14 from '14: The Best LongReads From Newsweek

Clockwise: Kirsten Luce for Newsweek, Scott Olson/Getty, Alex Fradkin for Newsweek, Warren Commission, Daniel Sato for Newsweek and Shaminder Dulai for Newsweek

Excuse us for ignoring the laments over the death of journalism, the calls to vertically integrate, to write for insectine attention spans or else perish. Below, in 14 stories from 2014 selected by Newsweek editors, resides proof of our conviction that journalism lives. Thrives, even.

Here are some deep dives to yank you out of the mundane, with its dulling listicles and suffocating Vines, and parachute you into the middle of the conflicts and questions that shape our lives, our culture and our shared future. While the nature of Newsweek has changed, its fundamental mission has not: to look at the world and choose, from its innumerable stories yearning to be heard, the ones that matter most, tales of madmen and messiahs, murderers and saints, from Delaware to Chernobyl.

—The Editors

"The Woman on the Ledge," by Alexander Nazaryan

The case of a wealthy Manhattan woman who killed her autistic son highlights how little we know about the disorder.

"The Drug War of Long Island," by Kevin Deutsch

An area called Linden Triangle serves as a battleground between local factions of the Bloods and Crips.

"The Savior of Fogo Island," by John Walters

A wealthy entrepreneur returns to her native island, off the coast of Newfoundland, determined to revitalize its economy with a high-end hotel.


"The Border War," by Karla Zabludovsky

On the border with Mexico, some Texan ranchers are taking immigration enforcement into their own hands.

"Family Matters," by Michele McPhee

The women in Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev's life continue to proclaim his innocence.

"The Most Ridiculous Place on Earth," by Alexander Nazaryan

A dispatch from the endlessly surreal American base at Guantánamo Bay.


"The Truth Behind JFK's Assassination," by Max Holland

Exploding the myths about what happened in Dallas on November 22, 1963.

"Murder Town, USA," by Abigail Jones

Violence plagues Wilmington, Delaware, which just got its first homicide squad. But is it too late to save this city?

"Tunnel Vision," by Joe Kloc

One man's obsessive quest to unravel the mysteries of a tunnel underneath Brooklyn.

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"Jane's Addiction," by Abigail Jones

At 80 years old, Jane Goodall is still breaking down barriers.

"Chernobyl Redux," by Alexander Nazaryan

It's a nuclear wasteland that remains a danger to humanity; it is also one of the strangest tourist attractions on Earth.

"Sex, Slavery, and a Slippery Truth," by Simon Marks

Somaly Mam built a reputation as one of Southeast Asia's most prominent fighters of sex trafficking, but her career is built on deceptions.


"Camp Chemical," by Alexander Nazaryan

For decades, the Marines at Camp Lejeune, in North Carolina, were exposed to toxic chemicals in their drinking water.

"Some Circles Don't Close," by Abigail Jones

A personal history that delves into an epistolary World War II romance and its improbable discovery many years later.