A story of faith lost, thanks to a book about extraterrestrials and a Rabbi.
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An explanation of what Christians and Muslims talk about in a place you might not expect them to get along at all: Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. Host Ira Glass talks with Georg Taubmann, a relief worker with the Christian missionary group Shelter Now, who built houses and did other good works in Afghanistan for seventeen years, until he was arrested by the Taliban in August.
Ira talks with students from rival high schools, Glenbrook North and Glenbrook South.
We hear clips from the recent press conference with Charlotte Beers, recently appointed Undersecretary of Public Diplomacy. Part of her job is, in her words, to sell the "brand America" abroad.
Ira introduces this week's story.
Host Ira Glass talks with Paul Feig, who as a sixth-grader, at the urging of his father, actually read the Dale Carnegie classic How to Win Friends and Influence People. What he found was that afterwards, he had a bleaker understanding of human nature—and even fewer friends than when he started.
In 1946, a man named David Boder started to investigate the Holocaust before it was known as the Holocaust. He dragged a primitive recording device around Europe and gathered the first recorded testimonials of concentration camp survivors.
Larry Keeley explains why the Pentagon wants to see things from another perspective...and how hard that is to do.
Host Ira Glass explains that if we're going to war—as the President keeps promising—it's hard to understand what's in store for us. Today's show is an attempt to figure that out.
For a few days after the attacks on September 11th, it seemed like we were just on the verge of bombing and retaliation. But two weeks went by, and no military action had begun.
One way to understand what war will be like is to understand what past wars were like. Andrew Carroll recently started something called the Legacy Project, which collects letters Americans wrote home during wartime, from the Civil War up through the conflicts in the Persian Gulf and Bosnia.
Ira talks with two New Yorkers on their reactions to seeing something they could never have believed possible. They acted in ways that they never had before, just ran around and around in circles.
Lynn Simpson worked on the 89th floor of the World Trade Center. She escaped, along with the rest of her office, and now is trying to figure out what it means that she's alive, and how her life is different now.
Ira talks with Chicago Public Radio reporter Shirley Jahad about white Chicagoans and Arab-American Chicagoans facing off, each side waving American flags and shouting "U.S.A."...and how each means very different things when they do it.
Reporter Mark Arax spent three years investigating the murder of his father and yet he's still not at peace when he thinks of his dad's death. (His book is called In My Father's Name.) This is how it goes sometimes: We create a story that tries to explain our lives, and it still leaves so much unanswered.
Host Ira Glass talks with Stephen Goldin, author of an online guide that prescribes 23 rules for comic fans to follow when mingling with professional sci-fi authors at sci-fi conventions. For instance: don't try to start a discussion with a pro on the way to the bathroom.
Ira travels to Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker, gets hooked, and tries to figure out what it would mean if he'd ditch his job in radio to become a professional card player. What he learns: A professional gambler can suffer two heartbreaking losses back-to-back, costing him over $100,000, and moments later, at the casino bar, calculate the million-to-one odds of his unlikely losses...in his head.
Like many summer stories, this one from Scott Carrier begins with a whim and ends with a whimper. He travels cross-country without air conditioning, during weather in which it's too hot to stay in the car and too hot to get out.
An 18-year-old named Tito talks about how he didn't have a choice about certain things in his life, especially his feelings and dreams...and his feelings about Eminem.
Host Ira Glass talks with contributor Adam Davidson about how Adam's teenage diaries are filled with his dream of someday becoming the prime minister of a country where he does not even reside.
Host Ira Glass joins a group of tourists to walk through the captured German submarine that's on permanent display at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. He notes that the Museum chooses to underplay the murderous Nazi origins of the boat.
Host Ira Glass talks with Rebecca, who, using perfectly valid evidence, arrived at the perfectly incorrect conclusion that her neighbor, Ronnie Loeberfeld, was the tooth fairy. We hear her story.
More stories like the one in the prologue, where kids look at something going on around them, observe it carefully, think about it logically, and come to conclusions that are completely incorrect. Includes a story set at Christmastime, where a father tells his daughter about the baby Jesus being born, and all the "good stuff." Then the daughter notices a picture of Jesus on the cross, and asks why they killed him.
Leah remembers when her parents got divorced and her dad, a farmer in North Dakota, moved to an apartment in town. It was cramped and ugly, and it had a Murphy bed that made a horrible creak when you brought it down from the wall.