The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

This week, we’re sharing stories from Ian Frisch, Niela Orr, Alison Fensterstock, Jill Lepore, and Austin Carr.

This week, we’re sharing stories from Ian Frisch, Niela Orr, Alison Fensterstock, Jill Lepore, and Austin Carr.

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1. Cain and Abel and Oil

Ian Frisch | New York Magazine | June 27, 2019 | 23 minutes (5,800 words)

“This might strike you as a wildly self-serving theory: that the epic rift tearing apart this preposterously wealthy family was the fault not of the lifelong ne’er-do-well, who’d spent four decades partying his way through a family fortune, but of his outwardly much more responsible and sober brother, who had run the family business for over a decade. More than that: that the responsible, sober one was actually reckless, vindictive, manipulative, and untrustworthy even with those who knew him best. And even more: that the final break came when the supposedly responsible one engineered an elaborate conspiracy to frame his brother involving a henchman and two corrupt cops.”

2. The Women Who Knew Too Much

Niela Orr | The Baffler | July 2, 2019 | 15 minutes (3,905 words)

As Niela Orr looks at Black women characters in horror films like “Us,” “Ghost,” “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane,” and “Scream,” she uncovers a throughline: “Black women have been humiliated and punished, in horror cinema as in life, for our incisiveness, for wondering aloud, for trying to get some answers.”

3. Love in the Time of Britney

Alison Fensterstock | Topic | July 2, 2019 | 9 minutes (2,300 words)

One British man spent his adult life devoted to his favorite star. His personal collection tells us a lot about fandom—and about the life cycles of music ephemera.

4. The Lingering of Loss

Jill Lepore | The New Yorker | July 1, 2019 | 16 minutes (4,000 words)

“My best friend left her laptop to me in her will. Twenty years later, I turned it on and began my inquest.”

5. The Great Model Train Robbery

Austin Carr | Bloomberg Businessweek | June 28, 2019 | 14 minutes (3,596 words)

Although much less popular than in years past, model trains are still highly sought after collectibles. Is that why someone robbed Kent, England’s Gravesend Model Marine & Engineering Society of theirs?