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.

Episodes

#607: Didn't We Solve This One?  

We’ve fought two wars since 9/11. We got help from tens of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans—some were targeted or killed because they helped us. We owe these people. We’ve passed laws that say so. So why has it been so hard for us to get many of them to safety?

#610: Grand Gesture  

This week we have stories of people going to very extreme measures to demonstrate their feelings. Elna Baker makes a questionable trip to Africa, while a man in Florida commits a series of disturbing acts in the name of love. Ira also goes to a high school to talk to kids before a dance.

#582: When the Beasts Come Marching In  

We human beings think we run the world, that we’ve got things under control. And then an animal shows up, and things don’t go as planned. We have stories this week where seals, wolves and a moose drop in and show us who isn't boss.

#609: It's Working Out Very Nicely  

This week we document what happened when the President’s executive order went into effect temporarily banning travel from seven countries, and we talk about the way it was implemented. A major policy change thrown into the world like a fastball with no warning. It’s hard not to ask: “What just happened? What was that all about?”

#489: No Coincidence, No Story!  

We asked listeners to send us their best coincidence stories, and we got more than 1,300 submissions! There were so many good ones we decided to make a whole show about them. From a chance encounter at a bus station to a romantic dollar bill to a baffling apparition in a college shower stall. See more of your coincidence stories — with photos — here.

#608: The Revolution Starts At Noon  

Some people are super-stoked for the political changes that are coming. We hear from them. And others.

#577: Something Only I Can See  

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.

#572: Transformers  

For the New Year, as people everywhere make resolutions, we have stories of people deciding to make very big changes. A prisoner who hasn't talked to anyone in years comes up with a bold plan to re-introduce himself to the world. A 90-year-old woman shocks her family when she falls in love.

#606: Just What I Wanted  

Stories from people who want something desperately—for Christmas or otherwise—and then have their wishes fulfilled. Or do they?

#605: Kid Logic 2016  

Stories of kids using perfectly logical arguments, and arriving at perfectly wrong conclusions.

An updated version of an episode from 2001, with one story swapped.

#604: 20 Years Later  

Samantha Broun talks to cops, politicians, inmates, and family closest to the crime that changed policy 20 years ago for inmates serving life sentences in Pennsylvania. It's a crime Samantha knows well, because it happened to her mom.

#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 the story of a veteran who finds a new way to talk about war. BEEPED VERSION

#571: The Heart Wants What It Wants  

Emily Dickenson said “The heart wants what it wants.” This week stories from people who take that notion to extremes, and are unapologetic about it.

#334: Duty Calls  

Josh's mother and younger brother were a mess. His mother drank too much. His brother got arrested a lot. Josh hadn't lived with them since he was nine, and they didn't play much of a role in his daily life—until duty called, and they took over his life.

Josh told the sequel to this story at our live show in 2014.

#602: The Sun Comes Up  

People around the country talking about the coming four years. Some of them exultant, some of them, as President Obama said Wednesday, "less so."

#601: Master of Her Domain… Name  

A story about Hillary Clinton that offers a different picture than what we’ve been hearing from both sides during this campaign. And some funny stuff, because everyone’s tired of the election.

#600: Will I Know Anyone at This Party?  

This week: Republicans struggling with the split in their own party.

#600: Will I Know Anyone at This Party?  

Right now a lot of Republicans feel like they don’t recognize their own party. This week, we try to get inside their heads.

#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.

#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?

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