This American Life

I was delighted to discover that This American Life, the best radio show in the whole world (ever!), has finally moved into the modern internet with podcasts. In counterintuitive fashion, the latest show is available for downloading for a week, after which you can stream it for free, or purchase the MP3 file. (This must be a legacy of their former deal with the pay-only

This American Life is a compendium of, yes, American stories hosted since its beginnings more than ten years ago by self-effacing Chicagoan Ira Glass. Each week is loosely tethered together with some sort of theme, but within that some of the stories are monologues, some fictional, some interviews, some straightforward reporting. It launched (or at least aided) the careers of comic geniuses David Sedaris and Sarah Vowell. But it’s also exposed corruption in suburban Chicago governments, and produced a piece about the story about price-fixing at ADM that became Kurt Eichenwald’s The Informant.

Just listen.

4 responses to “This American Life”

  1. Eric Berger avatar

    Thanks so much for posting this!
    I love This American Life, but in the age of the iPod, who wants to stream content any more? I’ve already added the show to iTunes.

  2. Scott Dodelson avatar
    Scott Dodelson

    I think even Ira Glass would disagree with your characterization of his show as “the best radio show in the whole world”:
    There is another show, admired by Glass and by millions others, that airs not once a week, but every day, and not for one hour, but for five. For over twenty five years, it has entertained countless commuters. It does this by providing fresh content, mixing hard work and preparation with talent and spontaneity. I’m convinced that, when it ends, people will look back on it with reverence.
    This show recently moved to satellite, and I am too cheap to buy into it, but every day I listen to terrestial radio, I am reminded of how inferior every other show is.
    All the best,
    PS Congratulations on the New Scientist story.

  3. Andrew avatar

    Hi Scott,
    Great to hear from you!
    Howard [Stern, for those of you unfamiliar with him] is indeed a genius. Alas, I don’t think his show is available over here. And five hours a day doesn’t leave much time for anything else…

  4. Podcasting Directory avatar

    Podcasting Directory

    Nicely put