This American Life

  • Monday 1 p.m.–2 p.m.
  • Monday 10 p.m.–11 p.m.
  • Sunday 8 a.m.–9 a.m.

This American Life is best described as a movie for radio. There are people in dramatic situations. Things happen to them. There are funny moments and emotional moments and—hopefully—moments where the people in the story say interesting, surprising things about it all. It has to be surprising. It has to be fun. This American Life is hosted by Ira Glass and produced by Chicago Public Media.

  • Sep 01

    This Week on the Radio: "How I Got Into College"

    Students all over are starting college this month, and some of them still have a nagging question: what, exactly, got me in? An admissions officer tells us the most wrongheaded things applicants try. And Michael Lewis has the incredible story of how a stolen library book got one man — Emir Kamenica — into his dream school. (Photo: Emir as a Harvard undergrad. Credit Terri Wang.)

    Broadcast August 30 to September 1

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  • Aug 25

    Public Radio Tagger Strikes Again

    A listener writes:

    "I'm a fan of the show, ran across this in Iowa and had to share."

    (We've actually gotten a couple of emails over the past few years from people seeing public radio inspired graffiti. )
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  • Aug 25

    This Week on the Radio: "Dr. Gilmer and Mr. Hyde"

    Dr. Benjamin Gilmer (left) gets a job at a rural clinic. He finds out he’s replaced someone — also named Dr. Gilmer (picture) — who went to prison after killing his own father. But the more Benjamin’s patients talk about the other Dr. Gilmer, the more confused he becomes. Everyone loved the old Dr. Gilmer. So Benjamin starts digging around, trying to understand how a good man can seemingly turn bad.

    Broadcast August 23 to August 25

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  • Aug 18

    This Week on the Radio: "Magic Words"

    When Jonathan Goldstein was a kid, his father gave him a book that promised to teach you how to shoot mental laser beams, win the lottery, move solid objects with your mind, make others obey your command – all through the use of mental power and magic words. This week, he revisits the book to try to unlock the secrets within. And we have other stories where people recite words that have the power to change their lives, with no magic or mumbo jumbo at all.

    Broadcast August 16 to August 18

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  • Aug 11

    This Week on the Radio: "Allure of the Mean Friend"

    What is it about them, our mean friends? They treat us badly, they don't call us back, they cancel plans at the last minute, and yet we come back for more. Popular bullies exist in business, politics, everywhere. How do they stay so popular?

    Broadcast August 9 to August 11

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