The Audio Long Read

The Audio Long Read

By The Guardian

The Audio Long Read podcast is a selection of the Guardian’s long reads, giving you the opportunity to get on with your day while listening to some of the finest journalism the Guardian has to offer, including in-depth writing from around the world on immigration, crime, business, the arts and much more

Episodes

The Guardian’s new podcast series about AI: Black Box – prologue

We wanted to bring you this episode from our new series, Black Box. In it, Michael Safi explores seven stories and the thread that ties them together: artificial intelligence. In this prologue, Hannah (not her real name) has met Noah and he has changed her life for the better. So why does she have concerns about him? If you like what you hear, make sure to search and subscribe to Black Box, with new episodes every Monday and Thursday.. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
02/03/24·14m 36s

Precipice of fear: the freerider who took skiing to its limits

Jérémie Heitz has pushed freeriding to breathtaking, beautiful new extremes. But as the risks get bigger, the questions do, too. By Simon Akam. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
01/03/24·48m 16s

From the archive: How maverick rewilders are trying to turn back the tide of extinction

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. From 2020: A handful of radical nature lovers are secretly breeding endangered species and releasing them into the wild. Many are prepared to break the law and risk the fury of the scientific establishment to save the animals they love. By Patrick Barkham. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
28/02/24·36m 11s

‘Farming is a dirty word now’: the woman helping farmers navigate a grim, uncertain future

In a moment of crisis for the industry, Heather Wildman tours the country helping farmers face up to the toughest of questions – not just about the future of their business, but about their family, their identity and even their mortality. By Bella Bathurst. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
26/02/24·34m 44s

‘Ukraine fatigue’: why I’m fighting to stop the world forgetting us

Everyone likes to support an underdog, especially if it’s winning. But it’s one thing to win a battle, it’s quite another to win the war. And Ukraine cannot win without international support. By Olesya Khromeychuk. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
23/02/24·22m 45s

From the archive: Penthouses and poor doors: how Europe’s ‘biggest regeneration project’ fell flat

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2021: Few places have seen such turbocharged luxury development as Nine Elms in London. So why are prices tumbling, investors melting away and promises turning to dust? By Oliver Wainwright. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
21/02/24·32m 23s

‘Scars on every street’: the refugee camp where generations of Palestinians have lost their futures

Ever since the displacement of 700,000 Palestinians in 1948, many have been living in dejection and squalor in camps like Shatila in Beirut. Is this the grim future the people of Gaza could now be facing? By Ghaith Abdul-Ahad. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
19/02/24·26m 52s

‘They were dying, and they’d not had their money’: Britain’s multibillion-pound equal pay scandal

In 2005, Glasgow council offered to compensate women for historic pay inequality. But it sold them short again – and soon workers all over the UK started fighting for what they were owed. By Samira Shackle. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
16/02/24·40m 42s

From the archive: The air conditioning trap: how cold air is heating the world

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2019: The warmer it gets, the more we use air conditioning. The more we use air conditioning, the warmer it gets. Is there any way out of this trap? By Stephen Buranyi. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
14/02/24·35m 48s

Hippy, capitalist, guru, grocer: the forgotten genius who changed British food

Nicholas Saunders was a counterculture pioneer with an endless stream of quixotic schemes and a yearning to spread knowledge – but his true legacy is a total remaking of the way Britain eats. By Jonathan Nunn. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
12/02/24·47m 42s

‘I repeatedly failed to win any awards’: my doomed career as a North Korean novelist

Before I fled south, I spent years as an aspiring fiction writer in the hermit kingdom. I worked hard – but literary glory kept eluding me. By Kim Ju-sŏng. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
09/02/24·29m 42s

From the archive: From Lagos to Winchester – how a divisive Nigerian pastor built a global following

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2021: I first encountered TB Joshua as a teenager, when his preaching captivated my evangelical Christian community in Hampshire. Many of my friends became his ardent disciples and followed him to Lagos. How did he have such a hold over people? By Matthew McNaught. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
07/02/24·41m 10s

‘Weapons of mass migration’: how states exploit the failure of migration policies

Just like the war on drugs and the war on terror, efforts at stopping population movement by force often just fuel the problem. But for many claiming to confront the perceived threat, that suits all too well. By Ruben Andersson and David Keen. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
05/02/24·26m 51s

Sanctuary: I grew up during The Troubles and have been seeking a place of peace ever since

The cost of growing up in a low-level police state. By Darran Anderson. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
02/02/24·36m 36s

From the archive: The bells v the boutique hotel: the battle to save Britain’s oldest factory

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2021: Whitechapel Bell Foundry dates back to 1570, and was the factory in which Big Ben and the Liberty Bell were made. But it shut in 2017, and a fight for its future has been raging ever since. By Hettie O’Brien. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
31/01/24·44m 9s

One Swedish zoo, seven escaped chimpanzees

When the great apes at Furuvik Zoo broke free from their enclosure last winter, the keepers faced a terrible choice. This is the story of the most dramatic 72 hours of their lives. By Imogen West-Knights. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
29/01/24·53m 10s

Days of the Jackal: how Andrew Wylie turned serious literature into big business

Andrew Wylie is agent to an extraordinary number of the planet’s biggest authors. His knack for making highbrow writers very rich helped to define a literary era – but is his reign now coming to an end? By Alex Blasdel. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
26/01/24·51m 44s

From the archive: ‘I just needed to find my family’: the scandal of Chile’s stolen children – podcast

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2021: At two months old, Maria Diemar was flown to Sweden to be adopted. Years later, she tracked down her birth mother, who said her baby had been taken against her will. Now investigations are showing that she was one of thousands stolen from their parents. By Aaron Nelson. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
24/01/24·39m 25s

We have a tool to stop Israel’s war crimes: BDS

In 2005, Palestinians called on the world to boycott Israel until it complied with international law. What if we had listened? By Naomi Klein. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
22/01/24·35m 47s

The ghosts haunting China’s cities

In the official telling, fears of malevolent spirits are a vestige of old, unenlightened village ways. But today urban China is rife with superstition about death. Why? By Andrew Kipnis. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
19/01/24·28m 28s

From the archive: Inside the bizarre, bungled raid on North Korea’s Madrid embassy

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2019: In February, a gang of armed men took a North Korean official hostage and demanded that he defect. When he refused, their plan fell apart, and they fled. Who were they, and why did they risk everything on this wild plot? By Giles Tremlett. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
17/01/24·44m 9s

‘They treated me like an animal’: how Filipino domestic workers become trapped

Migrants from the Philippines make up a huge percentage of domestic workers around the world. But when their employers are abusive, visa restrictions force them to choose between enduring more suffering or becoming illegal. By Margaret Simons. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
15/01/24·46m 44s

America’s undying empire: why the decline of US power has been greatly exaggerated

For more than a decade, people have been saying that the era of US dominance is coming to an end. But in reality there are still no other global players to rival it. By Tom Stevenson. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
12/01/24·26m 26s

From the archive: How Nespresso’s coffee revolution got ground down

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2020: Nestlé’s sleek, chic capsule system changed the way we drink coffee. But in an age when everyone’s a coffee snob and waste is wickedness, can it survive? By Ed Cumming. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
10/01/24·39m 24s

Four bike rides, four years in the life of Black Britain: ‘On the road, we found ourselves again’

In a time of death and isolation, a new tradition was born. As the UK struggled with Covid and a renewed fight for racial justice, I turned to two wheels to get by. By Aniefiok Ekpoudom. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
08/01/24·34m 41s

Too much stuff: can we solve our addiction to consumerism?

Alarmed by the rising tide of waste we are all creating, my family and I decided to try to make do with much less. But while individual behaviour is important, real change will require action on a far bigger scale. By Chip Colwell. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
05/01/24·30m 32s

From the archive: Dark crystals: the brutal reality behind a booming wellness craze

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2019: Demand for ‘healing’ crystals is soaring – but many are mined in deadly conditions in one of the world’s poorest countries. And there is little evidence that this billion-dollar industry is cleaning up its act. By Tess McClure. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
03/01/24·34m 32s

Last love: a romance in a care home

Mary and Derek weren’t the first couple to get together at Easterlea Rest Home. But those other relationships had been more like friendships – and this was something else entirely. By Sophie Elmhirst. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
01/01/24·31m 40s

Best of 2023: The widow and the murderer: a friendship born of tragedy

Every Monday and Friday for the rest of December we will publish some of our favourite audio long reads of 2023, in case you missed them, with an introduction from the editorial team to explain why we’ve chosen it. From October: A decade after Maixabel Lasa’s husband was shot by Basque separatists, she received a message from one of his killers. He wanted to meet her. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
29/12/23·52m 49s

Best of 2023: No coach, no agent, no ego: the incredible story of the ‘Lionel Messi of cliff diving’

Every Monday and Friday for the rest of December we will publish some of our favourite audio long reads of 2023, in case you missed them, with an introduction from the editorial team to explain why we’ve chosen it. From March: Gary Hunt is an enigma. He trains with the intensity of a modern athlete, but relaxes like a sportsman of a bygone era. He is fiercely competitive but unbelievably laid-back. How did he become the greatest cliff diver of all time?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
25/12/23·44m 40s

Best of 2023: The strange survival of Guinness World Records

Every Monday and Friday for the rest of December we will publish some of our favourite audio long reads of 2023, in case you missed them, with an introduction from the editorial team to explain why we’ve chosen it. From June: For more than half a century, one organisation has been cataloguing all of life’s superlatives. But has it gone from being about the pursuit of knowledge to simply another big business?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
22/12/23·44m 15s

Best of 2023: Dismantling Sellafield: the epic task of shutting down a nuclear site

Every Monday and Friday for the rest of December we will publish some of our favourite audio long reads of 2023, in case you missed them, with an introduction from the editorial team to explain why we’ve chosen it. From January: Nothing is produced at Sellafield any more. But making safe what is left behind is an almost unimaginably expensive and complex task that requires us to think not on a human timescale, but a planetary one. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
18/12/23·46m 29s

Best of 2023: Proust, ChatGPT and the case of the forgotten quote

Every Monday and Friday for the rest of December we will publish some of our favourite audio long reads of 2023, in case you missed them, with an introduction from the editorial team to explain why we’ve chosen it. From September: In search of a half-remembered passage among the French writer’s voluminous work, I turned to AI to help me find it. The results were instructive – just not about Proust. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
15/12/23·39m 42s

Best of 2023: Dark waters: how the adventure of a lifetime turned to tragedy

Every Monday and Friday for the rest of December we will publish some of our favourite audio long reads of 2023, in case you missed them, with an introduction from the editorial team to explain why we’ve chosen it. From June: The Clipper round the world yacht race was created for amateurs seeking the ultimate challenge. But did they underestimate the risks?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
11/12/23·43m 56s

Nitrogen wars: the Dutch farmers’ revolt that turned a nation upside-down

In 2019, a looming crisis over pollution led the Dutch government to crack down on farm emissions. The response was furious – and offers a warning to other countries about protecting the environment without losing public trust. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
08/12/23·41m 27s

From the archive: The rise and fall of French cuisine

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors This week, from 2019: French food was the envy of the world – before it became trapped by its own history. Can a new school of traditionalists revive its glories?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
06/12/23·35m 56s

‘I remember the silence between the falling shells’: the terror of living under siege as a child

I was 10 years old in 1992 when Kabul was bombarded by warring forces, and life became a cycle of hunger, fear and horror. Then as now, children bear the brunt of war. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
04/12/23·25m 35s

A violent murder, a child on death row

Paula Cooper was 15 when she murdered 77-year-old Ruth Pelke in her Indiana home, and was sentenced to death. But a campaign for her life came from an unexpected quarter. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
01/12/23·36m 5s

From the archive: ‘We the people’: the battle to define populism

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors This week, from 2019: The noisy dispute over the meaning of populism is more than just an academic squabble – it’s a crucial argument about what we expect from democracy. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
29/11/23·44m 14s

The Netanyahu doctrine: how Israel’s longest-serving leader reshaped the country in his image

He first became prime minister in 1996, and has been pushing the country further right ever since. Most agree his political days are numbered – but the approach he established will prove very difficult to shift. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
27/11/23·37m 5s

Chainsaws, disguises and toxic tea: the battle for Sheffield’s trees

What started out as a small protest escalated into a decade-long struggle between the council and hundreds of ordinary people who decided to take radical action to save their city’s trees. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
24/11/23·54m 2s

From the archive: How the murders of two elderly Jewish women shook France

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2018: Two killings in Paris, one year apart, have inflamed the bitter French debate over antisemitism, race and religion. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
22/11/23·52m 30s

‘I stopped counting how many friends died’: life after the contaminated blood scandal

As a victim of one of the NHS’s worst failures, I campaigned for years for an investigation into what led to so many people becoming infected with deadly viruses. Finally we got an inquiry – but did we get answers?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
20/11/23·37m 8s

Inside the Taliban’s luxury hotel

Once the site of legendary parties, the Intercontinental in Kabul is still a potent symbol of who rules Afghanistan – and what its future might hold. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
17/11/23·37m 10s

Special Edition: Behind the scenes at the Long Read

To celebrate the launch of the new Guardian Long Read magazine this week, join the Long Read editor David Wolf in discussion with regular contributors Sophie Elmhirst and Samanth Subramanian • The Guardian Long Read magazine is available to order now. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
15/11/23·25m 23s

The mass protest decade: why did the street movements of the 2010s fail?

From Brazil to Egypt, Turkey to Hong Kong, the 2010s saw a series of huge public uprisings. Yet many of them led to the opposite of what they asked for. I spoke to 200 participants across 12 countries to find out why. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
13/11/23·34m 27s

‘Incoherence and inconsistency’: the inside story of the Rwanda deportation plan

There were so many warnings it would fail. How did it get this far?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
10/11/23·35m 54s

From the archive: The last of the Zoroastrians

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2020: A funeral, a family, and a journey into a disappearing religion. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
08/11/23·41m 51s

The insider: how Michael Lewis got a backstage pass for the fall of Sam Bankman-Fried

As author of The Big Short and Moneyball, Michael Lewis is perhaps the most celebrated journalist of his generation. His latest book delivers an astonishing portrait of the fallen crypto billionaire. But did he get too close?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
06/11/23·43m 54s

‘We are just getting started’: the plastic-eating bacteria that could change the world

When a microbe was found munching on a plastic bottle in a rubbish dump, it promised a recycling revolution. Now scientists are attempting to turbocharge those powers in a bid to solve our waste crisis. But will it work?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
03/11/23·34m 42s

From the archive: What I have learned from my suicidal patients

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors This week, from 2019: A GP has minutes to try to convince a person that life is worth living. It’s a challenge that brings rare rewards. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
01/11/23·29m 57s

The trials of Robert Habeck: is the world’s most powerful green politician doomed to fail?

A year ago, Germany’s vice-chancellor was one of the country’s best-liked public figures. Then came the tabloid-driven backlash. Now he has to win the argument all over again. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
30/10/23·43m 39s

‘A hidden universe of suffering’: the Palestinian children sent to jail

One night in 2005, Israeli soldiers came for Huda Dahbour’s teenage son. He was gone for a year and a half. The damage done to their family – and so many others like them – was incalculable. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
27/10/23·29m 42s

From the archive: ‘In our teens, we dreamed of making peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Then my friend was shot’

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors This week, from 2022: At a summer camp for kids from conflict zones, I met my brave, funny friend Aseel. He was Palestinian. I was Israeli. When he was killed by police, my hope for our future died with him. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
25/10/23·40m 53s

‘You may have been poisoned’: how an independent Russian journalist became a target

My reporting on the invasion of Ukraine led to an assassination order being issued – and then came the mysterious illness. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
23/10/23·29m 54s

Justice for Neanderthals! What the debate about our long-dead cousins reveals about us

They were long derided as knuckle-draggers, but new discoveries are setting the record straight. As we rethink the nature of the Neanderthals, we could also learn something about our own humanity. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
20/10/23·28m 41s

From the archive: Cholera and coronavirus: why we must not repeat the same mistakes

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors This week, from 2020: Cholera has largely been beaten in the west, but it still kills tens of thousands of people in poorer countries every year. As we search for a cure for coronavirus, we have to make sure it will be available to everyone, not just to those in wealthy nations. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
18/10/23·33m 36s

‘Our health data is about to flow more freely, like it or not’: big tech’s plans for the NHS

The government is about to award a £480m contract to build a vast new database of patient data. But if people don’t trust it, they’ll opt out – I know, because I felt I had to. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
16/10/23·39m 16s

The widow and the murderer: a friendship born of tragedy

A decade after Maixabel Lasa’s husband was shot by Basque separatists, she received a message from one of his killers. He wanted to meet her. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
13/10/23·49m 53s

From the archive: Was the Millennium Dome really so bad? The inside story of a (not so) total disaster

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors This week, from 2020: Even before it opened, the Dome had become a byword for failure. But two decades on, it could be time for a reassessment. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
11/10/23·41m 42s

The Melilla massacre: how a Spanish enclave in Africa became a deadly flashpoint

At least 37 people were killed in June 2022 at the Morocco-Spain border, while scores more were injured. Despite the brutality and chaos, officials praised the actions of border agents. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
09/10/23·31m 6s

‘A huge heart’: the insatiable activism of Zimbabwean exile Patson Muzuwa

After agitating against Robert Mugabe in Harare in the late 90s, Patson Muzuwa fled to the UK. He continued the fight from afar, and became a tireless torchbearer for those he had to leave behind. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
05/10/23·32m 20s

From the archive: ‘A body drifted past the window’: surviving the Ladbroke Grove train crash

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2019: On 5 October 1999, two trains collided at speed in west London, killing both drivers and 29 passengers. Barrister Greg Treverton-Jones, who survived the crash and worked on the harrowing inquiry, pieced together what went wrong Warning: this article contains graphic descriptions of injury and trauma. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
04/10/23·30m 27s

Empire of dust: what the tiniest specks reveal about the world

Nobody normally gives a second thought to dust, but it is inescapable. And if we pay close attention, we can see the biggest things – time, death and life itself – within these tiny floating particles. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
02/10/23·26m 15s

‘The Eurocentric fallacy’: the myths that underpin European identity

The EU likes to celebrate itself as a place where borders are soft and ‘regionalism’ creates diversity and openness. But just as much as any powerful nation, Europe defines itself against the rest of the world. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
29/09/23·28m 43s

From the archive: ‘Mama Boko Haram’: one woman’s extraordinary mission to rescue ‘her boys’ from terrorism

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors This week, from 2020: Aisha Wakil knew many of Boko Haram’s fighters as children. Now she uses those ties to broker peace deals, mediate hostage negotiations and convince militants to put down their weapons – but as the violence escalates, her task is becoming impossible. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
27/09/23·38m 37s

‘Voters are unhappier with the NHS than they’ve been for 30 years. As a GP, I feel the same’

Even those at the top admit the NHS can’t do what is being asked of it today. But it is far from unsalvageable – we just need serious politicians who will commit to funding it. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
25/09/23·34m 24s

Proust, ChatGPT and the case of the forgotten quote

In search of a half-remembered passage among the French writer’s voluminous work, I turned to AI to help me find it. The results were instructive – just not about Proust. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
22/09/23·35m 28s

From the archive: The invisible city: how a homeless man built a life underground

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2020: After decades among the hidden homeless, Dominic Van Allen dug himself a bunker beneath a public park. But his life would get even more precarious.. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
20/09/23·43m 58s

The evolution of Steve Albini: ‘If the dumbest person is on your side, you’re on the wrong side’

Steve Albini was long synonymous with the indie underground, playing in revered bands and recording albums by the Pixies, PJ Harvey and Nirvana. He also often seemed determined to offend as many people as possible. What led him to reassess his past?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
18/09/23·40m 39s

‘Move forward. Flap around a little!’ How learning to swim in my 50s set me free

My body and my confidence were failing me. I was told swimming would make me fit and strong-minded. But first I had to navigate the aggravation of the slow lane. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
15/09/23·36m 41s

From the archive: A scandal in Oxford: the curious case of the stolen gospel

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2020: What links an eccentric Oxford classics don, billionaire US evangelicals, and a tiny, missing fragment of an ancient manuscript?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
13/09/23·44m 26s

‘Ruzzki not welcome’: the Russian exiles getting a hostile reception in Georgia

After the invasion of Ukraine, thousands of Russians fled to Tbilisi. But the graffiti that has sprung up across the city suggests not everyone is pleased to see them. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
11/09/23·27m 46s

The aftermath: how the Beirut explosion has left scars on an already broken Lebanon

Three years ago, a huge explosion ripped the city apart – and with it people’s hopes for rebuilding. The most vulnerable, many of them women, are bearing the brunt of Lebanon’s endless disasters. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
08/09/23·28m 42s

From the archive: Golden Dawn: the rise and fall of Greece’s neo-Nazis

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors This week, from 2020: A decade ago, violent racists exploited a national crisis and entered mainstream politics in Greece. The party has since been caught up in the biggest trial of Nazis since Nuremberg, and is now crumbling – but its success remains a warning. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
06/09/23·45m 16s

‘If I left, I’d have to go without a word’: how I escaped China’s mass arrests

When hundreds of my fellow Uyghurs started disappearing into ‘re-education camps’ every day, it became clear that it was only a matter of time before I would be detained. So my wife and I got ready to run. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
04/09/23·28m 48s

Weizenbaum’s nightmares: how the inventor of the first chatbot turned against AI

Computer scientist Joseph Weizenbaum was there at the dawn of artificial intelligence – but he was also adamant that we must never confuse computers with humans. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
01/09/23·51m 3s

The Balkans’ alternative postal system: an ad-hoc courier’s tale

Across this fractured region, informal networks rule. So if you need to send something, ask someone who’s already going that way. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
28/08/23·31m 7s

Best of 2023 … so far: How Deborah Levy can change your life

Every Friday in August we will publish some of our favourite audio long reads of 2023, in case you missed them, with an introduction from the editorial team to explain why we’ve chosen it. This week, from April: From her shimmering novels to her ‘living autobiographies’, Deborah Levy’s work inspires a devotion few literary authors ever achieve. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
25/08/23·35m 31s

‘All that we had is gone’: my lament for war-torn Khartoum

Since Sudan’s capital was engulfed by violence in April, life there has been all but destroyed. As we tried to get family members to safety, the ruination of my former home became hard to fathom. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
21/08/23·36m 36s

Best of 2023… so far: The trials of an Indian witness: how a Muslim man was caught in a legal nightmare

Every Friday in August we will publish some of our favourite audio long reads of 2023, in case you missed them, with an introduction from the editorial team to explain why we’ve chosen it. This week, from March: Nisar Ahmed was almost killed in the Delhi riots. But when he became a witness in court cases against the alleged perpetrators, he realised that was only the start of his troubles. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
18/08/23·48m 45s

A funeral for fish and chips: why are Britain’s chippies disappearing?

Plenty of people will tell you the East Neuk of Fife in Scotland is the best place in the world to eat fish and chips. So what happens when its chippies – and chippies across the UK – start to close?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
14/08/23·36m 18s

Best of 2023… so far: ‘I know where the bodies are buried’: one woman’s mission to change how the police investigate rape

Every Friday in August we will publish some of our favourite audio long reads of 2023, in case you missed them, with an introduction from the editorial team to explain why we’ve chosen it. This week, from March: For two years, Betsy Stanko has been leading an investigation into why the police have been failing so badly to tackle sexual violence. But is there any chance of fixing a system that seems so broken?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
11/08/23·52m 30s

How hip-hop gave voice to a generation of Egyptians hungry for change

From the early days of the Tahrir Square protests, music was vital to the young people making their voices heard. And though the country is taking another authoritarian turn, that spirit of dissent cannot be extinguished. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
07/08/23·28m 58s

Best of 2023 … so far: Battle of the botanic garden: the horticulture war roiling the Isle of Wight

Every Friday in August we will publish some of our favourite audio long reads of 2023, in case you missed them, with an introduction from the editorial team to explain why we’ve chosen it. This week, from February: When a US businessman took over a beloved garden a decade ago, he decided on a radical new approach, all in the name of sustainability. But angry critics claim it’s just plain neglect. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
04/08/23·43m 5s

Victoria Amelina: Ukraine and the meaning of home

Before she was killed by a Russian missile strike, the acclaimed novelist and war crimes researcher wrote about growing up in Moscow’s shadow, and how she came to understand what being Ukrainian really meant. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
31/07/23·29m 53s

‘People are like, Wow!’: the man trying to make condoms sexy

It has been said that condoms share marketing characteristics with napalm and funerals. But it is Ben Wilson’s mission to make us believe they are key to human happiness. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
28/07/23·42m 9s

From the archive: Bring up the bodies: the retired couple who find drowning victims

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors This week, from 2020: Gene and Sandy Ralston are a married couple in their 70s, who also happen to be among North America’s leading experts at searching for the dead. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
26/07/23·41m 31s

How to reduce the damage done by gentrification

We cannot let our cities descend into islands of privilege amid seas of disadvantage. With the right policies and investments, a better future is possible. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
24/07/23·29m 31s

‘You reach a point where you can’t live your life’: what is behind extreme hoarding?

Hoarding can be distressing and dangerous. But it’s not just a matter of ‘too much stuff’ – it’s a complex condition that requires careful, targeted help. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
21/07/23·33m 42s

From the archive: Tampon wars: the battle to overthrow the Tampax empire

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors This week, from 2020: For decades, one company has ruled the world of tampons. But a new wave of brands has emerged, selling themselves as more ethical, more feminist and more ecological. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
19/07/23·45m 14s

How Ukraine’s national dish became a symbol of Putin’s invasion

The soup of my childhood, borsch, has become emblematic of Putin’s assault on Ukrainian land, culture and heritage, of his drive to plunder and obliterate Ukraine. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
17/07/23·29m 6s

‘Why I might have done what I did’: conversations with Ireland’s most notorious murderer

Malcolm Macarthur was the wealthy, bookish socialite who shocked Ireland with a brutal double killing in 1982, and caused a major political scandal. I tracked him down and heard, for the first time, the tale he told about himself. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
14/07/23·44m 25s

From the archive: Life after deportation: ‘No one tells you how lonely you’re going to be’

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors This week, from 2020: The Windrush scandal brought the cruelty of Britain’s deportation policies to light, but the practice continues to this day – and shockingly, it is made possible by UK aid money. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
12/07/23·29m 10s

‘Drought is on the verge of becoming the next pandemic’

While the world becomes drier, profit and pollution are draining our resources. We have to change our approach. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
10/07/23·31m 16s

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o: three days with a giant of African literature

The Kenyan novelist’s life and work has intersected with many of the biggest events of the past century. At 85, he reflects on his long, uncompromising life in writing. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
07/07/23·56m 10s

From the archive: A 975-day nightmare: how the Home Office forced a British citizen into destitution abroad

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors This week, from 2021: Richard Amoah went to Ghana for his father’s funeral and found himself barred from Britain for two years. Like other victims of the Windrush scandal, he is owed compensation – but what will he get?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
05/07/23·40m 39s

The planet’s economist: has Kate Raworth found a model for sustainable living?

Her hit book Doughnut Economics laid out a path to a greener, more equal society. But can she turn her ideas into meaningful change?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
03/07/23·34m 17s

‘I knew the terror of lost time’: how my father’s dementia echoed my own alcoholism

When my father began to forget words, and then basic skills, I sensed his fear. After my own alcoholic blackouts, I understood what he was going through. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
30/06/23·25m 43s

From the archive: Party and protest: the radical history of gay liberation, Stonewall and Pride

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors This week, from 2020: A police raid on a gay bar in New York led to the birth of the Pride movement half a century ago – but the fight for LGBTQ+ rights goes back much further than that. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
28/06/23·43m 57s

The backlash: how slavery research came under fire

Read more in this series: Cotton Capital More and more institutions are commissioning investigations into their historical links to slavery – but the fallout at one Cambridge college suggests these projects are meeting growing resistance. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
26/06/23·54m 47s

Can humans ever understand how animals think?

A flood of new research is overturning old assumptions about what animal minds are and aren’t capable of – and changing how we think about our own species. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
23/06/23·26m 17s

From the archive: History as a giant data set: how analysing the past could help save the future

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors This week, from 2019: Calculating the patterns and cycles of the past could lead us to a better understanding of history. Could it also help us prevent a looming crisis?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
21/06/23·45m 50s

The strange survival of Guinness World Records

For more than half a century, one organisation has been cataloguing all of life’s superlatives. But has it gone from being about the pursuit of knowledge to simply another big business?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
19/06/23·41m 20s

Out of our minds: opium’s part in imperial history

How a mind-altering, addictive substance was used as a weapon by one empire to subdue another. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
16/06/23·28m 53s

From the archive: The great American tax haven: why the super-rich love South Dakota

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors This week, from 2019: It’s known for being the home of Mount Rushmore – and not much else. But thanks to its relish for deregulation, the state is fast becoming the most profitable place for the mega-wealthy to park their billions. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
14/06/23·35m 1s

The rubbishscapes of Essex: why our buried trash is back to haunt us

Landfill sites have swallowed many a beauty spot along the Thames estuary in the past 50 years. Now, as those dumps start to disgorge tonnes of mouldering detritus into the river, it truly feels like the Age of Consequences. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
12/06/23·24m 31s

Dark waters: how the adventure of a lifetime turned to tragedy

The Clipper round the world yacht race was created for amateurs seeking the ultimate challenge. But did they underestimate the risks?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
09/06/23·40m 33s

From the archive: How Hong Kong caught fire: the story of a radical uprising

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors This week, from 2020: Hong Kong used to be seen as cautious, pragmatic and materialistic. But protests have transformed the city. As Beijing tightens its grip, how much longer can the movement survive?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
07/06/23·42m 27s

The war on Japanese knotweed

Once hailed as a ‘handsome’ import, this most rampant of plants has come to be seen as a sinister, ruinous enemy. Can it be stopped?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
05/06/23·43m 18s

Erdogan’s earthquake: how years of bad government made a disaster worse

Despite vows to tighten the rules after the 1999 quake, cronyism and complacency have undermined Turkish building regulations – at the cost of many thousands of lives. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
02/06/23·28m 59s

From the archive: The man in the iron lung

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors This week, from 2020: When he was six, Paul Alexander contracted polio and was paralysed for life. Today he is 74, and one of the last people in the world still using an iron lung. But after surviving one deadly outbreak, he did not expect to find himself threatened by another. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
31/05/23·40m 1s

On the trail of the Dark Avenger: the most dangerous virus writer in the world

Bulgaria in the 1980s became known as the ‘virus factory’, where hundreds of malicious computer programs were unleashed to wreak havoc. But who was writing them, and why?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
29/05/23·31m 31s

The dark universe: can a scientist battling long Covid unlock the mysteries of the cosmos?

Since being laid low with the virus more than a year ago, Catherine Heymans can only operate in half-hour bursts. But her work could still change the way we understand the universe. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
26/05/23·44m 43s

From the archive: Splendid isolation: how I stopped time by sitting in a forest for 24 hours

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors This week, from 2020: My life seemed to be getting busier, faster: I felt constantly short of time – so I stepped outside it for a day and a night and did nothing. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
24/05/23·37m 43s

How Facebook and Instagram became marketplaces for child sex trafficking

Our two-year investigation suggests that the tech giant Meta is struggling to prevent criminals from using its platforms to buy and sell children for sex More from this series: Rights and freedom Content warning – the following article contains descriptions of child sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
22/05/23·42m 40s

‘I feel like I’m selling my soul’: inside the crisis at Juventus

A series of financial scandals have rocked Italy’s most glamorous club. But is the trouble at Juventus symptomatic of a deeper rot in world football?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
19/05/23·42m 30s

From the archive: How ultra-processed food took over your shopping basket

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors This week, from 2020: It’s cheap, attractive and convenient, and we eat it every day – it’s difficult not to. But is ultra-processed food making us ill and driving the global obesity crisis?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
17/05/23·39m 51s

Sleeping beauties: the evolutionary innovations that wait millions of years to come good

Some organisms truck along slowly for aeons before suddenly surging into dominance – and something similar often happens with human inventions, too. But why?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
15/05/23·28m 35s

Sudan’s outsider: how a paramilitary leader fell out with the army and plunged the country into war

The civilians of Sudan have been trying to throw off military rule for decades, but now find themselves caught in the middle of a deadly power struggle between former allies turned bitter opponents. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
12/05/23·40m 4s

From the archive: Cod wars to food banks: how a Lancashire fishing town is hanging on

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2020: When I grew up there, Fleetwood was a tough but proud fishing port. It’s taken some knocks in the years since, but not everyone has given up on it.. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
10/05/23·31m 38s

Are coincidences real?

The rationalist in me knows that coincidences are inevitable, mundane, meaningless. But I can’t deny there is something strange and magical in them, too.. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
08/05/23·32m 28s

‘The torture’s real. The time I did was real’: the Belfast man waterboarded by the British army

Liam Holden went to prison for 17 years on the basis of a confession he made after being tortured by British soldiers in 1972. Now the government is making it harder for people like him to get justice. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
05/05/23·39m 18s

From the archive: Are your tinned tomatoes picked by slave labour?

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors This week, from 2019: How the Italian mafia makes millions by exploiting migrants. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
03/05/23·1h 6m

Will flying ever be green?

The race is on to develop a battery-powered aircraft. But not everyone’s convinced it will bring us closer to net-zero flight. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
01/05/23·29m 55s

How Deborah Levy can change your life

From her shimmering novels to her ‘living autobiographies’, Deborah Levy’s work inspires a devotion few literary authors ever achieve. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
28/04/23·31m 58s

From the archive: My four miscarriages: why is losing a pregnancy so shrouded in mystery?

We are exploring the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2020: After losing four pregnancies, Jennie Agg set out to unravel the science of miscarriage. Then, a few months in, she found out she was pregnant again – just as the coronavirus pandemic hit. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
26/04/23·42m 49s

Putin, Trump, Ukraine: how Timothy Snyder became the leading interpreter of our dark times

Historians aren’t supposed to make predictions, but Yale professor Timothy Snyder has become known for his dire warnings – and many of them have been proved correct. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
24/04/23·53m 21s

The impossible job: inside the world of Premier League referees

Players, pundits and fans complain bitterly that referees are getting worse each season – but is that fair?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
21/04/23·1h 3m

From the archive: The race to create a perfect lie detector, and the dangers of succeeding

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2019: AI and brain-scanning technology could soon make it possible to reliably detect when people are lying. But do we really want to know?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
19/04/23·35m 32s

Three abandoned children, two missing parents and a 40-year mystery

Elvira and her brothers, Ricard and Ramón, were left at a train station in Barcelona aged two, four and five. As an adult, when Elvira decided to look for her parents, she discovered a family history wilder than anything she had imagined. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
17/04/23·44m 36s

The Ciskei experiment: a libertarian fantasy in apartheid South Africa

In the 1980s, South African libertarians set up a deregulated zone that they sold to the world as ‘Africa’s Switzerland’. It was a sham, but with its clusters of sweatshops, it was very modern – and in some ways it anticipated the world we live in today. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
14/04/23·30m 3s

From the archive – The sound of icebergs melting: my journey into the Antarctic

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors This week, from 2020: Not long after Antarctica recorded some its highest-ever temperatures, I joined a group of scientists studying how human activity is transforming the continent. It wasn’t what we saw that was most astonishing – but what we heard. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
12/04/23·38m 28s

‘They robbed me of my children’: Yemen’s war victims tell their stories

The horrors of this conflict, and the lives it has taken, must not be kept hidden. As the bombs continue to fall around us, I have gathered these witness testimonies as a memory against forgetting. By Bushra al-Maqtari. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
10/04/23·37m 9s

The stupidity of AI

Artificial intelligence in its current form is based on the wholesale appropriation of existing culture, and the notion that it is actually intelligent could be actively dangerous. By James Bridle. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
07/04/23·40m 1s

From the archive – The girl in the box: the mysterious crime that shocked Germany

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors This week, from 2019: On 15 September 1981, 10-year-old Ursula Herrmann headed home by bike from her cousin’s house. She never arrived. So began one of Germany’s most notorious postwar criminal cases, which remains contentious to this day. By Xan Rice. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
05/04/23·46m 29s

The disabled villain: why sensitivity reading can’t kill off this ugly trope

For centuries, fictional narratives have used outer difference to telegraph inner monstrosity. As someone who uses a wheelchair, I’ve learned you can’t just edit out a few slurs or bad words to fix this – it’s often baked deep into the story. By Jan Grue. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
03/04/23·28m 59s

Foreign mothers, foreign tongues: ‘In another universe, she could have been my friend’

Having grown up in different cultures with different expectations, my mother and I have often clashed. But as my daughter grows older, I have come to see our relationship in a different light. By Dina Nayeri. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
31/03/23·31m 25s

From the archive: Why do people hate vegans?

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors This week, from 2019: It has left the beige-tinted margins and become social media’s most glamorous look. But why does veganism still provoke so much anger?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
29/03/23·36m 45s

The trials of an Indian witness: how a Muslim man was caught in a legal nightmare

Nisar Ahmed was almost killed in the Delhi riots. But when he became a witness in court cases against the alleged perpetrators, he realised that was only the start of his troubles. By Rahul Bhatia. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
27/03/23·45m 22s

‘I know where the bodies are buried’: one woman’s mission to change how the police investigate rape

For the past two years, Betsy Stanko has been leading an unprecedented investigation into why the police have been failing so badly to tackle sexual violence. But is there any chance of fixing a system that seems so broken? By Melissa Denes. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
24/03/23·50m 3s

From the archive: Hand dryers v paper towels: the surprisingly dirty fight for the right to dry your hands

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors This week, from 2019: For a century, the humble paper towel has dominated public toilets. But a new generation of hand dryers has sparked a war for loo supremacy. By Samanth Subramanian. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
22/03/23·42m 45s

Baghdad memories: what the first few months of the US occupation felt like to an Iraqi

When I was 28, the US arrived in Baghdad. The soldiers were announced as liberators, and their leaders talked of democracy. I watched the regime and Saddam’s statues fall, chaos reign and a sectarian war unfold. By Ghaith Abdul-Ahad. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
20/03/23·30m 41s

Dinner with Proust: how Alzheimer’s caregivers are pulled into their patients’ worlds

What do you say to someone whose wife prefers photographs of deceased authors to him? By Dasha Kiper. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
17/03/23·27m 3s

From the archive: How the MoD’s plan to privatise military housing ended in disaster

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors This week, from 2017: Two decades ago, the Ministry of Defence decided to sell off its housing stock. The financier Guy Hands bought it up in a deal that would make his investors billions – and have catastrophic consequences for the military and the taxpayer. By Holly Watt. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
15/03/23·40m 45s

‘One billionaire at a time’: inside the Swiss clinics where the super-rich go for rehab

For the ultra-wealthy and the super-famous, regular therapy won’t do. By Sophie Elmhirst. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
13/03/23·39m 14s

From the archive: The real David Attenborough

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors This week, from 2019: He is the most beloved figure in Britain, and a global superstar. His films long shied away from discussing humanity’s impact on the planet. Now they are sounding the alarm – but is it too late? By Patrick Barkham. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
10/03/23·37m 56s

No coach, no agent, no ego: the incredible story of the ‘Lionel Messi of cliff diving’

Gary Hunt is an enigma. He trains with the intensity of a modern athlete, but relaxes like a sportsman of a bygone era. He is fiercely competitive but unbelievably laid-back. How did he become the greatest cliff diver of all time? By Xan Rice. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
06/03/23·41m 14s

From the archive: Fifty shades of white: the long fight against racism in romance novels

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors This week, from 2019: for decades, the world of romantic fiction has been divided by a heated debate about racism and diversity. Is there any hope of a happy ending? By Lois Beckett. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
03/03/23·58m 32s

Portrait of a killer: art class in one of Mexico’s most notorious prisons

In 2016, artist César Aréchiga talked one of Mexico’s most dangerous maximum security prisons into letting him run art classes for its inmates, many of them violent gang members. Could he really change their lives? By Sam Edwards. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
27/02/23·40m 26s

From the archive: Welcome to the land that no country wants

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors This week, from 2016: In 2014, an American dad claimed a tiny parcel of African land to make his daughter a princess. But Jack Shenker had got there first – and learned that states and borders are volatile and delicate things. By Jack Shenker. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
24/02/23·41m 29s

Can a mass shooter demand a good death? The strange case that tested the limits of justice

In 2021, a security guard in Spain stormed into his workplace and shot four people. He was caught, badly injured, and a trial was set – but his victims would never get to see him punished. By Giles Tremlett. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
20/02/23·44m 18s

From the archive: Snow machines and fleece blankets: inside the ski industry’s battle with climate change

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors This week, from 2019: Hundreds of ski resorts now stand abandoned across the Alps. But some scientists believe they have found a way to keep snow on the ground – and that it could help vulnerable communities all over the world. By Simon Parkin. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
17/02/23·31m 36s

Battle of the botanic garden: the horticulture war roiling the Isle of Wight

When a US businessman took over a beloved garden a decade ago, he decided on a radical new approach, all in the name of sustainability. But angry critics claim it’s just plain neglect. By Mark O’Connell. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
13/02/23·39m 44s

From the archive: Can the greatest darts player of all time step away from the game that made him?

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors This week, from 2015: Some say Phil Taylor is Britain’s greatest living sportsman. At 54, he has nothing left to prove, but will not quit. Does he need the game more than it needs him? By Ed Caesar. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
10/02/23·43m 50s

A tragedy pushed to the shadows: the truth about China’s Cultural Revolution

It is impossible to understand China without understanding this decade of horror, and the ways in which it scarred the entire nation. So why do some of that era’s children still look back on it with fondness? By Tania Branigan. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
06/02/23·38m 34s

From the archive: Where oil rigs go to die

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors This week, from 2017: When a drilling platform is scheduled for destruction, it must go on a thousand-mile final journey to the breaker’s yard. As one rig proved when it crashed on to the rocks of a remote Scottish island, this is always a risky business. By Tom Lamont. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
03/02/23·1h 11m

Schedule Changes to the Audio Long Read

For the month of February, we’ll be making a slight change to our production schedule. For the next few weeks, we will be publishing two episodes a week. On Mondays you’ll hear brand new long reads, and on Fridays we’ll raid the Audio Long Read archive to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. In March we’ll return to publishing three episodes a week.. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
01/02/23·1m 6s

‘If you win the popular imagination, you change the game’: why we need new stories on climate

So much is happening, both wonderful and terrible – and it matters how we tell it. We can’t erase the bad news, but to ignore the good is the route to indifference or despair. By Rebecca Solnit. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
30/01/23·37m 38s

‘We can’t even get basic care done’: what it’s like doing 12-hour shifts on an understaffed NHS ward

The NHS saved my life once, and inspired me to change career. But when I started as a healthcare assistant on a hospital ward for older patients, it was clear how bad things had got. This is the story of a typical shift. By William Fear. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
27/01/23·26m 28s

From the archive – The selling of the Krays: how two mediocre criminals created their own legend

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2015: The Kray twins wanted everyone to know who they were – and indeed they were always better at fame than crime. By Duncan Campbell. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
25/01/23·40m 22s

‘It was a set-up, we were fooled’: the coalmine that ate an Indian village

In a pristine forest in central India, the multibillion-dollar mining giant Adani has razed trees – and homes – to dig more coal. How does this kind of destruction get the go-ahead? By Ankur Paliwal. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
23/01/23·41m 1s

The price of ‘sugar free’: are sweeteners as harmless as we thought?

We know we need to cut down on sugar. But replacing it with artificial compounds isn’t necessarily the answer. By Bee Wilson. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
20/01/23·35m 12s

From the archive: El Chapo: what the rise and fall of the kingpin reveals about the war on drugs

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2019: As the capture and conviction of Mexico’s notorious drug lord has shown, taking down the boss doesn’t mean taking down the organisation. By Jessica Loudis. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
18/01/23·45m 10s

Dismantling Sellafield: the epic task of shutting down a nuclear site

Nothing is produced at Sellafield any more. But making safe what is left behind is an almost unimaginably expensive and complex task that requires us to think not on a human timescale, but a planetary one. By Samanth Subramanian. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
16/01/23·44m 2s

Becoming a chatbot: my life as a real estate AI’s human backup

For one weird year, I was the human who stepped in to make sure a property chatbot didn’t blow its cover – I was a person pretending to be a computer pretending to be a person. By Laura Preston. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
13/01/23·39m 33s

From the archive: Who killed the prime minister? The unsolved murder that still haunts Sweden

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2019: Three decades ago, Olof Palme was assassinated on Stockholm’s busiest street. The killer has never been found. Could the discovery of new evidence finally close the case? By Imogen West-Knights. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
11/01/23·37m 26s

‘The Godfather, Saudi-style’: inside the palace coup that brought MBS to power

Not long ago, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Nayef, was all set to assume power. But his ambitious young cousin had a ruthless plan to seize control for himself. By Anuj Chopra. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
09/01/23·34m 3s

‘They want toys to get their children into Harvard’: have we been getting playthings all wrong?

For decades we’ve been using toys to cram learning into playtime – and toys have been marketed as tools to turn children into prosperous, high-achieving adults. Is it time for a rethink? By Alex Blasdel. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
06/01/23·38m 18s

From the archive: How the ‘rugby rape trial’ divided Ireland

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2018: After a trial that dominated the news, the accused were all found not guilty. But the case had tapped into a deeper rage that has not died down. By Susan McKay. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
04/01/23·46m 48s

Iran’s moment of truth: what will it take for the people to topple the regime?

Three months after the uprising began, demonstrators are still risking their lives. Will this generation succeed where previous attempts to unseat the Islamic hardliners have been crushed? By Christopher de Bellaigue. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
02/01/23·41m 12s

Best of 2022: ‘Is this justice?’: why Sudan is facing a multibillion-dollar bill for 9/11

Every Monday and Friday for the rest of December we will publish some of our favourite audio long reads of 2022, in case you missed them, with an introduction from the editorial team to explain why we’ve chosen it. From September: The families of some 9/11 victims are still pursuing compensation from those complicit in the attacks – but is Sudan, already ravaged by years of US sanctions, really the right target?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
30/12/22·42m 10s

Best of 2022: The amazing true(ish) story of the ‘Honduran Maradona’

Every Monday and Friday for the rest of December we will publish some of our favourite audio long reads of 2022, in case you missed them, with an introduction from the editorial team to explain why we’ve chosen it. This week, from October: For one of our many adolescent pranks, my friend and I planted tips about an obscure young footballer. Then he suddenly started going places. What had we done?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
26/12/22·31m 20s

Best of 2022: ‘Parents are frightened for themselves and for their children’: an inspirational school in impossible times

Every Monday and Friday for the rest of December we will publish some of our favourite audio long reads of 2022, in case you missed them, with an introduction from the editorial team to explain why we’ve chosen it. From September: Austerity, the pandemic and now the cost of living crisis have left many schools in a parlous state. How hard do staff have to work to give kids the chances they deserve?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
23/12/22·44m 20s

Best of 2022: The sludge king: how one man turned an industrial wasteland into his own El Dorado

Every Monday and Friday for the rest of December we will publish some of our favourite audio long reads of 2022, in case you missed them, with an introduction from the editorial team to explain why we’ve chosen it. From September: When a Romanian businessman returned to his hometown and found a city blighted by mining waste, he hatched a plan to restore it to its former glory. He became a local hero, but now prosecutors accuse of him a running a multimillion dollar fraud. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
19/12/22·51m 44s

Best of 2022: ‘A deranged pyroscape’: how fires across the world have grown weirder

Every Monday and Friday for the rest of December we will publish some of our favourite audio long reads of 2022, in case you missed them, with an introduction from the editorial team to explain why we’ve chosen it. From February: Despite the rise of headline-grabbing megafires, fewer fires are burning worldwide now than at any time since antiquity. But this isn’t good news – in banishing fire from sight, we have made its dangers stranger and less predictable. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
16/12/22·39m 25s

Best of 2022: Seven stowaways and a hijacked oil tanker: the strange case of the Nave Andromeda

Every Monday and Friday for the rest of December we will publish some of our favourite audio long reads of 2022, in case you missed them, with an introduction from the editorial team to explain why we’ve chosen it. From July: In October 2020, an emergency call was received from a ship in British waters. After a full-scale commando raid, seven Nigerians were taken off in handcuffs – but no one was ever charged. What really happened on board?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
12/12/22·46m 21s

The many meanings of moss

Moss is ancient, and grows at a glacial pace, but it lives alongside us everywhere, country and city, a witness to the human world and its catastrophic speed. What can we learn by tuning in to ‘moss time’?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
09/12/22·33m 22s

From the archive: Dulwich Hamlet: the tiny football club that lost its home to developers – and won it back

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors This week, from 2018: After they were locked out of their own stadium, an unlikely band of supporters came together to save a beloved south London club. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
07/12/22·50m 0s

‘He was fast … he ran you right over’: what it’s like to get hit by an SUV

One Thursday afternoon, I stepped out to cross a city street – and woke up in hospital with broken bones and a brain injury. After I recovered, I started looking into why so many drivers just don’t stop. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
05/12/22·30m 46s

How to move a country: Fiji’s radical plan to escape rising sea levels

In Fiji, the climate crisis means dozens of villages could soon be underwater. Relocating so many communities is an epic undertaking. But now there is a plan – and the rest of the world is watching. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
02/12/22·34m 11s

From the archive: China’s hi-tech war on its Muslim minority

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors This week, from 2019: Smartphones and the internet gave the Uighurs a sense of their own identity – but now the Chinese state is using technology to strip them of it. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
30/11/22·31m 47s

‘Who remembers proper binmen?’ The nostalgia memes that help explain Britain today

Idealising the past is nothing new, but there is something peculiarly revealing about the way a certain generation of Facebook users look back fondly on tougher times. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
28/11/22·34m 46s

Are we really prisoners of geography?

A wave of bestselling authors claim that global affairs are still ultimately governed by the immutable facts of geography – mountains, oceans, rivers, resources. But the world has changed more than they realise. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
25/11/22·39m 51s

From the archive: How I let drinking take over my life

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors This week, from 2018: Five years after his last taste of alcohol, William Leith tries to understand its powerful magic. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
23/11/22·30m 38s

The night everything changed: waiting for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Despite all the warning signs, as I sat down for dinner with friends in Kyiv on 23 February, war seemed unreal. Surely, Putin was bluffing?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
21/11/22·32m 46s

Megalopolis: how coastal west Africa will shape the coming century

By the end of the century, Africa will be home to 40% of the world’s population – and nowhere is this breakneck-pace development happening faster than this 600-mile stretch between Abidjan and Lagos. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
18/11/22·33m 12s

From the archive – Spain’s Watergate: inside the corruption scandal that changed a nation

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2019: The Gürtel case began with one Madrid mogul. Over the next decade, it grew into the biggest corruption investigation in Spain’s recent history, sweeping up hundreds of corrupt politicians and businessmen – and shattering its political system. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
16/11/22·45m 59s

Is the IMF fit for purpose?

As the world faces the worst debt crisis in decades, the need for a global lender of last resort is clearer than ever. But many nations view the IMF as overbearing, or even neocolonial – and are now looking elsewhere for help. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
14/11/22·36m 53s

Ukraine’s true detectives: the investigators closing in on Russian war criminals

Across the country, fact-finding teams are tirelessly gathering evidence and testimony about Russian atrocities, often within hours of troops retreating. Turning this into convictions will not be easy, or quick, but the task has begun. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
11/11/22·43m 45s

From the archive: The Anthropocene epoch: have we entered a new phase of planetary history?

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2019: Human activity has transformed the Earth – but scientists are divided about whether this is really a turning point in geological history. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
09/11/22·41m 32s

My small, doomed stand against Margaret Thatcher’s war on truth

As a civil servant in the 1980s, I had a front row seat as the British government began to lose touch with reality. Since then, things have only got worse. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
07/11/22·25m 29s

Greenwashing a police state: the truth behind Egypt’s Cop27 masquerade

Sisi’s Egypt is making a big show of solar panels and biodegradable straws ahead of next week’s climate summit – but in reality the regime imprisons activists and bans research. The climate movement should not play along. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
04/11/22·38m 26s

From the archive: The dark history of Donald Trump’s rightwing revolt

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2016: The Republican intellectual establishment is united against Trump – but his message of cultural and racial resentment has deep roots in the American right. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
02/11/22·45m 43s

Psychiatry wars: the lawsuit that put psychoanalysis on trial

Forty years ago, Dr Ray Osheroff sued a US hospital for failing to give him antidepressants. The case would change the course of medical history – even if it couldn’t help the patient himself. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
31/10/22·40m 28s

Ben Roberts-Smith v the media: episode one of a new podcast

Ben Roberts-Smith v the media is a five-part series available via Guardian Australia’s Full Story podcast feed. All episodes streaming now. In the defamation trial of the century, Australia’s most-decorated living soldier is seeking to defend his reputation against reports in three newspapers that he says falsely accuse him of being a war criminal. His lawyers argue Roberts-Smith has been unfairly targeted by envious comrades and assisted by credulous journalists. The newspapers’ lawyers say their reporting is true, and that Roberts-Smith broke the ‘moral and legal rules of military engagement’, something he denies outright. But who is Ben Roberts-Smith, and how did he earn the military’s highest honour, the Victoria Cross?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
29/10/22·46m 9s

The amazing true(ish) story of the ‘Honduran Maradona’

For one of our many adolescent pranks, my friend and I planted tips about an obscure young footballer. Then he suddenly started going places. What had we done?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
28/10/22·28m 46s

From the archive: ‘A zombie party’: the deepening crisis of conservatism

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2019: The traditional right is clinging on to power – but its ideas are dead in the water. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
26/10/22·42m 28s

The cartel, the journalist and the gangland killings that rocked the Netherlands

In a country known for its liberal drugs policies, organised crime operated for years under the public’s nose – until a series of shocking killings revealed how deep the problem went. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
24/10/22·54m 10s

No place like home: my bitter return to Palestine

All my life, my exiled parents had told me about the tragedy of Palestine. Then, when I was in my early 20s, my family moved back – and I saw it with my own eyes. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
21/10/22·33m 20s

From the archive: Going underground: inside the world of the mole-catchers

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2017: A bitter battle is raging within the mole-catching community over the kindest way to carry out their deadly work. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
19/10/22·35m 17s

The Blackstone rebellion: how one country took on the world’s biggest commercial landlord

The giant asset management firm used to target places where people worked and shopped. Then it started buying up people’s homes. In one country, the backlash was ferocious. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
17/10/22·42m 40s

Ransomware hunters: the self-taught tech geniuses fighting cybercrime

Hackers are increasingly taking users’ data hostage and demanding huge sums for its release. They have targeted individuals, businesses, vital infrastructure and even hospitals. Authorities have been slow to respond – but there is help out there. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
14/10/22·30m 7s

From the archive: The school beneath the wave: the unimaginable tragedy of Japan’s tsunami

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2017: In 2011 a tsunami engulfed Japan’s north-east coast. More than 18,000 people were killed. Six years later, in one community, survivors are still tormented by a catastrophic split-second decision. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
12/10/22·38m 51s

Allergic to the world: can medicine help people with severe intolerance to chemicals?

Whether it’s organic or psychosomatic or something in between, multiple chemical sensitivity can cause chronic illness, and its sufferers often feel abandoned. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
10/10/22·34m 13s

Divine comedy: the standup double act who turned to the priesthood

Josh and Jack used to interrogate life via absurdist jokes and sketches. But the questions they had just kept getting bigger – and led them both to embark upon a profound transformation. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
07/10/22·42m 56s

From the archive: Why we should bulldoze the business school

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2018: There are 13,000 business schools on Earth. That’s 13,000 too many. And I should know – I’ve taught in them for 20 years. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
05/10/22·27m 17s

The clockwork universe: is free will an illusion?

A growing chorus of scientists and philosophers argue that free will does not exist. Could they be right?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
03/10/22·44m 39s

Unboxing, bad baby and evil Santa: how YouTube got swamped with creepy content for kids

When children first started flocking to YouTube, some seriously strange stuff started to appear – and after much outcry, the company found itself scrambling to fix the problem. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
30/09/22·30m 27s

From the archive: ‘State capture’: the corruption investigation that has shaken South Africa

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2019: Gavin Watson was a hero of the struggle against apartheid. But this once-powerful businessman is now caught up in a sweeping inquiry that goes to the heart of how a nation is run. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
28/09/22·46m 23s

‘Farmed’: why were so many Black children fostered by white families in the UK?

From the 1950s, thousands of children of African parents were happily fostered by white British families. But for some, the well-intentioned plan was deeply damaging. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
26/09/22·31m 38s

Can I Tell You a Secret: episode one of a new podcast

In this new six-episode podcast, Guardian journalist Sirin Kale investigates the story of a cyberstalker who terrified people in his hometown and beyond for over a decade. Episode one begins in his hometown, Northwich, where Sirin meets some of his earliest victims - Andrea Yuile, Amber and Amy Bailey. They tell us how he infiltrated their lives and talk about the horrendous fallout of what he did.. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
24/09/22·34m 24s

Saviour or wrecker? The truth about the Treasury

It’s true that the UK Treasury thrives under the pressure of a crisis, from the 2007 financial crash to the Covid pandemic – but is its self-hyped reputation as the bedrock of government stability really deserved?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
23/09/22·33m 33s

From the archive – Poles apart: the bitter conflict over a nation’s communist history

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2018: Many Polish people remember Soviet soldiers saving them from Nazi occupation. But a growing number are rejecting that narrative, and the monuments that come with it. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
21/09/22·45m 43s

The sludge king: how one man turned an industrial wasteland into his own El Dorado

When a Romanian businessman returned to his hometown and found a city blighted by mining waste, he hatched a plan to restore it to its former glory. He became a local hero, but now prosecutors accuse of him a running a multimillion dollar fraud. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
19/09/22·50m 6s

‘Parents are frightened for themselves and for their children’: an inspirational school in impossible times

Austerity, the pandemic and now the cost of living crisis have left many schools in a parlous state. How hard do staff have to work to give kids the chances they deserve?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
16/09/22·42m 15s

From the archive: What kind of King will Charles III be?

We are raiding the Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2014: When Prince Charles becomes king, will he be able to stop his compulsive ‘meddling’? And if he can’t, what will it mean for the monarchy and the United Kingdom?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
14/09/22·37m 32s

‘Is this justice?’: why Sudan is facing a multibillion-dollar bill for 9/11

The families of some 9/11 victims are still pursuing compensation from those complicit in the attacks – but is Sudan, already ravaged by years of US sanctions, really the right target?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
12/09/22·38m 54s

Special edition: ‘London Bridge is down’: the secret plan for the days after the Queen’s death

Following the news of the Queen’s death, we are bringing you a piece from our archive from our archive: London Bridge is down, the secret plan for the days after the Queen’s death by Sam Knight. The piece was first published in 2017, and while a few small details are out of date, it remains the best account of both what will unfold over the coming days and what this moment in history means. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
09/09/22·43m 29s

From Today in Focus: the life and death of Queen Elizabeth II

The Queen has died aged 96 at her Scottish home of Balmoral. In this episode of our Today in Focus podcast, Polly Toynbee joins Nosheen Iqbal to look back on her life. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
09/09/22·31m 41s

From the archive: The shocking rape trial that galvanised Spain’s feminists – and the far right

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2019: The ‘wolf pack’ case inspired widespread anger and protests against sexual assault laws in Spain. But the anti-feminist backlash that followed has helped propel the far right to its biggest gains since Franco. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
07/09/22·46m 38s

How Bolivia’s ruthless tin baron saved thousands of Jewish refugees

He has been described as ‘the worst kind of businessman’, but we now know that industrialist Moritz Hochschild also rescued as many as 20,000 Jews from the Nazis. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
05/09/22·44m 11s

The King of Kowloon: my search for the cult graffiti prophet of Hong Kong

For years Tsang Tsou-choi daubed his eccentric demands around Hong Kong, and the authorities raced to cover them up. But as the city’s protest movements bloomed, his words mysteriously reappeared. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
02/09/22·37m 53s

The century of climate migration: why we need to plan for the great upheaval

People driven from their homes by climate disaster need protection. And ageing nations need them. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
29/08/22·29m 25s

Best of 2022 … so far: How south London became a talent factory for Black British footballers

Every Friday in August we will publish some of our favourite audio long reads of 2022, in case you missed them, with an introduction from the editorial team to explain why we’ve chosen it. This week, from April: From the playing fields of Lewisham and Bromley to the Premier League, south London’s football clubs have nurtured wave after wave of stars. And these players have become proud symbols of a place reshaped by each new generation of migrants. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
26/08/22·26m 10s

‘The deepest silences’: what lies behind the Arctic’s Indigenous suicide crisis

For years I lived with the Inuit community in Canada’s far north. But it was only later, when the suicides began, that I learned of the epidemic of abuse that had unfolded during that time. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
22/08/22·34m 8s

Best of 2022 … so far: A day in the life of (almost) every vending machine in the world

Every Friday in August we will publish some of our favourite audio long reads of 2022, in case you missed them, with an introduction from the editorial team to explain why we’ve chosen it. This week, from May: What’s behind the indestructible appeal of the robotic snack?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
19/08/22·44m 39s

Sewage sleuths: the men who revealed the slow, dirty death of Welsh and English rivers

A tide of effluent, broken laws and ruthless cuts is devastating the nations’ waterways. An academic and a detective have dredged up the truth of how it was allowed to happen – but will anything be done?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
15/08/22·38m 25s

Best of 2022 … so far: ‘In our teens, we dreamed of making peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Then my friend was shot’

Every Friday in August we will publish some of our favourite audio long reads of 2022, in case you missed them, with an introduction from the editorial team to explain why we’ve chosen it. This week, from February: At a summer camp for kids from conflict zones, I met my brave, funny friend Aseel. He was Palestinian. I was Israeli. When he was killed by police, my hope for our future died with him. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
12/08/22·39m 17s

Bicycle graveyards: why do so many bikes end up underwater?

Every year, thousands of bikes are tossed into rivers, ponds, lakes and canals. What’s behind this mass drowning?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
08/08/22·26m 27s

Best of 2022 … so far: Burying Leni Riefenstahl: one woman’s lifelong crusade against Hitler’s favourite film-maker

Every Friday in August we will publish some of our favourite audio long reads of 2022, in case you missed them, with an introduction from the editorial team to explain why we’ve chosen it. This week, from February: Nina Gladitz dedicated her life to proving the Triumph of the Will director’s complicity with the horrors of Nazism. In the end, she succeeded – but at a cost. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
05/08/22·47m 6s

‘It’s a little bit of utopia’: the dream of replacing container ships with sailing boats

Global trade depends almost entirely on huge, dirty, dangerous container ships. Now a team of French shipbuilders is bringing back wind-powered sea freight. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
01/08/22·37m 56s

Made to measure: why we can’t stop quantifying our lives

From ancient Egyptian cubits to fitness tracker apps, humankind has long been seeking ever more ways to measure the world – and ourselves. But what is this doing to us?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
29/07/22·28m 17s

From the archive: How the world got hooked on palm oil

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2019: It’s the miracle ingredient in everything from biscuits to shampoo. But our dependence on palm oil has devastating environmental consequences. Is it too late to break the habit?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
27/07/22·38m 52s

Promised land: how South Africa’s black farmers were set up to fail

When black people were given back their land after apartheid, many felt driven to prove they could farm as well as white South Africans. But even before they had begun, the system was stacked against them. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
25/07/22·41m 15s

‘Thank the lord, I have been relieved’: the truth about the history of abortion in America

Abortion in the 19th-century US was widely accepted as a means of avoiding the risks of pregnancy. The idea of banning or punishing it came later. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
22/07/22·35m 43s

From the archive: Concrete: the most destructive material on Earth

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2019: After water, concrete is the most widely used substance on the planet. But its benefits mask enormous dangers to the planet, to human health – and to culture itself. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
20/07/22·36m 20s

‘If you decide to cut staff, people die’: how Nottingham prison descended into chaos

As violence, drug use and suicide at HMP Nottingham reached shocking new levels, the prison became a symbol of a system crumbling into crisis. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
18/07/22·48m 11s

‘You can’t be the player’s friend’: inside the secret world of tennis umpires

New technology was supposed to make umpiring easy. It hasn’t worked out that way. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
15/07/22·43m 36s

From the archive: the murder that has obsessed Italy

We are raiding the Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2015: On 26 November 2010, Yara Gambirasio, 13, went missing. Three months later her body was discovered in scrubland nearby. So began one of the most complex murder investigations in Italian history, which will reach its climax later this year. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
13/07/22·40m 39s

Seven stowaways and a hijacked oil tanker: the strange case of the Nave Andromeda

In October 2020, an emergency call was received from a ship in British waters. After a full-scale commando raid, seven Nigerians were taken off in handcuffs – but no one was ever charged. What really happened on board?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
11/07/22·44m 39s

‘A massive betrayal’: how London’s Olympic legacy was sold out

After so many other Olympic sites ended up left to rot, London 2012 was supposed to be different. But who has really benefited from this orgy of development?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
08/07/22·44m 5s

From the archive: The mystery of India’s deadly exam scam

We are raiding the Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2015: It began with a test-fixing scandal so massive that it led to 2,000 arrests, including top politicians, academics and doctors. Then suspects started turning up dead. What is the truth behind India’s Vyapam scam?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
06/07/22·52m 13s

Do we need a new theory of evolution?

A new wave of scientists argues that mainstream evolutionary theory needs an urgent overhaul. Their opponents have dismissed them as misguided careerists – and the conflict may determine the future of biology. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
04/07/22·38m 21s

‘There are no words for the horror’: the story of my madness

Emmanuel Carrère was no stranger to depression, but it was late in life that a major episode got him hospitalised and diagnosed as bipolar. In some ways it made sense of his problems, but in the midst of it, everything was broken. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
01/07/22·25m 6s

From the archive: Welcome to the age of Trump

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2016: Whether he wins the US presidency or not, his rise reveals a growing attraction to political demagogues – and points to a wider crisis of democracy. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
29/06/22·41m 16s

‘Wallets and eyeballs’: How eBay turned the internet into a marketplace

The story of the modern web is often told through the stories of Google, Facebook, Amazon. But eBay was the first conqueror. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
27/06/22·32m 8s

‘A merry-go-round of buck-passing’: inside the four-year Grenfell inquiry

As survivors and the bereaved mark the disaster’s fifth anniversary, the inquiry hearings are finally nearing their end. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
24/06/22·46m 38s

From the archive: Bowel movement: the push to change the way you poo

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2018: Are you sitting comfortably? Many people are not – and there are some who insist the way we’ve been going to the toilet is all wrong. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
22/06/22·30m 54s

‘We were all wrong’: how Germany got hooked on Russian energy

Germany has been forced to admit it was a terrible mistake to become so dependent on Russian oil and gas. So why did it happen?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
20/06/22·30m 59s

Slow water: can we tame urban floods by going with the flow?

As we face increased flooding, China’s sponge cities are taking a new course. But can they steer the country away from concrete megadams?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
17/06/22·28m 25s

From the archive: the murder that shook Iceland

From 2018: In a country with one of the lowest murder rates in the world, the killing of a 20-year-old woman upended the nation’s sense of itself. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
15/06/22·37m 36s

The man who built his own cathedral

For nearly 60 years, a former monk toiled almost single-handedly on an extraordinary building outside Madrid. Is it a folly or a masterpiece?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
13/06/22·37m 30s

Nazi or KGB agent? My search for my grandfather’s hidden past

When my Latvian grandfather disappeared in 1949, my grandmother already knew he had been a member of a notorious Nazi brigade. But then a pension cheque arrived from the Soviet security agency. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
10/06/22·42m 34s

From the archive: ‘A tale of decay’: the Houses of Parliament are falling down

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2017: As politicians dither over repairs, the risk of fire, flood or a deluge of sewage only increases. But fixing the Palace of Westminster might change British politics for good – which is the last thing many of its residents want. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
08/06/22·37m 0s

An ocean of noise: how sonic pollution is hurting marine life – podcast

Today’s oceans are a tumult of engine roar, artificial sonar and seismic blasts that make it impossible for marine creatures to hunt or communicate. We could make it stop, so why don’t we?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
06/06/22·29m 21s

Who owns Einstein? The battle for the world’s most famous face

Thanks to a savvy California lawyer, Albert Einstein has earned far more posthumously than he ever did in his lifetime. But is that what the great scientist would have wanted?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
03/06/22·46m 42s

From the archive: Why we may never know if British troops committed war crimes in Iraq

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2018: The Iraq Historic Allegations Team was set up by the government to investigate claims of the abuse of civilians. After its collapse, some fear the truth will never come out. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
01/06/22·46m 56s

Forgetting the apocalypse: why our nuclear fears faded – and why that’s dangerous

The horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki made the whole world afraid of the atomic bomb – even those who might launch one. Today that fear has mostly passed out of living memory, and with it we may have lost a crucial safeguard. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
30/05/22·42m 22s

How to kill a god: the myth of Captain Cook shows how the heroes of empire will fall

In the 18th century, the naval explorer was worshipped as a deity. Now his statues are being defaced across the lands he visited. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
27/05/22·28m 43s

From the archive: The Money Saving Expert: how Martin Lewis became the most trusted man in Britain

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2019: He has built a multimillion pound empire, and is driven to help people attain ‘financial justice’. But in an age of predatory capitalism and rampant inequality, can one man’s modest suggestions really make a difference?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
25/05/22·36m 30s

Spot the difference: the invincible business of counterfeit goods

Selling cheap fakes of a successful product makes horribly good business sense. Is there any way to stop it?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
23/05/22·25m 4s

The last phone boxes: broken glass, cider cans and – amazingly – a dial tone

Five million payphone calls are still made each year in the UK. Who is making them – and why?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
20/05/22·30m 42s

From the archive: Five myths about the refugee crisis

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2018: The cameras have gone – but the suffering endures. Daniel Trilling deconstructs the beliefs that still shape policy and public opinion. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
18/05/22·32m 46s

How Putin’s invasion returned Nato to the centre stage

For the first time in years, its role has become a topic of furious debate. But what do we talk about when we talk about Nato?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
16/05/22·39m 55s

A day in the life of (almost) every vending machine in the world

What’s behind the indestructible appeal of the robotic snack?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
13/05/22·42m 22s

From the archive: The retired cops investigating unsolved murders in one of America’s most violent cities

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2016: A former murder capital of the US, Camden, New Jersey has created its first cold case squad. Can solving old killings help restore an embattled community’s trust in law and order?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
11/05/22·43m 30s

‘A disaster waiting to happen’: who was really responsible for the fire at Moria refugee camp?

Days after fire destroyed the overcrowded camp, six inmates were charged with arson. Greece is now opening ‘prison-like’ secure camps in the Aegean islands as part of a growing tendency to criminalise refugees. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
09/05/22·39m 15s

The lost Jews of Nigeria

Until the 1990s, there were almost no Jews in Nigeria. Now thousands have enthusiastically taken up the faith. Why?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
06/05/22·47m 23s

From the archive: Has wine gone bad?

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2018: ‘Natural wine’ advocates say everything about the modern industry is ethically, ecologically and aesthetically wrong – and have triggered the biggest split in the wine world for a generation. By Stephen Buranyi. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
04/05/22·40m 24s

Shrinking the Gap: how the clothing brand lost its way

Gap’s clothes defined an era, but the brand has been steadily declining for years. Can a collaboration with Kanye West revive its fortunes – or is it just another sign of a company flailing around for an identity?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
02/05/22·37m 25s

‘A nursery of the Commons’: how the Oxford Union created today’s ruling political class

At the Oxford university debating society in the 80s, a generation of aspiring politicians honed the art of winning using jokes, rather than facts. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
29/04/22·26m 21s

From the archive: why we stopped trusting elites

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2018: the credibility of establishment figures has been demolished by technological change and political upheavals. But it’s too late to turn back the clock. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
27/04/22·39m 45s

The queen of crime-solving

Forensic scientist Angela Gallop has helped to crack many of the UK’s most notorious murder cases. But today she fears the whole field – and justice itself – is at risk. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
25/04/22·38m 30s

‘The casino beckons’: my journey inside the cryptosphere

Not all cryptocurrency investors fit the cliches. Many are people looking to somehow claw their way out of a life of constant struggle. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
22/04/22·34m 38s

From the archive: Is the staggeringly profitable business of scientific publishing bad for science?

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2017: It is an industry like no other, with profit margins to rival Google – and it was created by one of Britain’s most notorious tycoons: Robert Maxwell by Stephen Buranyi. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
20/04/22·49m 30s

How we lost our sensory connection with food – and how to restore it

To eat in the modern world is often to eat in a state of profound sensory disengagement. It shouldn’t have to be this way. By Bee Wilson. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
18/04/22·31m 35s

How to stop China and the US going to war

Armed conflict between the world’s two superpowers, while not yet inevitable, has become a real possibility. The 2020s will be the decade of living dangerously. By Kevin Rudd. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
15/04/22·28m 39s

From the archive: Post-work: the radical idea of a world without jobs

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2018: Work has ruled our lives for centuries, and it does so today more than ever. But a new generation of thinkers insists there is an alternative. By Andy Beckett. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
13/04/22·37m 1s

How south London became a talent factory for Black British footballers

From the playing fields of Lewisham and Bromley to the Premier League, south London’s football clubs have nurtured wave after wave of stars. And these players have become proud symbols of a place reshaped by each new generation of migrants. By Aniefiok Ekpoudom. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
11/04/22·24m 20s

Hustle and hype: the truth about the influencer economy

More and more young people are enticed by the glittering promises of a career as an influencer – but it’s usually someone else getting rich. By Symeon Brown. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
08/04/22·28m 7s

From the archive: ‘We believed we could remake ourselves any way we liked’: how the 1990s shaped #MeToo

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2018: While promising liberation and endless possibility, the culture of the decade drove us relentlessly in pursuit of perfection. By Eve Fairbanks. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
06/04/22·40m 29s

The long, disorienting search to diagnose my mystery illness

I sought knowledge of my malfunctioning body wherever I could. But every test just left me deeper in the dark. By Will Rees. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
04/04/22·28m 21s

‘Infertility stung me’: Black motherhood and me

I assumed I would be part of the first generation to have full agency over my reproduction, but I was wrong. By Edna Bonhomme. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
01/04/22·29m 51s

From the archive: ‘We believe you harmed your child’: the war over shaken baby convictions

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2017: Expert witnesses who claim parents have been wrongly accused have been vilified and struck off. But the science is anything but certain. What happens to the truth when experts can’t agree? By Will Storr. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
30/03/22·46m 53s

A drowning world: Kenya’s quiet slide underwater

Kenya’s great lakes are flooding, in a devastating and long-ignored environmental disaster that is displacing hundreds of thousands of people. By Carey Baraka. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
28/03/22·25m 33s

‘In my 30 years as a GP, the profession has been horribly eroded’

As I finished the final house calls of my long career in general practice, it struck me how detached I am from my patients now – and that it was not always like this. Where did we go wrong, and what can we do to fix it? By Clare Gerada. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
25/03/22·23m 24s

From the archive: the Zaghari-Ratcliffes’ ordeal: British arrogance, secret arms deals and Whitehall infighting

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2020: While his wife suffers in an Iranian jail, Richard Ratcliffe fights on for her release. But he fears she cannot cope for much longer. By Patrick Wintour. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
23/03/22·40m 49s

Gas-powered kingmaker: how the UK welcomed Putin’s man in Ukraine

Oligarch Dmitry Firtash is wanted by the FBI for bribery. Nonetheless, he was received into the heart of the British establishment. By Oliver Bullough. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
21/03/22·37m 4s

Was it inevitable? A short history of Russia’s war on Ukraine

To understand the tragedy of this war, it is worth going back beyond the last few weeks and months, and even beyond Vladimir Putin. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
18/03/22·42m 18s

From the archive: Inside Italy’s ultras: the dangerous fans who control the game

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2016: When a key figure in a powerful ‘ultra’ group killed himself in July, police suspected the mafia was using the ultras to get into the game. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
16/03/22·38m 7s

‘Whatever horrors they do, they do in secret’: inside the Taliban’s return to power

Mazar-i-Sharif was once the most secular, liberal of Afghan cities. But 20 years of corruption and misrule left it ripe for retaking by the Taliban. Will anything be different this time? By Ghaith Abdul-Ahad. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
14/03/22·48m 14s

The death of the department store

The closure of John Lewis’s store in Sheffield after almost 60 years was a bitter blow. As debate rages over what to do with the huge empty site, the city is becoming a test case for where Britain’s urban centres may be heading. By John Harris. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
11/03/22·30m 25s

From the archive: Two minutes to midnight: did the US miss its chance to stop North Korea’s nuclear programme?

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2018: An unprecedented US mission to Pyongyang in 1999 promised to defuse Kim’s nuclear threat. But it all came to nothing – and then the hawks took power. By Julian Borger. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
09/03/22·38m 21s

Opening nightmare: launching a restaurant into a world stricken by Covid and Brexit

The past two years have been the hardest ever for restaurants. Amid critical shortages of staff, food supplies and even customers, can a new venture from the man behind Polpo survive? By George Reynolds. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
07/03/22·36m 44s

Subscribe to the Guardian’s Weekend podcast

If you’re enjoying the Guardian’s Weekend podcast, make sure to search for it on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts and hit that subscribe button. You can also leave us a review if you like what you hear. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
05/03/22·34s

From the archive: How Britain let Russia hide its dirty money

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, as Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine, we revisit this piece by Oliver Bullough from 2018. For decades, politicians have welcomed the super-rich with open arms. Now they’re finally having second thoughts. But is it too late?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
04/03/22·33m 26s

From the archive: Trojan horse: the real story behind the fake ‘Islamic plot’ to take over schools

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2017: In 2014, documents alleging a conspiracy to Islamise Birmingham schools were leaked to the media, sparking a national scandal. The papers were debunked – but the story remains as divisive as ever. What really happened? By Samira Shackle. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
02/03/22·1h

‘A deranged pyroscape’: how fires across the world have grown weirder

Despite the rise of headline-grabbing megafires, fewer fires are burning worldwide now than at any time since antiquity. But this isn’t good news – in banishing fire from sight, we have made its dangers stranger and less predictable. By Daniel Immerwahr. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
28/02/22·36m 40s

Weekend: episode 4 of a new podcast

Ease into the weekend with our brand new podcast, showcasing some of the best Guardian and Observer writing from the week, read by talented narrators. In this week’s episode, Marina Hyde on oligarchs in London (1m53s), Zoe Williams interviews Charlie Brooker (9m26s), Annie Lord discusses the pros and cons of voice notes (19m30s) and Luke Winkie investigates the Crime Queen of Bitcoin (32m04s).. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
26/02/22·39m 51s
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