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

#514: Thought That Counts

It's the thought that counts. So true. Unfortunately, sometimes it's not always so clear what that thought was. And sometimes, when it is clear, we wish it wasn't. This week, during this, the season of giving, we turn our spotlight on the givers and exactly whatever it was they could've possibly been thinking.

#513: 129 Cars

We spend a month at a Jeep dealership on Long Island as they try to make their monthly sales goal: 129 cars. If they make it, they'll get a huge bonus from the manufacturer, possibly as high as $85,000 — enough to put them in the black for the month. If they don't make it, it'll be the second month in a row. So they pull out all the stops. Photo gallery here. NOTE: the Internet version of this episode includes un-bleeped curse words. Bleeped version here.

#317: Unconditional Love

Can love be taught? A family uses a controversial therapy to train their son to love them. And other stories about the hard and sometimes painful work of loving other people.

#452: Poultry Slam 2011

We bring you our sort-of-annual holiday tradition: The Poultry Slam! Stories of what happens when humans and fowl collide, including the tale of one notorious turkey who unleashed a long reign of terror on an unsuspecting neighborhood.

#512: House Rules

Where you live is important. It can dictate quality of schools and hospitals, as well as things like cancer rates, unemployment, or whether the city repairs roads in your neighborhood. On this week's show, stories about destiny by address.




Much of this story is told to Nancy Updike by ProPublica reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones, whose series on the Fair Housing laws — with more stories, research and interviews — is here.

#477: Getting Away With It

Stories of people breaking the rules fully, completely
and with no bad consequences. Some justify this by saying they’re doing it
for others, or for a greater good. Some really don’t care. And, unlike the
mealy weaklings you usually hear on this program: None of these wrongdoers
seem regretful about what they’ve done in the slightest.