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Big Stories

9 Longform Stories We're Reading This Week: Wendy Davis, Jim Carrey And The Notorious MSG

What if everything you've heard about MSG was wrong? This week's BuzzReads story takes a look at the compound's troubled past and unlikely future. Read that and these other great longform stories from around the web.

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1. The Notorious MSG's Unlikely Formula for Success — BuzzReads

Flickr: theotherdan / Creative Commons

The “umami” craze has turned a much-maligned and misunderstood food additive into an object of obsession for the world’s most innovative chefs. John Mahoney reveals that monosodium glutamate’s biggest secret may be that there was never anything wrong with it at all. Read it at BuzzReads.

2. The Poorest Rich Kids in the WorldRolling Stone

Photograph by Danielle Levitt for

Sabrina Rubin Erdely tells the sad, unusual story of the Inman twins — descendents of Doris Duke, heirs to an enormous fortune, and victims of horrible neglect and abuse at the hands of their drug addicted parents. As they now fight for their inheritance, are they exaggerating their pasts? Read it at Rolling Stone.

3. Dry Land — BuzzFeed

Photograph by Angel White Eyes for

This Tuesday, South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation voted to legalize the sale of alcohol after 114 years of well intentioned, unsuccessful — and arguably detrimental — prohibition. Joe Flood visited the reservation and asked young people for their opinions on the vote in this moving photo essay. Read it at BuzzFeed.

4. The Killing MachinesThe Atlantic

Stringer / Reuters

Mark Bowden looks at drone war in great depth, considering such difficult questions as: should a soldier who's never seen combat receive decorations? Would that be fair to veterans who have risked their lives? And most importantly, has the drone war helped or hindered the war on terror? Read it at The Atlantic.


6. Approaching Darkness — Mashable

The moving story of 68-year old retired physician David Hilfiker, who was diagnosed with Azheimer's a year ago. The blog he launched soon after, called "Watching the Lights Go Out," chronicles the usually lonely experience of this degenerative neurological disease. Read it at Mashable.

8. Stand and DeliverVogue

Photograph by Eric Boman for

Heidi Mitchell catches up with Texas state senator Wendy Davis days after her now-famous filibuster and learns how she went from single mother to Harvard Law graduate to inspiring politician. All are wondering: is a run for governor next? Read it at Vogue.

9. The House D.J. Fluker BoughtSan Diego Union-Tribune

This spring the Charges drafted the former Alabama right tackle hoping to stabilize their offensive line. They couldn't have anticipated how much the Flukers — whose lives had been destroyed by Hurricane Katrina — needed stabilization themselves. Read it at the San Diego Union-Tribune.