From Watergate to Clarence Thomas: Slow Burn Podcast’s Deep Dive into American History


In the vast ocean of podcasts, there are few that manage to grip audiences with a blend of storytelling finesse and historical significance quite like Slow Burn. Produced by Slate Plus, Slow Burn isn’t just another podcast; it’s a journey through some of America’s most pivotal moments, dissecting them with meticulous detail and presenting them in a narrative that’s as compelling as it is informative.

Slow Burn Podcast Review

Podcast Review : Slow Burn

In the vast realm of podcasts, Slow Burn emerges as a beacon of captivating storytelling and historical exploration. Produced by Slate Plus, this narrative podcast takes listeners on a compelling journey through pivotal moments in American history. With each season focusing on a distinct event, from Watergate to the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal and the rivalry between Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G., Slow Burn offers a fresh perspective on well-known narratives, uncovering hidden truths and shedding light on the complexities of the past. Hosted by a diverse lineup including Leon Neyfakh, Joel D. Anderson, Josh Levin, and Noreen Malone, Slow Burn combines archival tape, first-person interviews, and expert analysis to deliver a podcast experience that is both informative and engaging.

Slow Burn has garnered widespread acclaim for its meticulous research, thought-provoking analysis, and captivating storytelling. Praised by critics and audiences alike, it has solidified its position as one of the top shows on Apple Podcasts. From its in-depth exploration of historical events to its ability to challenge conventional narratives, Slow Burn transcends the podcasting landscape, offering listeners a unique opportunity to unravel the past and gain a deeper understanding of the present. Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about the stories that shape our world, Slow Burn is a must-listen podcast that promises to enlighten and entertain.



Slow Burn Podcast, Produced by Slate Plus, this narrative-driven series transcends the ordinary, diving deep into the undercurrents of significant events that have shaped the nation’s trajectory. Led by a cadre of insightful hosts including Leon Neyfakh, Joel D. Anderson, Josh Levin, and Noreen Malone, Slow Burn traverses diverse epochs, from the Watergate scandal to the Clinton-Lewinsky affair, the Tupac-Biggie rivalry to the rise of David Duke, and beyond. Each season unfurls with meticulous research, featuring interviews, archival footage, and compelling storytelling that unveils the complexities of these historical junctures. Garnering critical acclaim and amassing a dedicated following, Slow Burn stands as a testament to the power of podcasting in reinterpreting and understanding the tapestry of America’s past.

Hosts and Themes

One of the podcast’s strengths lies in its diverse array of hosts, each bringing their unique perspective to the table. Leon Neyfakh, Joel D. Anderson, Josh Levin, and Noreen Malone lead listeners through these historical narratives, offering insightful commentary and engaging interviews along the way.


Season Highlights

Slow Burn spans across multiple seasons, each delving into a distinct chapter of history, shedding light on the intricacies of events that have shaped the nation. From Watergate to the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, from the rivalry between Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. to the rise of David Duke, Slow Burn leaves no stone unturned.

Season 1: Watergate

Experience the unfolding of the Watergate scandal, a journey spanning two years, from a seemingly innocuous break-in at the Democratic Party’s headquarters to a full-blown constitutional crisis that led to the resignation of a president. Delve into the real-time experience of those pivotal years in American history.


Season 2: The Clinton Impeachment

Delve into the intricate saga of Bill Clinton’s impeachment, a narrative rich with forgotten characters, surprising subplots, and profound reflections on America’s evolution over the past two decades. Whether you’re intimately familiar with the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal or seeking clarity on its intricate details, this season of Slow Burn promises to immerse you deeper into the story than ever before.

From its roots in the Whitewater real estate controversy, the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit, to the tragic suicide of Vince Foster, Clinton’s precarious tenure in office marked a tumultuous period in American politics. Season II of Slow Burn ventures beyond the surface to unravel the complexities, choices, and manipulations that nearly led to the downfall of the 42nd president and forever altered the trajectory of a former White House intern’s life.


Experience a fresh reexamination of historical events that continue to resonate within our political landscape today, as Slow Burn Season II illuminates the enduring impact of Clinton’s impeachment process.

Season 3: Biggie and Tupac

In its initial seasons, Slow Burn delved into two monumental events of the late 20th century: the Watergate scandal and the impeachment proceedings against Bill Clinton. Season three of the acclaimed podcast shifts focus to another significant narrative: the tragic murders of Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. Set against the backdrop of hip-hop’s ascendance in pop culture, this season examines the intertwining stories of two iconic rappers—one hailing from the Bay Area’s theater scene, the other a former Brooklyn crack dealer. Their swift ascent to stardom, evolving friendship turned bitter rivalry, and ultimately, their untimely deaths within a year of each other, remain haunting mysteries to this day. Delve into the gripping tale of Biggie and Tupac in Slow Burn’s third season, where questions surrounding their murders are explored with meticulous detail.


Season 4: David Duke

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, a notable transformation unfolded within American politics as David Duke, a white supremacist, ascended to prominence. His journey from the Louisiana legislature to campaigns for the U.S. Senate and governorship marked a significant juncture in the nation’s political landscape. Season 4 of Slate’s acclaimed Slow Burn podcast delves into this riveting narrative, unraveling how Duke, a former Klansman with Nazi sympathies, maneuvered himself into the mainstream. It scrutinizes the complexities behind the electorate’s embrace of his message while also spotlighting the efforts of activists, journalists, and ordinary citizens who stood against his candidacy. Discover the gripping tale of David Duke’s rise and the battle to thwart his influence in Slow Burn Season 4, hosted by Josh Levin, Slate’s esteemed national editor and a Louisiana native.

Season 5: The Road to the Iraq War

In 2003, the United States launched an invasion of Iraq, a decision widely supported at the time but now regarded as a grave misstep. Led by acclaimed journalist Noreen Malone, the fifth season of Slow Burn delves deep into the events and ideologies that led to the Iraq War and the systemic failures that allowed it to unfold. How did such a catastrophic event come to pass? And what insights can we glean from witnessing one of America’s most significant blunders?


Noreen Malone, renowned for her work as the former editorial director of New York Magazine and as a host of Slate’s “The Waves,” spearheads Slow Burn Season 5. With her distinguished background in magazine reporting, which includes the prestigious George Polk Award, Malone brings a keen investigative eye to unraveling the complexities behind the Iraq War debacle.

Season 6: The L.A. Riots

In 1992, despite captured videotape evidence, four Los Angeles police officers were acquitted of beating Rodney King, triggering widespread chaos. Decades of police brutality and racial injustice culminated in the city’s fiery unrest.


In the sixth season of Slate’s acclaimed Slow Burn podcast, Joel Anderson delves into the turbulent aftermath of this pivotal moment in American history. This season sheds light on the individuals and circumstances fueling the largest civil disturbance in the nation’s history, a narrative that continues to resonate today.

Hosted by Joel Anderson, known for his work on Slow Burn Season 3: Biggie and Tupac, as well as co-hosting Slate’s Hang-Up and Listen, this season promises a deep exploration of the intersection of race, politics, and sports. Join us as we unravel the complexities of this ongoing story in Slow Burn Season 6.

Season 7: Roe v. Wade

In this season of Slow Burn, Susan Matthews delves into the forgotten tale of the inaugural woman convicted of manslaughter due to abortion, alongside an improbable Catholic power duo catalyzing the pro-life movement. Unveil the narrative of a novice Supreme Court justice tasked with a pivotal opinion.

Season 8: Becoming Justice Thomas

Clarence Thomas stands as a formidable force in American politics today, exerting influence on critical national issues spanning from voting rights to abortion access. However, his trajectory from rural Georgia to the Supreme Court was far from predetermined.

In the latest season of Slate’s acclaimed podcast, Slow Burn, host Joel Anderson meticulously navigates Justice Thomas’ remarkable evolution from a youthful radical to a revered conservative figure. Delve into the complexities of his disdain for race-based admission policies that once favored him, his ideological alignment with Malcolm X’s Black self-sufficiency ethos, and the untold narratives concealed during his contentious confirmation hearings

Season 9: Gays Against Briggs

Launching this May and hosted by Slate’s Christina Cauterucci, Slow Burn’s ninth season will revisit the Briggs Initiative—the country’s first statewide referendum on gay rights. Four decades before Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law banned discussion of sexual orientation and gender in public schools, LGBTQ teachers in California were the target of a campaign to ban them from public education entirely—and fire those who acknowledged their existence. This now-familiar battle over classrooms and identity tested the new political power of two groups that were ascendant in the late ’70s: religious conservatives and the gay and lesbian community. It also captured the national spotlight, drawing the participation of everyone from Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, and it was a major battle for up-and-coming San Francisco supervisor Harvey Milk. Slow Burn: Gays Against Briggs will feature interviews with well-known politicians and activists like former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, Cleve Jones (a Harvey Milk protegee who went on to start the AIDS Memorial Quilt), Anne Kronenberg (who ran Harvey Milk’s winning election campaign), and Tom Ammiano (a former California legislator who later became famous for telling Arnold Schwarzenegger to “kiss my gay ass”) among many others. In true Slow Burn fashion, the season will also excavate the lesser-known sublots of this story including a bombing plot from the Weather Underground and some alleged shady financial dealings by none other than Jerry Falwell.

Critical Acclaim

Slow Burn has garnered widespread praise from critics and audiences alike. Vulture lauds its compelling storytelling, while USA Today recognizes it as a must-listen podcast. The New York Times credits Slow Burn with redefining the genre, thanks to its meticulous research and thought-provoking analysis.


In an era inundated with podcasts, Slow Burn stands out as a beacon of excellence. With its captivating storytelling, diverse array of topics, and thought-provoking commentary, it’s more than just a podcast—it’s a journey through America’s past, shedding light on the events that have shaped the nation and challenging listeners to rethink history. So, if you’re ready to embark on a journey through time, look no further than Slow Burn. Subscribe now and unlock a treasure trove of historical insights, presented in a format that’s as entertaining as it is enlightening.

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Q1: What is Slow Burn Podcast?

A1: Slow Burn Podcast is a narrative podcast produced by Slate Plus, a division of Slate, that delves into significant moments in American history, unraveling them with detailed storytelling and insightful commentary.

Q2: Who hosts Slow Burn Podcast?

A2: Slow Burn has been hosted by various individuals across its seasons. Hosts include Leon Neyfakh, Joel D. Anderson, Josh Levin, and Noreen Malone, each bringing their unique perspective to different seasons of the podcast.

Q3: What are some of the topics covered in Slow Burn?

A3: Slow Burn covers a wide range of topics, including the Watergate scandal, the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, the rivalry between Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G., the rise of David Duke, the lead-up to the Iraq War, the L.A. Riots, Roe v. Wade, and the nomination and confirmation of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court.

Q4: How many seasons of Slow Burn are there?

A4: Slow Burn has released multiple seasons, each focusing on a different historical event or period. As of now, there are eight seasons of Slow Burn, with each season comprising a varying number of episodes.

Q5: What sets Slow Burn apart from other podcasts?

A5: Slow Burn stands out for its meticulous research, compelling storytelling, and thought-provoking analysis. It offers listeners a deep dive into pivotal moments in American history, challenging conventional narratives and prompting critical thinking.

Q6: Where can I listen to Slow Burn Podcast?

A6: Slow Burn Podcast is available on various podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and the Slate website. Listeners can subscribe to Slow Burn to access all episodes and enjoy ad-free listening.

Q7: Is Slow Burn Podcast suitable for history enthusiasts?

A7: Absolutely! Slow Burn Podcast is perfect for history enthusiasts who enjoy exploring significant events and their impact on society. The podcast offers in-depth research, engaging storytelling, and insightful commentary, making it a must-listen for anyone interested in American history.

Q8: How often are new episodes of Slow Burn released?

A8: The release schedule for Slow Burn episodes varies depending on the season and production timeline. Listeners can stay updated by subscribing to the podcast and following Slate’s announcements regarding new episodes.

Q9: Can I access bonus content or behind-the-scenes episodes of Slow Burn?

A9: Yes, subscribers to Slate Plus can access bonus content and behind-the-scenes episodes of Slow Burn, along with other exclusive features. Subscribing to Slate Plus offers an ad-free listening experience and additional insights into the making of the show.

Q10: Where can I find more information about Slow Burn Podcast?

A10: For more information about Slow Burn Podcast, including episode summaries, host biographies, and listener reviews, visit the Slate website or follow Slate’s social media channels for updates and announcements.

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The Podcasting Research Team is a dynamic and passionate group of young researchers who are dedicated to exploring the world of podcasting. Whether you’re a podcast creator, a marketer, or simply a curious listener, the work of The Podcasting Research Team can provide valuable insights into the trends and best practices in the podcasting world.


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