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Episode 157: Marbury v. Madison. Good or Bad?

More A listener generated episode. Was Marbury v. Madison a good or bad decision? What are the misconceptions of the case, and what did it mean for the future of American constitutionalism? Get the scoop on this episode of The Brion McClanahan Show.


Episode 156: They Also Ran

More This is a listener generated episode. Keep sending your requests. If ______ candidate won ________ presidential election, what would have been different, or more importantly, did the wrong man win? Irving Stone wrote a breezy tome on this topic in the middle of the 20th century titled "They Also Ran." His book is popular history at its finest, but like any political history has its biases. I have...


Episode 155: What is American Liberty?

More Liberty minded Americans might be unaware that there are several different concepts of American liberty all born in the colonial period. This presents a problem when discussing current events and creates the climate of "incompatible things." I discuss liberty in this episode of The Brion McClanahan Show.


Episode 154: Wilson, FDR, or LBJ?

More Woodrow Wilson, FDR, and Lyndon Johnson should rank at the bottom of every presidential list. Unfortunately, they don't. Of course, I placed them among the 9 Presidents Who Screwed Up America. But of those three, who is the worst? Tom Woods made a case for FDR and Michael Malice for Wilson in a recent episode of the Tom Woods Show. They didn't mention LBJ. They should have. I give Landslide...


Episode 153: Why are my Professors Liberal?

More This is a question many people in Western countries ask today. Why are my college professors so liberal? It seems the academy is overrun with hippie has-beens and revolutionary wannabes. How did this happen? Some of it has to do with field and the rest with culture and hubris. I discuss in this episode of The Brion McClanahan Show.


Episode 152: The Disuniting of America

More Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. was a court historian of the court historians, the bridge between the Old Left and the New Left. He would also be attacked by the New Left of today for his views on "multiculturalism." His book "The Disuniting of America" is an interesting discussion of history, politics, and more importantly the myth of Lincolnian America. This book was highly influential when I was an...


Episode 151: Democracy?

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Episode 149: Ranking the Presidents

More Presidents Day. The day dedicated to monarchy worship in America. It also provides an opportunity for every "presidential scholar" to dust off his or her "presidential rankings." 2018 is no different. Boise State produced a survey of "presidential scholars" that is not only laughable but exposes these people for the poor scholars they actually are, at least in regard to understanding the original...


Episode 148: The Tuckers of Virginia

More Very few people, even academics, know anything about the Tuckers of Virginia. This is unfortunate because they were a truly great American political family. I wrote about St. George Tucker in my How Alexander Hamilton Screwed Up America, but a few years back we dedicated a week to the Tuckers at the Abbeville Institute. St. George is perhaps the most important family member but his sons,...


Episode 147: Religion and America

More Was the United States founded as a "Christian nation?" David Barton will tell you so, and this has become a generally accepting talking point on the American right. But is it true? To be blunt, no, but not because Americans weren't predominantly Christian. They were, but America was never a "nation," and the Union was designed to handle the differences--political, economic, cultural,...


Episode 146: Black Confederates?

More Perhaps no issue is more contentious in the "Civil War" field than that of black Confederates. Did they exist? More importantly, how do we measure "support" during any period of war and what constitutes a "soldier?" Do men who are forcibly drafted into the army "support" the cause? How about non-combat support. Are they soldiers? What about support from the home front? Does non-combat "support"...


Episode 145: The Articles of Confederation

More I have received several emails from listeners asking about the Articles of Confederation. Was it that bad? Did the Constitution fundamentally change the Union? What are the similarities between the Constitution and the Articles? Did the States secede from the Articles. Good news. I answer several of these questions in this episode of The Brion McClanahan Show. But you'll also want to sign up for...


Episode 144: Trump's "Vulgarity."

More The American Conservative published a piece last week by David Masciotra titled "The Darker Implications of Trump's Vulgarity." This piece is "never Trump" virtue signaling at its finest, but it is also a clear example of the historical ignorance of modern "political thinkers." Masciotra is a progressive and it shows. His piece is little more than a kindergarten rant, and it displays a complete...


Episode 143: Earmarks

More Donald Trump wants Congress to bring back so-called earmarks. This raised concern among some conservatives and libertarians. They believe earmarks lead to more spending and bloated budgets, earmarks are the best path to responsible, transparent government. Thomas Jefferson thought so, as did Madison and Monroe. So does Ron Paul. I give you the historical perspective in this episode of The Brion...


Episode 142: From Oligarchy to Republicanism?

More Was the antebellum South an "oligarchic" society? Many modern scholars seem to think so. One in particular, Forrest Nabors, argues that the South was only saved from itself by the noble Republican Party during Reconstruction. Before that point, the South was not "American" nor did it have "American" institutions. This is pure hogwash, and I explain why in this episode of The Brion McClanahan Show.


Episode 141: The Worst Presidents?

More The neo-con historians strike again. Should we not expect this from the National Review? Of course, but a recent piece by "conservative" Jay Cost on "The Worst Presidents?" is particularly bad. Eric Foner could not have written it better. In fact, I wonder if Foner guest wrote the column. Cost considers Pierce, Buchanan, and Andrew Johnson to be the worst presidents in American history...after...


Episode 140: Finding Community Radio

More Podcasting has become an important part of mass media. It has allowed everyone with a voice, a hobby, or an opinion to have an outlet for mass media consumption. It has not always been so. Traditional radio dominated this type of media for decades, and its staying power even in the age of podcasting is undeniable. The "national" talk radio trend of the last thirty years was a result of people...


Episode 139: Rural vs. Urban America

More Urban America has never trusted rural America. That has been the case since the 18th century and it has not changed in 200 years. This dichotomy has created a political, economic, and social fissure in American life and is one of the more important trends in American history. The Wall Street Journal recently ran a piece entitled "One Nation Divisible" explaining the modern differences between...


Episode 138: Emotivism and American Politics

More American politics has become a game of emotion. This is by design. We cannot have rational arguments because people "feel" their vote rather than "think" it. Such is the case with most cultural issues, from immigration to Confederate monuments. Paul Graham's book "Confederaphobia" outlines this nicely, but the problem is bigger than what he describes. Emotivism is a cancer, but killing it will be...


Episode 137: Occam's Razor and Simple History

simplest I hear many people--including "distinguished historians"--suggest that the War for Southern Independence can be explained by one word: slavery. Years ago I had someone tell me this was justified by "Occam's Razor," the idea that the simplest explanation was usually the correct one. That might work for science or theology, though that is debatable, but it does not work for history. I...


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