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01.07.11

The Week's Best Longform Journalism

From GQ’s investigative of a Mossad hit squad in Dubai, to Vanity Fair’s profile Julian Assange’s working relationship with a British newspaper, check out The Daily Beast’s favorite longform journalism pieces from around the web this week.

In this new weekly longreads column, The Daily Beast sifts through the week's most spectacular longform journalism from around the web and presents our favorite stories.

Throughout the years, as online journalism has transformed the pace at which media organizations report the news, this form of story-telling has stayed true. Longform’s growing popularity in recent months is supported in part by the ascension of applications that help transport these 2,000+ word features from their homes on paper, or stacked 7 pages deep on the web, to our mobile devices—we recommend Instapaper, a simple application that helps save a website’s content for later reading.

Our picks for this week:

1. "The Dubai Job"

Ronen Bergman, GQ

In January 2009, an elite hit squad allegedly from the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad traveled to Dubai to assassinate a top leader of Hamas. They succeeded, but blew their covers and left evidence of their plot on security cameras, which made its way onto the internet. GQ investigates the intricate details of the mission and how the Mossad failed so spectacularly.

2. "The Man Who Spilled the Secrets"

Sarah Ellison, Vanity Fair

In early November, a disgruntled WikiLeaks staffer leaked a batch of the U.S. State Department cables to The Guardian, ahead of Julian Assange's planned release of the information. Assange threatened to sue the newspaper if it published the scoop—a highly ironic position for the rogue leaker to be in. Journalist Sarah Ellison in Vanity Fair tells the story of the unusual and tumultuous relationship between Assange and the British newspaper on a quest for a global audience.

3. “A Time Against Race”

Justin Vogt, Washington Monthly

Washington Monthly’s thorough study of Mitch Landrieu, the first white mayor of New Orleans in three decades, and the difficulties he faces holding together his post-Katrina bi-racial coalition.

4. “Cyberspace When You’re Dead”

Rob Walker, The New York Times Magazine

The New York Times investigates the academics, consultants, and entrepreneurs trying to figure out what happens to your Web presence when you die.

5. “Searching For Meaning in the Mistake”

Amy K. Nelson, ESPN

On June 2, 2010, veteran umpire Jim Joyce made a call that would change his life: two outs from a perfect game, he called a runner safe that the replay showed was clearly out. He received death threats and then, when he handled himself with integrity, praise. ESPN’s portrait of umpire Jim Joyce and the way he’s dealt with ending Armando Galarraga’s perfect game with a blown call.

6. “The Mystery of the Dragon Tattoo: Stieg Larsson, the World’s Bestselling—and Most Enigmatic—Author”

Nathaniel Rich, Rolling Stone

Nathaniel Rich sorts through the outlandish rumors surrounding the author of the Millenium Trilogy, talking to family members and friends about the writer’s obsessive crusade against fascism, frustrated life as a journalist, and his inspiration for Lisbeth Salander.

Plus: Check out Book Beast for more news on hot titles and authors and excerpts from the latest books.