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(10404)

Rank #17 in History category

Kids & Family
History
Education for Kids

American History Tellers

Updated 9 days ago

Rank #17 in History category

Kids & Family
History
Education for Kids
Read more

The Cold War, Prohibition, the Gold Rush, the Space Race. Every part of your life -the words you speak, the ideas you share- can be traced to our history, but how well do you really know the stories that made America? We’ll take you to the events, the times and the people that shaped our nation. And we’ll show you how our history affected them, their families and affects you today. Hosted by Lindsay Graham (not the Senator). From Wondery, the network behind Tides Of History, Fall Of Rome and Dirty John.

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The Cold War, Prohibition, the Gold Rush, the Space Race. Every part of your life -the words you speak, the ideas you share- can be traced to our history, but how well do you really know the stories that made America? We’ll take you to the events, the times and the people that shaped our nation. And we’ll show you how our history affected them, their families and affects you today. Hosted by Lindsay Graham (not the Senator). From Wondery, the network behind Tides Of History, Fall Of Rome and Dirty John.

iTunes Ratings

10404 Ratings
Average Ratings
8664
848
369
230
293

Amazing Podcast!

By LoriPulsski - Jan 12 2020
Read more
A Must listen for anyone interested in history. Credibly researched and compellingly told!

Imagine you’re looking for a great podcast...

By -exray - Dec 28 2019
Read more
... stop. You’ve found it.

iTunes Ratings

10404 Ratings
Average Ratings
8664
848
369
230
293

Amazing Podcast!

By LoriPulsski - Jan 12 2020
Read more
A Must listen for anyone interested in history. Credibly researched and compellingly told!

Imagine you’re looking for a great podcast...

By -exray - Dec 28 2019
Read more
... stop. You’ve found it.
Cover image of American History Tellers

American History Tellers

Latest release on Jan 22, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 9 days ago

Warning: This podcast is a series podcast

This means episodes are recommended to be heard in order from the very start. Here's the 10 best episodes of the series anyway though!

Rank #1: The Cold War - An Ideological War | 1

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For nearly 50 years, the United States and Soviet Union waged a global war of ideas fueled by politics, intrigue, and nuclear weapons. But how did the polarized ideologies of these two global powers threaten the existence of the entire world?

This is Episode 1 of a six-part series on the Cold War. We’ll discover how the United States’ suspicion of communism not only led to a global stand-off, but threatened the freedom and democracy Americans so cherished at home.

For more information on the subjects and themes discussed in the episode, see the book “Global Cold War,” by Odd Arne Wested. It’s an amazing dissection of the ideologies that dominated the Cold War. See also, “Many Are the Crimes,” by Ellen Schrecker, for an in-depth discussion of McCarthyism and the real world effects of the Red Scare.

For more info about Bentley Glass, the geneticist under investigation at the beginning of the article, see Audra Wolfe’s article, The Organization Man and the Archive: A Look at the Bentley Glass Papers. Wolfe’s book, “Competing with the Soviets,” was also crucial to our understanding of the Cold War.


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Jan 03 2018

40mins

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Rank #2: The Great Depression - The Crash | 1

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The Roaring Twenties came to a screeching halt on October 29, 1929, with the collapse of the U.S. stock market. A year earlier, president Herbert Hoover had coasted to victory by promising the American people “a chicken for every pot” and “a car in every backyard.” Lured by the promise of skyrocketing markets, many first-time investors got caught up in margin trading, borrowing money to make bigger stock purchases than they could actually afford. It was a foolproof way to make money, so long as stock prices kept rising.

But then, on the morning of Tuesday, October 29, more than sixteen million shares changed hands on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. By the market’s close, investors had lost tens of billions of dollars — and kicked off a decade that would reshape American institutions, even as labor unrest, racial tensions, and the dark shadow of nativism pushed back from all sides.

Feb 20 2019

37mins

Play

Rank #3: Political Parties - A Tale of Two Parties | 1

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In the earliest days of the United States, there was no such thing as an organized political party. George Washington, elected twice to the presidency unanimously in the Electoral College, warned the new nation against political factions, writing that organized parties would become, “potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men subvert the power of the people.”

But immediately after Washington vacated the Presidency, factions did spring up and bitter personal rivalries began to shape the nation. The two first political parties–the Federalists and the Republicans–had very different views of what America should become, and were led by very different men: Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson.

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Nov 21 2018

45mins

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Rank #4: Revolution | The Virginia Planter | 1

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It’s 1754, and the British had developed thirteen colonies along the eastern seaboard of the American continent. You may be familiar with them. But what you may not know is that a skirmish between the British and French settlers, who colonized a strip of land lining the Mississippi River, is where a young George Washington made a serious war blunder that ultimately led to Revolution.

Written by New York Times bestselling author, Russell Shorto, this is Revolution by American History Tellers. Over the next six episodes, we’ll dive into the Revolutionary War period from the perspectives of a slave, a woman, a native American, a common shoemaker and a British aristocrat.

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Jun 27 2018

39mins

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Rank #5: The Bastard Brigade - The Accidental A-Bomb | 1

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The Second World War ended with two black mushroom clouds rising over the scorched remains of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But most people don’t realize how easily the war could have ended not with an American atomic bomb but a German one, obliterating not a Japanese city but Paris, London, or even New York. As the war began, all the pieces were in place for the Germans to develop an atomic weapon. They had scientific visionaries like Werner Heisenberg, a manufacturing base committed to total war—and a big head start. The Allies were willing to go to desperate lengths to stop Adolph Hitler from getting his hands on an atomic bomb. They assembled a team of men and women to spy on, sabotage, and even assassinate members of the Nazi bomb project. They would become known as The Bastard Brigade.

But in the years leading up to the war, the scientific community couldn’t yet anticipate that artificial radioactivity was possible, let alone that it could lead to a weapon on the scale of an atomic bomb. That initial discovery would fall to a husband and wife team in Paris with a famous surname, a string of failures behind them, and a lot to prove: Frédéric and Irène Joliot-Curie. 


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Jul 17 2019

37mins

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Rank #6: Dutch Manhattan - Henry Hudson’s Big Mistake | 1

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In 1609, a headstrong English sea captain named Henry Hudson set out on behalf of the Dutch East India Company to find a trade route to Asia — and promptly found himself and his crew stranded in icy waters off the coast of Norway. As supplies dwindled, Hudson announced to his frostbitten crew that the ship would change course. They set off across the Atlantic Ocean in search of an alternative route through the North American continent.

Hudson never found the Northwest Passage, but he did come across something else on that journey — a small island the native people called Manna-hatta. That settlement would eventually give rise to a new Dutch colony called New Netherland, with Manhattan Island, or New Amsterdam, as it would come to be known, as its capital. New Amsterdam would come to be defined by two key Dutch values: tolerance and capitalism. This series by Russell Shorto, based on his book The Island at the Center of the World, traces how Manhattan’s brief chapter as a Dutch colony shaped the city for centuries to come.

Sep 04 2019

35mins

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Rank #7: The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire - Wildcat | 1

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On March 25, 1911, a fire broke out at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in Manhattan, claiming the lives of 146 garment workers — mostly women and girls. It was one of the deadliest workplace disasters in American history. Caused by a combination of carelessness and poor safety measures, the fire eventually set off a wave of workplace reforms that changed industry in America and sent New York party politics in a totally different direction.

But in the years before the fire, the workers of the Triangle factory were focused on a different issue — advocating for higher pay. Facing long hours and unsympathetic bosses unwilling to implement change, the women decided they had only one option left. 

It was time to go on strike.


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Oct 23 2019

44mins

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Rank #8: The Cold War - Hearts and Minds | 2

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Forget trenches, infantry and tanks. The United States and Soviet Union fought the Cold War with ideas and information. Episode 2 describes the cunning of Soviet propaganda campaigns. The United States adapted those techniques for their own purposes, broadcasting an image of the nation as a beacon of hope and freedom through covert ops and jazz concerts alike - even if those at home were hurting or oppressed.

For more information on the subjects and themes discussed in the episode, see the book “Total Cold War,” by Kenneth Osgood. It’s essential to understanding how propaganda shaped policy and vice-versa during the Cold War.

Penny Von Eschen’s books, “Race Against Empire,” and “Satchmo Blows Up the World,” discuss at length the ways in which black American culture, Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement both helped and hindered US foreign policy goals.

Finally, Audra Wolfe’s book, “Competing with the Soviets,” was crucial to our overall understanding of the Cold War.


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Jan 03 2018

37mins

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Rank #9: Tulsa Race Massacre - The Promised Land | 1

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Between 1838 and 1890, thousands of African Americans moved to Oklahoma, brought there as Cherokee slaves or drawn there by the promise of free land. Black pioneers established towns where African Americans could govern themselves and thrive in community together, and in time, Oklahoma became known as “The Promised Land” of freedom, dignity, and economic self-sufficiency. Out of this movement, the wealthiest African American community in the nation was born. By 1921, the Tulsa neighborhood of Greenwood had become such a hotspot of entrepreneurship that it became famous as “Negro Wall Street.”

But the Greenwood community lived uneasily in the racist, corrupt, lawless oil boomtown of Tulsa. On a hot May day in 1921, a young shoeshine boy would step into an elevator with a teenage white girl and accidentally spark the worst incident of racial violence in America -- a massacre that would be kept secret for decades.


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May 29 2019

52mins

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Rank #10: J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI - The Department of Easy Virtues | 1

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By the turn of the century, radical anarchists were becoming a growing -- and volatile -- political movement. As shifting workplace conditions exploited and endangered American workers, anarchists increasingly turned to violence to spur everyday citizens to upend the capitalist system. The growth of these politically motivated shootings and bombings stoked fear among American citizens — fear of immigrants, outsiders, and anyone else whose ideas might be considered a threat. Soon President Woodrow Wilson was calling on his attorney general A. Mitchell Palmer to investigate, arrest and imprison any noncitizen suspected of spouting “disloyal” or “radical” ideologies.

The so-called Palmer Raids would move the little-known, poorly funded and notoriously corrupt Bureau of Investigation into the national spotlight. And it would eventually launch the career of an ambitious young civil servant named Edgar Hoover.


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Apr 10 2019

33mins

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Rank #11: The Age of Jackson | Washington Burns | 1

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In August 1814, the White House burned. A fire that would eventually consume the entire nation in Civil War was already burning. This is Antebellum America.

This is the adolescence of the United States, when the country grew at tremendous speed, and when fundamental questions about the kind of place it would be were being asked. Like, could the states put their individual differences aside to remain one country? And could this new country live up to its lofty ideals, especially when it came to issues like slavery or the treatment of Native Americans?

Welcome to the Age of Jackson.

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Mar 28 2018

39mins

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Rank #12: The Great Depression - Brother, Can You Spare a Dime | 2

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Factories have shut down, banks have failed, and millions are out of work. As the Depression worsens, public opinion sours toward President Hoover.

Hoover’s allies attempt to counter criticism of the President by galvanizing anti-foreigner attitudes. They devise a scheme to frighten immigrants from Mexico and other countries with the specter of mass immigration raids in the hopes they’ll leave the country on their own, as hundreds of thousands do.

Meanwhile, an unemployed cannery worker from Portland, Oregon leads tens of thousands of World War I veterans on a march to Washington, D.C., to demand payment of wartime bonuses. A deadly showdown looms as this “Bonus Army” wears out its welcome in the capital.


You can find new episodes of American History Tellers, completely ad-free, only on Stitcher Premium. For a free month of Stitcher Premium, go to stitcherpremium.com/wondery and use promo code ‘WONDERY’.

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Feb 27 2019

39mins

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Rank #13: Political Parties - Jacksonian Democracy | 2

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Andrew Jackson lost the 1824 presidential election to John Quincy Adams through what some called a “corrupt bargain” in the House of Representatives. The maneuver was masterminded by hot-headed but politically savvy Henry Clay, who with Adams, announced their intent for far-reaching new federal programs. Fierce opposition to these policies united pro-Jackson supporters who formed a new party, the Democrats, to rally around their hero and elect him to president in 1828.

But while Adams was defeated, Henry Clay had no intention of leaving the fight. He helped lead a new party which gathered together anti-Jackson, fiscal conservatives, and pro-states rights factions. The rise of Clay’s new Whig party seemed unstoppable–they captured both houses of Congress and the presidency–until, on April 4, 1841, president William Henry Harrison died in office and gave John Tyler the power of the veto.

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Nov 28 2018

46mins

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Rank #14: National Parks - The Business of Nature | 1

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America's greatest National Parks are truly one of our country's greatest treasures. But many beautiful landmarks have ugly histories. Over the next few episodes, we’ll learn how good intentions sometimes lead to tragic and violent ends, and how in some instances, dirty business dealings would lead to the preservation of many of our countries greatest natural wonders.

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Aug 15 2018

44mins

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Rank #15: Revolution | The Empire Builder | 2

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In 1776, the British Under Secretary of State for the American Colonies was giddy. The Americans needed to be punished like children for their bad behavior. “Roman severity,” he called it, and then when he crushed the rebellion, the American children could come crawling back to their British parents, begging for forgiveness. It would be his crowning glory, he thought. It was not.

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This Series of American History Tellers is written by Russell Shorto, author of the book Revolution Song. Get your copy of Revolution Song from W.W. Norton today.

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Jul 04 2018

42mins

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Rank #16: Political Parties - The Golden Age of the GOP | 4

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As the Civil War came to a close, the government set its sights once again on the future of the United States. Working closely with a Republican President, the Republican Congress expected a swift and peaceful road to Reconstruction. But then, a mere four weeks into his second term, Lincoln was assassinated, leaving the country in the hands of Andrew Johnson, a Southern Democrat who had personally owned slaves just three years before.

While Johnson’s unwavering commitment to states rights cultivated a fraught relationship with his Congress, the tumult would ultimately be short-lived. After just four years of a Democratic president, America’s Grand Old Party would ascend to power—and hold it—for over 70 years.

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Dec 12 2018

48mins

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Rank #17: The Cold War - Nuclear Fear | 3

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What is the United States to do when direct conflict with the Soviet Union promises almost certain annihilation? They turned to proxy wars and psychological warfare with the threat of nuclear weapons keeping both countries in check. Ever wondered how an atom bomb works? We’ll cover it in Episode 3 including the scientific concepts, the arms race and the problem of ensuring complete and absolute control over these weapons.

For more information on the subjects and themes discussed in the episode, see the book “Raven’s Rock” by Garrett Graff. It goes into great detail about the secret plans our government made to ride out a nuclear holocaust.

Eric Schlosser’s “Command and Control” examines the ways the nuclear arsenal was required to function at 100% — and what happened the few times it didn’t.

“Command and Control” was also made into a riveting documentary film.

Finally, Audra Wolfe’s book, “Competing with the Soviets,” was crucial to our overall understanding of the Cold War.


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Jan 03 2018

44mins

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Rank #18: Prohibition - Closing Time | 1

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On January 17, 1920, the United States passed the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution, ushering in a 13-year dry spell known as Prohibition. But how did a country that loved to drink turn its back on alcohol? How did two-thirds of both the House and Senate and three-fourths of State legislatures all agree that going dry was the way to get the country going forward? It had always been a long, uphill battle for the temperance movement, but towards the end of the nineteenth century, certain forces aligned: fears of industrialization, urbanization and immigration. Traditional American life was changing - fast - and many people looked for a scapegoat: the saloon.

For more information on how Prohibition came to be, check out Professor David J. Hanson’s, “Alcohol Problems and Solutions,” a comprehensive, interactive site that outlines all the various stakeholders in the Noble Experiment.

Daniel Okrent’s Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition is a key text for learning more about Prohibition and how it came about. And, to narrow in on New York, itself, Michael Lerner’s Dry Manhattan: Prohibition in New York City is a tremendous resource.

The bootlegger character was based on a real story, A Bootlegger’s Story: How I Started, which ran in the New Yorker in 1926.

For more on the Atlanta race riots and how they connect to Prohibition, check out this story on NPR, in which professor Cliff Kuhn describes his research. To learn more about the intersection between race and the policing of Prohibition, Lisa McGirr’s The War on Alcohol: Prohibition and the Rise of the American State is invaluable.

Further references can be found in America Walks Into a Bar: A Spirited History of Taverns and Saloons, Speakeasies and Grog Shops by Christine Sismondo.

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Feb 07 2018

40mins

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Rank #19: Civil Rights - New World A’Comin | 1

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President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, freeing the slaves in much of the South. But the road to freedom—true freedom—would take generations longer for most black Americans.

In this new six-part series, we investigate their struggle, beginning in the heady post-war years of the Forties. Segregation was endemic; it was the law of the South, and the custom of the North and West. No black American escaped its demeaning and often violent grip. But in discovering the power of collective protest, civil rights activists began to make demands for basic equality in restaurants, the workplace and in schools. And as they racked up victories, excitement and determination built that this was a movement with momentum. Could they really do this? Could they make a change and finally—finally—fight off Jim Crow?


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Oct 03 2018

38mins

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Rank #20: The Age of Jackson | The Little Magician | 5

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During the last years of Jackson's presidency, the economy flourished. The national debt was paid in full, industry and agriculture boomed. But when Martin Van Buren assumed the presidency, he inherited an economic disaster. The divide between rich and poor was growing and people were starting to lose their patience. The country was so on edge that the threat of increase in the price of flour caused riots in Manhattan. How this happened and more, in today's episode.

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Apr 25 2018

39mins

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