Episodes
Was anybody willing to be a spiritual adviser to Orlando Hall, a Muslim man on death row with a fast-approaching execution date? That’s the question that went out by email to a local group of interfaith leaders in Indiana. Nobody answered.  After a week without responses, the management professor Yusuf Ahmed Nur stepped forward. A Somali immigrant who volunteered at his local mosque, Nur would counsel Hall in the weeks leading up to his execution. But Nur never expected to stand beside Hall...
Published 03/18/21
Do Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, and Cubans share an identity? The answer wasn’t necessarily clear before 1980. That’s when the Census Bureau introduced a pair of new terms, Hispanic and Latino, to its decennial count. The addition was the result of years of advocacy and negotiation: Being counted on the census meant the potential for far more government action, yet the broad category oversimplified the identities of an immense and diverse group.  “The way that we define ourselves is...
Published 03/11/21
The Confederate States seceded from the United States over slavery. But the “lost cause” myth—the idea that the Civil War was not about slavery but about northern aggression—still has a hold on countless Americans. The historian Ty Seidule doesn’t believe that anymore, though he only came to the realization well into his career as an Army officer and a history professor. His book Robert E. Lee and Me deconstructs the legacy of the top Confederate general and unpacks the enduring “lost cause”...
Published 03/04/21
At the start of the pandemic, Jollene Levid and her mother, Nora, found themselves glued to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s nightly press conferences. In a press conference late last March, Garcetti announced a new milestone: the first health-care worker in Los Angeles County to die of the disease. “When I heard him say that, I realized that he was talking about Auntie Rosary,” Jollene Levid says, speaking about Rosary Castro-Olega, a 63-year-old nurse who came out of retirement to work in...
Published 02/25/21
To mid-aughts celebrities such as Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, they were high fashion. To the likes of Jerry Seinfeld and Eva Mendes they’re a sign of defeat; they declare to the world, as Jerry tells George Costanza in the Seinfeld pilot, “I’m miserable, so I might as well be comfortable.” And since the start of the pandemic, sweatpants have become perhaps more ubiquitous than ever. “A lot of people who had been going to offices stopped going to offices for the foreseeable future,”...
Published 02/18/21
Nineteen sixty-four. Freedom Summer. Marylin Thurman Newkirk was born in Greenwood, Mississippi, in a county where just about 250 Black adults out of more than 13,000 were registered to vote. She would grow up as part of the first generation of Americans who lived in a true democracy, according to her son Vann R. Newkirk II. That has a lot to do with a law enacted a year after her birth, in 1965. That’s when Congress passed the Voting Rights Act, which ended Jim Crow laws preventing Black...
Published 02/11/21
When Mike Belderrain hunted down the biggest elk of his life, he didn’t know he’d stumbled into a “zone of death,” the remote home of a legal glitch that could short-circuit the Constitution—a place where, technically, you could get away with murder. At a time when we’re surrounded by preventable deaths, we document one journey to avert disaster. • Mike Belderrain is a hunter and former outfitter in Montana.• C. J. Box is the author of more than 20 novels, including Free Fire, a thriller...
Published 02/04/21
Published 01/25/21
It’s easy to forget that the United States started as an experiment: a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, with liberty and justice for all. At least, that was the idea. On this weekly show, we check in on how that experiment is going.  The Experiment: stories from an unfinished country. From The Atlantic and WNYC Studios.  Be part of The Experiment. Use the hashtag #TheExperimentPodcast, or write to us at [email protected] Music by Ob (“Ghyll” and...
Published 01/25/21