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Episodes
  • Feb 22 2022

    From the co-creators of Slow Burn, Fiasco is a narrative podcast that transports listeners into the day-to-day reality of America’s most pivotal historical events. 

    Using original interviews with dozens of key players, host Leon Neyfakh brings to life the forgotten twists and turns of the past while shedding light on the present day. The new season of Fiasco goes deep on the AIDS epidemic in America, with a special focus on the early years of the crisis, when a diagnosis was tantamount to a death sentence. The eight-part series looks at the mystery and missteps around identifying and treating a new, contagious disease, and what it took to get the public - and the government - to care.

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    1 min
  • Mar 24 2022

    How doctors and scientists responded to the arrival of a strange and terrifying new disease.

    You can find a list of books, articles, and documentaries we used in our research at bit.ly/fiascopod

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    49 mins
  • Mar 31 2022

    As the AIDS crisis worsens, gay men in New York City improvise a response, forming alliances and drawing battle lines.

    You can find a list of books, articles, and documentaries we used in our research at bit.ly/fiascopod

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    49 mins

About the Creator and Performer

Leon Neyfakh is a New York-based journalist best known as the co-creator and original host of the award-winning Slow Burn podcast, in which he told the stories of Watergate and the Clinton impeachment. Since starting Fiasco in 2019, Neyfakh has hosted podcasts on Bush v. Gore, the Boston "busing" crisis, the Benghazi scandal, and the Iran-Contra affair, which has been adapted as a documentary series on EPIX. Before turning to audio, Neyfakh was a print reporter for Slate, The Boston Globe, and The New York Observer. He's the author of the book The Next Next Level.

What listeners say about Fiasco: The AIDS Crisis

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  • 03-30-22

Why it is important to remember

On a hot humid New Orleans summer afternoon in 1981. I entered my local coffee shop the owner handed me the NYT article she saved for me. "Rare Cancer Seen in 41 Homosexuals" My reaction was this is IMPOSSIBLE!

Now many decades later and seeing another pandemic; we did not learn the lessons from the Fiasco of The AIDS Crisis. I'm still fighting as a survivor. Every friend, lover, and Gay man that I knew in 1981 is dead. There is a lesson to be learned here. Tell the story about survival, learn from those mistakes. Be active and fight for all. The phrase Public Health heath for all.

I want to share a personal thank you to Dr. Greene interviewed here. You helped renew my spirit to fight.

9 people found this helpful

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Informative and Entertaining

Currently, only the first episode has been released but I’m eager to hear more. Bringing light to the state of confusion the AIDS epidemic caused, the narrator is able to show the experiences of both confused doctors and these doomed patients. Love love love this!

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wow!

Very well written, read and organized look into the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. Haunting as we continue our struggle through the COVID epidemic. Will we ever learn?

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Fascinating.

Compelling. Sad. At the time it all looked so different. 40 years later I am appalled at how we treated the sick people...as though they somehow asked for their illness. The withholding of lifesaving drugs for the sake of data...heartbreaking.

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A look back at the beginning of the AIDS pandemic

I'm enjoying this look back at how the public, government, and doctors reacted to a new pandemic...and see so many parallels to today's COVID pandemic. Having been born after the discover and a baby through many of the developing years, I had only a hint of the story. At many times the details given here are prime example of the total depravity of mankind as evidenced by disgusting behavior not even seen in the animal kingdom...I can see why many on the "outside" (in the early days) wanted nothing to do with helping, but can also see why that would be infuriating from the "inside". Politics and hardened hearts of man lead to a loss of compassion for mankind. I pray that all with this terrible disease would be healed, for the researchers minds and hands to be led to a cure, and mostly that God would use this terrible disease to bring His chosen children to him in repentance through His great grace. May we, one day, look back on this plague as a cured disease in the annals of mankind.

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Discovery left out

I was surprised they did not go into the "why" of AIDS more. How it began. And the discovery of the disease and how it got its name etc.

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Amazingly well done

I enjoyed every moment of this docu-serie. Highly educational and eye opening. Keep up the amazing work guys.

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great stuff

A very good listen that never stood still for too long and yet is filled with relevant and little known information that I could follow. I can't wait to listen to it again.

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Outstanding

A must listen - history we have been missing. This should be in every school curriculum.

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Such a well produced, educational, important podcast

My headline summarizes how I feel about it, but I binge listened in one day while doing yard work and I learned so much. An incredible podcast that everyone should listen to.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 04-03-22

Great listen

An informative and well put together podcast looking at recent history. I wasn't old enough at the time to understand all that was going so this has really filled in the gaps. It has a wide variety of voices and sources drawn together to tell the story. A great listen.

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  • TheZee
  • 08-10-22

We Must Not Forget

I was at the periphery of this epidemic that became a pandemic. I was indifferent until a few friends were wrapped and taken by AIDS. I didn't know much until recently.

This powerfully researched and packed podcast educated me concisely. I am thankful for taking the time to listen open minded and to accept that we must not forget.

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  • Peter Scott Reid
  • 07-12-22

exceptional

Leon Neyfakh and the team have made an extraordinary podcast. What a timely show and powerfully told story.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-20-22

A really powerful and well-told documentary

I had actually learned quite a lot about this topic before but still found a lot of new information in this podcast, and the information I did know was told in a unique enough way for it to really add something new to the existing content. It's really well told and I love the way each episode does a deep dive on a particular area or aspect of the crisis, rather than a straight narrative approach.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-15-22

wonderful series

a thought-provoking yet gentle, reminding us how social stigma is a powerful enemy in promoting health.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-14-22

Gutted this is final episode!

One of the best podcasts I’ve heard; riveting & even though I thought I knew a lot of AIDS history, I still learnt a lot. Particularly poignant in this time of Covid.

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  • Jennifer Chennell
  • 05-03-22

Tragic and informative

I found this so worth the listen, I was a young teenager in early 80s so missed most of this so found it fascinating, tragic ,horrific ,heartbreaking, and infuriating in equal measures

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-18-22

Couldn't stop listening!

Wish there would be more. Loved the honest & raw perspective of the history of aids.