Since 2016 I started reading and scrupulously tracking all the longfrom articles I read. Longform is any essay or article over 3000 words. It allowed me to then do this : Nominate a few outstanding longforms that I think more people should read. Because they are just so good and well worth the time invested in reading it.
2 years ago I highlighted the best of the original 300 longforms I read in 2 posts. Post 1 and Post 2. Recently I just finished another 300 in the 2 years since the last update and from the latest 300, here below are the best 30 longforms. Below each I outline the context, the web url and why it was so good. Enjoy!
|A brilliant speech On Concentration, Solitude And Leadership. |
Context : This lecture was delivered to the class at the United States Military Academy at West Point in October 2009 by William, an essayist and book critic.
URL : https://theamericanscholar.org/solitude-and-leadership/
I love this LFA because : I have rarely thought about Solitude as an essential component of leadership and William brilliantly articulate WHY it is so crucial.
|The Most Gullible Man In Cambridge |
Context : A Harvard Law Professor who teaches Harvard student about judgment shows appalingly poor judgment
URL : https://www.thecut.com/2019/07/bruce-hay-paternity-trap-maria-pia-shuman-mischa-haider.html
I love this LFA because : the sheer WTFuckery of this story is amazing. Just…how is this possible ?
|E-Mail From Bill|
Context : A longform from The New Yorker 1993 this is a a brilliant Profile Of Bill Gates And The Zeitgeist In Late 1993 when the internet was not really a thing yet.
URL : https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1994/01/10/e-mail-from-bill
I love this LFA because : An amazing profile of Bill Gates and how he was thinking about the future 27 years earlier, well before smartphones and internet became commom
|Blood And Soil In Narendra Modi’s India|
Context : The state of Indian politics 73 years after independence. Disturbing.
I love this LFA because : This LFA gives a grand tour of the rotten state of Indian Civic life and what the end of the shady Congress regime looks like. Spoiler – frying pan to fire
|Turkey’s Thirty-Year Coup|
Context : What Erdogan is doing in Turkey
URL : https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/10/17/turkeys-thirty-year-coup
I love this LFA because : If the LFA before gives a give overview of India, this one does the same for Turkey, the supposed bridge between East and West
|THE HUMAN FACTOR|
Context : How And Why Air France Flight 447 Crashed over the atlantic ocean
URL : https://www.vanityfair.com/news/business/2014/10/air-france-flight-447-crash
I love this LFA because : this article was so gripping i think i was holding my breath as I was reading it. After rewading it I now think what a AVOIDABLE tragedy this one was.
|The Story Of Jamal Khashoggi’s Murder In Istanbul |
Context : How MBS and KSA planned and executed the murder of an old journalist
URL : https://www.insider.com/the-murder-of-jamal-khashoggi-2019-10
I love this LFA because : this graphic article truly helped me understand the real henious nature of the KSA regime
|The Jungle Prince Of Delhi|
Context : A Mentally Unstable Woman conned a country AND her family
URL : https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/22/world/asia/the-jungle-prince-of-delhi.html
I love this LFA because : Just an unbelievable tale about a sad family of old in Delhi
|What Is Amazon?|
Context : A Superb Breakdown Of Walmart And Amazon By Zack Kanter, Founder Of Stedi.
URL : https://zackkanter.com/2019/03/13/what-is-amazon/
I love this LFA because : this LFA truly helped me understand what the giant was really about.
|What The Hell Is Going On? – An essay by blogger David Perell |
Context : An Essay On How the G7 countries Got Here
URL : https://www.perell.com/blog/what-the-hell-is-going-on
I love this LFA because : A really good summary of the major changes in the west over the course of a century.
|Free Speech And The Necessity Of Discomfort. |
Context : This is the text of a lecture delivered at the University of Michigan on Tuesday.
URL : https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/22/opinion/free-speech-discomfort.html?
I love this LFA because : Free Speech is a concept in most people’s head, like the color purple but this is a a Fantastic Speech about exactly what it is and why free speech is so critical in a democracy. Most countries, inclusing UK and India don’t have it.
|Japan’s Rent-A-Family Industry |
Context : Some Japansese Who Are Short On Relatives Can Hire A Husband, A Mother, A Grandson.
URL : https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/04/30/japans-rent-a-family-industry
I love this LFA because : A look into a facinating niche business that can ONLY happen in Japan
|The Crash Of Egyptair 990|
Context : Just why ahd how Egyptair 990 crashed
URL : https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2001/11/the-crash-of-egyptair-990/302332/
I love this LFA because : An amazing essay of both the crash and the culture and country it originated from
|The Unbelievable Life And Death Of Michael C. Ruppert|
Context : I saw thie guy in a documentary on Peak Oil and I HAD TO KNOWmore about what we was about.
URL : https://www.theverge.com/2014/7/22/5881501/the-unbelievable-life-and-death-of-michael-c-ruppert
I love this LFA because : this is a tereffic profile of a tragic man
|“It’s Time To Make A Deal” |
Context : Texas oilman Boone Pickens is staking A 25-Year Career On One Wild Roll Of The Dice In 1982
URL : https://www.texasmonthly.com/articles/its-time-to-make-a-deal/
I love this LFA because : You want to know America did business in the 80s – here is the real deal
|10 Important Lessons We Learned From The 2010s|
Context : Blogger Mark Manson’s take on the 2010s lessons
URL : https://markmanson.net/10-important-lessons-from-the-2010s
I love this LFA because : A top 10 list to succinctly summarize the decade gone by
|Cain And Abel |
Context : The Bitter Sibling Rivalry Burning Up An $800 Million Louisiana Family Dynasty.
URL : https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/06/the-bitter-sibling-rivalry-at-knight-oil-tools.html
I love this LFA because : A true WTF story about how money sometimes is a curse and not a blessing to some families
|How An Ex-Cop Jacobson Rigged Mcdonald’s Monopoly Game And Stole Millions. |
Context : Exactly what it says on the article title
URL : https://www.thedailybeast.com/how-an-ex-cop-rigged-mcdonalds-monopoly-game-and-stole-millions?ref=scroll
I love this LFA because : Another WTF story on a US scammer that makes you marvel at human nature
|How Qatar Bungled Up|
Context : Kidnapped Royalty Become Pawns In Iran’s Deadly Plot and Qatar pays the price in every sense
URL : https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/14/magazine/how-a-ransom-for-royal-falconers-reshaped-the-middle-east.html
I love this LFA because : It helped me understand why what I saw in that movie Syriana was NOT fiction but daily reality there.
|London Bridge Is Down|
Context : This then is the Secret Plan For The Days After The Queen’s Death
URL : https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/mar/16/what-happens-when-queen-elizabeth-dies-london-bridge
I love this LFA because : The dealth of the Queen is well planned for. And how!
|Hip Hop Music Producer Scott Storch Raked In $Millions And Then Snorted His Way To Ruin|
Context : Someone who could have been a music legend ends up in ruin thanks,again, to drugs
URL : https://www.miaminewtimes.com/music/ultra-music-festival-partners-with-siriusxm-for-post-cancellation-radio-channel-11597594
I love this LFA because : It is a text book case of why drugs are always bad news
|On The Megapolis That Is Pearl River Delta – The Largest Contiguous Urban Region In The World By 2030|
Context : This is going to be the busiest human enclave in a decade. Get to know it.
URL : https://www.timeout.com/hong-kong/en-hongkong/the-pearl-river-delta-megacity-051716
I love this LFA because : It truly brought to life for me why China was going to be where the action was this century
|PONZI SCHEMES, PRIVATE YACHTS, AND A MISSING $250 MILLION IN CRYPTO: THE STRANGE TALE OF QUADRIGA|
Context : When Canadian blockchain whiz Gerald Cotten died unexpectedly last year, hundreds of millions of dollars in investor funds vanished into the crypto ether. But when the banks, the law, and the forces of Reddit tried to track down the cash, it turned out the young mogul may not have been who he purported to be.
URL : https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/11/the-strange-tale-of-quadriga-gerald-cotten
I love this LFA because : A true modern day scam with great twists and details
Context : A child genius raised in poverty, she wanted to change the world. A horrific act of violence nearly destroyed her.
URL : https://magazine.atavist.com/promethea-unbound-child-genius-montana
I love this LFA because : An amazing story of when Genius meets Bad Luck
|The Basecamp Guide To Internal Communication|
Context : How project software company Basecamp communicates internally
URL : https://m.signalvnoise.com/the-basecamp-guide-to-internal-communication/
I love this LFA because : This is one of the most concise and brilliant how-to on communicating I have read
|The Inside Story Of Trump’s Shambolic Transition Team – Michael Lewis|
Context : Michael Lewis, author of Moneyball and The Big Short, reveals how Trump’s bungled presidential transition set the template for his time in the White House
URL : https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/sep/27/this-guy-doesnt-know-anything-the-inside-story-of-trumps-shambolic-transition-team
I love this LFA because : It’s Micheal Lewis. Expect 24 Carat Quality writing as always. America deserves better. We all do.
|The Man On The Operating Table|
Context : Baynazar Mohammad Nazar was a husband and a father of four — and a patient killed during the attack on the MSF hospital in Kunduz. This is his story.
URL : https://foreignpolicy.com/2015/12/03/the-man-on-the-operating-table-msf-hospital-kunduz-afghanistan-us-airstrike/
I love this LFA because : A heartbreaking take of a man in the wrong place at the wrong time
|The Toxoplasma Of Rage |
Context : Why is Online so toxic ? SSC’s Scott explains brilliantly
URL : https://slatestarcodex.com/2014/12/17/the-toxoplasma-of-rage/
I love this LFA because : An amazing analysis of why and how the culture war will only get worse over time
|The US Gambler Who Cracked The Hong Kong Horse-Racing Code Using Probability Theory|
Context : Bill Benter did the impossible: He wrote an algorithm that couldn’t lose at the track. Close to a billion dollars later, he tells his story for the first time.
URL : https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-05-03/the-gambler-who-cracked-the-horse-racing-code
I love this LFA because : When brains meets meticulous planning, this is what you get. A gripping story well told.
|Worst Roommate Ever |
Context : Jamison Bachman’s Former Not-So-Bright Roommates Share Their Horror Stories About A damn twisted Man
URL : http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/02/jamison-bachman-worst-roommate-ever.html
I love this LFA because : Having had my shre of weird roomies in my 20s, this one showed me what WEIRD really was. OMG kinda read.