The Death Spiral of an American Family

In this heartbreaking portrait of one American family, Eli Saslow offers a look at “backwards mobility” and the country’s collapsing middle class.

It had been almost a month since Dave, 39, found his father lying unresponsive in bed next to his cellphone and a bill from a collections agency, having died of a heart attack at age 70, and ever since then Dave had been trying to make sense of what his father had left behind. He’d read through his father’s credit card statements and then talked to a banker, who concluded that the final estate of David Ramsey Sr. was of “inconsequential value.”

Author: Eli Saslow
Published: Mar 20, 2022
Length: 16 minutes (4,025 words)

‘The Mansion on Emerson Street’

“After more than a year of allowing most homeless camps to remain intact so as not to displace people during the pandemic, cities across the country are now beginning to confront another public health crisis unfolding on their streets.”

Author: Eli Saslow
Published: Jun 12, 2021
Length: 17 minutes (4,268 words)

“Anything Good I Could Say About This Would Be a Lie”

“She’s dead, and I’m quarantined. That’s how the story ends. I keep going back over it in loops, trying to find a way to sweeten it, but nothing changes the facts. I wasn’t there with her at the end. I didn’t get to say goodbye. I don’t even know where her body is right now, or if the only thing that’s left is her ashes.”

Author: Eli Saslow
Published: Mar 28, 2020
Length: 8 minutes (2,005 words)

The Most Remote Emergency Room

Life and death in rural America in the age of telemedicine.

Author: Eli Saslow
Published: Nov 16, 2019
Length: 14 minutes (3,500 words)

An Overdose and a Mother’s Search for Truth

“It’s clear my daughter died because of these drugs coming through our border,” Susan said afterward, to a bank of TV news cameras, and then she returned to North Carolina, where the more complicated truth was that nothing about Toria’s death seemed clear. Susan, a former private investigator, was trained to work a case and then solve it, but this time, she kept going back over the story, looking again for causes, reassigning blame, interrogating her own mistakes as she tried make sense of one drug death in a national epidemic.

Author: Eli Saslow
Source: Washington Post
Published: Mar 31, 2019
Length: 14 minutes (3,700 words)

Gun Violence’s Distant Echo

Gillette, Wyoming is a place where “the high school yearbook devoted four pages to ‘Hunting: No Greater Sport,'” a local club funds “college scholarships by raffling off AR-15s,” and popular slogans include, “Welcome to Wyoming: Consider Everyone Armed.” Mariah Engdahl, age 16 — a girl surrounded by gun enthusiasts in her family and in her boom-and-bust community — educated herself on gun laws in Wyoming and, as a one-teen protest on gun control, delivered a speech to the Campbell County school board in a bid to avoid arming teachers in her county’s schools.

Author: Eli Saslow
Source: Washington Post
Published: May 18, 2018
Length: 17 minutes (4,287 words)

Is Anyone Listening?

Rachel Crooks is one of 19 women who have accused President Donald Trump of sexual assault. She plans to continue telling her story until something changes.

Author: Eli Saslow
Source: Washington Post
Published: Feb 19, 2018
Length: 14 minutes (3,735 words)

‘What kind of a childhood is that?’

The story of Zaine, Arianna, and Zoie Pulliam — three kids under 17 living in South Charleston, West Virginia. Deemed “opiate orphans,” they exemplify a generation of children whose parents have died of drug overdoses as a result of the opioid epidemic.

Author: Eli Saslow
Source: Washington Post
Published: Dec 16, 2016
Length: 15 minutes (3,770 words)

The White Flight of Derek Black

How the 27-year-old son of white nationalist leaders quit following his parents’ footsteps and began building bridges with the communities he previously worked to eliminate.

Author: Eli Saslow
Source: Washington Post
Published: Oct 15, 2016
Length: 25 minutes (6,254 words)

‘How’s Amanda?’

A story of a mother and daughter facing heroin addiction.

Author: Eli Saslow
Source: Washington Post
Published: Jul 23, 2016
Length: 23 minutes (5,892 words)