The Last Archive
The Last Archive
Pushkin Industries
The Last Archive​ is a show about the history of truth, and the historical context for our current fake news, post-truth moment. It’s a show about how we know what we know, and why it seems, these days, as if we don’t know anything at all anymore. The show is driven by host Jill Lepore’s work as a historian, uncovering the secrets of the past the way a detective might. iHeartMedia is the exclusive podcast partner of Pushkin Industries.
The Evening Rocket: Robin Hood
At the start of 2021, Elon Musk briefly became the richest man in the world. The global pandemic was a boom time for American billionaires, many of whom saw their wealth rise even as much of the world was locked down. As Musk, Bezos, Gates and others jockeyed for first place in the world’s richest-man contest, the rise of cryptocurrencies was generating headlines about the fictive quality of money. “All forms of currency are acts of imagination”, says Jill Lepore: they require communal belief in their value - what economists sometimes call the Tinkerbell Effect. Musk started tweeting about Dogecoin - a cryptocurrency started as a joke, based on a meme about a dog - even dubbing himself 'The Dogefather'. Although Musk’s tweets looked ironic, jokey, irreverent, they seemed to be having a very real and destabilizing effect on financial markets. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Nov 28
29 min
The Evening Rocket: Baby X
The science fiction that Silicon Valley techno-billionaires like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Peter Thiel adore often concerns gleaming futures in which fantastically powerful and often immensely rich men colonize other planets. In this episode, Jill Lepore takes a look at the science fiction that’s usually left out of this vision. New Wave, feminist, post-colonial science fiction. Including the story of Baby X, a story from the 1970s about a child - like Musk’s youngest son - named X. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Nov 21
29 min
The Evening Rocket: Iron Man
How Silicon Valley capitalism is as much about narrative as the bottom line. In 2008 when Tesla Motors launched their first car, the completely electric Roadster, Tesla was a great story. Something genuinely new. An engineering marvel. Elon Musk as CEO was an even better story. He had already disrupted banking and aerospace. Now the automobile industry. That same year, the superhero film Iron Man was released. Its creators turned to Musk to help shape this version of the character of Tony Stark, a billionaire arms dealer who believes everything is achievable through technology, and private enterprise. Musk was on the cover of countless magazines, under headlines like “Elon Musk AKA Tony Stark, Wants to Save the World.” He was becoming a celebrity, on a superhero scale. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Nov 14
29 min
The Evening Rocket: Planet B
Why does Elon Musk believe he can save the world by colonizing Mars? When PayPal was bought for $1.5 billion, Elon Musk and other company founders made huge personal fortunes. Musk used his to start the rocket company, SpaceX. He also began talking about very big plans for the future of humanity. He wanted humans to become ‘a multi-planetary species’ and said he was accumulating resources to 'extend the light of consciousness to the stars’. Soon he was talking about humans moving permanently to Mars. Future-of-humanity questions used to belong to religion and philosophy. Under ‘Muskism’ they belong more to engineering and entrepreneurship. Jill Lepore traces the history of Silicon Valley's fascination with existential catastrophism. In the second of five programs, strap in to head to Mars. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Nov 7
29 min
The Evening Rocket: Dimension X
Jill Lepore untangles the strange sci-fi roots of Silicon Valley's extreme capitalism - with its extravagant, existential and extra-terrestrial plans to save humanity. In this world, stock prices can be driven partly by fantasies found in blockbuster superhero movies, but that come from science fiction, some of it a century old. If anyone personifies this phenomenon, it's Elon Musk, the richest or second-richest person in the world on any given day. "The bare facts of Musk’s life, the way they’re usually told, make him sound like a fictional character, a comic-book superhero," says Lepore. He says he hopes to colonize Mars, create brain-hacking implants and avert an AI apocalypse. He even has a baby named X. In this first of five episodes Lepore looks at the early origins of ‘Muskism’, and explores how the science fiction stories that today’s techno-billionaires grew up on have shaped Silicon Valley’s vision of the future. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Oct 31
31 min
The Last Archive Presents: The Evening Rocket
Last Spring, Jill Lepore made a radio show with the BBC’s Radio 4 called The Evening Rocket, and now Pushkin Industries is releasing that show stateside for the first time. The Evening Rocket is all about Elon Musk, and his strange new kind of capitalism — call it Muskism, extravagant extreme capitalism, extraterrestrial capitalism, where stock prices are driven by earnings, and also by fantasies. The series explores Silicon Valley’s futurism, and how, in Musk’s life, those visions of the future all stem from the same place: the science-fiction he grew up on. To understand where Musk wants to take the rest of us - with his electric cars, his rockets to Mars, his meme stocks, and tunnels deep beneath the earth — Jill Lepore looks at those science fiction stories, and helps us understand what he’s missed about them. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Oct 20
1 min
Revisionist History Takes Down The Little Mermaid
This week, we're presenting something fun from Malcolm Gladwell, co-founder of Pushkin. In a special series from his podcast, Revisionist History, Malcolm is launching a massive frontal assault on The Little Mermaid. You might wonder, "what's Malcolm doing? It's a children's classic!" But according to Malcolm, it's not a classic... It's a cinematic dumpster fire. And Revisionist History is devoting no fewer than three episodes to explain why. In the finale, Malcolm enlists an all-star cast to make his own version of The Little Mermaid, featuring Dax Shepard, Brit Marling, Jodie Foster and Glenn Close. You can hear the entire three-part series, right now, at Learn more about your ad-choices at
Aug 2
4 min
HISTORY This Week: The Fairness Doctrine
Presenting an episode from another podcast we think you’ll like, called HISTORY This Week. Each Monday, it brings you a story about the people, places, and moments that shaped history that week. In this episode, they delve into the history of the Fairness Doctrine, the rule that told broadcasters they had to present more than one side of an issue. In that same spirit, you'll hear from people who fought for and against the doctrine. You might remember from 'The Last Archive' Season 2 Episode 8, the doctrine became a source of much debate, even reaching the Supreme Court.  You can listen to more episodes of HISTORY This Week at Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jul 1
28 min
This season has chronicled a long, dark century of lies, fakes, frauds, and hoaxes. In the season 2 finale, Jill Lepore draws that history all the way down to the lie that the 2020 election was stolen. This week: the winding path from the little-known Iron Mountain hoax of the late-1960s to the Capitol insurrection on January 6th, 2021. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jun 24
50 min
Hush Rush
In the 1980s, Rush Limbaugh transformed talk radio. In the process, he radicalized his listeners and the conservative movement. Limbaugh’s talk radio style became a staple of the modern right. Then, the left joined the fray. This week: partisan loudmouth versus partisan loudmouth, and the shifting media landscape that helped create modern political warfare. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jun 17
53 min
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