46 episodes

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, a white supremacist became an American political phenomenon. David Duke’s rise to power and prominence—his election to the Louisiana legislature, and then his campaigns for the U.S. Senate and the governorship—was an existential crisis for the state and the nation. The fourth season of Slate’s Slow Burn will explore how a Nazi sympathizer and former Klansman fashioned himself into a mainstream figure, and why some voters came to embrace his message. It will also examine how activists, journalists, and ordinary citizens confronted Duke’s candidacy, and what it took to stop him.

Slow Burn Slate Magazine

    • History
    • 4.7, 20.8K Ratings

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, a white supremacist became an American political phenomenon. David Duke’s rise to power and prominence—his election to the Louisiana legislature, and then his campaigns for the U.S. Senate and the governorship—was an existential crisis for the state and the nation. The fourth season of Slate’s Slow Burn will explore how a Nazi sympathizer and former Klansman fashioned himself into a mainstream figure, and why some voters came to embrace his message. It will also examine how activists, journalists, and ordinary citizens confronted Duke’s candidacy, and what it took to stop him.

    A Concerned Citizen

    A Concerned Citizen

    In the fall of 1991, David Duke looked like a real threat to become the governor of Louisiana.
    On the sixth and final episode of Slow Burn's fourth season: What arguments did David Duke's opponents make? Who did they hope to persuade? And what did it mean, in those four weeks in 1991, to stand up and be counted?
    Season 4 of Slow Burn is produced by Josh Levin and Christopher Johnson. Mixing by Paul Mounsey. Slow Burn’s production assistant is Madeline Ducharme and Sophie Summergrad is the podcast’s assistant producer.
    Slate Plus members get bonus episodes of Slow Burn and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 59 min
    The Road to Hell

    The Road to Hell

    Edwin Edwards was a towering force in Louisiana politics. Buddy Roemer dethroned him and promised to modernize the state. In 1991, David Duke challenged both of them—and was soon on the verge of the biggest victory of his life.
    In Episode 5 of Slow Burn: How a Louisiana governor’s race became one of the most consequential elections in modern American history.
    Season 4 of Slow Burn is produced by Josh Levin and Christopher Johnson. Mixing by Paul Mounsey. Slow Burn’s production assistant is Madeline Ducharme and Sophie Summergrad is the podcast’s assistant producer.
    Slate Plus members get bonus episodes of Slow Burn and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 49 min
    A Silent Army

    A Silent Army

    David Duke wasn’t content being a state representative. He wanted to go national, and in 1990 he expanded his base of white voters to try to attain that goal.

    In Episode 4 of Slow Burn: How David Duke made himself a political sensation—and the message that his supporters sent when they cast their ballots.

    Season 4 of Slow Burn is produced by Josh Levin and Christopher Johnson. Mixing by Paul Mounsey. Slow Burn’s production assistant is Madeline Ducharme and Sophie Summergrad is the podcast’s assistant producer.

    Slate Plus members get bonus episodes of Slow Burn and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 50 min
    Cold Call

    Cold Call

    In 1989, a Black 12-year-old girl in New Orleans found the David Duke phenomenon, and Duke himself, hard to comprehend. So she called Duke on the phone to ask him some questions.

    In this Slow Burn interlude: how a budding journalist outdid the professionals. Plus, why we won’t be interviewing David Duke for our series.

    Season 4 of Slow Burn is produced by Josh Levin and Christopher Johnson. Mixing by Paul Mounsey. Slow Burn’s production assistant is Madeline Ducharme and Sophie Summergrad is the podcast’s assistant producer.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 24 min
    The Nazi and the Republicans

    The Nazi and the Republicans

    In 1989, David Duke got a foothold in American politics. To build on that victory, he’d have to
    fend off a Republican official determined to bring him down.

    In the third episode of our series: the people who tried to stop David Duke’s rise, and the ones
    who accommodated him.

    Season 4 of Slow Burn is produced by Josh Levin and Christopher Johnson. Mixing by Paul
    Mounsey. Slow Burn’s production assistant is Madeline Ducharme and Sophie Summergrad is
    the podcast’s assistant producer.

    Slate Plus members get bonus episodes of Slow Burn every season, plus zero ads. Sign up now to listen and support the show.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 53 min
    Robe and Ritual

    Robe and Ritual

    David Duke dreamed of becoming the charismatic leader who’d bring racism to the masses. He
    tried to make that dream a reality by seizing on America’s most powerful symbol of white
    supremacist terror.

    On the second episode of Slow Burn’s fourth season: what David Duke’s years as a leader in the
    Ku Klux Klan reveal about his beliefs and ambitions, and why Duke decided to leave the Klan
    behind.

    Season 4 of Slow Burn is produced by Josh Levin and Christopher Johnson. Mixing by Paul
    Mounsey. Slow Burn’s production assistant is Madeline Ducharme and Sophie Summergrad is
    the podcast’s assistant producer.

    Slate Plus members get bonus episodes of Slow Burn every season, early access to episode 3, plus zero ads. Sign up now to listen and support the show.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 50 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
20.8K Ratings

20.8K Ratings

BHM CVM ,

Nicely done

Great podcast. Very informative and captivating, I never want to leave until the episode closes.

Great job!

genuinejake ,

Disturbing and Yet I Can't Turn Away

I rate a story based upon how well the common narrative is weaved in with what's necessary and needed in its retelling for today's audience. With Nixon, Clinton, and David Duke (who was more fascinating in a stomach-churning kind of way that I could have ever imagined), this is accomplished with great detail.

Patrick39047 ,

The Duke podcast flops...

The David Duke story is perfect pod cast material. But this one, like almost every Duke story just totally misses the point. Yeah, we get it- he’s a racist bigot narcissistic a-hole. But that’s NOT the whole story. Heck the world has plenty of those.

The rise of Duke, and the people who voted for him, cannot be just brushed aside. Delve into the feelings of his supporters- don’t just label them as dumb ass rednecks.

Blanket statements such as ...”Duke supporters felt like the white race was being treated unfairly, which is so laughable absurd....” only dismiss them as ignorant and uneducated. If you want to be a journalist ask - why did they feel that way- instead of dismissing them outright. Maybe they have a point, or maybe they are 100% wrong , but it deserves discussion.

Also, multiple times during this podcast statements are made that are categorically untrue such as “ recently there has been a MASSIVE number of terrorist attacks by white supremists...”
You don’t have to make such statements to condemn racism, but try to be somewhat factual.
Race and racism is a excellent topic for in-depth discussion , but a 8 hour diatribe on “Duke is a racist, and duke supporters were racist rednecks”misses the point.

This is not journalism. This is same old crap weve been hearing for 30 years.

Thumbs down.

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