This American Life

This American Life

United States

Official free, weekly podcast of the award-winning radio show "This American Life." First-person stories and short fiction pieces that are touching, funny, and surprising. Hosted by Ira Glass, from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio. In mp3 and updated Mondays.


#599: Seriously?  

Watching lies become the truth in this year's election. And a few people who try to bridge the gap between the way the two sides see the facts.

#502: This Call May Be Recorded... To Save Your Life  

A journalist named Meron Estefanos gets a disturbing tip. She's given a phone number that supposedly belongs to a group of refugees being held hostage in the Sinai desert. She dials the number, and soon dozens of strangers are begging her to rescue them. How can she ignore them?

#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.

#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.

#562: The Problem We All Live With  

Right now, all sorts of people are trying to rethink and reinvent education, to get poor minority kids performing as well as white kids. But there's one thing nobody tries anymore, despite lots of evidence that it works: desegregation. Nikole Hannah-Jones looks at a district that, not long ago, accidentally launched a desegregation program.

#596: Becoming a Badger  

This week, stories about people trying their best to turn themselves into something else—like a badger. Or a professional comedian, in a language they didn’t grow up speaking.

#567: What’s Going On In There?  

Often we see someone’s situation from the outside and think we know exactly what’s going on. This week we get inside and find out just how much more interesting the reality of it is. Including a teenaged girl who records a remarkable story about the boyfriend who abuses her, and why it’s so hard to break up with him. Here are the videos by Bianca Giaever mentioned in the episode.

#595: Deep End of the Pool  

What do you do when you're thrown into a situation you’re not prepared for? And while you’re flailing around—what happens to the people who depend on you? This week we present stories of people who find themselves in over their heads, including an attorney who knows little about criminal law assigned to defend a young man facing twenty years in prison. ANNOTATED COURT DOCUMENT

#447: The Incredible Case of the P.I. Moms  

What do you get when you take a private investigation firm, toss in a bunch of sexy soccer moms, then add official sponsorship from Glock firearms, a lying boss, and delusions of grandeur? This week's show. That's what you get.

Pete Crooks' original article and book about the P.I. Moms.

#594: My Summer Self  

Summer is a time when change seems more possible than ever. But is that really how it happens? Can people actually reinvent themselves in the warmer months? This week we present stories — and some comedy — about people and their summer selves.

#593: Don’t Have to Live Like a Refugee  

We return to Greece with stories of people trying to move on with their lives in whatever way they can. We meet a couple who fell in love even though they weren't expecting anything like that to happen, and even though her family didn't approve. We also meet a shopkeeper in a camp who's running what amounts to a cigarette charity. INTERACTIVE TOUR

#592: Are We There Yet?  

A bunch of us from our show went to refugee camps all over Greece. We found people falling in love, kids mad at their parents for dragging them to Europe, women doing their laundry in a baseball stadium locker room, and hundreds of people living at a gas station—sitting next to the pumps, smoking. Also: wild pigs. 57,000 refugees are stuck in Greece, making homes in some surprising locations. We hear what that’s really like. INTERACTIVE TOUR

#559: Captain's Log  

A captain’s log is a simple thing: the date, the time, maybe the weather — and the current status of a long journey. You wouldn’t know from the cryptic notations what weird worlds lurk beneath. On this week's show, stories behind those cryptic notations — including a concentration camp in China that housed groups of Girl Scouts. Also, Aziz Ansari explains the significance of a Thanksgiving text message, and Etgar Keret destroys a marriage piece by piece.

#591: Get Your Money's Worth  

Stories of people trying to make sure they get what they paid for, from political change to bedroom slippers. We follow a donor as he vets presidential candidates, and go inside a company wrestling with the consequences of its "no questions asked,” lifetime return policy.

#168: The Fix Is In  

There are all sorts of situations in which we suspect the fix is in, but we almost never find out for certain. On today's show, for once, we find out. The whole program is devoted to one story, in which we go inside the back rooms of one multinational corporation and hear the intricate workings—recorded on tape—of how they put the fix in. (Pictured: former ADM executive Mark Whitacre)

#362: Got You Pegged  

Shalom Auslander goes on vacation with his family, and suspects the beloved, chatty old man in the room next door is an imposter—and sets out to prove it. This and other stories about the pitfalls of making snap judgments about others.

#590: Choosing Wrong  

Stories of people making the wrong choice, even though the right one is staring them squarely in the eye. Basketball players making a conscious decision to not do the thing that makes them better, pollsters refusing to see the truth of Donald Trump, and more.

#589: Tell Me I'm Fat  

The way people talk about being fat is shifting. With one-third of Americans classified as overweight, and another third as obese, and almost none of us losing weight and keeping it off, maybe it’s time to rethink the way we see being fat. A show inspired by Lindy West’s book Shrill.

#588: Mind Games 2016  

Stories of people who try simple mind games on others, and then find themselves in way over their heads.

#587: The Perils of Intimacy  

Stories about mysteries that exist in relationships we thought couldn't possibly surprise us, and 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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