316 episodes

Throughline is a time machine. Each episode, we travel beyond the headlines to answer the question, "How did we get here?" We use sound and stories to bring history to life and put you into the middle of it. From ancient civilizations to forgotten figures, we take you directly to the moments that shaped our world. Throughline is hosted by Peabody Award-winning journalists Rund Abdelfatah and Ramtin Arablouei.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

Throughline Throughline

    • History
    • 3.9 • 7 Ratings

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Throughline is a time machine. Each episode, we travel beyond the headlines to answer the question, "How did we get here?" We use sound and stories to bring history to life and put you into the middle of it. From ancient civilizations to forgotten figures, we take you directly to the moments that shaped our world. Throughline is hosted by Peabody Award-winning journalists Rund Abdelfatah and Ramtin Arablouei.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

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Last Months (Throughline+)

    Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Last Months (Throughline+)

    Jonathan Eig is a journalist and biographer who recently won the 2024 Pulitzer Prize for biography for his book covering Martin Luther King, Jr. called King: A Life. In this extended interview from December 2023 for Throughline's episode "Dare to Dissent" (https://n.pr/3wNOQrL), Ramtin Arablouei talks with Eig about King's last days and the opposition the civil rights leader faced as he tried to expand his mission. To get access to this episode, listen to Throughline sponsor-free, and support NPR, sign up for Throughline+ at plus.npr.org

    A History of Zionism

    A History of Zionism

    Since October 7th, the term Zionism has been everywhere in the news. It's been used to support Israel in what it calls its war against Hamas: a refrain to remind everyone why Israel exists and why it must be protected. Others have used Zionism to describe what they view as Israel's collective punishment of civilians in Gaza, and its appropriation of Palestinian territories — what they often call "settler colonialism."Zionism has been defined and redefined again and again, and the definitions are often built on competing historical interpretations. So unsurprisingly, we've received many requests from you, our audience, to explore the origins of Zionism. On today's episode, we go back to the late 19th century to meet the people who organized the modern Zionist movement.

    Correction: An earlier version of this episode incorrectly described Ze'ev Jabotinsky as a right-wing settler who helped form the paramilitary organization the Irgun. Jabotinsky was a conservative Zionist thinker whose ideas influenced some of the founders of the Irgun. While Jabotinsky did advocate Jewish settlement in Palestine, he himself lived mostly in Europe and died before Israel's founding.

    To access bonus episodes and listen to Throughline sponsor-free, subscribe to Throughline+ via Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/throughline.

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    • 51 min
    The Whiteness Myth (Throwback)

    The Whiteness Myth (Throwback)

    In 1923, an Indian American man named Bhagat Singh Thind told the U.S. Supreme Court that he was white, and therefore eligible to become a naturalized citizen. He based his claim on the fact that he was a member of India's highest caste and identified as an Aryan. His claims were supported by the so-called Indo-European language theory, a controversial idea at the time that says nearly half the world's population speak a language that originated in one place. Theories about who lived in that place inspired a racist ideology that contended that the original speakers of the language were a white supreme race that colonized Europe and Asia thousands of years ago. This was used by many to define whiteness and eventually led to one of the most horrific events in history. On this episode of Throughline, we unpack the myths around this powerful idea and explore the politics and promise of the mother tongue.

    To access bonus episodes and listen to Throughline sponsor-free, subscribe to Throughline+ via Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/throughline.

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    • 49 min
    The Rules of War

    The Rules of War

    International courts investigating alleged war crimes have made headlines often in recent months. An arrest warrant has been issued for Russian President Vladimir Putin; arrest warrants have also been requested for senior Hamas and Israeli officials, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.

    What are these courts, where did they come from, and how did they come to decide the rules of war?

    On today's episode, we travel from the battlefields of the U.S. Civil War, through the rubble of two world wars, to the hallways of the Hague, to trace modern attempts to define and prosecute war crimes.

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    • 51 min
    Mythos and Melodrama in the Philippines (Throwback)

    Mythos and Melodrama in the Philippines (Throwback)

    Welcome to the "Epic of Marcos." In this tale of a family that's larger than life, Ferdinand Marcos, the former dictator of the Philippines, is at the center. But the figures that surround him are just as important: Imelda, his wife and muse; Bongbong, his heir; and the United States, his faithful sidekick. The story of the Marcos family is a blueprint for authoritarianism, laying out clearly how melodrama, paranoia, love, betrayal and a hunger for power collide to create a myth capable of propelling a nation. Today on the show, the rise, fall, and resurrection of a dynasty — and what that means for democracy worldwide.

    To access bonus episodes and listen to Throughline sponsor-free, subscribe to Throughline+ via Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/throughline.

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    • 51 min
    The Mandela Effect

    The Mandela Effect

    For nearly thirty years, the South African government held a man it initially labeled prisoner number 46664, the anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela. But in 1994, Mandela transformed from the country's 'number one terrorist' into its first Black president, ushering in a new era of democracy. Today, though, many in South Africa see Mandela's party, the ANC, as corrupt and responsible for the country's problems. It's an ongoing political saga, with all sides attempting to weaponize parts of the past – especially Nelson Mandela's legacy. On today's episode, we tell Mandela's story: the man, the myth, and the cost of freedom.

    To access bonus episodes and listen to Throughline sponsor-free, subscribe to Throughline+ via Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/throughline.

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    • 54 min

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5
7 Ratings

7 Ratings

Osabros ,

Lots of fake news

I listened to a lot of episodes that were really eye-opening and interesting, but after listening to some episodes with blatant lies and (very) distorted views on history, I no longer trust their accuracy - it’s more of an attempt to re-write facts through a post-modern lens
Big disappointment :(

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