7 episodes

Linda Taylor was a con artist, a kidnapper, maybe even a murderer. She was also America’s original “welfare queen,” the villain Ronald Reagan needed to create a vision of a country being taken advantage of by its poorest citizens. Josh Levin reveals the never-before-told story of a woman whose singular life was forgotten in the rush to create a vicious American stereotype.

The Queen Slate Magazine

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.2, 395 Ratings

Linda Taylor was a con artist, a kidnapper, maybe even a murderer. She was also America’s original “welfare queen,” the villain Ronald Reagan needed to create a vision of a country being taken advantage of by its poorest citizens. Josh Levin reveals the never-before-told story of a woman whose singular life was forgotten in the rush to create a vicious American stereotype.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5
395 Ratings

395 Ratings

Ellimac B ,

Important story

This story is important for various reasons and I am glad someone took the time to investigate the truth and provide perspective into someone’s personal trauma and how it influenced a urban racialized myth

Old OKC Guy ,

Big Blank Spot Filled

I enjoyed the series on many fronts. Aside from being an intriguing story, it painted a vivid picture of the plight of a black America, which has changed little during the intervening years.

It also covers an important snippet from a period in US political history from a quite different vantage point and reminds me again, of the powerful current of racism bubbling just below the surface in our country which politicians tap into again and again, to capture the attention, and snare the support of many undereducated, unenlightened, and often, blatantly bigoted voters.

Hearing President Regan’s “Welfare Queen” quote reminds me again, of the extraordinary power of ultra exaggeration when skillfully deployed in an anecdotal context. Regan was a master, as have been many others occupying our Oval Office and other positions of political power.

OShawnessy ,

Is there a queen in the story???

I was really excited for this podcast. I love stories of fascinating people. I got two episodes in and all I know is that the host really dislikes Ronald Reagan. Really. I mean he hates Reagan. Reagan lies. He lied about this woman. I would tell you more about the woman but I literally know almost nothing about her. Did I mention that Reagan is a liar? He sure does lie. I am actually going to look up articles or a book about the woman who is the supposed subject of the podcast because again, after two full episodes I know next to nothing about her. Maybe someday someone will actually make.a podcast about HER. Oh yeah, by the way, Reagan is a horrible person and a liar. There. I just saved you having to listen to two episodes...

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