Johnstown Never Believed Trump Would Help. They Still Love Him Anyway.

A year after they elected Trump, residents of a town in western Pennsylvania say they continue to support the President even though he hasn’t made good on all his big promises.

Source: Politico
Published: Nov 8, 2017
Length: 16 minutes (4,148 words)

How Gotham Gave Us Trump

New York’s tumultuous `70s and `80s taught Donald Trump about the power of the politics of fear — and very little about what makes cities work.

Source: Politico
Published: Jul 30, 2017
Length: 18 minutes (4,604 words)

What It Took

An outstanding history of Hillary Clinton’s career — and the compromises and concessions she had to make along the way.

Source: Politico
Published: Nov 6, 2016
Length: 25 minutes (6,372 words)

The Long, Hot Summer Hillary Became a Politician

A look back at Hillary Clinton’s early years in Arkansas, leading education reform.

Source: Politico
Published: Jul 27, 2016
Length: 12 minutes (3,212 words)

‘He Brutalized For You’

How did Donald Trump become Donald Trump? It seems infamous Joseph McCarthy henchman Roy Cohn had quite a bit to do with it. Kruse traces how Cohn became a mentor to Trump, and the impact the friendship had on Trump’s persona and tactics.

Source: Politico
Published: Apr 9, 2016
Length: 14 minutes (3,584 words)

Florida Owes Devaughn Darling’s Family $1.8 Million. Thirteen Years Later, They’re Still Waiting

The story of disgraceful behavior by the state of Florida. Florida State football player Devaughn Darling died after a team workout. The family sued, and settled with the state for $2 million. They still only have received a small portion of that money.

Source: SB Nation
Published: Aug 27, 2014
Length: 25 minutes (6,498 words)


“‘I’ve always been interested in how people deal with loss,’ he says.” A profile of an obituary writer.

Published: Aug 2, 2014
Length: 10 minutes (2,556 words)

The Generator Society

In the 1970s, 19 families made their homes on Bald Head Island, one of North Carolina’s barrier islands:

“They went for jogs and spotted sunning alligators and foxes that seemed to wonder who they were and why they were there. They watched loggerhead sea turtles trudge up onto the sand to lay their eggs and then used mesh wire to protect the nests from hungry raccoons. They picked up the prettiest shells.

“They gathered frequently for cocktails, cherishing ice cubes, calling them ‘Bald Head diamonds.’

“They played golf in spikes and nothing else just because they could.

“Or so goes the story.

“So many stories.”

Source: Our State
Published: May 10, 2013
Length: 12 minutes (3,201 words)

Biological Mother Makes Mission of Contesting Adoption after 31 Years

Did Joy Hunley give away her daughter, or was the baby taken from her?

“Something happened in July of 1981. It triggered a process at the end of which Joy no longer had custody of her toddler daughter. For more than a quarter century, she convinced herself she had made an awful mistake, had signed something she shouldn’t have signed. Over the last few years, though, she had learned new information. She believed she had been the victim of a fraud.

“This was last year, the afternoon of June 26, just before 5. Her attorney brought the records into a small side room and put the papers on the table.

“Somewhere on the consent form in front of her, Joy thought, was going to be the truth — proof of an incomprehensible crime. The other possibility was terrible, too, in its own way — that she had signed it, and had spent more than half her life telling a lie.

“Victim or liar? Wronged or deluded?

“She took another breath.

“She looked at the consent.”

Source: Tampa Bay Times
Published: Jan 6, 2013
Length: 13 minutes (3,383 words)

Longreads Best of 2012: Michael Kruse

Michael Kruse, an award-winning staff writer at the Tampa Bay Times who also contributes to ESPN’s Grantland, this year gave a  TEDx talk and had a story make the anthology Next Wave: America’s New Generation of Great Literary Journalists.

Read more guest picks from Longreads Best of 2012.

Source: Longreads
Published: Jan 2, 2013