarre crime, or even the true motive.
The Rise and Fall of the Bombshell Bandit
How a 24-year-old nurse discovered Vegas, high-stakes gambling, and serial bank robbery.
The Longform Guide to Hillary Clinton
From her early political career to the challenges she's faced in 2016 — a reading list on the Democratic nominee for president.
Hillary the Pol
“Hillary Clinton was never a shy person.”
Not Like the Rest of Us
Two biographies of Hillary Clinton do not get us any closer to understanding her.
Woman of the World
On Clinton’s Arab Spring.
The Fresh Air Interivew
GROSS: I am just trying to clarify so I can understand.
CLINTON: No, I don't think you are trying to clarify. I think you're trying to say that, you know, I used to be opposed and now I'm in favor and I did it for political reasons. And that's just flat wrong. So let me just state what I feel like you are implying and repudiate it. I have a strong record. I have a great commitment to this issue and I am proud of what I've done and the progress we're making.
The Inevitability Trap
The drawbacks of being the front-runner.
Hillary Clinton vs. Herself
There’s nothing simple about this candidacy—or candidate.
The Longform Guide to the Brain
Experimental neuroscience, everlasting consciousness, and conjoined minds — our favorite articles about the brain.
What the sensation of an uncontrollable itch can tell us about how the brain operates.
Could Conjoined Twins Share a Mind?
The shared life of Tatiana and Krista Hogan.
The Strange Neuroscience of Immortality
How some scientists are turning to connectomes—maps of the brain’s neural circuitry—to make the case for brain preservation, mind uploading, and eternal life.
The Strange Case of the Woman Who Can’t Remember Her Past—Or Imagine Her Future
Susie McKinnon cannot hold a grudge. She is unfamiliar with the feeling of regret and oblivious to aging. She has no core memories. And yet she knows who she is.
As Good as Dead
Is there really such a thing as brain death?
The Brain on Trial
Eagleman, a neuroscientist, describes how groundbreaking advances in the science of brain have changed our understanding of volition in criminal acts, and may erode the underpinnings of our justice system.
Mrs. Kelly's Monster
Edna Kelly’s brain goes under the knife.
The Longform Guide to High School
From football fields in Texas to the real Ridgemont High, a collection of picks to help remember a time you might rather forget.
Friday Night Lights
On the start of the high school football season in Odessa, Texas. An adaptation published alongside the release of Bissinger’s 1990 book of the same name, which led to the movie and the show.
What Really Happened to Phoebe Prince?
Her suicide made headlines around the world after classmates were indicted on felony charges related to bullying, but the real story wasn’t that simple.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
At age 22, the author went undercover at his old high school. An excerpt of the book that became the film.
My Favorite Teacher
Mr. Lindwall was the only high school teacher who understood him. Then Mr. Lindwall went to jail, and it was his turn to try to understand.
The Unbearable Awkwardness of Being
Sixteen years after graduating, an alumnus heads back to his old stomping grounds in Cleveland.
The Killer Cadets
How two love-struck, type-A high school students almost got away with murder.
Navigating life as a brilliant teenage girl.
The profile of a 34-year-old woman named Charity Johnson who tricked people all over the country into believing she was still in high school.
An essay on a fatal car crash in the author’s youth.
High School Is a Sadistic Institution
The science behind why high school sucks.
The Longform Guide to Undercover Journalism
Stories from inside slaughterhouses, car dealerships, and an 1800s insane asylum.
Confessions of a Car Salesman
Undercover at a dealership to learn the tricks of the trade, of which there are many.
I Was a Warehouse Wage Slave
Undercover in the online-shipping industry.
Ten Days in a Mad House
Undercover in a women’s insane asylum. On an island. In 1887.
Dropping in on the Demented Utopia of the Gathering of the Juggalos
Undercover as a Juggalette.
The Things He Carried
Undercover going through airport security.
The Master of Spin Boldak
Undercover with Afghanistan’s drug-smuggling border police.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Undercover in high school.
The Longform Guide to Gambling
A collection of picks about the best and worst bettors in the world.
The Gambler Who Blew $127 Million
In 2007, Harrah’s made 5.6 percent of its total Las Vegas revenue off a single person: Terrance Watanabe.
The High is Always the Pain and the Pain is Always the High
A story of gambling addiction, in seven parts.
Portrait of the Consummate Con Man
“On a small scale, Titanic Thompson is an American legend. I say on a small scale, because an overpowering majority of the public has never heard of him. That is the way Titanic likes it. He is a professional gambler. He has sometimes been called the gambler’s gambler.”
A Thousand Pounds of Dynamite
In 1980, a bankrupt gambler came up with a plan to get his money back. He built an incredibly complex bomb, one that was impossible to defuse and that only he knew how to move, and snuck it into a Lake Tahoe casino with an extortion note demanding $3 million. Part of the plan worked. Part of it did not.
A Life on the Edge
How Billy Walters, the world’s most successful gambler, keeps winning.
$5 Chess Game, Best-of-Three, Zuccotti Park
On playing chess and waiting to get arrested.
The Baleful Influence of Gambling
“Again I ask, Is this really the way the American people want it to be?”
The Death and Life of Atlantic City
The men who say they’ll try to save the once-bustling gambling resort town.
The Longform Guide to Nurses
It takes a special kind of person to become a nurse. You have to be willing to work long shifts. To care for people when nobody else will. To be there for families at their darkest hour. And to do it all while being taken for granted.
Nursing is hard, thankless work. And yet nearly four million people in America do it every day. Here are a few of their stories, a collection presented in partnership with Johnson & Johnson.
What Nurses Stand For
Sitcoms satirize them, the media ignore them, doctors won’t listen to them, and now hospitals are laying them off, sacrificing them to corporate medicine — yet nurses’ contributions to patients and families is beyond price.
In the bayou south of New Orleans, a program called the Nurse-Family Partnership tries to reverse the life chances for babies born into extreme poverty. Sometimes it actually succeeds.
Tereza Sedgwick trains to become a nurse aid, one of the fastest-growing — and most challenging — jobs in America.
A Nurse Reflects on the Privilege of Caring for Dying Patients
An interview with Theresa Brown, author of The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve hours, Four Patients’ Lives.
My First Life as a Nurse
A former nurse who left to become an English professor remembers the stress of her first career.
The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying
A palliative care nurse on the inspiring lessons she learned from her dying patients.
The Longform Guide to Sea Creatures
Keiko, Nessie, and giant squids: a collection of picks on animals from the deep.
The Squid Hunter
An obsessive marine biologist gambles his savings, family, and sanity on a quest to be the first to capture a live giant squid.
Consider the Lobster
A trip to a lobster festival leads to an examination of the culinary and ethical dimensions of cooking a live, possibly sentient, creature.
Death of a Giant
Stalking the disappearing bluefin tuna, the world’s most valuable wild animal.
Loch Ness Memoir
A trip to Scotland and an investigation of enduring belief.
On the mysterious and moderately intelligent giant Pacific octopus.
A profile of a celebrity whale.
In 1992, a Chinese freighter tipped violently in a storm dumping a load of plastic floating infant toys—7,200 red beavers, 7,200 green frogs, 7,200 blue turtles, and 7,200 yellow ducks—to the open sea. This is their story.
The Killer in the Pool
In February 2010, a killer whale named Tilikum dragged his SeaWorld trainer into the pool and drowned her. It was the third time the orca had been involved in a death during his 27 years in captivity. This is his story.
The story of the loneliest whale in the world.
The Longform Guide to Sleep
The nightmare of insomnia, the secret of slumber, and the search for the next Ambien — our favorite articles about sleep, presented by Casper.
In Which We're Up All Night
An essay on insomnia.
The Secrets of Sleep
We know we need sleep. We just don’t know why.
Can You Die From a Nightmare?
Coming to grips with night terrors.
Deep Into Sleep
The state of sleep research and what Americans’ unprecedented lack of shuteye may mean in the long run.
The Big Sleep
On Ambien and the search for the next blockbuster insomnia drug.
The Longform Guide to Running
Champions, record-breakers, frauds, and underdogs — our favorite articles about runners.
The Freshman and the Great Guru
A profile of a young Steve Prefontaine.
Debbie Heald Set an Important Record
A 16-year-old runner, her coach and the lasting memory of an improbable race.
The strange case of Kip Litton, road race fraud.
Run Like Fire Once More
On the world’s longest foot race, which takes place entirely within Queens.
The Mysterious Death of Sammy Wanjiru
He rose from poverty to fame as a marathon champion at only 23. But was his fall from a balcony outside of Nairobi murder, accident, or suicide?
A profile of 101-year-old marathoner Fauja Singh.
The Power of One
At age 17, Bonnie Richardson won the Texas state track team championship all by herself. Then she did it again.
The Men Who Live Forever
In Mexico’s remote Copper Canyon, the Tarahumara Indians party hard, get by on a diet of carbs and beer, and can still run 100-mile races, even in their 60s.
His brain and body shattered in a horrible accident as a young boy, Bret Dunlap thought just being able to hold down a job, keep an apartment, and survive on his own added up to a good enough life. Then he discovered running.
The Longform Guide to Restaurants
Pocketful of Dough
If you walk into New York’s best restaurants without a reservation, what does it take to get a table?
Chef on the Edge
David Chang’s manic quest for a flawless restaurant.
In Which We Don't Do Coke in the Bathroom of the Restaurant
An essay on waiting tables.
A Cocktail Party in the Street
An interview with Alan Stillman, who in 1965 founded T.G.I. Friday’s, the first singles bar in America.
Why McDonald's Fries Taste So Good
Mysterious, man-made “natural flavor” explains why most fast food—indeed, most of the food Americans eat—tastes the way it does. An early excerpt from Fast Food Nation.
One Night at Kachka
A minute-by-minute account of what it takes to run a restaurant.
The Kitchen Network
America’s underground Chinese restaurant workers.
The Zankou Chicken Murders
The creator of the California-based food chain kills his mother, sister and, finally, himself.
The Longform Guide to the Dark Side of Hollywood
Corruption, venality, and tragedy: a collection of picks on what lies beneath the glitter.
The Devil and John Holmes
He was a nobody who became a porn star, a porn star who became a destitute freebaser, an addict who set up his dealer to be robbed, and finally witness to a retaliatory massacre at the house they called Wonderland.
River, With Love and Anger
Somehow, River Phoenix’s reluctance to be a star only made him more famous. When he died outside an LA club in 1993, it only cemented his troubled legend.
The Killing of Gus Hasford
He came home from Vietnam, wrote the novel that became Full Metal Jacket, was nominated for an Oscar and riding high. Then he got thrown in jail for stockpiling stolen library books, started drinking, cut off his friends and fled to a remote Greek island. He never made it back.
To Die For
Bonnie Lee Bakley always wanted to marry a celebrity. The one she chose was Robert Blake, a troubled and only intermittently famous man who would end up accused of her murder.
Hollywood's Information Man
Peter Bart was once a movie executive like everyone else, but as the head of Variety, the industry’s powerful source of news,
How a high-powered lawyer and a rough-edged private detective ended up at the center of the biggest, dirtiest scandal in Hollywood history.
Pat Dollard's War on Hollywood
He was just another coked-up agent (representing the likes of Steven Soderbergh) when he disappeared into Iraq, shooting heaps of footage he would attempt to package into a pro-war documentary. And that was just the beginning.
The Haunted Twilight of Richard Simmons
Two years ago, the fitness guru abruptly disappeared from public life. His friends worry that he’s being held against his will inside his Hollywood Hills mansion, or something even worse.
The Longform Guide to Dog Sledding
On the eve of the Iditarod, our favorite articles ever written about "the last great race."
Welcome to Dog World!
Spending the summer as a tour guide on a glacier.
Out in the Great Alone
A trip to the Iditarod.
A Passion for Canines, Cold Winds
Following the Yukon Quest, the Iditarod’s thousand-mile rival.
No Sleep 'Til Fairbanks
Behind the scenes at the Yukon Quest.
The White Wall
On Alaska’s mushing dynasties.
Lance Mackey: The World's Toughest Athlete
A profile of the Michael Jordan of mushing.
The Longform Guide to the Olympics
Munich, the Dream Team, and the search for Nadia Comaneci—a collection of articles on the highs and lows of Olympic history.
The Little-Known History of How the Olympics Got Their Start
The first modern games were staged in 1850 by a surgeon named William Penny Brookes in a town called Much Wenlock.
High Hurdles and White Gloves
An American gold medalist in the hurdles describes his experience at the 1896 Olympics in Athens.
Letter from Munich
On the scene of the darkest games in Olympic history.
The Search for Nadia
Three years after her gold-medal performance—and amidst rumors of a fall from grace—the author travels to Transylvania to track down gymnast Nadia Comaneci. He also enjoys several drinks with her coach, Béla Károlyi.
The Greatest Game Nobody Ever Saw
On the eve of the 1992 Summer Olympics, the Dream Team held a closed-door scrimmage in Monaco. Michael Jordan led one team, Magic Johnson the other. Two decades later, a game report.
The Ballad of Richard Jewel
How the media and law enforcement fingered the wrong man for the 1996 Olympic Park bombing.
Will You Still Medal in the Morning?
Sex in the Olympic Village.
One One-Hundredth of a Second Faster
How science is “helping athletes approach perfection.”
S. Korea Covered Up Mass Abuse, Killings of 'Vagrants'
How the government cleared the streets in advance of the 1988 Olympics.
Compiled by Gretchen Gavett and Elon Green.
The Longform Guide to Rich Kids
Paris Hilton, Princeton phonies, and the prince who blew through billions—a collection of articles on young money.
“They cruise the city in chauffeured cars, blasting rap, selling pot to classmates. How some of New York’s richest kids joined forces with some of its poorest.”
The Poorest Rich Kids in the World
Georgia and Patterson Inman, 15-year-old twins, are the only living heirs to the $1 billion Duke tobacco fortune. They are also emotional wrecks who have barely survived a hellacious childhood.
The Prince Who Blew Through Billions
On the brother of the Sultan of Brunei, Prince Jefri Bolkiah, who has “probably gone through more cash than any other human being on earth.”
Lost in the Meritocracy
An overachiever on what he did and didn’t learn at Princeton.
A profile of Paris Hilton at the height of her fame.
Members Only: Inside the World of Late Night Shots
An invite-only social network for Georgetown assholes.
Poor Little Rich Girls
How two sisters, heirs to the Bronfman fortune, may have blown $100 million supporting the cult-like group NXIVM.
A profile of Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, the Malibu-dwelling, “fantastically corrupt” dictator-in-waiting of Equatorial Guinea. Teodorin, as his friends call him, is considered by U.S. intelligence to be “an unstable, reckless idiot.”
The Longform Guide to Sight
A blind man who taught himself to see, a killer obsessed with eyes, and how different animals perceive the world — a collection of our favorite articles about sight.
Into the Light
After losing his sight at age 3, Michael May went on to become the first blind CIA agent, set a world record for downhill skiing and start a successful Silicon Valley company. Then he got the chance to see again.
See No Evil
One killer’s creepy obsession.
The Blind Man Who Taught Himself to See
Daniel Kish had his eyes removed at age 1 because he was born with retinoblastoma, a cancer that attacks the retinas. But many people would never guess that he is blind.
The perspective-bending art of identical twins Trevor and Ryan Oakes.
Captain Iván Castro lost his vision in Iraq, but that didn’t stop him from running marathons.
The allure of invisibility.
Movies and TV: Murder or Merger?
How 3-D images affect the eye, plus proof that viewers have hated the technology since at least 1953.
Inside the Eye: Nature’s Most Exquisite Creation
How animals see.
The Longform Guide to Animal Attacks
From grizzlies in Alaska to whales at SeaWorld, a collection stories of animals turning on humans.
The Man Who Loved Grizzlies
On Timothy Treadwell, later immortalized in Grizzly Man, who lived and died by the bears of Alaska.
Travis the Menace
The life story of Travis the chimp and the family of tow truck operators who raised him like a human child before it all ended in tragedy.
The Killer in the Pool
The life story of Tilikum, a killer whale who dragged his SeaWorld trainer into the pool and drowned her in 2010. It was the third time the orca had been involved in a death during his 27 years in captivity.
When Pets Attack
Encountering a pack of wild dogs in Manhattan.
“Joe’s hand began to tingle, and he called the group together. The toxins would leave his system in 48 hours, he said. He’d be conscious the whole time.”
A Death in Yellowstone
After two people are found dead in Yellowstone National Park, a team of investigators tracks down the unlikely culprit: a grizzly bear.
The Longform Guide to Journalism Hoaxes, Pranks and Lies
Stephen Glass, Jayson Blair, Janet Cooke and the best April Fool's in magazine history.
The Curious Case of Sidd Finch
A profile of a previously unknown rookie pitcher for the Mets who dropped out of Harvard, made a spiritual quest to Tibet, and somewhere along the line figured out how to throw a baseball much, much faster than anyone else on Earth. Also, the greatest April Fools’ Day prank in the history of journalism.
Great Astronomical Discoveries Lately Made
Over six days in 1835, the New York Sun reported a stunning development—life had been found on the moon.
One of the most famous fabrications in journalism history, Janet Cooke’s Pulitzer-winning invention of an 8-year-old boy with a heroin habit.
See also: Bill Green’s 14,000-word post-mortem on “Jimmy’s World.”
Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night
Nearly 20 years after its publication, Cohn revealed that his story, which was the basis for Saturday Night Fever, was a fake—a fact that still isn’t noted on New York’s website.
The definitive profile of Stephen Glass, 25-year-old wunderkind reporter and serial fabricator.
See also: Sixteen years later, a former colleague confronts Glass.
Correcting the Record: Times Reporter Who Resigned Leaves Long Trail of Deception
The paper of record comes clean about Jayson Blair.
There is an island in the Florida Keys, the author said, where men fish for monkeys.
There was no island, no men, and no monkeys.
The Longform Guide to Quarterbacks
Jimmy Breslin on Joe Namath, Mike Sager on Todd Marinovich, and George Plimpton on himself — a collection of our favorite articles ever written about QBs.
The Man Who Never Was
On the desolate career of Todd Marinovich, who was engineered from birth to be an NFL quarterback and ended up a junkie.
"Hut—Two—Three ... Ugh!"
A detailed account of Plimpton’s 5-play tenure as quarterback of the Detroit Lions.
You Can't Quit Cold Turkey
Jared Lorenzen was a star quarterback in college. He won a Super Bowl. And just like the author, he has spent his entire life fighting, and losing, a battle with his weight.
The Big Book of Black Quarterbacks
The stories of the 109 black men who have played quarterback in the NFL, from Fritz Pollard to Russell Wilson.
The Eli Experiment
A profile of Eli Manning—brother of Peyton, son of Archie, future Super Bowl MVP—published shortly after his first NFL start.
What Was He Thinking?
Catching up with Jake Plummer, who turned down a $5 million contract and left the NFL while still in his prime to concentrate on playing handball.
Does God Have a Tim Tebow Complex?
A profile of Tim Tebow as he dealt with NFL skeptics on the eve of his final college season.
Namath All Night Long
Over a scotch a few months after his underdog Jets won Super Bowl III, a 26-year-old Joe Namath told Jimmy Breslin what he’d done the night before the game: “I went out and got a bottle and grabbed this girl.”