the memory palace

From public radio producer, Nate DiMeo, comes The Memory Palace, a finalist for the 2016 Peabody Award and one of iTunes Best Podcast of 2015. Short, surprising stories of the past, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes hysterical, often a little bit of both. "The most potent pieces of audio being produced today." - The AvClub The Memory Palace is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX, a curated network of extraordinary, story-driven shows. Learn more at


The Wheel

In a terrible summer often filled with stories about monuments to terrible men, here is a story about an American hero. Build monuments to Robert Smalls.

Originally released on February 10th, 2016.

The Memory Palace is a proud member of the Radiotopia Network.

* Julia Rovinsky plays Phillip Glass’ Metamorphosis I, from her album Dusk.
* There’s an excerpt from Paul Drescher’s “Casa Vecchia,” from the Mirrors: Other Fire album.
* There’s a chunk of Jose Gonzalez’ “Instrumental” from his Stay in the Shade EP.
* “Manny Returns Home” from Bernard Hermann’s score to The Wrong Man.
* Branka Parlic plays Philip Glass’ “Mad Rush.” Twice.
* “Quiet Fan for SK,” by P.G. Six.
* Things get heavy to “Particles of the Universe (Heartbeats)” from Dan Romer and Ben Zeitlin’s score to Beasts of the Southern Wild.

There’s a lot written about Robert Smalls, with a lot of contradictory information. I found Edward A. Miller’s Gullah Statesman: Robert Smalls from Slavery to Congress particularly useful to sorting it all out.
Some other sources I consulted while researching this piece:
* The Negro’s Civil War: How American Blacks Felt and Acted During the War for the Union by the Don, James McPherson
* From Slavery to Public Service: Robert Smalls, 1839-1915, by Okon Uya.
* And, for what it’s worth, Robert Smalls: The Boat Thief from RFK Jr.’s American Heroes Series is an enjoyable and surprisingly thorough version of the story for young readers, if you’re ever looking for that sort of thing.


 2020-08-07  20m