The Top 10 MoJo Longreads of 2013


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.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

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