The tendency toward self-reinvention is so deep in American culture that we have an entire industry, a self-help industry, telling us how to transform ourselves into someone new. And usually, we see this as a positive thing.
Over the course of his life, Keith Aldrich was a child of the Depression; an aspiring Hollywood actor; a self-styled Beat writer, a member of the New York literati, and then a hippie. Then in the 80's, he became a born-again Christian.
Rich Robinson's father is black, his mother is white. They married during the civil rights movement, believing the whole nation was moving toward greater and greater integration.
Reporter Scott Carrier does a story about Harvey "Job" Matusow.
This American Life producer Nancy Updike on a family where the father was one kind of sissy and the son was another kind, and how the family was destroyed despite the fact that no one wanted it to be.
Audio artist Jay Allison and writer Dan Robb present an audio montage on the moment Robb's parents divorced.