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The audio long read

Bicycle graveyards: why do so many bikes end up underwater?

Every year, thousands of bikes are tossed into rivers, ponds, lakes and canals. What’s...

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Best of 2022 … so far: Burying Leni Riefenstahl: one woman’s lifelong crusade against Hitler’s favouri

Every Friday in August we will publish some of our favourite audio long reads of 2022, in case...

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‘It’s a little bit of utopia’: the dream of replacing container ships with sailing boats

Global trade depends almost entirely on huge, dirty, dangerous container ships. Now a team of...

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Made to measure: why we can’t stop quantifying our lives

From ancient Egyptian cubits to fitness tracker apps, humankind has long been seeking ever more...

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From the archive: How the world got hooked on palm oil

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past,...

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Promised land: how South Africa’s black farmers were set up to fail

When black people were given back their land after apartheid, many felt driven to prove they...

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‘Thank the lord, I have been relieved’: the truth about the history of abortion in America

Abortion in the 19th-century US was widely accepted as a means of avoiding the risks of...

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From the archive: Concrete: the most destructive material on Earth

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past,...

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‘If you decide to cut staff, people die’: how Nottingham prison descended into chaos

As violence, drug use and suicide at HMP Nottingham reached shocking new levels, the prison...

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‘You can’t be the player’s friend’: inside the secret world of tennis umpires

New technology was supposed to make umpiring easy. It hasn’t worked out that way. Help...

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From the archive: the murder that has obsessed Italy

We are raiding the Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new...

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Seven stowaways and a hijacked oil tanker: the strange case of the Nave Andromeda

In October 2020 an emergency call was received from a ship in British waters. After a full-scale...

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‘A massive betrayal’: how London’s Olympic legacy was sold out

After so many other Olympic sites ended up left to rot, London 2012 was supposed to be different....

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From the archive: The mystery of India’s deadly exam scam

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past,...

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Do we need a new theory of evolution?

A new wave of scientists argues that mainstream evolutionary theory needs an urgent overhaul....

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

Emmanuel Carrère was no stranger to depression, but it was late in life that a major episode got...

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From the archive: Welcome to the age of Trump

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past,...

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

The story of the modern web is often told through the stories of Google, Facebook, Amazon. But...

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

As survivors and the bereaved mark the disaster’s fifth anniversary, the inquiry hearings...

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

We are raiding the Audio Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past,...

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