Radio Archive by Date

  • 148: The Angels Wanna Wear My Red Suit 12.24.1999

    A special Christmas edition of our show, with stories about Santa Claus—the many many different versions of Santa Claus. It was in America, in New York, that people started believing in the modern ...

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  • 147: A Teenager's Guide to God 12.17.1999

    Oh faithless and perverse generation? How long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you?—Matthew 17.

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  • 146: Urban Nature 12.10.1999

    Stories of nature creeping into man-made environments. Of nature sneaking in places where its very presence is a rebuke to the notion that we as a species have things under control.

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  • 145: Poultry Slam 1999 11.26.1999

    For Thanksgiving, the time of year when poultry consumption is highest, it's our annual program about turkeys, chickens, fowl of all types, and their mysterious hold over our imaginations. This ...

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  • 144: Where Words Fail 11.05.1999

    One reason we tell stories is to explain things to ourselves that cannot, in the end, always be explained. When someone we're close to dies, we struggle for a way to get our minds around the fact ...

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  • 143: Sentencing 10.22.1999

    We've all heard occasional news stories about how some of the drug laws enacted in the last 15 years may have gone too far. First time offenders get locked up for decades. Judges—even Republican ...

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  • 142: Barbara 10.15.1999

    We hear the story of one African-American single mother. Barbara Clinkscales recorded her family's life over the course of seven months for This American Life. Her life defies—or makes ...

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  • 141: Invisible Worlds 10.01.1999

    Stories of people who are trying to make invisible worlds visible, and what happens when you make them visible.

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  • 140: Family Business 09.24.1999

    Stories of family businesses, and what happens when the tension of family dynamics collides with the pressure of capitalist market forces.

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  • 139: Ghosts of Elections Past 09.03.1999

    Stories of political idealists, stories designed to provide some small sense of hope about American politics. Most of these were first broadcast during the 1996 Presidential race.

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  • 138: The Real Thing 08.27.1999

    Stories of people drawn to some idea, some picture, some "thing" that they just want to be. How some people imitate this "thing" innocently, some less innocently, and how easy it is to slip from ...

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  • 137: The Book That Changed Your Life 08.20.1999

    Stories of people who believe a book changed their life. It's a romantic notion, and one reason we believe it is because we want to believe our lives can be changed by something so simple as an ...

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  • 136: You Are Here 08.06.1999

    Three stories, three people, and three sets of maps. Stories of people trying to figure out where they are in the world in the most literal and least literal ways possible. We explore what it's ...

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  • 135: Allure of Crime 07.23.1999

    We think of crime as a kind of monolithic, menacing presence. But there are many kinds of crimes and many kinds of criminals. Through our crimes, we express who we are. Today we hear of three ...

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  • 134: We Didn't 07.09.1999

    Stories about what happens when we don't do something. It turns out that not falling in love, not doing our jobs, not spending time with our families is every bit as vivid and complicated an ...

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  • 133: Sales 06.25.1999

    Consider for a moment all the art forms that began in America: jazz, the blues, musical theater, rock n' roll, phonograph recordings, television, motion pictures, video games. But the art form in ...

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  • 132: Father's Day '99 06.18.1999

    For Father's Day, stories about fathers going out of their way to protect their kids, and kids going out of their way to protect their fathers.

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  • 131: The Kids Are Alright 06.04.1999

    Stories in which young people take matters into their own hands: Students who become political activists, students who pull pranks, violent students. Broadcast for the tenth anniversary of the ...

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  • 130: Away From Home 05.21.1999

    Stories of people going home to places they've never been before.

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  • 129: Advice 05.14.1999

    A program taped before live audiences in Seattle (thanks to public radio station KUOW) and at HBO's U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen. A taxonomy of different kinds of advice—and stories that ...

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  • 128: Four Corners 04.30.1999

    There's a tourist monument called Four Corners, where Arizona, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico meet. In this episode, we try to tell the story of life in America through portraits of life on four ...

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  • 127: Pimp Anthropology 04.16.1999

    This entire show is devoted to just one story. A former pimp tells how he and three childhood friends became pimps in the 1970s in Oakland, California. He explains all the elaborate "rules of the ...

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  • 126: Do-Gooders 04.09.1999

    Stories of people trying to do good: Why they often fail and why they occasionally succeed.

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  • 125: Apocalypse 04.02.1999

    Stories of the end of the world. More people believe it's more imminent than you probably realize.

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  • 124: Welcome to America 03.19.1999

    Stories of people moving to this country: what they see and hear about America that those of us who were born here don't necessarily see.

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  • 123: High Cost of Living 02.26.1999

    Stories of people who choose not to live every moment to the fullest or smell the roses, and instead choose to withdraw from life, to make themselves numb.

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  • 122: Valentine's Day '99 02.12.1999

    For Valentine's Day, stories of impossible love and heartbreak.

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  • 121: Twentieth Century Man 01.29.1999

    One thing that makes our country different from most others is this idea that you can re-create yourself as someone you'd prefer to be...sell everything off, head out west, start ...

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  • 120: Be Careful Who You Pretend to Be 01.22.1999

    Three stories of people pretending to be something they're not, and what happens to them.

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  • 119: Lockup 01.08.1999

    With the number of prisoners in the United States rising rapidly, we present stories of their lives and the lives of their families and children.

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