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First Person

Each week, one guest whose experience illuminates something timely and important about our world.

Latest Episode

Spies of the UAE

A look into Project Raven, a program where Americans were recruited to help the UAE hack people and organizations around the world.

Each week on First Person, we conduct a narrative-driven conversation with one person whose experience illuminates something timely and important about our world. Our guests tend to be people who have participated directly in events, either as protagonists or eyewitnesses. We get them to tell their story, not just offer analysis. First Person is hosted by FP deputy editor Sarah Wildman. Sarah is an award-winning journalist whose stories have appeared in the New York TimesSlate, Vox and the New Yorker online. She is the author of Paper Love: Searching for the Girl My Grandfather Left Behind.

HOSTS

sarah wildman

Sarah Wildman is an award-winning journalist whose stories have appeared in the New York TimesSlate, Vox and the New Yorker online. She is the author of Paper Love: Searching for the Girl My Grandfather Left Behind.

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The Marie Antoinette of Shoes Makes a Comeback

Filmmaker Lauren Greenfield on how Imelda Marcos engineered her second act in the Philippines.

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Death of a War Correspondent

Journalist Marie Colvin documented the horrors of war until one of them took her life.

Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, depart Canada House in London on Jan. 7.

The Other Brexit

CNN correspondent Max Foster on how Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, split from Britain's royal family.

An April 2018 scene from the documentary “The Edge of Democracy.”

The Filmmaker Who Took On Bolsonaro

An Oscar-nominated documentary examines Brazil’s deep political fault lines.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

The President Who Played One on TV

Journalist Franklin Foer on the peculiar rise of Volodymyr Zelensky in Ukraine and his role in the Trump impeachment ordeal

U.S. Sen. John McCain addresses a news conference during his 2008 run for president in Beverly Hills, California, on May 28, 2008.

Advising John McCain

A former foreign-policy advisor looks back at the 2008 U.S. presidential election campaign.

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual meeting with top military officials in Moscow on Dec. 24, 2019.

The Rise and Rise of Vladimir Putin

New Yorker staff writer Masha Gessen on how the Russian president is planning to rule for life.

Demonstrators burn a U.S. flag as they stand atop the wall of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran on Nov. 9, 1979, after storming the embassy and taking hostages. Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

A Fateful Decision That Led to the 1979 Iran Hostage Crisis

The journalist David Kirkpatrick on how President Jimmy Carter was pressured into letting the Shah of Iran into the United States.

Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Suleimani

The Persian Puzzle—Iran, Iraq, and the United States

What a trove of leaked Iranian cables tells us about Iran’s influence in Iraq.

Afghan Taliban militants and residents stand on an armored vehicle

The Truth About the U.S. War in Afghanistan

Former Pakistani Ambassador to Washington Husain Haqqani on how the Taliban won.

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The Documentaries of 2019

A look back at the documentaries we featured on First Person in the past year.

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The Books of 2019

A look back at the books we featured on First Person in the past year.

People gather for a demonstration organized by the Campaign Against Antisemitism

Corbyn and Anti-Semitism

How allegations of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party became a central issue in Britain’s election campaign.

Fighters from the Islamic State group parade

An American in Mosul

Journalist Mike Giglio provides an eyewitness account of a key battle against the Islamic State.

Qassem Suleimani, the head of Iran’s Quds Force

Iranian Spy Games Revealed

What a trove of leaked Iranian cables tells us about Iran’s influence in Iraq.

Waad al-Kateab and Sama

The Syrian Filmmaker Who Risked Her Life to Document the Atrocities in Aleppo

Waad al-Kateab’s film focuses on one of the hardest-hit cities in Syria’s ongoing conflict.

Ram Masarweh as Mohammed Abu Khdeir in HBO’s “Our Boys.”

The Jerusalem Murder That Set Off a War

An Israeli drama series on HBO about the 2014 murder of a Palestinian teen stirs compassion and controversy.

Lebanese demonstrators wave national flags on a highway linking Beirut to northern Lebanon in Zouk Mosbeh on Oct. 19.

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Protesters are directing their anger at the political elite for years of corruption and mismanagement.

Civil War in Afghanistan

When the U.S. Turns Its Back on Allies

A former U.S. intelligence officer explains what happens to locals who helped the United States when troops leave a conflict zone.

Migrants in detention in Libya.

How North African Migrants Ended Up in Permanent Detention

The Irish journalist Sally Hayden has traced the story of many of them.

Hong Kong protester throws a tear gas canister fired by police.

Why Hong Kongers Are Still Protesting Against Chinese Rule

A democracy activist describes how the demonstrations got underway and where they go from here.

Spaniards display a banner with pictures of people who went missing during the dictatorship of Francisco Franco as they take part in a protest in Madrid on Feb. 14.

Why for Some Spaniards the Wounds of the Civil War Never Healed

A new film traces the stories of people still seeking justice for Franco's crimes.

The moon rises behind the Statue of Liberty in New York City on Sept. 13. Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

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Harvard historian Jill Lepore on the long and tortured history of the U.S. immigration debate.

Soldiers set up to fire on Taliban positions in Afghanistan on Nov. 8, 2001.

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On the podcast: America’s first post-9/11 envoy to Afghanistan recounts the early months of the war there.

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And Now the Hard Part

From Foreign Policy and the Brookings Institution: Each week we look at one of the world’s toughest problems and suggest a way forward—all in under 30 minutes.

I Spy

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Spies don’t talk—it’s the cardinal rule of the business. But here at Foreign Policy, we get them to open up. On I Spy, we hear from the operations people: the spies who steal secrets, who kill adversaries, who turn agents into double agents. Each episode features one spy telling the story of one operation.

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To learn more about creating a podcast with us, contact Andrew Sollinger at andrew.sollinger@foreignpolicy.com.