23 episodes

The first-ever series that defines and exposes the true nature of the underworld: a second economy of dirty money, born from the intersection of organized crime and intelligence operations. They are twin heads of this realm, and they have never been separated. This is the world of MOBSTERS & SPIES.

The World Beneath Imperative

    • Society & Culture
    • 3.9 • 1.1K Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

The first-ever series that defines and exposes the true nature of the underworld: a second economy of dirty money, born from the intersection of organized crime and intelligence operations. They are twin heads of this realm, and they have never been separated. This is the world of MOBSTERS & SPIES.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Two Dead Bodies | Chapter 1

    Two Dead Bodies | Chapter 1

    LB introduces The World Beneath with two assassinations in 1985: the Boss of Bosses of the American Mafia and the Little Godfather of the KGB's Russian Vor. Unanswered details between the two hits lead us on a journey back in time to find the first intersection of mobsters and spies.
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    • 35 min
    Humanizing the NSA with Mr. Black ("Unc") | Sitdown 1

    Humanizing the NSA with Mr. Black ("Unc") | Sitdown 1

    LB's first sit-down is with her uncle, Jeremy Black - a loving father, terrific twin brother, and 35+-year veteran of the National Security Agency. Mr. Black walks us through the everyday workings of the NSA. And the man from the world's most secretive intelligence agency let's the cat out of the bag: his niece's real name.
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    • 1 hr 11 min
    Love Code | Chapter 2

    Love Code | Chapter 2

    We meet our first season's hero: Elizebeth Smith Friedman, creator of cryptanalysis and godmother of the NSA. And she would never have formed what would become the world's most powerful intelligence agency without a conspiracy theory about Shakespeare.
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    • 43 min
    History Matters with Greg Olear | Sitdown 2

    History Matters with Greg Olear | Sitdown 2

    LB sits down with friend and novelist Greg Olear, who was one of the first artists to write and warn about the invasion of mobsters and spies that swarmed us in the Trump Presidency.
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    • 1 hr 20 min
    Pirates of Fifth Avenue | Chapter 3

    Pirates of Fifth Avenue | Chapter 3

    Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano find the business mentor they need to launch their bootlegging empire. Once they do, the Treasury Department sends an officer to go knock on Elizebeth's door.
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    • 44 min
    The Silent Warrior with Melissa Davis | Sitdown 3

    The Silent Warrior with Melissa Davis | Sitdown 3

    LB sits down with Melissa Davis - Director of Library and Archives at the George Marshall Foundation, guardian of William and Elizebeth Friedman's legacy, and world's happiest librarian. Melissa lets us into the more personal side of Elizebeth and William's life together, raising a loving family while protecting the nation's most valuable secrets.
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    • 1 hr 5 min

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5
1.1K Ratings

1.1K Ratings

madhaus x ,

Complex, fascinating story but flawed

I’d give this podcast 4.5 stars if that was an option. I love the stories and how deep LB’s research goes. The counterintuitive real history is a surprise compared to the Mob books and movies we assume are correct. It’s a shame the Trump supporters are so upset by the facts: he is third generation Mob and everyone from NYC knew that for years! His name is all over the wiretaps from Mafia investigations!

The reason I can’t give five stars is sometimes LB loses her own plot. It’s a complex story and she doesn’t always return to the main thread from her many tangents. I will definitely listen to future seasons; I just hope she can tighten things up better.

@Lykan.Human.Advanced ,

Started Off Strong

Started off strong.. lost me at interviews with absolute bias and without the interviewer providing many counterpoints instead of just agreeing with almost everything their interviewer is saying.
Too political

NowPaleo ,

Something is wrong

First, I’m a paid subscriber and I enjoy the podcast overall. Such great storytelling in the narrative portions. The interviews are sadly not as well done. But this is a technical flaw: It appears that interviews and the narrative portions just cut off, sometimes in the middle of a sentence, so I can’t tell if I’ve really got the whole thing and I can’t seem to go back. The next episode just starts up. So I’m not sure if it’s my iPhone or if it’s a failure of the production style.

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