Photo by James West for Mother Jones

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

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1. My Four Months as a Private Prison Guard

Shane Bauer | Mother Jones | June 23, 2016 | 145 minutes (36,384 words)

Bauer goes undercover as a private prison guard to investigate the inner workings of a for-profit prison in Winnfield, Louisiana run by the Corrections Corporation of America. He witnesses multiple stabbings, prisoners denied adequate care, and becomes unsettled by the way the job changes his behavior.

2. The Ghosts of Fukushima

Steve Featherstone | The New Republic | June 20, 2016 | 20 minutes (4,539 words)

Five years after a massive earthquake and tsunami triggered a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, only a small percentage of evacuees have returned to the Japanese town of Naraha, which the government has deemed safe following an expensive cleanup effort.

3. The Dark Side Of Longform Journalism

Luke Mogelson | Literary Hub | June 16, 2016 | 9 minutes (2,208 words)

“In the field, we are actively, aggressively seeking to see with our own eyes the reality of war, famine, disaster—and who isn’t at least somewhat gratified when he discovers what he’s sought, at least somewhat disappointed when he doesn’t?”

4. Will Trump Swallow the G.O.P. Whole?

Mark Leibovich | New York Times Magazine | June 21, 2016 | 27 minutes (6,829 words)

The Republican party is struggling to maintain party unity with Donald Trump as their presumptive presidential nominee. Leibovich talks with RNC chairman Reince Priebus, House speaker Paul Ryan, and other party leaders about their future.

5. Mother, Writer, Monster, Maid

Rufi Thorpe | Vela | June 21, 2016 | 21 minutes (5,306 words)

Rufi Thorpe reframes the choice between motherhood and making great art. She synthesizes the words of great women authors, their critics, and examples from her own life as a novelist, wife and mother of two young children.