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About Us

The past is never past. Every headline has a history. Join us every week as we go back in time to understand the present. These are stories you can feel and sounds you can see from the moments that shaped our world.

Latest Episodes

America's Caste System

"Race" is often used as a fundamental way to understand American history. But what if "caste" is the more appropriate lens? In conversation with Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson, we examine the hidden system that has shaped our country.

40 MIN14 h ago
Comments
America's Caste System

A.D.A. Now!

This month marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which is considered the most important civil rights law since the 1960s. Through first-person stories, we look back at the making of this movement, the history of how disability came to be seen as a civil rights issue, and what the disability community is still fighting for 30 years later.

62 MIN1 w ago
Comments
A.D.A. Now!

Lives Of The Great Depression

The Great Depression was a revolutionary spark for all kinds of things — health insurance, social safety nets, big government — all of which were in response to a national crisis. Through the personal accounts of four people who lived during the Great Depression, we look back at what life was like back then and what those stories can teach us about the last time the U.S. went through a national economic cataclysm.

47 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Lives Of The Great Depression

Borinquén

We look at Puerto Rico's relationship with the mainland U.S. and the key figures who shaped the island's fate.

67 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Borinquén

The Long Hot Summer

Starting in 1965, summer after summer, America's cities burned. There was civil unrest in more than 150 cities across the country. So in 1967, Lyndon Johnson appointed a commission to diagnose the root causes of the problem and to suggest solutions. What the so called "Kerner Commission" returned with was hotly anticipated and shocking to many Americans. This week, how that report and the reaction to it continues to shape American life.

43 MINJUL 9
Comments
The Long Hot Summer

Mecca Under Siege

Hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, is effectively canceled this year, due to concerns around the spread of the coronavirus. But, for two weeks in 1979, visits to the holy site were also upended when a group of Islamic militants seized Mecca, taking thousands of visitors hostage.

45 MINJUL 2
Comments
Mecca Under Siege

There's Something About Mary

What the story of Typhoid Mary tells us about journalism, the powers of the state, and the tension between personal responsibility and personal liberty.

42 MINJUN 25
Comments
There's Something About Mary

Why 2020 Isn't Quite 1968

Protests, racial divisions, political polarization, and a law-and-order president – it's easy to draw comparisons between 2020 and 1968. But, Adam Serwer, who covers politics at The Atlantic, says that a much better point of comparison actually starts a century earlier – 1868. This week, we share an episode we loved from It's Been A Minute with Sam Sanders that explores a moment when white Republicans fought for years for the rights of Black Americans, before abandoning them to pursue white voters.

28 MINJUN 18
Comments
Why 2020 Isn't Quite 1968

Presidential Power

How the office of the presidency became more powerful than anything the Founding Fathers imagined possible.

52 MINJUN 11
Comments
Presidential Power

American Police

The origins of American policing and how those origins put violent control of Black Americans at the heart of the system.

64 MINJUN 4
Comments
American Police

Latest Episodes

America's Caste System

"Race" is often used as a fundamental way to understand American history. But what if "caste" is the more appropriate lens? In conversation with Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson, we examine the hidden system that has shaped our country.

40 MIN14 h ago
Comments
America's Caste System

A.D.A. Now!

This month marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which is considered the most important civil rights law since the 1960s. Through first-person stories, we look back at the making of this movement, the history of how disability came to be seen as a civil rights issue, and what the disability community is still fighting for 30 years later.

62 MIN1 w ago
Comments
A.D.A. Now!

Lives Of The Great Depression

The Great Depression was a revolutionary spark for all kinds of things — health insurance, social safety nets, big government — all of which were in response to a national crisis. Through the personal accounts of four people who lived during the Great Depression, we look back at what life was like back then and what those stories can teach us about the last time the U.S. went through a national economic cataclysm.

47 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Lives Of The Great Depression

Borinquén

We look at Puerto Rico's relationship with the mainland U.S. and the key figures who shaped the island's fate.

67 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Borinquén

The Long Hot Summer

Starting in 1965, summer after summer, America's cities burned. There was civil unrest in more than 150 cities across the country. So in 1967, Lyndon Johnson appointed a commission to diagnose the root causes of the problem and to suggest solutions. What the so called "Kerner Commission" returned with was hotly anticipated and shocking to many Americans. This week, how that report and the reaction to it continues to shape American life.

43 MINJUL 9
Comments
The Long Hot Summer

Mecca Under Siege

Hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, is effectively canceled this year, due to concerns around the spread of the coronavirus. But, for two weeks in 1979, visits to the holy site were also upended when a group of Islamic militants seized Mecca, taking thousands of visitors hostage.

45 MINJUL 2
Comments
Mecca Under Siege

There's Something About Mary

What the story of Typhoid Mary tells us about journalism, the powers of the state, and the tension between personal responsibility and personal liberty.

42 MINJUN 25
Comments
There's Something About Mary

Why 2020 Isn't Quite 1968

Protests, racial divisions, political polarization, and a law-and-order president – it's easy to draw comparisons between 2020 and 1968. But, Adam Serwer, who covers politics at The Atlantic, says that a much better point of comparison actually starts a century earlier – 1868. This week, we share an episode we loved from It's Been A Minute with Sam Sanders that explores a moment when white Republicans fought for years for the rights of Black Americans, before abandoning them to pursue white voters.

28 MINJUN 18
Comments
Why 2020 Isn't Quite 1968

Presidential Power

How the office of the presidency became more powerful than anything the Founding Fathers imagined possible.

52 MINJUN 11
Comments
Presidential Power

American Police

The origins of American policing and how those origins put violent control of Black Americans at the heart of the system.

64 MINJUN 4
Comments
American Police
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