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Backstory

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BackStory is a public radio program & podcast that brings historical perspective to the events happening around us today. On each show, renowned U.S. historians Ed Ayers, Peter Onuf, and Brian Balogh tear a topic from the headlines and plumb its historical depths. Over the course of the hour, they are joined by fellow historians, people in the news, and callers interested in exploring the roots of what’s going on today.

BackStory is a public radio program & podcast that brings historical perspective to the events happening around us today. On each show, renowned U.S. historians Ed Ayers, Peter Onuf, and Brian Balogh tear a topic from the headlines and plumb its historical depths. Over the course of the hour, they are joined by fellow historians, people in the news, and callers interested in exploring the roots of what’s going on today.
More Information

Location:

Charlottesville, VA

Description:

BackStory is a public radio program & podcast that brings historical perspective to the events happening around us today. On each show, renowned U.S. historians Ed Ayers, Peter Onuf, and Brian Balogh tear a topic from the headlines and plumb its historical depths. Over the course of the hour, they are joined by fellow historians, people in the news, and callers interested in exploring the roots of what’s going on today.

Language:

English

Contact:

145 Ednam Dr. Charlottesville, VA 22903 434-924-3296


Episodes

What’s in a Number? Thirteen in American History

10/13/2017
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This Friday the 13th, Joanne, Nathan and Brian explore stories of superstition and the surprising roles the number 13 has played across American history. survey.panoply.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration: 00:52:27


It is So Ordered: 4 Landmark Decisions of the Supreme Court

10/6/2017
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This month, the Supreme Court hears oral arguments for cases that may have a profound impact on the lives of everyday Americans -- ranging from cell phone privacy and the rights of workers during labor disputes, to whether a baker has the right to turn away same-sex couples because of his religious beliefs. So this week, Joanne, Ed, and Nathan dip into the BackStory archive to look at four rulings that shaped public life in America. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit...

Duration: 00:47:46


Enemies: A History of Bad Blood

9/29/2017
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As tensions rise with North Korea, Brian, Ed, and Nathan return to our episode on enemies. What distinguishes friend from foe - both at home and abroad - and how has America dealt with our adversaries across time? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration: 00:46:40


Longer Commutes, Equifax Data Breach, and Income Inequality

9/22/2017
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In this week’s roundtable discussion, Brian, Joanne and Ed discuss the history behind 3 stories in the news: our lengthening work commutes, the massive data breach at Equifax, and the Census Bureau’s latest numbers on income inequality in America. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration: 00:39:02


The Melting Pot: Americans & Assimilation

9/15/2017
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This week, Brian, Joanne, and Nathan wrestle with a long-running tension in our country’s history: what it means to assimilate and “become American.” We’ll explore the 19th-century notions of who could become an American and the ways they were expected to change. Plus, we’ll discuss how much room there was for a hyphenated American identity in the past and if there is room today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration: 01:05:30


A Conversation with Karl Rove

9/8/2017
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Brian Balogh sits down with Republican political strategist Karl Rove to talk about his book, “The Triumph of William McKinley: Why the Election of 1896 Still Matters.” They also discuss Rove’s former boss President George W. Bush, the election of 2016, and how his study of history has guided his work as a Republican party strategist. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration: 00:40:12


Death Before Dishonor: Shame and Reputation in American History

9/1/2017
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This week, Ed, Nathan and Joanne discuss the importance of honor throughout American history. We’ll explore how 19th-century honor culture demanded that a man’s good name be saved by any means necessary — even murder. And we’ll consider how the concept lives on today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration: 00:46:43


Starry-Eyed: A History of the Heavens

8/25/2017
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Why do we want to travel to the moon, to Mars, or beyond? We’re saluting this week’s total solar eclipse by looking at how Americans in the past have made sense of meteors, eclipses, and the stars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration: 00:50:27


Guns v. Speech: When Protesters Are Armed

8/23/2017
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When hundreds of armed white supremacists descended on Charlottesville on August 12th, violence broke out across the city. In this Short Take, Brian sits down with University of Virginia Law School Vice Dean Leslie Kendrick to discuss the constitutionality of regulating weapons at public protests. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration: 00:16:53


Charlottesville: Our Town, Our Country

8/18/2017
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Brian, Ed, Joanne, and Nathan share their personal reactions to last week’s violence in Charlottesville, when white supremacists and Neo-Nazis showed up in town, some of them heavily armed. Violent clashes left one counter protester dead, and 34 injured. The BackStory hosts also discuss the meaning of Confederate statutes, and why they’re suddenly so polarizing. They conclude the conversation with why we’re seeing this resurgence in white nationalist activism in 2017.

Duration: 00:30:01


Revisionist Climate: Americans & the Atmosphere

8/11/2017
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On this week’s episode, Nathan, Brian and Ed, talk about how Americans have interacted, dealt with, and tried to actively change the North American climate.

Duration: 00:45:27


Are We There Yet?: Americans On Vacation

8/4/2017
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As Americans hit the road and take to the skies for summer vacation, Joanne, Ed, and Nathan explore the ways Americans have spent their time off.

Duration: 00:37:31


Too Good To Be True?: Myths in American History

7/28/2017
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On this week’s episode, Brian, Joanne, and Nathan explore some of the stories Americans tell about our past and find the kernels of truth that lie at the heart of a few American legends.

Duration: 00:56:13


Campus Protests, First Female “Doctor Who” & Voter Suppression

7/21/2017
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In this History Grab Bag, Nathan, Ed, Brian and Joanne discuss the history behind stories in the news. They look at the changing nature of student protests on campuses and the reaction to the first time a woman is cast to play “Doctor Who,” the title role in the BBC’s hit sci-fi TV series. They also talk about the Supreme Court’s decision to hear a case on the constitutionality of partisan gerrymandering.

Duration: 00:32:56


Skin Deep: Whiteness in America

7/14/2017
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This week, BackStory looks at whiteness in America by broadcasting segments from podcasts we admire. These stories -- from the podcasts Scene on Radio and What’s Ray Saying along with a segment from BackStory’s archives -- explore what it means to be white in America, and how the concept of whiteness has fundamentally shaped our country.

Duration: 00:54:49


Hometown History: Local Stories From Across The Country

7/7/2017
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This week, BackStory looks at local history by broadcasting segments from podcasts we admire. These stories -- from Chicago, New Orleans, St. Louis and San Francisco -- illuminate big themes in American history and tell us something about what makes these places so unique.

Duration: 01:13:05


iPhone Turns 10, The Health Care Mess & Political Violence

6/30/2017
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In this History Grab Bag, Nathan, Ed, Brian and Joanne discuss the history behind stories in the news. They’ll look at the introduction of the iPhone 10 years ago, and the dimming prospects for the Senate Republicans’ health care plan. They also welcome back an old friend of the show, who talks to Joanne about two recent incidents of political violence. Plus, BackStory celebrates its 200th show this week with a few favorite pieces from the archives and footnotes!

Duration: 00:51:00


Crowning Glory: A History of Hair in America

6/23/2017
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From Katy Perry’s new pixie to cut to Lebron James going bald - hair (or the lack of) is in the headlines a lot recently. On this episode, Brian, Joanne and Nathan explore some of the many meanings Americans have attached to hair - as a marker of personal identity, a living connection to distant loved ones, and even as the root of business empire.

Duration: 00:48:42


Contested Landscape: The Battle over Confederate Monuments

6/16/2017
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Communities from New Orleans to Charlottesville, Virginia have been debating the presence of Confederate monuments. On this episode of BackStory, Ed, Nathan and Brian discuss when and why many of the nation’s Confederate statues were erected, and what they stood for. They’ll examine the many meanings of the Confederate flag and hear a Civil War re-enactor take a closer look at his Southern heritage.

Duration: 00:46:43


Prying Eyes: Privacy in America

6/9/2017
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Is privacy a guaranteed American right? Or is it just continually under threat? On this episode, Joanne, Ed and Nathan explore the places where the private and the public collide. We’ll look at voting in the 19th century, surveillance of gay employees in the federal government, the newsworthiness of your private life, and find out if there was ever a golden age of privacy in America. Image credit: The Right to Privacy by Unarmed Civilian via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Duration: 00:53:32

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