Throughline

Throughline

By NPR

Throughline is a time machine. Each episode, we travel beyond the headlines to answer the question, "How did we get here?" We use sound and stories to bring history to life and put you into the middle of it. From ancient civilizations to forgotten figures, we take you directly to the moments that shaped our world. Throughline is hosted by Peabody Award-winning journalists Rund Abdelfatah and Ramtin Arablouei.

Subscribe to Throughline+. You'll be supporting the history-reframing, perspective-shifting, time-warping stories you can't get enough of - and you'll unlock access bonus episodes and sponsor-free listening. Learn more at plus.npr.org/throughline

Episodes

The Mandela Effect

For nearly thirty years, the South African government held a man it initially labeled prisoner number 46664, the anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela. But in 1994, Mandela transformed from the country's 'number one terrorist' into its first Black president, ushering in a new era of democracy. Today, though, many in South Africa see Mandela's party, the ANC, as corrupt and responsible for the country's problems. It's an ongoing political saga, with all sides attempting to weaponize parts of the past – especially Nelson Mandela's legacy. On today's episode, we tell Mandela's story: the man, the myth, and the cost of freedom.To access bonus episodes and listen to Throughline sponsor-free, subscribe to Throughline+ via Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/throughline.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
16/05/2454m 58s

The Labor Of Love (Throwback)

There's a powerful fantasy in American society: the fantasy of the ideal mother. This mother is devoted to her family above all else. She raises the kids, volunteers at the school, cleans the house, plans the birthday parties, cares for her own parents. She's a natural nurturer. And she's happy to do it all for free.Problem is? She's imaginary. And yet the idea of her permeates our culture, our economy, and our social policy – and it distorts them. The U.S. doesn't have universal health insurance or universal childcare. We don't have federally mandated paid family leave or a meaningful social safety net for when times get rough. Instead, we have this imaginary mother. We've structured our society as though she exists — but she doesn't. And we all pay the real-life price.Today on the show, we look at three myths that sustain the fantasy: the maternal instinct, the doting housewife, and the welfare queen. And we tell the stories of real-life people – some mothers, some not – who have fought for a much more generous vision of family, labor, and care.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
09/05/2451m 50s

The 4th Amendment: Search and Seizure

The Fourth Amendment is the part of the Bill of Rights that prohibits "unreasonable searches and seizures." But — what's unreasonable? That question has fueled a century's worth of court rulings that have dramatically expanded the power of individual police officers in the U.S. Today on the show, how an amendment that was supposed to limit government power has ended up enabling it.To access bonus episodes and listen to Throughline sponsor-free, subscribe to Throughline+ via Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/throughline.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
02/05/2448m 50s

The Ghost in Your Phone (Throwback)

It's hot. A mother works outside, a baby strapped to her back. The two of them breathe in toxic dust, day after day. And they're just two of thousands, cramped so close together it's hard to move, all facing down the mountain of cobalt stone.Cobalt mining is one of the world's most dangerous jobs. And it's also one of the most essential: cobalt is what powers the batteries in your smartphone, your laptop, the electric car you felt good about buying. More than three-quarters of the world's cobalt supply lies in the Democratic Republic of Congo, whose abundant resources have drawn greed and grifters for centuries. Today on the show: the fight for control of those resources, and for the dignity of the people who produce them.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
25/04/2451m 58s

Ralph Nader, Consumer Crusader

Whether it's pesticides in your cereal or the door plug flying off your airplane, consumers today have plenty of reasons to feel like corporations might not have their best interests at heart. At a moment where we're seeing unprecedented product recalls, and when trust in the government is near historic lows, we're going to revisit a time when a generation of people felt empowered to demand accountability from both companies and elected leaders — and got results. Today on the show, the story of the U.S. consumer movement and its controversial leader: the once famous, now infamous Ralph Nader.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
18/04/2447m 11s

The 14th Amendment

Of all the amendments to the U.S. Constitution, the 14th is a big one. It's shaped all of our lives, whether we realize it or not: Roe v. Wade, Brown v. Board of Education, Bush v. Gore, plus other Supreme Court cases that legalized same-sex marriage, interracial marriage, access to birth control — they've all been built on the back of the 14th. The amendment was ratified after the Civil War, and it's packed full of lofty phrases like due process, equal protection, and liberty. But what do those words really guarantee us?Today on the show: how the 14th Amendment has remade America – and how America has remade the 14th.Clarification: A previous version of this episode did not make clear that the 14th amendment guarantees equal protection and due process to all people in the United States, regardless of citizenship.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
11/04/2449m 34s

The Land of the Fee (Throwback)

Tipping is a norm in the United States—and it's always been controversial. The practice took off after the Civil War, as employers sought cheap labor from formerly enslaved people: if tips were expected, companies could get away with paying laughably low wages. But the practice was always controversial, and has been vehemently challenged since it first came to the U.S. from Europe. We speak with Nina Martyris, a journalist who's written about the history of tipping in the United States, to find out how tipping—once deemed a "cancer in the breast of democracy"— went from being considered wholly un-American to becoming a deeply American custom.To access bonus episodes and listen to Throughline sponsor-free, subscribe to Throughline+ via Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/throughline.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
04/04/2445m 8s

A History of Hezbollah

Hezbollah is a Lebanese paramilitary organization and political party that's directly supported by the Islamic Republic of Iran. In the wake of the October 7, 2023 Hamas-led attack on Israel, and Israel's invasion of Gaza, Hezbollah and Israel have been exchanging missile fire across the border they share, causing growing fears of a regional conflict with the U.S. and Israel on one side and Iran along with its allies in Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Houthi rebels of Yemen on the other.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
28/03/2449m 57s

The Great Textbook War

What is school for? Over a hundred years ago, a man named Harold Rugg published a series of textbooks that encouraged students to confront the thorniest parts of U.S. history: to identify problems, and try and solve them. And it was just as controversial as the fights we're seeing today. In this episode: a media mogul, a textbook author, and a battle over what students should – or shouldn't – learn in school.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
21/03/2447m 40s

Radiolab: Worst. Year. Ever

What was the worst year to be alive on planet Earth? We make the case for 536 AD, which set off a cascade of catastrophes that is almost too horrible to imagine. A supervolcano. The disappearance of shadows. A failure of bread. Plague rats. Using evidence painstakingly gathered around the world - from Mongolian tree rings to Greenlandic ice cores to Mayan artifacts - we paint a portrait of what scientists and historians think went wrong, and what we think it felt like to be there in real time. (Spoiler: not so hot.) We hear a hymn for the dead from the ancient kingdom of Axum, the closest we can get to the sound of grief from a millennium and a half ago.The horrors of 536 make us wonder about the parallels and perpendiculars with our own time: does it make you feel any better knowing that your suffering is part of a global crisis? Or does it just make things worse?" This week we're sharing a bonus episode from Radiolab: Worst. Year. Ever. Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
19/03/2438m 37s

A Symphony of Resistance (Throwback)

In 2011, the world was shaken by the Arab Spring, a wave of "pro-democracy" protests that spread throughout the Middle East and North Africa. The effects of the uprisings reverberated around the world as regimes fell in some countries, and civil war began in others. This week, we revisit the years leading up to the Arab Spring and its lasting impact on three people who lived through it.To access bonus episodes and listen to Throughline sponsor-free, subscribe to Throughline+ via Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/throughline.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
14/03/2455m 31s

The Rise of the Right Wing in Israel

For most of its early history, Israel was dominated by left-leaning, secular politicians. But today, the right is in power. Its politicians represent a movement that uses a religious framework to define Israel and its borders, and that has aggressively resisted a two-state solution with Palestinians. And its government – led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — is waging a war in Gaza which, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, has killed over 30,000 people, many of them children. The government launched the war in response to the October 7th, 2023 Hamas-led attack that, according to Israeli authorities, killed over 1,200 Israelis with an additional 250 being taken hostage.This is not the first time that tension has erupted into violence. But the dominance of right-wing thinkers in Israeli politics is pivotal to how the war has unfolded. On today's episode: the story of Israel's rightward shift.Correction: In a previous version of this episode, we said incorrectly that Benjamin Netanyahu was born in 1948. He was born in 1949.To access bonus episodes and listen to Throughline sponsor-free, subscribe to Throughline+ via Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/throughline.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
07/03/2453m 5s

The Right to An Attorney

Most of us take it for granted that if we're ever in court and we can't afford a lawyer, the court will provide one for us. And in fact, the right to an attorney is written into the Constitution's sixth amendment. But for most of U.S. history, it was more of a nice-to-have — something you got if you could, but that many people went without. Today, though, public defenders represent up to 80% of people charged with crimes. So what changed? Today on the show: how public defenders became the backbone of our criminal legal system, and what might need to change for them to truly serve everyone.To access bonus episodes and listen to Throughline sponsor-free, subscribe to Throughline+ via Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/throughline.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
29/02/2450m 37s

Dance Yourself Free (Throwback)

Beyonce's Renaissance brought house music back to mainstream audiences. But even when it wasn't gracing the Grammys, house never went away. Born from the ashes of disco in the late 1970s and '80s, house was by and for the Black, queer youth DJing and dancing in Chicago's underground clubs. Since then it's become the soundtrack of parties around the world, and laid the groundwork for one of the most popular musical genres in history: electronic dance music. Today on the show, the origins of house music — and its tale of Black cultural resistance — told by the people who lived it.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
22/02/2450m 1s

Love, Throughline

We asked you to call us with your stories of looking for love in the 21st century — and man, did you come through. We heard the whole range of human experience in your stories, but one theme rang out loud and clear: dating, and especially online dating, is a struggle.The data backs this up. Despite the fact that meeting someone today doesn't require much more than swiping on your phone, people who are looking for long-term relationships are lonelier than ever.Why is it like this? How did love – this thing that's supposed to be beautiful, magical, transformative – turn into a neverending slog? We went searching for answers, and we found them in surprising places. On today's show: a time-hopping, philosophical journey into the origins of modern love.Correction: An earlier version of this episode incorrectly said that the Jena Romantics shared a house for 10 years. In fact they lived and worked in close proximity, occasionally cohabitating, for approximately five yearsLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
15/02/2453m 17s

The Scent of History

What if we told you that the key to time travel has been right in front of our eyes this whole time? Well, it has: it's in our noses. Today on the show, the science — and politics — of smell, and how it links our past and our present.For sponsor-free episodes of Throughline, subscribe to Throughline+ via Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/throughlineLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
08/02/2451m 28s

James Baldwin's Shadow (Throwback)

James Baldwin believed that America has been lying to itself since its founding. An insightful commentator on Black identity, American democracy, and racism, he saw something deep and ugly and stubborn in American culture, and never hesitated to call it by its name — to bear witness, regardless of what it cost him. As the United States continues to reckon with all aspects of its history, writer and professor Eddie S. Glaude Jr. guides us through the meaning and purpose of James Baldwin's work, and how his words can help us navigate our current moment.For sponsor-free episodes of Throughline, subscribe to Throughline+ via Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/throughline.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
01/02/2444m 24s

Bonus: The Empty Grave of Comrade Bishop

In October of 1983, Grenada's Prime Minister Maurice Bishop was assassinated in a coup, along with seven of his cabinet members and supporters. Six days later, the United States invaded the island country, and took control of it. The bodies of those eight people were never found. Annie Bain's husband, Grenada's Minister of Housing, was one of the people killed alongside the Prime Minister. For 40 years, she's sought answers about what happened. And now, she's convinced that someone knows. This week we're sharing an episode from the Washington Post's podcast: The Empty Grave of Comrade Bishop.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
30/01/2449m 46s

The Man Who Cured Aging

In 1899, Elie Metchnikoff woke up in Paris to learn that he had defeated old age. At least, that's what the newspaper headlines said. Before long he was inundated with mail from people begging him to help them live forever. The only problem? He didn't know how to do it. At the time, Metchnikoff was one of the world's most famous scientists. And he believed aging was a disease he could cure. He dedicated his life to that quest, spending his days interviewing centenarians, pulling gray hair out of colleagues and old dogs, and boiling strawberries — all in the pursuit of eternal youth. If you've ever had yogurt for breakfast, you likely have Metchnikoff to thank.Today on the show: Elie Metchnikoff's quest, his life — and his deathLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
25/01/2449m 46s

The Right to Bear Arms

In April 1938, an Oklahoma bank robber was arrested for carrying an unregistered sawed-off shotgun across state lines. The robber, Jack Miller, put forward a novel defense: that a law banning him from carrying that gun violated his Second Amendment rights.For most of U.S. history, the Second Amendment was one of the sleepier ones. It rarely showed up in court, and was almost never used to challenge laws. Jack Miller's case changed that. And it set off a chain of events that would fundamentally change how U.S. law deals with guns.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
18/01/2451m 48s

When Things Fall Apart (Throwback)

Climate change, political unrest, random violence: modern society can often feel like what the filmmaker Werner Herzog calls "a thin layer of ice on top of an ocean of chaos and darkness." In the United States, polls indicate that many people believe law and order is the only thing protecting us from the savagery of our neighbors. This idea is often called "veneer theory." But is it true?Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
11/01/2449m 59s

The Nostalgia Bone (2021)

They say "everything old becomes new again." Today, that's baggy jeans, shag haircuts, 90s music, TV sitcoms – the latest version of finding comfort in nostalgia and familiarity in what came before. We constantly look for safety in the permanence of the past, or at least, what we think the past was. But, when it first appeared, nostalgia itself wasn't considered a feeling; it was a deadly disease. This episode traces the history of nostalgia from its origins as an illness to the dominating emotion of our time. And in doing so, we wrestle with its eternal paradox to both hold us back and keep us going.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
04/01/2456m 32s

Editing Reality (2023)

We live in divided times, when the answer to the question 'what is reality?' depends on who you ask. Almost all the information we take in is to some extent edited and curated, and the line between entertainment and reality has become increasingly blurred. Nowhere is that more obvious than the world of reality television. The genre feeds off our most potent feelings – love, hope, anxiety, loneliness – and turns them into profit... and presidents. So in this episode, we're going to filter three themes of our modern world through the lens of reality TV: dating, the American dream, and the rage machine.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
28/12/2352m 20s

Apology: The Way Back (2023)

Our society is saturated in apologies. They're scripted, they're public, and they often feel less than sincere. Political, corporate, celebrity apologies – they can all feel performed. It's not even always clear who they're for. So what purpose do these apologies serve? Because real apologies are not just PR stunts. Not just a way to move on. At their best, they're about acknowledgement and accountability, healing and repair. So how did apology go from a process to a product – and how can we make it work again?Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
21/12/2352m 26s

Dare to Dissent

Sometimes, the most dangerous and powerful thing a person can do is to stand up not against their enemies, but against their friends. As the United States heads into what will likely be another bitter and divided election year, there will be more and more pressure to stand with our in-groups rather than our consciences.So a group of us here at Throughline decided to tell some of the stories of people who have stood up to that kind of pressure. Some are names we know; others we likely never will. On today's episode: what those people did, what it cost them, and why they did it anyway.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
14/12/2350m 16s

The Lord Of Misrule

On November 18, 1633, a book went to press in London. Its author, Thomas Morton, had been exiled from the Puritan colonies in Massachusetts for the crimes of drinking, carousing, and – crucially – building social and economic ties with Native people. Back in England, Morton wrote down his vision for what America could become. A very different vision than that of the Puritans. But the book wouldn't be published that day. It wouldn't be published for years. Because agents for the Puritan colonists stormed the press and destroyed every copy.Today on the show, the story of what's widely considered America's first banned book, the radical vision it conjured, and the man who outlined that vision: Thomas Morton, the Lord of Misrule.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
07/12/2349m 10s

A.D.A. Now! (2020)

The Americans with Disabilities Act is considered the most important civil rights law since the 1960s. Through first-person stories, we look back at the making of this movement, the history of how disability came to be seen as a civil rights issue in the first place, and what the disability community is still fighting for more than 30 years later.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
30/11/2358m 10s

How U.S. Unions Took Flight

Hot Labor Summer has continued into fall as workers in industries from retail and carmaking to healthcare and Hollywood have organized and gone on strike. Public support for the U.S. labor movement is close to the highest it's been in 60 years. And that's no surprise to people who work in one particular industry: the airlines.Airline workers — pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, baggage handlers, and more — represent a huge cross-section of the country. And for decades, they've used their unions to fight not just for better working conditions, but for civil rights, charting a course that leads right up to today. In this episode, we turn an eye to the sky to see how American unions took flight.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
23/11/2347m 29s

A History of Hamas

On October 7th, the organization Hamas, which is also the ruling government of Gaza, perpetrated an attack just across the border in Israel. The Israeli government says that the attack killed around 1200 people, most of them civilians. And Hamas also kidnapped hundreds more, including women and children, and took them back to Gaza as hostages. In response, Israel has bombarded and invaded Gaza. More than 11,000 people have been killed, and many more displaced. Since that day we've heard from many of you, our listeners, with questions about Hamas. So we took a few weeks to talk to experts on all sides to answer those questions – people who know the history deeply, and have even participated in it. Today on the show: the origins of Hamas, the context in which it developed, and what it represents to Palestinians, Israelis, and the rest of the world.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
16/11/2351m 41s

Grenada: Nobody's Backyard (2021)

A Marxist revolution, a Cold War proxy battle, and a dream of a Black utopia. In 1983, Ronald Reagan ordered the U.S. military to invade the island of Grenada. Forty years later, many Americans don't remember why — or that it even happened. This week, Martine Powers, from Post Reports, brings us a story of revolution, invasion, and the aftermath of unresolved history.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
09/11/2357m 51s

The Supreme Court's Shadow Docket

Roe. Brown. Obergefell. Dobbs. These Supreme Court decisions are the ones that make headlines, and eventually history books. But today, the vast majority of the Court's work actually happens out of the public eye, on what's become known as the shadow docket. The story of that transformation spans more than a century, and doesn't fall neatly along partisan lines. Today on the show: how the so-called court of last resort has gained more and more power over American policy, and why the debates we don't see are often more important than the ones we do.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
02/11/2349m 42s

The Three Faces of Ataturk

"Authority, without any condition and reservation, belongs to the nation." A military commander named Mustafa Kemal uttered these words in 1923, on the eve of the founding of the Republic of Turkey. He would later rename himself Ataturk, "Father of the Turks." And he was outlining a vision for the future: a future where old empires were buried and new nations reigned supreme. That vision would resonate beyond the borders of the new Turkey, becoming a shining example for leaders around the world of how to build a single unified national identity — no matter the cost.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
26/10/2353m 27s

The Dance of the Dead (2021)

Long before it was a sugary moviefest, the Halloween we know was called Samhain. The Celts of ancient Ireland believed Samhain was a night when the barrier between worlds was thin, the dead could cross over, and if you didn't disguise yourself, evil fairies might spirit you away. Over time the holiday shape-shifted too, thanks to the Catholic Church, pagan groups, and even the brewing company Coors. From the Great Famine of Ireland to Elvira and the Simpsons, we present the many faces of Halloween.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
19/10/2350m 20s

The Contradictions of Abraham Lincoln

In 1855, Abraham Lincoln wrote a letter to his best friend, Joshua Speed. Speed was from a wealthy, slave-owning Kentucky family; Lincoln believed slavery was wrong. You are mistaken about this, Lincoln wrote to Speed. But, differ we must." One way for Lincoln to have dealt with his best friend, I suppose, would be to say you're a horrible person, you're morally wrong, and I shun you," says NPR's Steve Inskeep. "Lincoln did not take that approach, which I think might be a little controversial today."You might know Steve primarily for hosting NPR's Morning Edition. He also writes histories, and his newest book, "Differ We Must: How Lincoln Succeeded in a Divided America," takes a long hard look at Lincoln the politician: the man who went out of his way to build political consensus, even with people whose views he considered noxious. It's a case for why we should collaborate, and yes, compromise with people across the aisle – not because it's nice or the right thing to do, but because it makes our government work. Today on Throughline, a conversation with Steve Inskeep about the contradictions of Abraham Lincoln.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
12/10/2349m 16s

Two Miles Down The Road

Deborah and Ken Ferruccio saw the toxic chemical spill while they were driving home late one summer night in 1978: a big smelly swath of brown oil on the side of the road. Reverend Willie T. Ramey saw it too. He was a pastor at two local churches and a respected community leader. And not long after that highway spill, he agreed to meet the Ferruccios just after midnight in a barn in Warren County, North Carolina. The Ferruccios told Reverend Ramey they needed his help. Someone was dumping toxic waste in their county, and they needed to organize. Today on the show: how a group of local citizens in a poor, rural, majority Black community came together to fight an iconic battle for environmental justice – and how their work laid a path that leads right up to today.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
05/10/2355m 1s

Tenochtitlán: A Retelling of the Conquest (2021)

In a sense, 1521 is Mexico's 1619. A foundational moment that for centuries has been shaped by just one perspective: a European one. The story of how Hernán Cortés and a few hundred Spaniards conquered the mighty Aztec Empire, in the heart of what's now modern Mexico City, has become a foundational myth of European dominance in the Americas. And for a long time it was largely accepted as truth. But in recent decades researchers have pieced together a more nuanced, complicated version based on Indigenous accounts: a version that challenges what one historian calls "the greatest PR job in the history of the West." In this episode, the real story of the fall of Tenochtitlán.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
28/09/2352m 33s

David v Goliath

In the year 1258, more than 100,000 soldiers amassed outside the great Islamic city of Baghdad. They were the Mongol Army, led by the grandson of the fearsome Genghis Khan. Within weeks, they'd left the city – which had stood as the center of power and commerce in the Muslim world for nearly 500 years – smoldering in a grotesque heap. And that was just the beginning. The Mongols would continue to push West, conquering Muslim cities until there was just one left in their way: Cairo.In the valley where it is said David once met Goliath, an unlikely group of slave soldiers fought a battle that would decide the fate of the Islamic world. A battle you may never have heard of that's as important to world history as D-Day or Gettysburg. It's a story full of personal and societal rivalries, political scheming, vengeance, and treachery – a real-life Game of Thrones. The Battle of Ayn Jalut.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
21/09/2351m 48s

A Tale of Two Tribal Nations

The word "reservation" implies "reserved" – as in, this land is reserved for Native Americans. But most reservation land actually isn't owned by tribes. Instead it's checkerboarded into private farmland, federal forests, summer camps, even resorts. That's true for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe in northern Minnesota, where the tribe owns just a tiny fraction of its reservation land. But just northwest of Leech Lake is Red Lake: one of the only reservations in the country where the tribe owns all of its land. So what happened? In this episode, we take a road trip through Leech Lake and Red Lake to tell a tale of two tribal nations, the moments of choice that led them down very different paths, and what the future looks like from where they are nowLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
14/09/2351m 15s

Silicon Island (2022)

In a world where computer chips run everything from laptops to cars to the Nintendo Switch, Taiwan is the undisputed leader. It's one of the most powerful tech centers in the world — so powerful that both China and the U.S. have vital interests there. But if you went back to the Taiwan of the 1950s, this would have seemed unimaginable. It was a quiet, sleepy island; an agrarian culture. Fifty years later, it experienced what many recall as an "economic miracle" — a transformation into not just one of Asia's economic powerhouses, but one of the world's.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
07/09/2348m 49s

How Korean Culture Went Global (2022)

From BTS to Squid Game to high-end beauty standards, South Korea reigns as a global exporter of pop culture and entertainment. Just 70 years ago, it would have seemed impossible. For the next episode in our "Superpower" series, exploring U.S. connections to East Asia, we tell the story of South Korea's rise from a war-decimated state to a major driver of global soft power: a story of war, occupation, economic crisis, and national strategy that breaks around the world as the Korean Wave.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
31/08/2348m 25s

By Accident of Birth (2022)

In August of 1895, a ship called the SS Coptic approached the coast of Northern California. On that boat was a passenger from San Francisco, a young man named Wong Kim Ark. He was returning home after visiting his wife and child in China, and he'd taken similar trips before. But when the ship docked, officials told him he couldn't get off. The customs agent barred him according to the Chinese Exclusion Act, which denied citizenship to Chinese immigrants. Though Wong Kim Ark had been born in the U.S. and lived his whole life here, the agent said he was not a citizen. U.S. history, politics, and culture is deeply linked to East Asian countries like China, South Korea, and Taiwan. This month, we're telling some of those stories, in our series "Superpower." Today, the story of Wong Kim Ark, whose epic fight to be recognized as a citizen in his own country led to a Supreme Court decision affirming birthright citizenship for all.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
24/08/2358m 24s

The Characters That Built China (2022)

Today, China is a global superpower. But less than two hundred years ago, the nation was in a state of decline. After what became known as the 'century of humiliation' at the hands of Western imperialist powers, its very survival was in question. A movement arose to fight off foreign interference and preserve Chinese culture in the face of intense pressure from a rapidly-changing world. And the key to that movement was language.In this episode, we follow three key reformers who worked to modernize written and spoken Chinese, sometimes risking their lives to do so. Their work simplified Chinese, standardized it, and took it from an inaccessible language built for the elite to a modern language for the masses. It was a struggle that spanned generations, changed the fate of millions of people, and helped create the powerful modern nation-state of China.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
17/08/2349m 22s

The Lavender Scare

One day in late April 1958, a young economist named Madeleine Tress was approached by two men in suits at her office at the U.S. Department of Commerce. They took her to a private room, turned on a tape recorder, and demanded she respond to allegations that she was an "admitted homosexual." Two weeks later, she resigned. Madeleine was one of thousands of victims of a purge of gay and lesbian people ordered at the highest levels of the U.S. government: a program spurred by a panic that destroyed careers and lives and lasted more than forty years. Today, it's known as the "Lavender Scare." In a moment when LGBTQ+ rights are again in the public crosshairs, we tell the story of the Lavender Scare: its victims, its proponents, and a man who fought for decades to end it.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
10/08/2351m 7s

Getting to Sesame Street (2022)

American schools have always been more than where we go to learn the ABCs: They're places where socialization happens and cultural norms are developed. And arguments over what those norms are and how they're communicated tend to flare up during moments of cultural anxiety — like the one we're in now.When it premiered in 1969, the kids' TV show Sesame Street was part of a larger movement to reach lower-income, less privileged and more "urban" children. It was part of LBJ's Great Society agenda. And though it was funded in part by taxpayer dollars, Sesame Street is a TV show, not a classroom, and it set out to answer the question of what it means to educate kids. Today: how a television show made to represent Harlem and the Bronx reached children across a divided country, and how the conversations on the street have changed alongside usLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
03/08/2349m 13s

The Hidden War

How does a country go from its leader winning the Nobel Peace Prize to all-out war in just one year? That's the question surrounding Ethiopia, which has become embroiled in one of the deadliest wars of the 21st century. The U.S. has called it an ethnic cleansing campaign against Tigrayans, a minority group in the country; some human rights organizations have called it a genocide. But many people outside Ethiopia and its diaspora had no idea it was happening. In U.S. media, it's hardly discussed, even as violence has intensified throughout the country. In this episode, we tell the story of Ethiopia — the oldest independent country in Africa — and the political, cultural and religious factors that led to this war.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
27/07/2352m 24s

All Wars Are Fought Twice (2022)

"All wars are fought twice, the first time on the battlefield, the second time in memory," writes Pulitzer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen. This week on Throughline, we want to pause the news cycle to think about not just how war is experienced or consumed, but how it's remembered. A refugee from the Vietnam War, Nguyen calls himself a scholar of memory — someone who studies how we remember events of the past, both as people and as nations. As the war in Ukraine continues and conflicts around the globe displace millions, we speak with Nguyen about national memory, selective forgetting, and the refugee stories that might ultimately help us move forward.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
20/07/2347m 54s

No Bad Ideas?

Humans have always created. But historian Samuel W. Franklin argues that "creativity" didn't become a social value until the Cold War. Today, we're at another inflection point for humanity, technology, and national identity. The meaning of originality is blurring; there are legal disputes about what constitutes original art; and AI can write a song like your favorite artist in seconds. So what does it mean to put creativity on a pedestal? And what would it look like to tear it down? On this episode, we talk with Franklin, author of "The Cult of Creativity: A Surprisingly Recent History," about original thinking, AI, and how the human drive to create gets branded, packaged, and sold.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
13/07/2351m 12s

The Legacy of Henry Kissinger

Depending on where you stand, Henry Kissinger is either a foreign policy mastermind or a war criminal. Some see him as a brilliant strategist who made tough but necessary decisions to advance American interests in a complex world; others point to his infamous order that American warplanes should "bomb anything that flies, on anything that moves" as evidence that he bears responsibility for the loss of countless civilian lives. But one thing both sides agree on is that few figures in the 20th century have had a more profound influence on how the U.S. conducts foreign policy.Kissinger grew up in an orthodox Jewish household in Germany, under the shadow of the Nazis' rise to power; he and his family fled to the U.S. when he was a teenager. Professor Jeremi Suri, author of "Henry Kissinger and the American Century," argues that Kissinger's experiences during the Holocaust have informed his approach to global politics throughout his career, as well as his relationship with democracy, war, and power. Today on the show, how Henry Kissinger shaped, and was shaped by, the 20th century.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
06/07/2349m 25s

After Roe: A New Battlefield (2022)

The Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade transformed the landscape of abortion rights overnight. For the doctors, lawyers, feminists, and others who had fought for nationwide legalization, Roe was the end of a long battle. But for the growing movement against abortion rights, it was the beginning of a new battle: to protect the fetus, challenge abortion providers, and ultimately overturn Roe. This is the story of how opponents of abortion rights banded together, built power, and launched one of the most successful grassroots campaigns of the past century.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
29/06/2352m 11s

The Labor Of Love

There's a powerful fantasy in American society: the fantasy of the ideal mother. This mother is devoted to her family above all else. She raises the kids, volunteers at the school, cleans the house, plans the birthday parties, cares for her own parents. She's a natural nurturer. And she's happy to do it all for free. Problem is? She's imaginary. And yet the idea of her permeates our culture, our economy, and our social policy – and it distorts them. The U.S. doesn't have universal health insurance or universal childcare. We don't have federally mandated paid family leave or a meaningful social safety net for when times get rough. Instead, we have this imaginary mother. We've structured our society as though she exists — but she doesn't. And we all pay the real-life price.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
22/06/2352m 37s

Affirmative Action

This conversation was recorded ahead of the Supreme Court's expected decision on affirmative action. As of publishing, no decision has been issued.The Supreme Court is expected to rule on affirmative action sometime this month. Most of us understand that some colleges use race as a factor in college admissions. But journalist Jay Caspian Kang argues that this focus is too narrow, and that it avoids harder conversations we need to have as a culture. In his view, focusing on the admissions practices of a select few universities creates "a fight for spots in the elite ranks of society" — and blinds us to the bigger problems plaguing American democracy. On today's episode, we talk with Kang about affirmative action's origins in the civil rights era, what it does and doesn't achieve, and what a more equitable education system could look like.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
15/06/2349m 41s

Before Roe: The Physicians' Crusade (2022)

Abortion wasn't always controversial. In fact, in colonial America it would have been considered a fairly common practice: a private decision made by women, and aided mostly by midwives. But in the mid-1800s, a small group of physicians set out to change that. Obstetrics was a new field, and they wanted it to be their domain—meaning, the domain of men and medicine. Led by a zealous young doctor named Horatio Storer, they launched a campaign to make abortion illegal in every state, spreading a potent cloud of moral righteousness and racial panic that one historian later called "the physicians' crusade." And so began the century of criminalization.In the first episode of a two-part series, we're telling the story of that century: how doctors put themselves at the center of legal battles over abortion, first to criminalize — and then to legalize.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
08/06/2352m 48s

The Ghost in Your Phone

It's hot. A mother works outside, a baby strapped to her back. The two of them breathe in toxic dust, day after day. And they're just two of thousands, cramped so close together it's hard to move, all facing down the mountain of cobalt stone. Cobalt mining is one of the world's most dangerous jobs. And it's also one of the most essential: cobalt is what powers the batteries in your smartphone, your laptop, the electric car you felt good about buying. More than three-quarters of the world's cobalt supply lies in the Democratic Republic of Congo, whose abundant resources have drawn greed and grifters for centuries. Today on the show: the fight for control of those resources, and for the dignity of the people who produce them.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
01/06/2352m 19s

The Freedom of Speech

Book bans, disinformation, the wild world of the internet. Free speech debates are all around us. What were the Founding Fathers thinking when they created the First Amendment, and how have the words they wrote in the 18th century been stretched and shaped to fit a world they never could have imagined? It's a story that travels through world wars and culture wars. Through the highest courts and the Ku Klux Klan. What exactly is free speech, and how has the answer to that question changed in the history of the U.S.?Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
25/05/2349m 7s

History Is Over (2021)

As the end of the 20th century approached, Radiohead took to the recording studio to capture the sound of a society that felt like it was fraying at the edges. Many people had high hopes for the new millennium, but for others a low hum of anxiety lurked just beneath the surface as the world changed rapidly and fears of a Y2K meltdown loomed.Amidst all the unease, the famed British band began recording their highly anticipated follow ups to their career-changing album OK Computer. Those two albums, Kid A and Amnesiac, released in 2000 and 2001, were entrancing and eerie — they documented the struggle to redefine humanity, recalibrate, and get a grip on an uncertain world. In this episode, we travel back to the turn of the millennium with Thom Yorke and Stanley Donwood and the music of Kid A and Amnesiac.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
18/05/2350m 40s

Mythos and Melodrama in the Philippines

Corruption. Wealth. Authoritarianism. Torture. These are the words many people associate with Ferdinand Marcos, the former dictator of the Philippines, and his wife, Imelda. But in 1965, on the day of his presidential inauguration, clad in bright white traditional Filipino clothing, Ferdinand and Imelda were the picture of hope and progress: the Camelot of the Philippines. They styled themselves as mythical figures with a divine right to rule, even as their democratic ascent reached a dictatorial peak.Ferdinand Marcos ruled for two decades. And then, in 2022, more than thirty years after his death, the Philippines elected a new president: Ferdinand's son, Bongbong. Both in his campaign and since taking office, Bongbong has evoked the Marcos era as a golden age — effectively, rewriting history.Welcome to the "Epic of Marcos." In this tale of a family that's larger than life, Ferdinand Marcos is at the center. But the figures that surround him are just as important: Imelda, his muse; Bongbong, his heir; and the United States, his faithful sidekick. The story of the Marcos family is a blueprint for authoritarianism, laying out clearly how melodrama, paranoia, love, betrayal and a hunger for power collide to create a myth capable of propelling a nation. Today on the show, the rise, fall, and resurrection of a dynasty — and what that means for democracy worldwide.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
11/05/2352m 10s

What's Your Worth?

The credit score: even if you don't think much about it, that three-digit number can change your life. A high score can mean the keys to a new apartment or a new car, while a low score can keep you locked out of the American Dream. Around 40% of people in the U.S. have a low credit score or no credit score at all. So what happened? Today on the show, we talk with media historian Josh Lauer about credit's origins as a moral judgment, and how a tool intended to level the playing field has instead created haves and have-nots.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
04/05/2349m 16s

Cinco de Mayo and the Rise of Modern Mexico (2022)

Does history have a border? That is the question at the heart of Cinco de Mayo, May 5th, a holiday that symbolizes Mexico's fight for autonomy, even as it's come to be associated with sales and cervezas and margaritas in the U.S. Cinco de Mayo is part of a much deeper story of two nations — Mexico and the U.S. — trying to define themselves at a time when old empires were crumbling and borders were in flux. A story that culminated in a revolution in Mexico that was at the forefront of a worldwide movement against predatory capitalism and foreign domination. So in this episode, we're going back to the first Cinco de Mayo and exploring how it helped shape the future on both sides of the border.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
27/04/2350m 30s

The Way Back

Our society is saturated in apologies. They're scripted, they're public, and they often feel less than sincere. Political, corporate, celebrity apologies – they can all feel performed. It's not even always clear who they're for. So what purpose do these apologies serve? Because real apologies are not just PR stunts. Not just a way to move on. At their best, they're about acknowledgement and accountability, healing and repair. So how did apology go from a process to a product – and how can we make them work again?Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
20/04/2352m 35s

Past is Prologue: Talking Taxes

Benjamin Franklin said the only certainties in life are death and taxes. Sifting through receipts, deciphering confusing codes, and filling out forms is an annual ritual that's about much more than money. The history of the income tax and the battle over who should pay how much is about what we value as a nation. In this conversation with historian Molly Michelmore we'll explore the past, present, and future of the income tax.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
13/04/2350m 24s

Student Loans: The Fund-Eating Dragon (2022)

At the start of the 20th century, only the most privileged could afford to go to college. Today, millions of students pursue higher ed — and owe $1.7 trillion in debt.Would you believe us if we said it started with Sputnik? This week on Throughline, we explore the origins of federal student loans, the promises the government made, and how an idealistic vision transformed into what some have called a monster.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
06/04/2350m 41s

Throughline Presents: Louder Than A Riot

Louder Than A Riot breaks down how hip-hop history is told. Who gets to be remembered and who gets left out? Decades before hip-hop's current renaissance of women rappers, there was MC Sha-Rock. Despite her influence on future generations, her contribution to the craft of hip-hop is not widely known. In this episode, we break down legacy: who gets to leave one in hip-hop and who gets left out.This week, we're bringing you an episode from Louder Than A Riot's newest season, dedicated to examining who hip-hop marginalizes, and how misogynoir — the specific racist misogyny against Black women — is embedded into the fabric of the culture that we love.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
04/04/2356m 10s

The Mystery of Inflation (2022)

Rising interest rates. Layoffs. A shrinking dollar. Over the past year, the US economy has been squeezed: The same amount of money gets you less stuff. It's inflation: a concept that's easy to feel but hard to understand. Its causes are complex, but it isn't some kind of naturally-occurring phenomenon — and neither are the ways in which governments try to fight it.This week, we look at the history of inflation in the U.S., how we've responded, and who pays the price.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
30/03/2349m 58s

Everyone Everywhere All At Once

This year's Oscars were one of the most diverse in history, in all kinds of ways. Everything Everywhere All At Once swept some of the biggest categories, notching incredible victories for Asian and Asian American actors, directors, and writers. At the same time, huge gaps persist – to take just one example, only seven women have ever been nominated for Best Director, and only three have won.What does it mean to be seen? Can you measure it in numbers? Does representation matter? And if so, how much?In this episode, we take a trip through film history to explore how these questions have played out over the last century, and where we might have yet to go — starting when the American film industry was incredibly diverse, and the most successful director in Hollywood was a woman.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
23/03/2349m 0s

Meltdown (2020)

What happens when an accident puts the public at risk? In the early hours of March 28, 1979, a system malfunction set off what would become the worst nuclear accident in American history. What ensued punctured the public's belief in the safety of nuclear energy and became a cautionary tale about the consequences of communication breakdown during a crisis. This week, the fallout of a catastrophic event, and its ramifications for the public trust.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
16/03/2351m 23s

A More Perfect Human

The dream of AI — artificial intelligence — has been around for centuries: the idea of an intelligent machine without free will popped up in ancient Taoist scrolls, Buddhist fables, and the tales of medieval European courts. But it wasn't until the 20th century that science caught up to our imaginations.Today, AI is everywhere. Breakthrough technologies like ChatGPT make news, while less glamorous but more ubiquitous programs are woven into every part of our lives, from dating apps to medical care. In many ways, AI is the invisible architecture of modern life. It's a reality that's both mundane and terrifying. And it's accelerating at a rapid rate, even as we still grapple with some of the most fundamental questions it raises about what, if anything, is uniquely human. In this episode, we explore the tension between our love of AI and our fear of it — and try to decode the humans behind the machines.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
09/03/2352m 6s

Dance Yourself Free

Ever since Beyonce's Renaissance dropped last summer, house music has found its way back to mainstream audiences, prompting some to ask "Is house back?" But the truth is, it never went away. Born out of the ashes of disco in the underground clubs of Chicago by Black queer youth in the late 1970s and 80s, house music has been the continued soundtrack of parties around the world, and laid the groundwork for one of the most popular musical genres in history – electronic dance music. And yet, the deeper you dig into the origins of house music, the more clear it becomes that the history of house, like the history of rock and roll, is a complicated tale of Black cultural resistance.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
02/03/2350m 18s

Of Rats and Men (2022)

Rats. Love 'em or hate 'em, (though you probably hate 'em), they're part of our world. And they've been out in full force: In New York City, health data show rat sightings doubled in the past year. It turns out they're a lot like us: They've colonized the whole planet; they're incredibly adaptable; they go wherever the resources are. And, they share one-fourth of our genome—meaning that when you look in the mirror, you're kinda seeing a rat staring back at you. So for this episode, we dove into the history of our rodent doppelgängers. What we found was a story that spans thousands of years and nearly every continent on Earth, from the fields of ancient Mongolia to the palaces of Victorian England to the laboratories of 20th century Maryland... and probably to a burrow near you.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
23/02/2351m 26s

Throughline Presents: White Lies

It all started with a photograph. A photograph from 1991 of a prison takeover in rural Alabama. A photograph of a group of men on the roof of that prison holding a bedsheet scrawled with a message: "Pray for us." In the first episode of the new season of White Lies, hosts Chip Brantley and Andrew Beck Grace go searching for answers to the questions raised by this photograph. Who were these men? What on earth had made them want to take over that prison? And what became of them after? As they search, they uncover a sprawling story: a mass exodus across the sea, a secret list, and the betrayal at the heart of this country's ideals. This week, we're bringing you an episode of White Lies, a series by NPR's documentary podcast Embedded, which unearths the stories behind the headlines.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
16/02/2346m 41s

The Whiteness Myth

In 1923, an Indian American man named Bhagat Singh Thind argued before the U.S. Supreme Court that he was a white man and was therefore eligible to become a naturalized citizen. He based his claim on the fact that he was a member of India's highest caste and identified as an Aryan and therefore white. His claims were supported by the so-called Indo-European language theory, a controversial idea at the time that says nearly half the world's population speak a language that originated in one place. Theories about who lived in that place inspired a racist ideology that contended that the original speakers of the language were a white supreme race that colonized Europe and Asia thousands of years ago. This was used by many to define whiteness and eventually led to one of the most horrific events in history. On this episode of Throughline, we unpack the myths around this powerful idea and explore the politics and promise of the mother tongue.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
09/02/2350m 0s

The Real Black Panthers (2021)

In 1968, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover said the Black Panther Party "without question, represents the greatest threat to the internal security of the country." And with that declaration he used United States federal law enforcement to wage war on the group. But why did Hoover's FBI target the Black Panther Party more severely than any other Black power organization? Historian Donna Murch says the answer lies in the Panthers' political agenda: not their brash, gun-toting public image, but in their capacity to organize across racial and class lines. It was a strategy that challenged the very foundations of American society. And it was working.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
02/02/2351m 20s

When Things Fall Apart

Climate change, political unrest, random violence - Western society can often feel like what the filmmaker Werner Herzog calls, "a thin layer of ice on top of an ocean of chaos and darkness." In the United States, polls indicate that many people believe that law and order is the only thing protecting us from the savagery of our neighbors, that the fundamental nature of humanity is competition and struggle. This idea is often called "veneer theory." But is this idea rooted in historical reality? Is this actually what happens when societies face disasters? Are we always on the cusp of brutality?Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
26/01/2350m 48s

Extremist Futures

It's 2074 and a suicide bomber has killed the President of the United States. Months later Marines open fire on protesters killing dozens. The Second American Civil War has just begun and once again the North and South are pitted against each other. This is all according to the dystopian world chronicled in Omar El Akkad's novel, American War. El Akkad's imagined, yet familiar, world is reflective of today's deep political and societal fissures, but it also pushes us to understand the universal language of war and ruin, to what happens after the violence begins and why it's so hard to end.In this episode of Throughline, we immerse ourselves in El Akkad's 'what could be' to understand larger questions about history, humanity, and American exceptionalism.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
19/01/2348m 36s

Do Not Pass Go (2022)

There's more to Monopoly than you might think. It's one of the best-selling board games in history — despite huge economic instability, sales actually went up during the pandemic — and it's been an iconic part of American life at other pivotal moments: a cheap pastime during the Great Depression; a reminder of home for soldiers during WWII; and an American export during its rise as a global superpower. It endured even as it reflected some of the ongoing inequities in American society, from segregation and redlining, to capitalism run rampant. That's because Monopoly is also built on powerful American lore – the idea that anyone, with just a little bit of cash, can rise from rags to riches. Writer Mary Pilon, the author of The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World's Favorite Board Game, describes Monopoly as "the Great American Dream in a board game – or, nightmare."This week: how a critique of capitalism grew from a seed of an idea in a rebellious young woman's mind into a game legendary for its celebration of wealth at all costs. And behind that legend — there's a lie.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
12/01/2350m 58s

Nancy Pelosi (2019)

Nancy Pelosi is the highest-ranking woman in American politics. She made her first run for public office at 47 years old and went on to become Speaker of the House twice. How has she had such an enduring career, and where does her power lie? As Pelosi steps down this week from her pivotal role, we look back on an episode that traces her rise.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
09/01/2323m 47s

The Monster of We (2021)

Are most modern problems caused by selfishness or a lack of it? Ayn Rand, a Russian American philosopher and writer, would say it's the latter — that selfishness is not a vice but a virtue — and that capitalism is the ideal system. Everyone from Donald Trump, to Alan Greenspan, to Brad Pitt have sung Ayn Rand's praises. The Library of Congress named her novel Atlas Shrugged the second most influential book in the U.S. after the Bible. Ayn Rand wasn't politically correct, she was belligerent and liked going against the grain. And although she lived by the doctrine of her own greatness, she was driven by the fear that she would never be good enough. In this episode, historian Jennifer Burns will guide us through Rand's evolution and how she eventually reshaped American politics, becoming what Burns calls "a gateway drug to life on the right."Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
05/01/2358m 44s

The New Gilded Age (2022)

Philanthropic foundations are a fundamental part of our society: they support media, the arts, education, medical research, and more. NPR, and even this show, is supported by many personal and family foundations. But it wasn't always that way. In this episode, we go back to the beginning — the Gilded Age. We trace the birth and evolution of what many today call "big philanthropy," and ask what all this private wealth means for the public good.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
29/12/2250m 19s

God Wants You To Be Rich (2021)

In the New Testament, Jesus says it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. In the United States today, many Christians believe in something radically different. In what's known as the prosperity gospel, wealth is a sign of virtue and God's favor. The effects of this belief can be seen throughout American life from business to politics to social Policy.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
22/12/2248m 37s

Road to Partition

What happens when a nation splits apart? It's a question many of us are asking ourselves today. It happened 75 years ago with Partition, when India and Pakistan became independent nations, divided by a somewhat arbitrary line that separated neighbors, families, and communities. 15 million people were displaced, leaving a trail of chaos and violence that in some ways has never ended. In today's episode, NPR politics reporter Asma Khalid takes us back in time to learn how the road to Partition was paved, and to try to understand how people and nations reach a tipping point when neighbors realize it's no longer possible to live side by side.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
15/12/2252m 24s

400 Years of Sweetness

In the 1970s, a savvy CEO named Dwayne Andreas hit on an idea: take surplus corn from America's heartland, process it into a sweetener, and start selling it to anyone who would buy, all in the name of patriotism. Within a decade, high fructose corn syrup dominated the U.S. sweetener market; today, American diets are saturated with sweeteners, including cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and dozens of others. But Andreas wasn't reinventing the wheel. He was just taking the next step in a 400-year journey that took sugar from a rare delicacy for the wealthy to an inextricable part of our lives, our culture, and our bodies. A journey that began on the brutal sugar plantations of Haiti and eventually went global, confronting us all with an impossible moral dilemma. In this episode, we journey across centuries and continents to visit the people who've schemed — and those who've suffered — to bring us sweetness.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
08/12/2252m 21s

The Nostalgia Bone (2021)

The global pandemic spawned a different type of epidemic, one of an entirely different nature: a nostalgia outbreak. Longing for 'simpler times' and 'better days', many of us turned to 90s dance playlists, TV sitcoms, and sports highlights. We looked for comfort and safety in the permanence of the past, or at least, what we think the past was. But, when it first appeared, nostalgia itself wasn't considered a feeling; it was a deadly disease. This episode traces the history of nostalgia from its origins as an illness to the dominating emotion of our time. And in doing so, we wrestle with its eternal paradox to both hold us back and keep us going.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
01/12/2256m 50s

La Última Copa: El sueño del pibe

Ésta semana te presentamos un episodio muy especial de nuestros amigos en NPR y Futuro Media — su primer episodio del podcast La Última Copa, en Español. Todo comenzó con una gambeta extraordinaria en una ciudad Argentina. A eso le siguió la llegada a España y el club de fútbol que definiría su carrera, el Barça. La periodista Jasmine Garsd explora el camino trazado por Lionel Messi antes de convertirse en uno de los mejores del mundo. En la Argentina, donde el fútbol a menudo se convierte en obsesión, Messi fue el chico que se marchó antes de tiempo.La historia se cruza con las vivencias de la propia Garsd durante el colapso social del 2001 en la Argentina y el impacto de la crisis en la vida de Messi.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
26/11/2241m 40s

The Last Cup: The Kid's Dream

This week we're bringing you something special from our friends at NPR and Futuro Media: the first episode of the podcast, The Last Cup. From his earliest goals on the soccer fields of his hometown in Argentina to his arrival at Spain's Barça Football Club, host Jasmine Garsd follows the journey of a gifted kid who would go on to become one of the best soccer players ever. In Argentina, where the national sport is a fierce obsession, Lionel Messi was the one that got away. As Garsd retraces Messi's early career, she examines the consequences of Argentina's devastating economic crisis of 2001, how it shaped Messi's path, and what it meant for her own life.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
24/11/2241m 40s

Qatar's World Cup

Football, aka soccer, is life. At least, it is for many people across the globe. There are few things that are universally beloved but this sport comes close. And as teams on nearly every continent prepare for the start of the World Cup, all eyes are on one tiny country at the tip of the desert. Qatar. The first Arab country ever to secure the World Cup bid. But it's been a long and complicated road to get to this moment. Espionage. Embargoes. Covert deals. This is the story of Qatar's decades-long pursuit of the World Cup bid and its role in the nation's transformation into a global power.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
17/11/2251m 48s

Dreams, Creatures, and Visions

We are in the season of chaos. It can feel like everything is happening at once: You might be sprinting across an airport; or around your kitchen, with a few too many dishes cooking at once. Your phone keeps pinging — texts, weather alerts, and more and more breaking news. Here at Throughline, we're always going to different places in time and space. So this week, come with us: to another time, another place, another realm. In this episode, we'll be your sonic travel guides on a journey through bite-sized pieces of Throughline's most immersive episodes, from the shadowy world of dreams, to the midst of the Revolutionary War, to the haunting music of Radiohead and their visions of the future.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
10/11/2248m 10s

The Most Sacred Right (2020)

Born into slavery in the early 1800s, Frederick Douglass would live to see the Civil War, Emancipation, Black men getting the right to vote, and the beginning of the terrors and humiliations of Jim Crow. And through all of that, he kept coming back to one thing, a sacred right he believed was at the heart of American democracy: Voting. Next week is the midterm election. So this week, we're bringing you an episode we originally published right before the 2020 election. And we're tackling a question that still feels very timely — a question that both haunted and drove Frederick Douglass his entire life. Is our democracy set up to include everyone? And if not... can it ever be?Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
03/11/221h 2m

The State of Disunion

Is the U.S. on the brink of civil war? It's a question that has been in the air for a while now, as divisions continue to worsen. Beyond the political speeches and debates in the halls of Congress, it's something you're likely feeling in your day-to-day life. Vaccines, school curriculums, climate change, what you define as a human rights issue, even who you call a friend. Some say we've moved beyond the point of discussion. But when words fail, what comes next? In conversation with Malcolm Nance, Anne Applebaum, and Peniel Joseph, we take a deeper look at what we mean when we say civil war, how exactly the country reached this political moment, and where we go from here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
27/10/2248m 48s

The Woman Question

What's happening in Iran right now is unprecedented. But the Iranian people's struggle for gender equality began generations before the death of 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman Mahsa Amini, also known by her Kurdish name, Jina Amini. The successes of this struggle, as well as its setbacks and horrors, are well-documented, but often misunderstood. Scholar Arzoo Osanloo argues that women have been at the center of Iran's century-long fight for freedom and self-determination. It's a historical thread that goes all the way back to Iran's Constitutional Revolution in the early 20th century: A complicated story of reform, revolution, and a fundamental questioning of whether Iranian people — and people around the Islamic world — will accept a government of clerics as the sole arbiters of Islam and the state.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
20/10/2249m 44s

The Dance of the Dead (2021)

Halloween — the night of ghost stories and trick-or-treating — has religious origins that span over two thousand years. Over time, the Catholic Church, pagan groups, and even the brewing company Coors have played a role in shape-shifting the holiday. How did Halloween turn from a spiritual celebration to a multi-billion dollar industry? From the Great Famine of Ireland to the Simpsons, we present the many evolutions of Halloween.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
13/10/2249m 56s

Silicon Island

In a world where computer chips run everything from laptops to cars to the Nintendo Switch, Taiwan is the undisputed leader. It's one of the most powerful tech centers in the world — so powerful that both China and the U.S. have vital interests there. But if you went back to the Taiwan of the 1950s, this would have seemed unimaginable. It was a quiet, sleepy island; an agrarian culture. Fifty years later, it experienced what many recall as an "economic miracle" — a transformation into not just one of Asia's economic powerhouses, but one of the world's.This transformation was deliberate: the result of an active policy by the Taiwanese government to lure its people back from Silicon Valley. In the 1970s and 80s the government of Taiwan, led by finance minister K.T. Li, the "father of Taiwan's Miracle," actively recruited restless and ambitious Taiwanese businessmen, many of whom felt like they'd hit a glass ceiling in the U.S., to return to Taiwan and start technology companies. Today, those companies are worth billions.In this special collaboration between Throughline and Planet Money, we talk to one such billionaire: Miin Wu, founder of Macronix, a computer chip company. When he left the U.S., he brought back dozens of Taiwanese engineers with him — one article called it a "reverse brain drain." This episode tells the story of his journey from California's Silicon Valley to Asia's Silicon Island, and the seismic global shift it kicked off.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
06/10/2246m 59s

Editing Reality

We live in divided times, when the answer to the question 'what is reality?' depends on who you ask. Almost all the information we take in is to some extent edited and curated, and the line between entertainment and reality has become increasingly blurred. Nowhere is that more obvious than the world of reality television. The genre feeds off our most potent feelings – love, hope, anxiety, loneliness – and turns them into profit... and presidents. So in this episode, we're going to filter three themes of our modern world through the lens of reality TV: dating, the American dream, and the rage machine.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
29/09/2251m 58s

Five Fingers Crush the Land (2021)

Over one million Uyghur people have been detained in camps in China, according to estimates, subjected to torture, forced labor, religious restrictions, and even forced sterilization. Last month, the United Nations released a report saying that China's treatment of Uyghurs could be considered "crimes against humanity." The vast majority of this minority ethnic group is Muslim, living for centuries at a crossroads of culture and empire along what was once the Silk Road. This week, we explore who the Uyghur people are, their land, their customs, their music and why they've become the target of what many are calling a genocide.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
22/09/2255m 52s

Getting to Sesame Street

In American history, schools have not just been places to learn the ABCs – they're places where socialization happens and cultural norms are developed. Arguments over how and what those norms are and how they're communicated tend to flare up during moments of cultural anxiety. Sesame Street was part of a larger movement in the late 1960s to reach lower income, less privileged and more "urban" audiences. It was part of LBJ's Great Society agenda. But Sesame Street is a TV show - not a classroom. And it was funded in part by taxpayer dollars. This story is about how a television show made to represent New York City neighborhoods – like Harlem and the Bronx – has sustained its mark in educating children in a divided country.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
15/09/2249m 0s

How Korean Culture Went Global

From BTS to Squid Game to high-end beauty standards, South Korea reigns as a global exporter of pop culture and entertainment. How does a country go from a war-decimated state just 70 years ago, to a major driver of global soft power? Through war, occupation, economic crisis, and national strategy, comes a global phenomenon - the Korean wave.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
08/09/2247m 55s

American Socialist (2020)

It's been over a century since a self-described socialist was a viable candidate for president of the United States. And that first socialist candidate, Eugene V. Debs, didn't just capture significant votes, he created a new and enduring populist politics deep in the American grain. This week, the story of Eugene V. Debs and the creation of American socialism.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
01/09/221h 1m

Drone Wars (2021)

Unseen, they stalk their targets from thousands of feet in the air. Operators are piloting them from military bases halfway across the world. At any moment, they could launch a strike that comes without warning. The attack drone was supposed to be a symbol of the era of precision warfare — a way to wage wars with fewer casualties on both sides. It's a technology that's been honed since it was first dreamed up during World War 1. But are drones actually precise enough? Do drones desensitize us to the casualties of civilians caught between us and our enemies? In this episode, we will explore the past, present and future of drone warfare.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
25/08/221h

Afghanistan: The Rise of the Taliban (2021)

How did a small group of Islamic students go from local vigilantes to one of the most infamous and enigmatic forces in the world? The Taliban is a name that has haunted the American imagination since 2001. The scenes of the group's brutality repeatedly played in the Western media, while true, perhaps obscure our ability to see the complex origins of the Taliban and how they impact the lives of Afghans. It's a shadow that reaches across the vast ancient Afghan homeland, the reputation of the modern state, and throughout global politics. At the end of the US war in Afghanistan we go back to the end of the Soviet Occupation and the start of the Afghan civil war to look at the rise of the Taliban.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
18/08/2254m 19s

Afghanistan: The Center of the World (2021)

Afghanistan has, for centuries, been at the center of the world. Long before the U.S. invasion — before the U.S. was even a nation — countless civilizations intersected there, weaving together a colorful tapestry of foods, languages, ethnicities and visions of what Afghanistan was and could be. The story of Afghanistan is too often told from the perspective of outsiders who tried to invade it (and always failed) earning it the nickname "Graveyard of Empires." In this episode, we're shifting the perspective. We'll journey through the centuries alongside Afghan mystical poets. We'll turn the radio dial to hear songs of love and liberation. We'll meet the queen who built the first primary school for girls in the country. And we'll take a closer look at Afghanistan's centuries-long experiment to create a unified nation.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
11/08/2255m 33s

The Mystery of Inflation

Gas. Meat. Flights. Houses. The price of things have gone up by as much as nine percent since last year. The same amount of money gets you less stuff. It's inflation: a concept that's easy to feel but hard to understand. Its causes are complex, but it isn't some kind of naturally-occurring phenomenon — and neither are the ways in which governments try to fight it.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
04/08/2249m 33s

Nikole Hannah-Jones and the Country We Have (2021)

Is history always political? Who gets to decide? What happens when you challenge common narratives? In this episode, Throughline's Rund Abdelfatah and Ramtin Arablouei explore these questions with Nikole Hannah-Jones, an investigative journalist at the New York Times and the creator of the 1619 Project.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
28/07/2249m 25s

Student Loans: The Fund-Eating Dragon

At the start of the 20th century, only the most privileged could afford to go to college. Today, millions of students pursue higher ed — and owe $1.7 trillion in debt.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
21/07/2250m 35s

The Long Hot Summer (2020)

Things in the U.S. feel tense right now. Two years after a police officer killed George Floyd outside a Minneapolis corner store, videos of police violence still appear regularly – and protests follow. Maybe the closest parallel to what's happening today is the so-called "long hot summer" of 1967, when more than 150 cities across the country experienced civil unrest. That year, President Lyndon Johnson appointed a commission to diagnose the root causes of the problem and to suggest solutions. What the so-called "Kerner Commission" concluded — shocking to many Americans – was that the fires in America's cities could be traced back to inequality, white racism, and police brutality. This week, the Kerner Commission's report and its consequences, nearly six decades later.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
14/07/2241m 17s

Throughline Presents: School Colors

School District 28 is located in one of the most racially and ethnically diverse places in the U.S.: Queens, N.Y. But the neighborhood served by this school district has two sides – a Northside and a Southside. To put it simply, the Southside is Black and the farther north you go, the fewer Black people you see. But it wasn't always like this.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
07/07/2251m 21s

Do Not Pass Go

There's more to Monopoly than you might think. It's one of the best-selling board games in history — despite huge economic instability, sales actually went up during the pandemic — and it's been an iconic part of American life at other pivotal moments: a cheap pastime during the Great Depression; a reminder of home for soldiers during WWII; and an American export during its rise as a global superpower. It endured even as it reflected some of the ongoing inequities in American society, from segregation and redlining to capitalism run rampant. That's because Monopoly is also built on powerful American lore – the idea that anyone, with just a little bit of cash, can rise from rags to riches. Writer Mary Pilon, the author of The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World's Favorite Board Game, describes Monopoly as "the Great American Dream in a board game – or, nightmare." This week: how a critique of capitalism grew from a seed of an idea in a rebellious young woman's mind into a game legendary for its celebration of wealth at all costs. And behind that legend — there's a lie.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
30/06/2250m 55s

The Evangelical Vote (2019)

When Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, the door opened on one of those rare opportunities to tip the balance of the highest court in the U.S. It was the opportunity that one particular voting bloc had been waiting for: evangelical Christians. Now, we await a ruling in a case that has the potential to overturn Roe v. Wade – an outcome evangelical Christians have spent decades voting and lobbying for. So how did this religious group become such a powerful force in U.S. politics? In this episode, we examine how white evangelicalism in particular became linked to conservative political issues...beginning with a roaming Irish pastor in the 1800s.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
23/06/2250m 45s

After Roe: A New Battlefield

The Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade transformed the landscape of abortion rights overnight. For the doctors, lawyers, feminists, and others who had fought for nationwide legalization, Roe was the end of a long battle. But for the growing movement against abortion rights, it was the beginning of a new battle: to protect the fetus, challenge abortion providers, and ultimately overturn Roe. This is the story of how opponents of abortion rights banded together, built power, and launched one of the most successful grassroots campaigns of the past century.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
16/06/2252m 37s

By Accident of Birth

In August of 1895, a ship called the SS Coptic approached the coast of Northern California. On that boat was a passenger from San Francisco, a young man named Wong Kim Ark who was returning home after visiting his wife and child in China. He'd taken trips like this before, and expected to come back to the city he was born in, to his life and friends. But when the ship docked, officials told him he couldn't get off. The customs agent barred him according to the Chinese Exclusion Act, which denied citizenship to Chinese immigrants. Though Wong Kim Ark had been born in the U.S. and lived his whole life there, the agent said he was not a citizen. Wong was moved from steamer to steamer for months. But he was able to contact representatives from the Chinese Six Companies, a consortium of Chinese business owners that often hired legal representation for people subject to discrimination. His subsequent legal battles culminated in the 1897 Supreme Court case United States. v. Wong Kim Ark: a case that would forever change the path of American immigration law, and play a pivotal role in the ongoing battle over who gets to be a citizen of the United States.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
09/06/2258m 33s

The Modern White Power Movement (2020)

The recent shooting in Buffalo, New York, which authorities are investigating as a hate crime, has yet again highlighted the threat posed by domestic terrorism in the U.S. At the center are violent extremists – the most lethal and persistent of whom are white supremacists and anti-government militias. They're part of a deeply interconnected movement which, since the 1980s, has pursued a mission to topple the U.S government with guerrilla warfare. Today, this movement is made up of highly-organized groups with paramilitary capabilities, but it hasn't always been this way. This week, we trace the rise of the modern white power movement.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
02/06/2247m 36s

The Characters That Built China

Today, China is a global superpower. But less than two hundred years ago, the nation was in a state of decline. After what became known as the 'century of humiliation' at the hands of Western imperialist powers, its very survival was in question. A movement arose to fight off foreign interference and preserve Chinese culture in the face of intense pressure from a rapidly-changing world. And the key to that movement was language. In this episode, we follow three key reformers who worked to modernize written and spoken Chinese, sometimes risking their lives to do so. Their work simplified Chinese, standardized it, and took it from an inaccessible language built for the elite to a modern language for the masses. It was a struggle that spanned generations, changed the fate of millions of people, and helped create the powerful modern nation-state of China.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
26/05/2248m 26s

Before Roe: The Physicians' Crusade

Abortion wasn't always controversial. In fact, in colonial America it would have been considered a fairly common practice: a private decision made by women, and aided mostly by midwives. But in the mid-1800s, a small group of physicians set out to change that. Obstetrics was a new field, and they wanted it to be their domain—meaning, the domain of men and medicine. Led by a zealous young doctor named Horatio Storer, they launched a campaign to make abortion illegal in every state, spreading a potent cloud of moral righteousness and racial panic that one historian later called "the physicians' crusade." And so began the century of criminalization.In the first episode of a two-part series, we're telling the story of that century: how doctors put themselves at the center of legal battles over abortion, first to criminalize — and then to legalize.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
19/05/2252m 43s

Bonus: The Forgotten Mothers of Civil Rights History

MLK Jr., Malcolm X and James Baldwin are household names, but what about their mothers? This hour, author Anna Malaika Tubbs explores how these three women shaped American history.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
17/05/2249m 52s

The Shadows of the Constitution (2020)

The Constitution is like America's secular Bible, our sacred founding document. As the Supreme Court debates the future of Roe v. Wade, many of us are looking more closely at the Constitution, trying to discern how it protects us. In her play, "What the Constitution Means to Me," Heidi Schreck goes through her own process of discovering what the Constitution is really about: who wrote it, who it was for, who it protected and who it didn't. Through Heidi's personal story, we learn how both the document itself and the way it's been interpreted have affected generations of Americans — and how those effects are far from ended.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
12/05/2242m 27s

Cinco de Mayo and the Rise of Modern Mexico

Does history have a border? That is the question at the heart of Cinco de Mayo, May 5th, a holiday that symbolizes Mexico's fight for autonomy, even as it's come to be associated with sales and cervezas and margaritas in the U.S. Cinco de Mayo is part of a much deeper story of two nations — Mexico and the U.S. — trying to define themselves at a time when old empires were crumbling and borders were in flux. A story that culminated in a revolution in Mexico that was at the forefront of a worldwide movement against predatory capitalism and foreign domination. So in this episode, we're going back to the first Cinco de Mayo and exploring how it helped shape the future on both sides of the border.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
05/05/2250m 8s

The New Gilded Age

Philanthropic foundations are a fundamental part of our society: they support media, the arts, education, medical research, and more. NPR, and even this show, is supported by many personal and family foundations. But it wasn't always that way. In this episode, we go back to the beginning — the Gilded Age. We trace the birth and evolution of what many today call "big philanthropy," and ask what all this private wealth means for the public good.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
28/04/2249m 54s

Force of Nature (2021)

Rivers on fire, acid rain falling from the sky, species going extinct, oil spills, polluted air, and undrinkable water: For so long, we didn't think of our planet as a place to preserve. And then, in the 1960s and 70s, that changed. Democrats and Republicans, with overwhelming public support, came together to pass a sweeping legislative agenda around environmental protection. In today's episode, what led to Earth Day, and what Earth Day led to.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
21/04/2248m 34s

The Everlasting Problem (2020)

Health insurance for millions of Americans is dependent on their jobs. But it's not like that everywhere. So how did the U.S. end up with such a fragile system that leaves so many vulnerable—or with no health insurance at all? On this episode, how a temporary solution created an everlasting problem.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
14/04/2254m 32s

Capitalism: What Makes Us Free? (2021)

What's the role of government in society? What do we mean when we talk about individual responsibility? What makes us free? 'Neoliberalism' might feel like a squishy term that's hard to define and understand. But this ideology, founded by a group of men in the Swiss Alps, is a political project that has dominated our economic system for decades. In the name of free-market fundamentals, the forces behind neoliberalism act like an invisible hand, shaping almost every aspect of our lives.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
07/04/2250m 16s

The Land of the Fee (2021)

Tipping is a norm in the United States—and it's always been controversial. The practice took off after the Civil War, as employers sought cheap labor from formerly enslaved people: if tips were expected, companies could get away with paying laughably low wages. But the practice was always controversial, and has been vehemently challenged since it first came to the U.S. from Europe. We speak with Nina Martyris, a journalist who's written about the history of tipping in the United States, to find out how tipping—once deemed a "cancer in the breast of democracy"— went from being considered wholly un-American to becoming a deeply American custom.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
31/03/2244m 54s

All Wars Are Fought Twice

"All wars are fought twice, the first time on the battlefield, the second time in memory," writes Pulitzer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen. This week on Throughline, we want to pause the news cycle to think about not just how war is experienced or consumed, but how it's remembered. A refugee from the Vietnam War, Nguyen calls himself a scholar of memory — someone who studies how we remember events of the past, both as people and as nations. As the world watches the war in Ukraine — and with the U.S. departure from Afghanistan still fresh — we speak with Nguyen about national memory, selective forgetting, and the refugee stories that might ultimately help us move forward.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
24/03/2248m 11s

Our Own People (2021)

A Japanese American activist whose early political awakenings came while incarcerated in the concentration camps of World War II America, Kochiyama dedicated her life to social justice and liberation movements. One year after the spa shootings that killed eight people in Atlanta, Georgia — including six women of Asian descent — Throughline reflects on Kochiyama's ideas around the Asian American struggle, and what solidarity and intersectionality can mean for all struggles.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
17/03/2251m 10s

Ukraine's Dangerous Independence

Months before Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale military invasion of Ukraine, he published an essay on the Kremlin website called "On The Historical Unity of Russia and Ukraine." In it, he suggested that Ukrainians don't really have their own identity — and that they never have. Historian Serhii Plokhii says that couldn't be further from the truth. The histories of the two countries are deeply intertwined, but Ukrainian identity is unique. Today, we explore that identity: how it formed, its relationship to Russia, and how it helps us understand what's happening now.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
10/03/2243m 40s

Of Rats and Men

Rats. Love 'em or hate 'em, (though you probably hate 'em), they're part of our world. And during the pandemic, they've been out in full force: fewer humans outdoors means more space for rats. And it turns out, they're a lot like us: They've colonized the whole planet; they're incredibly adaptable; they go wherever the resources are. And, they share one-fourth of our genome—so when you're looking in the mirror, you're kinda seeing a rat staring back at you. So for this episode, we dove into the history of our rodent doppelgängers. What we found was a story that spans thousands of years and nearly every continent on Earth, from the fields of ancient Mongolia to the palaces of Victorian England to the laboratories of 20th century Maryland... and probably to a burrow near you.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
03/03/2251m 0s

There Are No Utopias

It may seem bleak, but Robin D.G Kelley's view of the world says there is no promise of liberation, only struggle. Kelley has spent his career bringing to life the stories of the Black labor organizers and anti-capitalists who are often left out of history books, from radical farmers in the South to Black unions during the Gilded Age. And he's come to a provocative conclusion: that the secret to capitalism's survival is racism. His scholarship uses historical connections between race and labor to directly challenge the premise that there can be any justice within America's current economic system — and to ask what that means for the people who seek it. This week on Throughline, a view of Black history you don't often hear in February.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
24/02/2249m 14s

Marcus Garvey: Pan-Africanist (2021)

Black people deserve nothing less than everything: This was Marcus Garvey's simple, uncompromising message. His speeches on Pan-Africanism — the vision of a world where all people of African origin, on every continent, were united, self-sufficient, and proud — made him a powerful Black voice in the 20th century. His steamship company, the Black Star Line, was supposed to take his followers to Africa, where he said they would find true liberation. His message resonated with leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcom X. But the civil rights establishment viewed Garvey with deep suspicion. And the Black Star Line never sailed. In today's episode, we examine Marcus Garvey's life and legacy, and how he became the towering, often-misunderstood figure that he is.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
17/02/2259m 33s

Pirates of the Senate

The fight over the filibuster brings up some deeper questions that we as a country are facing. How do we make space for disagreement without ending up at a stalemate? Can we use the tools given to us by previous generations without turning them into weapons? And how do we decide which parts of our system should be changed – and when it's time to change? The filibuster can hold legislation hostage, stop bills from ever reaching the Senate floor, and lead to hours-long speeches in Congress, but it can be hard to understand what a filibuster actually is, why we have it, and how it impacts the country. In this episode, we look at how the ongoing battle over the filibuster's future is in some ways a battle over its past.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
10/02/2252m 32s

A Story Of Us?

We've been seeing a lot of debate recently about how history should be taught. For example, some believe that the Civil War was about state rights while some argue that slavery played a large role in it. But what if we could all agree on one shared history? The past, as we know it, is a collection of billions of smaller stories that coalesce into the stories of families, communities, nations, and entire cultures. According to Tamim Ansary, narrative is the way we invent the past and the key to understanding history is understanding the stories we tell ourselves about three key areas: technology, environment, and language. With a world seemingly more connected than ever and still volatile with a constant sense of fracturing identities, Tamim contends that our shared history is a story we must invent. And the future of our species depends on our ability to develop a story we can all see ourselves in.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
03/02/2246m 20s

Russia's Longest Leader: Vladimir Putin (2019)

As tensions between Ukraine and Russia escalate, we decided to take a look at the man who has been running Russia for two decades: Vladimir Putin. How did a former KGB officer make his way up to the top seat — was it political prowess or was he just the recipient of a lot of good fortune? In this episode, we dive into the life of Vladimir Putin and try to understand how he became Russia's new "tsar."Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
27/01/2233m 22s

Throughline Sleeps

Life can be tough. Every day brings new challenges. And in order to get through the waking hours we need rest. Good quality sleep. In this bonus episode, a companion to "The Way We Dream," we offer you a 30-minute audio journey into the deep. A smooth trip into the place where our minds are free from the confines of our self awareness, our dreams.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
25/01/2230m 0s

The Way We Dream

Our dreams can haunt us: literally. Recurring dreams about failing tests or running late are a common occurrence, but what are we to make of them? And are there hidden meanings in our dreams? Paleolithic hunter-gatherers may have painted their dreams onto caves, Julius Caesar's wife envisioned his assassination in a dream, and major works of art and music have been inspired by dreams. But with the scientific revolution came a different view of dreams, one in which they were dismissed as merely a meaningless biological reaction. Today, researchers are challenging that age-old assumption and finding new evidence that dreams are a vital way human beings process the world. In this episode, Sidarta Ribeiro takes us on a journey through the history of our understanding of dreams.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
20/01/2251m 20s

Bayard Rustin: The Man Behind the March on Washington (2021)

Bayard Rustin, the man behind the March on Washington, was one of the most consequential architects of the civil rights movement you may never have heard of. Rustin imagined how nonviolent civil resistance could be used to dismantle segregation in the United States. He organized around the idea for years and eventually introduced it to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But his identity as a gay man made him a target, obscured his rightful status and made him feel forced to choose, again and again, which aspect of his identity was most important.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
13/01/221h 10m

The Anatomy of Autocracy: Timothy Snyder (2021)

When a mob of pro-Trump supporters violently stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 they also incited a defining moment in United States history. Now what? We revisit our conversation with historian Timothy Snyder about how we got here and what an insurrection could mean for the future of America.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
06/01/2234m 59s

The Electrical Grid (2020)

Today, electricity in the U.S. is a utility we notice only when it's suddenly unavailable. But over a hundred years ago, electricity in the homes of every American was a wild idea and the subject of a bitter fight over who would power, and profit from, the national grid. This week, the battle that electrified our world and the extreme measures that were taken to get there.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
30/12/2142m 30s

Bonus: On Our Watch

What happens to police officers who use excessive force, tamper with evidence or sexually harass someone? In California, internal affairs investigations were kept secret from the public — until a recent transparency law unsealed thousands of files. Listen to the first episode of On Our Watch, a limited-run podcast from NPR and KQED that brings you into the rooms where officers are interrogated and witnesses are questioned to find out who the system of police accountability really serves, and who it protects.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
28/12/2147m 43s

American Socialist (2020)

American workers are reaching a breaking point. We're seeing a wave of resignations and labor strikes, and a supply chain that's cracking under the pressure. At the turn of the 20th century, one man faced a similar world and dreamt of something more – Eugene V. Debs.He was a bold and irreverent labor organizer, and the first socialist candidate for president. He believed in welfare programs, early childhood education, and the collective ownership of public resources. To him, there was nothing more American than standing up against oppression. When he spoke to the masses, people leaned in to listen. This week, the founder of American socialism and the legacy he left behind.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
23/12/211h 4m

The Monster of We

Are most modern problems caused by selfishness or a lack of it? Ayn Rand, a Russian American philosopher and writer, would say it's the latter — that selfishness is not a vice but a virtue — and that capitalism is the ideal system. Everyone from Donald Trump to Alan Greenspan to Brad Pitt have sung Ayn Rand's praises. The Library of Congress named her novel, Atlas Shrugged, the second most influential book in the U.S. after the Bible. Ayn Rand wasn't politically correct, she was belligerent and liked going against the grain. And although she lived by the doctrine of her own greatness, she was driven by the fear that she would never be good enough. In this episode, historian Jennifer Burns will guide us through Rand's evolution and how she eventually reshaped American politics, becoming what Burns calls "a gateway drug to life on the right."Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
16/12/211h

History Is Over

As the end of the 20th century approached, Radiohead took to the recording studio to capture the sound of a society that felt like it was fraying at the edges. Many people had high hopes for the new millennium, but for others a low hum of anxiety lurked just beneath the surface as the world changed rapidly and fears of a Y2K meltdown loomed.Amidst all the unease, the famed British band began recording their highly anticipated follow ups to their career-changing album OK Computer. Those two albums, Kid A and Amnesiac, released in 2000 and 2001, were entrancing and eerie — they documented the struggle to redefine humanity, recalibrate, and get a grip on an uncertain world. In this episode, we travel back to the turn of the millennium with Thom Yorke and Stanley Donwood and the music of Kid A and Amnesiac.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
09/12/2153m 0s

A Symphony of Resistance (2021)

The Arab Spring erupted eleven years ago when a wave of "pro-democracy" protests spread throughout the Middle East and North Africa. The effects of the uprisings reverberated around the world as regimes fell in some countries, and civil war began in others. This week, we remember the years leading up to the Arab Spring, and its lasting impact on three people who lived through it.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
02/12/2157m 8s

Fighting Fires and Family Secrets

Uncontrollable western wildfires and a hidden family history — two puzzles that can only be solved with knowledge buried in the past. Indigenous people in Montana fight fire with fire, drawing on the unique relationships their ancestors had to one of the West's greatest threats today. And a young woman grapples with the secret that binds her family together, but also tears them apart. This week, we bring you stories produced by two members of the Throughline team: Victor Yvellez and Anya Steinberg. Through their past work before joining the show, we'll travel from the homelands of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes to the freezers of a cryobank to answer questions about family, tradition, and the future.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
25/11/2140m 35s

Nikole Hannah-Jones and the Country We Have

Is history always political? Who gets to decide? What happens when you challenge common narratives? In this episode, Throughline's Rund Abdelfatah and Ramtin Arablouei explore these questions with Nikole Hannah-Jones, an investigative journalist at the New York Times and the creator of the 1619 Project, which is set to be released as a book later this year. The U.S. is steeped in wars over history. Historical narratives fuel public policy and discourse. Today, the most dramatic battleground is the 1619 Project. It has pushed people on both sides of the political spectrum to ask how our framing of the past affects the present, to interrogate what we remember and don't remember as a society — and whether we need a shared historical narrative to move forward.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
18/11/2150m 11s

Aftermath (2020)

In 1927, the most destructive river flood in U.S. history inundated seven states, displaced more than half a million people for months, and caused about $1 billion dollars in property damages. And like many national emergencies it exposed a stark question that the country still struggles to answer - what is the political calculus used to decide who bears the ultimate responsibility in a crisis, especially when it comes to the most vulnerable? This week, the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and what came after.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
11/11/2154m 56s

Bonus: The Deep History of Dune

Rund and Ramtin speak to sci-fi writer and Princeton historian, Haris Durrani, about why the lore of Dune still proves so relevant and the ways in which the 2021 film succeeds and fails to convey its messages. "Dreams are messages from the deep." Those are the first words that appear on the screen in Denis Villeneuve's 2021 film, Dune, a cinematic adaptation of the iconic 1965 sci-fi book by Frank Herbert. The book contains dreams within dreams. Dreams of a future humanity in all of its flawed complexity. Dune takes place about ten thousand years from now with humanity having spread across the galaxy, populating planets and evolving in myriad mysterious and fascinating ways. But Herbert's vision isn't unrecognizable to our contemporary eyes. In fact, unlike many other similar sci-fi stories, Dune projects Islamic belief and philosophy into the future, placing it right at the center of future events. It uses Middle Eastern history to paint a dream of a future which is both futuristic and ancient, exhilarating and full of tension. It is a story about the perils of imperialism, messianic beliefs, and environmental degradation. It is a story about us.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
09/11/2144m 10s

Drone Wars

Unseen, they stalk their targets from thousands of feet in the air. Operators are piloting them from military bases halfway across the world. At any moment, they could launch a strike that comes without warning. The attack drone was supposed to be a symbol of the era of precision warfare — a way to wage wars with fewer casualties on both sides. It's a technology that's been honed since it was first dreamed up during World War 1. But are drones actually precise enough? Do drones desensitize us to the casualties of civilians caught between us and our enemies? In this episode, we will explore the past, present and future of drone warfare.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
04/11/211h 1m

The Dance of the Dead

Halloween — the night of ghost stories and trick-or-treating — has religious origins that span over two thousand years and over time, the Catholic Church, pagan groups, and even the brewing company Coors have played a role in shape-shifting the holiday. How did Halloween turn from a spiritual celebration to a multi-billion dollar industry? From the Great Famine of Ireland to the Simpsons, we present the many evolutions of Halloween.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
28/10/2150m 47s

The Stars (2020)

Astrology has existed for thousands of years and has roots that span the globe. But is it a science or a religion or just a kind of personality test? And why is it more popular than ever? This week, the story of how finding our fates in the stars moved from the fringes to the mainstream and became a multi-billion dollar industry.[This episode originally aired on February 20, 2020]Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
21/10/2157m 48s

The Nostalgia Bone

The global pandemic has spawned a different type of epidemic, one of an entirely different nature: a nostalgia outbreak. Longing for 'simpler times' and 'better days', many of us have been turning to 90s dance playlists, TV sitcoms, and sports highlights. We're looking for comfort and safety in the permanence of the past, or at least, what we think the past was. But, when it first appeared, nostalgia itself wasn't considered a feeling; it was a deadly disease. This episode traces the history of nostalgia from its origins as an illness to the dominating emotion of our time. And in doing so, we wrestle with its eternal paradox to both hold us back and keep us going.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
14/10/2157m 52s

Tenochtitlan: A Retelling of The Conquest

In a sense, 1521 is Mexico's 1619. A foundational moment that has for a long time been shaped by just one perspective, a European one. The story of how Hernán Cortés and his small army of conquistadors conquered the mighty Aztec Empire, in the heart of what's now modern Mexico City, has become a foundational myth of European dominance in the Americas. This is the story that for centuries was largely accepted as the truth. But in recent decades researchers have pieced together a more nuanced, complicated version based on indigenous accounts, a version that challenges many of the bedrock assumptions about how European Christians came to control the Western Hemisphere. In this episode, the story of the fall of Tenochtitlán.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
07/10/2152m 56s

Bonus: Soul Train

When Soul Train was first nationally syndicated in October 1971, there was nothing else like it on TV. It was the iconic Black music and dance show, a party every weekend that anyone could join from their living room. Our friends at It's Been A Minute with Sam Sanders break down the lasting influence of Soul Train on the culture and ask why there's never been a show like it since.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
05/10/2134m 52s

The Shadows of the Constitution (2020)

The Constitution is like America's secular bible, our sacred founding document. In her play, What the Constitution Means to Me, Heidi Schreck goes through a process of discovering what the document is really about – who wrote it, who it was for, who it protected and who it didn't. Through Heidi's personal story, we learn how the Constitution and how it has been interpreted have affected not just her family but generations of Americans.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
30/09/2143m 18s

Bonus: We're Not Broken

This week we're featuring an episode from Life Kit that focuses on myths surrounding autism, how to talk about it and how to help your autistic loved one live their most fulfilling life.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
28/09/2123m 32s

The Supreme Court (2020)

When, why, and how did the Supreme Court get the final say in the law of the land? The question of the Court's role, and whether its decisions should reign above all the other branches of government, has been hotly debated for centuries. And that's resulted in a Supreme Court more powerful than anything the Founding Fathers could have imagined possible.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
23/09/2158m 1s

Afghanistan: The Rise of the Taliban

How did a small group of Islamic students go from local vigilantes to one of the most infamous and enigmatic forces in the world? The Taliban is a name that has haunted the American imagination since 2001. The scenes of the group's brutality repeatedly played in the Western media, while true, perhaps obscure our ability to see the complex origins of the Taliban and how they impact the lives of Afghans. It's a shadow that reaches across the vast ancient Afghan homeland, the reputation of the modern state, and throughout global politics. At the end of the US war in Afghanistan we go back to the end of the Soviet Occupation and the start of the Afghan civil war to look at the rise of the Taliban. Their story concludes Throughline's two-episode investigation on the past, present, and future of the country that was once called "the center of the world."Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
16/09/2153m 48s

Afghanistan: The Center of the World

Afghanistan has, for centuries, been at the center of the world. Long before the U.S. invasion - before the U.S. was even a nation - countless civilizations intersected there, weaving together a colorful tapestry of foods, languages, ethnicities and visions of what Afghanistan was and could be. The story of Afghanistan is too often told from the perspective of outsiders who tried to invade it (and always failed) earning it the nickname "Graveyard of Empires." In this episode, we're shifting the perspective. We'll journey through the centuries alongside Afghan mystical poets. We'll turn the radio dial to hear songs of love and liberation. We'll meet the queen who built the first primary school for girls in the country. And we'll take a closer look at Afghanistan's centuries-long experiment to create a unified nation.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
09/09/2154m 22s

The Aftermath of Collapse: Bronze Age Edition (2021)

What happens after everything falls apart? The end of the Bronze Age was a moment when an entire network of ancient civilizations collapsed, leaving behind only clues to what happened. Today, scholars have pieced together a story where everything from climate change to mass migration to natural disasters played a role. What the end of the Bronze Age can teach us about avoiding catastrophe and what comes after collapse.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
02/09/2155m 6s

Octavia Butler: Visionary Fiction (2021)

Octavia Butler's alternate realities and 'speculative fiction' reveal striking, and often devastating parallels to the world we live in today. She was a deep observer of the human condition, perplexed and inspired by our propensity towards self-destruction. Butler was also fascinated by the cyclical nature of history, and often looked to the past when writing about the future. Along with her warning is her message of hope - a hope conjured by centuries of survival and persistence. For every society that perishes in her books comes a story of rebuilding, of repair.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
26/08/211h 5m

El Libertador and Venezuela's Rise and Fall (2019)

Venezuela is facing an economic and humanitarian crisis as extreme poverty and violence have forced many to flee the country in recent years. How did a country once wealthy with oil resources fall into such turmoil? Through the lives of two revolutionaries turned authoritarian leaders separated by two centuries, we look back at the rise and fall of Venezuela.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
19/08/2154m 34s

Lives of the Great Depression (2020)

The Great Depression was a revolutionary spark for all kinds of things — health insurance, social safety nets, big government — all of which were in response to a national crisis. Through the personal accounts of four people who lived during the Great Depression, we look back at what life was like back then and what those stories can teach us about the last time the U.S. went through a national economic cataclysm. This is the second episode of our summer series "Movies for Your Mind." Summer movies like you've never heard before.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
12/08/2147m 28s

Stories of How We Cope With Chaos (2021)

You've been looking at screens for what feels like forever. Now it's time to sit back, close your eyes, and come with us to worlds you've never seen, and histories you've never imagined. This is the first episode of our summer series "Movies for Your Mind."What happens when teenagers are shipwrecked on a deserted island? Can you find the fingerprint of God in warzones? Why was the concept of zero so revolutionary for humanity? More than a year into a pandemic that has completely upended the lives of people around the world, we look at how we cope with chaos, how we're primed to make order out of randomness, and why the stories we're taught to believe about our propensities for self-destruction may not actually be true.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
05/08/211h 3m

Grenada: Nobody's Backyard

A Marxist revolution, a Cold War proxy battle, and a dream of a Black utopia. In 1983, Ronald Reagan ordered the U.S. military to invade the island of Grenada. Almost four decades later, many Americans don't remember why — or that it even happened. This week, Martine Powers, from Post Reports, brings us a story of revolution, invasion, and the aftermath of unresolved history.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
29/07/2158m 14s

Olympics: Behind The Five Rings

The Olympics originated in Ancient Greece, and were resurrected in the 1890's after a 1,500 year ban. Since then, the International Olympic Committee has been behind every Olympic Games. In this episode, we explore the story of how the IOC turned the Olympics into a huge commercial success and whether the cities that host the games end up winning or losing.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
22/07/2141m 55s

Home/Front: Marla's War

What do we owe innocent civilians who are killed or injured in war? This is one of the thorniest ethical questions that any military faces, but it was not abstract for anti-war activist Marla Ruzicka. From Rough Translation's new series Home/Front.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
20/07/2135m 25s

The Most Sacred Right (2020)

Frederick Douglass dreamed of a country where all people could vote and he did everything in his power to make that dream a reality. In the face of slavery, the Civil War and the violence of Jim Crow, he fought his entire life for what he believed was a sacred, natural right that should be available to all people - voting.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
15/07/211h 2m

Bonus: Do The Golden Arches Bend Toward Justice?

This week we're featuring an episode from Code Switch, Do The Golden Arches Bend Toward Justice?. Calls for racial justice are met with a lot of different proposals, but one of the loudest and most enduring is to invest in Black businesses. But can "buying Black" actually do anything to mitigate racism? To find out, they taking a look at the surprising link between Black capitalism and McDonald's.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
12/07/2128m 53s

Capitalism: God Wants You To Be Rich

In the New Testament, Jesus says it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. In the United States today, many Christians believe in something radically different. In what's known as the prosperity gospel, wealth is a sign of virtue and God's favor. The effects of this belief can be seen throughout American life from business to politics to social policy.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
08/07/2150m 30s

Capitalism: What Makes Us Free?

What's the role of government in society? What do we mean when we talk about individual responsibility? What makes us free? 'Neoliberalism' might feel like a squishy term that's hard to define and understand. But this ideology, founded by a group of men in the Swiss Alps, is a political project that has dominated our economic system for decades. In the name of free market fundamentals, the forces behind neoliberalism act like an invisible hand, shaping almost every aspect of our lives.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
01/07/2152m 27s

Bonus: The Vanishing of Harry Pace

This week we're featuring an episode from Radiolab's latest new series, The Vanishing of Harry Pace. Harry Pace founded the first major Black-owned record label in the U.S., ushering in a new wave of American music. But it's also a mystery story, because one day, Harry Pace just disappeared. The Vanishing of Harry Pace is a series about the phenomenal but forgotten man who changed the music scene in the United States. It's a story about betrayal, family, hidden identities, and a time like no other.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
29/06/211h 13m

Capitalism: What Is It?

What do we mean when we talk about capitalism? Our economic system might seem inevitable, but it's a construction project hundreds of years in the making and no part of it is natural or left to chance. This week, we kick off our series on the past, present and future of capitalism with Kristen Ghodsee, Vivek Chibber, and Bryan Caplan, who debate how an economic system became an all-encompassing force that rules our lives and our minds.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
24/06/2156m 53s

Before Stonewall (2019)

In 1969, a gay bar in New York City called The Stonewall Inn was raided by police. It was a common form of harassment in those days but what followed, days of rebellion as patrons fought back, was anything but ordinary. Today, that event is seen as the start of the gay civil rights movement, but gay activists and organizations were standing up to harassment and discrimination years before. On this episode from our archives, the fight for gay rights before Stonewall.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
17/06/2140m 55s

Who is NPR (For)?

Who is the media meant to serve? And why does it matter today, arguably, more than ever? 50 years ago, National Public Radio began as a small, scrappy news organization with big ideals and a very small footprint. Over the subsequent years of coverage and programming, NPR has grown and evolved into a mainstream media outlet, with a mission of serving audiences that reflect America. This week, Michel Martin, host of Weekend All Things Considered, talks to us about her time at NPR and the importance of representing all voices in news.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
10/06/2136m 45s

The Supreme Court

When, why, and how did the Supreme Court get the final say in the law of the land? The question of the Court's role, and whether its decisions should reign above all the other branches of government, has been hotly debated for centuries. And that's resulted in a Supreme Court more powerful than anything the Founding Fathers could have imagined possible.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
03/06/2158m 39s

Palestine

The recent violence that engulfed Gaza and Jerusalem began with an issue that's plagued the region for a century now: settlements. In East Jerusalem, Palestinian residents are facing forced removal by Israeli settler organizations. It's a pattern that has repeated over the history of this conflict. Historian Rashid Khalidi guides us through the history of settlements and displacement going back to the age of European colonialism.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
28/05/2154m 4s

A Symphony of Resistance

The Arab Spring erupted ten years ago when a wave of "pro-democracy" protests spread throughout the Middle East and North Africa. The effects of the uprisings reverberated around the world as regimes fell in some countries, and civil war began in others. This week, we remember the years leading up to the Arab Spring, and its lasting impact on three people who lived through it.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
20/05/2156m 30s

Five Fingers Crush The Land

Over one million Uyghur people have been detained in camps in China, according to estimates, subjected to torture, forced labor, religious restrictions, and even forced sterilization. The vast majority of this minority ethnic group is Muslim, living for centuries at a crossroads of culture and empire along what was once the Silk Road. This week, we explore who the Uyghur people are, their land, their customs, their music and why they've become the target of what many are calling a genocide.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
13/05/2156m 4s

Operation Nemesis

An estimated 1.5 million Armenian Christians were killed by the Ottoman government during World War I, in what came to be known as the Armenian Genocide. The perpetrators escaped Constantinople in the middle of the night and began new lives undercover in Europe. So, a small group of Armenian survivors decided to take justice into their own hands. In this episode from Kerning Cultures, the secretive operation to avenge the Armenian Genocide, and how it changed the idea of justice in the modern world. This story originally aired on Kerning Cultures, a podcast telling stories from across the Middle East and North Africa and the spaces in between.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
06/05/2151m 12s

James Baldwin's Shadow

James Baldwin believed that America has been lying to itself since its founding. He wrote, spoke, and thought incessantly about the societal issues that still exist today. As the United States continues to reckon with its history of systemic racism and police brutality, Eddie S. Glaude Jr. guides us through the meaning and purpose of James Baldwin's work and how his words can help us navigate the current moment.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
29/04/2144m 26s

Force of Nature

Rivers on fire, acid rain falling from the sky, species going extinct, oil spills, polluted air, and undrinkable water. For so long, we didn't think of our planet as a place to preserve. And then in the 1960's and 70's that changed. Democrats and Republicans, with overwhelming public support, came together to pass a sweeping legislative agenda around environmental protection. In today's episode, what led to Earth Day, and what Earth Day led to.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
22/04/2150m 3s

The Real Black Panthers

The Black Panther Party's battles for social justice and economic equality are the centerpiece of the Oscar-nominated film 'Judas and The Black Messiah.' In 1968, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover said the Black Panther Party "without question, represents the greatest threat to internal security of the country." And with that declaration he used United States federal law enforcement to wage war on the group, But why did Hoover's FBI target the Black Panther Party more severely than any other Black power organization? Historian Donna Murch says the answer lies in the Panthers' political agenda and a strategy that challenged the very foundations of American society.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
15/04/2156m 7s

Policing in America

Black Americans being victimized and killed by the police is an epidemic. As the trial of Derek Chauvin plays out, it's a truth and a trauma many people in the US and around the world are again witnessing first hand. But this tension between African American communities and the police has existed for centuries. This week, the origins of policing in the United States and how those origins put violent control of Black Americans at the heart of the system.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
08/04/211h 5m

Our Own People

"Build bridges, not walls." Solidarity was at the heart of Yuri Kochiyama's work. A Japanese-American activist whose early political awakenings came while incarcerated in the concentration camps of World War II America, Kochiyama dedicated her life to social justice and liberation movements. As hate crimes against AAPI people surge in this country, we reflect on Yuri Kochiyama's ideas around the Asian American struggle, and what solidarity and intersectionality can mean for all struggles.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
01/04/2152m 12s

The Land of the Fee

Tipping is a norm in the U.S. But it hasn't always been this way. A legacy of slavery and racism, tipping took off in the post-Civil War era. The case against tipping had momentum in the early 1900's, yet what began as a movement to end an exploitative practice just ended up continuing it.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
25/03/2149m 31s

Chaos

What happens when teenagers are shipwrecked on a deserted island? Can you find the fingerprint of God in warzones? Why was the concept of zero so revolutionary for humanity? A year into a pandemic that has completely upended the lives of people around the world, we look at how we cope with chaos, how we're primed to make order out of randomness, and why the stories we're taught to believe about our propensities for self-destruction may not actually be true.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
18/03/211h 2m

N95

The N95 respirator has become one of the most coveted items in the world during the pandemic, especially by medical professionals. But how did this seemingly simple mask become the lifesaving tool it is today? From bird beaks to wrapping paper to bras, we follow the curious history of one of the most important defenses in our fight against COVID-19.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
11/03/2140m 7s

Levittown: Where the Good Life Begins

In this episode from WNYC's La Brega, Alana Casanova-Burgess traces back the story of the boom and bust of the Puerto Rican Levittown. For many Americans, Levittown is the prototypical suburb, founded on the idea of bringing Americans into a middle-class lifestyle after WWII. But while the NY Levittown was becoming a symbol of American prosperity, there was a parallel story of Levittown in Puerto Rico during a time of great change on the island. Casanova-Burgess (herself the granddaughter of an early PR Levittown resident) explores what the presence of a Levittown in Puerto Rico tells us about the promises of the American Dream. It's a story that reflects and reveals how la brega has defined so many aspects of life in Puerto Rico.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
04/03/2144m 28s

Bayard Rustin: The Man Behind the March on Washington

Bayard Rustin, the man behind the March on Washington, was one of the most consequential architects of the civil rights movement you may never have heard of. Rustin imagined how nonviolent civil resistance could be used to dismantle segregation in the United States. He organized around the idea for years and eventually introduced it to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But his identity as a gay man made him a target, obscured his rightful status and made him feel forced to choose, again and again, which aspect of his identity was most important.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
25/02/211h 9m

Octavia Butler: Visionary Fiction

Octavia Butler's alternate realities and 'speculative fiction' reveal striking, and often devastating parallels to the world we live in today. She was a deep observer of the human condition, perplexed and inspired by our propensity towards self-destruction. Butler was also fascinated by the cyclical nature of history, and often looked to the past when writing about the future. Along with her warnings is her message of hope - a hope conjured by centuries of survival and persistence. For every society that perished in her books, came a story of rebuilding, of repair.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
18/02/211h 6m

Marcus Garvey: Pan-Africanist

Decades before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey attracted millions with a simple, uncompromising message: Black people deserved nothing less than everything, and if that couldn't happen in the United States, they should return to Africa. This week, the seismic influence and complicated legacy of Marcus Garvey.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
11/02/211h 3m

The Lasting Power Of Whitney Houston's National Anthem

Why does Whitney Houston's 1991 Super Bowl national anthem still resonate 30 years later? Listen to this episode from our friends at It's Been A Minute with Sam Sanders where they chat with author and Black Girl Songbook host Danyel Smith about that moment of Black history and what it says about race, patriotism and pop culture.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
07/02/2123m 30s

What Happened After Civilization Collapsed

What happens after everything falls apart? The end of the Bronze Age was a moment when an entire network of ancient civilizations collapsed, leaving behind only clues to what happened. Today, scholars have pieced together a story where everything from climate change to mass migration to natural disasters played a role. What the end of the Bronze Age can teach us about avoiding catastrophe and what comes after collapse.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
04/02/2156m 37s

The Anatomy Of Autocracy: Masha Gessen

Russian-born journalist Masha Gessen talks to us about how the rule of the people becomes the rule of the one, the role of the media, and what we can learn about the building blocks of autocracy from the work of philosopher and writer Hannah Arendt, and what history tells us are the ways to dismantle it.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
28/01/2143m 54s

The Anatomy of Autocracy: Timothy Snyder

When a mob of pro-Trump supporters violently stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, they also incited a defining moment in United States history. Now what? Historian Timothy Snyder talks to us about how we got here and what an insurrection could mean for the future of America.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
21/01/2138m 28s

Impeachment

When Andrew Johnson became president in 1865, the United States was in the midst of one of its most volatile chapters. The country was divided after fighting a bloody civil war and had just experienced the first presidential assassination. We look at how these factors led to the first presidential impeachment in American history.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
14/01/2119m 4s

Outside/In: Everybody Knows Somebody

In the mid-1980's a woman who didn't consider herself a feminist was asked to solve perhaps the biggest problem women face. How she and a small group of people seized on that rare moment and fought back in the hopes that something could finally be done.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
07/01/2157m 55s

Outside/In: War of the Worlds

The Sunni-Shia divide is a conflict that most people have heard about - two sects with Sunni Islam being in the majority and Shia Islam the minority. Exactly how did this conflict originate and when? We go through 1400 years of history to find the moment this divide first turned deadly and how it has evolved since.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
31/12/2037m 10s

Outside/In: The Dark Side Of The Moon

50 years ago the world watched as man first landed on the moon, an incredible accomplishment by the engineers and scientists of NASA. But what if some of those same engineers and scientists had a secret history that the U.S. government tried to hide? This week, the story of how the U.S. space program was made possible by former Nazis.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
24/12/2041m 37s

Outside/In: Rules of Engagement

The US and Iran have been in some state of conflict for the last 40 years, since the Iranian revolution. This week, we look at three key moments in this conflict to better understand where it might go next.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
17/12/2051m 9s

Supreme

When, why, and how did the Supreme Court get the final say in the law of the land? The question of the Court's role, and whether its decisions should reign above all the other branches of government, has been hotly debated for centuries. And that's resulted in a Supreme Court more powerful than anything the Founding Fathers could have imagined possible.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
10/12/201h

The Modern White Power Movement

It has been nearly twenty years since 9/11 and during that time much of the media coverage and government attention has been directed at the threat of radical Islamist terrorism. Yet, during that time, it has been domestic terrorism from armed, mostly white American men, that has posed the biggest threat. This week, the rise of the modern white power movement.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
03/12/2049m 45s

The Spotted Owl

The story of how the Endangered Species Act went from unanimous passage under a Republican president to becoming a deeply partisan wedge. The act was passed to protect big, beloved animals like bald eagles and blue whales; no one thought it would apply to a motley, reclusive owl. In this episode from Oregon Public Broadcasting's Timber Wars, a story about saving the last of America's old growth forests and the push to roll back environmental protections.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
26/11/2033m 30s

The Invention of Race

The idea that race is a social construct comes from the pioneering work of anthropologist Franz Boas. During a time when race-based science and the eugenics movement were becoming mainstream, anthropologist Franz Boas actively sought to prove that race was a social construct, not a biological fact.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
19/11/2040m 54s

BONUS: Louder Than A Riot

This week we're bringing you something extra, an episode from the NPR Music series, Louder Than A Riot. The series examines the relationship between hip hop and mass incarceration and you can find the rest of the series here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
16/11/2049m 25s

The Shadows of the Constitution

The Constitution is like America's secular bible, our sacred founding document. In her play, What the Constitution Means to Me, Heidi Schreck goes through a process of discovering what the document is really about – who wrote it, who it was for, who it protected and who it didn't. Through Heidi's personal story, we learn how the Constitution and how it has been interpreted have affected not just her family but generations of Americans.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
12/11/2044m 19s

Bush v. Gore and Why It Matters in 2020

In the 2000 presidential election, results weren't known in one night, a week, or even a month. This week, we share an episode we loved from It's Been A Minute with Sam Sanders that revisits one of the most turbulent elections in U.S. history and what it could teach us as we wait for this election's outcome.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
05/11/2029m 5s

The Most Sacred Right

Frederick Douglass dreamed of a country where all people could vote and he did everything in his power to make that dream a reality. In the face of slavery, the Civil War and the violence of Jim Crow, he fought his entire life for what he believed was a sacred, natural right that should be available to all people - voting.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
29/10/201h 3m

How We Vote

Drunken brawls, coercion, and lace curtains. Believe it or not, how regular people vote was not something the founding fathers thought much about, or planned for. Americans went from casting votes at drunken parties in the town square to private booths behind a drawn curtain. In this episode, the process of voting; how it was originally designed, who it was intended for, moments in our country's history when we reimagined it altogether, and what we're left with today.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
22/10/2058m 19s

The Electoral College

What is it, why do we have it, and why hasn't it changed? Born from a rushed, fraught, imperfect process, the origins and evolution of the Electoral College might surprise you and make you think differently about not only this upcoming presidential election, but our democracy as a whole.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
15/10/2057m 7s

(mis)Representative Democracy, A New Series From Throughline

America has never been a country of one person, one vote. And that's by design. Our system was built by a select few, for a select few. We were never all supposed to get a say. In this series, we'll take a close look at voting in America, and how that's shaped what American democracy is, what it was meant to be, where it's failed, and what it might become.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
08/10/201m 46s

The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday helped shape American popular music with her voice and unique style. But, one song in particular has become her greatest legacy — "Strange Fruit." The song paints an unflinching picture of racial violence, and it was an unexpected hit. But singing it brought serious consequences.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
08/10/2033m 10s

The Everlasting Problem

Health insurance for millions of Americans is dependent on their jobs. But it's not like that everywhere. So, how did the U.S. end up with such a fragile system that leaves so many vulnerable or with no health insurance at all? On this episode, how a temporary solution created an everlasting problem.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
01/10/2054m 11s

The Evangelical Vote

With the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the president is hoping to fill the seat with a more ideologically conservative justice. And evangelical Christians, who've become a powerful conservative voting bloc, have been waiting for this moment. But how and when did this religious group become so intertwined with today's political issues, especially abortion? In this episode, what it means to be an evangelical today and how that has changed over time.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
24/09/201h 2m

James Baldwin's Fire

In a moment when America is undertaking an uncomfortable reckoning with its racial inequality and violence, we wanted to look back at someone who concentrated on race in America his entire life. Considered to be one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, James Baldwin wrote incessantly about the societal issues that still exist today.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
17/09/2045m 59s

The Postal Service

The US Postal Service has played a role throughout American history - from the Declaration of Independence to today's mail-in voting. It was conceived of by the founders as the way to create a united, informed and effective American democracy. But today, the postal service's future is in danger. How the postal service created the United States and the case for this pivotal institution.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
10/09/2028m 13s

Reframing History: Mass Incarceration

The United States imprisons more people than any other country in the world, and a disproportionate number of those prisoners are Black. What are the origins of the U.S. criminal justice system and how did racism shape it? From the creation of the first penitentiaries in the 1800s, to the "tough-on-crime" prosecutors of the 1990s, how America created a culture of mass incarceration.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
03/09/2048m 14s

Reframing History: Bananas

The banana is a staple of the American diet and has been for generations. But how did this exotic tropical fruit become so commonplace? How one Brooklyn-born entrepreneur ruthlessly created the modern banana industry and the infamous banana republics.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
27/08/2056m 54s

Reframing History: The Commentator

Today the foundations of philosophy are seen as a straight line from Western antiquity, built on thinkers such as Plato and Aristotle. But, between the 8th century and 14th century, the West was greatly overshadowed by the Islamic world and philosophy was in very different hands. This week, how one Medieval Islamic philosopher put his pen to paper and shaped the modern world.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
20/08/2030m 46s

Reframing History: The Litter Myth

There is more waste in the world today than at any time in history, and the responsibility for keeping the environment clean too often falls on individuals instead of manufacturers. But, why us? And why this feeling of responsibility? This week, how one organization changed the American public's relationship with waste and who is ultimately responsible for it.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
13/08/2032m 33s

America's Caste System

"Race" is often used as a fundamental way to understand American history. But what if "caste" is the more appropriate lens? In conversation with Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson, we examine the hidden system that has shaped our country.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
06/08/2040m 26s

A.D.A. Now!

This month marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which is considered the most important civil rights law since the 1960s. Through first-person stories, we look back at the making of this movement, the history of how disability came to be seen as a civil rights issue, and what the disability community is still fighting for 30 years later.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
30/07/201h 1m

Lives Of The Great Depression

The Great Depression was a revolutionary spark for all kinds of things — health insurance, social safety nets, big government — all of which were in response to a national crisis. Through the personal accounts of four people who lived during the Great Depression, we look back at what life was like back then and what those stories can teach us about the last time the U.S. went through a national economic cataclysm.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
23/07/2046m 6s

Borinquén

Puerto Rico became a U.S. territory in 1898 and for much of the next fifty years Puerto Ricans fought fiercely about this status. Should they struggle for independence, or to be a U.S. state, or something in between? In this episode, we look at Puerto Rico's relationship with the mainland U.S. and the key figures who shaped the island's fate.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
16/07/201h 5m

The Long Hot Summer

Starting in 1965, summer after summer, America's cities burned. There was civil unrest in more than 150 cities across the country. So in 1967, Lyndon Johnson appointed a commission to diagnose the root causes of the problem and to suggest solutions. What the so called "Kerner Commission" returned with was hotly anticipated and shocking to many Americans. This week, how that report and the reaction to it continues to shape American life.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
09/07/2041m 43s

Mecca Under Siege

Hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, is effectively canceled this year, due to concerns around the spread of the coronavirus. But, for two weeks in 1979, visits to the holy site were also upended when a group of Islamic militants seized Mecca, taking thousands of visitors hostage.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
02/07/2043m 21s

There's Something About Mary

When a cook who carried typhoid fever refused to stop working, despite showing no symptoms, the authorities forcibly quarantined her for nearly three decades. Perfect villain or just a woman scapegoated because of her background? What the story of Typhoid Mary tells us about journalism, the powers of the state, and the tension between personal responsibility and personal liberty.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
25/06/2040m 39s

Why 2020 Isn't Quite 1968

Protests, racial divisions, political polarization, and a law-and-order president – it's easy to draw comparisons between 2020 and 1968. But, Adam Serwer, who covers politics at The Atlantic, says that a much better point of comparison actually starts a century earlier – 1868. This week, we share an episode we loved from It's Been A Minute with Sam Sanders that explores a moment when white Republicans fought for years for the rights of Black Americans, before abandoning them to pursue white voters.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
18/06/2027m 10s

Presidential Power

What can and can't the president do, and how do we know? When the framers of the U.S. constitution left vague the powers of the executive branch they opened the door to every president to decide how much power they could claim. This week, how the office of the presidency became more powerful than anything the Founding Fathers imagined possible.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
11/06/2051m 5s

American Police

Black Americans being victimized and killed by the police is an epidemic. A truth many Americans are acknowledging since the murder of George Floyd, as protests have occurred in all fifty states calling for justice on his behalf. But this tension between African American communities and the police has existed for centuries. This week, the origins of American policing and how those origins put violent control of Black Americans at the heart of the system.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
04/06/201h 2m

Hong Kong

Last week, the Chinese government made the latest and perhaps the most serious move yet to crack down on Hong Kong's semi-autonomy. It's just the latest such effort by Beijing in the decades-long tensions between China and Hong Kong and it seems to take advantage of the quarantine calm that has subdued months of protests. But when did these tensions begin and what have Hong Kongers been fighting for?Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
28/05/2043m 43s

Conspiracy

Since the beginning of the pandemic, conspiracy theories about the coronavirus have exploded. But conspiracy theories themselves are nothing new - in fact, they're fundamental to American life. In this episode, how conspiracy theories helped to create the U.S. and became the currency of political opportunists.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
21/05/2041m 20s

The Mask

The N95 respirator has become one of the most coveted items in the world, especially by medical professionals. But how did this seemingly simple mask become the lifesaving tool it is today? From bird beaks to wrapping paper to bras, we follow the curious history of one of the most important defenses in our fight against COVID-19.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
14/05/2039m 18s

Endless War

North Korea's famous for being a black box, one of the most secretive and authoritarian countries in the world. It has a nuclear stockpile. A history of erratic behavior. And a particular fixation on antagonizing the outside world — especially the United States. This cycle of antagonism isn't an accident – the U.S. has played a formative role in the history of North Korea. And North Korea's leaders have been invoking that history from the very beginning.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
07/05/2034m 49s

Meltdown

In the early hours of March 28, 1979, a system malfunction began what would become the worst nuclear accident in American history. What ensued punctured the public's belief in the safety of nuclear energy and became an awful study in the consequences of communication breakdown during a crisis. This week, the fallout of who and what to trust when a catastrophic event occurs.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
30/04/2053m 13s

Aftermath

In 1927, the most destructive river flood in U.S. history inundated seven states, displaced more than half a million people for months, and caused about $1 billion dollars in property damages. And like many national emergencies it exposed a stark question that the country still struggles to answer - what is the political calculus used to decide who bears the ultimate responsibility in a crisis, especially when it comes to the most vulnerable? This week, the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and what came after.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
23/04/2053m 53s

Buzzkill

In the whole of human history, no predator has killed more of us than the lowly mosquito. And this killing spree, which we still struggle in vain to stop, means the mosquito has been an outsized force in our history — from altering the fate of empires to changing our DNA. This week, three stories of the quiet legacy and the potential future of the mosquito.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
16/04/2033m 40s

Throughline Presents: Code Switch

The Principal Chief of Cherokee Nation told his people to stay strong during this pandemic, and to remember how much they've endured over a long history that includes the Trail of Tears. This week, we share an episode from Code Switch that takes a look at an almost 200-year-old Cherokee family feud, the right to representation and what both things have to do with the Trail of Tears.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
09/04/2030m 34s

A Race To Know

For nearly as long as there has been a United States there has been a census, it is in some ways how we know ourselves. And in every single census there has been at least one question about race. The evolution of these questions and the fight over asking them is at the heart of the American story. This week, how race has played a central role in who is counted-in America.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
02/04/2040m 2s

1918 Flu

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic it's tempting to draw comparisons to the most severe pandemic in recent history - the 1918 flu. But as much as we can learn from the comparison, it's important to also understand just how much these two pandemics differ. This week, what we can learn from what happened then and, just as importantly, where the comparison should end.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
26/03/2037m 11s

American Socialist

It's been over a century since a self-described socialist was a viable candidate for President of the United States. And that first socialist candidate, Eugene V. Debs, didn't just capture significant votes, he created a new and enduring populist politics deep in the American grain. This week, the story of Eugene V. Debs and the creation of American socialism.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
19/03/201h 1m

Savarkar And India

In the past few weeks Delhi has become the latest place in India convulsed with religious violence as Hindu mobs burned Muslim neighborhoods, mosques and killed over 40 people. The violence comes in the wake of a new citizenship law that excludes undocumented Muslims, but it also follows years of incendiary rhetoric and policies from the ascendant right-wing Hindu nationalist party, the BJP, and India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. As the political philosophy of Hindu nationalism gains ground in India we look back at one of its architects - Vinayak Savarkar.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
12/03/2031m 7s

Public Universal Friend

America in the run-up to the Revolutionary War wasn't just a period of dramatic political change, it was also a time of great religious and social instability, anxiety and experimentation. And in the midst of it all there arose a self-proclaimed genderless prophet — the Public Universal Friend. This week, how the Public Universal Friend rocked society's norms and paved the way for others to reject religious and gender expectations for centuries to come.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
05/03/2046m 16s

The Invisible Border

Today, the border that divides Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is "soft", in most places you could almost forget that it's there. But for decades it was a deadly flash point in the bitter conflict known as "The Troubles" . This week, we share an episode from Today, Explained that takes a look at the history of this conflict and how Brexit could jeopardize a fragile peace.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
27/02/2031m 8s

The Stars

Astrology has existed for thousands of years and has roots that span the globe. But is it a science or a religion or just a kind of personality test? And why is it more popular than ever? This week, the story of how finding our fates in the stars moved from the fringes to the mainstream and became a multi-billion dollar industry.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
20/02/2057m 8s

Becoming America

When the United States of America was founded, it was only a union of a small number of states. By the beginning of the 20th century, the United States had become an empire; with states and territories and colonies that spanned the globe. As a result, the country began to not only reconsider its place in the world, but also its very name.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
13/02/2031m 17s

She Got Next

There are more female candidates in this presidential campaign cycle than at any other time in American history. But women were running for the highest office before they could even vote. How three women ran and challenged the notion of who could and should be president of the United States.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
06/02/201h

Vaccination

It's a longstanding fight in the U.S., whether people can opt out of vaccination if that means jeopardizing the greater public's health. In this episode, we look back at a 1905 Supreme Court case that set a precedent for whether or not the state can enforce compulsory vaccinations.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
30/01/2021m 37s

Soleimani's Iran

When Qassem Soleimani was assassinated by the United States on January 3rd, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander suddenly became a household name. But in Iran, he's been a potent symbol for decades, shaping conflicts in the region and with the U.S. In this episode, the origins of the shadow commander and the complicated legacy of what he means to Iran.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
23/01/2046m 23s

Everybody Knows Somebody

In the mid-1980's a woman who didn't consider herself a feminist was asked to solve perhaps the biggest problem women face. How she and a small group of people seized on that rare moment and fought back in the hopes that something could finally be done.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
16/01/2057m 34s

There Will Be Bananas

The banana is a staple of the American diet and has been for generations. But how did this exotic tropical fruit become so commonplace? How one Brooklyn-born entrepreneur ruthlessly created the modern banana industry and the infamous banana republics.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
09/01/2055m 17s

Fear of Technology

Artificial intelligence, gene modification, and self-driving cars are causing fear and uncertainty about how technology is changing our lives. But humans have struggled to accept innovations throughout history. In this episode, we explore three innovations that transformed the world and show how people have adapted — and ask whether we can do the same today.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
02/01/2035m 12s

Russia's Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin has been running Russia since 2000 when he was first elected as President. How did a former KGB officer make his way up to the top seat — was it political prowess or was he just the recipient of a lot of good fortune? In this episode, we dive into the life of Vladimir Putin and try to understand how he became Russia's new "tsar."Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
26/12/1934m 43s

Planned Obsolescence

Have you ever wondered why your smartphone or toaster oven doesn't seem to last very long, even though technology is becoming better and better? In a special collaboration with Planet Money, we bring you the history of planned obsolescence – the idea that products are designed to break.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
19/12/1933m 5s

America's Opioid Epidemic

A record number of Americans have died from opioid overdoses in recent years. But how did we get here? And is this the first time Americans have faced this crisis? The short answer: no. Three stories of opioids that have plagued Americans for more than 150 years.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
12/12/1944m 36s

The Electrical Grid

Today, electricity in the U.S. is a utility we notice only when it's suddenly unavailable. But over a hundred years ago, electricity in the homes of every American was a wild idea and the subject of a bitter fight over who would power, and profit from, the national grid. This week, the battle that electrified our world and the extreme measures that were taken to get there.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
05/12/1942m 35s

Conspiracy Theories

This week we're revisiting one of our favorite episodes about one of our favorite topics: Conspiracy theories. They're a feature of today's news and politics. But they've really been a part of American life since its founding. In this episode, we'll explore how conspiracy theories helped to create the U.S. and how they became the currency of political opportunists.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
28/11/1942m 9s

A Year Of Wonders

As extreme weather wreaks havoc around the globe we look at a natural disaster more than 200 hundred years ago that had far-reaching effects. This week, how the eruption of the Icelandic volcano Laki awed, terrified and disrupted millions around the world and changed the course of history.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
21/11/1939m 48s

The Siege of Mecca

On November 20th, 1979, a group of Islamic militants seized Islam's holiest site — the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. They took thousands of hostages and held the holy site for two weeks, shocking the Islamic world. This week, how one man led an uprising that would have repercussions around the world and inspire the future of Islamic extremism.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
14/11/1942m 52s

Throughline Presents: Short Wave

NPR science correspondent Geoff Brumfiel shares the story of Nazi Germany's attempt to build a nuclear reactor — and how evidence of that effort was almost lost to history. It's a tale he heard from Timothy Koeth and Miriam Hiebert at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Maryland in College Park.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
09/11/1925m 5s

No Friend But The Mountains

Over the decades the Kurds have been inspired by, allied with, relied upon and betrayed by the United States. This week we explore who the Kurds are, who they are to the United States and what, if anything, we owe to them.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
07/11/1942m 10s

ZOMBIES

Zombies have become a global phenomenon — there have been at least ten zombie movies so far this year. Which made us wonder, where did this fascination for the undead come from? This week, how one of our favorite monsters is a window into Haiti's history and the horrors of slavery.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
31/10/1942m 33s

The Dark Side Of The Moon

50 years ago the world watched as man first landed on the moon, an incredible accomplishment by the engineers and scientists of NASA. But what if some of those same engineers and scientists had a secret history that the U.S. government tried to hide? This week, the story of how the U.S. space program was made possible by former Nazis.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
24/10/1939m 4s

A Borrowed Time

Over the past six months, demonstrations in Hong Kong have increasingly become more violent and more determined. What started out as a protest against a proposed extradition law has now become a call for China to recognize Hong Kong's semi-autonomy. But what is at the root of this tumultuous relationship between Hong Kong and China? This week, how Hong Kong became one of the most important, and most contested, cities in the world.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
17/10/1942m 20s

The Commentator

Today the foundations of philosophy are seen as a straight line from Western antiquity, built on thinkers such as Plato and Aristotle. But, between the 8th century and 14th century, the West was greatly overshadowed by the Islamic world and philosophy was in very different hands. This week, how one Medieval Islamic philosopher put his pen to paper and shaped the modern world.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
10/10/1929m 13s

High Crimes And Misdemeanors

When Andrew Johnson became president in 1865, the United States was in the middle of one of its most volatile chapters. The country was divided after fighting a bloody civil war and had just experienced the first presidential assassination. We look at how these factors led to the first presidential impeachment in American history.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
03/10/1917m 27s

American Exile

For centuries, the United States has been a prime destination for migrants hoping for better economic opportunities, fleeing danger in their home countries or just seeking a new life. But has there ever been a moment when Americans were the ones who felt compelled to flee elsewhere? In this episode, two stories that challenge the idea of who and why Americans sought refuge in other countries.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
26/09/1953m 37s

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico became a U.S. territory in 1898 and for much of the next fifty years Puerto Ricans fought fiercely about this status. Should they struggle for independence, or to be a U.S. state, or something in between? In this episode, we look at Puerto Rico's relationship with the mainland U.S. and the key figures who shaped the island's fate.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
19/09/191h 4m

Three Chords And The Truth

When Lil Nas X released his viral hit "Old Town Road" last year, he sparked a conversation about what country music is and who is welcome in the genre. To better understand the deep and often misunderstood history of country music, we sat down with renowned filmmaker Ken Burns to talk about his new documentary series Country Music and his process as a storyteller.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
12/09/1931m 54s

The Litter Myth

There is more waste in the world today than at any time in history, and the responsibility for keeping the environment clean too often falls on individuals instead of manufacturers. But, why us? And why this feeling of responsibility? This week, how one organization changed the American public's relationship with waste and who is ultimately responsible for it.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
05/09/1935m 48s

On The Shoulders Of Giants

When Colin Kaepernick stopped standing for the national anthem at NFL games it sparked a nationwide conversation about patriotism and police brutality. And in the last few weeks that conversation was rekindled when the NFL announced a deal with Jay-Z that some thought moved attention away from Kaepernick's continued absence from the league. The discussion about the utility of athletes taking a stand is nothing new — black athletes using their platform to protest injustice has long been a tradition in American history.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
29/08/1938m 24s

Strange Fruit

Billie Holiday helped shape American popular music with her voice and unique style. But, her legacy extends way beyond music with one song in particular — "Strange Fruit." The song paints an unflinching picture of racial violence, and it was an unexpected hit. But singing it brought serious consequences.In a special collaboration with NPR Music's Turning the Tables Series, how "Strange Fruit" turned Billie Holiday into one of the first victims of the War on Drugs.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
22/08/1930m 3s

Mass Incarceration

The United States imprisons more people than any other country in the world, and a disproportionate number of those prisoners are Black. What are the origins of the U.S. criminal justice system and how did racism shape it? From the creation of the first penitentiaries in the 1800s, to the "tough-on-crime" prosecutors of the 1990s, how America created a culture of mass incarceration.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
15/08/1947m 52s

Scorched Earth

The term "concentration camp" is most associated with Nazi Germany and the systematic killing of Jews during World War II. But colonial powers used concentration camps at the turn of the 19th century to crush rebellions. In this episode, how a war between Britain and South African Boers gave rise to some of the first camps.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
08/08/1929m 39s

Huey Long Vs. The Media

Huey Pierce Long: you either loved him, or hated him. He combined progressive economic ideas with an autocratic streak, earning him thousands of adoring fans and fearful enemies. Long went from traveling salesman to Louisiana governor, and then US senator, through his mastery of the media. Then once in power, he waged a war against it.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
01/08/1930m 14s

Milliken v. Bradley

After the landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education, public schools across the country were supposed to become more integrated, but by the 1970s, many weren't. As a way to remedy segregation in their city, the Detroit school board introduced busing across Detroit. But the plan was met with so much resistance that the issue eventually led all the way to the Supreme Court.This week, segregation in Detroit public schools and the impact of a Supreme Court case that went far beyond that city.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
25/07/1935m 7s

Rules Of Engagement

After Iran shot down an American surveillance drone in June, tensions between the two countries have only gone up. But the US and Iran have been in some state of conflict for the last 40 years, since the Iranian revolution. This week, we look at three key moments in this conflict to better understand where it might go next.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
18/07/1948m 13s

Four Days In August

The U.S. and Iran have had a tense relationship for decades — but when did that begin? Over the next two weeks, we're exploring the history. This week, we feature our very first episode about an event from August 1953 — when the CIA helped to overthrow Iran's Prime Minister.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
11/07/1936m 28s

American Anthem

The Star-Spangled Banner is the official anthem for the United States, but there are plenty of songs that have become informal American anthems for millions of people. This week, we share three stories from NPR Music's American Anthem series that highlight the origins of songs that have become ingrained in American culture.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
04/07/1926m 18s

Before Stonewall

Fifty years ago, a gay bar in New York City called The Stonewall Inn was raided by police, and what followed were days of rebellion where protesters and police clashed. Today, that event is seen as the start of the gay civil rights movement, but gay activists and organizations were standing up to harassment and discrimination years before. On this episode, the fight for gay rights before Stonewall.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
27/06/1938m 8s

The X On The Map

In 1965, Jimmie Lee Jackson was an unarmed black civil rights activist who was murdered in Marion, Ala., after a peaceful protest. His murder brought newfound energy to the civil rights movement, leading to the march to Montgomery that ended in "Bloody Sunday." This week, we share an episode we loved from White Lies as they look for answers to a murder that happened more than half a century ago.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
20/06/1939m 12s

Apocalypse Now

Evangelicals have played an important role in modern day American politics - from supporting President Trump to helping elect Jimmy Carter back in 1976. How and when did this religious group become so intertwined with today's political issues? In this episode, what it means to be an evangelical today and how it has changed over time.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
13/06/1954m 6s

Mitch McConnell

Mitch McConnell has been described as "opaque," "drab," and even "dull." He is one of the least popular - and most polarizing - politicians in the country. So how did he win eight consecutive elections? And what does it tell us about how he operates? This week, we share an episode we loved from Embedded that traces McConnell's political history.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
06/06/1932m 1s

Savarkar's India

Right-wing Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi has won reelection as India's Prime Minister. As the political philosophy of Hindu nationalism gains ground in India we look back at one of its architects - Vinayak Savarkar.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
30/05/1933m 38s

A Dream Of Modern China

China is a world superpower today. But just over a century ago, the country was in complete turmoil — foreign powers had carved up the country, the ruling dynasty was losing control, and millions of citizens were struggling to survive. However, that political chaos inspired a nationalist movement that reshaped China as we know it, and it was led by one man - Sun Yat-sen.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
23/05/1945m 24s

El Libertador

Venezuela is facing an economic and humanitarian crisis as extreme poverty and violence have forced many to flee the country in recent years. How did a country once wealthy with oil resources fall into such turmoil? Through the lives of two revolutionaries turned authoritarian leaders separated by two centuries, we look back at the rise and fall of Venezuela.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
16/05/1954m 39s

White Nationalism

The white nationalist ideas of Madison Grant influenced Congress in the 1920s, leaders in Nazi Germany, and members of the Trump administration. This week, we share an episode we loved from It's Been A Minute with Sam Sanders that explores a throughline of white nationalism in American politics from the early 20th century to today.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
09/05/1933m 18s

Outbreak

More than 700 measles cases have been recorded in the U.S. in the recent outbreak, the worst being in New York. This past April, Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a public health emergency that required residents in parts of Brooklyn to get vaccinated or face a fine of $1,000. In this episode, we look back at a 1905 Supreme Court case that set a precedent for enforcing compulsory vaccinations.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
02/05/1921m 19s

Resistance Is Futile

Artificial intelligence, gene modification, and self-driving cars are causing fear and uncertainty about how technology is changing our lives. But humans have struggled to accept innovations throughout history. In this episode, we explore three innovations that transformed the world and show how people have adapted — and ask whether we can do the same today.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
25/04/1935m 9s

War Of The Worlds

The Sunni-Shia divide is a conflict that most people have heard about - two sects with Sunni Islam being in the majority and Shia Islam the minority. Exactly how did this conflict originate and when? We go through 1400 years of history to find the moment this divide first turned deadly and how it has evolved since.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
18/04/1933m 53s

Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi is the highest-ranking woman in American politics. She made her first run for public office at 47 years old and went on to become Speaker of the House twice. How has she had such an enduring career, and where does her power lie? On this episode, we trace the rise of the Speaker.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
11/04/1923m 7s

Opioids In America

A record number of Americans have died from opioid overdoses in recent years. But how did we get here? And is this the first time Americans have faced this crisis? The short answer: no.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
04/04/1942m 28s

The Phoebus Cartel

Have you ever wondered why your smartphone or toaster oven doesn't seem to last very long, even though technology is becoming better and better? This week, in a special collaboration with Planet Money, we bring you the history of planned obsolescence – the idea that products are designed to break.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
28/03/1932m 46s

The Border

In February, President Trump declared a national emergency at the US-Mexico border. Last year, he ordered thousands of National Guard troops to the border. Is this the first time an American president has responded with this level of force? In this week's episode, the history of militarization at the U.S.-Mexico border.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
21/03/1914m 7s

The Moth

Vladimir Putin has been running Russia since 2000 when he was first elected as President. How did a former KGB officer make his way up to the top seat — was it political prowess or was he just the recipient of a lot of good fortune? In this episode, we dive into the life of Vladimir Putin and try to understand how he became Russia's new "tsar."Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
14/03/1932m 57s

American Shadows

Conspiracy theories are a feature of today's news and politics. But they've really been a part of American life since its founding. In this episode, we'll explore how conspiracy theories helped to create the U.S. and how they became the currency of political opportunists.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
07/03/1941m 8s

High Crimes And Misdemeanors

When Andrew Johnson became president in 1865, the United States was in the middle of one of its most volatile chapters. The country was divided after fighting a bloody civil war and had just experienced the first presidential assassination. We look at how these factors led to the first presidential impeachment in American history.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
28/02/1915m 59s

The Forgotten War

President Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un are preparing to meet for a second nuclear summit. What has fueled the hostility between these two countries for decades? On this episode, we look back at the tangled history.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
21/02/1933m 47s

On the Shoulders of Giants

When Colin Kaepernick stopped standing for the national anthem at NFL games it sparked a nationwide conversation about patriotism and police brutality. Black athletes using their platform to protest injustice has long been a tradition in American history. In this episode we explore three stories of protest that are rarely told but essential to understanding the current debate: the heavyweight boxer Jack Johnson, the sprinter Wilma Rudolph, and the basketball player Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
14/02/1937m 30s

Four Days in August

It's no secret that Iran and the U.S. have a history of animosity toward each other. But when and how did it begin? This week we look back at four days in August 1953, when the CIA orchestrated a coup of Iran's elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
07/02/1936m 29s

Introducing Throughline

NPR's new history podcast hosted by Ramtin Arablouei and Rund Abdelfatah. New episodes every Thursday starting February 7th.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
30/01/192m 24s
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