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The public radio show hosted by Al Letson telling the story of America, one community at a time.

Find out more at stateofthereunion.com.

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SOTRU Short: The Whistler

In every community, there are certain characters that are familiar to everybody. They’re not actually famous– they’re just recognizable folks…
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Travelogue: Volume One

The SOTRU team brings you a collection of stories from the road. Host Al Letson reflects on the show and…
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Truckers of the High Seas

In our globalized world, it only takes a click to buy something from China and have it delivered right to…
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American Justice

The United States has the world’s largest prison population. In 2012, there were 2.3 million people in American prisons or…
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Trans Families

It’s estimated that there are nearly 1.5 million people in the U.S. who identify themselves as transgender. That’s more than…

Interior Alaska: Frontier Community

Interior Alaska can be a forbidding place. The region is largely wilderness, covered with expansive stretches of tundra and towering…

The Sorting of America

The U.S. has been a country shaped by migration, dating back to the days of the pioneers making their way…

Contested

Host Al Letson and guest producer John Biewen (of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University) present a collection…

Hawai’i: The Legacy of Sugar

For many Americans, Hawai’i is a tropical playground, the place of surf, sun and dream vacations. Behind the tourist façade,…

Leadership from the Bottom Up

Usually during Black History month, we remember civil rights icons and reflect on their legacy. But over the past couple…

Re:Defining Black History

During a month selected to celebrate “history,” we certainly are treated to a lot of the same familiar stories: the…

SOTRU Short: Soteria

In the 1970s, a prominent schizophrenia researcher named Dr. Loren Mosher noticed that the standard treatment in the hospital– medication,…

SOTRU Short: Dear Voices

A twist on SOTRU’s regular Dear City letters feature: for this special podcast, we asked Berta Britz, who has been…

SOTRU Short: Move By Bike

For all you Portlandia fans out there, we hate to break it to you: the city ISN’T actually Portlandia… Except…

SOTRU Short: Dear Tulsa

Last summer, we visited Tulsa, Oklahoma, where a devastating racial incident in 1921 still divides the city today. That legacy…
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The Southwestern Range

Among the most iconic landscapes in America is the Western Range, a stretch of millions of acres of land, much…

The Southwestern Range

Among the most iconic landscapes in America is the Western Range, a stretch of millions of acres of land, much…

Tulsa, OK: Reconciliation Way

Tulsa, Oklahoma sits at a crossroads of American identities. In a special episode of SOTRU, we travel to the middle…
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Tulsa, OK: Reconciliation Way

Tulsa, Oklahoma sits at a crossroads of American identities. In a special episode of SOTRU, we travel to the middle…

Portland, OR: A Tale of Two Cities

Portland is a city that some residents praise as a kind of eden: full of bike paths, independently-owned small businesses,…
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Portland, OR: A Tale of Two Cities

Portland is a city that some residents praise as a kind of eden: full of bike paths, independently-owned small businesses,…

The Hospital Always Wins

Back in 2004, staff producer Laura Starecheski visited a state mental hospital in Queens, New York, called Creedmoor. She stumbled…
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The Hospital Always Wins

Back in 2004, staff producer Laura Starecheski visited a state mental hospital in Queens, New York, called Creedmoor. She stumbled…

Tucson: Borderlands

Tucson sits in the borderlands, the desert landscape where America and Mexico meet. This place is crisscrossed by boundaries, visible…

Tucson: Borderlands

Tucson sits in the borderlands, the desert landscape where America and Mexico meet. This place is crisscrossed by boundaries, visible…

Ozarks: Full Circle

The Ozarks have long been an isolated part of the country. Steep mountains break up the landscape into hills and…

Ozarks: Full Circle

The Ozarks have long been an isolated part of the country. Steep mountains break up the landscape into hills and…

Baltimore: Outsiders In

Baltimore is a city of many neighborhoods, of intense divides—racial, class, and otherwise– not easily overcome. It’s a city bogged…

Baltimore: Outsiders In

Baltimore is a city of many neighborhoods, of intense divides—racial, class, and otherwise– not easily overcome. It’s a city bogged…

Vermont: The Small Town State

Quaint storefronts along Main streets, covered bridges over clear streams, cows from dairy farms dotting green valleys: across the state,…

Vermont: The Small Town State

Quaint storefronts along Main streets, covered bridges over clear streams, cows from dairy farms dotting green valleys: across the state,…

Sacramento, CA: All Hands on Deck

There’s been a lot of bad news coming out of Sacramento lately: homelessness, the foreclosure rate, unemployment, political gridlock in…

Sacramento, CA: All Hands on Deck

There’s been a lot of bad news coming out of Sacramento lately: homelessness, the foreclosure rate, unemployment, political gridlock in…

Wyoming: The New Old West

People are few and far between in Wyoming. Those that do live here prize tradition, self-reliance, and their connection to…

Wyoming: The New Old West

People are few and far between in Wyoming. Those that do live here prize tradition, self-reliance, and their connection to…

Oakland: The Self-Made City

Refugees, entrepreneurs, visionaries—these are the historic roots of Oakland, California. The city has long been home for people building n……

Oakland: The Self-Made City

Refugees, entrepreneurs, visionaries—these are the historic roots of Oakland, California. The city has long been home for people building n……

Miami: Bridging the Divide

Famous for its beaches and clubs, Miami is also the 3rd poorest city in the nation. If you own a…

Miami: Bridging the Divide

Famous for its beaches and clubs, Miami is also the 3rd poorest city in the nation. If you own a…

Utica: City with a Warm Heart

A couple of decades ago, Utica, New York, was dying, by even its residents diagnosis: a popular bumper sticker in…

Utica: City with a Warm Heart

A couple of decades ago, Utica, New York, was dying, by even its residents diagnosis: a popular bumper sticker in…

Birmingham: Long Story Short

Birmingham is a place that can’t escape its history—especially the painful parts. Almost fifty years later after the tragedies and…

Birmingham: Long Story Short

Birmingham is a place that can’t escape its history—especially the painful parts. Almost fifty years later after the tragedies and…

Bayard Rustin – Who Is This Man?

August 28th, 1963 will forever be tied to Martin Luther King Jr.’s hallowed “I Have a Dream Speech.” This historic…

Bayard Rustin – Who Is This Man?

August 28th, 1963 will forever be tied to Martin Luther King Jr.’s hallowed “I Have a Dream Speech.” This historic…

Appalachia Rising

Rural Appalachia has long been portrayed in the media as a place of victims: people at the mercy of the…

Appalachia Rising

Rural Appalachia has long been portrayed in the media as a place of victims: people at the mercy of the…

Austin, TX: Growing Pains

Unlike places that have been thrown into a state of crisis by a disaster, Austin, Texas, has been thrown into…

Austin, TX: Growing Pains

Unlike places that have been thrown into a state of crisis by a disaster, Austin, Texas, has been thrown into…

Los Angeles: Home, Sweet Home

Los Angeles, Lala land, often thought of as the city of movies and money and fame. But that characterization doesn’t…

Los Angeles: Home, Sweet Home

Los Angeles, Lala land, often thought of as the city of movies and money and fame. But that characterization doesn’t…

Twin Cities: World Within Two Cities

It isn’t exactly Lake Wobegon anymore… Once known as the home of Midwestern Lutherans and Scandanavian farmers, the cities of…

Twin Cities: World Within Two Cities

It isn’t exactly Lake Wobegon anymore… Once known as the home of Midwestern Lutherans and Scandanavian farmers, the cities of…

Española: The Land Remembers

We are excited to announce the release of our Española episode: The Land Remembers. Al Letson and team explore this…

Española: The Land Remembers

We are excited to announce the release of our Española episode: The Land Remembers. Al Letson and team explore this…

New Orleans, LA – The Big Easy

Listen to the episode and check out our video documentary, podcasts, images and articles on New Orleans! If you’ve listened…

New Orleans, LA – The Big Easy

Listen to the episode and check out our video documentary, podcasts, images and articles on New Orleans! If you’ve listened…