The 25 Most Popular Longreads Exclusives of 2017

Our most popular exclusive stories of 2017. If you like these, you can sign up to receive our weekly email every Friday.

1. The Unforgiving Minute

Laurie Penny | Longreads | November 2017 | 12 minutes (3,175 words)

Men, get ready to be uncomfortable for a while. While forgiveness may come one day, it won’t be soon. (At nearly half a million views, this is the most popular piece ever published on Longreads.)

2. A Sociology of the Smartphone

Adam Greenfield | Radical Technologies: The Design of Everyday Life | Verso | June 2017 | 27 minutes (7,433 words)

Smartphones have altered the texture of everyday life, digesting many longstanding spaces and rituals, and transforming others beyond recognition.

3. The Horizon of Desire

Laurie Penny | Longreads | September 2017 | 15 minutes (4,185 words)

Laurie Penny wants a new conversation about women, men, consent, desire, and autonomy.

4. This is How a Woman is Erased From Her Job

A.N. Devers | Longreads | December 2017 | 26 minutes (6,577 words)

After taking over from George Plimpton, Brigid Hughes was pushed out as the editor of The Paris Review and omitted from the magazine’s history.

5. A High-End Mover Dishes on Truckstop Hierarchy, Rich People, and Moby Dick

Finn Murphy| The Long Haul: A Trucker’s Tales of Life on the Road | W. W. Norton & Company | June 2017 | 22 minutes (5,883 words)

On the beauty and burdens of the long haul.

6. The Human Cost of the Ghost Economy

Melissa Chadburn | Longreads | December 2017 | 12 minutes (3,090 words)

Melissa Chadburn goes undercover as a temp worker.

7. Hard Lessons in Living Off the Grid

Amelia Urry | Longreads and Grist | August 2017 | (3,139 words)

A family tried to build its own sustainable paradise in Hawaii. Then Tesla’s batteries came to town.

8. How to Disappear

Alex Difrancesco | Longreads | April 2017 | 8 minutes (2,070 words)

For Alex DiFrancesco, coming out as transgender — even to themself — wasn’t possible without first disappearing.

9. The Story of Heady Topper, America’s Most Loved Craft Beer

Sam Riches | Longreads and Food & Wine Magazine | March 2017 | 14 minutes (3,489 words)

How a difficult to obtain American double IPA brewed in a small town in Vermont developed a worldwide cult following, with beer fans traveling hundreds of miles just to get a taste.

10. America’s First Addiction Epidemic

Christopher Finan | Drunks: An American History | Beacon Press | June 2017 | 28 minutes (7,526 words)

The alcohol epidemic devastated Native American communities, leading to crippling poverty, astonishingly high mortality rates — and a successful sobriety movement.

11. Here at the End of All Things

Adrian Daub | Longreads | August 2017 | 20 minutes (5,033 words)

On losing oneself in the geography of fantasy worlds, from Middle Earth to Westeros.

12. The Louisiana Environmental Apocalypse Road Trip

Justin Nobel | Longreads | July 2017 | 16 minutes (4,000 words)

Louisiana serves as a terrifying example of what can become of a state that shortchanges science and environmental regulations to boost industry and infrastructure.

13. We’re All Mad Here: Weinstein, Women, and the Language of Lunacy

Laurie Penny | Longreads | October 2017 | 13 minutes (3,709 words)

“He has demons.” The language of madness is the last resort for a society that can no longer deny the evidence of structural oppression and violence.

14. Home is a Cup of Tea

Candace Rose Rardon | Longreads | July 2017 | 10 minutes (2,882 words)

Sketch artist and writer Candace Rose Rardon tells the story of her search for home through the different teas she has discovered while traveling.

15. The Death of an Heir: Adolph Coors III and the Murder That Rocked an American Brewing Dynasty

Philip Jett | The Death of an Heir | St. Martin’s Press | September 2017 | 27 minutes (7,489 words)

More than fifty years ago, one man tried to hold the Coors brewery CEO for ransom. Things went very badly.

16. How a Journalist Uncovered the True Identity of Jihadi John

Souad Mekhennet | I Was Told to Come Alone: My Journey Behind the Lines of Jihad | Henry Holt & Company | June 2017 | 19 minutes (5,112 words)

Souad Mekhennet’s thrilling tale of late-night rendezvous, burner phones, and secret codes — and her quest to reveal the man in black.

17. How to Say You Maybe Don’t Want to Be Married Anymore

Sarah Bregel | Longreads | November 2017 | 11 minutes (2,671 words)

In this personal essay, Sarah Bregel takes a close look at her marriage after two kids, and wonders, how hard is too hard to keep going?

18. The Elements of Bureaucratic Style

Colin Dickey | Longreads | April 2017 | 12 minutes | 3000 words

The bureaucratic voice presents governments and corporations as placid, apologetic, and unmovable. It also makes their victims as active as possible.

19. On American Identity, the Election, and Family Members Who Support Trump

Nicole Chung | Nasty Women: Feminism, Resistance, and Revolution in Trump’s America | September 2017 | 16 minutes (4,037 words)

Nicole Chung reflects on the burden of engaging with racism and educating white people, including some in her own family.

20. A Shot in the Arm

Josh Roiland | Longreads | February 2017 | 14 minutes (3,710 words)

Why would a tenure-track professor find himself selling his plasma to make rent? A story about debt in the academic world.

21. “No Fatties”: When Health Care Hurts

Carey Purcell | Longreads | October 2017 | 4280 words (16 minutes)

A fat person walking into a doctor’s office can expect lectures, condescension, and misdiagnoses from a medical culture that chalks every health issue up to weight.

22. The Dead Man Fund

Jack El-Hai | Longreads | November 2017 | 7 minutes (1,672 words)

How the world’s worst investor fleeced clients who couldn’t complain.

23. The Consent of the (Un)governed

Laurie Penny | Longreads | December 2017 | 15 minutes (3,881 words)

“Freedom” is just another word for being under the thumb of a powerful white man — for now.

24. In 1971, the People Didn’t Just March on Washington — They Shut It Down

L. A. Kauffman | Direct Action: Protest and the Reinvention of American Radicalism | Verso Books | February 2017 | 33 minutes (8,883 words)

The most influential large-scale political action of the ’60s was actually in 1971, and you’ve never heard of it. It was called the Mayday action, and it provides invaluable lessons for today.

25. What My Mother and I Don’t Talk About

Michele Filgate | Longreads | October 2017 | 10 minutes (2,501 words)

Michele Filgate reflects on her teen years with an abusive stepfather and a mother whose silence protected him.