The Top 10 MoJo Longreads of 2013

Mon Dec. 30, 2013 6:00 AM EST

Conventional wisdom says that people won't read lengthy magazine stories online, but MoJo readers regularly prove otherwise. Many of our top traffic-generating stories have been deeply researched investigations and reported narratives—and we find that plenty of readers stick with them to the bitter end. Our readers also comment, Tweet, Facebook, and Tumble enthusiastically, citing details found deep within these stories. So here, for your New Year's pleasure, is a selection of 10 of our best-loved longreads from 2013. (Click here for last year's list and here for our 2011 list, or, for something totally different, check out our hate-reads list for the stories that made us pull out our hair in 2013.)

Merchants of Meth: How Big Pharma Keeps the Cooks in Business
With big profits on the line, the drug industry is pulling out campaign-style dirty tricks to keep selling the meds that cooks turn into crank.
By Jonah Engle

America's Real Criminal Element: Lead
New research finds Pb is the hidden villain behind violent crime, lower IQs, and even the ADHD epidemic. And fixing the problem is a lot cheaper than doing nothing.
By Kevin Drum

Gagged by Big Ag
Horrific abuse. Rampant contamination. And the crime is…exposing it?
By Ted Genoways

Schizophrenic. Killer. My Cousin.
It's insanity to kill your father with a kitchen knife. It's also insanity to close hospitals, fire therapists, and leave families to face mental illness on their own.
By Mac McClelland

Welcome, Robot Overlords. Please Don't Fire Us?
Smart machines probably won't kill us all—but they'll definitely take our jobs, and sooner than you think.
By Kevin Drum

My Heart-Stopping Ride Aboard the Navy's Great Green Fleet
With Washington frozen solid on climate, the Navy is breaking the ice.
By Julia Whitty

Is PTSD Contagious?
It's rampant among returning vets—and now their spouses and kids are starting to show the same symptoms.
By Mac McClelland

Why Your Supermarket Sells Only 5 Kinds of Apples
And one man's quest to bring hundreds more back.
By Rowan Jacobsen

Are Happy Gut Bacteria Key to Weight Loss?
Imbalances in the microbial community in your intestines may lead to metabolic syndrome, obesity, and diabetes. What does science say about how to reset our bodies?
By Moises Velasquez-Manoff

What's It Like to Wake Up From a Tea Party Binge? Just Ask Florida!
Kids locked up in nursing homes. Leaky sewers. Mosquitoes unleashed. The Sunshine State has buyer's remorse.
By Stephanie Mencimer

Click here to browse more great longreads from Mother Jones.