The Last Archive

By Pushkin Industries

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Subscribers: 2252
Reviews: 7

Bobo Gargle
 Jul 22, 2022
Mildly interesting , but very Americocentric


 Mar 21, 2022


 Feb 22, 2022

Chris
 Dec 28, 2021
1st season on who killed truth is incredible. 2nd season seems to be trying to kill truth itself, pushing a theory that Elon Musk, Silicon Valley are a neo-apartheid colonial revival, AI and robots are akin to slavery etc. very cooky stuff


 Jun 4, 2021

Description

The Last Archive​ is a show about the history of truth, and the historical context for our current fake news, post-truth moment. It’s a show about how we know what we know, and why it seems, these days, as if we don’t know anything at all anymore. The show is driven by host Jill Lepore’s work as a historian, uncovering the secrets of the past the way a detective might. iHeartMedia is the exclusive podcast partner of Pushkin Industries.

Episode Date
Introducing: The Last Archivist
1093

PROGRAMMING NOTE: The third season of The Last Archive is coming this fall! It will remain free and available everywhere. In the meantime, we are launching a new, subscription-only series as part of the Pushkin+ offering. It’s called The Last Archivist, a series of conversations between historian Jill Lepore and collectors, curators, librarians, and keepers of history. This first episode is available for free, but if you want to listen to the rest of the series, subscribe in Apple Podcasts, or at www.pushkin.fm. Stay tuned for Season Three of The Last Archive later this year, which will be free and available everywhere you listen to podcasts.

DESCRIPTION: In the first episode of this Pushkin+ series, Jill Lepore talks to Reginald Dwayne Betts about Freedom Reads: an initiative to build libraries in prisons and jails across America. Betts is a MacArthur Genius Grant award recipient and the author of "Felon" – a collection of poems about the effects of incarceration. 

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Aug 04, 2022
The Evening Rocket: Robin Hood
1692

At the start of 2021, Elon Musk briefly became the richest man in the world. The global pandemic was a boom time for American billionaires, many of whom saw their wealth rise even as much of the world was locked down. As Musk, Bezos, Gates and others jockeyed for first place in the world’s richest-man contest, the rise of cryptocurrencies was generating headlines about the fictive quality of money. “All forms of currency are acts of imagination”, says Jill Lepore: they require communal belief in their value - what economists sometimes call the Tinkerbell Effect. Musk started tweeting about Dogecoin - a cryptocurrency started as a joke, based on a meme about a dog - even dubbing himself 'The Dogefather'. Although Musk’s tweets looked ironic, jokey, irreverent, they seemed to be having a very real and destabilizing effect on financial markets.

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Nov 29, 2021
The Evening Rocket: Baby X
1674

The science fiction that Silicon Valley techno-billionaires like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Peter Thiel adore often concerns gleaming futures in which fantastically powerful and often immensely rich men colonize other planets. In this episode, Jill Lepore takes a look at the science fiction that’s usually left out of this vision. New Wave, feminist, post-colonial science fiction. Including the story of Baby X, a story from the 1970s about a child - like Musk’s youngest son - named X.

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Nov 22, 2021
The Evening Rocket: Iron Man
1706

How Silicon Valley capitalism is as much about narrative as the bottom line. In 2008 when Tesla Motors launched their first car, the completely electric Roadster, Tesla was a great story. Something genuinely new. An engineering marvel. Elon Musk as CEO was an even better story. He had already disrupted banking and aerospace. Now the automobile industry. That same year, the superhero film Iron Man was released. Its creators turned to Musk to help shape this version of the character of Tony Stark, a billionaire arms dealer who believes everything is achievable through technology, and private enterprise. Musk was on the cover of countless magazines, under headlines like “Elon Musk AKA Tony Stark, Wants to Save the World.” He was becoming a celebrity, on a superhero scale.

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Nov 15, 2021
The Evening Rocket: Planet B
1719

Why does Elon Musk believe he can save the world by colonizing Mars? When PayPal was bought for $1.5 billion, Elon Musk and other company founders made huge personal fortunes. Musk used his to start the rocket company, SpaceX. He also began talking about very big plans for the future of humanity. He wanted humans to become ‘a multi-planetary species’ and said he was accumulating resources to 'extend the light of consciousness to the stars’. Soon he was talking about humans moving permanently to Mars. Future-of-humanity questions used to belong to religion and philosophy. Under ‘Muskism’ they belong more to engineering and entrepreneurship. Jill Lepore traces the history of Silicon Valley's fascination with existential catastrophism. In the second of five programs, strap in to head to Mars.

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Nov 08, 2021
The Evening Rocket: Dimension X
1801

Jill Lepore untangles the strange sci-fi roots of Silicon Valley's extreme capitalism - with its extravagant, existential and extra-terrestrial plans to save humanity. In this world, stock prices can be driven partly by fantasies found in blockbuster superhero movies, but that come from science fiction, some of it a century old. If anyone personifies this phenomenon, it's Elon Musk, the richest or second-richest person in the world on any given day. "The bare facts of Musk’s life, the way they’re usually told, make him sound like a fictional character, a comic-book superhero," says Lepore. He says he hopes to colonize Mars, create brain-hacking implants and avert an AI apocalypse. He even has a baby named X. In this first of five episodes Lepore looks at the early origins of ‘Muskism’, and explores how the science fiction stories that today’s techno-billionaires grew up on have shaped Silicon Valley’s vision of the future.

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Nov 01, 2021
The Last Archive Presents: The Evening Rocket
116

Last Spring, Jill Lepore made a radio show with the BBC’s Radio 4 called The Evening Rocket, and now Pushkin Industries is releasing that show stateside for the first time. The Evening Rocket is all about Elon Musk, and his strange new kind of capitalism — call it Muskism, extravagant extreme capitalism, extraterrestrial capitalism, where stock prices are driven by earnings, and also by fantasies. The series explores Silicon Valley’s futurism, and how, in Musk’s life, those visions of the future all stem from the same place: the science-fiction he grew up on. To understand where Musk wants to take the rest of us - with his electric cars, his rockets to Mars, his meme stocks, and tunnels deep beneath the earth — Jill Lepore looks at those science fiction stories, and helps us understand what he’s missed about them.

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Oct 20, 2021
Epiphany
2701

This season has chronicled a long, dark century of lies, fakes, frauds, and hoaxes. In the season 2 finale, Jill Lepore draws that history all the way down to the lie that the 2020 election was stolen. This week: the winding path from the little-known Iron Mountain hoax of the late-1960s to the Capitol insurrection on January 6th, 2021.

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Jun 24, 2021
Hush Rush
2889

In the 1980s, Rush Limbaugh transformed talk radio. In the process, he radicalized his listeners and the conservative movement. Limbaugh’s talk radio style became a staple of the modern right. Then, the left joined the fray. This week: partisan loudmouth versus partisan loudmouth, and the shifting media landscape that helped create modern political warfare.

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Jun 17, 2021
Children of Zorin
2912

In the 1970s, a Soviet journalist named Valentin Zorin made a series of documentary films about the United States. At a time when few Russian journalists came to the U.S., Zorin traveled all across the country, and gained access few American journalists had. The Cold War was a battle of ideas, and Zorin saw himself on the frontlines. He was on a quest to unmask the United States by spreading doubt, conspiracy theories, and a strange cocktail of truth and misinformation.

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Jun 10, 2021
It Came From Outer Space
2822

A fake moon landing. Astronauts carrying space pathogens back to earth. Michael Crichton’s Andromeda Strain. HIV manufactured in a government laboratory. COVID-19 vaccines killing millions. In this episode, Jill Lepore follows a trail of disease stories and conspiracies from Apollo 11 to COVID-19. In part two of our series about the moon landing: Apollo’s splashdown, and the tidal wave of doubt it set off.

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Jun 03, 2021
Remote Control
2865

In 1961, President Kennedy announced that the United States would go to the moon. Eight years later, the Apollo 11 astronauts set foot upon its surface. Millions of Americans watched live on their televisions as it happened, but somehow the pinnacle of man’s achievement became a wellspring of conspiracy theories. In this first episode of a two-part series on the moon landing, Jill Lepore traces the explosion of conspiratorial thinking that began with Apollo 11’s lift off — a path winding from awe of science, to the unshakeable faith that everything is a conspiracy. The more extraordinary scientific research and technology got, the more difficult it became to keep sight of the line between fact and fiction, and between the believable and the unbelievable. 

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May 27, 2021
Repeat After Me
2842

One night in 1952, a Coloradan businessman hypnotized a local housewife. Under his spell, she began to recount her past life as a 19th-century Irish woman. He caught it on tape. The story of her reincarnation tore out of their Colorado town and across the world. It spawned major motion pictures, an international bestselling book, and a national hypnosis craze. But beneath all the uproar lay a set of questions that revealed a deep worry about the nature of self in the 1950s, the decade’s strange mishmash of psychology and spiritualism, and an anxiety about gender. This week on The Last Archive: Who are you, really?

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May 20, 2021
The Inner Front
2453

During World War II, Nazi radio broadcast the voice of an American woman who came to be known as Axis Sally. She spoke, via shortwave radio, to American women, attempting to turn them against their country and the American war effort. She was waging a battle on what came to be called the Inner Front, the war of public opinion. Propaganda-by-radio was new then; so was psychological warfare. Writers, poets, psychologists, propagandists, and broadcasters all took to the airwaves in the 1930s and 1940s in a pitched battle of words and sound. After the war, two American women who had broadcast for Axis powers, Germany and Japan, were prosecuted for treason. How did the courts measure the power of words, over radio, to change minds?

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May 13, 2021
Believe It
2751

Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! was one of the most popular radio shows of the 1930s, and for good reason: Early radio, not unlike the Internet of nearly a century later, was obsessed with doubt about belief. On this episode of The Last Archive, Jill Lepore spins the dial and takes a tour of 1930s radio — from Robert Ripley to Charlie Chan, from Mexican broadcaster Pedro González to the shows of Orson Welles: the full spectrum of true and false on the air.

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May 06, 2021
Monkey Business
2816

In 1925, John Scopes, a high school teacher from Dayton, Tennessee, was put on trial for teaching evolution. It came to be called the "monkey trial," a landmark in the history of doubt. All over the country, Americans tuned in on their radios as science and faith battled in the courtroom. But the nation also witnessed something else: the beginnings of a culture war that’s been waged ever since. This episode on The Last Archive, a skeptical chronicle of an early battle in that war.

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Apr 29, 2021
Coming Soon: Season Two
117

Coming Soon: the second season of The Last Archive, a podcast about the history of truth and the shadow of doubt written and hosted by New Yorker writer and celebrated historian Jill Lepore.

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Apr 15, 2021
Election Special
1449

We're back with a special, election-themed episode of The Last Archive! While reporting Episode 5: Project X, Jill spoke to Bob Schieffer, famed TV newsman of CBS, about how computers and the Internet changed the way we report on elections, and even the way they turn out. It's been sitting on the shelf here in the last archive for a little while now, but it feels eerily prescient. So, take a listen, take a deep breath, and good luck come November.

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Oct 22, 2020
Tomorrowland
2939

For ten episodes, we’ve been asking a big question: Who killed truth? The answer has to do with a change in the elemental unit of knowledge: the fall of the fact, and the rise of data. So, for the last chapter in our investigation, we rented a cherry red convertible, and went to the place all the data goes: Silicon Valley. In our season finale, we reckon with a weird foreshortening of history, the fussiness of old punch cards, the unreality of simulation, and the difficulty of recording audio with the top down on the 101. Hop in.

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Jul 16, 2020
For the Birds
2812

In the spring of 1958, when the winter snow melted and the warm sun returned, the birds did not. Birdwatchers, ordinary people, everyone wondered where the birds had gone. Rachel Carson, a journalist and early environmentalist, figured it out — they’d been poisoned by DDT, a pesticide that towns all over the country had been spraying. Carson wrote a book about it, Silent Spring. It succeeded in stopping DDT, and it launched the modern environmental movement. But now, more than 60 years later, birds are dying off en masse again. Our question is simple: What are the birds trying to tell us this time, and why can’t we hear their message any more?

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Jul 09, 2020
She Said, She Said
2518

In 1969, radical feminists known as the Redstockings gathered in a church in Greenwich Village, and spoke about their experiences with abortion. They called this ‘consciousness-raising’ or ‘speaking bitterness,’ and it changed the history of women’s rights, all the way down to the 1977 National Women’s Convention and, really, down to the present day. The idea of ‘speaking bitterness’ came from a Maoist practice, and is a foundation to both the #MeToo movement and the conservative Victim’s Rights movement. But at what cost?

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Jul 02, 2020
The Computermen
2502

In 1966, just as the foundations of the Internet were being imagined, the federal government considered building a National Data Center. It would be a centralized federal facility to hold computer records from each federal agency, in the same way that the Library of Congress holds books and the National Archives holds manuscripts. Proponents argued that it would help regulate and compile the vast quantities of data the government was collecting. Quickly, though, fears about privacy, government conspiracies, and government ineptitude buried the idea. But now, that National Data Center looks like a missed opportunity to create rules about data and privacy before the Internet took off. And in the absence of government action, corporations have made those rules themselves.

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Jun 25, 2020
Cell Strain
2739

In the 1950s, polio spread throughout the United States. Heartbreakingly, it affected mainly children. Thousands died. Thousands more were paralyzed. Many ended up surviving only in iron lungs, a machine that breathed for polio victims, sometimes for years. Scientists raced to find a vaccine. After a few hard years of widespread quarantine and isolation, the scientists succeeded. The discovery of the polio vaccine was one of the brightest moments in public health history. But a vaccine required Americans to believe in a truth they couldn’t see with their own eyes. It also raised questions of access, of racial equity, and of the federal government’s role in healthcare, questions whose legacy we’re living with today.

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Jun 18, 2020
Project X
2525

The election of 1952 brought all kinds of new technology into the political sphere. The Eisenhower campaign experimented with the first television ads to feature an American presidential candidate. And on election night, CBS News premiered the first computer to predict an American election — the UNIVAC. Safe to say, that part didn’t go according to plan. But election night 1952 is ground zero for our current, political post-truth moment. If a computer and a targeted advertisement can both use heaps data to predict every citizen’s every decision, can voters really know things for themselves after all?

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Jun 11, 2020
Unheard
2358

In 1945, Ralph Ellison went to a barn in Vermont and began to write Invisible Man. He wrote it in the voice of a black man from the south, a voice that changed American literature. Invisible Man is a novel made up of black voices that had been excluded from the historical record until, decades earlier, he’d helped record them with the WPA’s Federal Writers Project. What is the evidence of a voice? How can we truly know history without everyone’s voices? This episode traces those questions — from the quest to record oral histories of formerly enslaved people, to Black Lives Matter and the effort to record the evidence of police brutality.



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Jun 04, 2020
The Invisible Lady
2235

In 1804, an Invisible Lady arrived in New York City.

She went on to become the most popular attraction in the country. But why? And who was she? In this episode, we chase her through time, finding invisible women everywhere, wondering: What is the relationship between keeping women invisible and the histories of privacy, and of knowledge?

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May 28, 2020
Detection of Deception
2781

When James Frye, a young black man, is charged with murder under unusual circumstances in 1922, he trusts his fate to a strange new machine: the lie detector. Why did the lie detector’s inventor, William Moulton Marston, a psychology professor and lawyer, think a machine could tell if a human being is lying better than a jury? And what does it all have to do with Wonder Woman?

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May 21, 2020
The Clue of the Blue Bottle
2553

On a spring day in 1919, a woman’s body was found bound, gagged, and strangled in a garden in Barre, Vermont. Who was she? Who killed her? In this episode, we try to solve a cold case - reopening a century-old murder investigation - as a way to uncover the history of evidence itself. What is a clue? What is a fact? What is a mystery? We put the pieces of the puzzle together: photographs, newspaper articles, a private eye’s notebook, the trial record and, last but not least, a trip to the scene of the crime.

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May 14, 2020
Introducing The Last Archive
188

The Last Archive​:​ a new podcast about the history of evidence written and hosted by New Yorker writer, author, and celebrated historian Jill Lepore.

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Apr 30, 2020