The Top 10 MoJo Longreads From 2011

Conventional wisdom is that people don’t read long magazine stories online, but Mother Jones readers regularly prove otherwise. Every time we run a compelling, multipage article on our website, we find that many of you read all the way to the end…and comment, tweet, Facebook, and Tumble enthusiastically about details deep into the story. And what better time to curl up with a great read than over the holidays (including you lucky ones with new iPad 2s)? Below, a selection of our (and our readers’) best-loved MoJo longreads from 2011. (Click here to see last year’s list)

The Spam Factory’s Dirty Secret
First, Hormel gutted the union. Then it sped up the line. And when the pig-brain machine made workers sick, they got canned.
By Ted Genoways

Why Screwing Unions Screws the Entire Middle Class
Plus: How much income have you given up for the top 1 percent?
By Kevin Drum
 

Aftershocks: Welcome to Haiti’s Reconstruction Hell
Dispatches from the tent cities, where rape gangs and disaster profiteers roam.
By Mac McClelland

The Informants
The FBI has built a massive network of spies to prevent another domestic attack. But are they busting terrorist plots—or leading them?
By Trevor Aaronson

The Science of Why We Don’t Believe Science
How our brains fool us on climate, creationism, and the vaccine-autism link.
By Chris Mooney

The Cruelest Show on Earth
Bullhooks. Whippings. Electric shocks. Three-day train rides without breaks. Our yearlong investigation rips the big top off how Ringling Bros. treats its elephants.
By Deborah Nelson

Climategate: What Really Happened?
How climate science became the target of “the best-funded, best-organized smear campaign by the wealthiest industry that the Earth has ever known.”
By Kate Sheppard

Horror Stories From Tough-Love Teen Homes
Girls locked up inside fundamentalist religious compounds. Kandahar? No, Missouri.
By Kathryn Joyce

My Summer at an Indian Call Center
Lessons learned: Americans are hotheads, Australians are drunks—and never say where you’re calling from.
By Andrew Marantz

Ohio’s War on the Middle Class
Wherein I go home, watch public servants get axed, visit the warehouse of unbearable sorrow, hang with jobless thirtysomethings living in abandoned homes, and consider whether my generation is screwed.
By Mac McClelland

Bonus longread from the archive:

Newt Gingrich: Shining Knight of the Post-Reagan Right
A must read for 2011: Mother Jones‘ epic 1984 profile of Newt Gingrich.
By David Osborne

 

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

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

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

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