Jonathan Katz listens to old tapes of his family; then travels back to the neighborhood in Brooklyn they lived in during the 1950s, looking for evidence of what his childhood was like. His sister is along for the trip, and they do not agree on the meaning of what they're seeing.
The Jarvis family, a group of eight, goes on the run from the law—for seven years. They live on a boat, in a treehouse in a swamp.
A small-town mayor tries to keep a developer from building in his town...and it results in the kind of snowballing fiasco by the end of which the town literally doesn't exist anymore. Alix Spiegel tells that story, which she produced with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Ben Schrank describes what it's like to work as a professional mover. He says that people often go sort of nuts when they see all their worldly possessions—all the stuff that defines them as people—packed into a van.
Sarah Koenig tells the story of how her stepsister Rue bought a house and moved in—but the former owner did not move out. And won't move out, until he dies.
Producer Blue Chevigny used to have a job that was all about Moving Day—and people who didn't want to move. She worked for an agency in New York called Project Reachout, part of Goddard Riverside Community Center, that moved homeless, mentally ill people into their own homes.
This is a story of people wanting to change and not wanting to change at all. A Minnesota family builds the same 1970s-era suburban house three times, and moves it once, just so they don't have to live in a house that's different than the house that contains all their memories.
A few years back Alex Kotlowitz wrote a book called There Are No Children Here, about two boys growing up in Chicago's Henry Horner public housing projects. Those projects were across the street from the site of the 1996 Democratic Convention in Chicago, and when the convention came to town, money poured in for a makeover.
Writer Scott Carrier in Salt Lake City tells the story of someone's life that improved with a huge insurance settlement—even though the money never arrived.
When Eustace Conway was 17, he abandoned his normal life and decided to move to the woods.
Jerry Capeci, dean of the New York reporters who cover organized crime, on the decline of the mob in recent years. And Alec Wilkinson of the New Yorker magazine, who discusses a photo his wife took of his old neighbors, the Gambino crime family.
In 1940, Jack Geiger, at the age of fourteen, left his middle-class Jewish home and knocked on the door of a black actor named Canada Lee. He asked Lee if he could move in with him.
How two next-door neighbors start treating each other badly, and how, once they start, they become obsessed with each other. Paul Tough reports.
Host Ira Glass talks to Amanda, who's 16 and lives with her mom in a Christian commune in Chicago.
A family dreams of life in rural Maine, moves there, and then things get really complicated.
Paul Johnson, Carlos Appleby, and Sanantonio Brooks talk about how their housing project is like a small town.
Paul Tough visits Catherine Chalmers. She raises small animals and insects in her apartment, feeds them to each other, and photographs them eating each other.
Carmen Delzell on a deal she made with the devil when she turned 30.
A visit to a replica of the White House outside San Francisco, the home of Norman and Rosemary Eckersly.
An excerpt from Your Radio is Haunted. (6 minutes)
This American Life contributor Paul Tough visits Catherine Chalmers. She raises small animals and insects in her apartment, feeds them to each other, and photographs them eating each other.
Ira explores the question of when it's time to quit a relationship through rare recordings of bickering between roommates—recorded by the next-door neighbors.