Radio Archive by Date

  • 87: A Very Special Sedaris Christmas 12.19.1997

    Stories from David Sedaris's book of Christmas stories, Holidays on Ice, read onstage by David, Julia Sweeney and actor Matt Malloy.

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  • 86: How to Take Money from Strangers 12.12.1997

    Two stories of how to get money from strangers. In both stories, the money is made by people who make the strangers feel good about themselves and about their nation. NOTE: This episode ...

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  • 85: Poultry Slam 1997 12.05.1997

    Humans have turned chicken and turkey into what we want them to be. Which means that chickens and turkeys are a mirror of ourselves.

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  • 84: Harold 11.21.1997

    A parable of politics and race in America. The story of Chicago's first black mayor, Harold Washington, told two decades after his death. Washington died on November 25, 1987.

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  • 83: One of Us 11.14.1997

    Stories of outsiders who want to be insiders, and vice versa.

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  • 82: Haunted 10.31.1997

    Stories of people who are haunted, not by ghosts or phantoms, but by other people.

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  • 81: Guns 10.24.1997

    Americans who love their guns...and the Americans who love them.

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  • 80: Running After Antelope 10.17.1997

    Stories of people engaged in a battle with nature — a battle they don't stand much chance of winning. Most of the show is Scott Carrier's story of trying for twelve years to chase down and catch ...

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  • 79: Stuck in the Wrong Decade 10.10.1997

    People stuck in the wrong decade — or simply carrying a lot of the props from another decade. NOTE: This episode originally included a story by reporter Stephen Glass (no relation to Ira), ...

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  • 78: How Bad Is Bad? 10.03.1997

    How bad is bad enough to count? To go to hell?

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  • 77: Pray 09.26.1997

    Can the secular world and the religious world understand each other?

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  • 76: Mob 09.19.1997

    The mob as portrayed in movies, and as it is in real life. And its hold over us.

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  • 75: Kindness of Strangers 09.12.1997

    Stories of the kindness of strangers and where it leads. Also, the unkindness of strangers and where that can lead. All of today's stories take place in the city most people think of as the least ...

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  • 74: Conventions 08.29.1997

    What happens when people with one common interest gather in monstrous, fluorescent -lit halls for the weekend? Sometimes they drive each other crazy, sometimes they fall in love.

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  • 73: Blame It on Art 08.22.1997

    The darker side of the art world: petty jealousies, competitiveness, failure. And also what's so great about art.

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  • 72: Trek 08.08.1997

    An idiosyncratic first-person travelogue about race relations and tourism from radio producer Rich Robinson and television producer Josh Seftel. Their radio story is about a trip they took to the ...

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  • 71: Defying Sickness 08.01.1997

    Stories of people trying to do exactly what the doctors say they can't — or shouldn't.

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  • 70: Other People's Mail 07.25.1997

    When you read other people's mail, you can't help but try to fill in between the lines. You try to decipher the stories of the people who wrote the letters. We hear four stories of people who read ...

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  • 69: Dream House 07.18.1997

    How many of our parents move to some place — some dream house — with some vision of a new life in the new place, and move the family with them, hoping it works out for the kids. Three stories on ...

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  • 68: Lincoln's Second Inaugural 07.04.1997

    A show for July 4th weekend. We begin with perhaps the most moving, poetic inaugural speech in American history, and look at its legacy today. In his second inaugural address, Lincoln wondered ...

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  • 67: Your Dream, My Nightmare 06.27.1997

    Could it be more obvious? Stories in which someone's dream is someone else's nightmare. All of us get into these situations with strangers, with the people we love most, with our own parents, with ...

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  • 66: Tales from the Net 06.06.1997

    Are people having experiences on the Internet they wouldn't have anywhere else? Several weeks ago, This American Life invited listeners to help answer that question.

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  • 65: Who's Canadian? 05.30.1997

    Notes and stories about the Canadians among us. Are they in fact any different from red-blooded Americans? They claim they're not. Skeptical Americans put their position to the test.

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  • 64: Summer 05.23.1997

    Stories for the start of summer. We want summer to be this wonderful break, but so often it fails to deliver. We hear Ron Carlson's short story about a summer job delivering tanks of oxygen to the ...

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  • 63: One Thing 05.09.1997

    People whose lives are organized around one thing.

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  • 62: Something for Nothing 05.02.1997

    Stories of people trying to get rich quick or otherwise make something for nothing. As everyone knows, there's no such thing as something for nothing. You always pay a price.

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  • 61: Fiasco! 04.25.1997

    Stories of when things go wrong. Really wrong. When you leave the normal realm of human error, fumble, mishap, and mistake and enter the territory of really huge breakdowns. Fiascos. Things go so ...

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  • 60: Business of Death 04.18.1997

    Usually we talk about death as a tragedy, a mystery, a hard-to-comprehend fact of life. But in addition to all that, for all sorts of people it's also ... a job.

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  • 59: Fire 04.11.1997

    Stories about people who are not afraid of fire, though perhaps they should be.

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  • 58: Small Towns 04.04.1997

    Stories of small town life: the claustrophobia and freedom people feel in small towns, the yearning people feel in small towns. And three teenagers in one of the harshest urban environments ...

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  • 57: Delivery 03.14.1997

    Stories about the delivery business and the people in it. UPS men, bike messengers, FedEx dispatchers. NOTE: This episode originally included a story by reporter Stephen Glass, which we have ...

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  • 56: Name Change 03.07.1997

    Stories of people changing their name — some to create a new identity, some to con people. Name changes are particularly American stories: they're the dream of starting over with a clean slate. ...

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  • 55: Three Women and the Sex Industry 02.28.1997

    A few months ago, radio producer Sandy Tolan was supposed to do a documentary about strippers with an aspiring writer — and stripper — named Susan. A few days before they were to begin working ...

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  • 54: Sinatra 02.21.1997

    Stories, tributes, and attempts to understand the Chairman of the Board.

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  • 53: Valentine's Day '97 02.07.1997

    For Valentine's Day, stories about our parents falling in love. And troubles with their love. From Hilton Als, Scott Carrier, Julie Showalter, a magazine column called Men My Mother Dated and others.

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  • 52: Edge of Sanity 01.31.1997

    Stories about the border between mental health and mental illness.

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  • 51: Animals Die, People Ponder 01.24.1997

    Stories of people who handle dead animals. Don't worry — it's not as gross as it sounds. In fact, not disgusting at all. A story by George Saunders about an animal control man who falls in ...

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  • 50: Shoulda Been Dead 01.17.1997

    Kevin Kelly was in Jerusalem. For reasons too complicated to go into here, he ended up sleeping on the spot where Jesus was supposedly crucified. After Kevin awoke, the thought came into his head: ...

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  • 49: Animals 01.10.1997

    Stories about the animalness of animals, the irreducible ways in which they are not human.

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  • 48: Justice 01.03.1997

    Kitty Felde shows a side of the Yugoslav War Crimes Trials that hasn't been discussed anywhere: a portrait of Americans at the International Tribunal. And other stories.

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