This American Life

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.

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67 episodes

625: Essay B

In 1967, the first two Black students were enrolled at an all-white private boarding school in Virginia. The main reason they were there? To benefit the white kids.

Aug 07
776: I Work Better on Deadline

Stories of people racing against time to solve a huge intractable problem. Will they make it?

1h 5m
Jul 31
109: Notes on Camp

People who love summer camp say that non-camp people simply don't understand what's so amazing about it. We attempt to bridge this gap of misunderstanding between camp people and non-camp people.

Jul 24
400: Stories Pitched by Our Parents

We try something harder than anything we've ever tried before, by taking the random ideas that members of our own families have told us would be "perfect for the show," and turning them into actual stories.

1h 4m
Jul 17
775: The Possum Experiment

An investigation into a very basic question about people: Are most of us bad or good?

Jul 10
774: The Pink House at the Center of the World

The Supreme Court case that overturned Roe v. Wade began with a lawsuit filed by a Mississippi abortion clinic. On the day Roe was overturned, we were there. Stories from the center of this moment of history, the day it happened.

1h 10m
Jul 03
583: It’ll Make Sense When You’re Older

Kids do not like being told it’ll make sense when they’re older. They’re pretty sure the grown-ups are wrong.

Jun 26
672: No Fair!

Stories of very small injustices and also one very big one.

1h 4m
Jun 12
772: The Kids' Table

Kids navigating hairy situations all on their own, with no help from grown-ups.

1h 2m
Jun 05
771: The Parents Step In

Government isn’t doing much to prevent school shootings. So parents are jumping in: parents whose kids have died in mass shootings, in the wake of each shooting. They take practical, effective action — and they get results.

1h 3m
May 29
638: Rom-Com

The one thing you know for sure when you're watching a romantic comedy is that it's going to turn out okay in the end. When you're living one? Not so much. This week, stories that unfold like rom-coms.

1h 3m
May 22
605: Kid Logic

Kids using perfectly logical arguments, and arriving at perfectly wrong conclusions.

1h 0m
May 15
770: My Lying Eyes

People staring squarely at the truth, and still finding it hard to believe what they’re seeing.

1h 6m
May 08
769: The Reluctant Explorer

A man finds himself thrust into a new world he didn’t necessarily ask to visit. He takes a look around.

May 01
768: The Other Front Lines

Four personal stories from the war in Ukraine.

1h 3m
Apr 24
360: Switched at Birth

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.

1h 0m
Apr 17
767: Do Not Go Gentle

In this moment when autocrats and almost-autocrats are getting bolder and more powerful, we bring you two stories of resistance, from Hungary and Russia.

Apr 10
766: Well Someone Had to Do SOMETHING!

People trying to jump in and solve other people's problems, putting themselves directly in the gap between the problem and the solution.

1h 0m
Apr 03
523: Death and Taxes

It is a peculiar feeling to know with certainty that something big is about to happen to you. This week, we watch people go right up to the edge of inevitable change.

1h 0m
Mar 27
765: Off Course

Three people, and one animal, who know the path their lives will take until, suddenly, they don’t.

1h 6m
Mar 20
764: School's Out Forever

The pandemic broke school. Can we ever go back?

1h 8m
Mar 13
175: Babysitting

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.

1h 1m
Mar 06
763: The Other Mr. President

Stories about Vladimir Putin. Did he come to power in 1999 by killing hundreds of innocent Russians? How’s he really seen in his home country? This show is a mix of old and new stories we’ve done about him.

1h 11m
Feb 27
466: Blackjack

The casino game everyone thinks they can beat.

1h 3m
Feb 20
762: Apocalypse Creep

A woman wakes up and discovers her backyard has disappeared, and other stories from places slowly coming apart.

1h 2m
Feb 13
761: The Trojan Horse Affair

A while back, one of our producers Brian Reed was in England giving a speech about the podcast he'd hosted, S-Town. A journalism student approached him, asking for advice about a story he wanted to look into – something that’d been big news in Britain, something he’d thought about for years. Brian and the student, Hamza Syed, decided to team up to try and solve the mystery at the heart of that story. The original idea was to put this on our show, but it got too big. Too many twists and turns! This week, it rolls out as a spectacularly great podcast called The Trojan Horse Affair. We’re excited to bring you their first episode today.

1h 3m
Feb 06
760: A City Walks Into an Investigation

Last week's story continues, about a Michigan couple who walked into a police officer's house and made a disturbing discovery. This week: the police officer suffers the consequences and so does the couple.

Jan 30
759: A Couple Walks Into a House

Rob and Reyna Mathis make an unsettling discovery in the home of a local police officer. Soon, their whole city is asking questions about who the officer really is and what he's been doing.

1h 4m
Jan 23
492: Dr. Gilmer and Mr. Hyde

A doctor named Benjamin Gilmer gets a job at a rural clinic in North Carolina. He’s replaced another doctor named Gilmer – Dr. Vince Gilmer – who went to prison after killing his own father. But the more Benjamin’s patients tell him about the other Dr. Gilmer, the more confused he becomes. Everyone loved Vince Gilmer. So Benjamin starts digging around, trying to understand how a good man can seemingly turn bad. Sarah Koeing reports.

1h 3m
Jan 16