Radio Atlantic

By The Atlantic


A weekly flagship podcast from The Atlantic hosted by Jeffrey Goldberg (Editor-in-Chief, The Atlantic), Matt Thompson (Deputy Editor, The Atlantic), and Alex Wagner (Co-host, CBS This Morning: Saturday; Contributing Editor, The Atlantic). We're living in historic times. Who better than a 160-year-old magazine to help you make sense of them? Each week, The Atlantic's top editors sit down with leading voices to explore what's happening in the world, how things became the way they are, and where they're going next.


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Being Black in America Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

Nationwide, black Americans live three years less than white Americans. In places with a history of segregation, that life-expectancy gap can be as much as twenty years. Staff writer Olga Khazan joins Matt Thompson, Alex Wagner, and Vann Newkirk to share the story of Kiarra Boulware, a young black woman from Baltimore whose struggles shed a light on how people living only a few miles apart have such disparate health prospectsLinks- “Being Black in America Can Be Hazardous to Your Health” (Olga Khazan, July/August 2018 Issue- “The 'Horrifying' Consequence of Lead Poisoning” (Olga Khazan, November 8, 2017)- “The Lead-Poisoned Generation in New Orleans” (Vann R. Newkirk II, May 21, 2017)- “How Income Affects the Brain” (Olga Khazan, May 15, 2018)- “The Obesity Cure Is Out of Reach in the Heaviest States” (Olga Khazan, May 7, 2018)- “Trump's EPA Concludes Environmental Racism Is Real” (Vann R. Newkirk II, February 28, 2018)- “Food Swamps Are the New Food Deserts” (Olga Khazan, December 28, 2017)- “What the 'Crack Baby' Panic Reveals About The Opioid Epidemic” (Vann R. Newkirk II, July 16, 2017)- “The Fight for Health Care Has Always Been About Civil Rights” (Vann R. Newkirk II, June 27, 2017)- “VIDEO: Environmental Racism Is the New Jim Crow” (Vann R. Newkirk II, June 5, 2017)- “When You Can't Afford Sleep” (Olga Khazan, September 15, 2014)Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Becoming White in America

In her new book Futureface, Alex Wagner writes that “immigration raises into relief some of our most basic existential questions: Who am I? Where do I belong? And in that way, it’s inextricably tied to an exploration of American identity.” In the book, Alex explores her own American identity – daughter of a Burmese immigrant mother and a small-town Irish Catholic father – and asks how true the stories we grow up with really are.Along with co-hosts Matt and Jeff, Alex is joined by The Atlantic’s deputy politics editor Adam Serwer to discuss the tangled intersections of history, heritage, family, race, and nationality. Is America truly a melting pot? Can nationalism be liberal? And is that stalwart American immigrant story just a history written by the victors? Links- Futureface (Alex Wagner, 2018)- “The Nationalist's Delusion” (Adam Serwer, November 20, 2017)- “America Is Not a Democracy” (Yascha Mounk, March 2018 Issue)- ”The End of Identity Liberalism” (Mark Lilla, New York Times, November 18, 2016)- ”How Can Liberals Reclaim Nationalism?” (Yascha Mounk, New York Times, March 3, 2018)- “Why Are We Surprised When Buddhists Are Violent?” (Dan Arnold and Alicia Turner, New York Times, March 5, 2018)- “The Americans Our Government Won’t Count” (Alex Wagner, New York Times, March 30, 2018)- “Huapango” by José Pablo Moncayo (South West German Radio Kaiserslautern Orchestra, 2007)- Black and White: Land, Labor, and Politics in the South (Timothy Thomas Fortune, 1884)- Pogrom: Kishinev and the Tilt of History (Steven Zipperstein, 2018)Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


News Update: Who Could Tame Facebook?

As Atlantic staff writer Robinson Meyer recently wrote, Facebook “is currently embroiled in the worst crisis of trust in its 14-year history.” This week, the company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before the U.S. Congress for the first time. It’s not clear whether Congress will seek to exert more regulatory control over the company, even after revelations that as many as 87 million people unwittingly had their Facebook data given to the political firm Cambridge Analytica, which may have used some of that data to influence the 2016 U.S. election. And the questions senators asked of Zuckerberg suggest they may not yet understand Facebook well enough to regulate it effectively, even if they wanted to.In this Radio Atlantic news update, Rob shares what he learned from his exclusive interview with Zuckerberg, and from the CEO’s testimony before Congress. We discuss with Atlantic senior editor Gillian White whether Facebook can be regulated, and whether it will.Links- “Mark Zuckerberg Says He’s Not Resigning” (Robinson Meyer, April 9, 2018)- “The 3 Questions Mark Zuckerberg Hasn’t Answered” (Robinson Meyer, April 10, 2018)- “How Facebook’s Ad Tool Fails to Protect Civil Rights” (Gillian B. White, October 28, 2016)- “Facebook Lets Advertisers Exclude Users by Race” (Julia Angwin and Terry Parris Jr., ProPublica, October 28, 2016)- Sarah Jeong on Twitter- “The Most Important Exchange of the Zuckerberg Hearing” (Alexis C. Madrigal, April 11, 2018)- “Mark Zuckerberg Is Halfway to Scot-Free” (Alexis C. Madrigal, April 11, 2018)- “My Facebook Was Breached by Cambridge Analytica. Was Yours?” (Robinson Meyer, April 10, 2018)- “Can Anyone Unseat Mark Zuckerberg?” (Robinson Meyer, March 22, 2018)- “The Cambridge Analytica Scandal, in 3 Paragraphs” (Robinson Meyer, March 20, 2018)Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


King Remembered

In his last speech, known to history as “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop,” Martin Luther King Jr. began by remarking on the introduction he’d been given by his friend, Ralph Abernathy. “As I listened to ... his eloquent and generous introduction and then thought about myself,” King said modestly, “I wondered who he was talking about.”The facsimile of King that America would fashion after his assassination—saintly pacifist, stranger to controversy, beloved by all—might have provoked something well beyond wonder. To create a version of King that America could love, the nation sanded down the reality of the man, his ministry, and his activism. In this episode of Radio Atlantic, Vann Newkirk and Adrienne Green join our hosts, Jeffrey Goldberg and Matt Thompson, to discuss the truth of King in the last year of his life and after.Links- KING: Full coverage from The Atlantic of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and legacy- “The Whitewashing of King’s Assassination” (Vann R. Newkirk, MLK Issue)- “The Chasm Between Racial Optimism and Reality” (Jeffrey Goldberg, MLK Issue)- King’s Three Evils (Martin Luther King Jr., May 10, 1967)- “The Civil-Rights Movement’s Generation Gap” (Bree Newsome, MLK Issue)- “Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'Letter From Birmingham Jail'” (Martin Luther King Jr., August 1, 1963)- “How Much Had Schools Really Been Desegregated by 1964?” (Martin Luther King Jr., MLK Issue)- “Martin Luther King Jr. on the Vietnam War” (Martin Luther King Jr., MLK Issue)- “Generational Differences in Black Activism” (Conor Friedersdorf, June 30, 2016)Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


If We Could Learn From History

Discarding the limits on a leader's time in office is a classic autocrat's move. So when Xi Jinping began to clear a path for an indefinite term as China's president, he dimmed many once-bright hopes that he would speed the nation's path toward a new era of openness and reform. For James Fallows,The Atlantic's national correspondent, it was a sad vindication of a warning he issued two years ago in the magazine, of “China’s Great Leap Backward.”As the 15th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq approaches, we review the developments in China, and look back at another warning that proved prescient: Fallows's National Magazine Award-winning essay, "The Fifty-First State?" Fallows joins our hosts, Alex Wagner and Matt Thompson, along with The Atlantic's global editor Kathy Gilsinan.  Links- “China’s Great Leap Backward” (James Fallows, December 2016 Issue)- “Xi Jinping Reveals Himself As An Autocrat” (James Fallows and Caroline Kitchener, February 26, 2018)- “China Is Not a Garden-Variety Dictatorship” (David Frum, March 5, 2018)- “The Myth of a Kinder, Gentler Xi Jinping” (Isaac Stone Fish, February 27, 2018)- “China's Surveillance State Should Scare Everyone” (Anna Mitchell and Larry Diamond, February 2, 2018)- China's Trapped Transition (Minxin Pei, 2006)- “The Fifty-First State?” (James Fallows, November 2002 Issue)- “The Obama Doctrine” (Jeffrey Goldberg, April 2016 Issue)- Steve Coll on “The Atlantic Interview” (February 7, 2018)- A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East(David Fromkin, 1989)- On Grand Strategy (John Lewis Gaddis, 2018)- An American Tragedy (Theodore Dreiser, 1925)- “Babylon Berlin” on Netflix- “Christopher Steele, the Man Behind the Trump Dossier” (Jane Mayer, The New Yorker, March 12, 2018)Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Goodbye Black History Month, Hello Black Future

Moviegoers across America are filling theaters to see, as The Atlantic’s Adam Serwer describes it, “a high-tech utopia that is a fictive manifestation of African potential unfettered by slavery and colonialism.” Wakanda, the setting of Marvel’s blockbuster film Black Panther, is suddenly everywhere, which means people the world over are seeing something that’s never had this widespread an audience: Afrofuturism.“Blockbusters rarely challenge consensus, and Disney blockbusters even less so,” Vann Newkirk wrote for The Atlantic in an essay about the film. “That’s what makes the final provocation of Black Panther so remarkable and applicable today.” But what is Black Panther’s remarkable provocation, and how does it apply to our world?Black Panther is only one part of a sudden explosion of Afrofuturism into mainstream American culture, from a new visual concept album by Janelle Monae to Children of Blood and Bone, a forthcoming YA book series by Tomi Adeyemi that has already become part of a seven-figure deal. Adam Serwer and Vann Newkirk join our hosts to talk about what this genre encompasses, and what its newfound popularity means.Links - “The Tragedy of Erik Killmonger” (Adam Serwer, February 21, 2018)- “The Provocation and Power of Black Panther” (Vann Newkirk, February 14, 2018)- “What Chadwick Boseman and Lupita Nyong'o Learned About Wakanda” (David Sims, February 28, 2018)- “Why Fashion Is Key to Understanding the World of Black Panther” (Tanisha C. Ford, February 14, 2018)- “Why I'm Writing Captain America” (Ta-Nehisi Coates, February 28, 2018)- “‘Black Panther’ and the Invention of ‘Africa’” (Jelani Cobb, The New Yorker, February 18, 2018)- “The Surprising Optimism of African Americans and Latinos” (Russell Berman, September 4, 2015)- Standing at Armageddon (Nell Irvin Painter)- Autonomous (Annalee Newitz)Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

Radio Atlantic Podcast


Paul Manafort and the Probl...


Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort will spend around seven years in federal prison — far less than the nineteen to twenty-four years recommended by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The sentences prompted a backlash when a federal judge in Virginia ...