Things Fell Apart

Publisher:
BBC

Things Fell Apart

4.6/5

Critic Rating

A series of strange, unexpected human stories from the history of the culture wars. If you've ever yelled at someone on social media about, say, cancel culture or mask-wearing, then you are a soldier in the culture wars - those everyday battles for dominance between conflicting values.


Critic Reviews

Score: 5

Eliana Dockterman • Time.com May 26, 2022

"He(Ronson) manages to outline our social ills without losing the humanity of his subjects. Somehow, he manages to find interviewees that are either inspiring or loathsome, depending on your political bent, but universally fascinating and complicated. The moral of this and the podcast’s other episodes are clear: nuance is lost in outrage."

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Score: 5

Mara Davis • Paste Magazine Jan 11, 2022

"Jon Ronson does a brilliant job of rewinding topics like abortion, sex education, gay liberation and school curriculums. This series finds the strange and sometimes heartwarming examples of how things came to be. It’s a beautiful learning experience."

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Score: 4.9

Lauren Passell • Podcast The Newsletter Dec 20, 2021

"Each of these stories will turn what you believe about America and its values on its head. It’s these teensy, seemingly random actions from the past that have defined who we are today, and much like The Butterfly Effect, you have to wonder where we’d be without them."

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Score: 3

Mark Gorman • Mark Gorman Blog Dec 20, 2021

"I’m a big fan of Jon Ronson, having read several of his books and his two previous podcasts...It’s essentially an exploration of what he calls Culture Wars, but it’s not massively clear who the ‘wars’ are between or what he means by this. I’m feeling Ronson has maybe hit a bit of a dry stretch in his career and this podcast is amongst his weakest ever work. At times turgid and often uncertain as to the overall point he is trying to make. It’s all just a bit dull, frankly."

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Score: 4.8

Miranda Sawyer • The Guardian Nov 13, 2021

"Ronson is also a brilliant interviewer, asking the toughest of questions in an amiable, amused way, disarming his interviewees and allowing them to put their own point of view. Because Things Fell Apart is a radio show, there are time restrictions, and each episode is cut and polished to perfection; carved and crafted, like a teeny Japanese netsuke sculpture. Every element matters, and this is a thoroughly satisfying listen."

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Score: 5

James Marriot • The Times UK Nov 11, 2021

"Ronson, sensibly, goes looking for the culture wars’ pre-Twitter history. It’s all so bleak, isn’t it: the bad faith, the pettiness, the meanness, the casual cruelty. Bleak but fascinating."

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