Best Longform Journalism from Around the Web: Bill Keller to Kevin Roose
From Bill Keller’s account of working with Julian Assange to Larry Page’s vision for Google 3.0, The Daily Beast picks the week’s best longform journalism.
This weekly column is The Daily Beast's contribution to the growing longreads community on Twitter, where fans of longform journalism collect and share their favorite stories. Follow along through the hashtag #longreads, and visit Longreads.com and Longform.org for suggestions throughout the week. To take these stories on the go, we recommend using smartphone applications such as Instapaper or Read It Later. You can download either at your mobile phone's application store. To send us suggestions, tweet the story to @ thedailybeast on Twitter with the hashtag #longreads.
1. " Assange and the Secrets He Spilled" Bill Keller, The New York Times Magazine
New York Times Managing Editor Bill Keller—a man who has handled some of the world's most widely read journalists—writes of his months managing the paper's relationship with WikiLeaks' notorious founder Julian Assange, as he transitions from a computer geek in dirty white socks to a slick-suited hacker on the run.
2. " The Unholy Pleasure"
Mark Oppenheimer, Slate
The New York Times religion columnist recalls how his precocious childhood verbal abilities hardened into a lifetime of snobbery—"a habit of mind, difficult to shake, my indwelling friend and foe to this day."
Ben McGrath, The New Yorker
Almost from its inception, the NFL has sparked debate about the often adverse health effects of its brutality and how to reform its rules. But it took a baseball reporter who was barely interested in football to break news about the high number of suicides and dementia-related diagnoses former NFL players suffered as a result of brain damage.
The indisputable evidence, as well as how pervasively brain injury affects adolescent players, has the leaders of America's favorite game uncertain about its future.
Kevin Roose, GQ
Evangelical pastor Ted Haggard, who fell from grace when he was caught buying crystal meth from a gay escort, has become a lightning rod for American disgust. But Roose, who wrote a memoir about going undercover as a student at a Christian university, finds the pastor's softer side: Haggard has started a new church in Colorado that welcomes all kinds of sinners, and he doesn't hold back about his doubts about his faith or his muddled sexuality. He's determined to recover the things he once most enjoyed: an "ordinary life" with his wife and sons.
Brad Stone, Bloomberg BusinessWeek
With its near-unprecedented success, Google has grown into what one venture capitalist called "a decentralized jungle of innovation." Larry Page, who the company unexpectedly announced would take over as CEO in April, is determined to get the leaders of Google's far-flung developments running on the same game plan. Centralizing Google's operations runs counter to the company's ethos, but it's a crucial part of keeping it moving forward.
6. " The Wave-Maker"
William Langewiesche, Vanity Fair
Ken Bradshaw was 45 years old when he rode the largest wave ever surfed, an 85-foot monster produced by El Nino storm oscillation over the Pacific. At an age when other star surfers usually retire, Bradshaw is not only setting records but also remains a purist who refuses to chase publicity and avoid the brands commercializing the sport.