Skip to content


Podcast Banner

The People’s Recorder is a new series that the Washington Post hailed as “fascinating” and the Writers Guild of America called “a podcast about how history is told and the power of being heard.” The series connects listeners with the tumult and intimate stories of New Deal writers, artists and the people who inspired them in the 1930s. The series traces a journey across America, through the lens of workers on the Federal Writers’ Project and other New Deal arts programs.

They had a mandate to create a portrait of America, warts and all, during a national emergency. Hearing people’s realities of inequality and pain as well as longing and joy, they found new ways to tell those stories. They created travel guidebooks (the WPA guides), oral histories, audio recordings, and epic murals. The People’s Recorder features archival audio and new conversations with writers and historians, along with original interviews with FWP writers about their experiences. 

Growing from the award-winning project Soul of a People, the series is produced with grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and state humanities councils. Click below to listen and sign up to receive alerts.


David Taylor writes about revealing connections between people and their worlds. His writing about people, food, health and science has appeared in SmithsonianThe Washington Post, Mother JonesScience, Undark, and Oxford American.