The Last Archive podcast

The Last Archive

Pushkin Industries

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.

25 Episodes

  • The Last Archive podcast

    The Last Archive Presents: The Evening Rocket


    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. Learn more about your ad-choices at
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    Revisionist History Takes Down The Little Mermaid


    This week, we're presenting something fun from Malcolm Gladwell, co-founder of Pushkin. In a special series from his podcast, Revisionist History, Malcolm is launching a massive frontal assault on The Little Mermaid. You might wonder, "what's Malcolm doing? It's a children's classic!" But according to Malcolm, it's not a classic... It's a cinematic dumpster fire. And Revisionist History is devoting no fewer than three episodes to explain why. In the finale, Malcolm enlists an all-star cast to make his own version of The Little Mermaid, featuring Dax Shepard, Brit Marling, Jodie Foster and Glenn Close. You can hear the entire three-part series, right now, at Learn more about your ad-choices at
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    HISTORY This Week: The Fairness Doctrine


    Presenting an episode from another podcast we think you’ll like, called HISTORY This Week. Each Monday, it brings you a story about the people, places, and moments that shaped history that week. In this episode, they delve into the history of the Fairness Doctrine, the rule that told broadcasters they had to present more than one side of an issue. In that same spirit, you'll hear from people who fought for and against the doctrine. You might remember from 'The Last Archive' Season 2 Episode 8, the doctrine became a source of much debate, even reaching the Supreme Court.  You can listen to more episodes of HISTORY This Week at Learn more about your ad-choices at
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    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. Learn more about your ad-choices at
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    Hush Rush


    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. Learn more about your ad-choices at
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    Children of Zorin


    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. Learn more about your ad-choices at
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    It Came From Outer Space


    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. Learn more about your ad-choices at
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    Remote Control


    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.  Learn more about your ad-choices at
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    Repeat After Me


    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? Learn more about your ad-choices at
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    The Inner Front


    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? Learn more about your ad-choices at

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