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The Six Best New Times Longreads of 2016

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During 2016, New Times published dozens of longform articles. Some delved into complicated presidential politics or environmental problems; others were elegant and reflective personal essays about issues of local concern. While they covered a variety of topics, the thing that they all have in commons is that they took weeks — sometimes months — to report and write.

As the year comes to an end, make sure you don't miss these six great longreads:

6. 21st-Century Viking: The Life and Death of Ex-Con, Tattoo Artist, and Heathen Warrior Jubel Dean Perkins, by Stephen Lemons
A deep dive into the fascinating life and mysterious death of local tattoo artist Jubel Dean Perkins, an ex-con who became a beloved leader in Asatru, a modern-day pagan religion.

5. Broken Bonds: Native American Foster Children Suffer Under a Law Originally Meant to Help Them, by Elizabeth Stuart
The tale of a Mesa family's struggle to adopt a Native American child they fostered illuminates how the Indian Child Welfare Act, a law that was designed to help Native American children, might be doing more harm than good.

4. Phoenix Is an Ethnically Diverse City — So Why Does It Feel So White? by Robrt Pela
A first-person essay that examines why Phoenix, a huge city with a population that's more than 30 percent Hispanic, feels so white.

3. Can The Eagles' "Take It Easy" Save Winslow, Arizona? by Sativa Peterson
A Winslow native writes about how the sleepy, hardscrabble town made famous by two lines in the Eagles/Jackson Browne mega-hit "Take It Easy," has attempted to form a cottage industry around it.

2. The Millennial's Dilemma: A Young Writer's Search for Our Nuclear Future in Chernobyl, Fukushima, and Phoenix, by Miriam Wasser
This three-part series investigates whether young people who care about the environment and are worried about climate change ought to support nuclear power. New Times staff writer Miriam Wasser takes you to Fukushima, Chernobyl, and the Palo Verde generating station outside Phoenix to examine what nuclear power is — and why it seems so scary.

1. Proto-Trump: How Arizona Laid the Foundation for Donald Trump's America, by Tom Zoellner
The author, a fifth-generation Arizonan, lays out nine ways — from our economic policies to our demographics to our soon-to-be-former sheriff, Joe Arpaio — in which Arizona paved the way for the national ascendancy of a leader like President-elect Donald Trump.

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