The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

Our favorite stories of the week, featuring, The Atlantic, California Sunday Magazine, Pacific Standard, a co-investigation by NPR and ProPublica, and The New Yorker.

Below, our favorite stories of the week. Kindle users, you can also get them as a Readlist.

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1. ‘The residents of Ferguson do not have a police problem. They have a gang problem’

Ta-Nehisi Coates | The Atlantic | March 5, 2015 | 9 minutes (2,364 words)

Ta-Nehisi Coates on what the Justice Department’s investigation revealed about Ferguson police. “The ‘focus on revenue’ was almost wholly a focus on black people as revenue. Black people in Ferguson were twice as likely to be searched during a stop, twice as likely to receive a citation when stopped, and twice as likely to be arrested during the stop, and yet were 26 percent less likely to be found with contraband.”

 

2. Outside Man

Jesse Katz | The California Sunday Magazine | March 1, 2015 | 25 minutes (6,330 words)

How the producer of the ‘Hangover’ movies became one of the most effective advocates for prison reform in California.

 

3. The Drug Lord With a Social Mission

Maia Szalavitz | Pacific Standard | March 2, 2015 | 27 minutes (6,900 words)

Matt Bowden (a New Zealander at the forefront of the chemically engineered legal highs arms race) helped create one of the most viral outbreaks of new drugs in history. He might also have the antidote.

 

4. The Demolition of Workers’ Comp

Howard Berkes & Michael Grabell | NPR & ProPublica | March 4, 2015 | 25 minutes (6,282 words)

A co-investigation by NPR and ProPublica: Workers’ compensation benefits have been decimated over the last few decades, leaving severely injured workers vulnerable at a time when they need the most help.

 

5. Confessions of a Comma Queen

Mary Norris | The New Yorker | Feb. 23, 2015 | 26 minutes (6,711 words)

The New Yorker’s longtime copy editor reflects on a life in grammar.