The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

Our top stories of the week, as chosen by the editors at Longreads.

Photo: DVIDSHUB/Flickr

Below, our favorite stories of the week.

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1. The Fighter

C.J. Chivers | New York Times | Dec. 28, 2016 | 73 minutes (18,429 words)

The story of Sam Siatta, a Marine Corps veteran of the war in Afghanistan who returned home with PTSD and landed in prison after committing a crime he says he doesn't remember.

2. Can a Gun Victim and a Gun Advocate Change Each Other’s Minds?

Lisa Miller, Marco Grob | New York Magazine | Dec. 26, 2016 | 25 minutes (6,443 words)

Gun advocates and victims of gun violence meet together to participate in a "story exchange" in which they pair up to share personal stories, and then tell their partner's story in the first person in front of the group. The process, organized by Narrative 4, is supposed to engender "transformative empathy," to get two people with opposing points of views to understand the other side.

3. OxyContin Goes Global — 'We’re Only Just Getting Started'

Harriet Ryan, Lisa Girion, Scott Glover | Los Angeles Times | Dec. 18, 2016 | 16 minutes (4,022 words)

Part three of an investigation by the Los Angeles Times looking into OxyContin's role in the opioid epidemic.

4. Unnatural Disasters Series

Bani Amor | Bitch Media | Dec. 16, 2016 | 29 minutes (7,276 words)

A devastating four-part look at the connections among white supremacy, racism, privilege, misogyny, and climate change, and the effects they all have on women and people of color in places where climate change-related disasters occur.

5. Rewriting the Code of Life

Michael Specter | New Yorker | Dec. 26, 2016 | 28 minutes (7,159 words)

Can we eliminate diseases like Lyme and malaria by rewriting DNA? Specter walks us through a powerful new biological tool capable of altering the genetic destiny of a species.