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Throughline

Author: NPR

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The past is never past. Every headline has a history. Join us every week as we go back in time to understand the present. These are stories you can feel and sounds you can see from the moments that shaped our world.
17 Episodes
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A Dream Of Modern China

A Dream Of Modern China

2019-05-2300:47:41

China is a world superpower today. But just over a century ago, the country was in complete turmoil — foreign powers had carved up the country, the ruling dynasty was losing control, and millions of citizens were struggling to survive. However, that political chaos inspired a nationalist movement that reshaped China as we know it, and it was led by one man - Sun Yat-sen.
El Libertador

El Libertador

2019-05-1600:56:35

Venezuela is facing an economic and humanitarian crisis as extreme poverty and violence have forced many to flee the country in recent years. How did a country once wealthy with oil resources fall into such turmoil? Through the lives of two revolutionaries turned authoritarian leaders separated by two centuries, we look back at the rise and fall of Venezuela.
White Nationalism

White Nationalism

2019-05-0900:35:03

The white nationalist ideas of Madison Grant influenced Congress in the 1920s, leaders in Nazi Germany, and members of the Trump administration. This week, we share an episode we loved from It's Been A Minute with Sam Sanders that explores a throughline of white nationalism in American politics from the early 20th century to today.
Outbreak

Outbreak

2019-05-0200:22:36

More than 700 measles cases have been recorded in the U.S. in the recent outbreak, the worst being in New York. This past April, Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a public health emergency that required residents in parts of Brooklyn to get vaccinated or face a fine of $1,000. In this episode, we look back at a 1905 Supreme Court case that set a precedent for enforcing compulsory vaccinations.
Resistance Is Futile

Resistance Is Futile

2019-04-2500:37:13

Artificial intelligence, gene modification, and self-driving cars are causing fear and uncertainty about how technology is changing our lives. But humans have struggled to accept innovations throughout history. In this episode, we explore three innovations that transformed the world and show how people have adapted — and ask whether we can do the same today.
War Of The Worlds

War Of The Worlds

2019-04-1800:35:21

The Sunni-Shia divide is a conflict that most people have heard about - two sects with Sunni Islam being in the majority and Shia Islam the minority. Exactly how did this conflict originate and when? We go through 1400 years of history to find the moment this divide first turned deadly and how it has evolved since.
Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi

2019-04-1100:24:045

Nancy Pelosi is the highest-ranking woman in American politics. She made her first run for public office at 47 years old and went on to become Speaker of the House twice. How has she had such an enduring career, and where does her power lie? On this episode, we trace the rise of the Speaker.
Opioids In America

Opioids In America

2019-04-0400:44:0236

A record number of Americans have died from opioid overdoses in recent years. But how did we get here? And is this the first time Americans have faced this crisis? The short answer: no.
The Phoebus Cartel

The Phoebus Cartel

2019-03-2800:32:5934

Have you ever wondered why your smartphone or toaster oven doesn't seem to last very long, even though technology is becoming better and better? This week, in a special collaboration with Planet Money, we bring you the history of planned obsolescence – the idea that products are designed to break.
The Border

The Border

2019-03-2100:14:5820

In February, President Trump declared a national emergency at the US-Mexico border. Last year, he ordered thousands of National Guard troops to the border. Is this the first time an American president has responded with this level of force? In this week's episode, the history of militarization at the U.S.-Mexico border.
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Comments (48)

Johan Gomez

I am from Colombia and this is a great way to know the huge problem that is taking place in Venezuela. Greets from Colombia.

May 19th
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Alex Mercedes

excellent! this episode was a true throughline

May 16th
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Alex Mercedes

valuable survey. thanks. not sure why the host was moved to nervous laughter here and there. it's not really a humorous topic...

May 13th
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Shanaya Painter

This was a great episode. So this all starts far far back when the family of the prophet Mohamed were killed, then it became political. I had no idea.

May 6th
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Afrooz Abbasi

Thank you for choosing such an important story. It was good.

May 3rd
Reply

Sankul R. Mandavia

Incorrect message showing this podcast has moved

May 2nd
Reply

Jonathan Sykes

please make this show longer. you can't discuss what you're discussing in such short bursts

May 1st
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Reza Hosseinabadi

how on earth do you call Saddam a leftist?

Apr 23rd
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Jonny

what's it gonna take to make this show an hour long?

Apr 18th
Reply

Shanaya Painter

Too short :(. It wasn't a bad episode but there was SO MUCH that could have been done with this topic.

Apr 11th
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Shanaya Painter

Awe I wished this had been longer, but it was very good!

Apr 11th
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Jennifer Caiello

watch/read Persepolis for first person storytelling of this and contemporary Iranian history.

Apr 10th
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Anu Haridas

great episode thank you.. if you could cover common topics like the history of Palestine and israel.. Tibet and china.. india and china.. colonialism etc.. that would be great..

Apr 9th
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Bryson Carrier

Really well done, have shared this with multiple people. Keep it up.

Apr 9th
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Bryson Carrier

Great episode. Good job, really entertaining, facsinating and super informative.

Apr 9th
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Bryson Carrier

That was an underwhelming episode. Would've liked it to be longer and more detailed like your others.

Apr 9th
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Otter Puff

i find all your episodes so insightful

Apr 8th
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Anthony Kang

Because yes, like government, private sector corps have ZERO incentive break this rule/"cartel." (Eh? See?! You're not the ONLY one round here with 3rd grade education (or daily MSM viewing.)

Apr 6th
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James Rust

If you like this episode, check out "The Uncertain Hour", and the episode "The sentence that helped set off the opioid crisis". It goes pretty deep into it too.

Apr 4th
Reply

Rmuffin

Love the podcast. Can't wait til more episodes come out.

Apr 2nd
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