Slow Burn

Slow Burn

With Leon Neyfakh

Even recent history is rich with surprising subplots, strange details, and forgotten characters.

On Slow Burn, Leon Neyfakh excavates the strange subplots and forgotten characters of recent political history—and finds surprising parallels to the present. Season 1 captured what it was like to live through Watergate; Season 2 does the same with the saga of Bill Clinton’s impeachment.

Slow Burn is a production of Slate Plus. Slate Plus members support our work—and they get a bonus episode every week, with exclusive interviews and conversations that go deeper into the story.

Read Leon Neyfakh's introduction to Season 2.

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Season 2

For 11 hours, Monica Lewinsky faced off against federal prosecutors who threatened her with decades in prison if she refused to help them take down the president.

Episode 1 //

Leon Neyfakh discusses the making of season 2 with producer Mary Wilson, and talks to the creators of Monica: The Miniseries about Lewinsky's life after Clinton. For Slate Plus members only.

In 1993, Bill Clinton moved into the White House on a swell of optimism. In less than a year, his administration was mired in scandal. What went wrong?

Full Episode //

Leon discusses episode 2 with producer Mary Wilson and talks to former surgeon general Joycelyn Elders, who resigned from the Clinton administration amid a fracas about sex education and masturbation. For Slate Plus members only.

Season 1

People called her crazy, and to be fair she must have seemed crazy. But she was onto something. How Martha Mitchell tried to blow the whistle on Watergate—and ruined her life.

Full Episode //

More about Martha Mitchell, and an interview with Dick Cavett, who interviewed many of the primary Watergate figures on his talk show.

In 1973, the Senate Watergate hearings gripped the nation. But the first congressional hearings on the scandal took place a year earlier—and featured an angry Texan shouting at four empty chairs.

Full Episode //

How a new campaign finance law spurred an unprecedented flood of anonymous contributions to the Nixon campaign—and an interview with a Senate staffer who believes her office phones were being wiretapped.

Woodward and Bernstein, Walter Cronkite, and a host of other journalists tried to make people care about Watergate in the run-up to the 1972 election. They totally failed.

Joseph Califano Jr., a lawyer who represented both the Democratic National Committee and the Washington Post at the time of the break-in, discusses the million dollar lawsuit the DNC filed against the Nixon campaign in an effort to make the scandal a campaign issue.

In 1973, a folksy segregationist senator, a team of young investigators, and a few whistleblowers staged the hearings that made Watergate must-see TV.

A conversation with the founder of the National Sam Ervin Fan Club, and a discussion of Mary McCarthy’s Watergate book Mask of State.

From the bars of Queens to the Senate offices, Nixon's supporters stood with him long after it was clear his hands were dirty.

An FBI agent who worked on the Watergate investigation talks about why the Bureau's role in exposing the scandal has largely been forgotten.

Why were so many Americans ready to believe conspiracy theories after Watergate? And how did their beliefs help trigger Nixon's downfall?

What did it mean that the judge who oversaw the Watergate trials was highly suspicious of the administration?

What did Richard Nixon do when he felt the walls closing in?

Was the 18-minute gap in Nixon's White House tapes an accident?

How Nixon desperately tried to save himself in the last days of Watergate.

Three siblings reminisce about what it was like to grow up and come of age in the age of Watergate.

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