This American Life

This American Life

By: This American Life

Rating:

4.5 (22403 ratings)

Description:

This American Life is a weekly public radio show, heard by 2.2 million people on more than 500 stations. Another 2.5 million people download the weekly podcast. It is hosted by Ira Glass, produced in collaboration with Chicago Public Media, delivered to stations by PRX The Public Radio Exchange, and has won all of the major broadcasting awards.

Hot Episode Picks

This week, blurring the line between animal and human.

#629: Expect Delays

10/23/2017

59:22

We all love to travel to different places, but not many of us like the stressful, banal process of the journey. This week, stories about delays—including a town known entirely for its speed trap, and a woman who comes up against bureaucratic nightmares every time she wants to go just a few blocks away.

Recent Episodes

659: Before the Next One

10/14/2018

59:57

There’s no rulebook on how to handle a school shooting. And no real way to prepare for one. This week, people take what they’ve learned from these tragedies and try to use that knowledge to save others.

658: The Unhappy Deciders

10/07/2018

1:00:06

Making big decisions about other people's lives can feel pretty awful. Zoe Chace followed Senator Jeff Flake as he decided to force the Senate to delay its vote on Judge Kavanaugh. Among her discoveries: Those protestors in the elevator? They aren’t the reason he did what he did. 

We asked listeners to send us their best coincidence stories, and we got more than 1,300 submissions! There were so many good ones we decided to make a whole show about them. From a chance encounter at a bus station to a romantic dollar bill to a baffling apparition in a college shower stall. 

657: The Runaways

09/23/2018

1:03:13

A bunch of teenagers go missing from a town in Long Island. For months, the police treat them as runaways, ignoring the kids' parents, who keep trying to tell them otherwise. They keep trying to tell them that something much worse might have happened.

656: Let Me Count the Ways

09/16/2018

1:16:44

Yes, youʼve heard about the family separations. Youʼve heard about the travel ban. But there are dozens of ways the Trump administration is cracking down on immigration across many agencies, sometimes in ways so small and technical it doesnʼt make headlines. This week, the quiet bureaucratic war that’s even targeting legal immigrants.

402: Save the Day

09/09/2018

1:07:41

Stories about one person single-handedly taking charge of a situation gone wrong—including one man's mission to rescue two kids who were kidnapped by alleged murderers and taken to Mexico, and another about a professor's mission to keep the educators of a liberal arts college from extinction.

504: How I Got Into College

09/02/2018

58:10

Students all over are starting college this month, and some of them still have a nagging question: what, exactly, got me in? An admissions officer tells us the most wrongheaded things applicants try. And Michael Lewis has the incredible story of how a stolen library book got one man — Emir Kamenica — into his dream school.

What happens when unadventurous people end up in adventurous situations. Like an astronaut who goes to places no one has gone before, even though he’s not really into outer space.

508: Superpowers

08/19/2018

57:19

We answer the following questions about superpowers: Can superheroes be real people? (No.) Can real people become superheroes? (Maybe.) And which is better: flight or invisibility? (Depends who you ask.) 

654: The Feather Heist

08/12/2018

1:03:59

A flute player breaks into a British museum and makes off with a million dollars worth of dead birds.