The Perfect Summer Reading: Long-Form Journalism!

PrintedWordLivesEvery summer my Rediscovering the Classics book group chooses something off-the-beaten path to relax with for our summer session. One summer we read poetry, another summer it was short stories, and this summer we’ve chosen something that may be the most exciting yet: long-form journalism!

I spent the weekend doing research into some of the history of long-form journalism (also sometimes known as immersive, literary, or “slow” journalism) and from the very first I was hooked. This syllabus promises a fun summer of learning new things, becoming more acquainted with the world, listening to writers talk about their work (thank you Longform Podcast!), and most of all–reading great writing!

Below is our “syllabus” for the summer. I hope all my readers out there will give long-form journalism a try this summer. Read by yourself, follow along with us, and join the conversation in the comments, or over at the Rediscovering the Classics Facebook page.

Happy Reading!

A Divider

Rediscovering the Classics Summer 2015 Syllabus
Long-form Journalism

To Start With – A History of Longform Journalism:

June 12
Arts and Entertainment – The Ballad of Geeshie and Elvie. On the trail of two women who changed American music, then vanished by John Jeremiah Sullivan:

Celebrity Profile – Pearl Jam: Five Against the World by Cameron Crowe:
(Songs- Rearviewmirror:, Black:
Further Listening/Watching: How Pearl Jam Stayed Alive, Cameron Crowe & Kelly Curtis interviewed on NPR:; Pearl Jam 20 Documentary–not free, sorry:

June 26

Investigative Journalism – Ten Days in a Madhouse by Nellie Bly:
(Further Reading – Nellie Bly short biography:
(Ten Days in a Madhouse movie trailer/website:

Investigative Journalism – The Apostate (Scientology Expose) by Lawrence Wright:
(Further Listening – Lawrence Wright Longform Podcast:

July 10

Business – The Price of Nice Nails by Sarah Maslin Nir:
(Further Listening Sarah Maslin Nir Longform Podcast:
(Further Reading: Perfect Nails, Poisoned Workers:

Culture – The Harvest Gypsies by John Steinbeck:

July 24

Culture & Sociology – Monkey Day Care by Michelle Dean:

Crime – A Very Dangerous Boy by Amy Wallace:
(Further Listening – Amy Wallace Longform Podcast:

August 14

Sports – Heroes for Sale by Brin-Jonathan Butler:
(Further Listening – Brin-Jonathan Butler Longform Podcast:
(Further Watching – The Greatest Fight There Never Was documentary film (14 minutes):

Science & Technology – The Body Electric by Ferris Jabr:

August 28

Culture and Sociology – Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich

Crime – Is It A Crime Now To Be Poor? by Barbara Ehrenreich:
(Further Watching – Bill Moyers interviews Barbara Ehrenreich:

Politics – Let’s Be Real by Wesley Morris:
(Further Listening – Wesley Morris Longform Podcast:
(Further Watching – Let’s Be Cops movie trailer:


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