Rank #1: Preview of New Grapple Episodes Coming Out April 12
Grapple is back with a new round of episodes! We’ll be covering a range of hot-button issues from immigration reform to public school funding and race relations. Listen to our preview and get ready for Episode 14 coming out on April 12th.
Apr 05 2017
Rank #2: Episode 06 : Breaking Down the American Dream with Robert Putnam
Is the American Dream still possible? In this episode, we’ll talk with leading American political scientist Robert Putnam about why he thinks the American Dream is in crisis. In his most recent work, Putnam examines our nation’s growing income inequality and opportunity gap compared to the 1950s when he was a kid in an Ohio town along Lake Erie. Putnam is a political scientist at Harvard University and the author of the best-seller, “Bowling Alone.”
Oct 05 2016
Rank #3: Episode 03: Chester, A City Working on a New Narrative
Episode 03 of Grapple takes you to the southeastern Pennsylvania city of Chester, once a thriving industrial center on the Delaware River. Today this small city — which lost nearly half its population — grapples with poverty, failing schools and crime. You’ll hear stories from people who grew up in Chester about how their city has changed over time; a landlord who’s using bright colors to stabilize a neighborhood once overrun with drug trafficking; and a group of investors bringing one of Chester’s oddest-shaped buildings back to life. Plus, you’ll hear how basketball brings the city together and the Chester roots of a rock and roll legend. Check out our photo essay from Chester: http://bit.ly/2d1GZdN
Sep 28 2016
Rank #4: Episode 02: Breaking Down Distress in Coal Country with Adam Davidson and Sheryl Gay Stolberg
In episode 02, we dig deeper into the loss of coal with Planet Money co-founder Adam Davidson and hear how other coal regions are creating new economic opportunities with The New York Times’ Mid Atlantic bureau chief Sheryl Gay Stolberg.
Sep 21 2016
Rank #5: Episode 05: Scranton, A City That’s Seen Many Come and Go
On this episode of Grapple, we follow a thread of narratives about leaving and staying in Scranton with one of our reporters who’s got a personal connection to the city. Conversations include the ups and downs of business in the area, whether Scranton’s newest immigrants are fitting in, and how cheap housing and little crime could help Scranton grow again. At its peak, this northeastern Pennsylvania city had 140,000 people. Today there are about half that number of people. Historically, Scranton attracted various waves of European immigrants who came to be coal miners, as well as iron and steel workers. But by the 1930s, Scranton started experiencing major economic decline to the point where many left. Including Jane Jacobs who grew up there and went on to become one of the most influential urbanists ever, as we’ll hear. Check out our photo essay: http://bit.ly/2dCvafG
Oct 05 2016
Rank #6: Episode 08: How American Cities are Making a Comeback with James and Deborah Fallows
We hear a lot of stories about the challenges people in distressed communities are facing, but we also want to hear stories about what communities are doing to come back. On this episode of Grapple, we discuss these ideas with longtime Atlantic magazine writers Deborah and James Fallows. The couple has been traveling around the Unites States for the last three years on a single-engine propeller plane to find out how American cities and towns have been putting themselves back together. Their project is called American Futures.
Oct 12 2016
Rank #7: Episode 12: Breaking Down a Changing America with Maria Hinojosa and Dan Hopkins
On this episode of Grapple, we’ll talk about immigration and our country’s changing demographics with journalist Maria Hinojosa. We’ll also hear from University of Pennsylvania political scientist Dan Hopkins about what contributes to the rise of anti-immigration politics and how it played out in the 2016 presidential election.
Nov 16 2016
Rank #8: Episode 07: Clairton, Hometown Pride Still Alive in a Declining Steel Town
On this episode of Grapple, you’ll hear reflections from a steel town in the Pittsburgh region. Back in the 1950s, the city of Clairton was booming with about 20,000 residents. But today there are far fewer people living there and fewer job opportunities than before. You’ll hear from someone who used to work at the mill and also from someone who had to leave Clairton to find work elsewhere. Lastly, you’ll hear about the first settler of Clairton and how the family he was part of was woven into Clairton’s history. Check out the photo essay: http://bit.ly/2diQben
Oct 12 2016
Rank #9: Episode 04: Breaking Down Deindustrialization and Urban Distress with Elijah Anderson and Amy Liu
Last time on Grapple, you heard about Chester: a city near Philadelphia that’s struggling with high crime, failing schools and a poor economy. In this episode, you’ll hear from Yale University sociologist Elijah Anderson about the impact of deindustrialization and racism on cities like Chester. You’ll also hear from Amy Liu of the Brookings Institution about what Chester and other similar cities can do to boost their economic health and move forward.
Sep 28 2016
Rank #10: Episode 11: Millbourne, Getting Back on Track
On this episode of Grapple, we head to a tiny inner-ring suburb outside of Philadelphia called Millbourne. It’s home to around 1,200 people. You’ll hear about how the closure of a Sears store in 1988 rocked this borough. Today, nearly three decades later, officials are grappling with what to do about the old Sears lot that’s still vacant. At the same time, immigrants primarily from Southeast Asia have increasingly moved into Millbourne over the years because of its affordable housing and convenient public transportation. Check out the photo essay: http://bit.ly/2fv7eve
Nov 16 2016