State of the Re:Union
The Sorting of America
The U.S. has been a country shaped by migration, dating back to the days of the pioneers making their way West. But recently, this country has been seeing a different kind of migration, one motivated not by economic necessity, but lifestyle choices....
Salt Lake City: Updating Tradition
When Mormon pioneers rolled into the Salt Lake Valley in 1847, they brought with them a new theology, a short but intense history of persecution, and dreams of a new kind of society. 166 years later, Salt Lake City remains deeply influenced by Mormon...
Host Al Letson and guest producer John Biewen (of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University) present a collection of stories from Durham, North Carolina. In this hour of SOTRU, we explore the role of sports in the lives of young people,...
Hawai'i: The Legacy of Sugar
For many Americans, Hawai’i is a tropical playground, the place of surf, sun and dream vacations. Behind the tourist façade, though, is one of the most unique multicultural states in the nation, one still dealing with the complicated legacy of the...
SOTRU Short: The Friendship of Ross and Stardust
Even in diverse neighborhoods, it’s easy to go about our lives in a well-established groove, only interacting with the people we already know, the people most like us. But in one neighborhood in San Francisco, the Occupy movement, with its politics of...
When Words Matter: A National Poetry Month Special
In this National Poetry Month special, SOTRU explores all facets of poetry and its influence in host Al Letson’s life. We talk to poets from all over the country about the craft, the lifestyle, the resurgence of poems, and of course, hear some...
SOTRU Short: Thrashing in the Woods
When you picture Vermont, you probably get a mental image of a pastoral scene of fields and mountains, maybe some maple trees. How about… mohawks and mosh pits? SOTRU Producer Tina Antolini dives (stage dives) into the Green Mountain state’s rural–...
SOTRU Short: The Life of a Big Idea
When one city in upstate New York was having trouble with its economy, it came up with a big idea to try to solve the problem: making its own...money. But can a concept as innovative as that actually stand the test of time? Producer Samuel Whitehead...
Leadership from the Bottom Up
Usually during Black History month, we remember civil rights icons and reflect on their legacy. But over the past couple years, SOTRU has met a new generation of African-American leaders, people you may not see on TV specials or making nationally...
Re:Defining Black History
During a month selected to celebrate “history,” we certainly are treated to a lot of the same familiar stories: the battles won for Civil Rights, the glory of Martin Luther King Jr.’s words, the hardships endured by slaves. And as important as those...
SOTRU Short: In East Portland, Soccer Helps Make a City Home
What happens if you move to Portland, Oregon and you’re not into bikes or beer? Or if, say, you don’t even speak English? East Portland, a part of the city that looks completely different from the hipster central we’re familiar with from Portlandia,...
SOTRU Short: The Possibilities of the Stars
Most of State of the Re:Union’s reporting is done right here in the United States, but today host Al Letson tells us a very personal story about his recent trip to Malawi. VIEW PHOTOS AND MORE
SOTRU Short: Soteria
In the 1970s, a prominent schizophrenia researcher named Dr. Loren Mosher noticed that the standard treatment in the hospital– medication, confinement– didn’t have good outcomes. People didn’t get better in the long-term. So he launched an experiment,...
SOTRU Short: Dear Voices
A twist on SOTRU’s regular Dear City letters feature: for this special podcast, we asked Berta Britz, who has been hearing voices for her entire adult life, to write a Dear Voices letter. This SOTRU short was produced in conjunction with our episode,...
SOTRU Short: Dear Tulsa
Last summer, we visited Tulsa, Oklahoma, where a devastating racial incident in 1921 still divides the city today. That legacy has made it tough for Tulsa to move forward into the future, but in the last decade, it’s tried hard to do just that. The...
SOTRU Short: Move By Bike
For all you Portlandia fans out there, we hate to break it to you: the city ISN’T actually Portlandia… Except when it is. People there are very serious about recycling and passionate about human-powered transportation. In this story, Julie Sabatier,...
The Southwestern Range
Among the most iconic landscapes in America is the Western Range, a stretch of millions of acres of land, much of it remote and undeveloped. Deep traditions tie people to this land. But in the 21st century, it is also contested ground. Development...
Tulsa, OK: Reconciliation Way
Tulsa, Oklahoma sits at a crossroads of American identities. In a special episode of SOTRU, we travel to the middle of Middle America to see what happens when these identities collide. We explore one of the country’s deadliest race riots, a story that...
Portland, OR: A Tale of Two Cities
Portland is a city that some residents praise as a kind of eden: full of bike paths, independently-owned small businesses, great public transportation and abundant microbreweries and coffeeshops. And then there’s a whole other city. It’s the city...
The Hospital Always Wins
Back in 2004, staff producer Laura Starecheski visited a state mental hospital in Queens, New York, called Creedmoor. She stumbled on to a mystery there that would take almost ten years to unravel. In this special hour, we bring you just this one...
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