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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LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

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And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

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