This American Life

This American Life describes contemporary life with themed episodes and a variety of stories on that theme — mostly true stories of everyday people, though not always. The stories presented are engaging, intimate, surprising, funny, disturbing and bittersweet.

Recent Episodes

#571: The Heart Wants What It Wants

Emily Dickinson said “The heart wants what it wants.” This week stories from people who take that notion to extremes, and are unapologetic about it.

#334: Duty Calls

Josh's mother and younger brother were a mess. His mother drank too much. His brother got arrested a lot. Josh hadn't lived with them since he was nine, and they didn't play much of a role in his daily life—until duty called, and they took over his life.


Josh told the sequel to this story at our live show in 2014.

#602: The Sun Comes Up

People around the country talking about the coming four years. Some of them exultant, some of them, as President Obama said Wednesday, "less so."

#601: Master of Her Domain… Name

A story about Hillary Clinton that offers a different picture than what we’ve been hearing from both sides during this campaign. And some funny stuff, because everyone’s tired of the election.