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A feed with the best history coverage from Slate’s wide range of podcasts. From narrative shows like Slow Burn, One Year, and Decoder Ring, to timely analysis from ICYMI and What Next, you’ll get the fascinating stories and vital context you need to understand where we came from and where we're going.


United States




A feed with the best history coverage from Slate’s wide range of podcasts. From narrative shows like Slow Burn, One Year, and Decoder Ring, to timely analysis from ICYMI and What Next, you’ll get the fascinating stories and vital context you need to understand where we came from and where we're going.




Hear Me Out: Secession Could Be A Good Thing

On today’s episode of Hear Me Out… the case for breaking up the union. Frank Buckley, professor at George Mason University and author of American Secession, makes a case for allowing states to peacefully secede — not just in the interest of preventing another civil war, but in hopes of creating a happier, more functional society for us all. Podcast production by Maura Currie You can skip all the ads in Hear Me Out by joining Slate Plus. Sign up now at for just $15 a...


A Word: When a Race War Threat Was Real

For many people of faith, Holy Week brings the most sacred days of the year. But in 1968, that season was marred by the murder of Martin Luther King Jr., and the violent unrest and riots that followed. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by Vann Newkirk II. He’s a senior editor for The Atlantic, and the host of its Holy Week podcast, which examines this moment in history. They discuss the political and social forces that led up to these pivotal events, and how they’re...


What Next: A Disability Rights Icon’s Long Legacy

Judy Heumann devoted her life to advocating for Americans with disabilities and was a fixture at protests, sit-ins, and activist meetings, eventually becoming a presidential advisor. After passing away at 75, her work continues through her friends and those she fought for. Guest: Sandy Ho, founder of Disability and Intersectionality Summit and disability policy researcher. If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any...


What Next: Does Steven Spielberg Have an Oscars Curse?

For all of his success, Steven Spielberg has a spotty record at the Oscars. He’s been nominated 22 times, but he’s only won three. Is it a curse? This Sunday could mark a shift for the King of Hollywood’s five decades in the industry. And with The Fabelmans this year, it’s personal. Guest: Michael Schulman, New Yorker staff writer and the author of Oscar Wars: A History of Hollywood in Gold, Sweat, and Tears. If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus...


The Waves: What Ballet’s Best Choreographer Destroyed

On this week’s episode of The Waves, Slate senior editor Rebecca Onion is joined by Erika Lantz, host of the podcast The Turning to discuss the impact of ballet culture and the legacy of George Balanchine on dancers of all levels. In Slate Plus, how ballerinas and nuns have more in common than you think. Podcast production by Cheyna Roth and Tori Dominguez with editorial oversight by Daisy Rosario and Alicia Montgomery. Send your comments and recommendations on what to cover to...


The Waves: The Inherent Fear in Being a Woman

On this week’s episode of The Waves, Slate senior producer Cheyna Roth talks all about fear with author Erica Berry. They discuss trying to navigate alone in the world as a woman, how one fairy tale tells you everything you need to know about women and fear, and Erica’s new book, Wolfish: Wolf, Self, and the Stories We Tell About Fear. In Slate Plus, Cheyna and Erica talk about how one wolf, OR-7, stole hearts across the nation. Podcast production by Cheyna Roth with editorial oversight by...


A Word: Surviving “Driving While Black”

For many Americans, the “Green Book” is an Oscar-winning film. But for generations of Black Americans, it served as a literal map for traveling through an often hostile and hateful country, finding safety and businesses that would serve us. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by writer and financial educator Alvin Hall. He’s the author of Driving the Green Book: A Road Trip Through the Living History of Black Resistance. Hall explains how the original Green Book began,...


What Next: How Florida’s School Censorship Spreads

Governor Ron DeSantis canceling the rollout of AP African-American Studies course in Florida is more than just another salvo in the culture war. It has implications across public education, across the country—and its chilling effect is already evident. Guests: Jeremy Young, historian and Senior Manager of Free Expression and Education at PEN America. Chyna-Lee Hunter, a 12th grade student at Robert Morgan Educational Center in Miami, Fla. If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up...


ICYMI: American Girl’s Addy Is More Than a Slave

On today’s episode, Rachelle Hampton is joined by NPR’s Aisha Harris to talk about the return of the discourse about Addy Walker, the first Black American Girl doll. They discuss Aisha’s great piece from 2016, “The Making of an American Girl,” their own histories with the doll, and why this discourse pops up so frequently. This podcast is produced by Daniel Schroeder, Rachelle Hampton, and Daisy Rosario. Subscribe to Slate Plus at Learn more about your ad choices....


Political Gabfest Reads: Two Horrifying Days in D.C.

David Plotz talks with author Shahan Mufti about his new book, American Caliph: The True Story of a Muslim Mystic, a Hollywood Epic, and the 1977 Siege of Washington, DC. They discuss an Islamic group’s multi-location attack in D.C., the terror that hostages experienced while held captive for the two days, and the movie that started the whole thing. Tweet us your questions @SlateGabfest or email us at (Messages could be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates...


A Word: Haiti: Fear of a Black Republic

Headlines suggest that Haiti could be on the verge of collapse, with gangs controlling its streets, the economy at a standstill, and political leaders fearing for their lives. But while international observers decry it as a “failed nation,” Haiti’s path to success has been consistently blocked since its successful slave rebelion in 1804. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by Professor Leslie Alexander, author “Fear of a Black Republic: Haiti and the Birth of Black...


Decoder Ring: The Mailbag Episode

We’re really lucky to get a lot of listener emails, suggesting topics for the show. In this episode, we’re going to dig into a handful of the most fascinating ones that we’ve yet to tackle on the show. We’re taking on five listener questions that run the gamut—from kids menus to succulents to the chicken that crossed the road. It’s an eclectic assortment of subjects that come to us thanks to you. So let’s jump into our mailbag. Thank you to Mark Liberman and Susan Schulten. This podcast was...


Outward: How Can Queer People Keep Each Other Safe?

This month, hosts Christina Cauterucci, Jules Gill-Peterson, and Bryan Lowder reflect on the painful impact of anti-LGBTQ violence and dig into the new possibilities for trans storytelling and filmmaking. First, they talk through their complicated feelings about one of the responses to the shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs last month: Should queer people be organizing in self-defense, or even arming ourselves for protection? Then they are joined by actress Jen Richards who portrays...


Decoder Ring: Encore: ‘You’ve Got Mail’ Got It Wrong

(This episode originally aired in March 2020.) The 1998 romantic comedy You’ve Got Mail, starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, is about the brutal fight between a beloved indie bookstore, the Shop Around the Corner, and Fox Books, an obvious Barnes & Noble stand-in. On this episode of Decoder Ring we revisit the real-life conflict that inspired the movie and displaced independent booksellers on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. This conflict illustrates how, for a brief time, Barnes & Noble was a...


Political Gabfest Reads: Everything You Need to Know About Choosing a President

John Dickerson talks with author Gautam Mukunda about his new book Picking Presidents: How to Make the Most Consequential Decision in the World. They talk about how Mukunda’s first book, Indispensable: When Leaders Really Matter laid the groundwork for Picking Presidents. Later, Dickerson and Mukunda dig into why ‘intellectual brilliance’ – which goes beyond IQ - is a strong predictor of presidential performance and how the human portion of the job of president is changing. Tweet us your...


Decoder Ring: Cellino & Barnes, Injury Attorneys, 800-888-8888

Ross Cellino and Steve Barnes were two Buffalo-based lawyers who became the literal poster-men for personal injury advertising. They poured millions of dollars into ads that did more than just bring in clients: it turned the duo into household names and faces—at least in New York. In this episode, we’re going to look at their rise and everything that happened after. It’s a bumpy ride full of ambition, accidents and tragedy and at its center are two men who, for 25 years, wanted to be at the...


Decoder Ring: How Preppy Became Streetwear

We bring you a special episode from the Articles of Interest podcast hosted by Avery Trufelman about the incredible reach and adaptability of preppy clothes. It’s a story about the great modernizer of Ivy style, Ralph Lauren, and how he and his label, Polo, were themselves modernized by customers who helped push preppy in a whole new direction, from the runway to the streets. We encourage you to listen to the entire American Ivy series from Radiotopia. Articles of Interest is created by...


S7 Ep. 5: Creating a Winning Show

The team who made Slow Burn: Roe v. Wade tells the story that unfolded behind the scenes of Apple Podcasts' Show of the Year, from the original pitch to the leak of the Dobbs decision. We’ll hear how host Susan Matthews first came up with the idea, how the producers dug up rare archival tape and hard-to-find sources that helped bring the story to life, and how the show tried to fairly represent both sides of the issue. Plus, we dive into what changed after the Dobbs opinion was leaked in...


Decoder Ring: The New Age Hit Machine

For this episode, a story from Slate senior producer Evan Chung about how Yanni, John Tesh and a number of other surprising acts made it big in the 1990s. It’s a throwback to a simpler time—when musicians struggled to find their big break, but discovered it could be possible with a telephone, a television, and our undivided attention. This story originally aired in 2019 on Studio 360 from PRX. We hear from George Veras, Pat Callahan, and John Tesh. This Episode was written and produced by...


One Year: 1942 - The Black-Japanese Axis

In 1942, federal officials targeted a group of Black Americans who were allegedly hoping for a Japanese invasion. They uncovered a plot that included stockpiles of weapons and secret passwords—but was any of it true? This week, Joel Anderson tells the story of a shadowy organization in East St. Louis, Illinois, the group’s mysterious leader, and an alleged conspiracy against America during World War II. This episode of One Year was produced by Evan Chung, Sophie Summergrad, Sam Kim, Joel...