The Week’s Best Longreads for October 5, 2013

From Daniel Radcliffe’s struggle to shed the specter of Harry Potter to the NFL’s war on brain science, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.

10.05.13 9:45 AM ET

"The Snowden Files"
by John Lanchester, The Guardian.

When the Guardian offered John Lanchester access to the GCHQ files, the journalist and novelist was initially unconvinced. But what the papers told him was alarming: that Britain is sliding towards an entirely new kind of surveillance society. 

"Harry Who?"
by Susan Dominus, The New York Times Magazine.

A masterful take on the celebrity profile follows Daniel Radcliffe’s anguished, frenetic, and even dark effort to rid himself of the specter of Harry Potter. 

"The NFL’s War on Brain Science
by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru, Sports Illustrated. 

In an excerpt from their chilling new book, League of Denial, to be released next week, the authors chronicle the NFL’s struggle to keep the truth about how football ravages players’s bodies from coming to light. 

"Cockblocked by Redistribution
by Katie J.M. Baker, Dissent. 

A leader of the internet’s “pickup artist” subculture finds his “game” frustrated by the women of Denmark, who curiously don’t seem to think they need an aggressive male to save them. 

"Voice and Hammer
by Jeff Sharlet, Virginia Quarterly Review. 

Harry Bellafonte’s unfinished fight. 

For more great longreads, visit our friends at Longreads.com.