September 24, 1999

Family Business

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


Host Ira Glass with Rory Evans, who describes the day her father fired his own mother from their family business, a machine shop called Evans Industries. Some estimates say that 40 to 60 percent of our nation's gross domestic product is created by family businesses, but talking to anyone who works for one of these companies, you end up wondering...how? (5 minutes)
Act Two

Silent Partner

Sean Cole visits Chad's Trading Post in Southampton, Massachussetts. One person who works there wears a shirt that says "Chad's Brother;" other shirts say "Chad's Best Friend," "Chad's Cousin," "Chad's Father." Pictures of Chad are everywhere. Chad's dead. The family explains. (14 minutes)
Act Three

Family Photo Opp

Dave Eggers on what happens when politics suddenly becomes your family business. When his brother ran for office, he asked for Dave's help and support. But his brother's political views were in contrast to Dave's own. He explains what he did. (12 minutes)