Blog

“The Hacker is Watching” (31 Longreads in 31 Days, Day 25)

From increasingly powerful mobile phones to free FaceTime or Skype video chats to inexpensive GPS navigation tools, we’re living in a time where a lot of science fiction of our childhoods has become reality. For tech geeks like me, we live in a golden age. We’re instantly connected with the rest of the world in ways unthinkable decades ago. But the flip side to this is the threat of viruses, malware, and hacking that stir Read more…

By Matt Pusateri, ago
Blog

“A Life After Wide Right” (31 Longreads in 31 Days, Day 24)

I’ve always felt in awe of field goal kickers at any level, when the game comes down to a final kick, the hopes of both teams hanging on the outcome of the swing of their leg. It’s hard to imagine the pressure they face, knowing that a thousands of fans are watching in the stadium, and, in college or the pros, millions more on television. One foot to the left or right… one yard longer… Read more…

By Matt Pusateri, ago
Blog

“Embedded with the Reenactors” (31 Longreads in 31 Days, Day 23)

Longform nonfiction often answers the question: “Why do those people do that?” Embedded with the Reeanactors by Nick Kowalczyk, posted January 8, 2012 at Salon.com, takes a look at the thousands of Americans who dress up in period costume and re-enact old wars. Kowalczyk not only follows a group of men who re-enact the almost-forgotten French and Indian War, but dressed up himself and takes part in the the battle. Photo by Salon.com Kowalczyk’s story Read more…

By Matt Pusateri, ago
Blog

“Battleground America” (31 Longreads in 31 Days, Day 22)

2012 has been a horrifying year for guns: after the shooting of unarmed Trayvon Martin, the massacre at the cineplex in Aurora, Colorado, and the kindergarden shootings in Newtown Connecticut, Americans have refocused on the issue of gun violence. Travon Martin, family photo Battleground America by Jill Lepore in the April 23 New Yorker takes a close look at the issue, underscoring the history and culture surrounding guns and the Second Amendment, as well as Read more…

By Matt Pusateri, ago
Blog

“A Fighter Abroad” (31 Longreads in 31 Days, Day 21)

I’m traveling most of the day, so I’ve got limited time to write up this latest longread, but here’s a fast look at a great long story: A Fighter Abroad by Brian Philips for Grantland. Art by THÉODORE GERICAULT Philips writes up the story of an almost forgotten bare-knuckled boxing match in 1809 between the British champion Tom Cribb and a freed American slave, Tom Molineaux. It’s fascinating on many levels: it was the world Read more…

By Matt Pusateri, ago
Blog

“Life of a Salesman” (31 Longreads in 31 Days, Day 20)

One of my favorite forms of nonfiction work is a well-written profile, especially when the subject of the piece isn’t a celebrity or a politician. It’s not hard to get people interested in a profile on Rhianna or LeBron James, but when a writer can look at at an everyday person and tell their story in a compelling, meaningful way, that’s a beautiful thing. “Life of a Salesman: Selling success, when the American dream is Read more…

By Matt Pusateri, ago
Blog

“Never Let Go” (31 Longreads in 31 Days, Day 19)

I’ve read at least 50 longform stories to this point this month, and I’ve picked 18 to write about so far. But none of them have affected me as deeply Kelley Benham’s “Never Let Go” seres for the Tampa Bay Times. The series is actually three stories — Lost and Found, The Zero Zone, and Baby’s Breath — on the birth of her baby, born four months early, weighing 1 pound, 4 ounces, and the Read more…

By Matt Pusateri, ago
Blog

“A Eulogy for #Occupy” (31 Longreads in 31 Days, Day 18)

When I used to live in D.C., I often biked to work. On my way there, I would pass the tent city that cropped up at “Freedom Plaza” at the end of 2011, part of the spreading “Occupy” and “99%” protest movement. The colder it got, the more I admired their determination to stay and continue their protest. But I always kept riding by; I never stopped and talked to the people there. I never Read more…

By Matt Pusateri, ago
Blog

The Hard Life of an N.F.L. Long Shot (31 Longreads in 31 Days, Day 17)

For most of us, NFL preseason games in August are meaningless. Few of the starters play, the games are sloppy, and nothing much seems to be at stake. The Hard Life of an N.F.L. Long Shot by Charles Seibert for the New York Times Magazine shows us that for a handful of college stars hoping to cling to a dream of making it as professional player, everything is at stake. Photo credit: Christaan Felber for Read more…

By Matt Pusateri, ago
Blog

“The Lost City of Z” (31 Longreads in 31 Days, Day 16)

There are longreads. And then there are long longreads. And then there are epic, holy-f@#king-shit longreads that just leave you blown away. The Lost City of Z,” by David Grann in the September 19, 2005 issue of The New Yorker fits into that last category. Photo of explorer Percy Fawcett; source unknown At just over 20,000 words, “The Lost City of Z” tells a sprawling story than spans more than a century, centered around British Read more…

By Matt Pusateri, ago