Today, we’re sharing another episode of the podcast Deconstructed, from our friends over at The Intercept, an award-winning investigative news organization.

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A transcript of this episode is available here.

The 2008 economic crisis changed the world. In the United States, the meager response by Barack Obama and the Democratic Party produced a recovery that was far too slow, drove an eviction crisis, and fueled a populist backlash. 

On the left, that backlash took the form of Occupy Wall Street, which put the problem of wealth and income inequality — the 99 percent versus the 1 percent — into the national political conversation for the first time since the Great Depression. Followed a few years later by the Movement for Black Lives and an upsurge of climate activism, the new radical energy among young people prepped the ground for the first Bernie Sanders campaign. 

In 2016, the Vermont senator came shockingly close to the presidential nomination. In the wake of Sanders’ campaign, a chunk of his staff that focused on organizing grassroots supporters decided to quit and try something new: They would recruit and support Bernie-style populists and take over the House.

On this episode of Deconstructed, Ryan Grim brings us another audio documentary, adapted from an excerpt of his newest book, The Squad: AOC and the Hope of a Political Revolution. This episode chronicles the 2008 economic crisis, Obama’s election, and zeroes in on how individual members of the Squad became politicized.

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