Teddy’s Top Longreads Issue 10

Sorry for the delay in getting this out! Hope you enjoy!

Bryan Schutmaat for The New York Times

The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare, Nathaniel Rich, The New York Times Magazine

In the early 1980’s, the Tennant family of Parkersburg, West Virginia sold 66 acres of land to the DuPont chemical company. Not long after, the family’s cattle began to act crazed and get sick, as did the people who worked on and near the farm. Rob Billot, a lawyer at Taft Stettinius & Hollister specializing in defending chemical companies in environmental cases, agreed to meet with the Tennant family as a favor to his grandmother, who was a friend of their’s. What unfolded in the decades after this meeting revealed one of the greatest, and most dangerous, cases of corporate greed the United States has ever seen. This is a shocking story and well worth your time.

Illustration by Anna Vignet

Welcome to Herointown, New Jersey’s 4th-largest city, Stephen Stirling, NJ Advanced Media

If there was a city in New Jersey comprised entirely of people who were addicted to heroin, that city would be the fourth-largest in the state. Over the past year NJ Advance Media put out a call to their readers to send them stories of how heroin has affected their lives, whether they’re addicts themselves, or family, friends, caretakers of addicts. I had read plenty of how heroin has affected New England states like Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire, but it was devastating to read about people dying in towns next to the one I grew up in. There are some seriously harrowing narratives included that depict how badly heroin is ravaging the US.

Photograph by Joel Salcido

The Greatest Lawyer Who Ever Lived, John Spong, Texas Monthly

Joe Jamail is widely considered the most successful lawyer, both financially and in practice, of all time. He has helped his clients win many billions of dollars in court (including a $10.5 billion verdict in 1985 — the largest jury award ever), and has pocketed a supposed $1.7 billion for himself along the way. At 89, Jamail isn’t just still practicing; he’s taking the lead in many high-profile personal injury lawsuits and winning. This profile is fantastic because Jamail is an incredible character. He is crass, intimidating and rude, but also oddly likable and very philanthropic. It’s inspiring to learn about someone who is the best at their respective profession and seeing what makes them tick.

Photo by Natasja Weitsz

Alexander Litvinenko: the man who solved his own murder, Luke Harding, The Guardian

Alexander Litvinenko is a former officer in Russia’s FSB Spy Agency who defected to Britain in 2000. Once settled in England, Litvinenko became a journalist and writer who was extremely critical of Vladimir Putin and his regime. However, he also became an agent for the British Spy Agency MI6 and served as an expert on Russian organized crime. In late 2006, two Russian assassins were sent to poison Litvinenko in an upscale London hotel. This feature details the incredible story of how Litvinenko, while lying on his deathbed, was able to help British police identify and capture the men responsible for his murder.

Photo by Dean Engle

Our Band Should Not Be Your Life, Amos Barshad, The Fader

Everyone has read or heard stories of famous bands touring the country and playing out stadiums. The crazy stories of parties and groupies have become legendary in pop culture and as much a part of what it means to be a rock star as the music itself. However, this article is about a very different kind of tour. Barshad spends six days on the road with a small band called the Quarterbacks as they play in houses, dingy bars and makeshift venues for crowds that sometimes are as small as 15 people. It’s interesting to hear what motivates bands like this to put themselves through the grind of touring when there is seemingly no future for them in music.

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