Radio Atlantic

Radio Atlantic

www.theatlantic.com/podcasts/radio-atlantic
Weekly conversations with leading journalists and thinkers to make sense of the history happening all around us
Is the President a Russian Asset?
Jan 17 • 37 min
On Friday, the New York Times published a startling story: In 2017, days after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, the bureau opened an inquiry into whether the president was secretly working on behalf of Russia. It was an explosive development in an…
How to Fix Social Media
Jan 10 • 55 min
Social media platforms once promised to connect the world. Today’s digital communities, though, often feel like forces for disunity. Anger and discord in 2018 seemed only amplified by the social media institutions that now dictate our conversations.…
What Happened to the GOP?
Dec 20, 2018 • 41 min
Observing antidemocratic ‘power grabs’ by state Republicans, Atlantic staff writer George Packer writes that “the corruption of the Republican Party in the Trump era seemed to set in with breathtaking speed. In fact, it took more than a half century to…
Does the NRA Connect Trump to Russia?
Dec 14, 2018 • 38 min
On Thursday, Maria Butina became the first Russian national convicted of seeking to influence the 2016 election. As part of Russia’s years-long effort to cozy up to the American right, Butina gained access to conservative circles through the National…
The First Gene-Edited Babies
Dec 6, 2018 • 33 min
A Chinese researcher recently touched off a global controversy when he announced the birth of the world’s first genetically edited babies. The claims remain unverified, but the news shocked and dismayed scientists around the world. Atlantic staff writers…
What’s Happening With Mueller and Manafort?
Nov 28, 2018 • 39 min
Paul Manafort’s cooperation with the Mueller probe has collapsed. In a Monday filing, the special counsel’s office said he repeatedly lied to federal investigators, nullifying the plea agreement and exposing him to new charges.Not soon after, news stories…
Florida Flashbacks
Nov 15, 2018 • 35 min
The midterms were over a week ago, but a number of races have yet to be called. In Florida, the senate and governor elections have both come down to a recount, and accusations of vote-tampering are flying. Alex Wagner talks with Atlantic staff writer…
What Did We Learn From the Midterms?
Nov 9, 2018 • 45 min
Executive Editor Matt Thompson interviews Atlantic reporters on what lessons they drew from the midterm elections, speaking in turn with: Vann Newkirk, Emma Green, Ron Brownstein, Adam Harris, and David Graham.Links- “The Democrats’ Deep-South Strategy…
Midterms in the Wake of Political Violence
Nov 2, 2018 • 46 min
The upcoming midterms mark the first nationwide referendum on the Trump presidency and the GOP-led Congress. Coming amid a shocking spree of political violence and an ugly showdown over voting rights, Tuesday’s election will have massive ramifications.…
The Murder of Jamal Khashoggi
Oct 26, 2018 • 39 min
On October 2nd, Washington Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, never to be seen again. Details of the journalist’s brutal killing and dismemberment have since emerged, prompting an international crisis for…
The Politics of Ancestry
Oct 19, 2018 • 48 min
Senator Elizabeth Warren recently shared results of a genetic analysis to back up her family’s story of Cherokee ancestry, hoping to blunt a favorite Republican attack line. The move backfired. A DNA result does not confer a Cherokee heritage. And in…
America’s Higher Education Crisis
Oct 12, 2018 • 54 min
A college education has become a key asset towards success in the American economy, but for many Americans, access to higher education—especially at a prestigious university—feels increasingly out of reach. With its capricious admissions and massive debt…
Remembering Ferguson with DeRay Mckesson
Oct 5, 2018 • 40 min
Four years ago, after a police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, protestors took to the streets of Ferguson, Missouri. Among them was a school administrator, always clad in a trademark blue vest. DeRay Mckesson, now a face of what became the Black…
Is the Public Square Gone?
Sep 28, 2018 • 56 min
After a news week that’s felt more like a news month, Matt Thompson sits down with two experienced editors to ask how people manage to make and consume news in today’s environment. Adrienne LaFrance is the editor of TheAtlantic.com. Franklin Foer is a…
The Reputations and Reckonings of #MeToo
Sep 21, 2018 • 48 min
As Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh faces assault allegations, the #MeToo movement reaches its first anniversary. Beyond a potential hearing reminiscent of the Anita Hill testimony 27 years ago, recent days have seen the head of CBS toppled, the…
Is Democracy Dying?
Sep 14, 2018 • 45 min
With authoritarianism and populism on the rise around the world, The Atlantic examines the fate of democracy in its October issue. Anne Applebaum writes that Poland shows how quickly things can fall apart and Jeffrey Rosen writes that the state of…
How Much Longer Can Football Last?
Sep 7, 2018 • 44 min
Mark Leibovich has a day job covering the reality show of politics as the New York Times Magazine’s Chief National Correspondent, but he’s spent the spent the last few years reporting a book on America’s other biggest reality show: football.The new season…
The Endless Devastation of Hurricane Season
Aug 31, 2018 • 55 min
This week, the most rigorous estimate yet of deaths caused by Hurricane Maria was published, marking a grim milestone: the hurricane season of 2017 was one of the deadliest in North America in a century. A year after Puerto Rico, Houston, and other…
Trump’s Worst Day
Aug 23, 2018 • 46 min
Matt and Gillian discuss Paul Manafort’s guilty verdict and Michael Cohen’s guilty plea with Franklin Foer and David A. Graham. Was Tuesday a turning point for the Trump administration?Links- “The Day That Everything Changed for Trump” (David A. Graham,…
When Does Hollywood’s Diversity Become Real Representation?
Aug 17, 2018 • 46 min
With movies like Crazy Rich Asians, BlacKkKlansman, and Sorry To Bother You out in theaters, Hollywood is trying to mute the complaint that it lacks racial and ethnic diversity, to avoid another #OscarsSoWhite. But depicting people of color onscreen was…
Charlottesville: One Year Later
Aug 10, 2018 • 52 min
It’s been a year since the violence of the “Unite the Right” rally and the political turmoil of its aftermath. How did Charlottesville change the country? Has the alt-right withered under the new scrutiny or grown amidst the new visibility? And what…
Keepers of the Year 2018
Jul 20, 2018 • 69 min
The first anniversary of Radio Atlantic this week coincides with one of the newsiest weeks of 2018. So we’ve decided to take the opportunity to lift our sights above the fog of news for a few minutes, and discuss the things that are most important to…
The Future of Europe
Jul 13, 2018 • 47 min
As President Trump meets with other western leaders in Europe, the spirit of democratic cooperation we’re used to in NATO summits is gone. But it’s not just Trump. Populist movements around Europe are agitating against the cooperation that has bound the…
Are We Ready for the Next Pandemic?
Jul 6, 2018 • 60 min
“Humanity is now in the midst of its fastest-ever period of change,” writes Ed Yong in the July/August issue of The Atlantic. Urbanization and globalization mean pathogens can spread and become drug-resistant more quickly than ever.Yong joins executive…
The View from the Border
Jun 21, 2018 • 49 min
Outrage over families separated at the border has reached a fever pitch. Social media is awash with images of undocumented migrants held in cages, sounds of children crying for their parents, and viral videos of a callous administration response. On…
Being Black in America Can Be Hazardous to Your Health
Jun 15, 2018 • 47 min
Nationwide, black Americans live three years less than white Americans. In places with a history of segregation, that life-expectancy gap can be as much as twenty years. Staff writer Olga Khazan joins Matt Thompson, Alex Wagner, and Vann Newkirk to share…
The North Korea Summit
Jun 8, 2018 • 37 min
Two of the world’s most volatile heads of state—Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump—have moved in the span of a year from trading insults to trading fawning letters. Now, they’re days away from the first meeting between a sitting U.S. president and a North…
A White House Troll ‘Owning the Libs’
Jun 1, 2018 • 53 min
A new generation of political activists have grown up more interested in provoking outrage from their fellow citizens than in winning them over. Among the most influential exemplars of the genre is Stephen Miller, a senior policy adviser to President…
Is the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Past Solving?
May 25, 2018 • 56 min
The decades-old dispute between Israelis and Palestinians seems to be at a new low these days. Two American-born writers – an Israeli author and a Muslim journalist – join editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg and global editor Kathy Gilsinan to grapple with…
Happy Mueller-versary
May 18, 2018 • 50 min
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has been the focus of headlines and cable news for a full year now. Despite his seemingly leak-proof team, speculation and anxiety swirl around the inquiry. What do we actually know about the investigation?…
Introducing Crazy/Genius: Why Can’t Facebook Tell the Truth?
May 11, 2018 • 23 min
This week’s Radio Atlantic brings you the first episode of our new show Crazy/Genius, hosted by Atlantic staff writer (and past Radio Atlantic guest) Derek Thompson. In this episode, two guests debate whether Facebook is fixable, or whether its business…
Is Politics Ruining Pop Culture?
May 4, 2018 • 56 min
Some Americans who grew up identifying with Roseanne have found themselves alienated by Roseanne Barr’s outspoken devotion to President Trump. Many of Kanye West’s fans revolted after he tweeted out an image of himself wearing a “Make America Great Again”…
Is the Presidency Broken?
Apr 27, 2018 • 51 min
“We are a president-obsessed nation, so much so that we undermine the very idea of our constitutional democracy,” writes John Dickerson in his May cover story in The Atlantic. “No one man—or woman—can possibly represent the varied, competing interests of…
The Syria Disaster, Seven Years In
Apr 20, 2018 • 49 min
Long the crossroads of civilizations, Syria has now spent seven years as the proxy warzone of great powers. With over half a million dead and millions more displaced, the conflict is now “arguably the world’s largest humanitarian disaster since World War…
Becoming White in America
Apr 13, 2018 • 52 min
In her new book Futureface, Alex Wagner writes that “immigration raises into relief some of our most basic existential questions: Who am I? Where do I belong? And in that way, it’s inextricably tied to an exploration of American identity.” In the book,…
News Update: Who Could Tame Facebook?
Apr 12, 2018 • 43 min
As Atlantic staff writer Robinson Meyer recently wrote, Facebook “is currently embroiled in the worst crisis of trust in its 14-year history.” This week, the company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before the U.S. Congress for the first time. It’s not…
Trumpocracy
Apr 6, 2018 • 49 min
“Trump gambled that Americans resent each other’s differences more than they cherish their shared democracy. So far that gamble has paid off,” writes David Frum in his new book Trumpocracy. Along with The Atlantic’s Global Editor Kathy Gilsinan, David…
King Remembered
Mar 30, 2018 • 56 min
In his last speech, known to history as “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop,” Martin Luther King Jr. began by remarking on the introduction he’d been given by his friend, Ralph Abernathy. “As I listened to … his eloquent and generous introduction and then…
The Family Unit in a Divided Era
Mar 23, 2018 • 47 min
The family is where the forces that are driving Americans farther apart—political polarization, generational divides, class stratification, Facebook fights—literally hit home. Economic, ideological, and technological shifts pose uncertain consequences for…
Does America Have a Monopoly Problem?
Mar 16, 2018 • 46 min
“Politicians from both parties publicly worship the solemn dignity of entrepreneurship and small businesses. But by the numbers, America has become the land of the big and the home of the consolidated,” writes The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson.In a time when…
If We Could Learn From History
Mar 9, 2018 • 49 min
Discarding the limits on a leader’s time in office is a classic autocrat’s move. So when Xi Jinping began to clear a path for an indefinite term as China’s president, he dimmed many once-bright hopes that he would speed the nation’s path toward a new era…
Goodbye Black History Month, Hello Black Future
Mar 2, 2018 • 51 min
Moviegoers across America are filling theaters to see, as The Atlantic’s Adam Serwer describes it, “a high-tech utopia that is a fictive manifestation of African potential unfettered by slavery and colonialism.” Wakanda, the setting of Marvel’s…
How Innocence Becomes Irrelevant (No Way Out, Part III)
Feb 23, 2018 • 57 min
After Rick Magnis, a Texas judge, reviewed the evidence in Benjamine Spencer’s case, he recommended a new trial for Spencer “on the grounds of actual innocence.” But Texas’s highest criminal court took the rare step of rejecting the judge’s ruling. Why?…
Who Killed Jeffrey Young? (No Way Out, Part II)
Feb 20, 2018 • 24 min
In part one of our three-part series “No Way Out,” Barbara Bradley Hagerty told the story of how Benjamine Spencer was convicted for the murder of Jeffrey Young, and how much of the evidence that led to that conviction has fallen apart under scrutiny. But…
No Way Out, Part I
Feb 16, 2018 • 54 min
In 1987, Jeffrey Young was robbed and killed, and his body was left on a street in the poor neighborhood of West Dallas. Benjamine Spencer was tried and convicted for the attack.Spencer was black, 22 years old, and recently married. Young was 33 and…
From ‘I, Tonya’ to ‘Cat Person,’ Is ‘Based On a True Story’ Better?
Feb 9, 2018 • 51 min
Conor Friedersdorf recently argued in The Atlantic that in this moment, when the truth is bitterly contested, fiction presents us an opportunity. It allows us to step into another person’s perspective and talk about gray areas without the problems of…
Paul Manafort and How the Swamp Was Made
Feb 2, 2018 • 53 min
“Conventional wisdom suggests that the temptations of Washington, D.C., corrupt all the idealists, naïfs, and ingenues who settle there,” Franklin Foer writes in his cover story for the March issue of The Atlantic. “But what if that formulation gets the…
Who Gets to be American?
Jan 26, 2018 • 46 min
Once again, immigration is at the top of America’s legislative agenda, as it has been, seemingly every generation, for much of the nation’s history. But while many recent discussions of immigration have focused on unauthorized immigrants, some of the most…
Bricks, Clicks, and the Future of Shopping
Jan 19, 2018 • 41 min
The ‘retail apocalypse’ is upon us, they say. In the United States, 2017 saw emptied malls, shuttered department stores, and once-iconic brands falling into bankruptcy. Yet retail spending continues to grow, in strange new directions that could have…
The Presidential Fitness Challenge
Jan 12, 2018 • 48 min
As the anniversary of his inauguration nears, a new book filled with salacious claims about the Trump administration has become a bestseller. Faced with renewed questions about his mental and temperamental fitness for the office, President Trump has…
How Has America Changed Since 1968?
Jan 5, 2018 • 40 min
As 2018 begins, tensions and tumult in America are high. But before the end of 1968, Conor Friedersdorf reminded us in The Atlantic, “Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy would be assassinated; U.S. troops would suffer their deadliest year yet in…
Ideas of the Year, 2017 Edition
Dec 22, 2017 • 50 min
Every year is impossible to synthesize. Yet 2017 was not just another year. To help us wrangle the chaotic, extraordinary events of the last 12 months into some sort of shape, we posed a question to journalists from across The Atlantic’s staff, and to our…
Putin, Russia, and the End of History
Dec 15, 2017 • 52 min
Vladimir Putin just announced, to the surprise of no one, that he will run for reelection as President of Russia. In her January/February 2018 Atlantic cover story, Julia Ioffe writes that Americans misunderstand the man ruling the former Soviet empire:…
The Manifest Destiny of Mike Pence
Dec 8, 2017 • 54 min
That Pence is the vice president of the United States is “a loaves-and-fishes miracle,” writes McKay Coppins in the latest issue of The Atlantic. It’s remarkable enough that “an embattled small-state governor with underwater approval ratings, dismal…
The Great Recession, One Decade Later
Nov 30, 2017 • 46 min
In December 2007, the U.S. marked the beginning of its longest recession since World War II. Now the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency born in the ashes of the nation’s economic downturn, is under new leadership that promises big changes.…
John Wayne, Donald Trump, and the American Man
Nov 23, 2017 • 50 min
For generations, Hollywood has defined what masculinity means in the U.S., with iconic screen figures such as John Wayne. But Wayne’s stoic, taciturn image was the product of a complicated relationship with the director John Ford, one that offers…
How an American Neo-Nazi Was Made
Nov 17, 2017 • 33 min
Andrew Anglin spent his formative years flirting with hippie progressivism, then tried his hand at becoming a tribal hunter-gatherer. But he only achieved notoriety after he founded the Daily Stormer, the world’s biggest website for neo-Nazis. Anglin and…
The Press and the Election of 2016: One Year Later
Nov 10, 2017 • 37 min
It’s a year after Donald Trump’s upset election victory. Before and after the 2016 election, President Trump referred to journalists as enemies to himself and to the American people. But his victory wasn’t just a success in vilifying the media, it was a…
Khizr Khan on What Patriotism Requires
Nov 3, 2017 • 58 min
Since the 2016 election heightened America’s deep political divides, the mantle of patriotism has become fodder for a bitter tug-of-war. Is it patriotic to leak a presidential secret? To voice dissent during a national rite? Should a general running the…
Reporting on Open Secrets, with Jodi Kantor and Katie Benner
Oct 26, 2017 • 48 min
Allegations of sexual harassment (and more) by powerful men in numerous industries have been leading news reports across America. On-the-record accounts of disturbing behavior are proliferating. Several leaders of prominent companies have been forced out…
Why Do Happy People Cheat?
Oct 19, 2017 • 49 min
“Infidelity,” Esther Perel writes in the October issue of The Atlantic, “happens in bad marriages and in good marriages. It happens even in open relationships where extramarital sex is carefully negotiated beforehand. The freedom to leave or divorce has…
Derek Thompson and the Moonshot Factory
Oct 12, 2017 • 50 min
Few journalists have gotten a peek inside X, the secretive lab run by Google’s parent company Alphabet. Its scientists are researching cold fusion, hover boards, and stratosphere-surfing balloons. Derek Thompson, staff writer at The Atlantic, spent…
The Miseducation of Ta-Nehisi Coates
Oct 5, 2017 • 84 min
In his new book, We Were Eight Years in Power, The Atlantic’s national correspondent Ta-Nehisi Coates writes about the past eight years of his career—his pursuit of an understanding of America, and his route to becoming a celebrated author. In this…
Russia! Live with Julia Ioffe and Eliot A. Cohen
Sep 28, 2017 • 53 min
According to the U.S. intelligence community, this much is settled fact: Russia intervened in the 2016 presidential election in favor of Donald Trump. But beyond that basic consensus, much remains unknown, the subject of multiple investigations by FBI…
What Are Public Schools For?
Sep 21, 2017 • 57 min
The idea that public schools are failing is one of the most commonly heard complaints in American society. But what are they failing to do? Surveys of American parents—and the history of the nation’s public education system—tell a more complicated story.…
Will America’s Institutions Survive President Trump?
Sep 14, 2017 • 58 min
Eight months into the Trump administration, we’re taking stock: What is shaping up to be President Trump’s effect on America’s institutions? Will subsequent presidents preserve or disregard the norms he’s tossed aside? What are his political allies and…
A Memo to the Huddled Masses
Sep 8, 2017 • 41 min
Immigrants flock to the U.S. in pursuit of the American Dream. But does the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program mean a wake-up call for millions of undocumented Americans? In this episode of Radio Atlantic, reporter Jeremy Raff and…
News Update: The Questions After Harvey
Sep 2, 2017 • 16 min
If history is any guide, the biggest problems for residents of the Houston area will come into focus only after the nation’s attention has already turned elsewhere. In this Radio Atlantic extra, Matt Thompson talks with Atlantic staff writer David Graham…
What Game of Thrones Has Taught Us About Politics
Sep 1, 2017 • 45 min
“Winter is coming,” they warned us, and the seventh season of Game of Thrones might have proved them right. But no one mentioned that winter in Westeros would coincide with so many troubling events in real-world politics. In this episode, Megan Garber,…
Are Smartphones Harming Our Kids?
Aug 25, 2017 • 47 min
It’s been ten years since the iPhone came out, and now the first generation to grow up with smartphones is coming of age. Jean Twenge, a psychologist who has studied generational behaviors, has found troubling signals that these devices seem to be taking…
Ta-Nehisi Coates and Yoni Appelbaum on Charlottesville’s Aftermath
Aug 17, 2017 • 58 min
After white supremacists and neo-Nazis rallied in Virginia, resulting in the deaths of three Americans, President Trump’s equivocating responses shocked Republicans and Democrats alike. Did this represent a major breakpoint in American politics? Why have…
Kurt Andersen on How America Lost Its Mind
Aug 11, 2017 • 50 min
When did the reality-based community start losing to reality show celebrity? Why are “alternative facts” and fake news suddenly ubiquitous features of the landscape? The spread of American magical thinking isn’t, in fact, sudden, argues Kurt Andersen in…
News Update: Mark Bowden on North Korea
Aug 9, 2017 • 22 min
Given new revelations about North Korea’s nuclear capabilities—and newly harsh rhetoric from President Trump—Jeffrey Goldberg and Matt Thompson talk with Mark Bowden, author of The Atlantic’s July/August cover story on how to deal with North Korea. In…
Ask Not What Your Robots Can Do For You
Aug 4, 2017 • 54 min
Our increasingly smart machines aren’t just changing the workforce, they’re changing us. Already, algorithms are directing human activity in all sorts of ways, from choosing what news people see to highlighting new gigs for workers in the gig economy.…
One Nation Under God?
Jul 28, 2017 • 45 min
America prides itself on pluralism and tolerance, but how far does that tolerance extend when it comes to religious expression? Could faith in general be on the decline? Radio Atlantic cohosts Jeffrey Goldberg (editor-in-chief), Alex Wagner (contributing…
‘Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory’
Jul 21, 2017 • 66 min
The Atlantic was founded on the eve of the Civil War to advance the American idea. But as we approach the magazine’s 160th anniversary, has that idea taken an unprecedented turn? In this inaugural episode, our cohosts — Jeffrey Goldberg, editor-in-chief;…
Trailer
Jul 11, 2017 • 2 min
Coming July 21: A weekly conversation about what’s happening in our world, how things got the way they are, and where they’re heading next. Don’t miss this sneak preview, for a taste of what’s to come, including a teaser of the Battle Hymn of the…