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The Road to Now

History Podcasts

The Road to Now is a series of conversations that trace the historical roots of today’s events. Hosted by Bob Crawford of the Avett Brothers & Dr. Benjamin Sawyer of Middle Tennessee State University, this podcast brings exceptional guests to the table to answer pressing questions and explain how our shared and personal past shape the world today. A member of the Osiris Podcast Network. *

The Road to Now is a series of conversations that trace the historical roots of today’s events. Hosted by Bob Crawford of the Avett Brothers & Dr. Benjamin Sawyer of Middle Tennessee State University, this podcast brings exceptional guests to the table to answer pressing questions and explain how our shared and personal past shape the world today. A member of the Osiris Podcast Network. *

Location:

Nashville, TN

Description:

The Road to Now is a series of conversations that trace the historical roots of today’s events. Hosted by Bob Crawford of the Avett Brothers & Dr. Benjamin Sawyer of Middle Tennessee State University, this podcast brings exceptional guests to the table to answer pressing questions and explain how our shared and personal past shape the world today. A member of the Osiris Podcast Network. *

Twitter:

@Road_To_Now

Language:

English

Contact:

6154999479


Episodes

#187 The Insurrection Episode

1/18/2021
Bob Crawford is back, so he and Ben decided to take an episode to talk about recent political developments and where they (might) fit into our historical narrative.

Duration:01:12:49

#186 Dark Archives w/ Megan Rosenbloom

1/4/2021
Megan Rosenbloom joins Ben and guest cohost Tanya Marsh for a discussion about Megan's new book Dark Archives: A Librarian's Investigation into the Science and History of Books Bound in Human Skin (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2020). Megan built a team of experts to test the validity of books claimed to be covered in human skin, and traveled the world to find out more about the people and processes that led to both real and debunked works of anthropodermic bibliopegy. This episode was edited by...

Duration:01:27:43

#185 Pragmatic History w/ Bill Scher

12/21/2020
Journalist Bill Scher joins Ben for a conversation about political pragmatism and the accomplishments that come from compromise and playing the long game when it comes to institutional change. Bill also talks about how his life as a journalist led him to create his new podcast, When America Worked, which focuses on the people whose achievements were accomplished through pragmatism. Episode 1 “He Saved the World: Edward R. Stettinius, Jr.” is out now and available anywhere you get The Road to...

Duration:01:10:03

The History of Santa Claus and Christmas Culture w/ James Cooper (RTN #182 Rebroadcast)

12/7/2020
Ben and Bob caught up with Christmas expert James Cooper to find out the origins of Santa Claus, Christmas trees, and all the other parts of Christmas that most of us take for granted. James explains how Santa Claus and Christmas traditions evolved around the world, and how a man who lived almost 2,000 years ago became one of the most recognizable characters in American culture. You can find out more about the history of Santa Claus and Christmas at James Cooper's website-...

Duration:00:41:41

#184 The President’s Cabinet w/ Lindsay Chervinsky

11/23/2020
Presidential historian Lindsay Chervinsky joins us to talk about the origins of the President’s cabinet and how the decisions George Washington made have outlasted his time in office by more than 200 years. We also discuss the changing role of the executive and why delaying the transition between incoming and outgoing Presidential administrations can have serious consequences for national security. Dr. Lindsay Chervinsky is scholar in residence at the Institute for Thomas Paine Studies,...

Duration:01:24:41

#183 The History of the Lumbee Indians w/ Malinda Maynor Lowery

11/9/2020
The Lumbee are the largest Indian tribe east of the Mississippi, and while few are familiar with their story, Lumbee history is remarkable both in itself and as a way to more richly understand the United States in general. In this episode we speak with Dr. Malinda Maynor Lowery, whose life as a member of the Lumbee Tribe and a scholar who specializes in Native American history have made her a leading voice for the Lumbee community. Dr. Malinda Maynor Lowery is Professor of History and...

Duration:01:19:15

Making the Call w/ Matt Negrin #4: Let's Just Call This What It Is

11/2/2020
If Trump claims that voter fraud cost him the election, Pennsylvania is probably going to be central to that story. What do journalists need to know to prepare? Matt talks with Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro to get the answer. Making the Call is a RTN special series hosted by The Daily Show Senior Digital Producer Matt Negrin.

Duration:00:26:44

Making the Call w/ Matt Negrin #3: The Morning After

11/1/2020
Matt brainstorms with White House correspondent Brian Karem, the reporter who first asked Trump if he’d commit to a peaceful transfer of power, about the perfect question to ask the president the morning after he falsely claims victory. Is there one?! Making the Call is a RTN special series hosted by The Daily Show Senior Digital Producer Matt Negrin.

Duration:00:27:33

Making the Call w/ Matt Negrin #2: Have Newsrooms REALLY Gotten Better since 2016?

10/31/2020
Sarah Mimms, a D.C. editor at BuzzFeed News, explains how her newsroom is preparing for an apocalyptic election night — but can you really prepare for anything involving Trump? Making the Call is a RTN special series hosted by The Daily Show Senior Digital Producer Matt Negrin.

Duration:00:23:10

Making the Call w/ Matt Negrin #1: Oh God What if He Claims Victory?!

10/30/2020
Note: Episodes 2-4 of this series, featuring Sarah Mimms, Brian Karem & Josh Shapiro are currently available on our website at RTNpod.me/makingthecall. In the first of his four part series on media coverage and election night 2020, Matt Negrin calls his former colleague Isaac Dovere, who covers Biden for The Atlantic, to talk about why Trump won’t concede, and what the Biden campaign is nervous about. Making the Call is a RTN special series hosted by The Daily Show Senior Digital Producer...

Duration:00:42:39

# 182 The Story of North Carolina Popular Music w/ David Menconi (ft. guest co-host Dolph Ramseur)

10/19/2020
Journalist David Menconi has documented the people and sounds of North Carolina’s music scene for almost three decades. In this episode, Ben and guest co-host Dolph Ramseur speak with David about his new book Step It Up and Go: The Story of North Carolina Popular Music, from Blind Boy Fuller and Doc Watson to Nina Simone and Superchunk, and how the music of “The Old North State” is both reflected in, and a reflection of, its people. David Menconi spent 28 years writing for the Raleigh News...

Duration:00:51:12

Washington's Farewell Revisited w/ John Avlon

10/5/2020
This episode is a reair of RTN #48 (with an updated intro). George Washington is one of the most revered figures in American history. As Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, Washington led his troops to one of the most unlikely and world-shaking victories in modern history, and his selection as President of both the Constitutional Convention and the new government designed that summer in Philadelphia, demonstrate the unmatched faith that the founders had in General Washington. Today,...

Duration:00:34:30

#181 More Questions than Answers

9/21/2020
2020 has been “eventful” so Bob & Ben decided to take an episode to sit back and cover what’s been happening lately and answer questions from our Patrons. We discuss Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the state of politics in the US and major developments in the 2020 election. Ben also gives a rundown of the recent White House Conference on American History (read his twitter thread here) and what appears to be the agenda behind Trump’s announcement of the 1776 commission to “Promote Patriotic...

Duration:00:45:15

#180 The Transformation of American Policing w/ Stuart Schrader

9/7/2020
The confrontations between demonstrators and police that have taken place in the last few months have resulted in a national debate about law enforcement. The expanded use of Federal officers in American cities and the use of unmarked vehicles to detain citizens are concerning recent developments, but some scholars have pointed out that these tactics bear striking similarities to the strategies pursued by the US abroad. In this episode, Ben & guest co-host Alex Galarza speak w/ Johns...

Duration:01:45:42

#179 The Pursuit of Happiness w/ Ravi Patel

8/24/2020
Ravi Patel has been a lot of things– an investment banker, an actor, the co-founder of an organization that benefits undernourished children– but in recent years, he’s set out to find the answers to life’s big questions and to share what he finds with others. In this episode, Ravi joins Bob and Ben for a conversation about family, friends and what he discovered from traveling the world for his new series Ravi Patel’s Pursuit of Happiness, which premieres August 24th on HBO MAX. Ravi Patel...

Duration:01:36:26

#178 The Facebook Catastrophe w/ Roger McNamee

8/10/2020
In 2006, Roger McNamee played a crucial role in convincing Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg not to sell his company to Yahoo!. A couple of years later, he helped bring Sheryl Sandberg in as Facebook’s COO. Yet despite this personal connection, and his role as an early investor in the company, Roger now believes that Facebook has become a threat to democracy. In this episode, Bob and Ben talk with Roger about his book Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe, the role Facebook has played...

Duration:01:11:54

#177 How the South Won the Civil War w/ Heather Cox Richardson

7/27/2020
The military engagements of the US Civil War came to an end in 1865, but the ideology of the confederacy was not so easily defeated. In this episode we speak with Dr. Heather Cox Richardson about her new book How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy, and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America and how the worldview of antebellum southern elites came to be embraced by the “movement conservatives” who are at the helm of the modern Republican party. Heather also talks about...

Duration:01:48:23

#176 Musical Chairs w/ Joe Kwon

7/13/2020
Cellist Joe Kwon joins Bob & Ben to talk about his journey from aspiring classical musician to Bob’s bandmate in The Avett Brothers. Joe shares his experiences as a Korean immigrant growing up in North Carolina, why he decided to become a cellist, and where he learned to play the cello standing up. Joe and Bob also discuss how they first met, Joe's first show with the band, and why Joe has such a deep appreciation and passion for cooking and food. For more on Joe, check out his website...

Duration:01:20:23

I Can’t Breathe: Surviving the Dual Pandemics of Racism and Covid-19 w/ Louis Woods

6/29/2020
As Americans grapple with the devastation wrought by the dual pandemics of racism and Covid-19, it is critically important to understand the vast racial disparities Covid-19 has exposed within the African American community (specifically), but communities of color (generally). The legacies of housing policies sponsoring residential segregation, and the associated racial gaps in wealth, educational achievement, health inequities, and lethal police encounters resonate nationally, but global...

Duration:02:00:00

#175 The Death of Expertise w/ Tom Nichols

6/22/2020
Tom Nichols is University Professor at the Naval War College, where he specializes in international affairs, and a respected commentator on US politics and international security. A former Republican, Tom broke from the party during the Trump administration and has since been a vocal critic of the current administration. In this episode Bob and Ben speak with Tom about the current state of American politics and his book The Death of Expertise: The Campaign against Established Knowledge and...

Duration:01:30:41