The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

This week, we’re sharing stories from Brett Forrest, Lizzie Presser, Ahmet Altan, Lisa Miller, and James K. Williamson.

This week, we’re sharing stories from Brett Forrest, Lizzie Presser, Ahmet Altan, Lisa Miller, and James K. Williamson.

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1. The FBI Lost Our Son

Brett Forrest | Wall Street Journal | October 11, 2019 | 30 minutes (7,680 words)

The FBI’s counterterrorism unit recruited Billy Reilly to infiltrate terror and criminal networks as a part-time confidential source. Part of a wave of workers recruited post-9/11, Billy did not receive the training, protections, or compensation of a full-time agent. After he went missing during an operation in Russia in 2015, no one inside the FBI would take responsibility.

2. When Medical Debt Collectors Decide Who Gets Arrested

Lizzie Presser | ProPublica | October 16, 2019 | 22 minutes (5,575 words)

The judge has no legal background. The lawyer gets a cut of any collections. And the people of Coffeyville end up buried in debt or in jail or both, just for trying to go to the doctor.

3. Voyage Around My Cell

Ahmet Altan | The Paris Review | October 10, 2019 | 10 minutes (2,717 words)

Turkish journalist Ahmet Altan has been jailed since 2016, as part of a media purge following the failed coup d’état. Life in prison has four loci: the bed, the chair, and yard, and the imagination.

4. One Night at Mount Sinai

Lisa Miller | The Cut | October 15, 2019 | 27 minutes (6,899 words)

Lisa Miller exposes Mount Sinai Hospital’s culture of sexism and bullying, which enabled emergency room doctor David Newman to sexually abuse female patients before one of them, Aja Newman (no relation) brought him down.

5. Everything He Wrote Was Good

James K. Williamson | Oxford American | September 3, 2019 | 32 minutes (8,055 words)

Talented, troubled ─ unlike Willie Morris and Marshall Frady’s legacies, the life and work of Southern writer Johnny Greene has largely been forgotten, until another writer tried to piece it together. It wasn’t easy. It still isn’t entirely clear.