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3 Midweek Longreads: Can this controversial child experiment end racism?

Longreads to savour or save.

Image: AP/Press Association Images

IF YOU WANT a juicy longread to sink your teeth into, you’ve come to the right place.

Here are three to save for a moment of peace, or devour straight away.

1. The racism experiment 

An experiment at a US school using eight-year-olds has some parents outraged. But is the experiment actually a way at ending racism?

(New York Magazine, 64 mins)

To all these ends, the third- , fourth- , and fifth-graders at Lower were to be divided once a week for five weeks into small groups according to their race. In 45-minute sessions, children would talk about what it was like to be a member of that race; they would discuss what they had in common with each other and how they were different, how other people perceived them, rightly or wrongly, based on appearance.

2. The secret mansion

Witanhurst is London’s largest private house. It’s also a bit of a mystery.

(New Yorker, 64 mins)

Guards protect the property, and cameras monitor the grounds. A woman who knows the owners advised me to “choose another story.” Stephen Lindsay, one of the real-estate agents who sold the house, spoke to me only after I agreed to leave my phone and bag in another room. He then put the family’s lawyer on speakerphone and announced that he would take the secret of Witanhurst’s ownership “to the grave.”

3. The wine stealers

The fascinating story of a group of thieves who go around Napa Valley stealing very, very expensive bottles of red wine from fancy restaurants.

(Bloomberg Business, 17 mins)

[The FBI] has been tracking the crimes for similarities. The thefts usually occur over a holiday, when the targeted restaurant is closed. Only certain types of wine are taken–usually French or Californian, priced at thousands of dollars a bottle. The most commonly stolen wine is DRC. Part of the allure is its scarcity; the French estate makes only a few thousand cases a year and sells them to the U.S. through one importer, Wilson Daniels, which in turn sells only to restaurants and retailers that it considers worthy of the grapes.

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