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This American Life, syndicated automatically via RSS. This American Life is an American weekly hour-long radio program produced by WBEZ and hosted by Ira Glass. Primarily a journalistic non-fiction program, it has also featured essays, memoirs, field recordings, short fiction, and found footage.
#632: Our Town

The man whose views on immigration are a cornerstone of Trump administration policy—Attorney General Jeff Sessions—apparently came to his opinions on the issue from seeing what happened in the poultry plants of Alabama. He believes undocumented workers showed up in those plants, stole American jobs, and drove down wages. Was he right? We have an economist crunch the numbers, and visit to see for ourselves.

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#598: My Undesirable Talent

San Francisco’s Spider-Man burglar was remarkable. He dropped into buildings from skylights, leapt 10 feet from one roof to another. But mostly, his talent got him into trouble. This week, his story, and stories of other undesirable talents.

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#84: Harold

The story of Harold Washington, the greatest politician you've probably never heard of, and the white backlash that was set off when he became Chicago's first black mayor. This weekend is the 30th anniversary of his death.

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#603: Once More, With Feeling

Stories of people who decide to rethink the way they’ve been doing things, or try to get others to do that. Including a woman who decides to confront the men who catcall her, and get them to give it up forever.

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#631: So a Monkey and a Horse Walk Into a Bar

This week, blurring the line between animal and human.

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#513: 129 Cars

We spend a month at a Jeep dealership on Long Island as they try to make their monthly sales goal: 129 cars. If they make it, they'll get a huge bonus from the manufacturer, possibly as high as $85,000 — enough to put them in the black for the month. If they don't make it, it'll be the second month in a row. So they pull out all the stops.

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#630: Things I Mean to Know

There are so many facts about the world that we take for granted—without ever questioning how we know them. Of course the earth revolves around the sun. Of course my dog loves me. But how exactly do we know things like that are true? This week, stories of people trying to unspool some of life’s certainties, and what they find.

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#629: Expect Delays

We all love to travel to different places, but not many of us like the stressful, banal process of the journey. This week, stories about delays—including a town known entirely for its speed trap, and a woman who comes up against bureaucratic nightmares every time she wants to go just a few blocks away.

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#628: In the Shadow of the City 2017

Stories that take place on the edge of civilization, just out of sight.

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#627: Suitable for Children

This week we ask: who thought that would be a good for a kid? Neil Drumming looks back at a toy he loved that, in retrospect, probably wouldn’t love him back. And we go to a museum that educates children but also scares the hell out of them.

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#587: The Perils of Intimacy

Stories about mysteries that exist in relationships we thought couldn't possibly surprise us, the strangeness of putting our wants on the line with someone who may not share them at all, and how much we're willing to risk for someone we may never see again.

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#626: White Haze

Right-wing groups like the Proud Boys say they have no tolerance for racism or white supremacist groups. Their leader Gavin McInnes disavowed the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville. But the Proud Boys believe “the west is the best,” which, one of them points out, is not such a big jump from “whites are best.” And one of the Proud Boys organized the Charlottesville rally. (The group now claims he was a spy.) What should we make of groups like this?

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#597: One Last Thing Before I Go

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.

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#625: Essay B

In the fall of 1967, two black freshmen arrived at an all-white private boarding school in Virginia. They were the first black students ever to attend the school. One of the main reasons they were there? To benefit the white kids. This week, we hear their story, and others about being enlisted to benefit another person’s educational experience. A version of this story appears in The New York Times Magazine.

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#624: Private Geography

Everyone walks around on their own private map of the world. The places we’re from and how they made us, whether we like it or not.

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#282: DIY

After four lawyers fail to get an innocent man out of prison, his friend takes on the case himself. He becomes a do-it-yourself investigator. He learns to read court records, he tracks down hard-to-find witnesses, he gets the real murderer to come forward with his story. In the end, he's able to accomplish all sorts of things the police and the professionals can't.

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#623: We Are in the Future

One of our producers, Neil Drumming, has recently become fascinated with Afrofuturism. It's more than sci-fi. It’s a way of looking at black culture that’s fantastic, creative, and oddly hopeful—which feels especially urgent during a time without a lot of optimism.



Featuring the new song "The Deep" by clppng. Original artwork by Paul Davey. Click to enlarge.

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#472: Our Friend David

Favorite stories by our longtime contributor and friend David Rakoff.

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#622: Who You Gonna Call?

When everything goes wrong, one of the first things we think is, "Who do I call?" This week, stories of lucky people who have found the exact right person to ring up for help.

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#175: Babysitting

Stories of babysitters, and what goes on while mom and dad are away that mom and dad never find out about. Including the story of two teenagers who decide to invent children to babysit, as an excuse to get out of their own house.

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