by 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.Subscribe to Throughline+. You'll be supporting the history-reframing, perspective-shifting, time-warping stories you can't get enough of - and you'll unlock access bonus episodes and sponsor-free listening. Learn more at

Recent Episodes
Episodes loading...
Recent Reviews
  • Unemployed Hero
    Would Be Great
    The added music & sound effects are ridiculously loud, often overpowering the person speaking. Throughline covers important topics, has interesting guests, and good hosts. The blaring music & wacky sound effects are out of place and take away from what could be a compelling podcast
  • CatLover8881
    Excellence as Usual from NRP
    As with every other NPR show I have ever heard, I learn so much, with the knowledge conveyed intelligently yet readily understandable, as well as humor and fairness. This show has been added to my list of NPR shows that I love and ask everyone I know to listen to.
  • AmiFidel
    On the legacy of Henry Kissinger
    I just listened to the episode on Henry Kissinger. I concur with another listener. The excess of the meaningless word “like” by Rund Abdelfatah, in addition to lots of “you know”, are very distracting. I strongly recommend that NPR abolishes the use of “like” when this word does not bring any information in a sentence. Let us preserve the English language, please!
  • Podcast_runs
    One of the best podcasts I have heard!!
    I came across Throughline by accident. But, I can definitely say it’s one of my favorite shows now. Can’t wait for the new episode every week. They talk about diverse topics, in an interesting and engaging style. All the episodes are so well researched. Keep going strong Throughline team!!
  • Kllyde
    Love, but not “like”
    I love the content, the variety of content, and the story supporting guests. I was listening to an episode recently, Sanjukta was interviewing a guest and had a hard time not being very distracted by the overuse of the word “like” as well as the phrase “you know”. Minor nit, but it did diminish the listenability
  • Gosaterfftg
    Too long
    Your shows are too long. You go in too much detail that I don’t care about. The title of the episode attracts me but then when I listen to it, it’s mentioned in only half the story. It’s ok to have a little background information, but try to keep it less than three minutes or so.
  • aviperum
    Selective history to reinforce your worldview!
    Looking for a framing of history that will reinforce your preexisting liberal biases and avoids inconvenient truths? Look no further!
  • jamey1138
    Thoughtful and important
    Throughline was conceived as a podcast that “explores the past, to understand the present.” That sounds great, but it really cannot capture the degree to which this show succeeds at putting contemporary issues into context. This podcast is more often than not the best and most important analysis of the world we live in today that I can find. You absolutely should be listening to Throughline, if you want to even pretend to understand the social world we live in.
  • FrauReiserin
    How old are the hosts? It was jarring to listen to the one young interviewer ask questions of the Kissinger scholar using so many likes, ums, and you knows. They also left out a lot of biographical information regarding Kissinger and failed to mention his roles in the US government. I felt the interviewee’s knowledge was neglected.
  • Bumbledore
    Entertaining engaging and DEEP
    If you’re ready to think new thoughts, learn a TON and be totally captivated each week this is the show for you. Not for ppl who don’t like their ideas challenged!
  • Mxwrvw
    Confidence in show shattered by affirmative action episode
    I was a fan of the show until its recent affirmative action episode and now don’t have faith in its editorial decisionmaking. The episode constituted a conservative’s dream: a purportedly pro-affirmative action reporter who saw the light from the case that today rendered those programs unconstitutional. A particular example was its handling of the personal character assessment which it claimed discriminated against Asian students. Never mentioned in the episode, of course, was that a) the trial court considered the testimony on that issue and disagreed with claims and b) that the characteristic score WAS FACIALLY NEUTRAL ON RACE and thus was an example of still-permissible policies. The reporter, whom the episode gave virtually all of the time to, proved one thing: that the disingenuous case against affirmative action was exactly the type of thing an “I see both sides” badge-seeking reporter would jump at. Truly an awful episode undermining a previously strong seeming show.
  • Apache64driver
    What happened to a great History show?
    I used to look forward to this Podcast each week for the fantastic story telling and how they connected events from the past to current events. This season, however, I’ve been skipping most episodes. You’re no longer creating stories, but just interviewing people. BORING!!
  • hn7777777
    Excellent show. The episode about the Marcos family in the Philippines was very enlightening, truly representative of history repeating itself
  • drop the noise
    The Ghost in Your Phone
    This story of cobalt mining in Congo is so interesting. But the “background music” sound effects are so annoying, distracting, and unnecessary, I had to turn it off.
  • js44986723
    Rah rah Radiohead
    Radiohead episode was the worst one they ever made. Boring, very very thin storyline, just an hour of heaping subjective praise on Ramtin’s favorite band. Worst of all, where was the “through line”?
  • CC1980CL
    Must listen!
    The Radiohead episode was incredible and really captured why those two albums spoke to me so deeply. Great work!
  • midwestBlue
    excellent show! enlightening info regarding marcos family reign/philippines.
  • Tolga M
    Very enjoyable and informative!
    Throughline is a wonderful NPR program and my favorite. I appreciate the time, effort and research involved in producing each episode, and the compact backstories they provide for important and timely issues. Highly recommended!!
  • nickname is aready taken
    Quality is gone
    Show has seriously dropped in quality. New episodes are few and far between. More time is spent on audio then on reporting. They are resting on their laurels.
  • Zasu Scott
    The GOAT!
    I’m a college senior, and this show has impacted me so much that it has actually informed what courses I’ll take in my final semester. Throughline gives color to history, with vibrant storytelling and an immersive soundscape. It pushes me to reframe my understanding of the present, and at times it has moved me to tears. Thank you so much for providing this!
  • Amit1Sharma
    The best podcast
    Rund and Ramtin are doing an awesome job walking audiences through the history to understand the present and possibly future. They are authentic and sincere in their approach. I live listening to them because their podcast sometime leaves me thinking for many days about the topic. Great work by both; please keep it up.
  • trcgordon
    Top Notch
    This podcast never fails. It is well researched, engaging, & insightful. The music is mesmerizing & the hosts are my favorites.
  • 'Ello mates
    Neoliberal garbage
    I liked their early, funny stuff. This podcast is little more than a paean to neoliberalism. Their episode on inflation was egregious, making their assertions with a sanctimonious voice of authority, yet getting it all wrong. If you’re a right winger, you’ll enjoy this podcast; otherwise, if you even lean slightly progressive or Left, don’t bother, it’s utter garbage.
  • daydancer
    A history podcast that is advancing the medium into the future
    This has been my favorite podcast for a few years now. I can not express how important this podcast is to my life and those who I know listen. It helps to inform your present by knowing the past. It educates you on how we all got to the world we live in today. History can be boring but these folks have found a way to bring listeners into the past by adding sounds, effects, and a mix of dramatizations and real recordings that create an immersive experience unlike anything else out there. Not to sounds hyperbolic, but these are some of the best storytellers of our time. For people that may listen to a single episode, they may not get it. They don’t see the big picture, they don’t realize that this podcast is more than just voices talking. The podcast form can have just as much depth as cinema but only for your ears. Ignore the reviews and discover for yourself. Don’t just listen to one episode, take a dive, and immerse yourself. Once you get it, you will be made that much more intelligent for taking the time to go on this ride.
  • hhfshndd224
    Tighten this up!
    Yes yes yes! We know u likely paid good $ for a sound designer, primarily because we hear far too much of your lengthy xitions. GIVE THE NON SPOKEN AUDIO a rest and minimize the nat sound: We tune into Podcasts for spoken words not an audible experience laced w effects.
  • em-azing12
    Interesting but poor editing
    The audio quality can be very poor. The background noises are often distracting and the interviews/audio snippets are conducted at different volume levels, which means you cannot always understand what people are saying. Some episodes are incredibly interesting and enlightening, but I’m unsubscribing because of the poor editing.
  • Drarnest
    House Music vs EDM stipidity
    I don’t understand why you would try to paint EDM and its spread into the main culture as a concern or issue. This lifestyle, including house, music, EDM, sub genres such as drum and bass, or techno or trance, are all inclusive. Credit has always been given to where it came from just like rock ‘n’ roll, and just like any other music genre. The people in this culture are all inclusive and accept you for whoever you are. To make it out like it’s taken over by white DJs is totally against the whole culture. Is it not OK other people to create or modify music? When I go to the shows, it’s all about love, no matter who you are, what are you, your exotic background, or whatever. It’s all love guys… the race baiting has to stop… this just gives ammo to the conservatives and Trumpsters that hate the freedom to be you! Cant we all just get along???
  • CTNJ87
    Thank You from a House Head
    Such a brilliant episode tracing the cultural history of house music! As a metro NYC house head who was raised on disco, it was inspiring to hear that the roots of house music are being honored and preserved. Like blues, jazz, and rock & roll before it, house music is Black music and by historical extension, American music. Well done throughline team! That’s the way to throw your baby powder on the floor and move your body!
  • shlemoney
    I love Throughline!
    I love and respect this podcast SO MUCH. I recommend it to everyone I can. On an individual level it has reinvigorated my curiosity and on an interpersonal level has reinvigorated my desire to think about and explore topics that matter with others. I love that through this podcast gives unsung heroes their flowers. I love how this podcast tells parts of our human history that otherwise might not be documented and widely shared. Thank you, Throughline team for doing what you do.
  • Lattie.4355
    I like it. It helps me a lot in my life
  • beckytelecky
    Be punk rock!
    “What if optimism is actually what’s punk rock” we’ve been saying this at my house for a while now, thanks Throughline!
  • klacusky
    show has kind of lost the plot!
    agree with other reviewers that the earlier episodes about clear cut topics were better and more accurate. in the last two years it’s definitely taken on a weird aura of nihilistic hero vs villain, virtue vs evil narratives that are applied to the historical events in a one-size-fits-all way.
  • Boo Scoot
    Podcast music
    Really like the Podcast. It is excellent. But the music is awful. Harsh and distracting.
  • A Avram
    Fails to Meet Its Potential
    Often bites off more than it can chew. Early episodes were more targeted on discrete topics, allowing for a deeper and balanced understanding of the topics. I’ve grown disenchanted with the show taking on grand and existential topics that are impossible to do justice to in short episodes. Moreover, the show is reductionist often presenting topics as a binary - poor v elite - and always concluding with the romantic or Disney-esque perspective.
  • Chilistructure
    American health care system episode was great
    This is one of the most amazing ones. It really shows how entrenched interests have derailed efforts to create a rational and affordable health care system at every opportunity, and how a temporary fix can become permanent.
  • Emboskwembo
    Always enlightening
    Amazingly well researched, riveting topics, and performed like a radio play at times. Always a pleasure to listen!
  • Lara_M_NJ
    Best podcast ever!
    Explains the present by looking at the past. Super enlightening. Makes you think about your actions… that they can have consequences tens or hundreds of years down the road. Gives you ideas on how we might reverse or redirect some of the troubling trajectories we’ve put ourselves on. :) Thank so much for this show! Great job guys!
  • RVC-FR
    Worthy of your time!
    What an amazing podcast! The thorough descriptions and explanations are incredible. The hosts do an amazing job! My only recommendation would be to once in a while find a positive/uplifting topic/story. But this podcast is a worthy listen 🎧.
  • dextex xuxu
    OK but could be better
    This podcast is more interested in telling appealing stories (generally accompanied by simplistic depictions of some characters as good and others as bad) than with attempting to reconstruct history in its complexity, irony, and paradox. (For comparison, see the BBC’s outstanding “In Our Time” episodes about history, which give an outline as what happened but also discuss the interpretive disagreements among experts. For example the IOT show on the US-Mexican War is outstanding and manages to avoid being US-centric.) Throughline is also too “presentist,” and is more concerned with attempting to change how US listeners think about current events than it is with treating the past in a more objective fashion that acknowledges it doesn’t fit neatly into our current debates, which frequently involve the misuse of history by polemicists on both the right and the left. That being said, there are some very good episodes based on the work of solid historians, and these episodes have considerable merit (it should be added that all the episodes have excellent technical production). But the bad episodes can be very bad. The episode on astrology, cites two works by people who are pro-astrology and gives no airtime to any scholars who treat the subject in an intellectually rigorous manner, such as an astrophysicist, a legitimate historian (whose work is peer reviewed), or a social psychologist (who could explain why so many humans believe in paranormal phenomena) might have. The episode on the 1953 coup in Iran, while not as horrible as the one on astrology, features Stephen Kinzer, who is a journalist out to sell his popular history books, and the unreliable account of self-glorifying CIA agent Kermit Roosevelt. Many solid scholars have worked on the 1953 coup; why not feature them and their disputes more prominently? Both of these episodes are extremely US-centric, neglecting the global dimensions of astrology and the Iranian aspects of the 1953 coup. I don’t want this show cancelled (we need more good history podcasts!), but it would be great if it were better informed of the debates among academic scholars.
  • kylecryer
    Misleading History
    Loved this podcast and thought I was learning a ton… then I heard a completely untrue account of events I know very well. I looked deeper and it turns out it’s just one sided propaganda.
  • jeremy_638527
    Selective History
    This show picks and chooses pieces of history to tell unfair and completely biased stories around the world. Incredibly obvious anti Israel bias. Extremely reductive explanation of global history ignoring complex relationships between actors in each countries government.
  • RedHandReiver
    NPR showing its bias
    If you want a very left leaning propaganda podcast then this is for you. If you want a more balanced perspective then look elsewhere.
  • audibleloss
    Learn a lot
    I enjoy the podcast, but find the background music distracting. The information and writing is enough to carry the episodes.
  • suliamanabdul
    Changed My Perspective: A Neutral Balanced Podcast
    I have always yearned for a podcast that reports history and it’s causal effect in a human non-biased way. I hope one day that when someone becomes curious, instead of pulling out their phone and googling their question, a podcast suddenly starts by Thruline as soon as the question comes to mind.
  • rebecca749294759
    Engaging & Informative
    Quite possibly the best sound design I’ve ever heard on a podcast of this genre. Really helps bring the information to life. Fantastic work!
  • Mace47744
    Love everything BUT the CONSTANT, DRIVING, ANNOYING music?
    First off, I LOVE this show. The facts, figures, historical context, varied cultural specific windows into the unknown are just some of the most wonderful parts. The part that I have such a struggle with is the somehow deemed “dramatization” of all of the conflict surrounded dialogue. You don’t need this. It is disturbing and draws away from the already solid writing. Please stop. Many thanks Rachel
  • T-Lur
    Keep up the good work folks!
  • Sidney.W.
    My weekly podcast I go to
    I love this show. I learn so much about how we got to the places we are today. I look for new episodes every week, and if I can’t find one, I go and listen to an old episode from years before.
  • Edaneast
    Thoughtful informative
    This is my number one podcast. I have saved more of these episodes to re-listen than any other podcast I follow. I am grateful for a whole world view and whole world history. I appreciate the perspectives and knowledge shared in this podcast. As for the two hosts, they are so easy to listen to and feel the present knowledge in a respectful way. People I would welcome to know. I have gained so much from this podcast and the hosts.
  • spiritual reminders
    I always learn something
    I challenge you to listen and not learn something. And learn it in a fun way. Thank you Throughline!
Similar Podcasts
Disclaimer: The podcast and artwork on this page are property of the podcast owner, and not endorsed by