Cautionary Tales

Latest Episodes

That Turn To Pascagoula

July 10, 2020 - 24:07
For years, people had warned that New Orleans was vulnerable - but when a hurricane came close to destroying the city, the reaction was...

The Village of Heroes

July 3, 2020 - 21:49
It looked like any ordinary roll of cloth, but it brought the dreaded plague to the village of Eyam. First it killed the tailor, then...

The Spreadsheet of Life and Death

June 26, 2020 - 23:55
Clive had a deadly form of cancer, but fortunately there was a new drug to treat it. Imagine his anger when he was told the treatment...

About The Show

We tell our children unsettling fairy tales to teach them valuable life lessons, but these Cautionary Tales are for the education of the grown ups – and they are all true. Tim Harford (Financial Times, BBC, author of “Messy” and “The Undercover Economist”) brings you stories of awful human error, tragic catastrophes, daring heists and hilarious fiascos. They'll delight you, scare you, but also make you wiser.Tim Harford returns with a mini-season of new episodes on Friday, June 12.

More Episodes

That Turn To Pascagoula

July 10, 2020 - 24:07
For years, people had warned that New Orleans was vulnerable - but when a hurricane came close to destroying the city, the reaction was...

The Village of Heroes

July 3, 2020 - 21:49
It looked like any ordinary roll of cloth, but it brought the dreaded plague to the village of Eyam. First it killed the tailor, then...

The Spreadsheet of Life and Death

June 26, 2020 - 23:55
Clive had a deadly form of cancer, but fortunately there was a new drug to treat it. Imagine his anger when he was told the treatment...

A Tsunami of Misery

June 19, 2020 - 20:58
A monstrous wave and then a nuclear disaster forced Mikio and Hamako Watanabe from their home. But being saved from the potential...

Fire at The Beverly Hills Supper Club

June 12, 2020 - 20:51
Flames are spreading through a Cincinnati hotel. The staff know it, the fire department is coming, and the people in the packed cabaret...

Cautionary Tales Presents: The Last Archive

May 21, 2020 - 47:32
This week we're featuring the second episode of The Last Archive, a new podcast hosted by Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer...