MoJo’s Best Longreads of 2012


The conventional wisdom claims that people won’t read lengthy magazine stories online, but our readers regularly prove otherwise. Many of our top traffic-generating stories have been the 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 2012. (Click here for last year’s list.)

The Silent Treatment
Imagine serving decades in prison for a crime your sibling framed you for. Now imagine doing it while profoundly deaf. By James Ridgeway

 

marines

How a Bunch of Scrappy Marines Could Help Beat Breast Cancer
Exposed to poisoned water at Camp Lejeune, these vets may hold the key to a scourge that kills some 40,000 American women—and a few hundred men—per year. By Florence Williams

Follow the Dark Money
The down and dirty history of secret spending, PACs gone wild, and the epic four-decade fight over the only kind of political capital that matters. By Andy Kroll

“It’s Just Not Right”: The Failures of Alabama’s Self-Deportation Experiment
What happens when outside agitators work with state politicians to pass the nation’s most draconian anti-immigrant law? By Paul Reyes

man with construction hat on

Black Gold for the GOP
Trevor Rees-Jones made his name as a Dallas fracking pioneer. So what’s he doing bankrolling political attack ads halfway across the country? By Josh Harkinson

I Was a Warehouse Wage Slave
My brief, backbreaking, rage-inducing, low-paying, dildo-packing time inside the online-shipping machine. By Mac McClelland

 

The Frog of War
When biologist Tyrone Hayes discovered that a top-selling herbicide messes with sex hormones, its manufacturer went into battle mode. Thus began one of the weirdest feuds in the history of science. By Dashka Slater

The Dog That Voted, and Other Election-Fraud Yarns
The GOP’s 10-year campaign to gin up voter fraud hysteria—and bring back Jim Crow at the ballot box. By Kevin Drum

 

man in jail

Solitary in Iran Nearly Broke Me. Then I Went Inside America’s Prisons.
We throw thousands of men in the hole for the books they read, the company they keep, the beliefs they hold. By Shane Bauer

Big Sugar’s Sweet Little Lies

How the industry kept scientists from asking: Does sugar kill? By Gary Taubes and Cristin Kearns Couzens

 

Click here to browse more great longreads from Mother Jones.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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