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npr.org
47:42
Created 30 Jan 00:00
United States of America

Throughline

by NPR

The past is never past. Every headline has a history. Join us every week as we go back in time to understand the present. These are stories you can feel and sounds you can see from the moments that shaped our world.
Subscribe to Throughline+. You'll be supporting the history-reframing, perspective-shifting, time-warping stories you can't get enough of - and you'll unlock access bonus episodes and sponsor-free listening. Learn more at plus.npr.org/throughline

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Episodes

The 14th Amendment

49m · Published 11 Apr 07:00
Of all the amendments to the U.S. Constitution, the 14th is a big one. It's shaped all of our lives, whether we realize it or not: Roe v. Wade, Brown v. Board of Education, Bush v. Gore, plus other Supreme Court cases that legalized same-sex marriage, interracial marriage, access to birth control — they've all been built on the back of the 14th.
The amendment was ratified after the Civil War, and it's packed full of lofty phrases like due process, equal protection, and liberty. But what do those words really guarantee us?
Today on the show: how the 14th Amendment has remade America – and how America has remade the 14th.
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The Land of the Fee (Throwback)

45m · Published 04 Apr 07:00
Tipping is a norm in the United States—and it's always been controversial. The practice took off after the Civil War, as employers sought cheap labor from formerly enslaved people: if tips were expected, companies could get away with paying laughably low wages. But the practice was always controversial, and has been vehemently challenged since it first came to the U.S. from Europe. We speak with Nina Martyris, a journalist who's written about the history of tipping in the United States, to find out how tipping—once deemed a "cancer in the breast of democracy"— went from being considered wholly un-American to becoming a deeply American custom.
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A History of Hezbollah

49m · Published 28 Mar 07:00
Hezbollah is a Lebanese paramilitary organization and political party that's directly supported by the Islamic Republic of Iran. In the wake of the October 7, 2023 Hamas-led attack on Israel, and Israel's invasion of Gaza, Hezbollah and Israel have been exchanging missile fire across the border they share, causing growing fears of a regional conflict with the U.S. and Israel on one side and Iran along with its allies in Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Houthi rebels of Yemen on the other.
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The Great Textbook War

47m · Published 21 Mar 07:00
What is school for? Over a hundred years ago, a man named Harold Rugg published a series of textbooks that encouraged students to confront the thorniest parts of U.S. history: to identify problems, and try and solve them. And it was just as controversial as the fights we're seeing today. In this episode: a media mogul, a textbook author, and a battle over what students should – or shouldn't – learn in school.
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Radiolab: Worst. Year. Ever

38m · Published 19 Mar 14:51
What was the worst year to be alive on planet Earth? We make the case for 536 AD, which set off a cascade of catastrophes that is almost too horrible to imagine. A supervolcano. The disappearance of shadows. A failure of bread. Plague rats. Using evidence painstakingly gathered around the world - from Mongolian tree rings to Greenlandic ice cores to Mayan artifacts - we paint a portrait of what scientists and historians think went wrong, and what we think it felt like to be there in real time. (Spoiler: not so hot.) We hear a hymn for the dead from the ancient kingdom of Axum, the closest we can get to the sound of grief from a millennium and a half ago.
The horrors of 536 make us wonder about the parallels and perpendiculars with our own time: does it make you feel any better knowing that your suffering is part of a global crisis? Or does it just make things worse?"
This week we're sharing a bonus episode from Radiolab: Worst. Year. Ever.
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A Symphony of Resistance (Throwback)

55m · Published 14 Mar 07:00
In 2011, the world was shaken by the Arab Spring, a wave of "pro-democracy" protests that spread throughout the Middle East and North Africa. The effects of the uprisings reverberated around the world as regimes fell in some countries, and civil war began in others. This week, we revisit the years leading up to the Arab Spring and its lasting impact on three people who lived through it.
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The Rise of the Right Wing in Israel

53m · Published 07 Mar 08:00
For most of its early history, Israel was dominated by left-leaning, secular politicians. But today, the right is in power. Its politicians represent a movement that uses a religious framework to define Israel and its borders, and that has aggressively resisted a two-state solution with Palestinians. And its government – led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — is waging a war in Gaza which, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, has killed over 30,000 people, many of them children. The government launched the war in response to the October 7th, 2023 Hamas-led attack that, according to Israeli authorities, killed over 1,200 Israelis with an additional 250 being taken hostage.This is not the first time that tension has erupted into violence. But the dominance of right-wing thinkers in Israeli politics is pivotal to how the war has unfolded. On today's episode: the story of Israel's rightward shift.
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The Right to An Attorney

50m · Published 29 Feb 08:00
Most of us take it for granted that if we're ever in court and we can't afford a lawyer, the court will provide one for us. And in fact, the right to an attorney is written into the Constitution's sixth amendment. But for most of U.S. history, it was more of a nice-to-have — something you got if you could, but that many people went without.
Today, though, public defenders represent up to 80% of people charged with crimes. So what changed? Today on the show: how public defenders became the backbone of our criminal legal system, and what might need to change for them to truly serve everyone.
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Dance Yourself Free (Throwback)

50m · Published 22 Feb 08:00
Beyonce's Renaissance brought house music back to mainstream audiences. But even when it wasn't gracing the Grammys, house never went away. Born from the ashes of disco in the late 1970s and '80s, house was by and for the Black, queer youth DJing and dancing in Chicago's underground clubs. Since then it's become the soundtrack of parties around the world, and laid the groundwork for one of the most popular musical genres in history: electronic dance music. Today on the show, the origins of house music — and its tale of Black cultural resistance — told by the people who lived it.
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Love, Throughline

54m · Published 15 Feb 08:00
We asked you to call us with your stories of looking for love in the 21st century — and man, did you come through. We heard the whole range of human experience in your stories, but one theme rang out loud and clear: dating, and especially online dating, is a struggle.
The data backs this up. Despite the fact that meeting someone today doesn't require much more than swiping on your phone, people who are looking for long-term relationships are lonelier than ever.
Why is it like this? How did love – this thing that's supposed to be beautiful, magical, transformative – turn into a neverending slog? We went searching for answers, and we found them in surprising places. On today's show: a time-hopping, philosophical journey into the origins of modern love.
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Throughline has 320 episodes in total of non- explicit content. Total playtime is 254:25:35. The language of the podcast is English. This podcast has been added on November 28th 2022. It might contain more episodes than the ones shown here. It was last updated on April 12th, 2024 16:15.

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