One man collected the sounds in an episode about Japan over the course of 20 years. There are sounds of war and even of dementia. These audio spaces remain usefully, poignantly nebulous. Everything Slow Radio creates allows listeners to inhabit other worlds without leaving their own. In , Vice President Spiro Agnew was under investigation for accepting bribes; he pushed to get the charges dropped, claiming that the Justice Department was trying to frame him.
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Haldeman—who was later arrested for lying under oath, conspiracy, and obstruction of justice for his role in Watergate—pushing the administration to bail Agnew out of trouble. Their third season focuses on gender and power in light of the midterm elections—and even though the results are in, the series contextualizes American culture and shows listeners how to approach politics beyond opinions.
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USA was already drawing connections between and a. The show analyzes women in power, dissecting their names and voices, their cleavage and haircuts.
It profiles Ida B. The show has always been able to swiftly explain current events through the lens of the past, but this season, it began to apply that lens to the future. Jad Abumrad of Radiolab hosts a four-part series as a supplement to the film Boy Erased , itself an adaptation of a memoir by Garrard Conley. UnErased provides context that stretches beyond the world of Boy Erased , diving deeper into the issues at hand and justifying itself as a stand-alone work.
Treating the missing-person case as if all the evidence is fresh, and all rumors are worth reporting on, the host, Hedley Thomas, has created something gargantuan in scope, even if the whole affair is salacious at times. The host, Madeleine Baran, and her team spent almost a year in Winona, Mississippi, re-interviewing witnesses, finding new ones, and reexamining evidence. This is a podcast you should listen to for the sheer depth of its investigation, which just might teach law enforcement how to set a man free, step by step. For the uninitiated to this now old-school podcast, the host, Hrishikesh Hirway , asks musicians to dissect the isolated vocal or instrumental tracks of one of their songs.
Song Exploder started in and has never changed its tune, but the series manages to stay both evergreen and current by relying on the real core of its inquisition: showing exactly where creativity comes from. Longform Podcast launched in as a series of hour-long interviews with nonfiction writers the hosts admired. Though the show quickly established itself as a promising project, it was made by writers for writers, meaning it was too niche for a general audience.
But the co-hosts, Aaron Lammer, Max Linsky, and Evan Ratliff, have expanded their remit over time, deemphasizing craft and making the machinations of journalism the focal point of an exciting conversation even spotlighting podcasters— Chana Joffe-Walt of This American Life —and the occasional fiction writer, such as Sheila Heti.
TTFA , as friends of this pod call it, has created a community through listener support—and not just the financial kind. Truly impressive was a two-part episode about suicide. The show continuously, unapologetically, ferociously plows into subjects most people are too uncomfortable to touch. The media landscape this year has seen plenty of stories—including podcasts—focused on the ills of the U.
When the show premiered last year, the pair covered many of the obvious bases—solitary confinement, cell mates, conjugal visits—to orient its audience, but this year it went everywhere else. When he calls to tell his mother, we get to listen in. Ear Hustle encourages its audience to stop thinking of inmates as either an abstraction or a problem to solve, and places outsiders on the inside.
The entire series is a love letter to hip-hop and an elegy that draws a crystal-clear connection between race and health.
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The host and journalist Steve Fishman throws open the decades-old case file on the onetime Bronx crack dealer Calvin Buari—a smooth, mink-coat-wearing, first-generation American who was convicted of a double homicide in After befriending Buari, Fishman talks on the phone with him regularly. The tension of the show lies in all the contradictions and conflicts of interest, many of which are explored by Fishman.
The insistent rain and ethereal singing that punctuate every episode of Death in Ice Valley help establish the eerie setting for the international sensation created by the Norwegian journalist Marit Higraff and the BBC documentary filmmaker Neil McCarthy. After a thorough police investigation, almost nothing made sense about the Isdal Woman, as she came to be called. Yet for the past nearly 50 years, no one has come forward with details about who the woman might be. Listeners travel to each hotel room and store where witnesses say they saw her all those years ago. The audience even finds out how she smelled.
The show wants to uncover the truth, but the hosts also entertain speculation; even theories from Facebook are addressed. She asks listeners to leave their preconceived notions behind and stick with her as she explains how, despite her reporting on the sex trade for many years, what she thought she would understand by making this podcast changed again and again along the way.
Tagouri hands over the mic to people who believe that sex work in America can never be consensual, to people pushed to the edges of society when they started transitioning genders, to sex workers who love their jobs. The host travels to Kentucky to explore how and why people use sex work to pay for expensive opioid addictions.
And she tags along with activists who are fighting pending legislation on Capitol Hill. But sometimes, the best way to get people talking about something as stigmatized as the sex trade is to simply get it all on the table. Sold in America does just that. The co-hosts of Still Processing , Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham, are the kids who come to class in the fall having completed the summer reading and, yes, they have some things to say about it.
This pop-culture talk show, which blends discussions of art, race, sex, gender, and queerness, pulls off something incredibly difficult, given its format: making a conversation between two people spontaneous and tightly structured. In Dr. Death , the host and award-winning medical journalist Laura Beil leads listeners through the rise and fall of Christopher Duntsch, a neurosurgeon who left 33 patients in Dallas dead, paralyzed, or injured.
The show teases out a number of angles—that Duntsch was fueled by hubris, hate, hope, or drugs and alcohol—and in doing so, it illuminates major blind spots in how hospitals report infractions, allowing a physician with an unclear training record and several botched surgeries to keep practicing. The facts of Dr. Death are so sensational that, as you listen, you may have difficulty accepting them as true the show reaches peak gross-out with detailed descriptions of, say, hardware free-floating in a body.
Beil eases some of the helplessness her reporting might provoke by giving patients cum listeners tips talk to the nurses! Unsurprisingly, Dr. Death is one of the many podcasts now set for a television adaptation. The show explores how even though many people respected him, they were also used to the system—the one that told them Obama was too young, not local enough, not black enough to succeed in politics. StartUp continued to venture into unexpected places this year with its series on church planting, led by the reporter and host Eric Mennel. Whether and how a church accepts gay members, for instance, can determine whether a parish ever gets off the ground.
Church Planting is beautifully written, and with Mennel examining his own relationship to churchgoing throughout the series, its vulnerability and tenderness make it worthy of high praise. Unlike so many shows that have been churning out episodes with the same methodology, This American Life and its three-acts-based-on-one-theme construct have moved steadily toward the boldly political. The host, Ira Glass, has steered the show away from the hyper-personal, hyper-local flavor of the past, when segments covered summer camp, used-car lots, and abandoned houses and wonderfully so.
Glass threw the door open to the political game in , when he called his Fox News—loving uncle to talk about Barack Obama. Some installments are set before Perhaps no one in narrative audio has the stable of talent that This American Life has, and whether the show is setting its sights on politics or plumage, it is creating awe-inspiring work. She's stolen dispatches from under the noses of heads of state.
She's played the worldly courtesan, the naive virgin, the refined British lady, even a Gypsy boy.
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But Annique Villiers, the elusive spy known as the Fox Cub, has finally met the one man she can't outwit. Wicked Intentions. Infamous for his wild, sensual needs, Lazarus Huntington, Lord Caire, is searching for a savage killer in St. Giles, London's most notorious slum. Widowed Temperance Dews knows St. Giles like the back of her hand-she's spent a lifetime caring for its inhabitants at the foundling home her family established. Now that home is at risk. Hamilton's Battalion. Lerner, Milan, and Cole. Decades later, when Eliza Hamilton collected his soldiers' stories, she discovered that while the war was won at Yorktown, the battle for love took place on many fronts An Extraordinary Union.
Elle Burns is a former slave with a passion for justice and an eidetic memory. Trading in her life of freedom, she returns to the indignity of slavery in the South—to spy for the Union Army. Two undercover agents who share a common cause—and an undeniable attraction The Duke of Shadows. Sick of tragedy, done with rebellion, Emmaline Martin vows to settle quietly into British Indian society. She must turn for help to the one man whom she should not trust, but cannot resist: Julian Sinclair, the dangerous and dazzling heir to the Duke of Auburn.
The Duchess Deal. He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife. The Preacher's Promise. To fulfill a promise she made to her father, she resolves to start a school to educate and uplift their race. She determines to start her teaching work with the formerly enslaved. My Lady's Lover. Beatrice has been in love with her employer since the day they met.
Even more forbidden, she is Amelia, Countess of Garrick—intelligent, beautiful, and very much married—and an affair that would cause the society scandal to end all scandals. It seems Beatrice is destined to remain alone, her only joy the deliciously wicked monthly meetings of the Surrey Sexual Freedom Society. Amelia is desperate. Until the night friendship becomes something more It Takes Two to Tumble. After an unconventional upbringing, Ben is perfectly content with the quiet, predictable life of a country vicar, free of strife or turmoil.
Houston, Anne-Marie Smith wanted normal: a loving husband, two beautiful kids, and a well-kept house.
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Love's Serenade. Escaping an arranged marriage, Leigh Jones flees her southern hometown for Harlem's vibrant jazz scene to pursue her dream of becoming a singer. A Summer for Scandal.
Lydia San Andres. The more he writes about the mysterious author, the more papers he sells…and the more he is determined to find out her identity A Daring Arrangement. Lady Honora Parker must get engaged as soon as possible, and only a particular type of man will do.