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The New Statesman is the UK's leading politics and culture magazine. Here you can listen to a selection of our very best reported features and essays read aloud. Get immersed in powerful storytelling and narrative journalism from some of the world's best writers. Have your mind opened by influential thinkers on the forces shaping our lives today. Ease into the weekend with new episodes published every Saturday morning. For more, visit www.newstatesman.com/podcasts/audio-long-reads Hosted on ...
 
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Roy Jenkins, while serving as president of the European Commission, used to spend his mornings writing. The heads of state who visited him were often keener to speak about his biographies of Asquith or Gladstone than about new legislation. This integration of politics, scholarship and the media was once a feature of British intellectual life, from …
 
On 15 November, despite a poor showing in the US midterm elections for the candidates he had backed, Donald Trump surprised no one in announcing his second run for the presidency. What does his official return to the political stage mean for the Republican Party – and for America, Russia and China? In this essay, the New Statesman’s China and globa…
 
In 2001 Margaret Atwood began writing the novel Oryx and Crake. She started from the idea of species extinction, including human extinction. How long have we got? And would we bring about our own demise? The premise of Oryx and Crake was that, since we have the capability to bioengineer a virus capable of wiping out humanity, someone might be tempt…
 
On both sides of the Atlantic, the number of people being diagnosed with ADHD is rising. Psychiatry UK, which provides both private and NHS-funded assessments, reports that it is receiving around 150 ADHD referrals a day; in 2022 the organisation expanded its prescribing team from ten to 60. Why are more people being told they have ADHD? Partly, th…
 
Four years ago, the New Statesman published a long read by Jude Rogers marking the reissue of two landmark British films released at the height of the Cold War: Threads in 1984, and When the Wind Blows in 1986. Both films explore the devastating effects of nuclear attacks on ordinary people, and hoped to educate the public, as well as politicians, …
 
Rebecca Solnit has been writing about hope for nearly 20 years, starting with her 2003 essay "Hope in the Dark", which became a bestselling book of the same name. What began as a response to the cynicism that followed the invasion of Iraq ("we didn’t stop the war, we have no power, we can’t win") has evolved into a sustained argument for the value …
 
In 2014, the Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry guest-edited the New Statesman on the theme of the “Great White Male”. Perry, who is known for his subversive ceramics and tapestries as well as his cross-dressing alter-ego Claire, wanted to explore issues of gender, masculinity, Britishness, class and the grip that white male power still exer…
 
Even the most ardent carnivore might struggle to argue that meat is a force for good. The global livestock industry produces more greenhouse gases than the exhaust from every form of transport on the planet combined. And while doctors try to curb antibiotic prescription, 80 per cent of antibiotics used in the US are administered to healthy animals …
 
On 23 September 2022, the UK’s new prime minister and her chancellor delivered their explosive “mini-Budget”, cutting taxes for the richest in society and increasing government borrowing. Global markets were alarmed – but should the reality of Trussonomics have taken anyone by surprise? In this reported long read, the New Statesman’s writer at larg…
 
Giorgia Meloni started out as the awkward outsider, a woman from humble Roman roots in an Italy whose politics have long been dominated by alpha men from the north – Silvio Berlusconi, Matteo Renzi, Beppe Grillo, Matteo Salvini. Now the post-fascist party she fronts - Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy, or FdI) – is widely expected to take the la…
 
The idea that, without capitalism, the planet might not be facing so great a climate crisis is well established, appearing in works like Naomi Klein’s bestselling This Changes Everything (2014) and from the growing ranks of “eco-socialist” activists. But in this essay, the science writer (and committed socialist) Leigh Phillips argues that an entir…
 
In 1947, on her 21st birthday, Elizabeth Windsor promised that when she ascended the royal throne she would serve “our great imperial family”. By the time of her coronation six years later, the Crown’s ties with empire were already significantly weaker. Yet for the duration of her 70-year reign, Queen Elizabeth II would remain a human link to old i…
 
The shock of her death on 31 August 1997 sparked mass public mourning, a crisis within the royal family, and a test of the prime minister Tony Blair’s leadership. A quarter of a century later, how is “the People’s Princess” remembered? Reporter Tanya Gold goes in search of the woman behind the myths, the movies and the conspiracy theories – visitin…
 
For 50 years, the “mean old daddy” immortalised in one of Mitchell’s best-loved songs was an enigma. For the first time, he tells his side of the story to the New Statesman’s lead interviewer, Kate Mossman. Kate and Cary Raditz met in Paris in late 2021 to talk about a love affair that began on the island of Crete in the spring of 1970, continued i…
 
On 16 November 2021, testified to parliament about his experiences of racism while playing for Yorkshire County Cricket Club. The off-spinner and former England youth captain said that, between 2008 and 2018, he had been repeatedly subjected to racial slurs, excluded and portrayed as a troublemaker. The fallout was catastrophic, at Yorkshire and ac…
 
Three years ago the New Statesman published a cover story showing how successive British governments have emaciated standards in UK university degrees, creating a generation of graduates with devalued qualifications, while costing the taxpayer billions. Since then, the “great university con” has continued unabated. Grade inflation has only increase…
 
Why, six months into Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, is Germany still struggling to come to terms with the new European reality? For explanations, some point to the country’s reliance on Russian gas; others to the legacy of the Second World War or the Cold War. Yet, as Jeremy Cliffe argues in this essay from the New Statesman’s 2022 Summer Special…
 
On Boxing Day 1920, 53,000 people watched the Dick, Kerr Ladies beat St Helens Ladies 4-0 at Goodison Park – the largest-ever crowd recorded for a women’s football match in England. The game had blossomed during the First World War, as lunch-break kickabouts at munitions factories evolved into 150 women’s clubs across the country. But months after …
 
On 7 July 2022 Boris Johnson announced he would resign as Prime Minister. Despite surviving a series of scandals, Covid-19 and a parliamentary no-confidence vote, Westminster’s “greased piglet” was finally undone by the alleged sexual improprieties of his chief whip, Christopher Pincher, and the mass resignation of his cabinet. For many, the myster…
 
Soon after finishing his most recent book, The Last Days of Roger Federer, the author Geoff Dyer decided to follow in his hero’s footsteps and have surgery. “Strictly speaking, I was following in the footsteps of Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas,” he writes, “in that I would be having surgery on my elbow (left) rather than a knee, but that’s j…
 
On the eve of the millennium, JG Ballard noted how “everything is clean and shiny but oddly threatening”. The dawn of the 1990s had heralded a period of economic prosperity, of globalisation, relative peace and hi-tech connectivity – but did we end the decade more divided than ever? In this deeply researched and wide-ranging essay, first published …
 
The New Statesman’s Pippa Bailey has long had a professional as well as a personal interest in the OED: she and the team of sub-editors she leads rely on the world’s most comprehensive dictionary to answer questions of meaning and spelling. So it was a labour of love when she visited its Oxford HQ to meet the lexicographers whose decisions – about …
 
In the wake of the pandemic, mental health referrals for adults and children have doubled. Has Covid sparked a parallel wave of mental illness? Or is grief and sadness a natural response to those months of isolation, uncertainty and daily death tolls? In this richly reported long read, New Statesman associate editor and feature writer Sophie McBain…
 
Music writer Pete Paphides has turned to songwriters and musicians, from Abba to the Undertones, to make sense of all the big moments in his life. So when he got the call he was dreading, to say that his father was dying, it was music that saw him through shock, denial and loss. In this moving audio essay, read by the author, Paphides explores both…
 
On June 21 2022, Prince William will turn 40. What kind of king will the second-in-line be: the moderniser who posed for the cover of Attitude magazine, or the relic behind a disastrous recent tour of the Caribbean? Freelance writer Tanya Gold sets out in search of the ‘real’ William, talking to former colleagues and collaborators, joining a royal …
 
Since Alexander Lukashenko, the president of Belarus, stole an election two years ago his regime, already one of the most repressive in Europe, has been cracking down on opponents real and imagined. These include the fanatical supporters – “ultras” – of Belarusian football clubs, inspired by tales of Ukrainian football hooligans joining protests in…
 
On 17 June 1972, a nightwatchman stumbled across a burglary at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington DC – triggering what became known as Watergate, the investigation that ultimately led to President Richard Nixon’s resignation. Fifty years on, the historian Colin Kidd reflects on Watergate’s renewed relevance in a populist, …
 
When George Orwell travelled to Spain in the winter of 1936 to fight General Franco and the fascists, he stopped en route in Paris, where Henry Miller gave him his coat. The two men could not have been more different: the passionately political Englishman, and the American who disdained of all forms of activism. As Ian McEwan writes: “In a letter t…
 
It started with an innocent question posted on Yahoo! Answers in 2009, and snowballed into a thriving subreddit community: did anyone remember an American movie from the early Nineties called Shazaam, starring the comedian Sinbad as an incompetent genie who grants wishes to two children? Thousands of people did, vividly – and yet there was no trace…
 
It launched with a promise to shake up the staid world of television news – to challenge broadcasting’s perceived liberal, left-wing bias. One year on, and faced with a new rival in TalkTV, how is GB News’s revolution going? Freelance writer Stuart McGurk spent several months reporting the inside story, as told by staffers past and present: those w…
 
What does Vladimir Putin owe Stalin? In this week’s audio long read, the historian Simon Sebag Montefiore reflects on the parallels between the two Russian leaders, from their formative years to their ultimate reckoning in the history books. Putin keeps half of Stalin’s library in his office, annotated by the former dictator, and has embraced the S…
 
Stretched to breaking point by the pandemic, health services around the world are in crisis – with staff exhausted and demoralised, many of them quitting as a result. England alone is at least 6,000 GPs short of the government’s stated 2024 target – a recruitment pledge of the last election which it has already abandoned. The New Statesman’s medica…
 
On 7 June 2020, the statue of the former slave trader Edward Colston was toppled in Bristol during a Black Lives Matter protest – an act that, in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder by police in Minnesota, US, reverberated around the country. Eighteen months later, Tom Lamont spent a month at the trial of the four protesters charged with its fal…
 
On the eve of the 2022 French presidential election, the New Statesman’s writer-at-large Jeremy Cliffe caught a train from Courseulles-sur-Mer on the north coast of France to Marseille on the Mediterranean. Stopping in Caen, Paris and Vierzon along the way, he heard how contemporary France is reshaping itself in the long shadow of Charles de Gaulle…
 
When the Taliban took control of Kabul in August 2021, the Koofi family were among 8,000 Afghans airlifted to safety in the UK, as part of the government’s Operation Warm Welcome. The New Statesman’s Sophie McBain met them in a hotel in the north of England soon afterwards, where they were waiting to be resettled. As the months passed, she followed…
 
The anti-ageing industry is bankrolled by some of the wealthiest people on Earth, including Jeff Bezos and Peter Thiel. Are the scientists it employs close to a cure? And if they are, who wants to live forever anyway? Jenny Kleeman meets the entrepreneurs who say that a 120th birthday is within reach, and critics who argue that life extension is th…
 
For 50 years, the “mean old daddy” immortalised in one of Mitchell’s best-loved songs was an enigma. For the first time, he tells his side of the story to the New Statesman’s lead interviewer, Kate Mossman. Kate and Cary Raditz met in Paris in late 2021 to talk about a love affair that began on the island of Crete in the spring of 1970, continued i…
 
Audio Long Reads is a new podcast from the New Statesman, showcasing the best of our reported features and essays, read aloud. Ease into the weekend with stories and analysis from our authors – including Kate Mossman, Jeremy Cliffe and Sophie McBain – published every Saturday morning. Just search for Audio Long Reads from the New Statesman wherever…
 
“Caste” is now available on Apple Books; Winfrey narrates an exclusive excerpt in a new video and will be the first-ever guest editor for Apple News Winfrey’s conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and author Isabel Wilkerson will debut this fall for free, exclusively on Apple TV+
 
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