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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.
43 Episodes
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The Siege of Mecca

The Siege of Mecca

2019-11-1400:44:3815

On November 20th, 1979, a group of Islamic militants seized Islam's holiest site — the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. They took thousands of hostages and held the holy site for two weeks, shocking the Islamic world. This week, how one man led an uprising that would have repercussions around the world and inspire the future of Islamic extremism.
NPR science correspondent Geoff Brumfiel shares the story of Nazi Germany's attempt to build a nuclear reactor — and how evidence of that effort was almost lost to history. It's a tale he heard from Timothy Koeth and Miriam Hiebert at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Maryland in College Park.
No Friend But The Mountains

No Friend But The Mountains

2019-11-0700:44:0313

Over the decades the Kurds have been inspired by, allied with, relied upon and betrayed by the United States. This week we explore who the Kurds are, who they are to the United States and what, if anything, we owe to them.
ZOMBIES

ZOMBIES

2019-10-3100:44:0213

Zombies have become a global phenomenon — there have been at least ten zombie movies so far this year. Which made us wonder, where did this fascination for the undead come from? This week, how one of our favorite monsters is a window into Haiti's history and the horrors of slavery.
The Dark Side Of The Moon

The Dark Side Of The Moon

2019-10-2400:40:4719

50 years ago the world watched as man first landed on the moon, an incredible accomplishment by the engineers and scientists of NASA. But what if some of those same engineers and scientists had a secret history that the U.S. government tried to hide? This week, the story of how the U.S. space program was made possible by former Nazis.
A Borrowed Time

A Borrowed Time

2019-10-1700:44:1920

Over the past six months, demonstrations in Hong Kong have increasingly become more violent and more determined. What started out as a protest against a proposed extradition law has now become a call for China to recognize Hong Kong's semi-autonomy. But what is at the root of this tumultuous relationship between Hong Kong and China? This week, how Hong Kong became one of the most important, and most contested, cities in the world.
The Commentator

The Commentator

2019-10-1000:30:5417

Today the foundations of philosophy are seen as a straight line from Western antiquity, built on thinkers such as Plato and Aristotle. But, between the 8th century and 14th century, the West was greatly overshadowed by the Islamic world and philosophy was in very different hands. This week, how one Medieval Islamic philosopher put his pen to paper and shaped the modern world.
High Crimes and Misdemeanors

High Crimes and Misdemeanors

2019-10-0300:19:2914

When Andrew Johnson became president in 1865, the United States was in the middle of one of its most volatile chapters. The country was divided after fighting a bloody civil war and had just experienced the first presidential assassination. We look at how these factors led to the first presidential impeachment in American history.
American Exile

American Exile

2019-09-2600:55:1214

For centuries, the United States has been a prime destination for migrants hoping for better economic opportunities, fleeing danger in their home countries or just seeking a new life. But has there ever been a moment when Americans were the ones who felt compelled to flee elsewhere? In this episode, two stories that challenge the idea of who and why Americans sought refuge in other countries.
Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico

2019-09-1901:06:2124

Puerto Rico became a U.S. territory in 1898 and for much of the next fifty years Puerto Ricans fought fiercely about this status. Should they struggle for independence, or to be a U.S. state, or something in between? In this episode, we look at Puerto Rico's relationship with the mainland U.S. and the key figures who shaped the island's fate.
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Comments (112)

Angela H

War over pushing drugs into someone else's country!

Nov 20th
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Jake Smith

Lebron James is not the most famous athlete in the world.

Nov 19th
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Stefan Mathew

great episode guys! again! I just love listening to your show. Could you please create an episode on the Israel-Palestine conflict?

Nov 17th
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Guillermo Quinones

Very interesting topic. It's amazing to understand the role of this person in the study and understanding the teachings of ancient philosophers. But more refreshing is the notion of a world with respect to all no matter your religion or ethnicity. A pitty this is not in our age.

Nov 14th
Reply

Angela Gloria

Throughline does a great job giving a comprehensive and engaging view of the background to current issues. really thankful :)

Nov 10th
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daisy

very helpful to understand the Kurdish conflict

Nov 9th
Reply

Al-Noor Wissanji Bookkeeping Services

Suggestion for a podcast: Uganda's history of rebels turning into leaders turning into dictators. Tomorrow's leader will be Bono Wine. Will he run the same path?

Nov 8th
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Dwayne Watson

a big history buff myself...this podcast is like a birthday cake for me each day. love the depth and objectivity of the stories.

Nov 7th
Reply

Kirsti McElligott

Interesting that everybody knows who Billie Holiday is and nobody knows that random white guy, even if he did get a commendation from President Kennedy.

Oct 28th
Reply (1)

Stefan Mathew

thanks guys for this episode! loved it!

Oct 20th
Reply (1)

Bernard Gregg

This podcast is outstanding! I am so glad I found it!

Oct 19th
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Chris Cousineau

Would love to read his work. How do you spell his name.

Oct 10th
Reply (3)

William Cassaday, Jr.

I love how progressives call out.christians for voting the way we.believe, but you have no issue at all with Jews, satanists,musls, Buddhist..etc. it's just the so called evangelicals. amazing!

Oct 9th
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Regular Joe

Kendrick Lamar "It's gonna be alright" is my anthem.... I think I'll play it after this cast.

Oct 4th
Reply

Regular Joe

Kendrick Lamar It's gonna be alright is my anthem.... I think I'll play it after this cast.

Oct 4th
Reply

Steve Dillard

is this a product put out by npr or former employees?

Sep 27th
Reply

Oscar Obians

Wow! Facinating story. Why isn't this a movie?

Sep 26th
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T. Gonz

Great episode, although it would have been better if you mentioned that Albizu was tortured and exposed to radiation which led to his demise. Thank you for giving insight on the history of PR.

Sep 25th
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Nate J

635,000 tons dropped on Korea v 1.6 million tons dropped in ww2

Sep 25th
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Alex Mercedes

great show. I've never heard Ken Burns in an interview before. really appreciate this glimpse into his process.

Sep 15th
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