199 episodes

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 to our sponsor-free feed of the show. Learn more at plus.npr.org/throughline

Throughline Throughline

    • History
    • 4.8 • 179 Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

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 to our sponsor-free feed of the show. Learn more at plus.npr.org/throughline

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Afghanistan: The Rise of the Taliban (2021)

    Afghanistan: The Rise of the Taliban (2021)

    How did a small group of Islamic students go from local vigilantes to one of the most infamous and enigmatic forces in the world? The Taliban is a name that has haunted the American imagination since 2001. The scenes of the group's brutality repeatedly played in the Western media, while true, perhaps obscure our ability to see the complex origins of the Taliban and how they impact the lives of Afghans. It's a shadow that reaches across the vast ancient Afghan homeland, the reputation of the modern state, and throughout global politics. At the end of the US war in Afghanistan we go back to the end of the Soviet Occupation and the start of the Afghan civil war to look at the rise of the Taliban.

    • 54 min
    Afghanistan: The Center of the World (2021)

    Afghanistan: The Center of the World (2021)

    Afghanistan has, for centuries, been at the center of the world. Long before the U.S. invasion — before the U.S. was even a nation — countless civilizations intersected there, weaving together a colorful tapestry of foods, languages, ethnicities and visions of what Afghanistan was and could be. The story of Afghanistan is too often told from the perspective of outsiders who tried to invade it (and always failed) earning it the nickname "Graveyard of Empires." In this episode, we're shifting the perspective. We'll journey through the centuries alongside Afghan mystical poets. We'll turn the radio dial to hear songs of love and liberation. We'll meet the queen who built the first primary school for girls in the country. And we'll take a closer look at Afghanistan's centuries-long experiment to create a unified nation.

    • 55 min
    The Mystery of Inflation

    The Mystery of Inflation

    Gas. Meat. Flights. Houses. The price of things have gone up by as much as nine percent since last year. The same amount of money gets you less stuff. It's inflation: a concept that's easy to feel but hard to understand. Its causes are complex, but it isn't some kind of naturally-occurring phenomenon — and neither are the ways in which governments try to fight it.

    • 49 min
    Nikole Hannah-Jones and the Country We Have (2021)

    Nikole Hannah-Jones and the Country We Have (2021)

    Is history always political? Who gets to decide? What happens when you challenge common narratives? In this episode, Throughline's Rund Abdelfatah and Ramtin Arablouei explore these questions with Nikole Hannah-Jones, an investigative journalist at the New York Times and the creator of the 1619 Project.

    • 49 min
    Student Loans: The Fund-Eating Dragon

    Student Loans: The Fund-Eating Dragon

    At the start of the 20th century, only the most privileged could afford to go to college. Today, millions of students pursue higher ed — and owe $1.7 trillion in debt.

    • 51 min
    The Long Hot Summer (2020)

    The Long Hot Summer (2020)

    Things in the U.S. feel tense right now. Two years after a police officer killed George Floyd outside a Minneapolis corner store, videos of police violence still appear regularly – and protests follow. Maybe the closest parallel to what's happening today is the so-called "long hot summer" of 1967, when more than 150 cities across the country experienced civil unrest.

    That year, President Lyndon Johnson appointed a commission to diagnose the root causes of the problem and to suggest solutions. What the so-called "Kerner Commission" concluded — shocking to many Americans – was that the fires in America's cities could be traced back to inequality, white racism, and police brutality. This week, the Kerner Commission's report and its consequences, nearly six decades later.

    • 41 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
179 Ratings

179 Ratings

ReignExplores ,

I love Throughline… but

The most recent episode annoyed me so much, maybe just because it was SO American in its arguments and predictable.

As a European, I could have listed off the arguments I’d expect to hear in the show and have ticked off all of them as the show played.

Noor Al Hamad ,

Simply Brilliant

As a massive consumer of podcasts, Throughline is in my top 2. It never fails to educate in a nuanced and engaging way. Beautifully produced and meticulously researched it elevates subject matters by incorporating new perspectives to existing narratives. With Thank you so so much for existing.

Aldema18 ,

What journalism is supposed to be

Vigorously researched, unafraid of nuance or complexity, empathetic yet interrogative, always compelling. I absolutely love this podcast and hope its influence continues to grow. Thank you for embodying the principles of good journalism.

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