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June 28, 2020
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.
June 21, 2020
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.
June 14, 2020
An exhaustingly familiar story. Maybe it’ll have a different ending this time, but maybe not. We hear what different people said and did one weekend in reaction to the killing of George Floyd.
June 7, 2020
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.
May 31, 2020
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.
May 24, 2020
While sports of all kinds have been put on pause, we bring you favorite stories from back when people were still on football fields, boxing rings, and basketball courts.
May 17, 2020
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.
May 10, 2020
During a time when a lot of us feel like we are living in a holding pattern, stories of people feeling stuck.
May 3, 2020
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.
April 26, 2020
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.
April 19, 2020
Desperate to know what happened to his family, a man obsessively decodes the only information about them he can get. That, and other stories of people looking into the void for answers.
April 12, 2020
Sometimes a sketch of a thing needs filling in for its true significance to be known.
April 5, 2020
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.
March 29, 2020
The coronavirus has now fully arrived in the United States. This week, stories of people trying to rise to that challenge, in some pretty extreme situations.
March 22, 2020
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.
March 15, 2020
Things do not seem fine at all, but it’s hard to say why.
March 8, 2020
Some information is so big and so complicated that it seems impossible to talk to kids about. This week, stories about the vague and not-so-vague ways we teach children about race, death, and sex.
March 1, 2020
People squirming in a world where everything is rated and reviewed.
February 23, 2020
Cryptic messages on a cell phone and a teeter totter at a construction site: these are clues people found, trying to make sense of a death.
February 16, 2020
People looking everywhere to find a place—any place—where, for once, they don't have to be the odd man out.
February 9, 2020
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.
February 2, 2020
In these dark, combative times, we attempt the most radical counterprogramming we could imagine: a show made up entirely of stories about delight.
January 26, 2020
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?
January 19, 2020
A flute player breaks into a British museum and makes off with a million dollars worth of dead birds.
January 12, 2020
Stories of other universes that are just like our own, but with one small difference.
January 5, 2020
Intimate and personal dispatches from two very different battlefields: A small town in the Syrian war. And the U.S. opioid epidemic. Each came from a DIY radio outfit. (Okay, one’s a podcast.)
December 29, 2019
For the holidays, stories of families finally addressing the thorny thing they’ve never really talked about.
December 22, 2019
No Christmas can ever be as good as the ones you had as a kid. But this week we go all in and bring the joy, the spontaneity, the sense that anything can happen back to Christmas.
December 15, 2019
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.
December 8, 2019
There's a lot that can be gained from unearthing the past -- learning about oneself, learning about others. But, it doesn't always go how you'd expect.
December 1, 2019
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.
November 24, 2019
Stories about getting back together with your parent, your spouse, your ... Brahman bull. And how it never goes the way you think it's going to.
November 17, 2019
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.
November 10, 2019
Stories about being little. Secret writings in tiny letters. The power of a very small number. And one story from a not-so-tall writer.
November 3, 2019
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.
October 27, 2019
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.
October 20, 2019
For over 100 days now, protestors in Hong Kong have taken to the streets every weekend. What it’s like to live through that.
October 13, 2019
The staff goes to one of the biggest parties in New York City, the Labor Day Carnival and the West Indian American Day Parade in Brooklyn.
October 6, 2019
This week, a story about doubt: how it germinated, spread, and eventually took hold of an entire community, with terrible consequences. A collaboration with The Marshall Project and ProPublica.
September 29, 2019
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.
September 22, 2019
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.
September 15, 2019
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.
September 8, 2019
There's the thing you plan to do, and then there's the thing you end up doing. Most of us start off our lives with some Plan A, which we abandon...switching to a Plan B, which becomes our life.
September 1, 2019
Nine radio reporters. Two days. One rest stop on the New York State Thruway. Stories of people who are just passing through, and the ones who can’t leave, because this is where their jobs are.
August 25, 2019
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.
August 18, 2019
What happens when our most ingenious creations actually make it out into the world.
August 11, 2019
Stories of people held captive — by criminals, by paperwork, and in one man's case, his own body — and the ways they try to cope.
August 4, 2019
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.
July 28, 2019
Words mean things, but some words are especially meaningful — whether in a survival manual, a song lyric, or a slur.
July 21, 2019
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?
July 14, 2019
People go on missions to save young girls from danger. But sometimes they get so caught up in the mission that it overshadows the girl herself.
July 7, 2019
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.
June 16, 2019
Stories of those unexpected moments when we see who we really are.
June 2, 2019
Adults telling kids who they are, and kids wondering — are they right?
May 19, 2019
What it's like to be momentarily big on the small screen.
May 12, 2019
Stories of people standing up for themselves, shaking off their fear, bracing themselves, and doing what they’ve been scared to do.
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