Rank #1: The Cabinet, George Washington's Creation, with Lindsay M. Chervinsky
George Washington did not get a Cabinet as President. He created it. His precedents forged the institution and the President's relationship to the Executive Departments. Washington didn't fire a cabinet member, but he set the precedents in this area and in others. We are joined by Lindsay M. Chervinsky, a historian with the white house historian Her book, The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution has been published by Harvard University Press.
May 26 2020
Rank #2: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and Its Aftermath - Conversation with Laura Spinney
We speak with Laura Spinney, science journalist and author of "Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World" and discuss the dreadful disease that claimed 50-100 million lives, more than the Great War that preceded it. The so-called 'Spanish Flu' caused global damage but also caused scientists to reflect and develop better science and public health strategies. And it forced new measures implemented by governments. But how much have we learned those lessons? We discuss these topics.
Mar 02 2020
Rank #3: The Real Story of the 1948 Election
Was it a comeback, really, or did the polls just get what was going on wrong. Days before the 2016 election, we looked at this question.
Nov 01 2016
Rank #4: What The Great Depression Felt Like, And Other Things
What caused The Great Depression, did FDR do anything to fix it, and how does it compare to our recent recessions? A 2008 cast that holds up well...As events started to take shape in '08, , I remember sitting down in a park and scribbling the base of this podcast, with factoids thrown in later and stories from letters to the editors of newspapers of those who suffered through the Great Depression, and some from Studs Terkel's work.
May 17 2020
Rank #5: You Don't Know About Franklin Pierce
The 14th President is among the most unknown, as he was when he won in a surprising election. Yet he started with great promise. Youthful, regal in manner and style, with celebrity friends, many thought his Presidency was a renewal for the country. Instead he provoked a resistance movement. His fall in the wake of the Kansas-Nebraska act reveals a lot about the Presidency in a time of scattered politics.
Bruce goes through his four-year Presidency and the reasons why he's one of the few to never obtain a re-nomination from his own party. His Presidency is one of several factors setting up war. Though his administration was disastrous, there might even be an issue or two where you like him on.
Feb 28 2019
Rank #6: Twenty-Fifth Amendment: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the 25th Amendment, But Were Afraid to Ask.
Chester Arthur's dilemma. Woodrow Wilson's secret. Robert Kennedy's concern. The Framers of the Constitution and the unnerving though of a disabled President. A look at the history of Presidential Succession, from the Constitutional Convention to the passage of the 25th Amendment nearly two hundred years later.
How does it work? Who does it affect? Why does it exist?
Dec 11 2018
Rank #7: Alcatraz: The American Indian Movement
The 1969 occupation of the former federal prison by Native American activists was the beginning of a movement and a shift in perception that lives on today. http://www.myhistorycanbeatupyourpolitics.com/alcatraz.mp3 We discuss: Why Alcatraz? The 1973 Standoff at Wounded Knee, South Dakota Vine Deloria and “Custer Died for Your Sins” NoDAPL as Part of an Arc of […]
Feb 21 2017
Rank #8: Social Security Had Its Glitches Too
In the wake of Obamacare problems, we look at the frustrations of those attempting to implement Social Security. The first consultant told Congress to drop the idea. When they refused, an incredible system was developed in the Pre Computer Age.
Dec 25 2014
Rank #9: Saturday Night Nixon: The Firing That Sealed Watergate
The Saturday Night Massacre was the name given to the triple firing of a special prosecutor investigating President Nixon, the AG and the deputy AG on the same night in 1973. After the firing of the FBI Director by President Trump, all eyes are looking back on this historical event. Are they right to do […]
Dec 17 2018
Rank #10: Russia: Everything You Know About The Russian Revolution is Wrong - Russian Journalist Mikhail Zygar on 1917, History, Putin, Democracy and More
Crushing myths about the 1917 Russian Revolution that both Russians and Americans still get from Soviet textbooks. Understanding that is the key to understanding today's Russia as well. A very interesting conversation with Mikhail Zygar, Editor in Chief of the TV Dozhd and the Author of All the Kremlin's Men. He joins us to speak about his book The Empire Must Die - Russia's Revolutionary Collapse. We talk Russia 1917 and the revolution before the Bolsheviks. We also talk Russia 2017 and Putin, America, democracy, struggle and more.
Jul 18 2018
Rank #11: Why is There an Electoral College?
A look at the Senator who tried to end the Electoral College and the original reasons for it. It has as much to do with 1969 as it does with 1787
Sep 24 2019
Rank #12: Social Security, Civil War Pensions
While Social Security was developed in the 1930's, it's possible to say that there were always some mechanisms for older persons, though not universal ones.
Mar 16 2010
Rank #13: Rules of Political Debate: Godwin's Law is Not a Law
Godwin's Law is Not a Law. And yet, it probably should be followed in most cases. (re-do of past episode that contained an error). The surprising history of the rule that one should not discuss Nazis in debates, and the person who is not a scientist nor a lawmaker who came up with it. Also, when you can violate the rule and what the rule says about meme-driven discussions in 2017.
Jan 02 2019
Rank #14: Why is the GOP Convention First, Democrats Second, Brexit Other Topics.
Convention scheduling, and the reasons for it.
Jun 16 2016
Rank #15: History's Nine Most Insane Rulers w Scott Rank of "History Unplugged" Podcast
We talk about Idi Amin, Kim Jong-il and other despots with Scott Rank of History Unplugged Podcast. He joins us to talk about his book History's Nine Most Insane Rulers. We get into Amin's awful suppression of opposition, deportation of Indian and Pakistani Ugandans, and extra judicial killings. Other insane rulers were more amusing, and we talk about that too. Lee Rosevere provides music on this program - check out his music on bandcamp.com
May 12 2020
Rank #16: The Mystery of Impeachment - How it Works, What Happened in 1868 and More
Savior or scoundrel? We look at the case of one of the most celebrated heroes of Presidential impeachment. And in the course of that - we look at the Chase, Clinton and Johnson precedents for attempted impeachment, we attempt to answer questions about this oft-discussed, rarely used, and perhaps, poorly understood Constitutional function. That the President would be subject to impeachment was almost never questioned. And the language in the Constitution is clear. But that doesn't mean all questions are answered. Why is impeachment so rarely used? Why does the Senate try the President? Does the Senate become a Court when it does, or stay the Senate? What is a High "Misdemeanor?" And what does Aaron Burr have to do with all of this?
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Oct 20 2019
Rank #17: A Dozen Ronald Reagans: Part One - Rawhide is OK
First in our series on Ronald Reagan that will have twelve episodes. The Presidency we discuss almost didn't happen. A look at the attempt on Reagan's life, his first year and why the shooting was not an unimportant incident of his Presidency but directly connected to his performance in the first year. We also go over the Dozen Ronald Reagans Concept - that there are twelve different aspects to him to examine both in reality and in the perception of Reagan in political debates.
Sep 05 2016
Rank #18: Republic vs. Democracy: Radical Revolution - The Pennsylvania Radicals and the State Constitution of 1776
The Pennsylvania State Constitution of 1776, born in the fever of the signing of the Declaration and the radicalization of the city of Philadelphia expanded the rights of many but turned off a great many of those who had fought for independence.
In this episode we look at the history of the singing of the Declaration and Pennsylvania's state Constitution, we examine its contents, and we look at the men - radicals of their time that helped organize the streets of Philadelphia to the independence cause, and how some of their dreams came crashing down.
We also look at the debate of republic vs. democracy in the United States.
Sep 08 2018
Rank #19: Rigged Elections: That Time the DNC Rigged a Nomination
A look at 1944 and how intrigue, manipulation, misrepresentation, a few martinis, a song, an axe, and a finger in the page of a book changed the history of the Presidency.
Apr 26 2018
Rank #20: I Am James Buchanan
He's the President that is on the bottom of most lists. But why? And is it fair? What did he think about his place in history? We talk about POTUS 15 and look at the events of the run-up to the American Civil War, and we hear from Buchanan, and get his take on his Presidency, through his memoirs.
Nov 21 2018