Show cover of The Audio Long Read

The Audio Long Read

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 longform journalism the Guardian has to offer, including in-depth writing from around the world on current affairs, climate change, immigration, crime, business, the arts and much more. The podcast explores a range of subjects and news across business, global politics, money, philosophy, science, internet culture, modern life, war, climate change, current affairs (including Trump, Israel, Palestine and Gaza), music and trends, and seeks to answer key questions around them through explainers, interviews, and analysis with quality Guardian reporting. Through first person accounts, narrative audio storytelling and investigative reporting, the Audio Long Read seeks to dive deep, debunk myths and uncover hidden histories. In previous episodes we have asked questions like: do we need a new theory of evolution? Why can't we stop quantifying our lives? Why have our nuclear fears faded? Why do so many bikes end up underwater? How did Germany get hooked on Russian energy? Are we all prisoners of geography? How was London's Olympic legacy sold out? Who owns Einstein? Is free will an illusion? What lies beghind the Arctic's Indigenous suicide crisis? What is the mystery of India's deadly exam scam? Who is the man who built his own cathedral? And, how did the world get hooked on palm oil? Whether Trump can win the US presidency or not? Other topics range from: history including empire to politics, conflict, Ukraine, Russia, Israel, Gaza, philosophy, science, psychology, health and finance. Audio Long Read journalists include Samira Shackle, Tom Lamont, Sophie Elmhirst, Samanth Subramanian, Imogen West-Knights, Sirin Kale, Daniel Trilling and Giles Tremlett.

Tracks

From the archive: ‘As borders closed, I became trapped in my Americanness’: China, the US and me
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’ve long nursed vague plans of moving back to China for a few years, to solidify my place there. But with each year that passes in the US, such a move gets harder and harder to make. By Cleo Qian. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
35:01 24/07/2024
‘If there’s nowhere else to go, this is where they come’: how Britain’s libraries provide much more than books
In 2024, libraries are unofficial creches, homeless shelters, language schools and asylum support providers – filling the gaps left by a state that has reneged on its responsibilities. By Aida Edemariam. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
33:11 22/07/2024
‘How do I heal?’: the long wait for justice after a black man dies in police custody
The true number of black people who have died after contact with the police has been hidden, while their families are faced with delays and denials. By Raekha Prasad. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
37:01 19/07/2024
From the archive: The elephant vanishes: how a circus family went on the run
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: Dumba has spent her life performing in circuses around Europe, but in recent years animal rights activists have been campaigning to rescue her. When it looked like they might succeed, Dumba and her owners disappeared. By Laura Spinney. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
37:40 17/07/2024
Dirty waters: how the Environment Agency lost its way
Having created a watchdog for the environment, the government took its teeth out and muzzled it. Can public outrage rouse the Environment Agency to action? By Hettie O’Brien. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
36:46 15/07/2024
Inside Mexico’s anti-avocado militias
The spread of the avocado is a story of greed, ambition, corruption, water shortages, cartel battles and, in a number of towns and villages, a fierce fightback. By Alexander Sammon. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
36:01 12/07/2024
From the archive: ‘Colonialism had never really ended’: my life in the shadow of Cecil Rhodes
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: After growing up in a Zimbabwe convulsed by the legacy of colonialism, when I got to Oxford I realised how many British people still failed to see how empire had shaped lives like mine – as well as their own. By Simukai Chigudu. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
44:43 10/07/2024
Where the wild things are: the untapped potential of our gardens, parks and balconies
Gardens could be part of the solution to the climate and biodiversity crisis. But what are we doing? Disappearing them beneath plastic and paving. By Kate Bradbury. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
28:04 08/07/2024
How the Tories pushed universities to the brink of disaster
Over the past 14 years, the Conservative dream of a free market in higher education has collided with the harsh reality of austerity and the cultural resentment of the radical right – driving some institutions close to bankruptcy. By William Davies. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
29:22 04/07/2024
From the archive: Ten ways to confront the climate crisis without losing hope
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: It’s easy to despair at the climate crisis, or to decide it’s already too late – but it’s not. Here’s how to keep the fight alive. By Rebecca Solnit. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
31:50 03/07/2024
‘Natty or not?’: how steroids got big
Once upon a time, it was only hardcore bodybuilders who pumped themselves up with testosterone. Today it is no longer niche. But how dangerous is it? By Stephen Buranyi. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
38:06 01/07/2024
Nairobi to New York and back: the loneliness of the internationally educated elite
Every year, hundreds of Kenyans head off to study at elite universities in the US and UK. On graduating, many find themselves in a strange position: unable to fit in abroad, but no longer feeling like they belong back home. By Carey Baraka. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
33:33 28/06/2024
From the archive: Brazilian butt lift: behind the world’s most dangerous cosmetic surgery
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: The BBL is the fastest growing cosmetic surgery in the world, despite the mounting number of deaths resulting from the procedure. What is driving its astonishing rise? By Sophie Elmhirst. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
42:08 26/06/2024
Two poems, four years in detention: the Chinese dissident who smuggled his writing out of prison
My poems were written in anger after Tiananmen Square. But what motivates most prison writing is a fear of forgetting. Today I am free, but the regime has never stopped its war on words. By Liao Yiwu. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
32:49 24/06/2024
As a teenager, John was jailed for assaulting someone and stealing their bike. That was 17 years ago – will he ever be released?
Indeterminate sentences are devastating to mental health, but prisoners with mental illness are less likely to be released. The result is a vicious cycle whereby the most vulnerable inmates often have the least chance of getting out – as John’s case shows. By Sophie Atkinson. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
40:59 21/06/2024
From the archive: Can computers ever replace the classroom?
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: With 850 million children worldwide shut out of schools, tech evangelists claim now is the time for AI education. But as the technology’s power grows, so too do the dangers that come with it. By Alex Beard. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
38:10 19/06/2024
The man who turned his home into a homeless shelter
Stuart Potts is an unlikely do-gooder – a former crack addict who has hit rock bottom more than once. But since 2020, he has offered hundreds of homeless people a bed in his small flat – and for many of them, it has been life-changing. By Samira Shackle. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
32:02 17/06/2024
From low-level drug dealer to human trafficker: are modern slavery laws catching the wrong people?
When I heard that a boy from my primary school had been convicted of trafficking, I had to find out what had happened to make him fall so far. By Francisco Garcia. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
38:22 14/06/2024
From the archive: How globalisation has transformed the fight for LGBTQ+ rights
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: Much progress has been made in attitudes towards sexual equality and gender identity – but in many places a dramatic backlash by conservative forces has followed. By Mark Gevisser. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
39:38 12/06/2024
‘Ryan Reynolds never had to deal with this’: the slow death and (possible) rebirth of Southend United
In 20 years, this Essex club has tumbled down the leagues and seen its ground fall apart. Is a revival finally coming – or will hopes be dashed again? By Tim Burrows. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
45:23 10/06/2024
César Aira’s unreal magic: how the eccentric author took over Latin American literature
He has published more than 100 novels, gives his work away, and his surrealist books have a massive cult following. Now Argentina’s favourite rule-breaker is tipped for the Nobel prize. By Alejandro Chacoff. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
35:05 07/06/2024
From the archive: ‘The Silicon Valley of turf’: how the UK’s pursuit of the perfect pitch changed football
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: They used to look like quagmires, ice rinks or dustbowls, depending on the time of year. But as big money entered football, pristine pitches became crucial to the sport’s image – and groundskeepers became stars. By William Ralston. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
35:17 05/06/2024
Mother trees and socialist forests: is the ‘wood-wide web’ a fantasy?
In the past 10 years the idea that trees communicate with and look after each other has gained widespread currency. But have these claims outstripped the evidence? By Daniel Immerwahr. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
37:06 03/06/2024
‘I’ll stay an MP for as long as I can’: Diane Abbott’s tumultuous political journey
Britain’s first black female MP faced hostility from the media and political establishment from the start. Nearly 40 years on, she is still not giving up. By Andy Beckett. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
31:52 31/05/2024
From the archive: The secret deportations: how Britain betrayed the Chinese men who served the country in the war
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: During the second world war, Chinese merchant seamen helped keep Britain fed, fuelled and safe – and many gave their lives doing so. But from late 1945, hundreds of them who had settled in Liverpool suddenly disappeared. Now their children are piecing together the truth. By Dan Hancox. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
49:24 29/05/2024
‘He likes scaring people’: how Modi’s right-hand man, Amit Shah, runs India
For 40 years, Amit Shah has been at Narendra Modi’s side – his confidant, consigliere and enforcer. Today he is India’s second-most powerful man, and he is reshaping the country in radical ways. By Atul Dev. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
49:37 27/05/2024
Guatemala’s baby brokers: how thousands of children were stolen for adoption
From the 1960s, baby brokers persuaded often Indigenous Mayan women to give up newborns while kidnappers ‘disappeared’ babies. Now, international adoption is being called out as a way of covering up war crimes. By Rachel Nolan. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
32:56 24/05/2024
From the archive: Trump’s useful thugs: how the Republican party offered a home to the Proud Boys
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: Early in Trump’s presidency, emboldened neo-Nazi and fascist groups came out into the open but were met with widespread revulsion. So the tactics of the far right changed, becoming more insidious – and much more successful. By Brendan O’Connor. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
34:02 22/05/2024
After I was assaulted, I posted a photo of my injuries. The reaction I craved was not pity, but anger
Going public after I was attacked was hard, but it helped me overcome the shame that so many victims feel. By Rena Effendi. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
28:18 20/05/2024
‘Super cute please like’: the unstoppable rise of Shein
It is taking fast fashion to ever faster and ever cheaper extremes, and making billions from it. Why is the whole world shopping at Shein? By Nicole Lipman. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod
37:46 17/05/2024

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