The Queen

Slate Podcasts

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Linda Taylor was a con artist, a kidnapper, maybe even a murderer. She was also America’s original “welfare queen,” the villain Ronald Reagan needed to create a vision of a country being taken advantage of by its poorest citizens. Josh Levin reveals ...Show More
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Bonus | An Audiobook Preview

23:55 | Jun 17th

Listen to the first chapter of the audiobook version of The Queen: The Forgotten Life Behind an American Myth. Narrated by January LaVoy.
Bonus | How to Write This Book

20:22 | Jun 10th

In this excerpt from the second bonus episode of The Queen, Dan Kois talks to Josh Levin about the process of writing the reporting-intensive book the podcast series is based on. They’re joined by a panel of three distinguished authors, who share the...Show More
Bonus | The Kidnapping of Baby Fronczak

11:30 | Jun 5th

Is it possible that Linda Taylor perpetrated one of the most infamous child abductions in American history? In this excerpt from the first bonus episode of The Queen, Josh Levin talks to Paul Joseph Fronczak about how Taylor could be connected to the...Show More
Bobbie and Diana

31:42 | Jun 3rd

Linda Taylor had a tendency to emerge from out of nowhere, upend everything in her path, then vanish without leaving a forwarding address. The final episode of The Queen focuses on two different stories about the lives Taylor changed. In one case, sh...Show More
Constance

26:08 | May 27th

A decade before she became known as the “welfare queen,” Linda Taylor put herself at the center of a different Chicago scandal. Upon the death of gambling kingpin Lawrence Wakefield, Taylor posed as the heir to his sizable fortune. The ensuing court ...Show More
An Incredible Con

24:56 | May 20th

In the 1970s, a pair of very different men fought to define Linda Taylor’s image. For presidential candidate Ronald Reagan, Taylor epitomized the brokenness of the federal bureaucracy and the broader trend of poor people getting rich off the public d...Show More
Coronation

24:14 | May 13th

Linda Taylor became the “welfare queen” in 1974 when the Chicago Tribune publicized her outrageous exploits. The reporter who introduced her to the world was a Pulitzer Prize winner named George Bliss. He stumbled into the Taylor story while investig...Show More
Introducing The Queen

02:06 | May 6th

Linda Taylor was a con artist, a kidnapper, maybe even a murderer. She was also America’s original “welfare queen,” the villain Ronald Reagan needed to create a vision of a country being taken advantage of by its poorest citizens. Josh Levin reveals ...Show More