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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

Man of The People: A New Technology Falls Into the Wrong Hands

12/8/2017
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BackStory features a guest podcast this week, from Reply All. The episode, Man of the People, first aired on January 19, 2017. It’s about the rise and fall of an American demagogue. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration: 00:43:33


Men Apologizing, Alabama Senate Race, Net Neutrality

12/1/2017
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In this week’s roundtable conversation, Ed, Joanne, Nathan and Brian focus on three stories in the news: famous men apologizing (or not) for bad behavior, the Alabama Senate race between Roy Moore and Doug Jones, and the FCC’s plans to repeal net neutrality. In this episode, Brian mentions Richard Nixon's "Checkers" speech. View the full speech (with transcript) via the Miller Center. And to hear the segment of Brian interviewing Tyrone Jones, a Black Santa, check out "Being...

Duration: 00:38:59


On the Take: Corruption in America

11/24/2017
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With allegations of corruption flying on both sides of the aisle in Washington, Brian, Joanne, and Nathan return to our episode on how Americans have wrestled with political corruption. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration: 00:48:50


The Thin Light of Freedom

11/17/2017
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Brian sits down with Ed to talk about a project of his that’s been twenty-five years in the making. We’re talking about Ed’s series on the American Civil War and Reconstruction. The first volume, In The Presence of Mine Enemies came out in 2003, and won the Bancroft Prize. It opened with John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859, and ended just before the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. Ed has just published the second volume in the series: The Thin Light of Freedom: The Civil War and...

Duration: 00:46:11


Red Dawn: Americans and the Bolshevik Revolution

11/10/2017
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One hundred years ago, Vladimir Lenin and his Bolshevik Party seized power in a revolution that would change the world. They would establish the world’s first Marxist state, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, a few years later. As the 20th century wore on, the USSR became the United States’s chief military and ideological foe. On this episode of BackStory, Brian, Joanne, and Nathan explore how that distant revolution had an immediate impact in the United States. Learn more about...

Duration: 00:54:14


Other People’s Battles: American Volunteer Soldiers

11/3/2017
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An estimated 200 American volunteer soldiers have joined the fight against the Islamic State. They’re part of a much longer tradition of freelance fighters, like early 19th century American privateers who fought in Latin America’s wars of independence and those who participated in the Spanish Civil War. On this episode, Ed, Brian and Joanne explore when and why Americans signed up to fight for other countries’ causes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration: 00:54:24


Close Encounters: UFOs in American History

10/27/2017
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On this week’s episode, Nathan, Brian and Ed discuss things in the sky we can’t explain - unidentified flying objects. What the heck are they? And what do they say about American history? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration: 01:04:41


Boy Scouts Welcome Girls, Trump Drums Up Support for War, America as a Judeo-Christian Nation

10/20/2017
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In this week’s roundtable, the hosts tackle three stories that have been in the news: the Boy Scouts’ decision to include girls, growing GOP support for war with North Korea, and America’s identity as a Judeo-Christian nation. Advisory: the footnote segment contains references to sexual assault. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration: 00:35:00


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

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