The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

This week, we’re sharing stories from Rahawa Haile; Hannah Dreier; Rukmini Callimachi; Mary Anne Mohanraj, Keah Brown, S. Bear Bergman, Matthew Salesses, and Kiese Laymon; and Molly Fitzpatrick.

This week, we’re sharing stories from Rahawa Haile; Hannah Dreier; Rukmini Callimachi; Mary Anne Mohanraj, Keah Brown, S. Bear Bergman, Matthew Salesses, and Kiese Laymon; and Molly Fitzpatrick.

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1. I Walked From Selma To Montgomery

Rahawa Haile | BuzzFeed | April 1, 2018 | 13 minutes (3,400 words)

The Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail is, at 54 miles, the shortest of America’s 19 National Historic Trails. It is also a hike in which the walking of it is a political act, and Rahawa Haile decides she has no choice but to hike it in the early days of the Trump Administration.

2. A Betrayal

Hannah Dreier | ProPublica | April 2, 2018 | 29 minutes (7,267 words)

Henry, a high school student in Long Island, wanted to get away from MS-13, a Central American gang that trafficked in violence, so he became an informant, helping the police to identify and arrest gang members. Rather than protect Henry, authorities turned him over to ICE — endangering his life by detaining him with MS-13 members who are suspicious that he snitched on them.

3. The ISIS Files

Rukmini Callimachi | The New York Times | April 5, 2018 | 27 minutes (6,846 words)

On five trips to Iraq, Rukmini Callimachi and a team of other New York Times journalists scoured files and other papers left behind by the Islamic State, which help explain how the so-called Caliphate had been able to stay in power there for a number of years. The impression left behind? That ISIS’s penchant for brutality is matched by its acumen for efficient bureaucracy. All manner of infrastructure was apparently maintained better under the group than it had been under the Iraqi government. Money was raised not only through the sale of stollen oil, but through agriculture and through well organized and enforced taxation. Callimachi covers this in an interactive piece.

4. Unruly Bodies

Mary Anne Mohanraj, Keah Brown, S. Bear Bergman, Matthew Salesses, Kiese Laymon | Medium | April 3, 2018 | 76 minutes (19,039 words)

At Medium, Hunger: A Memoir of My Body author Roxane Gay created this excellent pop-up magazine, to be delivered in installments over four Tuesdays in April — “a month-long magazine exploring our ever-changing relationship with our bodies,” she writes. “I knew exactly what I wanted to do — to create a space for writers I respect and admire to contribute to the ongoing conversation about unruly bodies and what it means to be human.” She tapped 24 writers to contribute. This first edition features an introduction by Gay, and essays by Randa Jarrar, Kiese Laymon, Matthew Salesses, Keah Brown, S. Bear Bergman, and Mary Anne Mohanraj.

5. Jersey Shore: An Oral History

Molly Fitzpatrick | Vulture | April 5, 2018 | 30 minutes (7,517 words)

There are few shows that are genre-defining, and Jersey Shore, which premiered nearly a decade ago on MTV, fits that criteria. On the eve of the program’s reboot, Jersey Shore: Family Vacation, this oral history fills in all the blanks—from the casting (Paulie D became a favorite of the producers when they learned he owned his own tanning bed) to the relationships that can only develop at the Shore.