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This American Life

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.

692: The Show of Delights

This American Life

  • 1.3K views
  • over 3 years ago
  • 01:04:48

In these dark, combative times, we attempt the most radical counterprogramming we could imagine: a show made up entirely of stories about delight.

728: Lights, Camera, Christmas!

This American Life

  • 1.3K views
  • over 3 years ago
  • 01:00:48

This holiday season, we bring you a show filled with stories of people going to great lengths to throw a special Christmas for their families.

727: Boulder v. Hill

This American Life

  • 1.6K views
  • over 3 years ago
  • 01:06:09

What the day-to-day business of saving the world looks like. We visit with one group of people who are trying to rescue us from something very large, and another group trying to rescue us from something very small.

726: Twenty-Five

This American Life

  • 1.3K views
  • over 3 years ago
  • 59:20

To commemorate our show’s 25th year, we have a program about people who were born the year our show went on the air.

619: The Magic Show

This American Life

  • 1.5K views
  • over 3 years ago
  • 01:00:45

Just a few years before he got the internship at NPR that started him in radio, our host Ira Glass had another career. He performed magic at children's birthday parties. A powerful sense of embarrassment has prevented him from ever doing an episode on the subject, but when he learned that producer David Kestenbaum was also a kid conjurer, they decided to dive in together.

725: Turkey in a Face Mask

This American Life

  • 1.3K views
  • over 3 years ago
  • 01:05:13

For Thanksgiving weekend, stories about food, and people who set out on very particular missions with food. 

682: Ten Sessions

This American Life

  • 1.5K views
  • over 3 years ago
  • 01:01:02

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.

Americans In Paris

This American Life

  • 1.2K views
  • over 3 years ago
  • 57:09

For our 25th Anniversary, a favorite episode from 2000. 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?

24 Hours at the Golden Apple

This American Life

  • 1.5K views
  • over 3 years ago
  • 55:43

For our 25th Anniversary, a favorite episode from 2000. We document one day in a Chicago diner called the Golden Apple, starting at 5 a.m. and going until 5 a.m. the next morning. We hear from the waitress who has worked the graveyard shift for over two decades, the regular customers who come every day, the couples working out their problems, assorted drunks, and, of course, cops.

Break-Up

This American Life

  • 1.6K views
  • over 3 years ago
  • 58:00

For our 25th Anniversary, a favorite episode from 2007. Writer Starlee Kine on what makes the perfect break-up song and whether really sad music can actually make you feel better. Plus, an eight-year-old author of a book about divorce, and other stories from the heart of heartbreak.

Switched at Birth

This American Life

  • 2.2K views
  • over 3 years ago
  • 58:26

For our 25th Anniversary, a favorite episode from 2008. On a summer day in 1951, two baby girls were born in a hospital in small-town Wisconsin. The infants were accidentally switched, and went home with the wrong families. One of the mothers realized the mistake but chose to keep quiet. Until the day, more than 40 years later, when she decided to tell both daughters what happened. How the truth changed two families' lives—and how it didn't.

724: Personal Recount

This American Life

  • 1.1K views
  • over 3 years ago
  • 01:03:38

Stories of people changing their minds.

723: Squeaker

This American Life

  • 1K views
  • over 3 years ago
  • 01:09:23

Stories of people grappling with this endless presidential election.

719: Trust Me I’m a Doctor

This American Life

  • 1.2K views
  • over 3 years ago
  • 59:57

When a doctor breaks the law, he might go to jail like anybody else. But who decides whether he can keep his medical license? On today’s show, the not-often-talked-about realm of licensing boards, and the disturbing decisions they sometimes make. 

718: Same Bed, Different Dreams

This American Life

  • 1.5K views
  • over 3 years ago
  • 01:03:00

In this moment when our country is so deeply divided, we have stories of people who are tied together, but imagine radically different futures. In one case, a movie star and her ex-husband plot against Kim Jong-Il. In another, a woman stalks her doppelgänger. And sometimes, one bed is the basis for an entire relationship, even for a man who almost never sees the person who shares his bed.

587: The Perils of Intimacy

This American Life

  • 1.4K views
  • over 3 years ago
  • 01:05:36

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.

716: Trail of Tears

This American Life

  • 1.6K views
  • over 3 years ago
  • 59:01

For the holiday weekend, a roadtrip through history. In this moment when Americans are tearing down monuments and rethinking how to address the shameful parts of America’s past, we return to a story from the early days of our radio show that took that on, in a vivid and complicated way. Sarah Vowell and her twin sister Amy headed out on the road to retrace the Trail of Tears – the route their Cherokee ancestors took when expelled from their own land – and reflected on the question, what are we supposed to do with the mix of good and bad that is this country?

715: Long-Awaited Asteroid Finally Hits Earth

This American Life

  • 1.3K views
  • over 3 years ago
  • 01:08:20

Teachers, students and parents around the country have been bracing themselves all spring and summer long for the start of this unprecedented school year. This week, it's here.

577: Something Only I Can See

This American Life

  • 1.8K views
  • over 3 years ago
  • 01:02:00

When you’re the only one who can see something, sometimes it feels like you’re in on a special secret. The hard part is getting anyone to believe your secret is real. This week, people trying to show others what they see—including a woman with muscular dystrophy who believes she has the same condition as an Olympic athlete.

714: Day at the Beach

This American Life

  • 1.4K views
  • over 3 years ago
  • 01:05:36

It’s the last few weeks of summer, so we’re going to the beach! This week, stories from the surf and sand.