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Slate History

English, History, 9 seasons, 171 episodes, 4 days, 20 hours, 43 minutes
About
A feed with the best history coverage from Slate’s wide range of podcasts. From narrative shows like Slow Burn, One Year, and Decoder Ring, to timely analysis from ICYMI and What Next, you’ll get the fascinating stories and vital context you need to understand where we came from and where we're going. 
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Hang Up: The WNBA’s Caitlin Clark Drama

Joel Anderson and Josh Levin are joined by Howard Megdal of the Next to discuss the tumultuous beginning to Caitlin Clark’s rookie season. Historian and author Larry Lester also joins to explain how records from the Negro Leagues finally got incorporated into the major-league record book. Finally, Joel speaks with Arena Football League player Tamatoa Silva about how it felt to watch an entire league come crashing down around him. Caitlin Clark (2:49): Dissecting all the drama surrounding the WNBA star.   Negro Leagues (25:23): What to know about all the new stats, and why it took so long for MLB to add them to the record book. Arena Football League (47:56): A conversation about life on the football fringes. Afterball (59:48): Josh on Dejounte Murray and the greatest NBA quote of all time. (Note: time codes are only accurate for Slate Plus members, who listen ad free.) Want more Hang Up and Listen? Subscribe to Slate Plus to immediately unlock weekly bonus episodes. Plus, you’ll access ad-free listening across all your favorite Slate podcasts. Subscribe now on Apple Podcasts by clicking “Try Free” at the top of our show page, or visit slate.com/hangupplus to get access wherever you listen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/3/20241 hour, 15 minutes, 3 seconds
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John Dickerson’s Navel Gazing: The Meaning Behind All This Navel Gazing

In this week’s essay, John discusses instinct versus obligation, his daughter’s wit, how he has changed since episode one, and more.   Notebook Entries: Notebook 58, page 10. September 16, 2021 “You don’t measure your life the way you measure your writing.” - Nan Notebook 75, page 46-47. September 2021 When your dog dies and son goes to college and you are confronted with your life’s work it all boils down to one alarm: the clock is ticking. If a scream is better than a thesis, I was hearing some kind of scream, but what was the thesis? References: Everything Is Copy – HBODocs   The Power of Regret – Daniel Pink The Mezzanine – Nicholson Baker  “The Creative Process” – James Baldwin Slouching Towards Bethlehem – Joan Didion “Three Paths Toward the Meaning of Life” - Arthur Brooks for The Atlantic Podcast production by Cheyna Roth. Email us at [email protected] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/1/202438 minutes, 2 seconds
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Hit Parade: Be My Baby-Baby-Baby Edition Part 2

Girl groups have long been underestimated—even by the producers and managers who created them. For women listeners, girl groups narrated profound emotions and expressed personal freedom—even when the singers were not so free themselves. For male listeners, girl groups provided inspiration, and a way to express matters of the heart. And for all listeners across rock and soul history, girl groups pushed music forward. In the ’60s, the Shirelles, Marvelettes, Ronettes and Shangri-Las kept rock afloat between Elvis Presley and the Beatles. In the ’70s and ’80s, girl groups from the Emotions to Exposé rebooted dance music. In the ’90s, En Vogue, TLC and Destiny’s Child fused hip-hop style with old-school soul—and the Spice Girls fired up a new generation through Girl Power. Join Chris Molanphy as we shimmy and strut through decades of bops to give girl groups the respect they deserve. You’ll love them tomorrow, because friendship never ends. Podcast production by Kevin Bendis. Want more Hit Parade? Join Slate Plus to unlock monthly early-access episodes. Plus, you’ll get ad-free listening across all your favorite Slate podcasts. Subscribe now on Apple Podcasts by clicking “Try Free” at the top of our show page. Or, visit slate.com/hitparadeplus to get access wherever you listen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/31/202452 minutes, 21 seconds
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Outward: The Trans History of the 1936 Olympics with Michael Waters

This week, Bryan dives into the world of sports to talk about the often obscured queer history of the Olympics with writer Michael Waters. Michael’s new book ‘The Other Olympians: Fascism, Queerness, and the Making of Modern Sports’ highlights the gripping true stories of pioneering trans and intersex athletes from the 1936 Olympics. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/29/202434 minutes, 27 seconds
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John Dickerson’s Navel Gazing: Time Travel Via an Assortment of Journal Entries

In this week’s essay, John discusses Mothers’s Day, playing tennis with the Attorney General, medical scares, and more   Notebook Entries: Notebook 19, page 16. April 2011 Is it possible, through applied thought, to become systematic in an approach to life? If you were to do that how would you proceed?  Notebook 16, page 6. July 26, 2005 “I’m here with a bunch of midshipmen and wondering what there is to do around here.” - Boy trying to hit on a girl working @ The Reef in Castine, ME. Notebook 15, page 30. September 2004 Head problems: Sunday 9/5 morning Tuesday 9/7 evening Wednesday 9/8 before lunch Notebook 22, page 22. April 24, 2014 Question:  What did you want to be when you were a kid?  What do you want to be now? Why the difference? Notebook 9. 1995 “That’s just the ticket the doctor ordered” Notebook 13. 2001 “Free as a clam” Notebook 17, page 67. December 2006 The man sitting next to me has a face on the boil and garlic and old booze on his breath. When he sleeps, he sighs. For this leg of the flight I am wrapped in his breathy gumbo. Notebook 15, page 7. April 2004 “In all these there are messages for those who use their reason.” - Quran quotation Notebook 15, page 80. 2005 Would like to meet her. Notebook 54. July 26, 2020 “Writing requires a reader. You can’t do it alone.” - John Cheever Notebook 15, page 71. 2005 In the light of sobriety not sure what this means Notebook 13. March 2001 Yesterday I played tennis with John Ashcroft the atty. general of the U.S. Notebook 13, page 108. December 11, 2001 Anne just called. There is one little heartbeat beating in her today. Everything is okay for this hurdle. I must say, I was really worried. Notebook 20, page 10. December 24, 2013 “Sometimes Dad says weird stuff, just ignore him” - Anne to kids about me Notebook 15, page 84. “Life goes on,” Hayawi says. “We are in the middle of a war [in Iraq] and we still smoke the water pipe.” Notebook 45, page 24. April 16, 2019 Our savior lives by the manner in which we live. Notebook 19, page 23. 2011 People on their mobile phones in England say goodbye a lot: “Cheers, alright then, speak to you soon, ta.” (That’s four ways of saying goodbye). Amelia tells the story of a man who thanked a ticket-taker by saying “Ta, magical, cheers.” References: Disaster on the Penobscot - John Henry Fay for Naval History Magazine One Man’s Meat by E.B. White The House at Allen Cove I E.B. White House Tour - New England Magazine Little Plastic Castle - Ani Defranco “Two Years of War: Taking Stock” - Anthony Shadid for the Washington Post   Podcast production by Cheyna Roth. Email us at [email protected] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/25/202429 minutes, 55 seconds
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Outward: Behind the Scenes of ‘Gays Against Briggs’ with Christina Cauterucci

This week Christina Cauterucci returns to Outward to talk with Bryan about her experience making ‘Slow Burn: Gays Against Briggs’ and diving into one of the most consequential civil rights battles in American history: the first-ever statewide vote on gay rights. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/22/202441 minutes, 50 seconds
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Hear Me Out: Colonialism Never Ended

On today’s episode of Hear Me Out: don’t scare me like that, colonizer. Understanding the legacy of colonialism is a project relatively few Americans have undertaken — and most have done so only relatively recently, at that. But understanding the forces that led to the foundation of this country, and the creation of modern racism as we know it, is an important project. And it’s one that is also increasingly hard to bring into schools — especially in places like Florida. Barry Mauer of UCF joins us once again to argue for teaching the ongoing project of colonialism… in the name of stopping it. If you have thoughts you want to share, or an idea for a topic we should tackle, you can email the show: [email protected] Podcast production by Maura Currie. Want more Hear Me Out? Subscribe to Slate Plus to access ad-free listening across all your favorite Slate podcasts. Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts by clicking “Try Free” at the top of our show page. Or, visit slate.com/hearmeoutplus to get access wherever you listen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/21/202439 minutes, 17 seconds
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John Dickerson’s Navel Gazing: Moving in New York Twenty Years After September 11th.

In this week’s essay, John discusses the differences between moving around New York in 1991 and 2021; remembering 9/11 twenty years later; and more.    Notebook Entries: Notebook 75, page 12. September 2021 Notebooks to Garret Notebook 75, page 13. September 2021 Can you make a typo with handwriting? What’s a typo with handwriting called? Notebook 4. 1991 We have to unplug the light to run the vacuum, so we do a lot of our vacuuming in the dark. Notebook 75. September 11, 2021 Fritz want something? References: Smythson Notebooks in Blue 9/11 ceremonies, events and coverage on 20th anniversary - CBS News Richard Drew on Photographing the “Falling Man” of 9/11 - CBS News Want to listen to Navel Gazing uninterrupted? Subscribe to Slate Plus to immediately unlock ad-free listening to Navel Gazing and all your other favorite Slate podcasts. Subscribe now on Apple Podcasts by clicking “Try Free” at the top of our show page. Or, visit slate.com/navelgazingplus to get access wherever you listen.   Podcast production by Cheyna Roth. Email us at [email protected] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/18/202443 minutes, 49 seconds
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Gabfest Reads: Why Americans Care About Animals

Emily Bazelon talks with authors Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy, about their new book, Our Kindred Creatures: How Americans Came to Feel the Way They Do About Animals. They discuss the evolution of animal treatment in America, moral duties to animals, and how to care about more animals than our pets.  Tweet us your questions @SlateGabfest or email us at [email protected]. (Messages could be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.) Podcast production by Cheyna Roth. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/18/202433 minutes, 21 seconds
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Hit Paade: Be My Baby-Baby-Baby Edition Part 1

Girl groups have long been underestimated—even by the producers and managers who created them. For women listeners, girl groups narrated profound emotions and expressed personal freedom—even when the singers were not so free themselves. For male listeners, girl groups provided inspiration, and a way to express matters of the heart. And for all listeners across rock and soul history, girl groups pushed music forward. In the ’60s, the Shirelles, Marvelettes, Ronettes and Shangri-Las kept rock afloat between Elvis Presley and the Beatles. In the ’70s and ’80s, girl groups from the Emotions to Exposé rebooted dance music. In the ’90s, En Vogue, TLC and Destiny’s Child fused hip-hop style with old-school soul—and the Spice Girls fired up a new generation through Girl Power. Join Chris Molanphy as we shimmy and strut through decades of bops to give girl groups the respect they deserve. You’ll love them tomorrow, because friendship never ends. Podcast production by Kevin Bendis. Want more Hit Parade? Join Slate Plus to unlock monthly early-access episodes. Plus, you’ll get ad-free listening across all your favorite Slate podcasts. Subscribe now on Apple Podcasts by clicking “Try Free” at the top of our show page. Or, visit slate.com/hitparadeplus to get access wherever you listen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/17/20241 hour, 3 minutes, 22 seconds
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John Dickerson’s Navel Gazing: The Sneaky Pitfalls of the To-Do List

In this week’s essay, John discusses the Pomodoro Routine (among other productivity routines), why he especially needs a meditation pillow, and how a particular teacher captured his heart.    Notebook Entries: Notebook 75, pages 8 and 9. September 2021 OReinstating the Pomodoro Routine… Starting Marshall again… Write Brice… Send Laura the larger project list… Work on budget to get accounts in order Meditation pillow upstairs. Notebook 18. December 6, 2009 Instapaper Alpha Smart Richard Hugo on poetry Degrees of Gray In Philipsburg. Notebook 18, page 105. June 4, 2011 Visit to Mr. Mead. He was playing piano as we entered. [During our conversation, he asked]: do you find your work fulfilling? Do you have a close circle of friends? Questions about life and living it well… References: Getting Things Done - David Allen The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People - Stephen Covey  The Questions That Will Get Me Through the Pandemic - John Dickerson 43 Folders - Merlin Mann  The Hardest Job in the World - John Dickerson Essays of E.B. White “Merlin Mann” - Tina Essmaker for The Great Disconnect More about Ernest “Boots” Mead “Because Buying New Running Shoes is More Fun Than Actually Running” - Merlin Mann for 43 Folders Atomic Habits - James Clear The Creative Habit - Twyla Tharp Free Agent Nation - Daniel Pink “Sharon Salzberg On: Openness, Not Believing the Stories You Tell Yourself, and Why the Most Powerful Tools Often Seem Stupid at First” - Ten Percent Happier Want to listen to Navel Gazing uninterrupted? Subscribe to Slate Plus to immediately unlock ad-free listening to Navel Gazing and all your other favorite Slate podcasts. Subscribe now on Apple Podcasts by clicking “Try Free” at the top of our show page. Or, visit slate.com/navelgazingplus to get access wherever you listen.   Podcast production by Cheyna Roth. Email us at [email protected] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/11/202438 minutes, 43 seconds
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Amicus: How Originalism Ate The Law: The Trap

Get your tickets for Amicus Live in Washington DC here.  In the second part of our series on Amicus and at Slate.com, Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern are back on the originalism beat. This week they’re trying to understand the mechanisms of what Professor Saul Cornell calls “the originalism industrial complex” and how those mechanisms plug into the highest court in the land. They’re also asking how and why liberals failed to find an effective answer to originalism, even as the various “originalist” ways of deciding who’s history counts, what constitutional law counts, which people count, were supercharged by Trump’s SCOTUS picks. Madiba Dennie, author of The Originalism Trap, highlights how the Supreme Court turned to originalism to gut voting rights. In 2022, the US Supreme Court’s originalism binge ran roughshod over precedent and unleashed Dobbs and Bruen on the American people - Mark and Dahlia talk to a state Supreme Court justice about what it’s like trying to apply the law amid these constitutional earthquakes.  In today’s Slate Plus bonus episode, Dahlia talks to AJ Jacobs about his year of living constitutionally, and she confesses to an attempt to smuggle contraband into One, First Street.  Sign up for Slate Plus now to listen and support our show.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/11/202452 minutes, 31 seconds
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A Word: Between the World and Us

Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates is arguably the strongest voice of his generation on the role of race and identity in American politics and culture. He’s the author of several books, including “Between the World and Me,” “We Were Eight Years in Power,” and “The Beautiful Struggle,” and the recipient of a MacArthur “genius” grant and a National Book Award. For this week’s episode, we feature a conversation between Coates and host Jason Johnson, recorded live at the recent Cascade PBS Ideas Festival. They discuss everything from the diss track battle between Drake and Kendrick Lamar, to the campus protests over the Middle East, to the limits –and necessity– of participating in electoral politics.  Guest: Award-winning writer Ta-Nehisi Coates Podcast production by Kristie Taiwo-Makanjuola Want more A Word? Subscribe to Slate Plus to immediately access ad-free listening across all your favorite Slate podcasts. Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts by clicking “Try Free” at the top of our show page. Or, visit slate.com/awordplus to get access wherever you listen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/10/202445 minutes, 55 seconds
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Outward: Queering the Map with Lucas LaRochelle

This week Bryan talks to Lucas LaRochelle, the creator of the online platform Queering the Map. Queering the Map is a community-generated digital archive and map of LGBTQ2IA+ experiences around the globe. They dig into the map’s beginnings, stories from the platform, and how this archive has been able to share queer joy, sorrow, and possibility across continents and in 23 languages.  Podcast production by Palace Shaw.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/8/202427 minutes, 12 seconds
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John Dickerson’s Navel Gazing: Remembering Early 1990s New York

In this week’s essay, John discusses an onboarding memo for his assistant Laura, and recounts his early days living and working in New York City.      Notebook Entries: Notebook 75 Onboard memo for Laura Notebook 3, page 44. May 1991 June 17 start job. Good stuff Notebook 3, page 46. May 1991 Tips on buying renting in NYC Ask about broker 20s and 30s East side. Murry Hill Live on no major avenue Interest bearing account for security deposit Medeco locks Notebook 4, page 15 Scared standing on 34th and Broadway $6 cab fare Notebook 4, page 42 Getting lost in the village References: The Little Brown Book of Anecdotes by Clifton Fadiman  Medeco Locks “Here is New York” by E.B. White “Silly Job Interview” - Monty Python  John Cleese on Creativity in Management Herbie Hancock: Miles Davis’ Essential Lesson On Mistakes Want to listen to Navel Gazing uninterrupted? Subscribe to Slate Plus to immediately unlock ad-free listening to Navel Gazing and all your other favorite Slate podcasts. Subscribe now on Apple Podcasts by clicking “Try Free” at the top of our show page. Or, visit slate.com/navelgazingplus to get access wherever you listen.   Podcast production by Cheyna Roth. Email us at [email protected]   Host John Dickerson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/4/202441 minutes, 52 seconds
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Amicus: How Originalism Ate the Law: The Trick

In this, the first part of a special series on Amicus and at Slate.com, we are lifting the lid on an old-timey sounding method of constitutional interpretation that has unleashed a revolution in our courts, and an assault on our rights. But originalism’s origins are much more recent than you suppose, and its effects much more widespread than the constitutional earthquakes of overturning settled precedent like Roe v Wade or supercharging gun rights as in Heller and Bruen. Originalism’s aftershocks are being felt throughout the courts, the law, politics and our lives, and we haven’t talked about it enough. On this week’s show, Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern explore the history of originalism. They talk to Professor Jack Balkin about its religious valence, and Saul Cornell about originalism’s first major constitutional triumph in Heller. And they’ll tell you how originalism’s first big public outing fell flat, thanks in part to Senator Ted Kennedy’s ability to envision the future, as well as the past. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/4/202447 minutes, 52 seconds
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Outward: Mary & George's LGBTQ Historical Drama

Former Outward producer June Thomas joins hosts Bryan Lowder and Jules Gill-Peterson to chat about the very gay new series from Starz, Mary and George. They talk 16th-century sex and sexuality and share their prides, provocations, and the gay agenda for May.  Read What's Fact and What's Fiction in Mary & George from Slate Podcast production by Palace Shaw. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/1/202441 minutes, 33 seconds
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Hear Me Out: Student Protests Can Backfire (Badly)

On today’s episode of Hear Me Out: solidarity? College campuses across the country are grappling with protests and occupations in the name of a free Palestine. Many hundreds of students, faculty, and outside community members have been arrested in tense clashes with police — called onto campuses by the universities themselves.  Student protestors have shaped public discourse on matters like war and the environment for many decades. But without a clear, sympathetic goal, they can also lead to political backlash that far outlasts a four-year degree.  So are today’s student protestors instigating change in Gaza… or teeing up a crackdown on speech and protest here at home?  Prof. Steven Mintz of UT Austin joins us, and urges a cautionary look at the history books.  If you have thoughts you want to share, or an idea for a topic we should tackle, you can email the show: [email protected] Podcast production by Maura Currie. Want more Hear Me Out? Subscribe to Slate Plus to access ad-free listening across all your favorite Slate podcasts. Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts by clicking “Try Free” at the top of our show page. Or, visit slate.com/hearmeoutplus to get access wherever you listen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/30/202444 minutes, 9 seconds
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John Dickerson’s Navel Gazing: The Power of Four Numbers

In this week’s essay, John discusses the art of attention and how to develop the skill of slow-looking.   Notebook Entries: Notebook 75, page 8. September 2021 1016   Notebook 1, page 54. June 1990 -       Magna carta 1215 at Salisbury -       Girls skipping -       The Haunch of Venison -       Chris   References: Georgia O’Keeffe Museum A Little History of the World by E.H Gombrich Artist Jeff Koons “The Art of Divination: D.H. Lawrence on the Power of Pure Attention” by Maria Popova for The Marginalian “Gabfest Reads: A Woman’s Life in Museum Wall Labels” for Political Gabfest  One Woman Show by Christine Coulson “Grammy-winning artist Jason Isbell talks about the craft of songwriting and his latest music” for CBS News A Journey Around My Room by Xavier De Maistre “Just think: The Challenges of the Disengaged Mind” by Timothy Wilson, et.al for Science “Our Rodent Selfies, Ourselves” by Emily Anthes for the New York Times One Man’s Meat by E.B. White   Podcast production by Cheyna Roth. Email us at [email protected]   Want to listen to Navel Gazing uninterrupted? Subscribe to Slate Plus to immediately unlock ad-free listening to Navel Gazing and all your other favorite Slate podcasts. Subscribe now on Apple Podcasts by clicking “Try Free” at the top of our show page. Or, visit slate.com/navelgazingplus to get access wherever you listen.   Host John Dickerson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/27/202433 minutes, 30 seconds
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Hit Parade: We Want It That Way Edition Part 2

When you hear “boy band,” what do you picture? Five guys with precision dance moves? Songs crafted by the Top 40 pop machine? Svengalis pulling the puppet strings? Hordes of screaming girls? As it turns out, not all boy bands fit these signifiers. (Well…except for the screaming girls—they are perennial.) There are boy bands that danced, and some that did not…boy bands that relied entirely on outside songwriters, and those that wrote big hits…boy bands assembled by managers or producers, and quite a few that launched on their own. From Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers to New Kids on the Block, the Monkees to the Jonas Brothers, Boyz II Men to BTS, New Edition to One Direction, and…yeah, of course, Backstreet Boys and *N Sync, boy bands have had remarkable variety over the years. (In a sense, even a certain ’60s Fab Four started as a boy band.) Join Chris Molanphy as he tries to define the ineffable quality of boy band–ness, walks through decades of shrieking, hair-pulling pop history, and reminds you that boy bands generated some of our greatest hits, from “I Want You Back” to “I Want It That Way,” “Bye Bye Bye” to “Dynamite.” Help him “bring the fire and set the night alight.” Podcast production by Kevin Bendis. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/27/20241 hour, 2 minutes, 50 seconds
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Hear Me Out: Third Parties Are Saving Democracy

On today’s episode of Hear Me Out: nobody wins with two parties. A competitive presidential election draws closer every day – and as ever, every vote will count. So is it fair to accuse third-party voters of wasting a vote, as often happens? Or are third-party candidates actually preserving what little we have left of a competitive democracy?  Bernard Tamas of Valdosta State University joins us to make the case for the power of the third party. If you have thoughts you want to share, or an idea for a topic we should tackle, you can email the show: [email protected] Podcast production by Maura Currie. Want more Hear Me Out? Subscribe to Slate Plus to access ad-free listening across all your favorite Slate podcasts. Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts by clicking “Try Free” at the top of our show page. Or, visit slate.com/hearmeoutplus to get access wherever you listen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/23/202435 minutes, 5 seconds
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John Dickerson’s Navel Gazing: Remembering George and Defending the Morning

In this week’s essay, John dives deep into the loss of his beloved dog, George, the essayist’s dilemma, the comfort of quiet mornings, and more.   Notebook Entries: Notebook 75, page 5. September 5, 2021 I go to the morning alone.   Notebook 75, page 6. September 6, 2021 Phantom nails on the stairs     References: “Every Dog Is a Rescue Dog” by John Dickerson for The Atlantic “Oxytocin-gaze positive loop and the coevolution of human-dog bonds” by Miho Nagasawa et.al for Science Haikus by Jennifer Gurney “Which Pet Will Make You Happiest?” by Arthur C. Brooks for The Atlantic “The Family Dog Is in Sync With Your Kids” by Gretchen Reynolds for The New York Times   Podcast production by Cheyna Roth. Email us at [email protected]    Want to listen to Navel Gazing uninterrupted? Subscribe to Slate Plus to immediately unlock ad-free listening to Navel Gazing and all your other favorite Slate podcasts. Subscribe now on Apple Podcasts by clicking “Try Free” at the top of our show page. Or, visit slate.com/navelgazingplus to get access wherever you listen. Host John Dickerson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/21/202427 minutes
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John Dickerson’s Navel Gazing: Remembering George and Defending the Morning

In this week’s essay, John dives deep into the loss of his beloved dog, George, the essayist’s dilemma, the comfort of quiet mornings, and more.   Notebook Entries: Notebook 75, page 5. September 5, 2021 I go to the morning alone.   Notebook 75, page 6. September 6, 2021 Phantom nails on the stairs     References: “Every Dog Is a Rescue Dog” by John Dickerson for The Atlantic “Oxytocin-gaze positive loop and the coevolution of human-dog bonds” by Miho Nagasawa et.al for Science Haikus by Jennifer Gurney “Which Pet Will Make You Happiest?” by Arthur C. Brooks for The Atlantic “The Family Dog Is in Sync With Your Kids” by Gretchen Reynolds for The New York Times   Podcast production by Cheyna Roth. Email us at [email protected]    Want to listen to Navel Gazing uninterrupted? Subscribe to Slate Plus to immediately unlock ad-free listening to Navel Gazing and all your other favorite Slate podcasts. Subscribe now on Apple Podcasts by clicking “Try Free” at the top of our show page. Or, visit slate.com/navelgazingplus to get access wherever you listen. Host John Dickerson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/21/202427 minutes
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Political Gabfest Reads: Can America Survive Its Relationships with Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin?

John Dickerson talks with author David E. Sanger about his new book, New Cold Wars. They discuss how Russia and China came to reach their new levels of power, the role the Middle East and Obama Administration played in all of this, and more. Tweet us your questions @SlateGabfest or email us at [email protected]. (Messages could be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.) Podcast production by Cheyna Roth. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/20/202441 minutes, 59 seconds
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Outward: A History of the Gay Right with Neil J. Young

This week Bryan talks to writer Neil J. Young about his new book Coming Out Republican: A History of the Gay Right. They dig into some of the inherent contradictions of the Gay Right and the pillars of their political strategy and reveal how central whiteness and maleness is to their politic.  Podcast production by Palace Shaw. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/17/202434 minutes, 44 seconds
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Well, Now: We Don’t Need to Cure Autism

April is Autism Acceptance Month, and how we’ve come to understand autism has evolved over the past several decades.  For years, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) was thought of as something that needed to be cured. Through better data and years of activism, that misunderstanding is changing. On this week’s episode of Well, Now we discuss that evolution with Sara Luterman, caregiving reporter for The 19th. Podcast production by Vic Whitley-Berry and Ahyiana Angel with editorial oversight by Alicia Montgomery. Send your comments and recommendations on what to cover to [email protected]  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/17/202440 minutes, 51 seconds
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John Dickerson’s Navel Gazing: Sending our Son to College

In this week’s essay, John remembers dropping his son off at college, and trying to hold onto moments and feelings while you can.    Notebook Entries: Notebook 75, page 6. September 2021: They chose you.   Notebook 15, page 4. April 2004: Sitting with Brice by waterfall. Throwing rocks in stream. Loading sand from dump truck and loader and back again.   References: What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith Songwriter Nick Cave Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin   Podcast production by Cheyna Roth. Email us at [email protected]    Want to listen to Navel Gazing uninterrupted? Subscribe to Slate Plus to immediately unlock ad-free listening to Navel Gazing and all your other favorite Slate podcasts. Subscribe now on Apple Podcasts by clicking “Try Free” at the top of our show page. Or, visit slate.com/navelgazingplus to get access wherever you listen.   Host John Dickerson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/13/202428 minutes, 34 seconds
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Hit Parade: We Want It That Way Edition Part 1

When you hear “boy band,” what do you picture? Five guys with precision dance moves? Songs crafted by the Top 40 pop machine? Svengalis pulling the puppet strings? Hordes of screaming girls? As it turns out, not all boy bands fit these signifiers. (Well…except for the screaming girls—they are perennial.) There are boy bands that danced, and some that did not…boy bands that relied entirely on outside songwriters, and those that wrote big hits…boy bands assembled by managers or producers, and quite a few that launched on their own. From Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers to New Kids on the Block, the Monkees to the Jonas Brothers, Boyz II Men to BTS, New Edition to One Direction, and…yeah, of course, Backstreet Boys and *N Sync, boy bands have had remarkable variety over the years. (In a sense, even a certain ’60s Fab Four started as a boy band.) Join Chris Molanphy as he tries to define the ineffable quality of boy band–ness, walks through decades of shrieking, hair-pulling pop history, and reminds you that boy bands generated some of our greatest hits, from “I Want You Back” to “I Want It That Way,” “Bye Bye Bye” to “Dynamite.” Help him “bring the fire and set the night alight.” Podcast production by Kevin Bendis. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/13/20241 hour, 4 minutes, 2 seconds
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Decoder Ring: Can the “Bookazine” Save Magazines?

Magazines have fallen on hard times – especially the weekly news, fashion, and celebrity mags that once dominated newsstands. The revenue from magazine racks has plummeted in recent years, and many magazines have stopped appearing in print or shut down altogether. And yet, there is something growing in the checkout aisle: one-off publications, each devoted to a single topic, known as “bookazines.” Last year, over 1,200 different bookazines went on sale across the country. They cover topics ranging from Taylor Swift, Star Wars, the Kennedy assassination, K-pop, the British royal family, and as host Willa Paskin recently observed, the career of retired movie star Robert Redford. In today’s episode, Willa looks behind the racks to investigate this new-ish format. Who is writing, publishing, and reading all these one-off magazines – and why? Is the bookazine a way forward for magazines, or their last gasp? Voices you’ll hear in this episode include Caragh Donley, longtime magazine journalist turned prolific writer of bookazines; Eric Szegda, executive at bookazine publisher a360 media; and Erik Radvon, comic book creator and bookazine fan. This episode was produced by Max Freedman and edited by Evan Chung, who produce the show with Katie Shepherd. Derek John is Executive Producer. Merritt Jacob is Senior Technical Director. If you haven’t yet, please subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show, please sign up for Slate Plus. Members get to listen to Decoder Ring and all other Slate podcasts without any ads and have total access to Slate’s website. Your support is also crucial to our work. Go to Slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/10/202437 minutes, 5 seconds
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Hit Parade: Gotcha Covered Edition Part 2

Cover songs once had a simple playbook: Artists would faithfully rerecord a song—note for note and word for word. They might modernize the instrumentation. If they were feeling radical, they’d punch up the vocals a bit. Now it’s hard to say what a cover is anymore. If Ariana Grande turns “My Favorite Things” into “7 Rings,” does that qualify? When Drake says he’s “Way 2 Sexy,” is he covering Right Said Fred? The recent chart success of “Fast Car”—country star Luke Combs’ very traditional take on Tracy Chapman’s folk classic—has reinvigorated interest in cover songs. Sometimes, isn’t just remaking the song as-is enough? Join Chris Molanphy as he explains the chart considerations and artistic motivations that rebooted the cover song, and whether a straight-up remake will ever top the Hot 100 again. We’re long past the days of “Twist and Shout,” “Venus” and “I’ll Be There.” Podcast production by Olivia Briley. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/29/202446 minutes, 19 seconds
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Decoder Ring: Andrew Wyeth's Secret Nudes

In 1986, Andrew Wyeth was the most famous painter in America. He was a household name, on the cover of magazines and tapped to paint presidents. And then he revealed a secret cache of 240 pieces of artwork, many provocative, all featuring the same nude female model. This collection, called The Helga Pictures, had been completed over 15 years and hidden from his wife, until they were revealed and wound up on the covers of both Time Magazine and Newsweek. The implication of these paintings were clear: Wyeth must have been having an affair, but then the story got complicated. Was it a genuine sex scandal? A hoax? Or something else entirely?  Some of the voices you’ll hear in this episode include Doug McGill, former New York Times reporter; Neil Harris, author of Capital Culture: J. Carter Brown, the National Gallery of Art, and the Reinvention of the Museum Experience; Cathy Booth Thomas, former Time Magazine correspondent; Gwendolyn Dubois Shaw, art historian and curator; Jeannie McDowell, former Time Magazine correspondent; Chris Lione, former art director at Art and Antiques; Joyce Stoner, Wyeth scholar; Peter Ralston, Wyeth photographer and friend; and Jim Duff, former director of the Brandywine River Museum. This episode was written by Willa Paskin and produced by Willa Paskin and Benjamin Frisch. It was edited by Benjamin Frisch and Gabriel Roth. We had research assistance from Cleo Levin. Decoder Ring is produced by Evan Chung, Katie Shepherd, and Max Freedman. Derek John is Executive Producer. Merritt Jacob is Senior Technical Director. A very special thank you to Paula Scaire. If you haven’t yet, please subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show, please sign up for Slate Plus. Members get to listen to Decoder Ring and all other Slate podcasts without any ads and have total access to Slate’s website. Your support is also crucial to our work. Go to Slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/27/202454 minutes, 16 seconds
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A Word: Love, Family, and Freedom’s Ultimate Price

Myrlie Evers was arguably the first civil rights widow, a woman who was plunged into activism after the assassination of her husband—Mississippi NAACP field secretary Medgar Evers—in 1963. She survived to become a leader of the movement in her own right. But what’s less well known is the remarkable story of how the couple came together, and how their love endures, decades after his death. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by journalist Joy-Ann Reid to talk about her book, Medgar & Myrlie: Medgar Evers and the Love Story That Awakened America. Guest: Joy-Ann Reid, host of MSNBC’s The ReidOut Podcast production by Ahyiana Angel Want more A Word? Subscribe to Slate Plus to immediately access ad-free listening across all your favorite Slate podcasts. Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts by clicking “Try Free” at the top of our show page. Or, visit slate.com/awordplus to get access wherever you listen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/22/202428 minutes, 34 seconds
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Hit Parade: Gotcha Covered Edition Part 1

Cover songs once had a simple playbook: Artists would faithfully rerecord a song—note for note and word for word. They might modernize the instrumentation. If they were feeling radical, they’d punch up the vocals a bit. Now it’s hard to say what a cover is anymore. If Ariana Grande turns “My Favorite Things” into “7 Rings,” does that qualify? When Drake says he’s “Way 2 Sexy,” is he covering Right Said Fred? The recent chart success of “Fast Car”—country star Luke Combs’ very traditional take on Tracy Chapman’s folk classic—has reinvigorated interest in cover songs. Sometimes, isn’t just remaking the song as-is enough? Join Chris Molanphy as he explains the chart considerations and artistic motivations that rebooted the cover song, and whether a straight-up remake will ever top the Hot 100 again. We’re long past the days of “Twist and Shout,” “Venus” and “I’ll Be There.” Podcast production by Olivia Briley. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/16/202457 minutes, 9 seconds
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A Word: Black Country Renaissance

Beyoncé has announced that the second act of Renaissance will be a country album. “Cowboy Carter” is set for release at the end of March, Women’s History Month. Beyoncé has already made history as the first Black woman to top the country charts with “Texas Hold ‘Em,” and recently received Dolly Parton’s blessing to cover her classic song, Jolene.  While Beyoncé may seem to be breaking new ground, much of country music has always been rooted in African American culture, and Black women have been singing country for decades. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by DePaul University Professor Francesca Royster, the author of Black Country Music: Listening for Revolutions. They talk about the history of Black women in country music, the racial tension that has kept many African American fans away from the genre, and whether this moment represents a new era for Black country artists.  Guest: Professor Francesca Royster, author of Black Country Music: Listening for Revolutions Podcast production by Kristie Taiwo-Makanjuola Want more A Word? Subscribe to Slate Plus to immediately access ad-free listening across all your favorite Slate podcasts. Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts by clicking “Try Free” at the top of our show page. Or, visit slate.com/awordplus to get access wherever you listen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/15/202440 minutes, 34 seconds
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Decoder Ring: Why Stylists Rule the Red Carpet

Like a manager or an agent or a publicist, a stylist has become a kind of must-have accessory for well-dressed, A-list celebrities. It’s just expected that they will have hired someone to select the clothes they’ll wear at public appearances. But this was not always the case.  In today’s episode, Avery Trufelman, host of Articles of Interest, will guide us through the collapse of a certain kind of Hollywood glamor; to the rise of a growing, financially rewarding relationship between fashion designers and celebrity culture; and then onto the explosion in red carpet events patrolled by fashion police that helped create this new occupation. This episode was produced by Avery Trufelman and Evan Chung, who produces Decoder Ring with Willa Paskin, Katie Shepherd and Max Freedman. Derek John is Executive Producer. Merritt Jacob is Senior Technical Director. You’ll hear from Teri Agins, Dana Thomas, Melissa Rivers, and Jeanne Yang. If you haven’t yet, please subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show, please sign up for Slate Plus. Members get to listen to Decoder Ring and all other Slate podcasts without any ads and have total access to Slate’s website. Your support is also crucial to our work. Go to Slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/13/202442 minutes, 54 seconds
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Hear Me Out: The House Should Elect The President

On today’s episode of Hear Me Out… Parliamentary America? It’s Super Tuesday, and the process by which we elect a president is on full display (warts and all). Americans on both sides of the aisle agree that the electoral college has to go. But what should replace it?  Maxwell Stearns, author of Parliamentary America: The Least Radical Means of Radically Repairing Our Broken Democracy (out 3/5/2024), presents his case for restructuring American government to look more like a parliamentary system — and, in the process, to take presidential elections out of the hands of voters and conventions and into the hands of elected coalitions. If you have thoughts you want to share, or an idea for a topic we should tackle, you can email the show: [email protected] Podcast production by Maura Currie. You can skip all the ads in Hear Me Out by joining Slate Plus! Sign up now at slate.com/hearmeoutplus for just $15 a month for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/5/202444 minutes, 52 seconds
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Decoder Ring: The Gen X Soda That Was Just "OK"

Thirty years ago, a new kind of soda arrived in select stores. Instead of crowing about how spectacular it was, it offered up a liquid shrug, a fizzy irony. OK Soda was an inside joke for people who knew soda wasn’t cool. But what exactly was the punchline? In today’s episode, we’re going to ask how Coca-Cola, a company predicated on the idea that soda is more than "OK," ever bankrolled such a project. It was either a corporate attempt to market authenticity or a bold send-up of consumer capitalism; a project that either utterly, predictably failed or, perhaps more surprisingly, almost succeeded. This episode was written by Willa Paskin. It was edited by Jenny Lawton. It was produced by Willa Paskin and Katie Shepherd, along with Evan Chung. Derek John is Executive Producer. Merritt Jacob is Senior Technical Director. You’ll hear from Sergio Zyman, Brian Lanahan, Robin Joannides Lanahan, Charlotte Moore, Peter Wegner, Todd Waterbury, Dustin Ness, and Matt Purrington. Special thanks to David Cowles, Art Chantry, Seth Godin, Jeff Beer, Gabriel Roth, Mark Hensley for all the OK Soda commercials and Mark Pendergrast, whose book For God, Country, & Coca-Cola was indispensable. If you haven’t yet, please subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show, please sign up for Slate Plus. Members get to listen to Decoder Ring and all other Slate podcasts without any ads and have total access to Slate’s website. Your support is also crucial to our work. Go to Slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/28/202443 minutes, 48 seconds
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Well, Now: Ending Racism in Healthcare

The U.S. healthcare system can split the country into two Americas. Your zip code, education, class status and more all play a role in the outcome of your health as well as the kind of care you receive.  Fewer markers more clearly define these disparities than race.  On this week’s episode of Well, Now Maya and Kavita talk about racism in American healthcare with Dr. Uché Blackstock.  Her new book Legacy: A Black Physician Reckons with Racism in Medicine gives a historical view of how racism has always played a role in U.S. healthcare.  This book is also a memoir of her own experience as a physician carrying on the legacy of her late mother, Dr. Dale Gloria Blackstock. Health Resources Mentioned in the Episode: Health in Her HUE Irth App Podcast production by Vic Whitley-Berry with editorial oversight by Alicia Montgomery. Send your comments and recommendations on what to cover to [email protected]  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/28/202430 minutes, 52 seconds
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Hear Me Out: Un-Cancel Woodrow Wilson

On today’s episode of Hear Me Out… making (fourteen) points.  A piece in this month’s issue of the Atlantic argues that it’s time to re-evaluate the presidency of Woodrow Wilson. President Wilson was indisputably a productive president — but he’s now reviled by the left as a racist and the right as a tyrant. Is there room to meet somewhere in the middle? David Frum of the Atlantic joins us to argue that, yes: it’s time to un-cancel Woodrow Wilson.  If you have thoughts you want to share, or an idea for a topic we should tackle, you can email the show: [email protected] Podcast production by Maura Currie. You can skip all the ads in Hear Me Out by joining Slate Plus! Sign up now at slate.com/hearmeoutplus for just $15 a month for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/20/202444 minutes, 31 seconds
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Hear Me Out: The Constitution Can’t Save Us

Though most Americans have problems with the way this country is run, the Constitution remains popular — and untouchable, in our nation of laws. But it’s often difficult to solve 21st century problems with an 18th century document. Aaron Tang, author and professor of law at UC Davis, joins us once again to argue that, instead of aligning with the Constitution, courts should try to cause the least permanent harm possible. If you have thoughts you want to share, or an idea for a topic we should tackle, you can email the show: [email protected] Podcast production by Maura Currie. You can skip all the ads in Hear Me Out by joining Slate Plus! Sign up now at slate.com/hearmeoutplus for just $15 a month for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/13/202437 minutes, 53 seconds
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A Word: True Crime in Black and White

The 1989 murder of Carol Stuart in Boston became a national story, fueled by anxiety over urban crime. The city’s police broke down doors in the Black community, strip searched dozens of Black and brown men on the street, and arrested a Black suspect. Then Stuart’s husband was exposed as the killer. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by Boston Globe associate editor Adrian Walker, who hosts the Murder in Boston podcast about the infamous case. They discuss the history of racial tension that led up to crime, and the lasting consequences for the families of the victim, the killer, and the wrongfully arrested Black suspect. Guest: Adrian Walker, host of the Murder in Boston podcast Podcast production by Ahyiana Angel You can skip all the ads in A Word by joining Slate Plus. Sign up now at slate.com/awordplus for $15 for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/9/202426 minutes, 11 seconds
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What Next: How Trump Gets Kicked off the Ballot

The Supreme Court now has to decide if the 14th amendment’s provision to keep insurrectionists off the ballot applies to Donald Trump. Guest: Jamelle Bouie, New York Times opinion columnist. If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on What Next. Sign up now at slate.com/whatnextplus to help support our work. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/8/202422 minutes, 38 seconds
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What Next: Are Two States Still the Solution?

Support for a “two-state solution” has been declining among both Israelis and Palestinians for years. If it’s time to give up on that plan, what’s the alternative?  Guest: Dov Waxman, professor of political science and the director of the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies. If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on What Next. Sign up now at slate.com/whatnextplus to help support our work. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/29/202430 minutes, 9 seconds
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Hear Me Out: Feminism Is Dying (But It Can Be Saved)

On today’s episode of Hear Me Out… which wave is this, anyway? There’s no denying that the feminist movement looks different now than it did 50 years ago — and in some ways, that’s a good thing. But there’s an argument to be made that the modern movement skews politically progressive… so much so that it’s leaving some women, and some issues, behind.  Phyllis Chesler, author and second-wave feminist, joins us. If you have thoughts you want to share, or an idea for a topic we should tackle, you can email the show: [email protected] Podcast production by Maura Currie. You can skip all the ads in Hear Me Out by joining Slate Plus! Sign up now at slate.com/hearmeoutplus for just $15 a month for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/23/202435 minutes, 40 seconds
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A Word: Send In the Clowns?

Decades before most people had heard of Barack Obama, Black Republican Colin Powell was widely believed to be on the path to the presidency. And the Republican Party was the first political home of many African Americans. But the contemporary G.O.P, led by former President Donald Trump, has introduced a new class of Black Republicans who command little respect within the community. What happened, and is there a place for Black Americans in today’s or tomorrow’s Republican Party? On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson discusses that with Clay Cane, journalist and author of The Grift: The Downward Spiral of Black Republicans from the Party of Lincoln to the Cult of Trump.  Guest: Writer Clay Cane Podcast production by Kristie Taiwo-Makanjuola You can skip all the ads in A Word by joining Slate Plus. Sign up now at slate.com/awordplus for $15 for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/19/202447 minutes, 41 seconds
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What Next TBD: The Great British Library Hack

When a cyberattack knocked the British Library out of commission in October of last year, a nation's researchers, scholars, students, and bookworms were left high and dry. Months later, the library is starting to come back online in limited capacity, but the attack has laid bare just how fragile our digital systems are.  Guest: Sam Knight, staff writer at the New Yorker If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on What Next TBD. Sign up now at slate.com/whatnextplus to help support our work. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/19/202427 minutes, 33 seconds
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Outward: The Outing of Bubba Copeland

This week Bryan Lowder sits down with Evan Urquhart of Assigned Media, a news site dedicated to daily coverage of anti-trans propaganda and its effects to discuss his latest article ‘The Outing of Bubba Copeland’ for Slate. Bubba Copeland was the Mayor of Smiths Station who was outed for having an online trans-identity by a conservative news website and later that week committed suicide. Bryan and Evan discuss how this outing reflects the wave of anti-trans legislation. Podcast production by Palace Shaw. Email us at [email protected] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/17/202434 minutes, 1 second
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A Word: A Black Power Radical’s Rise and Fall

The man who rose to fame –some would say infamy– as H. Rap Brown has a uniquely American story, inventing and reinventing himself over the course of decades. He turned himself from a teenage tough guy into a civil rights leader. He abandoned the philosophy of non-violence to become a Black Power pioneer. He underwent a jailhouse conversion to Islam, and became Imam Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, a guiding force of an insular Black Muslim community. And then, almost 40 years after he stepped into the public consciousness, he was convicted of fatally shooting a cop.  But was Imam Jamil being punished for his actions, or his past? In today’s episode of A Word, host Jason Johnson dives into the tangled history of the man once known as H. Rap Brown, and the murder case that landed him in jail for life. His guest is Mosi Secret, journalist and the host of the Radical podcast, which explores the case and the complicated search for justice. Guest: Mosi Secret, investigative journalist and host of the Radical podcast  Podcast production by Kristie Taiwo-Makanjuola You can skip all the ads in A Word by joining Slate Plus. Sign up now at slate.com/awordplus for $15 for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/22/202327 minutes, 44 seconds
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Hear Me Out: The Holidays Are Tacky. Embrace It

On today’s episode of Hear Me Out… ‘tis the damn season. Break out the glitter and the ugly sweaters. If you’re on social media, you’ve probably seen a lot of minimalist holiday décor this year — from celebrities, influencers, and DIY-ers alike. It seems trendy to try “class up” the holidays and eschew the bright and gaudy for the monotone, the understated, or the expensive-looking… but does living in fear of committing a faux pas maybe miss the point?  Kristen Meinzer, culture critic and cohost of The Daily Fail, joins us to defend the tacky — as not only counterculture, but as the real reason for the season. If you have thoughts you want to share, or an idea for a topic we should tackle, you can email the show: [email protected] Podcast production by Maura Currie. You can skip all the ads in Hear Me Out by joining Slate Plus. Sign up now at slate.com/hearmeoutplus for just $15 a month for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/19/202337 minutes, 28 seconds
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Hear Me Out: Race Isn’t Real. The Census Should Reflect That.

On today’s episode of Hear Me Out… cen-suspicions. We’re a little over six years away from the next national census. It’s understandable that this might not be at the top of your mind, but for a small group of academics and activists, it absolutely is.  Race isn’t a real thing, scientifically speaking. But we still live in a heavily racialized society, and the Census sets the stage for many, many policy decisions that impact race equity. So, if race isn’t real, why does the Census act like it’s a simple, immutable fact? Carlos Hoyt, an author and speaker, joins us to propose a more dynamic way of self reporting – and recording – race.  If you have thoughts you want to share, or an idea for a topic we should tackle, you can email the show: [email protected] Podcast production by Maura Currie. You can skip all the ads in Hear Me Out by joining Slate Plus. Sign up now at slate.com/hearmeoutplus for just $15 a month for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/12/202342 minutes, 58 seconds
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Hear Me Out: The Oppressed Still Have Moral Duties

On today’s episode of Hear Me Out… atrocities beget atrocities. The war in Gaza is ongoing, and brutal – and on this show we’ve discussed whether you, as an observer, have a responsibility to speak out about it… or to even choose a side between Israelis and Palestinians. This week, we take a different angle: who has a responsibility, in war, to do what? And not do what? And to whom?  Michael Walzer, author and professor emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study, joins us to argue that even the oppressed have obligations.  If you have thoughts you want to share, or an idea for a topic we should tackle, you can email the show: [email protected] Podcast production by Maura Currie. You can skip all the ads in Hear Me Out by joining Slate Plus. Sign up now at slate.com/hearmeoutplus for just $15 a month for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/5/202333 minutes, 23 seconds
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What Next: Moms for Liberty Tanked at the Polls. This Guy Called It.

Over the past few years, ultra-conservative activists took aim at school boards, trying to shape curriculums to match their beliefs. But this year, from Pennsylvania to Iowa, “parental rights candidates” lost handily. What happened? Guest: Adam Laats, Professor of Education and History at Binghamton University. If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on What Next. Sign up now at slate.com/whatnextplus to help support our work. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/20/202323 minutes, 51 seconds
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A Word: Rebirth of a Nation

The first hopes for a post-racial America were raised during Reconstruction, the post-Civil War era when the country’s leaders pledged to fulfill the promise of freedom for formerly enslaved Blacks. But after a decade of reforms, the brutal racial hierarchy was reestablished in the South, costing African Americans their rights, opportunities, and—in many cases—their lives. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson discusses the legacy of Reconstruction with Vann Newkirk II. He’s a senior editor for The Atlantic, which has devoted its latest issue to exploring that era of American history and what it can tell us about the current state of race in this country. Guest: Vann Newkirk II, senior editor of The Atlantic Podcast production by Ahyiana Angel You can skip all the ads in A Word by joining Slate Plus. Sign up now at slate.com/awordplus for $15 for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/17/202338 minutes, 35 seconds
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Decoder Ring: The Forgotten Video Game About Slavery

In 1992, a Minnesota-based software company known for its educational hit The Oregon Trail released another simulation-style game to school districts across the country. Freedom! took kids on a journey along the Underground Railroad, becoming the first American software program to use slavery as its subject matter. Less than four months later, it was pulled from the market. In this episode, we revisit this well-intentioned, but flawed foray into historical trauma that serves as a reminder that teaching Black history in America has always been fraught.  This episode was written by Willa Paskin. Decoder Ring is produced by Willa Paskin and Katie Shepherd. This episode was also produced by Benjamin Frisch, and edited by Erica Morrison. Derek John is executive producer. Joel Meyer is senior editor-producer and Merritt Jacob is senior technical director. We’re grateful to Julian Lucas for his expertise, reporting, and generosity, without which this episode would not have been possible. His New Yorker article, “Can Slavery Reenactments Set Us Free?,” revisits the Freedom! story as part of an exploration of the live Underground Railroad re-enactments that Kamau Kambui pioneered. Thank you to Jesse Fuchs for suggesting this topic. Thanks also to Coventry Cowens, Brigitte Fielder, Bob Whitaker, Alan Whisman, Wayne Studer, Alicia Montgomery, Rebecca Onion, Luke Winkie, and Kamau Kambui’s children: Yamro Kambui Fields, Halim Fields, Mawusi Kambui Pierre, Nanyamka Salley, and Kamau Sababu Kambui Jr.  If you haven’t please yet, subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show, please sign up for Slate Plus. Members get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads and have total access to Slate’s website. Your support is also crucial to our work. Go to Slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/15/202347 minutes, 23 seconds
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Hear Me Out: It’s Time To Sunset Social Security

On today’s episode of Hear Me Out… solving the insolvent. With the threat of a government shutdown looming (again), there are a lot of key programs and initiatives proving contentious for lawmakers. But nobody seems to ever flirt with the idea of cutting – or ending altogether – social security, And maybe it’s time to do just that.  Eric Boehm of Reason Magazine joins us to argue for the end… even the beginning of the end… for social security. If you have thoughts you want to share, or an idea for a topic we should tackle, you can email the show: [email protected] Podcast production by Maura Currie You can skip all the ads in Hear Me Out by joining Slate Plus. Sign up now at slate.com/hearmeoutplus for just $15 a month for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/14/202346 minutes, 4 seconds
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Decoder Ring: The Dating Manual Unlike Any Other

From the moment it was released in 1995, The Rules was controversial.. Some people loved it—and swore that the dating manual’s throwback advice helped them land a husband. Others thought it was retrograde hogwash that flew in the face of decades of feminist progress. The resulting brouhaha turned the book into a cultural phenomenon. In this episode, Slate’s Heather Schwedel explores where The Rules came from, how it became so popular, and why its list of 35 commandments continue to be so sticky—whether we like it or not.  Decoder Ring is produced by Willa Paskin and Katie Shepherd. This episode was edited by Willa Paskin. Derek John is executive producer. Joel Meyer is senior editor/producer. Merritt Jacob is our senior technical director. We’d like to to thank Benjamin Frisch, Rachel O'Neill, Penny Love, Heather Fain, Elif Batuman, Laura Banks, Marlene Velasquez-Sedito, Leigh Anderson, Caroline Smith. We also want to mention two sources that were really helpful: Labour of Love by Moira Weigel, a paper called Shrinking Violets and Caspar Milquetoasts by Patricia McDaniel If you haven’t yet, please subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show, we’d love for you to sign up for Slate Plus. Members get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads. Their support is also crucial to our work. So please go to Slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/8/202337 minutes, 35 seconds
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What Next: Can Hamas Actually Be Destroyed?

What does the history of Hamas tell us about where the Israel-Palestine conflict could go from here? Guest: Mohammed Hafez, professor who studies Islamist movements, political militancy, and violent radicalization at the Naval Postgraduate School and author of Why Muslims Rebel and Suicide Bombers in Iraq: The Strategy and Ideology of Martyrdom. If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on What Next. Sign up now at slate.com/whatnextplus to help support our work. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/2/202328 minutes, 50 seconds
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Decoder Ring: Mailbag - The Recorder, Limos, and “Baby on Board” Signs

We receive a lot of fantastic show ideas from our listeners—and we’re grateful for each and every one. For our latest mailbag episode, we’re tackling five of your questions, including “Why the hell do we teach kids to play the recorder?” (We’re paraphrasing a bit.) Also: We’ll explore the rise and fall of the stretch limo, the incredible versatility of the word “like,” the meaning of the “Baby on Board” sign, and why it took so long to develop luggage with wheels.  Decoder Ring is produced by Willa Paskin and Katie Shepherd. This episode was also produced by Rosemary Belson. Derek John is executive producer. Joel Meyer is senior editor/producer. Merritt Jacob is our senior technical director. Thank you to every listener who has submitted a suggestion for an episode. We truly appreciate your ideas. We read them all, even if we don’t always respond. Thanks for being a listener and for thinking creatively about this show.  If you haven’t yet, please subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show, we’d love for you to sign up for Slate Plus. Members get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads. Their support is also crucial to our work. So please go to Slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/1/202340 minutes, 52 seconds
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Decoder Ring: When Art Pranksters Invaded Melrose Place

In the mid-1990s, the prime time drama Melrose Place became a home to hundreds of pieces of contemporary art—and no one noticed. In this episode, Isaac Butler tells the story of the artist collective that smuggled subversive quilts, sperm-shaped pool floats, and dozens of other provocative works onto the set of the hit TV show. The project, In the Name of the Place, inspired a real-life exhibition and tested the ability of mass media to get us to see what’s right in front of our faces.  Decoder Ring is produced by Willa Paskin and Katie Shepherd. This episode was written and reported by Isaac Butler and produced by Benjamin Frisch. Derek John is executive producer. Joel Meyer is senior editor/producer. Merritt Jacob is our senior technical director. Thank you to Jamie Bennett, JJ Bersch, Mark Flood, and Cynthia Carr, whose book On Edge: Performance at the End of the 20th Century inspired this episode. If you haven’t yet, please subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show, we’d love for you to sign up for Slate Plus. Members get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads. Their support is also crucial to our work. So please go to Slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/25/202341 minutes, 34 seconds
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Decoder Ring: The Fast Decline of the Slow Dance

Judging from teen dramas on Netflix, the slow dance seems to be alive and well. But when you talk to actual teens, it’s clear this time-honored tradition is on life support. In this episode, we trace the history of slow dancing from its origins in partner dances like the waltz to the modern “zombie sway” seen at middle-school dances and high-school proms. Plus, former slow dancers offer up stiff-armed, nostalgia-soaked stories about a rite of passage that’s fading fast. Decoder Ring is produced by Willa Paskin and Katie Shepherd. This episode was edited by Zakiya Gibbons. Derek John is executive producer. Joel Meyer is senior editor/producer. Merritt Jacob is our senior technical director. Thank you to Benjamin Frisch and Carlos Pareja. Special thanks to everyone who shared their slow dancing stories, including Ralph Giordano, Matt Baume, Meryl Bezrutczyk, Ari Feldman, Ava Candade, Eileen Zheng, and Harper Kois Here’s the article by Kyle Denis that we mentioned in the episode: The Death of the Slow Dance? How the One-Time Rite of Passage Has Evolved for Gen Z.  If you haven’t yet, please subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show, we’d love for you to sign up for Slate Plus. Members get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads. Their support is also crucial to our work. So please go to Slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/18/202345 minutes, 43 seconds
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Hear Me Out: Teaching Civics Can’t Save Democracy

On today’s episode of Hear Me Out… I’m just a bill. A lot of Americans will agree, even across party lines, that our democracy feels broken. A commonly proposed solution is beefing up, or formalizing, the way we teach young people civics.  Entities from the Center for American Progress to Vivek Ramaswamy have suggested that it’s time that we get students to know more about their government — in the hopes that knowing more leads to caring more, and engaging more. But by prioritizing civics, what else could students be missing?  Reason Magazine’s Christian Barnard is our guest, here to argue that civics won’t save us. If you have thoughts you want to share, or an idea for a topic we should tackle, you can email the show: [email protected] Podcast production by Maura Currie You can skip all the ads in Hear Me Out by joining Slate Plus. Sign up now at slate.com/hearmeoutplus for just $15 a month for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/17/202343 minutes, 2 seconds
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Hear Me Out: Columbus Day Is Worth Celebrating

On today’s episode of Hear Me Out… sailing the ocean blue. Most of us just had Monday off for the holiday formerly known as Columbus Day — and technically, still known as Columbus Day, on the federal level. Indigenous People’s Day, or Native Americans’ Day, was christened as a rebuttal to what Columbus actually meant for many: colonialism, violence, death, and destruction. But there are those who believe that Columbus, the man, is a different beast than Columbus, the event. Spanish ships landing in the Caribbean was a monumental moment in global history… so could that still be worth commemorating, even in a world that’s no longer kind to Columbus?  Prof. William Connell, chair of Italian Studies at Seton Hall University and organizer/co-editor of the definitive Routledge History of Italian-Americans, joins us.  If you have thoughts you want to share, or an idea for a topic we should tackle, you can email the show: [email protected] Podcast production by Maura Currie You can skip all the ads in Hear Me Out by joining Slate Plus. Sign up now at slate.com/hearmeoutplus for just $15 a month for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/10/202338 minutes, 59 seconds
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A Word: Black Grief, White Grievance

Many of the gains of the Civil Rights movement were built by African Americans who turned grief—often over the violent deaths of loved ones—into activism. At the same time, grief over anticipated or theoretical losses within the white community is frequently harnessed into political power. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by political science professor Juliet Hooker, author of Black Grief/White Grievance, about why anger and even violence has often been framed as a justified response to white losses of power and influence, but inappropriate among Black people, even when there’s loss of life. Guest: Juliet Hooker, Professor of Political Science at Brown University Podcast production by Ahyiana Angel You can skip all the ads in A Word by joining Slate Plus. Sign up now at slate.com/awordplus for $15 for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/6/202327 minutes, 26 seconds
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The Waves: The Afghan Women Left Behind - Gender And U.S. Immigration

On this week’s episode of The Waves, Host Kat Chow turns to Afghanistan, two years since the chaotic withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country. She speaks with reporter Tanvi Misra, who recently published an article with Politico following a family trapped in immigration limbo at a U.S. embassy in Doha, Qatar. Tanvi also explains how the U.S. immigration process singles out women and marginalized genders. Further reading: They Thought Their Sick Little Girl Would Be Safe in America. Then It Denied Her Family Entry. In Slate Plus: The drama and life of luxury on Prime Video’s Made in Heaven with Host Kat Chow and reporter Tanvi Misra If you liked this episode, check out: Incompetent Cervix - The Misogynist History Behind Naming The Female Body Podcast production by Vic Whitley-Berry and Cheyna Roth with editorial oversight by Daisy Rosario and Alicia Montgomery. Send your comments and recommendations on what to cover to [email protected]. If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get an ad-free experience across the network and exclusive content on many shows—you’ll also be supporting the work we do here on How To!. Sign up now at slate.com/thewavesplus to help support our work. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/28/202348 minutes, 9 seconds
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What Next: Can Marriage Fix America?

Why is everyone—on the left and the right—suddenly touting the benefits of a married two-parent family? And what is it about this institution that appeals to a certain class of politicians and pundits as means to address American poverty, even as it loses popularity? We consider the public meltdown over lower marriage rates and the renewed interest in ending no-fault divorce.  Guest: Rebecca Traister, author of All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation and writer-at-large for New York magazine.  If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on What Next. Sign up now at slate.com/whatnextplus to help support our work. Podcast production by Elena Schwartz, Madeline Ducharme, Anna Phillips, Paige Osburn, and Rob Gunther. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/28/202324 minutes, 11 seconds
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What Next: Wait, China’s Taking Our Pandas Back?

Everybody loves pandas—and China knows it. As we say goodbye to the National Zoo’s pandas, we look back at 50 years of “panda diplomacy” and consider its uncertain future. Guest: E. Elena Songster, author of Panda Nation: The Construction and Conservation of China’s Modern Icon and professor of environmental history of modern China at St. Mary’s College of California. If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on What Next. Sign up now at slate.com/whatnextplus to help support our work. Podcast production by Elena Schwartz, Madeline Ducharme, Anna Phillips, Paige Osburn, and Rob Gunther. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/27/202330 minutes, 11 seconds
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Gabfest Reads: Zadie Smith Knows You're a Fraud

Emily Bazelon talks with author Zadie Smith about her new book, The Fraud. They discuss what happens when justice comes through an unjust symbol, how much Zadie does and doesn’t know about her characters, and more.  Tweet us your questions @SlateGabfest or email us at [email protected]. (Messages could be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.) Podcast production by Cheyna Roth. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/23/202329 minutes, 13 seconds
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A Word: School of Destruction

Against the odds, a tight-knit group of Black families created the community of Shoe Lane in Newport News, Virginia in the early 20th century. Residents bought land, and often built their homes, expecting to hand down a thriving African American neighborhood to future generations. Then Christopher Newport University systematically took the land over, pushing out all but a handful of now-elderly residents. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by journalist Brandi Kellam, who helped bring the story to light. She co-reported Erasing the “Black Spot”: How a Virginia College Expanded by Uprooting a Black Neighborhood for ProPublica and the Virginia Center for Investigative Journalism at WHRO.   Guest: Journalist Brandi Kellam Podcast production by Kristie Taiwo-Makanjuola You can skip all the ads in A Word by joining Slate Plus. Sign up now at slate.com/awordplus for $15 for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/22/202328 minutes, 59 seconds
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Hear Me Out: Bring Back The Draft

On today’s episode of Hear Me Out… the conscription question. The U.S. military is having trouble meeting recruitment goals — and for the first time in recent history, the Army has actually failed to meet its minimum.  Joe Plenzler, a writer, consultant and Marine Corps veteran, joins us to argue that it’s time to bring back the draft; more specifically, a partial one. It’d help address recruiting shortfalls, but more importantly, it might also change how Americans feel about public service… and how politicians feel about endless war. If you have thoughts you want to share, or an idea for a topic we should tackle, you can email the show: [email protected] Podcast production by Maura Currie You can skip all the ads in Hear Me Out by joining Slate Plus. Sign up now at slate.com/hearmeoutplus for just $15 a month for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/19/202336 minutes, 49 seconds
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A Word: Wrong from the Beginning

The teaching of Black history has been under increasing political attack in recent years. But the version of African American history taught –even to Black people– has always been incomplete. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by columnist Michael Harriot to discuss his new book, Black AF History: The Un-Whitewashed Story of America. They discuss the inspiration for the book, the most persistent myths of race and racism, and fighting the backlash against Black history. Guest: Michael Harriot, author of Black AF History: The Un-Whitewashed Story of America Podcast production by Kristie Taiwo-Makanjuola You can skip all the ads in A Word by joining Slate Plus. Sign up now at slate.com/awordplus for $15 for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/15/202334 minutes, 8 seconds
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Hear Me Out: Overconfidence Is Killing The Supreme Court

On today’s episode of Hear Me Out… supreme hubris. The Supreme Court is currently unpopular to a historic degree. That popularity is, of course, contingent on political opinion – and whether the court has bucked it recently. But most people agree that something’s wrong with the Supreme Court as an institution. And, according to Aaron Tang, it’s not partisanship… even though that’s a popular scapegoat. It’s overconfidence and egos running wild. Professor and author Aaron Tang joins us to discuss what’s wrong with SCOTUS, and how we might start to fix it. If you have thoughts you want to share, or an idea for a topic we should tackle, you can email the show: [email protected] Podcast production by Maura Currie You can skip all the ads in Hear Me Out by joining Slate Plus. Sign up now at slate.com/hearmeoutplus for just $15 a month for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/5/202339 minutes, 27 seconds
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Amicus - Citizen Justice: The Environmental Legacy of William O. Douglas

In Amicus’ summer series of conversations about books that expanded our thinking about justice and the courts, beyond the churn of headlines, Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Judge Margaret M. McKeown of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth CIrcuit, to discuss her book Citizen Justice: The Environmental Legacy of William O. Douglas―Public Advocate and Conservation Champion Sign up for Slate Plus now to support our show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/26/202356 minutes, 50 seconds
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Decoder Ring: Think Catchphrases Are Dead? Eat My Shorts.

Once you start listening for catchphrases in everyday life—you can’t stop hearing them. From the radio era’s “Holy mackerel!” to Fonzie’s “Ayyy!” to Urkel’s multiple go-to lines on Family Matters, we explore the irresistible quotables from sitcoms, movies and social media that have burrowed into our collective lexicon. Oh, just one more thing… bazinga! (Did I do that?) This episode was written by Willa Paskin, who produces Decoder Ring with Katie Shepherd. This episode was edited by Joel Meyer. Derek John is Slate’s executive producer of narrative podcasts. Merritt Jacob is our senior technical director. Thank you to Luke Winkie, Stephen Langford, Doug Dietzold and The Good, the Bad and the Sequel podcast, and Shawn Green for the suggestion and Urkel clips.  If you have any cultural mysteries you want us to decode, you can email us at [email protected] If you haven’t yet, subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show and want to support us, consider signing up for Slate Plus. As a member, you’ll get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads—and your support is crucial to our work. Go to slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/9/202340 minutes, 23 seconds
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Hear Me Out: Affirmative Action Failed Poor Black Kids

On today’s episode of Hear Me Out… almost affirmative.  We don’t yet know what the Supreme Court’s ruling on affirmative action is going to do, tangibly, to college admissions — or how long those impacts will last. But, based on past experiments, we have a decent idea. And many advocates say the implications here are urgent and dire. But affirmative action might not have been the great equalizing force that a lot of people believe it was.  Bertrand Cooper, freelance journalist and policy researcher, joins us to elaborate on his belief that poor Black kids were failed by affirmative action.  If you have thoughts you want to share, or an idea for a topic we should tackle, you can email the show: [email protected] Podcast production by Maura Currie You can skip all the ads in Hear Me Out by joining Slate Plus. Sign up now at slate.com/hearmeoutplus for just $15 a month for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/8/202335 minutes, 32 seconds
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What Next: Florida Public Schools' New Anti-Woke Partner

In July, Florida approved the use of Prager U materials in its classrooms. The organization claims its videos offer an alternative to the prevailing left-wing ideology in the classroom. Its founder told a sympathetic audience that what they offer is indoctrination. What impact could these videos have in public schools? And where could they be heading next? Guest: John Knefel, senior writer for Media Matters for America. If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on What Next. Sign up now at slate.com/whatnextplus to help support our work. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/7/202326 minutes, 24 seconds
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What Next: It’s Hot as Hell. Why Are Pools Closed?

The temperature is going up, but the number of open, public pools isn’t. It’s not just a summer bummer; it’s turning into a public health crisis. Guest: Mara Gay, member of the New York Times editorial board, focused on New York State and local affairs. If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on What Next. Sign up now at slate.com/whatnextplus to help support our work. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/3/202325 minutes, 23 seconds
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Decoder Ring: The Quest for a Homemade Hovercraft

When Slate’s Evan Chung was a kid, he was obsessed with a mysterious advertisement that ran for decades in the scouting magazine Boys’ Life. Under the enticing headline “You Can Float on Air,” the ad assured Evan—and generations of scouts—that a personal hovercraft could be theirs for just a few bucks.  In this episode, the adult version of Evan journeys halfway across the country to wield power tools, summon his latent scouting skills, and conscript his father into a quest three decades in the making.  Will Evan float on air? Scout’s honor: You’ll just have to listen.  This episode was written by Evan Chung, who produced this episode with Decoder Ring’s Willa Paskin and Katie Shepherd. It was edited by Willa Paskin and Joel Meyer. Derek John is Slate’s executive producer of narrative podcasts. Merritt Jacob is our senior technical director. If you haven’t yet, please subscribe and rate our feed on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show and want to support us, consider signing up for Slate Plus. As a member, you’ll get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads—and your support is crucial to our work. Go to slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/2/202342 minutes, 20 seconds
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Decoder Ring: A Brief History of Making Out

Kissing—the romantic, sexual, steamy kind—is so ingrained in us that it just seems like a fact of life. Like breathing or eating, we just do it. But what if it’s not like that at all?  In this episode, we’re going to look at passionate kissing, well, dispassionately, not as something instinctual and innate but as a cultural practice. We’re going to backtrack through history in search of the origins of the kiss, with some surprises along the way.  This episode was written by Willa Paskin, who produces Decoder Ring with Katie Shepherd. This episode was edited by Andrea Bruce and Joel Meyer. Derek John is Slate’s executive producer of narrative podcasts. Merritt Jacob is our senior technical director. Thank you to Marcel Danesi. If you’re interested in the papers we mentioned, you can read about Justin Garcia and William Jankowiak’s research, Troels Pank Arbøll and Sophie Lund Rasmussen’s essay, Sabrina Imbler’s When Was the First Sexy Kiss? and the herpes study. (Here’s that bronze-age statue, too!) If you haven’t yet, please subscribe and rate our feed on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show and want to support us, consider signing up for Slate Plus. As a member, you’ll get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads—and your support is crucial to our work. Go to slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/26/202336 minutes, 59 seconds
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Political Gabfest Reads: How the British Empire Twisted the Truth

David Plotz talks with author David Grann about his new book, The Wager. The non-fiction book tells the harrowing story of a shipwreck off the coast of Patagonia in 1742. They discuss how the British Empire twisted fact and fiction, the process of digging through 280-year-old documents, and why you should always have citrus at sea. Tweet us your questions @SlateGabfest or email us at [email protected]. (Messages could be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.) Podcast production by Cheyna Roth. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/22/202328 minutes, 3 seconds
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A Word: Justice Delayed, Justice Denied?

Oklahoma’s legendary “Black Wall Street” was destroyed in the Tulsa Massacre of 1921. Hundreds of victims were murdered and dumped in mass graves, and dozens of homes and businesses were burned to the ground. More than a century later, three survivors remain, fighting for justice. But their lawsuit seeking reparations was recently dealt a blow in court. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons to talk about the case, the history and the next steps. Guest: Attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons, founder of the Justice 4 Greenwood organization Podcast production by Kristie Taiwo-Makanjuola You can skip all the ads in A Word by joining Slate Plus. Sign up now at slate.com/awordplus for $15 for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/21/202328 minutes, 17 seconds
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The Waves: Why Barbie Lives On

On this week’s episode of The Waves, it’s all about Barbie. Slate senior producer Cheyna Roth sits down with M.G. Lord, author of Forever Barbie and co-host of “LA Made: The Barbie Tapes” from LAist and So Cal Public Radio. They discuss the history of the Barbie doll and how she’s managed to endure, how Barbie might actually be feminist, and what the new Greta Gerwig movie gets right about Barbie.   In Slate Plus: Episode 6 of our And Just Like That…recap. If you liked this episode check out Is The Wedding Dress Dead?   Podcast production by Cheyna Roth with editorial oversight by Daisy Rosario and Alicia Montgomery. Send your comments and recommendations on what to cover to [email protected]. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/20/202332 minutes, 48 seconds
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Decoder Ring: What's Really Going On Inside a Mosh Pit?

The mosh pit has a reputation as a violent place where (mostly) white guys vent their aggression. There’s some truth to that, but it’s also a place bound by camaraderie and—believe it or not—etiquette. In this episode, we explore the unwritten rules of this 50-year-old, live-music phenomenon with punks, concertgoers and a heavy metal physicist. Decoder Ring is produced by Willa Paskin with Katie Shepherd. This episode was written by Katie Shepherd. This episode was edited by Willa Paskin and Andrea Bruce, with help from Joel Meyer. Derek John is Slate’s executive producer of narrative podcasts. Merritt Jacob is our senior technical director. Thank you to Vivien Goldman, Paolo Ragusa, and Philip Moriarty whose insights and research on moshing were crucial to this episode. You can create your own mosh pit using this simulator developed by Jesse Silverberg and his colleagues. If you haven’t yet, please subscribe and rate our feed on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show and want to support us, consider signing up for Slate Plus. As a member, you’ll get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads—and your support is crucial to our work. Go to slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/19/202333 minutes, 50 seconds
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A Word: Black Dolls Matter

Barbie is more than a toy. She’s an icon, and now the focus of a blockbuster film. For generations, Barbie has helped define all-American beauty, often leaving girls who weren’t blonde, thin, and white feeling invisible. But that began to change in the 1980’s with the introduction of Black Barbies. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by Lagueria Davis, the producer of Black Barbie: A Documentary. The film tells the stories of the African American women who helped bring Black Barbie to life, and the surprising impact that had on the marketplace, and the emotional lives of Black girls. Guest: Filmmaker Lagueria Davis, producer of Black Barbie: A Documentary Podcast production by Ahyiana Angel  You can skip all the ads in A Word by joining Slate Plus. Sign up now at slate.com/awordplus for $15 for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/14/202328 minutes, 26 seconds
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Decoder Ring: The Great Parmesan Cheese Debate

Parmesan is a food—but it’s not just a food. Italy’s beloved cheese is often paired with a deep craving for tradition and identity. But its history also involves intrepid immigrants, lucrative businesses and an American version that’s probably available in your local grocery store. After a notorious debunker of Italian-cuisine myths claims this Wisconsin-made product is the real deal, we embark on a quest to answer the question: Has an Italian delicacy been right under our noses this whole time? Decoder Ring is produced by Willa Paskin with Katie Shepherd. This episode was written by Willa Paskin and edited by Andrea Bruce. We had production help from Patrick Fort and editing help from Joel Meyer. Derek John is Slate’s executive producer of narrative podcasts. Merritt Jacob is our senior technical director. Thank you to Giacomo Stefanini for translating. Thank you to Fabio Parasecoli, Ken Kane, Thomas McNamee, Dan Weber, Irene Graziosi, James Norton, and Ian MacAllen, whose knowledge and book Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American were very helpful.  You should also read Marianna Giusti’s article in the Financial Times. If you feel like really nerding out, we also recommend the 1948 academic study Italian Cheese Production in the American Dairy Region. We also included clips in this episode from David Rocco’s YouTube channel about how Parmigiano-Reggiano is made and from Gennaro Contaldo’s YouTube documentary on the same subject. If you haven’t yet, please subscribe and rate our feed on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show and want to support us, consider signing up for Slate Plus. As a member, you’ll get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads—and your support is crucial to our work. Go to slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/12/202344 minutes, 18 seconds
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Hear Me Out: Insurrection Is A Force For Good

On today’s episode of Hear Me Out… don’t you know they’re talking ‘bout a revolution?  July 4th celebrates one of the least bloody milestones of the American Revolution. But we have a complicated relationship with overthrowing the powers that be in this country – not to mention when other nations do it.  We call what happened on January 6th, 2021 an insurrection. But what do we do with the George Floyd uprisings? Other efforts to buck the system? Who, as the “common man,” should we be rooting for?  Geo Maher, writer and political organizer, once again joins us to make the case for good-faith insurrection, even when it’s messy.  If you have thoughts you want to share, or an idea for a topic we should tackle, you can email the show: [email protected] Podcast production by Maura Currie You can skip all the ads in Hear Me Out by joining Slate Plus. Sign up now at slate.com/hearmeoutplus for just $15 a month for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/4/202335 minutes, 13 seconds
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Hear Me Out: Descendants Of Slaves Don’t Need Reparations

On today’s episode of Hear Me Out… an archaeology of grievances. In honor of the third Juneteenth being celebrated as a national holiday, it’s worth unpacking symbolic gestures like Juneteenth — and, as many states are finding out, like Reparations. The movement to compensate the descendants of slaves is gaining more traction than ever before, in many parts of the country. Could this be our chance to clear a massive, lingering blight on our nation’s history?  Our guest today argues no. Podcast host and columnist Coleman Hughes joins us to make the case that compensating the victims of slavery was something we should’ve done long ago – and now, it’s too late for it to be anything other than a problem.   If you have thoughts you want to share, or an idea for a topic we should tackle, you can now email the show: [email protected] Podcast production by Maura Currie You can skip all the ads in Hear Me Out by joining Slate Plus. Sign up now at slate.com/hearmeoutplus for just $15 a month for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/20/202346 minutes, 53 seconds
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How To!: Find the Gems in All Your Junk

Most people have something they’re holding on to. For Lesley and Alex, that’s some old baseball and basketball cards that are collecting dust in their attic. For Kathy, that’s a house full of antiques. They’ve all been wanting to pare it down. But the big question is: how much is it worth? On this episode of How To! co-host Carvell Wallace is joined by Leila Dunbar, a veteran appraiser and frequent expert on Antiques Roadshow. Leila knows the stories and the value behind all kinds of collectibles and memorabilia. She’ll break down why we hold on to certain items and let go of others…and how to make money along the way.  If you liked this episode, check out: “How To Put Your Town on the Map.” Do you have a problem that’s keeping you up at night? Send us a note at [email protected] or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might have you on the show. Subscribe for free on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen. Podcast production by Derek John, Rosemary Belson, Kevin Bendis, and Jabari Butler. If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get an ad-free experience across the network and exclusive content on many shows—you’ll also be supporting the work we do here on How To!. Sign up now at slate.com/howtoplus to help support our work. This Pride Month, make an impact by helping Macy’s and The Trevor Project on their mission to fund life-saving suicide prevention services for LGBTQ youth. Go to macys.com/purpose to learn more.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/20/202339 minutes, 2 seconds
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A Word: My Father, the Spy

Every family has secrets. As a girl, Leta McCollough Seletzky learned that her father, Marrell McCollough– was on the scene of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. But it would be years before she learned that he was there as a spy for the Memphis police, who wanted information on King’s local allies. On today’s episode of A Word, she speaks with Jason Johnson about her father’s story, captured in her new book, The Kneeling Man: My Father's Life as a Black Spy Who Witnessed the Assassination of Martin Luther King. Guest: Leta McCollough Seletzky, author of The Kneeling Man: My Father's Life as a Black Spy Who Witnessed the Assassination of Martin Luther King Podcast production by Ahyiana Angel You can skip all the ads in A Word by joining Slate Plus. Sign up now at slate.com/awordplus for $15 for your first three months. This Pride Month, make an impact by helping Macy’s and The Trevor Project on their mission to fund life-saving suicide prevention services for LGBTQ youth. Go to macys.com/purpose to learn more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/2/202326 minutes, 6 seconds
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Hear Me Out: “Thank You For Your Service” Feels Cheap

On today’s episode of Hear Me Out… empty thanks? Memorial Day is meant to commemorate those who lost their lives in serving this country. Around such a heavy day — and on many others — the common refrain of “thank you for your service” can feel hollow to living veterans, as well as military families. What are we reflexively thanking these people for, and how could we tangibly show gratitude instead?  Third-generation veteran and writer Lucian Truscott IV joins us to propose that, while words may be well-intentioned, there are better ways to thank those who’ve served. ________________ Note: this episode includes a brief discussion of suicide. If you or a loved one need support, help is always available at the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline — you can call and text 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 988.  Veterans can access specialized resources at the Veterans’ Crisis Line. ________________ If you have thoughts you want to share, or an idea for a topic we should tackle, you can now email the show: [email protected] Podcast production by Maura Currie You can skip all the ads in Hear Me Out by joining Slate Plus. Sign up now at slate.com/hearmeoutplus for just $15 a month for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/30/202327 minutes, 35 seconds
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A Word: Reckoning on Campus

The murder of George Floyd prompted a number of American colleges and universities to reckon with their historic roles in slavery. Three years later, many institutions have abandoned those efforts. One that’s still going strong is the Hard Histories Project at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by historian Martha Jones, the director of that effort. The scholars associated with the project have uncovered many challenging truths, including evidence that the founder of Johns Hopkins—widely hailed as an abolitionist—owned slaves. Guest: Historian Martha Jones, Director of the Hard Histories Project at Johns Hopkins University Podcast production by Kristie Taiwo-Makanjuola You can skip all the ads in A Word by joining Slate Plus. Sign up now at slate.com/awordplus for $15 for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/26/202335 minutes
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Hear Me Out: Policing Can’t Be Reformed And Must Be Abolished

On today’s episode of Hear Me Out… imagine a world without police. Three years after George Floyd’s murder, we’ve seen some incremental change in how we try to prevent police brutality. But it still happens, all too often — and Americans are still dying, in alarming numbers, at the hands of police.  Writer and organizer Geo Maher joins us to argue that our law enforcement system is too bloated and corrupt to fix. Instead, we should dismantle it entirely and start from scratch.  If you have thoughts you want to share, or an idea for a topic we should tackle, you can now email the show: [email protected] Podcast production by Maura Currie You can skip all the ads in Hear Me Out by joining Slate Plus. Sign up now at slate.com/hearmeoutplus for just $15 a month for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/23/202334 minutes, 56 seconds
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A Word: The Ballot, the Bullet, and the Truth

Malcolm X was born on May 19, 1925, and he remains one of the most polarizing figures of the civil rights movement. An enduring myth from that era is that he and Martin Luther King Jr. were diametrically opposed politically. But the recent revelation that a quote where King condemned Malcolm X was false has prompted a wider reconsideration of his beliefs and legacy. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by historian Peniel Joseph, author of “The Sword and the Shield: The Revolutionary Lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.” Professor Joseph explains why the popular understanding of Malcolm X is so incomplete, and helps to give a more nuanced portrait of him as a man and a leader.  Guest: Peniel Joseph, Barbara Jordan Chair in Ethics and Political Values at the University of Texas, LBJ School of Public Affairs Podcast production by Ahyiana Angel You can skip all the ads in A Word by joining Slate Plus. Sign up now at slate.com/awordplus for $15 for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/19/202337 minutes, 54 seconds
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A Word: Dungeons, Dragons, and Diversity

The persistent stereotype that role-playing, tabletop game players are overwhelmingly white is rooted in race, housing, and history. The suburban homes where people could dedicate a surface to a sprawling, multiplayer board game used to be almost exclusively white. And the knights, wizards, and other fantastic creatures in these games were closely tied to European mythology. But a more diverse world of game playing is rising, with more people of color getting a seat at the creative table. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson discusses diversity in hobby games with Aaron Trammell, a professor of informatics at U.C. Irvine. He’s also the author of the new book The Privilege of Play: A History of Hobby Games, Race and Geek Culture. Guest: Aaron Trammell, author of The Privilege of Play: A History of Hobby Games, Race and Geek Culture Podcast production by Kristie Taiwo-Makanjuola You can skip all the ads in A Word by joining Slate Plus. Sign up now at slate.com/awordplus for $15 for your first three months. Make an impact this Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month by helping Macy’s on their mission to fund APIA Scholars. Go to macys.com/purpose to learn more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/12/202335 minutes, 10 seconds
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Decoder Ring: Who Owns the Tooth Fairy?

We pride ourselves on being grounded, rational beings, but flitting amongst us is a mystery: the Tooth Fairy. This flying piece of folklore is alive and well in the 21st century, handed down to kids in whatever way their parents see fit.  In this episode, with the help of Tinkerbell, Santa Claus, and some savvy humans who are trying to exploit this strange creature’s untapped intellectual property, we’ll explore the origins of this childhood ritual, its durability—and its remarkable resistance to commercialization.  This podcast was written by Willa Paskin, who produces Decoder Ring with Katie Shepherd. This episode was edited by Jamie York. Derek John is Slate’s executive producer of narrative podcasts. Merritt Jacob is our senior technical director. Thank you to Charles Duan, Jim Piddock, Purva Merchant, Hannah Morris, Laurie Leahy, Torie Bosch, and Rebecca Onion. Also, a big tip of the hat to Rosemary Wells, the dental school instructor who in the 1970s began exploring the Tooth Fairy’s, ahem, roots . Much of Wells’ work is out of print, but you can find one of her pieces in a collection called The Good People: New Fairylore Essays. If you haven’t please yet, subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show, sign up for Slate Plus. You’ll be able to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads—and your support is crucial to our work. Go to www.slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Decoder Ring is now available on YouTube. Listen here: https://slate.trib.al/ucMyTst Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/10/202338 minutes, 7 seconds
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A Word: Becoming “The Black Mozart”

Even classical art can be revolutionary. That was true for violinist Joseph Bologne. He was a biracial musical prodigy who worked and charmed his way into the center of 18th-century French society. But the new film “Chevalier” shows how even his genius couldn’t save him from the poisonous combination of bias and envy. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by actor Kelvin Harrison Jr., star of “Chevalier.” They talk about rediscovering this largely forgotten musical history, and Harrison’s critically acclaimed work on stage and screen. Guest: Actor Kelvin Harrison, Jr. Podcast production by Ahyiana Angel You can skip all the ads in A Word by joining Slate Plus. Sign up now at slate.com/awordplus for $15 for your first three months. Make an impact this Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month by helping Macy’s on their mission to fund APIA Scholars. Go to macys.com/purpose to learn more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/5/202321 minutes, 14 seconds
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What Next: Charles In Charge

It’s the first British coronation in 70 years and along with the celebration, questions abound: What kind of king will Charles be? Who is Charles anyway? And why even have a king?  Guest: Imogen West-Knights, writer and Slate contributor If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Amicus—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on What Next. Sign up now at slate.com/whatnextplus to help support our work. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/4/202324 minutes, 49 seconds
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Decoder Ring: Why You Can’t Find a Damn Parking Spot

Parking is one of the great paradoxes of American life. On the one hand, we have paved an ungodly amount of land to park our cars. On the other, it seems like it’s never enough.  Slate’s Henry Grabar has spent the last few years investigating how our pathological need for car storage determines the look, feel, and function of the places we live. It turns out our quest for parking has made some of our biggest problems worse. In this episode, we’re going to hunt for parking, from the mean streets of Brooklyn to the sandy lots of Florida. We’ll explore how parking has quietly damaged the American landscape—and see what might fix it. This episode was written by Henry Grabar, author of Paved Paradise: How Parking Explains the World. It was edited by Willa Paskin, who produces Decoder Ring with Katie Shepherd. We had extra production from Patrick Fort and editing help from Joel Meyer. Derek John is Slate’s executive producer of narrative podcasts. Merritt Jacob is our senior technical director. Thank you to: Jane Wilberding, Rachel Weinberger, Donald Shoup, Andrés Duany, Robert Davis, Micah Davis, Christy Milliken, Fletcher Isacks, Victor Benhamou, and Nina Pareja.  If you have any cultural mysteries you want us to decode, you can email us at [email protected] If you haven’t yet, please subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. (Even better, tell your friends.) If you’re a fan of the show, sign up for Slate Plus. You’ll be able to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads—and your support is crucial to our work. Go to www.slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Decoder Ring is now available on YouTube. Listen here: https://slate.trib.al/ucMyTst Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/3/202337 minutes, 31 seconds
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What Next: America’s Rich History of Gun Control

When the Supreme Court struck down New York’s concealed carry law last year, it set a precedent that gun control laws should be judged against “historical tradition.” But judged against actual American history, it’s the on-going repeal of gun control laws that’s an anomaly.  Guest: Robert J Spitzer, professor emeritus at SUNY Cortland, author of The Gun Dilemma. If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Amicus—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on What Next. Sign up now at slate.com/whatnextplus to help support our work. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/3/202324 minutes
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Hear Me Out: The Iraq War Was a Necessary Evil

On today’s episode of Hear Me Out… Mission Accomplished?  This year marks the 20th anniversary of then-President Bush’s infamous address aboard an aircraft carrier, declaring that the war had been won and Iraqis were free. We know now, of course, that the war had not been won – and in 2003, it was far from over. Many thousands of lives were lost. With the gift of hindsight, can we see the war as anything other than a costly mistake? Iraqi-American and President of Ideas Beyond Borders Faisal Saeed Al Mutar joins Celeste to argue that the war, while mismanaged, was a victory — and that the alternatives could have been far, far worse.  If you have thoughts you want to share, or an idea for a topic we should tackle, you can now email the show: [email protected] Podcast production by Maura Currie You can skip all the ads in Hear Me Out by joining Slate Plus. Sign up now at slate.com/hearmeoutplus for just $15 a month for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/2/202331 minutes, 35 seconds
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Decoder Ring: The Artist Who Was Both Loved and Disdained

We bring you a special episode from Sidedoor, a podcast about the treasures that fill the vaults of the Smithsonian. This story is inspired by “Big Band,” a defining work by the painter LeRoy Neiman.  Neiman was a character, a cultural gadfly and an omnipresent artist who sat for decades right at the nexus of professional success, cultural ubiquity, and critical disregard. What made him so popular? What made him so disdained? And what can we learn from how he resolved this dissonance?  Sidedoor is produced by the Smithsonian with PRX.  The Sidedoor podcast team is Justin O'Neill, James Morrison, Stephanie De Leon Tzic, Ann Conanan, Caitlin Shaffer, Tami O'Neill, Jess Sadeq, Lara Koch, and Sharon Bryant. The show is mixed by Tarek Fouda and the theme song and episode music are by Breakmaster Cylinder.  Decoder Ring is produced by Willa Paskin and Katie Shepherd. Derek John is Executive Producer of Narrative Podcasts. Merritt Jacob is our Technical Director. Special thanks to Joel Meyer, the LeRoy Neiman and Janet Byrne Neiman Foundation, especially Tara Zabor, Dan Duray, Heather Long, and Janet Neiman. Also thank you to the team at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History: Stephanie Johnson, Ken Kimery, Theo Gonzalvez, Eric Jentsch, John Troutman, Krystal Klingenberg, Valeska Hilbig, and Laura Duff. Thank you to Smithsonian Folkways Recordings for contributing music for this episode, and also to the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra.  If you haven’t yet, please subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show, sign up for Slate Plus.  Slate Plus members get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads. Their support is also crucial to our work. So please go to Slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today.  Decoder Ring is now available on YouTube. Listen here: http://y2u.be/D8cLqWAffJ8 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/26/202337 minutes, 12 seconds
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Political Gabfest Reads: The Art of Writing Political Satire

David Plotz talks with author Alexandra Petri about her new book, Alexandra Petri’s US History: Important American Documents. They discuss how to transform staid history documents into rollicking parodies, how Petri found her “voice” multiple times, and her grander ambitions for the book. Plus, Petri reads some choice selections. Tweet us your questions @SlateGabfest or email us at [email protected]. (Messages could be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.) Podcast production by Cheyna Roth. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/22/202327 minutes, 22 seconds
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Decoder Ring: The Curious Case of Columbo's Message to Romania Part 2

Last week, we put on the proverbial raincoat and made like Columbo to investigate Peter Falk’s claim that he recorded a special Cold War message telling Romanians to “put down their guns.” This week, we’re back on the case, and what started out as a zany inquiry goes to some serious and surprising places. Part two of this caper, involves dubbers, propagandists, a couple of 90 year olds and the legacy of a brutal dictatorship. It’s a story about celebrity, diplomacy, memory, and the limitations of all three—and about the power of television not to get Romanians to put down their guns, as Falk would have it, but to pick them up. This podcast was written by Willa Paskin who produces Decoder Ring with Katie Shepherd. This episode was edited by Joel Meyer. Derek John is Slate’s executive producer of narrative podcasts. Merritt Jacob is senior technical director. Special thank you to Oana Godanu Kenworthy who was instrumental in figuring this all out as well as Andrada Lautaru who translated and worked with us from Romania. Thank you to: Andrei Codrescu, Cameron Gorman, Gabriel Roth, Ilinca Calugareanu, Harry Geisel, Elaine McDevitt, Michael Messenger, Gerald Krell, Ash Hawken, Tom Mullins, Jessica Leporin, Jerry Gruner and Marie Whalen. There’s a number of documentaries that were instrumental to reporting this episode: Videograms from a Revolution; Chuck Norris vs Communism; The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu, The Rise and Fall of Ceausescu: and Whatever Happened to Blood Sweat and Tears.  If you can’t get enough Columbo, make sure to listen to our previous two-parter on McGruff the crime dog, who was directly inspired by Peter Falk’s detective, and features a wild soundtrack. If you haven’t yet, please subscribe and rate our feed on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show, we'd love for you to sign up for Slate Plus.  Slate Plus members get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads. Their support is also crucial to our work. So please go to www.slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/19/202340 minutes, 33 seconds
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What Next: He Couldn’t Teach ‘Slavery Was Wrong.’ So He Quit.

Iowa was one of the first states in the country to pass legislation against teaching that the United States is systemically racist — an idea some equate with “critical race theory.” But when one social studies teacher asked how he could teach U.S. history without running afoul of the new law, he didn’t get any clarity — or help.  What happens when legislation targets teachers? And as America’s teacher shortage grows — what will this mean for the country’s kids?  Guest: Greg Wickenkamp, former eighth grade social studies teacher in Fairfield, Iowa. If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Amicus—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on What Next. Sign up now at slate.com/whatnextplus to help support our work. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/17/202328 minutes, 44 seconds
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Decoder Ring: The Curious Case of Columbo's Message to Romania Part 1

Not too long ago an old clip surfaced of Peter Falk on David Letterman, in which he told an intriguing tale about recording a special Cold War message for Romanian state television. The clip went viral and got our attention — but was it actually true? Did a fictional American detective really help quell a communist revolt? We donned the proverbial raincoat and started sleuthing—at which point Falk’s late night anecdote cracked open into an intricate geopolitical saga that stretches from DC to Bucharest; from a Los Angeles hotel room to the palatial estate of a despot. It’s a story that involves dueling ideologies, dozens of diplomats, and millions of viewers. It’s an honest-to-goodness cold war caper about American soft power behind the iron curtain, and it’s so involved it’s going to take two episodes to solve.   This podcast was written by Willa Paskin, who produces Decoder Ring with Katie Shepherd. This episode was edited by Joel Meyer. Derek John is Slate’s executive producer of narrative podcasts. Merritt Jacob is senior technical director. A special thank you to Andrada Lautaru who translated and worked with me from Romania. Thank you to Carol and Joel Levy, Jonathan Rickert, Alan and Aury Fernandez, Katie Koob, Felix Rentschler, Richard Viets, Jock Shirley, Gabriel Roth, Cameron Gorman, Torie Bosch, Delia Marinescu, David Koenig, Don Giller, Forest Bachner, Corina Popa, David Langbart, William Burr, Asgeir Sigfusson, John Frankensteiner, Tom Hoban, and everyone else who helped with this episode. Thank you to Evan Chung.  For research into Romanian T.V., Willa relied heavily on the scholarly work of Dana Mustata, Alexandru Matei, Annemarie Sorescu‐Marinković, and the screening socialism project from the University of Loughborough. She also relied on the work of Dennis Deletant and Timothy W Ryback’s Rock Around the Bloc, a history of rock music in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union You also heard a song in this episode from the Romanian band Phoenix.  If you haven’t please yet, subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show and want to support us, consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads. Their support is also crucial to our work. So please go to www.slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/12/202345 minutes, 39 seconds
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A Word: The Battle for Eatonville

Folklorist and Harlem Renaissance author Zora Neale Hurston made her hometown of Eatonville, Florida famous in her writing, including her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. But her fame hasn’t saved the town from the pressures that many African American communities have endured: a population fighting poverty, government indifference, and developers that want to scoop up the land to build housing that current residents can’t afford. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by Aallyah Wright, a reporter with Black news non-profit Capital B, who has written about the town’s recent success in resisting developers, and its hopes for the future. Guest: Capital B reporter Aallyah Wright Podcast production by Kristie Taiwo-Makanjuola You can skip all the ads in A Word by joining Slate Plus. Sign up now at slate.com/awordplus for just $15 a month for your first three months. Make an impact this Earth Month by helping Macy’s on their mission to bring more parks to more people across the country. Go to macys.com/purpose to learn more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/7/202327 minutes, 42 seconds
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Hear Me Out: Secession Could Be A Good Thing

On today’s episode of Hear Me Out… the case for breaking up the union. Frank Buckley, professor at George Mason University and author of American Secession, makes a case for allowing states to peacefully secede — not just in the interest of preventing another civil war, but in hopes of creating a happier, more functional society for us all.  Podcast production by Maura Currie You can skip all the ads in Hear Me Out by joining Slate Plus. Sign up now at slate.com/hearmeoutplus for just $15 a month for your first three months. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/28/202338 minutes, 11 seconds
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A Word: When a Race War Threat Was Real

For many people of faith, Holy Week brings the most sacred days of the year. But in 1968, that season was marred by the murder of Martin Luther King Jr., and the violent unrest and riots that followed. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by Vann Newkirk II. He’s a senior editor for The Atlantic, and the host of its Holy Week podcast, which examines this moment in history. They discuss the political and social forces that led up to these pivotal events, and how they’re remembered by the people who were themselves in the streets. Guest: Vann Newkirk II, host of The Atlantic’s Holy Week podcast. Podcast production by Kristie Taiwo-Makanjuola You can skip all the ads in A Word by joining Slate Plus. Sign up now at slate.com/awordplus for just $1 for your first month. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/24/202331 minutes, 24 seconds
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What Next: A Disability Rights Icon’s Long Legacy

Judy Heumann devoted her life to advocating for Americans with disabilities and was a fixture at protests, sit-ins, and activist meetings, eventually becoming a presidential advisor. After passing away at 75, her work continues through her friends and those she fought for.  Guest: Sandy Ho, founder of Disability and Intersectionality Summit and disability policy researcher. If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Amicus—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on What Next. Sign up now at slate.com/whatnextplus to help support our work. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/13/202331 minutes, 30 seconds
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What Next: Does Steven Spielberg Have an Oscars Curse?

For all of his success, Steven Spielberg has a spotty record at the Oscars. He’s been nominated 22 times, but he’s only won three. Is it a curse?  This Sunday could mark a shift for the King of Hollywood’s five decades in the industry. And with The Fabelmans this year, it’s personal.  Guest: Michael Schulman, New Yorker staff writer and the author of Oscar Wars: A History of Hollywood in Gold, Sweat, and Tears. If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Amicus—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on What Next. Sign up now at slate.com/whatnextplus to help support our work. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/9/202331 minutes, 30 seconds
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The Waves: What Ballet’s Best Choreographer Destroyed

On this week’s episode of The Waves, Slate senior editor Rebecca Onion is joined by Erika Lantz, host of the podcast The Turning to discuss the impact of ballet culture and the legacy of George Balanchine on dancers of all levels.  In Slate Plus, how ballerinas and nuns have more in common than you think.  Podcast production by Cheyna Roth and Tori Dominguez with editorial oversight by Daisy Rosario and Alicia Montgomery. Send your comments and recommendations on what to cover to [email protected]. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/23/202331 minutes, 18 seconds
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The Waves: The Inherent Fear in Being a Woman

On this week’s episode of The Waves, Slate senior producer Cheyna Roth talks all about fear with author Erica Berry. They discuss trying to navigate alone in the world as a woman, how one fairy tale tells you everything you need to know about women and fear, and Erica’s new book, Wolfish: Wolf, Self, and the Stories We Tell About Fear. In Slate Plus, Cheyna and Erica talk about how one wolf, OR-7, stole hearts across the nation.  Podcast production by Cheyna Roth with editorial oversight by Daisy Rosario and Alicia Montgomery. With additional help from Tori Dominguez.  Send your comments and recommendations on what to cover to [email protected]. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/16/202338 minutes, 36 seconds
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A Word: Surviving “Driving While Black”

For many Americans, the “Green Book” is an Oscar-winning film. But for generations of Black Americans, it served as a literal map for traveling through an often hostile and hateful country, finding safety and businesses that would serve us. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by writer and financial educator Alvin Hall. He’s the author of Driving the Green Book: A Road Trip Through the Living History of Black Resistance. Hall explains how the original Green Book began, discusses its evolution, and why he’s dedicated years to studying and sharing stories of its impact. Guest: Alvin Hall, author of Driving the Green Book: A Road Trip Through the Living History of Black Resistance  Podcast production by Kristie Taiwo-Makanjuola You can skip all the ads in A Word by joining Slate Plus. Sign up now at slate.com/awordplus for just $1 for your first month. Make an impact this Black History Month by helping Macy’s on their mission to fund UNCF scholarships for HBCU students. Go to macys.com/purpose to learn more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/10/202329 minutes, 30 seconds
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What Next: How Florida’s School Censorship Spreads

Governor Ron DeSantis canceling the rollout of AP African-American Studies course in Florida is more than just another salvo in the culture war. It has implications across public education, across the country—and its chilling effect is already evident.   Guests: Jeremy Young, historian and Senior Manager of Free Expression and Education at PEN America. Chyna-Lee Hunter, a 12th grade student at Robert Morgan Educational Center in Miami, Fla. If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Amicus—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on What Next. Sign up now at slate.com/whatnextplus to help support our work. Make an impact this Black History Month by helping Macy’s on their mission to fund UNCF scholarships for HBCU students. Go to macys.com/purpose to learn more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/9/202331 minutes, 28 seconds
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ICYMI: American Girl’s Addy Is More Than a Slave

On today’s episode, Rachelle Hampton is joined by NPR’s Aisha Harris to talk about the return of the discourse about Addy Walker, the first Black American Girl doll. They discuss Aisha’s great piece from 2016, “The Making of an American Girl,” their own histories with the doll, and why this discourse pops up so frequently. This podcast is produced by Daniel Schroeder, Rachelle Hampton, and Daisy Rosario. Subscribe to Slate Plus at http://slate.com/icymiplus Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/25/202341 minutes, 33 seconds
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Political Gabfest Reads: Two Horrifying Days in D.C.

David Plotz talks with author Shahan Mufti about his new book, American Caliph: The True Story of a Muslim Mystic, a Hollywood Epic, and the 1977 Siege of Washington, DC. They discuss an Islamic group’s multi-location attack in D.C., the terror that hostages experienced while held captive for the two days, and the movie that started the whole thing.  Tweet us your questions @SlateGabfest or email us at [email protected]. (Messages could be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.) Podcast production by Cheyna Roth. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/21/202338 minutes, 28 seconds
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A Word: Haiti: Fear of a Black Republic

Headlines suggest that Haiti could be on the verge of collapse, with gangs controlling its streets, the economy at a standstill, and political leaders fearing for their lives. But while international observers decry it as a “failed nation,” Haiti’s path to success has been consistently blocked since its successful slave rebelion in 1804. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by Professor Leslie Alexander, author “Fear of a Black Republic: Haiti and the Birth of Black Internationalism in the United States.“  Guest: Historian Leslie Alexander, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of History at Rutgers University Podcast production by Kristie Taiwo-Makanjuola You can skip all the ads in A Word by joining Slate Plus. Sign up now at slate.com/awordplus for just $1 for your first month. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/20/202329 minutes, 2 seconds
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Decoder Ring: The Mailbag Episode

We’re really lucky to get a lot of listener emails, suggesting topics for the show. In this episode, we’re going to dig into a handful of the most fascinating ones that we’ve yet to tackle on the show. We’re taking on five listener questions that run the gamut—from kids menus to succulents to the chicken that crossed the road. It’s an eclectic assortment of subjects that come to us thanks to you. So let’s jump into our mailbag. Thank you to Mark Liberman and Susan Schulten. This podcast was written by Willa Paskin who produces the show with Katie Shepherd. This episode was also produced by Sam Kim. Derek John is Slate’s Executive Producer of Narrative Podcasts. Merritt Jacob is Senior Technical Director. If you haven’t please yet, subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show and want to support us, consider signing up for Slate Plus.   Slate Plus members get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads. Their support is also crucial to our work. So please go to Slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/27/202239 minutes, 16 seconds
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Outward: How Can Queer People Keep Each Other Safe?

This month, hosts Christina Cauterucci, Jules Gill-Peterson, and Bryan Lowder reflect on the painful impact of anti-LGBTQ violence and dig into the new possibilities for trans storytelling and filmmaking. First, they talk through their complicated feelings about one of the responses to the shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs last month: Should queer people be organizing in self-defense, or even arming ourselves for protection? Then they are joined by actress Jen Richards who portrays Barbara in Framing Agnes, a new documentary, directed by Chase Joynt, which is centered on six trans people who were interviewed and treated at a UCLA gender clinic in the 1950s. The film combines reenactments of those interviews with contemporary conversations with trans actors reflecting on how the lives of the people they portray resonate with their own lives. Our own Jules Gill-Peterson has a central role in the movie as a historian and narrator. Items discussed in the show: Season 2 of The White Lotus Christina’s Slate piece, “I Think I Found Kyrsten Sinema’s Side Hustle” Framing Agnes Gay Agenda Christina: shopping gay, including at The Little Gay Shop and Adam’s Nest Jules: “Not a Transition: On Andrea Pallaoro’s Monica,” by Eva Pensis in the Los Angeles Review of Books Bryan has created a bespoke cocktail for Outward listeners: the Cuddle Puddle The Cuddle Puddle 2 oz rye 1 oz ginger liqueur ½ oz Fernet Branca or similar Dash of orange bitters Stir the ingredients for a long time over ice, then strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with orange peel. This podcast was produced by June Thomas. Please send feedback, topic ideas, and advice questions to [email protected]. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/21/20221 hour, 32 minutes, 1 second
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Decoder Ring: Encore: ‘You’ve Got Mail’ Got It Wrong

(This episode originally aired in March 2020.) The 1998 romantic comedy You’ve Got Mail, starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, is about the brutal fight between a beloved indie bookstore, the Shop Around the Corner, and Fox Books, an obvious Barnes & Noble stand-in. On this episode of Decoder Ring we revisit the real-life conflict that inspired the movie and displaced independent booksellers on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. This conflict illustrates how, for a brief time, Barnes & Noble was a symbol of predatory capitalism, only to be usurped by the uniting force at the heart of the film: the internet. Some of the voices in this episode include Delia Ephron, the co-screenwriter of You’ve Got Mail, the illustrator Brian Selznick, Laura J. Miller, author of Reluctant Capitalists: Bookselling and the Culture of Consumption, Joel Fram, founder of Eeyore’s Books for Children, and Boris Kachka, book editor for the Los Angeles Times. This podcast was written by Willa Paskin and produced by Benjamin Frisch and Cleo Levin was research assistant.  Thanks to Steve Geck, Maris Kreizman, Emma Straub, Jacob Bernstein, Gary Hoover, Peter Glassman and June Thomas.  Decoder Ring is produced by Willa Paskin and Katie Shepherd. Derek John is Slate’s Executive Producer of Narrative Podcasts. Merritt Jacob is Senior Technical Director. If you haven’t please yet, subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show and want to support us, consider signing up for Slate Plus.   Slate Plus members get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads. Their support is also crucial to our work. So please go to Slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Sponsored by Saks.com. Check out the Holiday Gift Guide on saks.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/20/202241 minutes
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Political Gabfest Reads: Everything You Need to Know About Choosing a President

John Dickerson talks with author Gautam Mukunda about his new book Picking Presidents: How to Make the Most Consequential Decision in the World. They talk about how Mukunda’s first book, Indispensable: When Leaders Really Matter laid the groundwork for Picking Presidents. Later, Dickerson and Mukunda dig into why ‘intellectual brilliance’ – which goes beyond IQ - is a strong predictor of presidential performance and how the human portion of the job of president is changing.  Tweet us your questions @SlateGabfest or email us at [email protected]. (Messages could be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.) Podcast production by Cheyna Roth. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/17/202243 minutes, 14 seconds
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Decoder Ring: Cellino & Barnes, Injury Attorneys, 800-888-8888

Ross Cellino and Steve Barnes were two Buffalo-based lawyers who became the literal poster-men for personal injury advertising. They poured millions of dollars into ads that did more than just bring in clients: it turned the duo into household names and faces—at least in New York. In this episode, we’re going to look at their rise and everything that happened after. It’s a bumpy ride full of ambition, accidents and tragedy and at its center are two men who, for 25 years, wanted to be at the front of our minds when we got hurt, but who we didn’t really notice until it all fell apart.  We hear from Ross Cellino, Rich Barnes, Jeremy Kutner, John Fabian Witt, Trish Rich, Ken Kaufman, Mike Breen, and David Rafailedes.   This podcast was written by Katie Shepherd. It was edited by Andrea Bruce and Willa Paskin. Decoder Ring is produced by Willa Paskin and Katie Shepherd. Derek John is Slate’s Executive Producer of narrative podcasts. Merritt Jacob is Senior Technical Director. Thank you to Rachel Strom and Meryl Scheinman, host of Prank You.  If you haven’t please yet, subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show and want to support us, consider signing up for Slate Plus.   Slate Plus members get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads. Their support is also crucial to our work. So please go to Slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/13/202240 minutes, 55 seconds
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Decoder Ring: How Preppy Became Streetwear

We bring you a special episode from the Articles of Interest podcast hosted by Avery Trufelman about the incredible reach and adaptability of preppy clothes. It’s a story about the great modernizer of Ivy style, Ralph Lauren, and how he and his label, Polo, were themselves modernized by customers who helped push preppy in a whole new direction, from the runway to the streets.  We encourage you to listen to the entire American Ivy series from Radiotopia. Articles of Interest is created by Avery Trufelman. It’s edited by Kelly Prime, mixed and mastered by Ian Coss, fact checked by Jessia Siriano, with music by Avery, Rhae Royal, Sasami, and the Beazlebubs, the Tufts University Acapella Group.  Decoder Ring is produced by Willa Paskin and Katie Shepherd. We had mixing help on this episode from Sam Kim. Derek John is Slate’s Executive Producer of narrative podcasts. Merritt Jacob is Senior Technical Director. If you haven’t please yet, subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show, I’d love for you to sign up for Slate Plus.  Slate Plus members get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads. Their support is also crucial to our work. So please go to Slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/6/202237 minutes, 8 seconds
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Decoder Ring: The New Age Hit Machine

For this episode, a story from Slate senior producer Evan Chung about how Yanni, John Tesh and a number of other surprising acts made it big in the 1990s. It’s a throwback to a simpler time—when musicians struggled to find their big break, but discovered it could be possible with a telephone, a television, and our undivided attention. This story originally aired in 2019 on Studio 360 from PRX. We hear from George Veras, Pat Callahan, and John Tesh.  This Episode was written and produced by Slate’s Evan Chung. Decoder Ring is produced by Willa Paskin and Katie Shepherd. Derek John is Slate’s Executive Producer of narrative podcasts. Merritt Jacob is Senior Technical Director. If you haven’t please yet, subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show and want to support us, consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads. Their support is also crucial to our work. So please go to Slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/29/202229 minutes, 55 seconds
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Decoder Ring: The Butt and the Bustle

For about two decades towards the end of the Victorian era, in the 1870s and 1880s, a large bustle-enhanced bottom was the height of fashion. In this episode we explore how it’s connected to today’s big booty craze. We look at the bustle’s history with a curator fascinated by old undergarments; consider the various theories about its popularity with the author Heather Radke; and then hone in the tragic story of Sarah Baartman. The bustle may be old-fashioned, but it still has a lot to tell us about race, sex, power and how much people know, or let themselves know, about what they put on everyday. We hear from Heather Radke, author of Butts: A Backstory, as well as Kristina Haughland, Janell Hobson, Pamela Scully, and Maria Garcia.  This podcast was written by Willa Paskin, who produces Decoder Ring with Katie Shepherd. This episode was edited by Andrea Bruce. Derek John is Slate’s Executive Producer of Narrative Podcasts. Merritt Jacob is Senior Technical Director. If you haven’t please yet, subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show, I’d love for you to sign up for Slate Plus.   Slate Plus members get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads. Their support is also crucial to our work. So please go to Slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/22/202246 minutes, 38 seconds
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Political Gabfest Reads: Rethinking J. Edgar Hoover

Emily Bazelon talks with author Beverly Gage about her new book, G-Man: J. Edgar Hoover and the Making of the American Century, a detailed account of the life of the first FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover. They discuss Hoover’s hostile relationship with Martin Luther King Jr., why he should have quit at the end of the 1950s, and how Hoover’s childhood shaped his reign [MOU1] as director.  Tweet us your questions @SlateGabfest or email us at [email protected]. (Messages could be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.) Podcast production by Cheyna Roth  [MOU1]“tenure”? Maybe I’m overthinking this. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/19/202237 minutes, 18 seconds
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Decoder Ring: The Truth About #TheDress

In the history of viral images, #TheDress has got to be in the top 10. This unassuming photo of a party dress kicked off a global debate when people realized they were seeing it completely differently. Is it black and blue, or white and gold? In today’s episode, we’ll talk to someone who was there when the photo was first taken, and the BuzzFeed writer whose post briefly broke the internet. Then we go down the optical rabbit hole with a neuroscientist who’s been studying the The Dress for years. What does it reveal about the nature of truth? This podcast was written by Willa Paskin, who produces Decoder Ring with Katie Shepherd. This episode was edited by Andrew Adam Newman. Derek John is Slate’s senior supervising producer of narrative podcasts. Merritt Jacob is senior technical director. We’ll hear from Paul Jinks, Cates Holderness, Pascal Wallisch, and David McRaney author of the book How Minds Change. Here’s the optical illusion of the strawberries mentioned in the episode and created by Professor Akiyoshi Kitaoka. If you haven’t please yet, subscribe and rate our feed in Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show, I’d love for you to sign up for Slate Plus.    Slate Plus members get to listen to Decoder Ring — and every other Slate podcast — ad-free. Their support is also crucial to our work. So please go to Slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today. Check out Remote Works here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/15/202238 minutes, 18 seconds
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A Word: Jim Crow’s Killers

For every civil rights martyr like Emmett Till, there were many other Black Americans who were brutalized or killed by racist violence in the early 20th century and remain largely unknown. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by Professor Margaret Burnham, author of By Hands Now Known: Jim Crow’s Legal Executioners. This new book unravels many of the lesser known stories of racist violence, the perpetrators, victims, and survivors. It’s also offering descendants of victims a platform, and an opportunity to fill in the blanks of their family history. Guest: Professor Margaret Burnham, author of By Hands Now Known: Jim Crow’s Legal Executioners Podcast production by Kristie Taiwo-Makanjuola You can skip all the ads in A Word by joining Slate Plus. Sign up now at slate.com/awordplus for just $1 for your first month. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/28/202225 minutes, 57 seconds
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Decoder Ring: McGruff Takes a Bite Out of Crime Pt. 2

McGruff the Crime Dog arrived on the scene at the dawn of the 1980s, just as a firehose of anti-drug PSAs was inundating the youth of America. These messages didn’t always work as intended—but they did work their way into the long term memories of the kids who heard them.  In the second episode of our two-part series on the weird world of PSAs and very special episodes, we look at how the McGruff Smart Kids Album influenced everything from straight-edge hardcore to a couple’s wedding playlist. We’ll hear from Sarah Hubbard, Dan Danger, Joseph Cappella, David Farber, Mike Hawes, Robin Nelson, Daisy Rosario, and Tatiana Peralta. This podcast was written by Willa Paskin, who produces Decoder Ring with Katie Shepherd. This episode was edited by Jamie York. Derek John is Slate’s Sr. Supervising Producer of Narrative Podcasts. Merritt Jacob is Sr. Technical Director. Thank you to Tatiana Peralta, Ari Merkin, Wendy Melillo, Dan McQuade, Dale Mantley, Larissa Zargeris, Dave Bledsoe, Larre Johnson, Duane Poole, Eric Greenberg, Charles and Karen Rosen, and Jennifer Holland, Orla Mejia, Andres Martinez and everyone else at the Rutgers library who helped me listen to some old cassette tapes.  A few things that were helpful in working on this piece: How McGruff and the Crying Indian Changed America: A History of Iconic Ad Council Campaigns by Wendy Melillo, Taking a Bite out of Crime: the Impact of the National Citizens Crime Prevention Media Campaign by Garrett J O’keefe and others, and “This McGruff Drug Album Might As Well Be By Weird Al,” by Dan McQuade for Defector Media. You can hear Daniel Danger’s McGruff cover album in it’s entirety or you can purchase it here. And lastly, if you are interested in hearing the full McGruff educational program or any of Puppet Productions productions they are available for purchase at puppetsinc.com, part of a company that Rob Nelson still runs. If you have any cultural mysteries you want us to decode, email us at [email protected] If you love the show and want to support us, consider joining Slate Plus. With Slate Plus you get ad-free podcasts, bonus episodes, and total access to all of Slate’s journalism. Check out Remote Works here.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/23/202247 minutes, 24 seconds
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Decoder Ring: McGruff Takes a Bite Out of Crime Pt. 1

McGruff the Crime Dog arrived on the scene at the dawn of the 1980s, just as a firehose of anti-drug PSAs was inundating the youth of America. These messages didn’t always work as intended—but they did work their way into the long term memories of the kids who heard them.  In the first of two episodes, we take a look at PSAs and their strange afterlife through the lens of a trench-coat wearing bloodhound and his bizarre, yet catchy anti-drug songs. We’ll talk to Dan Danger, Sherry Nemmers, Joseph Cappella, David Farber, Mike Hawes and Robin Nelson to discover how the McGruff Smart Kids Album came to exist in the first place. This podcast was written by Willa Paskin. Decoder Ring is produced by Willa Paskin and Katie Shepherd. We had production help from Sam Kim.  Editing by Jamie York and Derek John, Slate’s Sr. Supervising Producer of Narrative Podcasts. Merritt Jacob is Sr. Technical Director. Thank you to Wendy Melillo, Dan McQuade, Dale Mantley, Larissa Zargeris, Daisy Rosario, Drew Bledsoe, Larre Johnson, Duane Poole, Ari Merkin, Charles and Karen Rosen and Eric Greenberg.  If you have any cultural mysteries you want us to decode, email us at [email protected] If you love the show and want to support us, consider joining Slate Plus. With Slate Plus you get ad-free podcasts, bonus episodes, and total access to all of Slate’s journalism. Check out Remote Works here Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/22/202237 minutes, 48 seconds
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9: How Did American Slavery End?

This episode was originally released in 2015. In Episode 9, the finale episode of the History of American Slavery, hosts Rebecca Onion and Jamelle Bouie discuss emancipation. They examine how emancipation was more a process than an overnight change, and they compare the different ways it was enacted in the South and throughout the United States. They also discuss how people sought to rebuild their lives and reunite their families once they had achieved freedom from slavery. They begin the episode by remembering the life of Rose Herera (1835–unknown). See this episode's complete show notes. This series was made possible by Slate Plus members. To support more work like this at Slate, sign up for Slate Plus now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/1/20201 hour, 55 seconds
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8: Runaway Railroad

This episode was originally released in 2015. In Episode 8 of the History of American Slavery, hosts Rebecca Onion and Jamelle Bouie discuss the small minority of people who escaped slavery during the 1850s and 1860s and the people who helped them along the way. They examine our evolving and sometimes selective historical memory of the Underground Railroad. They also explore the legal environment that confronted fugitives and their helpers and how it changed after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. Jamelle and Rebecca begin the episode by looking at the life of John Parker (1827–1900). See this episode's complete show notes. This series was made possible by Slate Plus members. To support more work like this at Slate, sign up for Slate Plus now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/1/202056 minutes, 53 seconds
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7: To Do No Harm?

This episode was originally released in 2015. In Episode 7 of the History of American Slavery, hosts Rebecca Onion and Jamelle Bouie explore how science and medicine interacted with slavery in antebellum America. They discuss how doctors such as J. Marion Sims used human experimentation on enslaved subjects to help advance the practice of medicine. And they explore how scientific racism, as practiced by doctors such as Samuel Cartwright, was used to justify slaveholder ideology. Jamelle and Rebecca begin their discussion by looking at the life of Anarcha (1828?-unknown), an enslaved women who endured more than 34 experimental surgeries that culminated in a path-breaking medical discovery. See this episode's complete show notes. This series was made possible by Slate Plus members. To support more work like this at Slate, sign up for Slate Plus now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/1/202052 minutes, 45 seconds
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6: When Cotton Became King

This episode was originally released in 2015. In Episode 6 of the History of American Slavery, hosts Rebecca Onion and Jamelle Bouie explore the rise of the antebellum cotton economy in the early decades of the 19th century. They discuss how the growth of the cotton industry transformed the American system of slavery and the lives of enslaved people. And they discuss slavery’s relationship with the development of modern American capitalism. They begin the episode by discussing the life of Charles Ball, who wrote about his experience working on a cotton plantation in his autobiography, Slavery in the United States: A Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Charles Ball. See this episode's complete show notes. This series was made possible by Slate Plus members. To support more work like this at Slate, sign up for Slate Plus now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/1/202046 minutes, 40 seconds
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5: What Happened When Slaves Rebelled

This episode was originally released in 2015. In Episode 5 of the History of American Slavery, hosts Rebecca Onion and Jamelle Bouie explore the slave rebellions—both real and imagined—that unfolded during the settlement of the 19th-century American frontier. They discuss the largest slave insurgency in American history, Louisiana’s 1811 German Coast rebellion. And then they explore an imagined slave revolt in Mississippi and the heady, boom-time conditions that led Mississippi slaveholders into panic and hysteria. Jamelle and Rebecca begin Episode 5 by remembering the life of Charles Deslondes (unknown–1811), a leader of the German Coast uprising. See this episode's complete show notes. This series was made possible by Slate Plus members. To support more work like this at Slate, sign up for Slate Plus now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/1/202049 minutes, 42 seconds
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4: The Family Life of Enslaved People

This episode was originally released in 2015. In Episode 4 of the History of American Slavery, hosts Rebecca Onion and Jamelle Bouie explore the shape of family life on the slave plantations of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. They make a case study of one famous plantation, Monticello, the Virginia estate owned by Thomas Jefferson. Then they take a closer look at how slavery tore families apart, and the emotional history of that trauma. They begin their conversation by remembering the life of Joseph Fossett (1780–1858), a Monticello blacksmith. Upon Jefferson’s death, his last will and testament granted freedom to Fossett, but not to Fossett’s family. It would be 10 years before Joseph could reunite with his wife and 10 children. See this episode's complete show notes. This series was made possible by Slate Plus members. To support more work like this at Slate, sign up for Slate Plus now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/1/202057 minutes, 48 seconds
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3: The Hypocrisy of America’s Revolution

This episode was originally released in 2015. In Episode 3 of the History of American Slavery, hosts Rebecca Onion and Jamelle Bouie explore the shape of slavery during America’s Revolutionary War. They discuss how the enlightenment ideas that helped found our government both inhibited and encouraged the spread of American slavery. They also talk about the divergent ways the early Northern and Southern states handled slavery in their courts. And they begin their conversation by remembering the life of Elizabeth Freeman (1742?-1829), an enslaved servant whose victory in one of the first “freedom suits” helped lead to the abolition of slavery in Massachusetts. See this episode's complete show notes. This series was made possible by Slate Plus members. To support more work like this at Slate, sign up for Slate Plus now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/1/202049 minutes, 53 seconds
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2: Inside the Slave Ship

This episode was originally released in 2015. In episode 2 of the History of American Slavery, hosts Rebecca Onion and Jamelle Bouie explore the shape of slavery during the late 18th century. They talk about the heyday of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the birth of the British abolitionist movement. They begin their discussion by remembering the remarkable life of Olaudah Equiano, 1745?–1797. See this episode's complete show notes. This series was made possible by Slate Plus members. To support more work like this at Slate, sign up for Slate Plus now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/1/202048 minutes, 13 seconds
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1: The Terrible Transformation

This episode was originally released in 2015. Slavery in America started out pretty bad in the 17th century. White colonists made it way, way worse in the 18th. What made this “terrible transformation” possible? In Episode 1 of the History of American Slavery, hosts Rebecca Onion and Jamelle Bouie explore how hereditary, race-based slavery took shape in colonial America. They begin their discussion by remembering the life of Anthony Johnson (1600?–70). This series was made possible by Slate Plus members. To support more work like this at Slate, sign up for Slate Plus now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/1/202042 minutes, 16 seconds