Join us for a curated presentation of special programs from public radio producers across the country.
Wyoming is the least populated state in the US. In this sparsely populated landscape where private property and self sufficiency are prized, community is built on the (somewhat unwelcome) expectation that distant neighbors might need to rely on one another one day. When people come together here, they have to have good reason to. This episode will bring listeners to the towns of Laramie, Cheyenne and the surrounding landscape in Southern Wyoming, looking at how the things that happen in the small towns and countryside of rural America can change the country as a whole.
The Bronx has long been a symbol of America's failings. It's still the poorest urban congressional district in the nation, and for many who live in New York's other boroughs, the Bronx is usually a place to avoid. But despite the area's troubles, some have stayed and put down roots, intent on surviving and making their borough better. This episode looks at the hold-outs and the dreamers who've committed their lives to building community in the Bronx.
A high school quarterback leaves Montana as a promising son and returns years later to reveal a shocking secret; a boy from Sierra Leone describes his transformation from innocent child to cold-hearted soldier; a teenage girl discovers how to control her errant parrot; and a construction worker discovers the up-side of his girlfriend’s one-year prison sentence.
Hear the incredible story of Aimee Mullins, the superstar athlete who runs on prosthetic legs. We'll also hear from an artist who steps way outside her comfort zone, a story about grief, and a classic holiday mishap.
After Hurricane Katrina ravaged the area, Mississippi Gulf Coast residents were forced to come together to deal with the aftermath. Just as they were starting to get back on their feet, the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster resulted in millions of barrels of oil being dumped into the water just off their shores. These events have made environmentalists out of a lot of Gulf Coast residents who would never have considered themselves as such. We tell an hour of stories about how the fight for the natural world is bringing Gulf Coast residents together, sometimes with unlikely partners—and how, in some instances, that fight is turning out to be exactly what a community needed to survive.
Dubbed the “Magic City” for its stunning growth rate and rapid proliferation of high-rise skyscrapers, Miami is also the 3rd poorest city in the nation, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2004 numbers. If you own a store in South Beach, your customers are equally likely to be billionaires as they are homeless. And on top of that, they’re very likely to have started life somewhere else. Miami is an incredibly international city—and so is impacted more than most cities by world events, such as the Haitian earthquake or the political situation in Cuba. In this place of class, racial and cultural juxtapositions, SOTRU has an hour of stories of Miamians reaching out from their enclaves to create community across those lines.
A hiker is pinned underneath a refrigerator-sized boulder deep in the wilderness, a speechwriter describes his most challenging assignment ("Make Al Gore funny"), and a young art student battles her demons in the pursuit of love. Hosted by the founder of The Moth, George Dawes Green.
A hair stylist recalls accompanying his father on hunting expeditions in Alabama, a young journalist carefully sets the stage to make her first time memorable, and best-selling novelist Walter Mosley cares for his ailing mother. Hosted by noted comic and storyteller Mike Birbiglia, and Jay Allison.
Refugees, swindlers, visionaries, entrepreneurs chasing fast money—these are the historic roots of Oakland, California. The city has long been home for people building new lives and imagining even better ones. But dreams that have been deferred also haunt this place, in its empty post-boom skyscrapers, its infamous homicide rates and deep budget cuts. In the face of entrenched problems, Oakland answers back with diverse, revolutionary solutions. In this episode, SOTRU looks at the costs and rewards for people dreaming big in Oakland.
"Remember Us Unto Life" takes the form of a conversation between Rabbi Ismar Schorsch and host Larry Josephson, a secular Jew who wants to know more about the religion of his grandparents. Josephson asks simple questions. Rabbi Schorsch responds in ways that are accessible but sophisticated and historically accurate. Rabbi Schorsch talks about the history, liturgy and meaning in our time of these ancient holidays, the most solemn on the Jewish calendar. The conversation is illustrated and elevated with music of the High Holidays.
A couple of decades ago, Utica, New York, was dying; a popular bumper sticker in the ‘90s read “Last One Out of Utica, Please Turn Out the Lights.” Once a bustling textile city perched on the edge of the Erie Canal, Utica lost its mills in the mid-20th century and has been losing population ever since. But something has changed in recent years. With a surprising influx of refugees to this part of snowy, upstate New York—the newcomers have given Utica hope for second chance. SOTRU looks at the way in which Utica has opened its doors to the world’s needy, and how that’s bringing fresh energy to a city in dire need of it.
The most popular college major in America these days is business. Some students think it doesn't pay to study philosophy or history. But advocates of liberal-arts programs advocates say their graduates are still among the most likely to become leaders, and that a healthy democracy depends on citizens with a broad and deep education. In this program, American RadioWorks' Stephen Smith examines how a form of higher learning unique to the United States is responding to the demands of the 21st century.
In today's global economy, workers need to think well and learn fast. This documentary explores how traditional approaches to teaching are failing college students and what some in education are doing about it.
Birmingham, Alabama. The words tend to make you think about freedom riders, church bombings, civil rights marches and police dogs. Almost 50 years later, people in Birmingham still can’t escape their history—especially the painful parts. Some have started trying to unearth the city’s past and face it. In this hour, SOTRU brings listeners into the courtrooms, churches and backyards of Birmingham to answer the question borne out by the lives of people here: is Birmingham a monument to brutal segregation, or one of the few American cities willing to take a hard look at race?
Days after 9/11, President Bush declared a War on Terror that would “not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped, and defeated.” Since then we’ve been in two wars, witnessed the Arab Spring, and the death of Osama bin Laden. Is it time to end the War on Terror?
The college drop-out rate is actually worse than the high-school drop-out rate, and about 37 million Americans are being left behind in today's demanding economy. This program examines the issue, including whether a college degree is the answer for everyone.
These days, competing versions of Las Vegas occupy the public imagination. One is of Sin City, the City of Lights, home to The Strip, and to glitter and entertainment. The other is as a dramatic victim of the recent economic recession, a city where entire neighborhoods have been foreclosed, where the jobless rate shot up to double digits, where massive casino and hotel construction was suspended, leaving hulking ghosts to remind residents of the boom times. SOTRU explores stories of people making Las Vegas home between these two sides of the city, those working to cultivate community in a place that has a reputation for being impersonal.
How can you sell out 20,000-seat arenas, star in several Hollywood films, record the biggest selling comedy album in 30 years, and still be called "polarizing?" Dane Cook stops by the garage to talk about being Dane Cook and whether that might be more complicated than it seems. Plus, Janeane Garafalo describes the transition from political commentary back into comedy.
Three conversations with guys from different parts of the comedy world. Tom Lennon talks about going from niche television acting like The State and Reno 911! to writing for big broad films like Night at the Museum; Dave Attell talks stand-up while poolside; and Andy Richter discusses the move from late-night sidekick, to sitcom star and back again.
Carlos Mencia is a major name in comedy. He's also one of the most reviled characters in the business among other comics. So, naturally, Marc wants to find out what makes him tick, what it feels like to be so controversial, and what he says in his own defense. This may take a while. Then Marc speaks with comics who have worked very closely with Carlos -- Willie Barcena and Steve Trevino -- and then gets Carlos to sit back down for a follow up discussion. Questions will get answered. Opinions will get shaped. Comedians will get serious.