David Grann
  • Larry D. Moore/Creative Commons
  • David Grann

If you don’t know who David Grann is, this appreciation in Slate last year by Jonah Weiner is a pretty good primer. A staff writer at the New Yorker, his stories are so extensively reported that readers are lucky if one of his serpentine tales is published in a year, let alone two. Grann fans were rewarded in this week’s issue of the New Yorker, where his nearly 22,000-word story, “The Yankee Comandante,” was published as the centerpiece. The story is about William Alexander Morgan, an American who journeyed to Cuba in the late 50s and joined up with the revolutionary sect, eventually forming a close friendship with Fidel Castro.

If that’s not enticing enough, here are some other reasons to read it:

—Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando, and “flesh goddesses.”

—Ernest Hemingway.

—Revolutionary guerrillas climbing through mountains.

—Life-or-death shootouts in the jungle.

—Revolutionary uprising.

—J. Edgar Hoover.


—The Mafia.

—The CIA.

—Reverse espionage.

—Using a leaf as an engagement ring.

Good luck getting any work done today! Particularly once you start tearing through this archive of Grann’s work at Longform.