The 25 Most Popular Longreads Exclusives of 2018

Our most popular exclusive stories of 2018. If you like these, you can sign up to receive our weekly email every Friday.

1. Who Does She Think She Is?

Laurie Penny | Longreads | March 2018 | 23 minutes (5,933 words)

The internet does not hate women. People hate women, and the internet allows them to do it faster, harder, and with impunity.

2. No, I Will Not Debate You

Laurie Penny | Longreads | September 2018 | 15 minutes (3,795 words)

Civility will never defeat fascism, no matter what The Economist thinks.

3. The Difference Between Being Broke and Being Poor

Words by Erynn Brook | Illustrations by Emily Flake| Longreads | June 2018

It’s a recognition that comes in the aisle of a grocery store.

4. Peterson’s Complaint

Laurie Penny | Longreads | July 2018 | 20 minutes (5,191 words)

There’s no use debating a feeling. It’s time to change how we engage with Jordan Peterson.

5. We’re Not Done Here

Laurie Penny | Longreads | January 2018 | 19 minutes (4,764 words)

How the #MeToo movement became a feminist sexual revolution.

6. Queens of Infamy: Anne Boleyn

Anne Thériault | Longreads | May 2018 | 23 minutes (5,949 words)

In Tudor England’s big-sleeved game of thrones, winning and dying were not mutually exclusive.

7. Living with Dolly Parton

Jessica Wilkerson | Longreads | October 2018 | 43 minutes (7,851 words)

Asking difficult questions often comes at a cost.

8. The Second Half of Watergate Was Bigger, Worse, and Forgotten By the Public

David Montero | an excerpt adapted from Kickback: Exposing the Global Corporate Bribery Network | Viking | November 2018 | 16 minutes (4,298 words)

Watergate revealed that multinational corporations, including some of the most prestigious American brands, had been making bribes to politicians not only at home but in foreign countries.

9. The Great Stink

Laurie Penny | Longreads | February 2018 | 17 minutes (4270 words)

It’s time for men to stop worrying about who they are, and start thinking about what they do.

10. The Death Row Book Club

Anthony Ray Hinton | The Sun Does Shine | St. Martin’s Press | March 2018 | 14 minutes (3,745 words)

When Anthony Ray Hinton was sentenced to death for two murders he didn’t commit, he used his time to create a book club for death row inmates.

11. The Masterless People: Pirates, Maroons, and the Struggle to Live Free

Joseph Kelly | an excerpt adapted from Marooned: Jamestown, Shipwreck, and a New History of America’s Origins | Bloomsbury | October 2018 | 16 minutes (4,192 words)

In the “bizarre and horrifying world” of the early modern Caribbean, maroons and pirates both prized their freedom above all else. And sometimes they worked together to safeguard it.

12. The Great Online School Scam

Noliwe Rooks | Excerpt from Cutting School: Privatization, Segregation, and the End of Public Education | The New Press | September 2017 | 18 minutes (5,064 words)

Students are performing worse than ever, but private companies are making millions.

13. The Billionaire Philanthropist

Jacob Silverman | Longreads | March 2018 | 9 minutes (2,268 words)

It’s American tradition for CEOs to stockpile their wealth, avoid taxes, and participate in the theater of giving. Will Jeff Bezos make it scale?

14. Mr. Rogers vs. the Superheroes

Maxwell King | An excerpt adapted from The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers | Abrams | September 2018 | 12 minutes (3,033 words)

One of the few things that could raise anger — real, intense anger — in Mister Rogers was the willful misleading of children. Superheroes, he thought, were the worst culprits.

15. The Tyrant and His Enablers

Stephen Greenblatt | Excerpt adapted from Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics | W. W. Norton & Company | May 2018 | 14 minutes (3,827 words)

How is it possible for a whole country to fall into the hands of a tyrant? According to Shakespeare, it could not happen without widespread complicity.

16. The Encyclopedia of the Missing

Jeremy Lybarger | Longreads | January 2018 |17 minutes (4,160 words)

She keeps watch over one of the largest databases of missing persons in the country. For Meaghan Good, the disappeared are still out here, you just have to know where to look.

17. Queens of Infamy: Eleanor of Aquitaine

Anne Thériault | Longreads | April 2018 | 16 minutes (4,246 words)

Life gets busy when you have empires to build and marriages to annul.

18. Bundyville

Leah Sottile | Longreads and Oregon Public Broadcasting | May 2018

Cliven Bundy and his sons led two armed standoffs against the federal government and beat them twice in court. The Bundys and their supporters see themselves as Patriots fighting government overreach. Others see them as domestic terrorists rallying extremists and conspiracy theorists to their side. What is the truth?

19. The Ugly History of Beautiful Things: Perfume

Katy Kelleher | Longreads | September 2018 | 15 minutes (3,859 words)

Sometimes it takes a touch of darkness to create something alluring.

20. Meet the New Mormons

Sarah Scoles| Longreads | June 2018 | 23 minutes (5,714 words)

Is it possible to be queer, lefty, and a Latter-Day Saint? After leaving the church, Sarah Scoles sets out to understand liberal Mormons.

21. The Neanderthal

Jen Gilman Porat | Longreads | December 2018 | 14 minutes (3,447 words)

Jen Gilman Porat seeks a genetic excuse for her husband’s barbaric table manners.

22. Welcome to the Center of the Universe

Shannon Stirone | Longreads | March 2018 | 22 minutes (5,546 words)

For the men and women who use the Deep Space Network to talk to the heavens, failure is not an option.

23. Is This the Most Crowded Island in the World? (And Why That Question Matters)

Alex MacGregor | Longreads | February 2018| 19 minutes (5,053 words)

An amateur geographer travels to an undocumented island off the coast of Haiti after stumbling upon it on Google Earth.

24. You’ve Reached the Winter of Our Discontent

Rebecca Schuman | Longreads | March 2018 | 9 minutes (2,305 words)

A half-assed elegy for the Cool-Loser Dream Boy of Gen-X cinema.

25. On Not Being Able to Read

Tajja Isen | Longreads | August 2018 | 14 minutes (3,869 words)

“In law school, they told me I wouldn’t be able to read anymore. That the pleasure of the text, like a lover in a non-law degree, would slowly grow opaque to me.”