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

#568: Human Spectacle 2015

Gladiators in the Colosseum. Sideshow performers. Reality television. We've always loved to gawk at the misery or majesty of others. But this week, we ask the question: What's it like when the tables are turned and all eyes are on you?

An episode from last year, with one story swapped.

#567: What's Going On In There?

Often we see someone’s situation from the outside and think we know exactly what’s going on. This week we get inside and find out just how much more interesting the reality of it is. Including a teenaged girl who records a remarkable story about the boyfriend who abuses her, and why it’s so hard to break up with him. Also this week: our new video by Bianca Giaever.

#566: The Land of Make Believe

A father constructs an elaborate fantasy to occupy his 12 children, and a woman finds herself sucked into a world of make believe that we almost never get to see inside.