The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

This week, we’re sharing stories from Chris Outcalt, Corie Brown, Daniel Immerwahr, Toniann Fernandez, and Karen Abbott.

This week, we’re sharing stories from Chris Outcalt, Corie Brown, Daniel Immerwahr, Toniann Fernandez, and Karen Abbott.

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1. Murder at the Alcatraz of the Rockies

Chris Outcalt | The Atavist | May 1, 2018 | 43 minutes (10,922 words)

How a rookie FBI agent spent a decade investigating the conspiracy surrounding the murder of Manuel (Tati) Torrez, a high-ranking member of the notorious Mexican Mafia gang, la Eme.

2. Rural Kansas is dying. I drove 1,800 miles to find out why.

Corie Brown | The New Food Economy | April 26, 2018 | 22 minutes (5,625 words)

A native Kansan returns home to find that the broken promises of commodity agriculture have destroyed a way of life.

3. We’re the Good Guys, Right?

Daniel Immerwahr | n + 1 | April 26, 2018 | 13 minutes (3,494 words)

Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk — they look a lot like the villains they fight. When did superheroes switch from working for justice to running a protection racket?

4. Becoming Spring Brucesteen: My Quest to Meet the Boss

Toniann Fernandez | The Paris Review | April 25, 2018 | 16 minutes (4,122 words)

It took Toniann Fernandez a decade after first leaving her New Jersey home to understand the appeal of Bruce Springsteen, the state’s officially sanctioned saint, and she tracks her various exploits this past year in what eventually becomes a futile attempt to meet the Boss.

5. Birds of a Feather

Karen Abbott | Topic | May 1, 2018 | 8 minutes (2,054 words)

On the not-so-surprisingly tight bonds between parrot enthusiasts and their feathered friends.