This American Life

This American Life documents and describes contemporary America, but it is, quite literally, a special kind of radio storytelling. Built around the innovative personal vision of host Ira Glass, the program explores a weekly theme — fiascos, conventions, the job that takes over your life — through a playful mix of radio monologues, mini-documentaries, "found tape," short fiction, and unusual music. Usually the program applies the tools of journalism to everyday life. But sometimes it tackles news stories, leading to some of its most distinctive and acclaimed shows. "This American Life" did an hour documenting life on an aircraft carrier that was flying missions over Afghanistan during the war there. It spent another hour with mercenary soldiers fighting in Iraq. One show followed school reform at a Chicago public school over a decade. Another was about the most successful informant in FBI history, and how he double-crossed his employer, Archer Daniels-Midland, and then the FBI. The stories presented are engaging, intimate, surprising, funny, disturbing, bittersweet. Glass and his staff have an unusual knack for finding writers and performers whose work hasn't been heard on radio, and producing their stories alongside his own disarming commentary in a way that listeners praise as "riveting," "mesmerizing." Breakout stars from the show include David Sedaris and Sarah Vowell.
Schedule:

Saturday 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM on WUSF 89.7

Contact Info:

Contact the Show

Host:
Ira Glass

Ira Glass started working in public radio in 1978, when he was 19, as an intern at NPR's Washington headquarters. Over the course of the next 17 years, he worked on nearly every NPR news show and did nearly every production job they had: he was a tape-cutter, desk assistant, newscast writer, editor, producer, reporter, and substitute host. He spent a year in a high school for NPR, and a year in an elementary school, filing every week or two for All Things Considered. He moved to Chicago in 1989 and put This American Life on the air in November of 1995.

From This American Life

  • 635: Chip in My Brain
    A boy who can’t dribble gets a coach, a new best friend, and something to believe in.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/talpodcast/~4/5SG1_9qDj20" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
  • #550: Three Miles
    There’s a program that brings together kids from two schools. One school is public and in the country’s poorest congressional district. The other is private and costs $43,000/year. They are three miles apart. The hope is that kids connect, but some of the public school kids just can’t get over the divide. We hear what happens when you get to see the other side and it looks a lot better.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/talpodcast/~4/AYckBLk0lJI" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
  • 550: Three Miles
    There’s a program that brings together kids from two schools. One school is public and in the country’s poorest congressional district. The other is private and costs $43,000/year. They are three miles apart. The hope is that kids connect, but some of the public school kids just can’t get over the divide. We hear what happens when you get to see the other side and it looks a lot better. <img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/talpodcast/~4/EcOc4AdCIRU" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
  • #596: Becoming a Badger
    This week, stories about people trying their best to turn themselves into something else—like a badger. Or a professional comedian, in a language they didn’t grow up speaking.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/talpodcast/~4/mUDrfX8dc3Y" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
  • 596: Becoming a Badger
    This week, stories about people trying their best to turn themselves into something else—like a badger. Or a professional comedian, in a language they didn’t grow up speaking.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/talpodcast/~4/RCWHUUkbqmA" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
  • #634: Human Error in Volatile Situations
    Even the best laid plans can go catastrophically wrong when humans get involved. This week, people bungle simple operations on some of the most dangerous weapons in the world.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/talpodcast/~4/QPbmzjsKVa4" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
  • 634: Human Error in Volatile Situations
    Even the best laid plans can go catastrophically wrong when humans get involved. This week, people bungle simple operations on some of the most dangerous weapons in the world.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/talpodcast/~4/Fl9sM1AD66I" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
  • #633: Our Town - Part Two
    So many people in Albertville, AL wondered what it cost them in taxes when thousands of undocumented immigrants moved to their town. One woman drove our host Ira Glass to the grocery store to watch a random Latina mom buy some milk with government assistance, to try to prove her point. So what’d all the newcomers really cost? And what was their effect on crime, schools, and politics? (<a href="https://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/632/our-town">Part one</a>)<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/talpodcast/~4/dpk3OYwmKn4" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
  • 633: Our Town - Part Two
    So many people in Albertville, AL wondered what it cost them in taxes when thousands of undocumented immigrants moved to their town. One woman drove our host Ira Glass to the grocery store to watch a random Latina mom buy some milk with government assistance, to try to prove her point. So what’d all the newcomers really cost? And what was their effect on crime, schools, and politics? <img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/talpodcast/~4/NVQ09aXuKS4" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
  • #632: Our Town
    The man whose views on immigration are a cornerstone of Trump administration policy—Attorney General Jeff Sessions—apparently came to his opinions on the issue from seeing what happened in the poultry plants of Alabama. He believes undocumented workers showed up in those plants, stole American jobs, and drove down wages. Was he right? We have an economist <a href="https://www.thisamericanlife.org/blog/2017/12/our-town-the-economist%E2%80%99s-report">crunch the numbers</a>, and visit to see for ourselves.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/talpodcast/~4/ArAI23s-0Ek" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>

 

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