A User's Guide to Democracy Miniseries

We've gathered all of the episodes and transcripts from our miniseries on the U.S. Government for easy access. Learn, get involved, and vote! 

Nick Capodice and Hannah McCarthy
2-minute read

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Do your eyes glaze over and your ears tune out the moment people start talking about government and politics? Maybe you shrink into a corner because you're sure everyone in the room is more informed and you're afraid your knowledge gaps will be exposed. Or maybe you're up to speed on how the U.S. government works, but you'd love to soak up some intriguing facts and quirky trivia. We've got you covered!

Over four quick and dirty podcast episodes, Nick Capodice and Hannah McCarthy, the authors of A User's Guide to Democracy: How America Works, will drop some knowledge about elections and the Electoral College, how to petition and protest for change, the branches of U.S. government and how they're kept from becoming all-powerful through a system of checks and balances, and some landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases that shaped America.

Episode One: A User's Guide to U.S. Elections

Who's responsible for the Electoral College? (Hint: There's a wildly popular Broadway musical about him.) We'll dish on that and everything you need to know about the U.S. election process in the inaugural episode of our Unknown History miniseries, A User's Guide to Democracy.


Episode Two: A User's Guide to Getting Involved in Democracy—Petitions and Protests

How do you get involved in U.S. Democracy? Here's a crash course on next-level civic participation. Yep, we're talking about putting your money or your giant poster board sign where your mask-covered mouth is.


Episode Three: A User's Guide to the Branches of U.S. Government

The three branches of the U.S. federal government—executive, legislative, and judicial—keep each other in line through a system of "checks and balances." What roles do each play? And who puts the brakes on the POTUS?


Episode Four: A User's Guide to U.S. Supreme Court Cases that Shaped History

How did flag burning become a protected act of free speech? Did the United States v. Nixon determine that the President can't, basically, act like a king through executive privilege? Are corporations people? Let's take a look at some U.S. Supreme Court cases that changed America in profound ways


About the Author

Nick Capodice and Hannah McCarthy Unknown History

Hannah McCarthy is the co-host of Civics 101 from New Hampshire Public Radio. She came to New Hampshire by way of Brooklyn where she worked as a radio producer and writer. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

Nick Capodice is the co-host of Civics 101. Before coming to NHPR, Nick worked in the Education Department at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, where he wrote and led tours, trained educators, and helped design digital exhibits. He also led beer history and tasting tours for Urban Oyster in Brooklyn.

Nick and Hannah are the authors of A USER'S GUIDE TO DEMOCRACY: HOW AMERICA WORKS, with illustrations by Tom Toro.