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Throughline

A weekly History podcast featuring Rund Abdelfatah and Ramtin Arablouei
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Episodes of Throughline

Climate change, political unrest, random violence - Western society can often feel like what the filmmaker Warner Herzog calls, "a thin layer of ice on top of an ocean of chaos and darkness." In the United States, polls indicate that many peopl
It's 2074 and a suicide bomber has killed the President of the United States. Months later Marines open fire on protesters killing dozens. The Second American Civil War has just begun and once again the North and South are pitted against each o
There's more to Monopoly than you might think. It's one of the best-selling board games in history — despite huge economic instability, sales actually went up during the pandemic — and it's been an iconic part of American life at other pivotal
Nancy Pelosi is the highest-ranking woman in American politics. She made her first run for public office at 47 years old and went on to become Speaker of the House twice. How has she had such an enduring career, and where does her power lie? As
Are most modern problems caused by selfishness or a lack of it? Ayn Rand, a Russian American philosopher and writer, would say it's the latter — that selfishness is not a vice but a virtue — and that capitalism is the ideal system. Everyone fro
Philanthropic foundations are a fundamental part of our society: they support media, the arts, education, medical research, and more. NPR, and even this show, is supported by many personal and family foundations. But it wasn't always that way.
In the New Testament, Jesus says it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. In the United States today, many Christians believe in something radically different. In what's known a
What happens when a nation splits apart? It's a question many of us are asking ourselves today. It happened 75 years ago with Partition, when India and Pakistan became independent nations, divided by a somewhat arbitrary line that separated nei
In the 1970s, a savvy CEO named Dwayne Andreas hit on an idea: take surplus corn from America's heartland, process it into a sweetener, and start selling it to anyone who would buy, all in the name of patriotism. Within a decade, high fructose
The global pandemic spawned a different type of epidemic, one of an entirely different nature: a nostalgia outbreak. Longing for 'simpler times' and 'better days', many of us turned to 90s dance playlists, TV sitcoms, and sports highlights. We
Ésta semana te presentamos un episodio muy especial de nuestros amigos en NPR y Futuro Media — su primer episodio del podcast La Última Copa, en Español. Todo comenzó con una gambeta extraordinaria en una ciudad Argentina. A eso le siguió la ll
This week we're bringing you something special from our friends at NPR and Futuro Media: the first episode of the podcast, The Last Cup. From his earliest goals on the soccer fields of his hometown in Argentina to his arrival at Spain's Barça F
Football, aka soccer, is life. At least, it is for many people across the globe. There are few things that are universally beloved but this sport comes close. And as teams on nearly every continent prepare for the start of the World Cup, all ey
We are in the season of chaos. It can feel like everything is happening at once: You might be sprinting across an airport; or around your kitchen, with a few too many dishes cooking at once. Your phone keeps pinging — texts, weather alerts, and
Born into slavery in the early 1800s, Frederick Douglass would live to see the Civil War, Emancipation, Black men getting the right to vote, and the beginning of the terrors and humiliations of Jim Crow. And through all of that, he kept coming
Is the U.S. on the brink of civil war? It's a question that has been in the air for a while now, as divisions continue to worsen. Beyond the political speeches and debates in the halls of Congress, it's something you're likely feeling in your d
What's happening in Iran right now is unprecedented. But the Iranian people's struggle for gender equality began generations before the death of 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman Mahsa Amini, also known by her Kurdish name, Jina Amini. The succ
Halloween — the night of ghost stories and trick-or-treating — has religious origins that span over two thousand years. Over time, the Catholic Church, pagan groups, and even the brewing company Coors have played a role in shape-shifting the ho
In a world where computer chips run everything from laptops to cars to the Nintendo Switch, Taiwan is the undisputed leader. It's one of the most powerful tech centers in the world — so powerful that both China and the U.S. have vital interests
We live in divided times, when the answer to the question 'what is reality?' depends on who you ask. Almost all the information we take in is to some extent edited and curated, and the line between entertainment and reality has become increasin
Over one million Uyghur people have been detained in camps in China, according to estimates, subjected to torture, forced labor, religious restrictions, and even forced sterilization. Last month, the United Nations released a report saying that
In American history, schools have not just been places to learn the ABCs – they're places where socialization happens and cultural norms are developed. Arguments over how and what those norms are and how they're communicated tend to flare up du
From BTS to Squid Game to high-end beauty standards, South Korea reigns as a global exporter of pop culture and entertainment. How does a country go from a war-decimated state just 70 years ago, to a major driver of global soft power? Through w
It's been over a century since a self-described socialist was a viable candidate for president of the United States. And that first socialist candidate, Eugene V. Debs, didn't just capture significant votes, he created a new and enduring populi
Unseen, they stalk their targets from thousands of feet in the air. Operators are piloting them from military bases halfway across the world. At any moment, they could launch a strike that comes without warning. The attack drone was supposed to
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