This American Life is a weekly public radio show, heard by 2.2 million people on more than 500 stations. Another 2.5 million people download the weekly podcast. It is hosted by Ira Glass, produced in collaboration with Chicago Public Media, delivered to stations by PRX The Public Radio Exchange, and has won all of the major broadcasting awards.
The number of Covid-19 patients is dropping and Michigan has started opening up. But it’s still been intensely difficult for the staff in the ICU at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. We've embedded with them over the past few months, and tracked how this pandemic has changed them and their city.
In the wake of George Floyd’s killing, people everywhere are demanding that police departments change not just their rules, but the culture inside that leads to these deaths. But those things are notoriously hard to change. As a case study, here's the story of a fire department that gets a new boss who starts a war with his own firefighters, to change their macho, racist culture. They fight back hard.
In this moment of sorrow, protest, and rage in the wake of George Floyd’s death, we offer this as a break from the dreadful present: our show about Afrofuturism. It’s a way of looking at black culture that’s fantastic and hopeful, which feels especially urgent during a time without a lot of optimism. Featuring the song "The Deep" by clppng.
Lissa Yellow Bird searches for missing people. Cold cases, mostly. People no one else is looking for. It’s not her job, but a lot of Native Americans go missing and their cases remain unsolved, so families often ask Lissa for help. But then, Lissa’s own niece goes missing.
Last week, our episode "The Out Crowd" won the very first Pulitzer Prize ever awarded to a radio show. This is the episode that won, with some updates on the stories. Hear what the Trump administration’s "Remain in Mexico" policy actually means, on the ground, at the Mexican border.
While the seniors danced at Prom Night 2001 in Hoisington, Kansas—a town of about 3,000—a tornado hit the town, destroying about a third of it. When they emerged from the dance, they discovered what had happened, and in the weeks that followed, they tried to explain to themselves why the tornado hit where it did. Plus other stories that happen on Prom Night.
Words can seem so puny and ineffective sometimes. On this show, we have stories in which ordinary people make last ditch efforts to get through to their loved ones, using a combination of small talk and not-so-small talk.
Stories of when things go wrong. Really wrong. When you leave the normal realm of human error, fumble, mishap, and mistake and enter the territory of really huge breakdowns. Fiascos. Things go so awry that normal social order collapses.
This week, as the staff creates the episode from their apartments and houses, with our host in quarantine, in this moment when everyone’s reaching out to the people they love, we put together a collection of family stories, with some timely stuff at the top.
We return to our story about Abdi Nor from 2015, with some big news about his life today. When we first broadcast the story, Abdi was a Somali refugee living in Kenya desperately trying – against long odds – to get to the United States. Then he got the luckiest break of his life: he won a lottery that puts him on a short list for a U.S. visa. But before he could cash in his golden ticket, the police started raiding his neighborhood, targeting refugees.
As Harvey Weinstein goes to trial, we have a different kind of #MeToo story about several women who worked for the same man. They tell us not only about their troubling encounters with him, but also about their lives beforehand. Who were they when they entered the workplace, and how did their personal histories shape the way they dealt with his harassment?
In 1980's New York City, rent is rising: it seems out of control, and residents struggle to keep up. So Jack Hitt helps organize tenants, and threatens a rent strike. This does not go over so well with his building super, who, as it turns out, is a very dangerous man. This and other stories of the mysterious hold supers have on their buildings, or their buildings have on them.
During the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year's - the highest turkey consumption period of the year - we bring you an annual This American Life tradition: stories of turkeys, chickens, geese, ducks, fowl of all kinds, real and imagined, and their mysterious hold over us.
Reports from the frontlines of the Trump administration's "Remain in Mexico" asylum policy. We hear from asylum seekers waiting across the border in Mexico, in a makeshift refugee camp, and from the officers who sent them there to wait in the first place.
Stories of people who are lost, histories that are lost, and things that are lost. This show was recorded onstage in front of audiences on a five-city tour in May 2003. The cities: Boston, Washington DC, Portland Oregon, Denver and Chicago. Featuring house band OK Go.
For the week leading up to Halloween, scary stories that are all true. Kidnappings, zombie raccoons, haunted houses—real haunted houses!—and things that go "EEEEK!!!" in the night. Plus a story by David Sedaris, in which he walks among the dead.
Stories of people who decide the only way forward — for real change — is to burn everything to the ground. We go to Amsterdam where the boss of the city’s fire department sets off a war with his own firefighters.
Two people, sitting down over a beer, hashing out their differences and understanding where the other guy is coming from. Hard to imagine these days, right? It's so rare right now that someone is curious enough to actually see the other person's point of view. This week on the show, beer summits. Including going behind the scenes of the most famous one ever.
Stories of people breaking the rules fully, completely and with no bad consequences. Some justify this by saying they’re doing it for others, or for a greater good. Some really don’t care. And, unlike the mealy weaklings you usually hear on this program: None of these wrongdoers seem regretful about what they’ve done in the slightest.
What if someone told you about a type of therapy that could help you work through unhealed trauma in just ten sessions? Some people knock through it in two weeks. Jaime Lowe tried the therapy—and recorded it.
Exactly how incompetent you are. What your ex’s best friend really thinks of you. The approximate time that you will die. Some things in life are better not to know about. And sometimes there can be a benefit to not knowing. In this episode — examples of ignorance truly being bliss, or even being an asset.
Many Americans have dreamy and romantic ideas about Paris, notions which probably trace back to the 1920s vision of Paris created by the expatriate Americans there. But what's it actually like in Paris if you're an American, without rose-colored glasses?
This country is crawling in presidential candidates right now and they're bumping into each other in Des Moines and yelling over each other in Miami. We hang out with them, in this weird early period of the election when they're easy to walk right up to.