22 episodes

Exploring the evolving identity of the American West.

Produced by Wyoming Public Media and PRX, The Modern West takes you on a sound-rich journey into some of America's most iconic landscapes. Guided by host Melodie Edwards' personal connection to the region, it's an unflinching look at the American West--its problematic history, its modern-day struggles and resilience, and how its present and future are being shaped.

The Modern West Wyoming Public Media

    • Documentary
    • 4.0 • 1 Rating

Exploring the evolving identity of the American West.

Produced by Wyoming Public Media and PRX, The Modern West takes you on a sound-rich journey into some of America's most iconic landscapes. Guided by host Melodie Edwards' personal connection to the region, it's an unflinching look at the American West--its problematic history, its modern-day struggles and resilience, and how its present and future are being shaped.

    Gabby's Story: Ghost Town(ing) Part 5

    Gabby's Story: Ghost Town(ing) Part 5

    The rural West has been seeing a steeper and steeper decline into despair, especially among white men. But when a Vietnam vet's mental breakdown threatens the safety of Walden, the small town has a response that neighborhoods everywhere could learn from.

    • 38 min
    The Environmental Billionaire: Ghost Town(ing) Part 4

    The Environmental Billionaire: Ghost Town(ing) Part 4

    2020 feels apocalyptic. It's not just the pandemic; there's also drought, mega-fires, melting glaciers. Meanwhile, the ultra-wealthy are stockpiling land, buying up small family ranches across the Mountain West. It makes you wonder, is it really a good idea to put that much environmental control in the hands of so few?

    • 37 min
    Meet Your Neighbor: A Conversation About The Rural West And The 2020 Election

    Meet Your Neighbor: A Conversation About The Rural West And The 2020 Election

    Part 4 of our Ghost Town(ing) series is in the works, coming out next week. But while you’re waiting, here's a way that you can get your voice in on the conversation about the state of the rural West.

    • 3 min
    A Stranger Comes To Town: Ghost Town(ing) Part 3

    A Stranger Comes To Town: Ghost Town(ing) Part 3

    The West has long been a haven for the ultra-wealthy. Sometimes, they move into small towns with the aim of revitalizing them. But in Walden, Colorado, one wealthy businessman’s plans went awry, with dire consequences for the community.

    • 40 min
    Bust Town: Ghost Town(ing) Part 2

    Bust Town: Ghost Town(ing) Part 2

    Why are we so fascinated by old ghost towns? And what can they teach us? We go looking for the ghosts of an old silver mining community called Teller City to see if they have any lessons for how the nearby town of Walden, Colorado can keep from falling into the same cycles of boom and bust.

    • 36 min
    "You Can’t Eat The View": Ghost Town(ing) Part 1

    "You Can’t Eat The View": Ghost Town(ing) Part 1

    Years ago, small towns like Walden, Colorado were vibrant. Street dances, a health food store, a movie theatre, the works. At least, that's how host Melodie Edwards remembers it from her childhood. Now it's shrinking, part of the "ghost towning" of the American West. But can communities like Walden find a way to survive? Or will Melodie's parents be forced to move away, like so many others?

    • 21 min

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5
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I really enjoy this series. The focus is on the voices of real people who do or have lived in the west. Also, the production style and tone is a bit dated, but in a good way, which is a nice change from most current podcasts that have a style that is quickly becoming cliché.

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