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The Audio Long Read

186 EpisodesProduced by The GuardianWebsite

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… read more

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Do we need a new theory of evolution?

July 4th, 2022

38:21

A new wave of scientists argues that mainstream evolutionary theory needs an urgent overhaul. Their opponents have dismissed them as misguided …

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

July 1st, 2022

25:06

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 …

From the archive: Welcome to the age of Trump

June 29th, 2022

41:16

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 …

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

June 27th, 2022

32:08

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 …

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

June 24th, 2022

46:38

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

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

June 22nd, 2022

30:54

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 …

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

June 20th, 2022

30:59

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

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

June 17th, 2022

28:25

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

From the archive: the murder that shook Iceland

June 15th, 2022

37:36

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. …

The man who built his own cathedral

June 13th, 2022

37:30

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 …

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

June 10th, 2022

42:34

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 …

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

June 8th, 2022

37:00

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, …

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

June 6th, 2022

29:21

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. …

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

June 3rd, 2022

46:42

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 …

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

June 1st, 2022

46:56

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 …

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

May 30th, 2022

42:22

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 …

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

May 27th, 2022

28:43

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

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

May 25th, 2022

36:30

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, …

Spot the difference: the invincible business of counterfeit goods

May 23rd, 2022

25:04

Selling cheap fakes of a successful product makes horribly good business sense. Is there any way to stop it?. Help support our independent journalism …

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

May 20th, 2022

30:42

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

From the archive: Five myths about the refugee crisis

May 18th, 2022

32:46

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 …

How Putin’s invasion returned Nato to the centre stage

May 16th, 2022

39:55

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 …

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

May 13th, 2022

42:22

What’s behind the indestructible appeal of the robotic snack?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod

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

May 11th, 2022

43:30

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 …

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

May 9th, 2022

39:15

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 …

The lost Jews of Nigeria

May 6th, 2022

47:23

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

From the archive: Has wine gone bad?

May 4th, 2022

40:24

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 …

Shrinking the Gap: how the clothing brand lost its way

May 2nd, 2022

37:25

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 …

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

April 29th, 2022

26:21

At the Oxford university debating society in the 80s, a generation of aspiring politicians honed the art of winning using jokes, rather than facts. …

From the archive: why we stopped trusting elites

April 27th, 2022

39:45

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, …

The queen of crime-solving

April 25th, 2022

38:30

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 …

‘The casino beckons’: my journey inside the cryptosphere

April 22nd, 2022

34:38

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

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

April 20th, 2022

49:30

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 …

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

April 18th, 2022

31:35

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 …

How to stop China and the US going to war

April 15th, 2022

28:39

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

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

April 13th, 2022

37:01

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, …

How south London became a talent factory for Black British footballers

April 11th, 2022

24:20

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 …

Hustle and hype: the truth about the influencer economy

April 8th, 2022

28:07

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

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

April 6th, 2022

40:29

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 …

The long, disorienting search to diagnose my mystery illness

April 4th, 2022

28:21

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 …

‘Infertility stung me’: Black motherhood and me

April 1st, 2022

29:51

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 …

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

March 30th, 2022

46:53

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 …

A drowning world: Kenya’s quiet slide underwater

March 28th, 2022

25:33

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

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

March 25th, 2022

23:24

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? …

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

March 23rd, 2022

40:49

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 …

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

March 21st, 2022

37:04

Oligarch Dmitry Firtash is wanted by the FBI for bribery. Nonetheless, he was received into the heart of the British establishment. By Oliver …

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

March 18th, 2022

42:18

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

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

March 16th, 2022

38:07

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, …

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

March 14th, 2022

48:14

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. …

The death of the department store

March 11th, 2022

30:25

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 …

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

March 9th, 2022

38:21

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 …

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

March 7th, 2022

36:44

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 …

Subscribe to the Guardian’s Weekend podcast

March 5th, 2022

0:34

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. …

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

March 4th, 2022

33:26

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 …

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

March 2nd, 2022

1:00:49

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 …

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

February 28th, 2022

36:40

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 …

Weekend: episode 4 of a new podcast

February 26th, 2022

39:51

Ease into the weekend with our brand new podcast, showcasing some of the best Guardian and Observer writing from the week, read by talented …

Alcoholism and me: ‘I was an addicted doctor, the worst kind of patient’

February 25th, 2022

35:24

My drinking and drug use pushed me over the edge into a complete breakdown. Then a stint in rehab made me question how much we really understand about addiction. By Carl Erik Fisher. Help support our independent …

From the archive: How Nicholas Serota’s Tate changed Britain – podcast

February 23rd, 2022

48:52

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: Over three decades, he transformed a nation’s attitude to art. …

‘I remember the feeling of insult’: when Britain imprisoned its wartime refugees

February 21st, 2022

31:24

After giving safe harbour to thousands of people fleeing Nazi persecution in Europe, the British government decided that some of them could be a …

Weekend: Marina Hyde, Emma Thompson and Johnny Knoxville

February 19th, 2022

51:18

In this week’s episode, Chris Godfrey interviews Johnny Knoxville about his life as a world-famous stuntman (2m08s), Marina Hyde laments the fact a computer system was believed over humans (15m53s), actress Emma …

Super-prime mover: Britain’s most successful estate agent

February 18th, 2022

40:14

Gary Hersham has been selling houses to the very rich for decades. At first, £1m was a big deal. Now he sells for £50m, £100m, even £200m. What does it take to stay on top in this cut-throat business? By Sophie …

From the archive: How did one of the worst paedophiles in history get away with his crimes?

February 16th, 2022

41:33

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: For more than 40 years, William James Vahey drugged and abused …

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

February 14th, 2022

36:14

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, …

‘The treeline is out of control’: how the climate crisis is turning the Arctic green

February 11th, 2022

34:33

In northern Norway, trees are rapidly taking over the tundra and threatening an ancient way of life that depends on snow and ice. By Ben Rawlence. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod

From the archive: The myth of the ‘lone wolf’ terrorist

February 9th, 2022

33:21

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 recent years, references to such attacks have become …

How the speed of climate change is unbalancing the insect world

February 7th, 2022

21:58

The pace of global heating is forcing insect populations to move and adapt – and some aggressive species are thriving. By Oliver Milman. Help support …

Weekend: episode one of a new podcast

February 5th, 2022

48:45

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 our first episode, Marina Hyde reflects on another less than …

Burying Leni Riefenstahl: one woman’s lifelong crusade against Hitler’s favourite film-maker

February 4th, 2022

45:12

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 …

From the archive: Man v rat: could the long war soon be over?

February 2nd, 2022

38:16

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: Rats spread disease, decimate crops and very occasionally eat …

China’s troll king: how a tabloid editor became the voice of Chinese nationalism

January 31st, 2022

37:42

Hu Xijin is China’s most famous propagandist. At the Global Times, he helped establish a chest-thumping new tone for China on the world stage – but can he keep up with the forces he has unleashed? By Han Zhang. Help …

Life after Deepwater Horizon: the hidden toll of surviving disaster on an oil rig

January 28th, 2022

36:16

When the drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico exploded in 2010, Stephen Stone escaped with his life. But in the years that followed, he came to …

From the archive: How Robyn transformed pop

January 26th, 2022

44:51

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 almost a decade away, Robyn is about to release a new …

Life after death: how the pandemic has transformed our psychic landscape

January 24th, 2022

31:20

Modern society has largely exiled death to the outskirts of existence, but Covid-19 has forced us all to confront it. Our relationship to the planet, each other and time itself can never be the same again. By Jacqueline …

‘We tried to be joyful enough to deserve our new lives’: What it’s really like to be a refugee in Britain

January 21st, 2022

37:26

As a child, I fled Afghanistan with my family. When we arrived in Britain after a harrowing journey, we thought we could start our new life in …

From the archive: Behemoth, bully, thief: how the English language is taking over the planet

January 19th, 2022

37:06

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. No language in history has dominated the world quite like English does today. Is …

What Covid taught us about racism – and what we need to do now

January 17th, 2022

35:11

We were told coronavirus didn’t discriminate, but it didn’t need to – society had already done that for us. But there is a path to a fairer future if …

‘We need to respect the process of healing’: a GP on the overlooked art of recovery

January 14th, 2022

27:40

As I embark on a third year of general practice under Covid, I am more conscious than ever that recovery is different for every illness and every patient. By Gavin Francis. Help support our independent journalism at

From the archive: The brutal world of sheep fighting: the illegal sport beloved by Algeria’s ‘lost generation’

January 12th, 2022

42:29

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: For millions of Algerians, life has been shaped by years of …

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

January 10th, 2022

37:19

Richard Amoah went to Ghana for his father’s funeral and found himself barred from returning to Britain for two and a half years. Like other victims of the Windrush scandal, he is owed compensation – but what will he …

‘We need to break the junk food cycle’: how to fix Britain’s failing food system

January 7th, 2022

29:46

From ultra-processed junk to failing supply chains and rocketing food poverty, there are serious problems with the way the UK eats. Will the …

From the archive: Is this the world’s most radical mayor?

January 4th, 2022

34:20

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, …

Is society coming apart?

January 3rd, 2022

41:25

Despite Thatcher and Reagan’s best efforts, there is and has always been such a thing as society. The question is not whether it exists, but what shape it must take in a post-pandemic world. By Jill Lepore. Help support …

Best long reads of 2021: Brazilian butt lift: behind the world’s most dangerous cosmetic surgery

December 31st, 2021

36:36

In the final instalment of our series looking back at the best audio long reads of 2021, editor David Wolf introduces the last of the long read …

From the archive: Latin America’s Schindler: a forgotten hero of the 20th century

December 29th, 2021

38:51

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, …

Best long reads of 2021: The student and the algorithm: how the exam results fiasco threatened one pupil’s future

December 27th, 2021

46:11

In the second instalment of our series looking back at the best audio long reads of 2021, editor David Wolf introduces another of the long read …

Best long reads of 2021: The rich vs the very, very rich: the Wentworth golf club rebellion

December 24th, 2021

38:40

In the first instalment of our series looking back at the best audio long reads of 2021, editor David Wolf introduces one of the long read team’s …

From the archive: Field of dreams: heartbreak and heroics at the World Ploughing Championships – podcast

December 22nd, 2021

35:14

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: Some compare it to snooker, others to figure skating. But for …

Ten ways to confront the climate crisis without losing hope – podcast

December 20th, 2021

29:09

Reconstruction after Covid: a new series of long reads It’s easy to despair at the climate crisis, or to decide it’s already too late – but it’s not. …

A tale of two pandemics: the true cost of Covid in the global south

December 17th, 2021

33:38

Reconstruction after Covid: a new series of long reads While the rich nations focus on booster jabs and returning to the office, much of the world is facing devastating second-order coronavirus effects. Now is the time …

From the archive: Unlearning the myth of American innocence – podcast

December 15th, 2021

38:29

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, …

Votes for children! Why we should lower the voting age to six

December 13th, 2021

31:19

Welcome to a new series of long reads: Reconstruction after Covid The generational divide is deforming democracy. But there is a solution. By David …

The high cost of living in a disabling world

December 10th, 2021

34:37

For all the advances that have been made in recent decades, disabled people cannot yet participate in society ‘on an equal basis’ with others – and the pandemic has led to many protections being cruelly eroded. By Jan …

From the archive: Who murdered Giulio Regeni? – podcast

December 8th, 2021

40:25

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 the battered body of a Cambridge PhD student was found …

Built on the bodies of slaves: how Africa was erased from the history of the modern world – podcast

December 6th, 2021

24:28

The creation of the modern, interconnected world is generally credited to European pioneers. But Africa was the wellspring for almost everything they achieved – and African lives were the terrible cost. By Howard W …

What lies beneath: the secrets of France’s top serial killer expert

December 3rd, 2021

55:56

An intrepid expert with dozens of books to his name, Stéphane Bourgoin was a bestselling author, famous in France for having interviewed more than 70 …

From the archive: The ruthlessly effective rebranding of Europe’s new far right – podcast

December 1st, 2021

45:47

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, …

Meet the ‘inactivists’, tangling up the climate crisis in culture wars

November 29th, 2021

34:16

As climate science has gone mainstream, outright denialism has been pushed to the fringes. Now a new tactic of dismissing green policies as elitist …

How two BBC journalists risked their jobs to reveal the truth about Jimmy Savile

November 26th, 2021

41:35

Listening to the women who alleged abuse, and fighting to get their stories heard, helped change the treatment of victims by the media and the justice system. By Poppy Sebag-Montefiore. Help support our independent …

From the archive: ‘London Bridge is down’, the secret plan for the days after the Queen’s death – podcast

November 24th, 2021

45:32

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. From 2017: She is venerated around the world. She has outlasted 12 US presidents. …

Why progressive gestures from big business aren’t just useless, they’re dangerous

November 22nd, 2021

27:00

From climate crisis to anti-racism, more and more corporations are taking a stand. But if it’s only done because it’s good for business, the fires will keep on burning. By Carl Rhodes. Help support our independent …

Has Covid ended the neoliberal era?

November 19th, 2021

34:33

The year 2020 exposed the risks and weaknesses of the market-driven global system like never before. It’s hard to avoid the sense that a turning point has been reached. By Adam Tooze. Help support our independent …

From the archive: BDS: how a controversial non-violent movement has transformed the Israeli-Palestinian debate

November 17th, 2021

1:14:38

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: Israel sees the international boycott campaign as an …

Leave no trace: how a teenage hacker lost himself online – podcast

November 15th, 2021

29:59

Edwin Robbe had a troubled life, but found excitement and purpose by joining an audacious community of hackers. Then the real world caught up with …

‘We are so divided now’: how China controls thought and speech beyond its borders – podcast

November 12th, 2021

37:19

The arrest of a Tibetan New York city cop on spying charges plays into the community’s long-held suspicions that the People’s Republic is watching them. By Lauren Hilgers. Help support our independent journalism at

From the archive: When will Britain face up to its crimes against humanity? – podcast

November 10th, 2021

34:31

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, …

The great betrayal: how the Hillsborough families were failed by the justice system

November 8th, 2021

44:48

After 32 years of establishment lies, media smears, inquests, trials and retrials, the families of the Hillsborough dead have yet to see anyone held accountable. By David Conn. Help support our independent journalism at

The message: why should hip-hop have to teach us anything? – podcast

November 5th, 2021

28:59

Almost since it first emerged on the streets of the Bronx, audiences have expected hip-hop to express a revolutionary purpose. But perhaps this music …

From the archive: How the sandwich consumed Britain – podcast

November 3rd, 2021

40:40

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. From 2017: The world-beating British sandwich industry is worth £8bn a year. It …

Unfreezing the ice age: the truth about humanity’s deep past – podcast

November 1st, 2021

36:05

Archaeological discoveries are shattering scholars’ long-held beliefs about how the earliest humans organised their societies – and hint at …

‘Iran was our Hogwarts’: my childhood between Tehran and Essex – podcast

October 29th, 2021

31:38

Growing up in Essex, my summers in Iran felt like magical interludes from reality – but it was a spell that always had to be broken. By Arianne Shahvisi. Help support our independent journalism at

From the archive: Patagonia and The North Face: saving the world – one puffer jacket at a time – podcast

October 27th, 2021

40:23

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: The retail giants are not only competing to sell outdoor gear …

‘I pleaded for help. No one wrote back’: the pain of watching my country fall to the Taliban – podcast

October 25th, 2021

26:51

As the fighters advanced on Kabul, it was civilians who mobilised to help with the evacuation. In the absence of a plan, the hardest decisions fell …

Pinker’s progress: the celebrity scientist at the centre of the culture wars – podcast

October 22nd, 2021

49:09

How the Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker became one of the world’s most contentious thinkers. By Alex Blasdel. Help support our independent …

From the archives: How #MeToo revealed the central rift within feminism today – podcast

October 20th, 2021

29:40

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: It’s not a generational divide, but rather a split between two …

Inside the Booker Prize: arguments, agonies and carefully encouraged scandals – podcast

October 18th, 2021

38:53

Its knack for creating tension and controversy has helped it remain an energising force in publishing for more than 50 years – but how do writers, publishers and judges cope with the annual agony of the Booker? By …

Food fraud and counterfeit cotton: the detectives untangling the global supply chain – podcast

October 15th, 2021

41:12

Amid the complex web of international trade, proving the authenticity of a product can be near-impossible. But one company is taking the search to the atomic level. By Samanth Subramanian. Help support our independent …

From the archive: How to spot a perfect fake: the world’s top art forgery detective – podcast

October 13th, 2021

45:36

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: Forgeries have got so good – and so costly – that Sotheby’s …

The smooth compromise: how Obama’s iconography obscured his omissions – podcast

October 11th, 2021

28:22

A look back at the official photographs of Obama’s presidency shows his skill at conjuring a sense of pride and possibility – but today his victories seem narrow indeed. By Blair McClendon. Help support our independent …

When Wall Street came to coal country: how a big-money gamble scarred Appalachia – podcast

October 8th, 2021

28:31

Around the turn of the millennium, hedge fund investors put an audacious bet on coal mining in the US. The bet failed – but it was the workers and the environment that paid the price. By Evan Osnos. Help support our …

From the archives: Inside China’s audacious global propaganda campaign – podcast

October 6th, 2021

47:45

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: Beijing is buying up media outlets and training scores of …

Has a lone Palestinian aid worker been falsely accused of the biggest aid money heist in history?

October 4th, 2021

45:01

Mohammed El Halabi is accused of stealing relief money and giving it to Hamas for their war effort against Israel. But five years on, the evidence against him looks seriously flawed. By Joe Dyke. Help support our …

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

October 1st, 2021

35:34

I first encountered TB Joshua as a teenager, when his preaching captivated my evangelical Christian community in Hampshire. Many of my friends became …

From the archives: The father who went undercover to find his son’s killers – podcast

September 29th, 2021

45:39

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, …

The disastrous voyage of Satoshi, the world’s first cryptocurrency cruise ship – podcast

September 27th, 2021

37:23

Last year, three cryptocurrency enthusiasts bought a cruise ship. They named it the Satoshi, and dreamed of starting a floating libertarian utopia. It didn’t work out. By Sophie Elmhirst. Help support our independent …

Sixty years of climate change warnings: the signs that were missed (and ignored) – podcast

September 24th, 2021

28:58

The effects of ‘weird weather’ were already being felt in the 1960s, but scientists linking fossil fuels with climate change were dismissed as prophets of doom. By Alice Bell. Help support our independent journalism at

From the archive: The diabolical genius of the baby advice industry – podcast

September 22nd, 2021

35:37

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: Every baffled new parent goes searching for answers in baby …

The real urban jungle: how ancient societies reimagined what cities could be – podcast

September 20th, 2021

23:47

They may be vine-smothered ruins today, but the lost cities of the ancient tropics still have a lot to teach us about how to live alongside nature. By Patrick Roberts. Help support our independent journalism at

How the US created a world of endless war

September 17th, 2021

32:26

In 2008, many of Barack Obama’s supporters hoped he would bring the global war on terror to a close. Instead, he expanded it – and his successors …

From the archive: Forever prisoners: were a father and son wrongly ensnared by America’s war on terror?

September 15th, 2021

46:52

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, …

The unravelling of a conspiracy: were the 16 charged with plotting to kill India’s prime minister framed? – podcast

September 13th, 2021

35:10

In 2018, Indian police claimed to have uncovered a shocking plan to bring down the government. But there is mounting evidence that the initial …

A dog’s inner life: what a robot pet taught me about consciousness – podcast

September 10th, 2021

29:27

The creators of the Aibo robot dog say it has ‘real emotions and instinct’. This may seem over the top, but is it? In today’s AI universe, all the eternal questions have become engineering problems. By Meghan O’Gieblyn. …

From the archives: Accelerationism: how a fringe philosophy predicted the future we live in – podcast

September 8th, 2021

48:01

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: The world is changing at dizzying speed – but for some …

The last humanist: how Paul Gilroy became the most vital guide to our age of crisis – podcast

September 6th, 2021

50:43

One of Britain’s most influential scholars has spent a lifetime trying to convince people to take race and racism seriously. Are we finally ready to …

The lost history of the electric car – and what it tells us about the future of transport – podcast

September 3rd, 2021

29:40

To every age dogged with pollution, accidents and congestion, the transport solution for the next generation seems obvious – but the same problems …

From the archives: John Horton Conway: the world’s most charismatic mathematician – podcast

September 1st, 2021

41:06

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: John Horton Conway is a cross between Archimedes, Mick Jagger …

Man v food: is lab-grown meat really going to solve our nasty agriculture problem? – podcast

August 30th, 2021

28:56

If cellular agriculture is going to improve on the industrial system it is displacing, it needs to grow without passing the cost on to workers, …

‘While there’s British interference, there’s going to be action’: why a hardcore of dissident Irish republicans are not giving up – podcast

August 27th, 2021

46:31

In the face of scorn and contempt from former IRA members, a small number of dissident groups remain committed to armed action. What do they think they can achieve? By Marisa McGlinchey. Help support our independent …

From the archive: Neoliberalism: the idea that swallowed the world – podcast

August 25th, 2021

33:38

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: The word has become a rhetorical weapon, but it properly names …

Safe space: the cosmic importance of planetary quarantine – podcast

August 23rd, 2021

32:35

As the pace and ambition of space exploration accelerates, preventing Earth-born organisms from hitching a ride has become more urgent than ever. By …

The revolt against liberalism: what’s driving Poland and Hungary’s nativist turn? – podcast

August 21st, 2021

31:50

For the hardline conservatives ruling Poland and Hungary, the transition from communism to liberal democracy was a mirage. They fervently believe a …

From the archives: Perfect prams for perfect parents: the rise of the bougie buggy – podcast

August 18th, 2021

31:02

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: How the rise of the luxury pram capitalised on the status …

The toppling of Saddam’s statue: how the US military made a myth

August 16th, 2021

32:44

In 2003, the destruction of one particular statue in Baghdad made worldwide headlines and came to be a symbol of western victory in Iraq. But there …

The invisible addiction: is it time to give up caffeine? – podcast

August 12th, 2021

27:51

Caffeine makes us more energetic, efficient and faster. But we have become so dependent that we need it just to get to our baseline. By Michael …

From the archives: How many murders can a police informer get away with? – podcast

August 11th, 2021

42:10

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: Last year Northern Irish paramilitary Gary Haggarty pleaded …

No cults, no politics, no ghouls: how China censors the video game world – podcast

August 9th, 2021

37:42

China’s video game market is the world’s biggest. International developers want in on it – but its rules on what is acceptable are growing …

‘A lesson in loss, humility and absurdity’: how rhythmic gymnastics took over my childhood – podcast

August 6th, 2021

31:33

When I was six, a chance encounter with rhythmic gymnastics – all ribbons, sequins and smiles – opened up a sublime, sometimes cruel new world. By 12, I had quit. What had it all meant? By Rebecca Liu. Help support our …

From the archive: Operation Car Wash: Is this the biggest corruption scandal in history? – podcast

August 4th, 2021

43:00

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: What began as an investigation into money laundering quickly …

Inside the mind of a murderer: the power and limits of forensic psychiatry – podcast

August 2nd, 2021

26:31

When I was called in to assess Seb, I needed to understand why he had committed such a horrendous crime. But first I had to get him to talk. By Taj Nathan. Help support our independent journalism at

Illusions of empire: Amartya Sen on what British rule really did for India – podcast

July 30th, 2021

29:12

It is true that before British rule, India was starting to fall behind other parts of the world – but many of the arguments defending the Raj are …

From the archives: The life and death of Homaro Cantu, the genius chef who wanted to change the world

July 28th, 2021

33:16

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: How a homeless child grew up to become the most inventive chef …

Did Brazil’s evangelical superstar have her husband killed? – podcast

July 26th, 2021

51:49

Flordelis grew up in a Rio favela, but rose to fame after adopting more than 50 children, becoming a hugely successful gospel singer and winning a …

Why every single statue should come down – podcast

July 23rd, 2021

28:55

Statues of historical figures are lazy, ugly and distort history. From Cecil Rhodes to Rosa Parks, let’s get rid of them all. By Gary Younge with additional reporting by Meghan Tinsley, Ruth Ramsden-Karelse, Chloe …

From the archives: Fake it till you make it: meet the wolves of Instagram – podcast

July 21st, 2021

31:57

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: Their hero is Jordan Belfort, their social media feeds display …

The elephant vanishes: how a circus family went on the run – podcast

July 19th, 2021

32:31

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. …

‘This was our music, and our conscience’: how I fell in love with French hip-hop – podcast

July 16th, 2021

27:56

Moving to Paris in 1992 as a black American kid was totally disorienting. Its underground rap scene became my map to the city, and the soundtrack to my formative years. By Jesse McCarthy. Help support our independent …

From the archives: How much is an hour worth? The war over the minimum wage – podcast

July 14th, 2021

45:04

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, …

The empty office: what we lose when we work from home – podcast

July 9th, 2021

33:53

For decades, anthropologists have been telling us that it’s often the informal, unplanned interactions and rituals that matter most in any work …

From the archives: Why do stars like Adele keep losing their voice? – podcast

July 7th, 2021

37:08

We are raiding the Audio Long Reads archives and bringing you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2017: More and more singers are cancelling big shows and …

The secret deportations: how Britain betrayed the Chinese men who served the country in the war

July 5th, 2021

43:52

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 …

Is sugar the world’s most popular drug? – podcast

July 2nd, 2021

29:58

It eases pain, seems to be addictive and shows every sign of causing long-term health problems. Is it time to quit sugar for good? By Gary Taubes. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod

From the archive: ‘Kill them, kill them, kill them’: the volunteer army plotting to wipe out Britain’s grey squirrels

June 30th, 2021

40:34

We are raiding the Audio Long Reads archives and bringing you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2017: The red squirrel is under threat of extinction across …

The death truck: how a solution to Mexico’s morgue crisis created a new horror – podcast

June 28th, 2021

29:11

How did a lorry carrying 273 dead bodies end up stranded on the outskirts of Guadalajara? By Matthew Bremner. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod

‘The Silicon Valley of turf’: how the UK’s pursuit of the perfect pitch changed football – podcast

June 25th, 2021

31:04

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 …

From the archive: The Machiavelli of Maryland – podcast

June 23rd, 2021

46:56

We are raiding the Audio Long Reads archives and bringing you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This …

‘Dig coal to save the climate’: the folly of Cumbria’s plans for a new coalmine

June 21st, 2021

26:25

Supporters of a new coalmine have argued that it will reduce global warming and create green jobs. How could such absurd claims have gained any …

‘A united nations of crime’: how Marbella became a magnet for gangsters – podcast

June 18th, 2021

29:56

The new international crime organisations have made Marbella their centre of operations. And as violence rises, the police lag far behind. By Nacho …

From the archive: The race to save a dying language – podcast

June 16th, 2021

32:30

We are raiding the Audio Long Reads archives and bringing you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2016: The discovery of Hawaii Sign Language in 2013 amazed …

The knackerman: the toughest job in British farming – podcast

June 14th, 2021

29:30

Between accidents, disease and bad weather, farm animals are prey to so many disasters that dedicated professionals are called out to dispose of the casualties. It’s a grim task, and one that’s only getting more …

‘As borders closed, I became trapped in my Americanness’: China, the US and me – podcast

June 11th, 2021

31:25

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 …

From the archive: The resistible rise of Marine Le Pen – podcast

June 9th, 2021

54:09

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives and bringing you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2017: For years, she has accused French journalists of bias …

The bells v the boutique hotel: the battle to save Britain’s oldest factory – podcast

June 7th, 2021

40:30

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 …

Cruel, paranoid, failing: inside the Home Office – podcast

June 4th, 2021

47:20

Something is badly wrong at the heart of one of Britain’s most important ministries. How did it become so broken? By Daniel Trilling. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod

From the archives: The struggle to be British: my life as a second-class citizen – podcast

June 2nd, 2021

32:20

We are raiding the Audio Long Reads archives and bringing you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2017: After arriving in Britain as a child, I fought hard to …

The true story of the fake US embassy in Ghana

May 31st, 2021

31:32

In 2016, the US state department said it had uncovered a fake embassy in Accra that had been issuing a stream of forged visas. The story went viral – but all was not as it seemed. By Yepoka Yeebo. Help support our …

The invention of whiteness: the long history of a dangerous idea – podcast

May 28th, 2021

48:34

Before the 17th century, people did not think of themselves as belonging to something called the white race. But once the idea was invented, it quickly began to reshape the modern world. By Robert P Baird. Help support …

From the archive: ‘A different dimension of loss’: inside the great insect die-off – podcast

May 26th, 2021

30:42

We are raiding the Audio Long Reads archives and bringing you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2017: Scientists have identified 2 million species of living …

Cash injection: could we cure all disease with a trillion dollars? – podcast

May 24th, 2021

30:33

Could such a large amount of money end the Covid pandemic? Eradicate disease? Provide universal healthcare and fund vaccine research? By Rowan …

Times change but the Guardian’s values don’t: 200 years, and we’ve only just begun – podcast

May 21st, 2021

30:54

On the Guardian’s 200th anniversary, our editor-in-chief sets out how media can help rebuild a better world beyond Covid by Katharine Viner.. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod

From the archive: How a tax haven is leading the race to privatise space

May 19th, 2021

42:36

We are raiding the Audio Long Reads archives and bringing you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2017: Luxembourg has shown how far a tiny country can go by …

Out of thin air: the mystery of the man who fell from the sky – podcast

May 17th, 2021

35:48

In 2019, the body of a man fell from a passenger plane into a garden in south London. Who was he? By Sirin Kale. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod

Cold comfort: how cold water swimming cured my broken heart – podcast

May 14th, 2021

30:42

After a painful breakup and the death of her father, one writer retreated to the coast of Brittany in winter where she tested the powerful effects of …

From the archives: Why I’m suing over my dream internship – podcast

May 12th, 2021

33:05

We are raiding the Audio Long Reads archives and bringing you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2018: It’s time to end a system that excludes the less …

How western travel influencers got tangled up in Pakistan's politics

May 10th, 2021

42:51

Travel bloggers have flocked to Pakistan in recent years – but have some of them become too close to the authorities? By Samira Shackle. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/longreadpod

‘We are witnessing a crime against humanity’: Arundhati Roy on India’s Covid catastrophe – podcast

May 7th, 2021

36:00

It’s hard to convey the full depth and range of the trauma, the chaos and the indignity that people are being subjected to. Meanwhile, Modi and his …

From the archive special: CP Scott’s centenary essay – podcast

May 5th, 2021

14:07

This year marks a very special moment in the history of the Guardian. It is 200 years since the first incarnation of the newpaper, a four-page weekly, first appeared in Manchester. In honour of this we have dug very …

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