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Scene on Radio

Kenan Insitute for Ethics at Duke University

Society & Culture, Documentary, Radio, Stories, Audiodoc

4.910.8K Ratings

Overview

Scene on Radio is a two-time Peabody-nominated podcast that dares to ask big, hard questions about who we are—really—and how we got this way. Previous series include Seeing White (Season 2), looking at the roots and meaning of white supremacy; MEN (Season 3), on patriarchy and its history; The Land That Never Has Been Yet (Season 4), exploring democracy in the U.S. and why we don’t have more of it; The Repair (Season 5), on the cultural roots of the climate crisis; and Season 6, Echoes of a Coup, the story of the only successful coup d'etat in U.S. history, in Wilmington, North Carolina, in 1898. Produced and hosted by John Biewen and created at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, Scene on Radio comes from the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University. The show is distributed by PRX.

106 Episodes

Season 7 Trailer: Capitalism

Welcome to Season 7: Capitalism. The world's dominant economic system is on trial as it hasn't been for at least half a century. This season tells the story of capitalism -- how people with power built and shaped it over time. We'll also explore what to do now that many people see capitalism as the problem, not the solution. Produced by host/producer John Biewen with co-host Ellen McGirt and story editor Loretta Williams. From the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University, in partnership with Imperative 21.

Transcribed - Published: 12 June 2024

Bonus: Long Shadow, In Guns We Trust

As we get ready to launch our Season 7, a bonus episode from another podcast we think our listeners will want to hear: Long Shadow. Episode 1 of its newest season, In Guns We Trust, with host Garrett Graff.Mass shootings have plagued the U.S. for generations. But in 1999, when shots rang out in a suburban Denver school, it was different. What changed? Everything.

Transcribed - Published: 22 May 2024

S6 E5: A Way Forward

What would it take, and what would it even mean, to heal from a wound like the Wilmington massacre and coup of 1898 — or from centuries of white supremacist violence, disenfranchisement, and theft? An exploration of that question with community members in Wilmington, and experts on restorative justice and reparations. By Michael A. Betts, II and John Biewen. Interviews with Bertha Boykin Todd, Cedric Harrison, Christopher Everett, Kim Cook, William Sturkey, Inez Campbell-Eason, Sonya Bennetonne-Patrick, Candice Robinson, Paul Jervay,Kieran Haile, Larry Reni Thomas, William “Sandy” Darity, and Michelle Lanier. Story editor: Loretta Williams. Voice actor: Mike Wiley. Music by Kieran Haile, Blue Dot Sessions, Okaya, and Lucas Biewen. Art by Zaire McPhearson. “Echoes of a Coup” is an initiative of America’s Hallowed Ground, a project of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University.

Transcribed - Published: 8 February 2024

S6 E4: The Forgetting

After the massacre and coup of November 10, 1898, white supremacists in North Carolina soon finished the job of disenfranchising Black citizens and instituting Jim Crow segregation. They also took control of the narrative. A new propaganda campaign, the one after the fact, succeeded for a century – even as several Black writers tried to tell the truth about 1898 and left breadcrumbs for future historians to find. By Michael A. Betts, II and John Biewen. Interviews with LeRae Umfleet, Gareth Evans, David Cecelski, William Sturkey, Chenjerai Kumanyika, Doug Jones, and Adriane Lentz-Smith. Story editor: Loretta Williams. Voice actor: Mike Wiley. Music by Kieran Haile, Blue Dot Sessions, Okaya, Jameson Nathan Jones, and Lucas Biewen. Art by Zaire McPhearson. “Echoes of a Coup” is an initiative of America’s Hallowed Ground, a project of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University.

Transcribed - Published: 31 January 2024

S6 E3: A Day of Blood

On November 1898, North Carolina Democrats won a sweeping victory at the polls – confirming the success of their campaign based on white supremacy, intimidation, and fraud. But in Wilmington, the state’s largest city, white supremacist leaders were not satisfied. This episode tells what happened on November 10, 1898, in Wilmington: a massacre of Black men, and the only successful coup d'etat in U.S. history. By John Biewen and Michael A. Betts, II. Interviews with LeRae Umfleet, Bertha Todd, William Sturkey, Cedric Harrison, and Milo Manly. Story editor: Loretta Williams. Voice actor: Mike Wiley. Music by Kieran Haile, Blue Dot Sessions, Okaya, Jameson Nathan Jones, Kevin McLeod, and Lucas Biewen. Art by Zaire McPhearson. “Echoes of a Coup” is an initiative of America’s Hallowed Ground, a project of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University.

Transcribed - Published: 24 January 2024

S6 E2: Crying "Negro Rule"

By 1898, two decades after the end of Reconstruction, white elites, backed by violent terror groups, have installed Jim Crow across most of the South. North Carolina, led by its largest city, Wilmington, is different. A Fusion coalition, made up of mostly-Black Republicans and mostly-White members of the Populist Party, controls the city and state governments. White supremacist Democrats are frustrated and plot to gain power by any means necessary. ​​ By Michael A. Betts, II, and John Biewen. Interviews with LeRae Umfleet, David Cecelski, and Cedric Harrison. The series story editor is Loretta Williams. Music in this episode by Kieran Haile, Blue Dot Sessions, Okaya, Jameson Nathan Jones, and Lucas Biewen. Art by Zaire MacPhearson. “Echoes of a Coup” is an initiative of America’s Hallowed Ground, a project of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University.

Transcribed - Published: 17 January 2024

S6 E1: What Was Lost

This series tells the story of the only successful coup d’etat in U.S. history, and the white supremacist massacre that went with it. It happened in Wilmington, North Carolina in November 1898. But before we get to that story, we explore the surprising world of Wilmington in the 19th century – the world that the massacre and coup violently destroyed. By Michael A. Betts, II, and John Biewen. Interviews with LeRae Umfleet, Cedric Harrison, David Cecelski, and William Sturkey. The series story editor is Loretta Williams. Music in this episode by Kieran Haile, Blue Dot Sessions, Lucas Biewen, Kevin MacLeod, Jameson Nathan Jones, Alon Peretz, and Florian. Art by Zaire MacPhearson. “Echoes of a Coup” is an initiative of America’s Hallowed Ground, a project of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University.

Transcribed - Published: 10 January 2024

Season 6 Trailer: Echoes of a Coup

Introduction to Season 6, a series co-produced by Michael A. Betts II and Scene on Radio producer and host John Biewen, with story editor Loretta Williams. Music by Kevin MacLeod, Okaya, and Lucas Biewen. Echoes of a Coup is a project of America’s Hallowed Ground and Scene on Radio, from the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University.

Transcribed - Published: 3 January 2024

Update: Scene on Radio status report

Scene on Radio is on an extended hiatus, but is on its way back. Host and producer John Biewen explains that the show has found a new home: the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University.

Transcribed - Published: 2 June 2023

"The Excess of Democracy": Rebroadcast

In the summer of 1787, fifty-five men got together in Philadelphia to write a new Constitution for the United States, replacing the new nation’s original blueprint, the Articles of Confederation. But why, exactly? What problems were the framers trying to solve? Was the Constitution designed to advance democracy, or to rein it in? And how can the answers to those questions inform our crises of democracy today? By producer/host John Biewen with series collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika. Interviews with Woody Holton, Dan Bullen, and Price Thomas. The series editor is Loretta Williams.

Transcribed - Published: 10 August 2022

White Affirmative Action: Rebroadcast

When it comes to U.S. government programs and support designed to benefit particular racial groups, history is clear. White folks have received most of the handouts. Part of our summer mini-season of rebroadcasts. By John Biewen, with Deena Hayes-Greene of the Racial Equity Institute and Season 2 series collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika.

Transcribed - Published: 27 July 2022

Losing Ground: Rebroadcast

The next in our summer mini-season of rebroadcasts: For Eddie Wise, owning a hog farm was a lifelong dream. In middle age, he and his wife, Dorothy, finally got a farm of their own. But they say that over the next twenty-five years, the U.S. government discriminated against them because they were Black, and finally drove them off the land. Their story, by John Biewen, was produced in collaboration with Reveal, the podcast and radio show from the Center for Investigative Reporting.

Transcribed - Published: 13 July 2022

Bonus: Introducing Hot Take

In this bonus episode we share a recent installment from Hot Take, the climate podcast co-hosted by Amy Westervelt (co-host/reporter for our Season 5 series on climate, The Repair) and writer Mary Annaïse Heglar. They talk with their guest, author and New York Times writer David Wallace-Wells, about the lessons we can learn from Covid-19, the parallels between pandemic response and climate response, and how Russia’s war in Ukraine sits at the intersection of the two.

Transcribed - Published: 6 July 2022

Himpathy: Rebroadcast

Several years after Janey was sexually assaulted by her former boyfriend, Mathew, she told some of her closest friends, and her mother, what Mathew had done. Janey was so troubled by her loved ones’ responses that she went back to them years later to record conversations about it all. In this episode: Janey’s story, and philosopher Kate Manne, who coined the term “himpathy” in her 2017 book, “Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny.” With co-hosts John Biewen and Celeste Headlee. Part of our summer mini-season of rebroadcasts. To hear more of Janey Williams’ story and the conversations she had with friends, check out her podcast, "This Happened", available on most podcast apps and at thishappenedpodcast.com.

Transcribed - Published: 29 June 2022

Things I'm Afraid to Say: Rebroadcast

A refugee from war in Eastern Europe. An NYC-born survivor who grew up poor, Black, Muslim, and gay. And how one, and her music, saved the other. By Aleks Basic, featuring Laila Nur. Part of our summer mini-season of rebroadcasts. Editing by Shea Shackelford and host John Biewen.

Transcribed - Published: 15 June 2022

Prince and Philando and Futures Untold: Rebroadcast

How to grieve when the deaths come so quickly? How, as a Black mother in America, to protect your child’s innocence and hope? An audio essay by Stacia Brown. The first in a summer mini-season of rebroadcasts. Editing by Shea Shackelford and host John Biewen. Music by Prince, Eme Dm, One World One Nation, Blu & Exile, Otwin, and goodnight Lucas.

Transcribed - Published: 1 June 2022

S5 E11: Change Everything

In our Season 5 finale: What’s the cultural transformation we need to make — in the West, and the U.S. in particular — to live in good health with the rest of the natural world and with each other? Episode 11 of The Repair, our series on the climate emergency. Researched and produced by John Biewen, with co-host Amy Westervelt. Script editor, Cheryl Devall. Interviews with Dirk Philipsen, Christian Felber, Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò, and Jessica Hernandez. Music by Lili Haydn, Kim Carroll, Chris Westlake, Lesley Barber, Cora Miron, Fabian Almazan, and Alex Weston. Music consulting by Joe Augustine of Narrative Music.

Transcribed - Published: 15 December 2021

S5 E10: The Power Structure, Not the Energy Source

The first of two concluding episodes in Season 5, in which we focus on solutions. In Part 10 of The Repair, we look at the actions and policies that people need to push for —now — to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change. Reported by Amy Westervelt. Script editor, Cheryl Devall. Production and mix by John Biewen. Interviews with Kate Marvel, Ken Caldeira, Julian Brave Noisecat, Kate Aronoff, Naomi Klein, Julia Steinberger, Leah Stokes, Heidi Marmon, Tamara Toles O’Laughlin, Rhiana Gunn-Wright, Tara Houska, and Max Berger. Music in this episode by Lili Haydn, Kim Caroll, Chris Westlake, Lesley Barber, Cora Miron, goodnight Lucas, and Maetar. Music consulting by Joe Augustine of Narrative Music.

Transcribed - Published: 8 December 2021

S5 E9: Pachamama

In several countries around the world, including Ecuador, New Zealand, and the U.S., some people are trying to protect the planet using a legal concept called “rights of nature” – infusing the law with Indigenous understandings of Mother Earth. Part 9 of The Repair, our series on the climate emergency. Reported by Amy Westervelt and Polyglot Barbershop. Script editor, Cheryl Devall. Production and mix by John Biewen. Music in this episode by Lili Haydn, Kim Carroll, Chris Westlake, Lesley Barber, Cora Miron, and Fabian Almazan. Music consulting by Joe Augustine of Narrative Music.

Transcribed - Published: 1 December 2021

S5 E8: Last Orders

Among the wealthy, industrialized Western countries that created the climate crisis, Scotland is one of the leaders in pivoting away from fossil fuels – or promising to. Just how quickly will Scots be willing to cut off the flow – of oil, and money? Part 8 of The Repair, our series on the climate emergency. Reported and written by Victoria McArthur, with additional writing and script editing by Cheryl Devall. Production and mix by John Biewen. Music in this episode by Lili Haydn, Kim Carroll, Chris Westlake, Lesley Barber, Cora Miron, and Maetar. Music consulting by Joe Augustine of Narrative Music.

Transcribed - Published: 24 November 2021

S5 E7: Deluges and Dreams

The climate crisis is not new to Bangladesh. For decades, global warming has exacerbated storms and flooding and turned many thousands of people into refugees in their own country. Yet, even though Bangladeshis did almost nothing to create the crisis, some are trying to be part of the solution. Reported by Tareq Ahmed, with recording and production help from Tareek Muhammad and Muhammad Rabbi. The series editor is Cheryl Devall. Music in this episode by Lili Haydn, Kim Carroll, Lesley Barber, and Fabian Almazan. Music consulting by Joe Augustine of Narrative Music.

Transcribed - Published: 17 November 2021

S5 E6: "We Don't Have the Power to Fight It"

Earth’s changing climate is already displacing millions of people, worsening tension and conflict, and sometimes violence – for example, between farmers and traditional nomadic herders in Nigeria. Part 6 of The Repair, our series on the climate emergency. Reported by Ugochi Anyaka-Oluigbo, with reporting and production assistance from Nchetachi Chukwuaja and Tim Cuttings Agber. The series story editor is Cheryl Devall. Mix by John Biewen. Music in this episode by Lili Haydn, Kim Carroll, Chris Westlake, Lesley Barber, Cora Miron, Alex Weston, Fabian Almazan, and Maetar. Music consulting by Joe Augustine of Narrative Music.

Transcribed - Published: 2 November 2021

Bonus Episode: Manchin on the Hill, and Introducing Drilled

Co-hosts John Biewen and Amy Westervelt discuss the U.S. Congress’s effort to pass its first major climate bill ever, and Senator Joe Manchin’s move to block a key measure seemingly on behalf of the fossil fuel industry. And an episode of Drilled, Amy Westervelt’s true crime podcast about the climate crisis.

Transcribed - Published: 20 October 2021

S5 E5: Jakarta, the Sinking Capital

Southeast Asia is especially vulnerable to storms, rising oceans, and other climate effects—though countries in the region did very little to create the crisis. In Indonesia, among other climate-related challenges, the capital city is sinking into the sea. Part 5 of our series, The Repair, on the climate emergency. Reported by Nita Roshita, with recording and production help from Hilman Handoni. Mixed by host John Biewen. Interviews with Bondan Kanumoyoso, Yayat Supriatna, Selamet Daroyni, Amalia Syafruddin, and others. The series editor is Cheryl Devall. Music in this episode by Lil Haydn, Kim Carroll, Chris Westlake, Lesley Barber, and Fabian Almazan. Music consulting by Joe Augustine of Narrative Music.

Transcribed - Published: 13 October 2021

S5 E4: Up to Heaven and Down to Hell

Why has the United States played such an outsized role in the creation of the climate crisis? As a settler nation, the U.S. emerged from the colonizing, capitalist West, but what did America and its cultural peculiarities bring to the party? Part 4 of our series, The Repair, on the climate emergency. Researched and written by this season’s co-host, Amy Westervelt, produced and mixed by host John Biewen. Interviews with Colin Jerolmack, Darren Dochuk, Melissa Aronczyk, Bob Brulle, and the Rev. Lennox Yearwood. The series editor is Cheryl Devall. Music in this episode by Lili Haydn, Kim Carroll, Chris Westlake, Lesley Barber, Cora Miron, and goodnight Lucas. Music consulting by Joe Augustine of Narrative Music. The Repair is supported by Scene on Radio listener-donors, and by the International Women’s Media Foundation.

Transcribed - Published: 6 October 2021

S5 E3: "Managing" Nature

If the Enlightenment was so great, why was it not a course correction? In fact, did cultural values that took hold in the West in this period speed up our race toward ecological suicide? Part 3 of our series, The Repair, on the climate crisis. By season co-host Amy Westervelt, with host and producer John Biewen. Interviews with Devin Vartija, Darren Dochuk, Melissa Aronczyk, and Amber Kanazbah Crotty. The series editor is Cheryl Devall. Music in this episode by Lili Haydn, Kim Carroll, Chris Westlake, Lesley Barber, and Cora Miron. Music consulting by Joe Augustine of Narrative Music.

Transcribed - Published: 29 September 2021

S5 E2: To the Victor

How western Europe really broke bad in its understanding of humanity’s place in the natural world, from the Crusades to capitalism. Part 2 of our series, The Repair, on the climate crisis. By host and producer John Biewen, with co-host Amy Westervelt. Interviews with Charisse Burden-Stelly, Kate Rigby, Enrique Salmón, and David Pecusa. The series editor is Cheryl Devall. Music by Lili Haydn, Chris Westlake, Kim Carroll, Cora Miron, Alex Weston, Lesley Barber, and Fabian Almazan. Music consulting by Joe Augustine of Narrative Music. Season 5 is supported by Scene on Radio listener-donors, and by the International Women’s Media Foundation.

Transcribed - Published: 22 September 2021

S5 E1: In the Beginning

Part 1 of our series on the climate emergency. How did we drive ourselves into the ecological ditch? And, crucially, who is this ‘we’? Our story starts with … Genesis. By host and producer John Biewen, with co-host Amy Westervelt. Interviews with David Pecusa, Bina Nir, and Kate Rigby. The series editor is Cheryl Devall. Music by Lili Haydn, Kim Carroll, Chris Westlake, Alex Weston, and Cora Miron. Music consulting by Joe Augustine of Narrative Music. Season 5 is supported by Scene on Radio listener-donors, and by the International Women’s Media Foundation.

Transcribed - Published: 15 September 2021

Season 5 Trailer: The Repair

This season will explore the cultural roots of our current ecological emergency, and the deep changes Western society will need to make to save the Earth and our species. Through interviews with historians and other experts, The Repair will trace the evolution of the West’s colonizing, extractive culture, and how we in the rich Global North drove humanity into the ecological ditch. We’ll hear from producers in countries that did not create the crisis, yet got hit early and hard. Finally, with help from leading thinkers and activists, Biewen and Westervelt will look at potential solutions—the repair.

Transcribed - Published: 23 August 2021

REBROADCAST: S4 E8 The Second Redemption

This special re-broadcast of a Season 4 episode is in response to the attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters. A look at the right-wing counterrevolution in the face of expanding democracy in America: It started long before Donald Trump. By host and producer John Biewen, with series collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika. Interviews with Nancy MacLean, Wendy Brown, and Rhon Manigault-Bryant. The series editor is Loretta Williams. Music by Algiers, John Erik Kaada, Eric Neveux, and Lucas Biewen. Music consulting and production help from Joe Augustine of Narrative Music.

Transcribed - Published: 13 January 2021

BONUS EPISODE: Election 2020

What does the 2020 election in the United States tell us, or remind us, about the state of democracy in America? A follow-up to our Season 4 series on democracy, The Land That Never Has Been Yet. Host and producer John Biewen talks with series collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika. Editor, Loretta Williams. Music by Algiers, Eric Neveux, and Lucas Biewen. Music consulting and production help from Joe Augustine of Narrative Music. Photo: An election day march to the polls in Graham, North Carolina, November 2020. Photo by Anthony Crider, Wikimedia Commons.

Transcribed - Published: 24 November 2020

Hearing Hiroshima (Rebroadcast)

The word “Hiroshima” may bring to mind a black-and-white image of a mushroom cloud. It’s easy to forget that it’s an actual city with a million people and a popular baseball team. In 1995, John Biewen visited the city to speak with survivors and to ask: What did the world’s first atomic bombing mean in the place where it happened? Hearing Hiroshima is a production of Minnesota Public Radio, from American Public Media. Photo: Selections from the 1995 tapes. Photo by John Biewen.

Transcribed - Published: 3 August 2020

S4 E12: More Democracy

What will it take to make the United States a more fully-functioning democracy, and how can we, as citizens, bring about that change? By host and producer John Biewen, with series collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika. Interviews with Michael Waldman, Jennifer Cohn, and Sanford Levinson. The series editor is Loretta Williams. Music by Algiers, John Erik Kaada, Eric Neveux, and Lucas Biewen. Music consulting and production help from Joe Augustine of Narrative Music.

Transcribed - Published: 10 June 2020

S4 E11: More Truth

How well do the news media serve us as citizens, and what role does the notion of “objective,” or “neutral,” journalism play in the failings of American democracy? Story reported by Lewis Raven Wallace, with host/producer John Biewen and collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika. Interviews with David Mindich, Nikole Hannah-Jones, and Kevin Young. The series editor is Loretta Williams. *The View from Somewhere *editor: Ramona Martinez. Music by Algiers, John Erik Kaada, Eric Neveux, and Lucas Biewen. Music consulting and production help from Joe Augustine of Narrative Music.

Transcribed - Published: 27 May 2020

S4 E10: Schooled for Democracy

In most American schools, children *hear about* democracy, but don’t get to *practice* it. What would a more engaged brand of civics education look like? Story reported by Ben James, with host John Biewen and collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika. Interviews with Arielle Jennings, Hilary Moss, and Nikole Hannah-Jones. The series editor is Loretta Williams. Music by the Summer Street Brass Band, Algiers, John Erik Kaada, Eric Neveux, and Lucas Biewen. Music consulting and production help from Joe Augustine of Narrative Music. Photo: Stephen Buckley, Jelicity Mercado, Bella Goncalves, and Angelica Pareja, eighth-grade students at Pyne Arts Magnet School in Lowell, Massachusetts, with their award at Civics Day in Boston, December 2019.

Transcribed - Published: 13 May 2020

S4 E9: American Empire

“America” and “empire.” Do those words go together? If so, what kind of imperialism does the U.S. practice, and how has American empire changed over time? By host and producer John Biewen, with series collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika. Interviews with Nikhil Singh and Daniel Immerwahr. The series editor is Loretta Williams. Music by Algiers, John Erik Kaada, Eric Neveux, and Lucas Biewen. Music consulting and production help from Joe Augustine of Narrative Music.

Transcribed - Published: 29 April 2020

S4 E8: The Second Redemption

The conservative, neoliberal counterrevolution in the face of expanding democracy in America: It started long before Donald Trump. Even before Ronald Reagan and his like-minded counterpart across the Atlantic, Margaret Thatcher. By host and producer John Biewen, with series collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika. Interviews with Nancy MacLean, Wendy Brown, and Rhon Manigault-Bryant. The series editor is Loretta Williams. Music by Algiers, John Erik Kaada, Eric Neveux, and Lucas Biewen. Music consulting and production help from Joe Augustine of Narrative Music.

Transcribed - Published: 15 April 2020

S4 E7: Freedom Summer

In the summer of 1964, about a thousand young Americans, black and white, came together in Mississippi to place themselves in the path of white supremacist power and violence. They issued a bold pro-democracy challenge to the nation and the Democratic Party. Produced by John Biewen, with series collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika. Interviews with John Lewis, Bob Moses, Unita Blackwell, Hollis Watkins, Dorie Ladner, and many others. The series editor is Loretta Williams. Freedom song recordings courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways. Other music by Algiers, John Erik Kaada, Eric Neveux, and Lucas Biewen. Music consulting and production help from Joe Augustine of Narrative Music. Photo: A Freedom Summer worker in Mississippi, 1964. Photo by Steve Schapiro.

Transcribed - Published: 1 April 2020

Bonus Episode: Pandemic America

In this special episode, host John Biewen and series collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika discuss the coronavirus pandemic and how the crisis, and the nation’s response to it, echo themes we’re exploring in our Season 4 series on democracy in the United States. The season’s editor is Loretta Williams. Music by Lucas Biewen and Eric Neveux. Photo: Durham, North Carolina, mayor Steve Schewel announces a stay-at-home order on March 25. Photo by Julia Wall, courtesy of the News & Observer.

Transcribed - Published: 27 March 2020

S4 E6: A New Deal

The Great Depression presented a crisis not only for the U.S. economy, but for American democracy. President Franklin Roosevelt wanted to save the nation’s system of government, and its economic system, while reforming both. What did the New Deal achieve, and not achieve? Reported and produced by John Biewen, with series collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika. Interviews with Eric Rauchway and Cybelle Fox. The series editor is Loretta Williams. Music by Algiers, John Erik Kaada, Eric Neveux, and Lucas Biewen. Music consulting and production help from Joe Augustine of Narrative Music. Photo: Men fighting during a strike at the Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan, 1937. Image courtesy of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum. As mentioned in the episode, an article by public historian Larry DeWitt examining the widespread assertion that the exclusion of some occupations from the original Social Security old-age pension program was insisted on by southern segregationists: https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/ssb/v70n4/v70n4p49.html

Transcribed - Published: 17 March 2020

S4 E5: Feminism in Black and White

People fighting for more democracy in the United States often have to struggle against sexism and racism. In fact, those two struggles are often inseparable—certainly from the perspective of black women and some other women of color. Reported and produced by host John Biewen, with Season 3 co-host Celeste Headlee and Season 4 collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika. Interviews with Glenda Gilmore, Ashley Farmer, Sandra Arrington, and Danielle McGuire. Music by Alex Weston, Evgueni and Sacha Galperine, and Eric Neveux. Music consulting and production help from Joe Augustine of Narrative Music.

Transcribed - Published: 4 March 2020

S4 E4: The Second Revolution

After the Civil War, a surprising coalition tried to remake the United States into a real multiracial democracy for the first time. Reconstruction, as the effort was called, brought dramatic change to America. For a while. Reported and produced by John Biewen, with series collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika. The series script editor is Loretta Williams. Interviews with Victoria Smalls, Brent Morris, Eric Foner, Kidada Williams, Bobby Donaldson, and Edward Baptist. Music by Algiers, John Erik Kaada, Eric Neveux, and Lucas Biewen. Music consulting and production help from Joe Augustine of Narrative Music. Photo: Historian Bobby Donaldson of the University of South Carolina, at the South Carolina State House, Columbia, SC. Photo by John Biewen.

Transcribed - Published: 19 February 2020

S4 E3: The Cotton Empire

In the decades after America’s founding and the establishment of the Constitution, did the nation get better, more just, more democratic? Or did it double down on violent conquest and exploitation? Reported, produced, written, and mixed by John Biewen, with series collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika. The series editor is Loretta Williams. Interviews with Robin Alario, Edward Baptist, Kidada Williams, and Keri Leigh Merritt. Music by Algiers, John Erik Kaada, Eric Neveux, and Lucas Biewen. Music consulting and production help from Joe Augustine of Narrative Music.

Transcribed - Published: 5 February 2020

S4 E2: "The Excess of Democracy"

In the summer of 1787, fifty-five men got together in Philadelphia to write a new Constitution for the United States, replacing the new nation’s original blueprint, the Articles of Confederation. But why, exactly? What problems were the framers trying to solve? Was the Constitution designed to advance democracy, or to rein it in? By producer/host John Biewen with series collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika. Interviews with Woody Holton, Dan Bullen, and Price Thomas. The series editor is Loretta Williams. Music by Algiers, John Erik Kaada, Eric Neveux, and Lucas Biewen. Music consulting and production help from Joe Augustine of Narrative Music.

Transcribed - Published: 22 January 2020

S4 E1: Rich Man's Revolt

In the American Revolution, the men who revolted were among the wealthiest and most comfortable people in the colonies. What kind of revolution was it, anyway? Was it about a desire to establish democracy—or something else? By producer/host John Biewen with series collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika. Interviews with Davy Arch, Barbara Duncan, Rob Shenk, and Woody Holton. Edited by Loretta Williams. Music by Algiers, John Erik Kaada, Eric Neveux, and Lucas Biewen. Music consulting and production help from Joe Augustine of Narrative Music.

Transcribed - Published: 8 January 2020

Season 4 Trailer: The Land That Never Has Been Yet

Our season-long series will touch on concerns like authoritarianism, voter suppression and gerrymandering, foreign intervention, and the role of money in politics, but we’ll go much deeper, effectively retelling the story of the United States from its beginnings up to the present. Through field recordings and interviews with leading thinkers, we’ll tell under-told stories and explore critical questions like—How democratic was the U.S. ever meant to be, anyway? American democracy is clearly in crisis today, but . . . when was it not?Along the way, there’s a good chance that we’ll complicate, maybe upend, our listeners’ understanding of American history.

Transcribed - Published: 18 December 2019

S3 E12: The End of Male Supremacy?

In our Season Three finale, co-hosts Celeste Headlee and John Biewen talk about where American culture goes from here, sexism-wise. And we hear from scholar Melvin Konner, who argues that we are in fact witnessing—and bringing about—“the end of male supremacy.” Music by Alex Weston, and by Evgueni and Sacha Galperine. Music and production help from Joe Augustine of Narrative Music.

Transcribed - Published: 12 December 2018

S3 E11: Domination

Host John Biewen dips into the world of sports talk radio, where guys talk not just about sports but also about how to be a man in twenty-first-century America. What John finds is more complicated than he expected, with revelations both encouraging and sobering. With co-host Celeste Headlee and experts David Nylund and Terry Real. Music by Alex Weston, and by Evgueni and Sacha Galperine. Music and production help from Joe Augustine of Narrative Music.

Transcribed - Published: 28 November 2018

S3 E10: The Juggernaut

Writer Ben James and his wife Oona are raising their sons in a progressive and “queer-friendly” New England town. They actively encourage the boys to be themselves, never mind those traditional gender norms around “masculinity” and “femininity.” All was well. Until the elder son, Huck, went to sixth grade. Story by Ben James, with hosts Celeste Headlee and John Biewen, and psychologist Terrence Real. Music by Alex Weston, Evgueni and Sacha Galperine, Blue Dot Sessions, and Kevin MacLeod. Music and production help from Joe Augustine at Narrative Music.

Transcribed - Published: 14 November 2018

S3 E9: Be Like You

Lewis Wallace, female-assigned at birth, wanted to transition in the direction of maleness—in some ways. He shifted his pronouns, had surgery, starting taking testosterone. null of that meant he wanted to embrace everything that our culture associates with “masculinity.” Story written and reported by Lewis Wallace, with co-hosts John Biewen and Celeste Headlee. Music by Alex Weston, Evgueni and Sacha Galperine, and Kevin MacLeod. Music and production help from Joe Augustine at Narrative Music.

Transcribed - Published: 31 October 2018

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