Throughline 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.
Throughline
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Throughline

From NPR

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.

Most Recent Episodes

The Olympics have become a huge commercial success, so why do cities like Tokyo often seem to come out on the losing end? Getty Images hide caption

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Olympics: Behind The Five Rings

The Olympics originated in Ancient Greece, and were resurrected in the 1890's after a 1,500 year ban. Since then, the International Olympic Committee has been behind every Olympic Games. In this episode, we explore the story of how the IOC turned the Olympics into a huge commercial success and whether the cities that host the games end up winning or losing.

Olympics: Behind The Five Rings

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In this April 7, 2002 photo, Marla Ruzicka leads a demonstration calling for U.S. compensation to victims of the recent military campaign in Afghanistan, outside of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. ASSOCIATED PRESS hide caption

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ASSOCIATED PRESS

Home/Front: Marla's War

What do we owe innocent civilians who are killed or injured in war? This is one of the thorniest ethical questions that any military faces, but it was not abstract for anti-war activist Marla Ruzicka. From Rough Translation's new series Home/Front.

Home/Front: Marla's War

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Kaz Fantone

The Most Sacred Right (2020)

Frederick Douglass dreamed of a country where all people could vote and he did everything in his power to make that dream a reality. In the face of slavery, the Civil War and the violence of Jim Crow, he fought his entire life for what he believed was a sacred, natural right that should be available to all people - voting.

The Most Sacred Right (2020)

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Life through the golden arches Dion MBD for NPR hide caption

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Dion MBD for NPR

Bonus: Do The Golden Arches Bend Toward Justice?

This week we're featuring an episode from Code Switch, Do The Golden Arches Bend Toward Justice?. Calls for racial justice are met with a lot of different proposals, but one of the loudest and most enduring is to invest in Black businesses. But can "buying Black" actually do anything to mitigate racism? To find out, they taking a look at the surprising link between Black capitalism and McDonald's.

Bonus: Do The Golden Arches Bend Toward Justice?

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The prosperity gospel is a mix of theology and capitalism that equates wealth with goodness, prosperity with virtue. It has helped shape the broader ideology of American capitalism we live with today. Tribune News Service via Getty Images hide caption

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Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Capitalism: God Wants You To Be Rich

In the New Testament, Jesus says it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. In the United States today, many Christians believe in something radically different. In what's known as the prosperity gospel, wealth is a sign of virtue and God's favor. The effects of this belief can be seen throughout American life from business to politics to social policy.

Capitalism: God Wants You To Be Rich

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For decades, the New Deal shaped America's economic system, until Neoliberalism came along and eventually eclipsed the old system with one we still live with today. AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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AFP via Getty Images

Capitalism: What Makes Us Free?

What's the role of government in society? What do we mean when we talk about individual responsibility? What makes us free? 'Neoliberalism' might feel like a squishy term that's hard to define and understand. But this ideology, founded by a group of men in the Swiss Alps, is a political project that has dominated our economic system for decades. In the name of free market fundamentals, the forces behind neoliberalism act like an invisible hand, shaping almost every aspect of our lives.

Capitalism: What Makes Us Free?

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Katia Herrera

Bonus: The Vanishing of Harry Pace

This week we're featuring an episode from Radiolab's latest new series, The Vanishing of Harry Pace. Harry Pace founded the first major Black-owned record label in the U.S., ushering in a new wave of American music. But it's also a mystery story, because one day, Harry Pace just disappeared. The Vanishing of Harry Pace is a series about the phenomenal but forgotten man who changed the music scene in the United States. It's a story about betrayal, family, hidden identities, and a time like no other.

Bonus: The Vanishing of Harry Pace

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Capitalism is an economic system, but what do we really mean when we talk about capitalism? And how does it affect our lives? Getty Images hide caption

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Capitalism: What Is It?

What do we mean when we talk about capitalism? Our economic system might seem inevitable, but it's a construction project hundreds of years in the making and no part of it is natural or left to chance. This week, we kick off our series on the past, present and future of capitalism with Kristen Ghodsee, Vivek Chibber, and Bryan Caplan, who debate how an economic system became an all-encompassing force that rules our lives and our minds.

Capitalism: What Is It?

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A gay rights march in New York in favor of the 1968 Civil Rights Act being amended to include gay rights. Getty Images hide caption

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Before Stonewall (2019)

In 1969, a gay bar in New York City called The Stonewall Inn was raided by police. It was a common form of harassment in those days but what followed, days of rebellion as patrons fought back, was anything but ordinary. Today, that event is seen as the start of the gay civil rights movement, but gay activists and organizations were standing up to harassment and discrimination years before. On this episode from our archives, the fight for gay rights before Stonewall.

Before Stonewall (2019)

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NPR

Who is NPR (For)?

Who is the media meant to serve? And why does it matter today, arguably, more than ever? 50 years ago, National Public Radio began as a small, scrappy news organization with big ideals and a very small footprint. Over the subsequent years of coverage and programming, NPR has grown and evolved into a mainstream media outlet, with a mission of serving audiences that reflect America. This week, Michel Martin, host of Weekend All Things Considered, talks to us about her time at NPR and the importance of representing all voices in news.

Who is NPR (For)?

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