Radio Archive by Date

  • 255: This American's Life's Holiday Gift-Giving Guide 12.19.2003

    The vexing difficulty of finding the perfect gift, illustrated in three acts.

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  • 254: Teenage Embed, Part Two 12.12.2003

    In early 2003, we brought you a special show about a California teenager, Hyder Akbar, who traveled to Afghanistan, his family's homeland, for the first time.

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  • 253: The Middle of Nowhere 12.05.2003

    Stories from faraway, hard-to-get-to places, where all rules are off, nefarious things happen because no one's looking, and there's no one to appeal to.

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  • 252: Poultry Slam 2003 11.28.2003

    During the period of the year with the highest turkey consumption, we bring you an annual This American Life tradition: Stories of turkeys, chickens, geese, ducks, fowl of all kinds, real and ...

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  • 251: Brother's Keeper 11.21.2003

    Biblical fables ripped from today's headlines. In his ongoing effort to write his own version of the Bible, Jonathan Goldstein retells the story of Cain and Abel. Finally we hear Cain's side of ...

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  • 250: The Annoying Gap Between Theory...and Practice 11.07.2003

    Why is it always harder than you think it'll be? We explore several case examples of the annoying gap between theory and practice.

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  • 249: Garbage 10.31.2003

    We make what's usually invisible, visible: the world of trash. We follow the trash from the sanitation men on the street, to the mob guys who controlled the hauling business, to the people who ...

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  • 248: Like It or Not 10.24.2003

    Some stories we make happen, others happen to us. Extremes from the latter category, where people let things happen to them and don't act, even when maybe they should. David Rakoff guest hosts.

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  • 247: What Is This Thing? 09.19.2003

    What is this thing? This thing called love, that is. For answers, we explore the romance novel industry, a $1.5 billion empire run almost entirely by and for women. Plus, relearning the rules of ...

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  • 246: My Pen Pal 09.12.2003

    Stories of very unusual pen pals, people whose relationship could not exist without the help of the postal service.

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  • 245: Allure of the Mean Friend 09.05.2003

    What is it about them, our mean friends? They treat us badly, they don't call us back, they cancel plans at the last minute, and yet we come back for more. Popular bullies exist in business, ...

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  • 244: MacGyver 08.15.2003

    In real life, we usually never get to invent ingenious solutions, like the guy in the old TV series MacGyver. Today, four real stories in which real people invent amazingly clever solutions to ...

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  • 243: Later That Same Day 07.25.2003

    Stories about what the passage of time can do to someone. When each story starts, the world's aligned one way. Years pass—or sometimes just months—and everything's different.

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  • 242: Enemy Camp 07.18.2003

    Living behind enemy lines among the enemy, it's sometimes hard to remember why you're fighting in the first place.

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  • 241: 20 Acts in 60 Minutes 07.11.2003

    Instead of the usual "each week we choose a theme, and bring you 3 or 4 stories on that theme" business, we throw all that away and bring you 20 stories—yes, 20—in 60 minutes.

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  • 240: I'm In Charge Now 06.20.2003

    Stories of people putting themselves in charge in very unlikely, unpromising circumstances.

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  • 239: Lost in America 06.06.2003

    Stories of people who are lost, histories that are lost, and things that are lost. This show was recorded onstage in front of audiences on a five-city tour in May 2003. The cities: Boston, ...

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  • 238: Lost in Translation 05.30.2003

    Stories of what can and cannot be translated. A short, non-athletic, bespectacled East Asian studies major who couldn't make his high school basketball team finds himself in the NBA as the ...

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  • 237: Regime Change 04.18.2003

    Sure, John Kerry got in trouble for using the phrase, but we have no fear. Because we know that regime change, like charity, begins at home. This week: Stories of regime change in everyday ...

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  • 236: My Two Cents 04.11.2003

    Stories from a contradictory recession. (Audio is from the updated 2004 broadcast)

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  • 235: The Balloon Goes Up 03.21.2003

    Stories from the beginnings of the war in Iraq, and how it compares with wars in our country's past.

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  • 234: Say Anything 03.14.2003

    Does talking about it really help? Stories where it does, and stories where it doesn't, including Michael Bernard Loggins, who tried to battle his fears by listing them. He ended up with a list ...

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  • 233: Starting from Scratch 03.07.2003

    Stories of people starting over, sometimes because they want to, other times because they have to.

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  • 232: The Real Story 02.14.2003

    It's been said that truth is the first casualty of war. In this week's show, we try to get the real stories from three very different wars.

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  • 231: Time to Save the World 02.07.2003

    Stories of people trying to save the world one person at a time, and stories of sudden truths delivered by complete strangers.

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  • 230: Come Back to Afghanistan 01.31.2003

    In January 2002, the President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, spoke at Georgetown University. There he urged Afghan-Americans, especially young ones, to move back to Afghanistan.

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  • 229: Secret Government 01.10.2003

    Stories of some of the secrets our government keeps: of imprisonment, deportation, and spying, and how those secrets affect us.

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  • 228: You Are So Beautiful…To Me 01.03.2003

    Two stories about love, and what people mean when they use the word love. Or, looked at differently, two modern-day reinterpretations of the Frog Prince story. One concerns a pretty man falling in ...

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