The Queen

An Incredible Con

To her defense attorneys, Linda Taylor was a victim. To Ronald Reagan, she was a villain. In 1977, a jury would decide her fate.

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This is episode 2 of The Queen, a new narrative podcast series from Slate. Listen to episode 1 here. Subscribe to the show via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, TuneIn, Stitcher, Overcast, Google Play, or iHeart.

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 dime. Taylor’s defense lawyer, the civil rights attorney R. Eugene Pincham, believed she was a scapegoat, and that her actions were crimes of survival.

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The podcast is based on Josh Levin’s new book, The Queen: The Forgotten Life Behind an American Myth.

Podcast production by Emma Morgenstern.