Long Reads Of The Week: Russian Oligarchs, Brazilian Land Wars, And The Los Angeles’ Philharmonic Orchestra

Five great reads you may have missed from around the web

1 | Cramped up on yet another short-haul EasyJet flight, it can seem almost impossible to remember that air travel was once seen as a luxury adventure. Writing for longreads.com, Meredith Hindley explores the Mad Men-esque origins of trans-Pacifc travel, pioneered by Pan Am airlines and their fleet of 'Clippers' in the 1930s. A simpler time when men wore fedoras and passengers dined on four-course meals. Just imagine.

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2 | Writing for The New York Times, Stephanie Saul and Louise Story explore how the $150 billion channelled out of Russia in 2014 is affecting New York’s haves and have-nots, arguing that ‘the flight of wealth accrued in the chaotic capitalism of post-Soviet Russia has been a powerful force behind the luxury condominium boom reordering New York’s skyline.’


3 | As the world demands more beef burgers and grazing land for cattle, the Brazilian rain forests are suffering. For Contributoria, Carla Ruas examines the century-old land war between the ranchers’ private security forces and native Indians dying for the rights to take back their land.

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4 | The L.A. Times takes a look at the real-life Whiplash with this profile of president and chief exec of the Los Angeles’ Philharmonic Orchestra, Deborah Borda, a cut-throat business woman and musician with a reputation for being tough, competitive and abrasive. At 65, she’s just getting started.

5 | Writing for The California Sunday Magazine, Brooke Jarvis profiles Hugo Lucitante, a 22 year-old college student who left his Amazonian tribe aged 10, in the hopes that a Western education would help guide his people through a changing world.