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Rank #94 in History category

Education
History

BackStory

Updated about 21 hours ago

Rank #94 in History category

Education
History
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BackStory is a weekly public podcast hosted by U.S. historians Ed Ayers, Brian Balogh, Nathan Connolly and Joanne Freeman. We're based in Charlottesville, Va. at Virginia Humanities.There’s the history you had to learn, and the history you want to learn - that’s where BackStory comes in. Each week BackStory takes a topic that people are talking about and explores it through the lens of American history. Through stories, interviews, and conversations with our listeners, BackStory makes history engaging and fun.

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BackStory is a weekly public podcast hosted by U.S. historians Ed Ayers, Brian Balogh, Nathan Connolly and Joanne Freeman. We're based in Charlottesville, Va. at Virginia Humanities.There’s the history you had to learn, and the history you want to learn - that’s where BackStory comes in. Each week BackStory takes a topic that people are talking about and explores it through the lens of American history. Through stories, interviews, and conversations with our listeners, BackStory makes history engaging and fun.

iTunes Ratings

2770 Ratings
Average Ratings
1967
542
108
69
84

Sad to see you go

By searchingforsandwiches - Feb 15 2020
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Backstory has been one of my favorite podcasts. Thank for the superb work.

Excellent podcast

By popwitch - Oct 14 2019
Read more
Relevant topics, well-researched, expert guests and hosts.

iTunes Ratings

2770 Ratings
Average Ratings
1967
542
108
69
84

Sad to see you go

By searchingforsandwiches - Feb 15 2020
Read more
Backstory has been one of my favorite podcasts. Thank for the superb work.

Excellent podcast

By popwitch - Oct 14 2019
Read more
Relevant topics, well-researched, expert guests and hosts.
Cover image of BackStory

BackStory

Latest release on Jul 03, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail about 21 hours ago

Rank #1: 326: Mystery, Murder, and Mayhem: A History of True Crime in America

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For the last decade or so, true crime has been everywhere -- Netflix shows like Making a Murderer and podcast series like Serial. All of them are a testament to the fact that for some strange reason, so many of us love stories about murder. 
But this magnetism towards the morbid is far from new. Over the years, Americans have found fascination, repulsion and sometimes even comfort in true crime stories. So on this episode of BackStory, Joanne and Ed shine a light onto the dark history of true crime in modern American history.

May 29 2020

1hr 8mins

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Rank #2: 181: Fit to Print?: A History of Fake News

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As we approach the midterm elections, concerns about fake news - widely circulated news stories that are inaccurate, misleading, or completely made-up – continue to dominate the headlines. The topics, targets, and sources of this content continues to expand, while labelling stories as “fake news” has become a commonplace tactic to blur the lines between fiction and reality. On this episode, Nathan, Joanne and Ed will look at other times in history when Americans had to be a bit more careful about what they read.

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Aug 31 2018

35mins

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Rank #3: 325: American Empire: From Scene on Radio

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“America” and “empire.” Do those words go together? If so, what kind of imperialism does the U.S. practice, and how has American empire changed over time? By host and producer John Biewen, with series collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika. Interviews with Nikhil Singh and Daniel Immerwahr. The series editor is Loretta Williams. Music by Algiers, John Erik Kaada, Eric Neveux, and Lucas Biewen. Music consulting and production help from Joe Augustine of Narrative Music. Chenjerai Kumanyika, collaborator on the Seeing White series, is a researcher, journalist, and artist who works as an assistant professor in Rutgers University’s Department of Journalism and Media Studies. His research and teaching focus on the intersections of social justice and emerging media in the cultural and creative industries. 
sceneonradio.orgPhoto: U.S. Navy Seabees at Camp Morell, Kuwait, 2005. U.S. Navy photo by James Finnigan.

May 22 2020

1hr 16mins

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Rank #4: 291: 1619: The Arrival of the First Africans in Virginia

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This month marks the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Africans to land on what would become British North America. It wasn’t the first time Africans set foot in what became the United States - they’d arrived some 100 years earlier with Spanish colonists. But 1619 looms large in American history because it marks the beginning of slavery’s development in the Virginia colony and later the entire nation. 
Image: "Landing Negroes at Jamestown from Dutch man-of-war, 1619," illustration in Harper's Weekly Magazine, January 1901. Source: Library of Congress

BackStory is funded in part by our listeners. You can help keep the episodes coming by supporting the show: https://www.backstoryradio.org/support

Aug 23 2019

1hr

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Rank #5: Hamilton: A History

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Alexander Hamilton is living large these days! Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit musical about the Founding Father won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and scored a record-breaking 16 Tony award nominations. In addition, Hamilton’s surge in popularity helped keep his face on the front of the $10 bill. Peter, Ed and Brian take apart the Hamilton phenomenon by considering who Alexander Hamilton was, his legacy (and how it was remade) and why a white migrant from the British West Indies appeals to so many Americans in 2016.

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Jun 10 2016

53mins

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Rank #6: 307: Those Were The Days: Nostalgia in American History

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It’s common for folks to look back on a time gone by and romanticize it as “better days.” But is nostalgia a harmless yearning for the past, or a distraction from what’s happening in the present? 

Image: Memory Lane sign by Martin Bennett / Stockimo Source: Alamy Stock Photo

Jan 03 2020

1hr 9mins

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Rank #7: Counter Culture: A History of Shopping [rebroadcast]

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Or is it? The holiday season is notorious for bringing out the beast in shoppers. On this episode of BackStory, the Guys plunge into the history of shopping in America—the glitz and glamour, the overflowing shelves, and the cheesy Muzak. They’ll consider the role that consumption played in the revolutionary politics of the colonies, look at the curious rash of shoplifting among well-heeled women in the country’s first department stores, and reveal the connection between the Wizard of Oz and window shopping.

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Dec 15 2016

53mins

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Rank #8: 230: Forgotten Flu: America & the 1918 Pandemic

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The CDC recommended flu shots for all this year after more than 80,000 Americans succumbed to influenza in 2017 - a four-decade high. But 100 years ago, a strain of H1N1 that was first found in soldiers in the spring of 1918 rapidly spread across the United States killing about 675,000 by 1919 and making it “the most severe pandemic in recent history,” according to the CDC. Brian, Nathan, and Joanne look back at the so-called “Spanish Flu,” how it affected the U.S., and why it’s often overlooked today.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Nov 30 2018

45mins

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Rank #9: Worlds Apart: Urban/Rural Divides in America

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According to the New York Times, the 2016 election “highlighted a growing rural-urban split.” So, on this episode of BackStory, Brian, Ed and Nathan look at what happens when urban and rural Americans collide.

They’ll tell the story of one coastal couple’s proposal to make part of the Great Plains a vast nature preserve and how it wasn’t received too kindly by the residents of those states. They’ll look at how attitudes towards small town voters shaped American politics in the 1920s. Finally, they’ll explore the urban/rural divide during the Founding Era, when city slicker Alexander Hamilton challenged Thomas Jefferson’s vision of a country composed of humble yeoman farmers.
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Feb 04 2017

51mins

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Rank #10: 204: Too Good To Be True?: Myths in American History

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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.  
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Mar 02 2018

56mins

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Rank #11: The GOP: A History Of The Republican Party

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Donald Trump has clinched the Republican party presidential nomination, and some political pundits wonder if his nomination represents a watershed for the GOP. On this episode of BackStory, we unpack the origins, evolution, and reinvention of the Grand Old Party. From its birth in 1854 by anti-slavery activists in the North, to the party of small government and low taxes, we look at how theRepublican party has reinvented itself at various points in its history.

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Jul 14 2016

1hr 4mins

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Rank #12: 308: The U.S. and Iran: A Brief History of an Often Tense Relationship

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Last weekend, an American airstrike killed Iranian General Qasam Soleimani, at the direction of President Trump. Iran vowed to retaliate and launched more than a dozen missiles at two American military bases in Iraq. In response, President Trump addressed the nation on Wednesday, saying the US will impose new economic sanctions on Iran. Only time will tell what Solemani’s death means for U.S./Iran relations, and the future of the Middle East. But how did we get here? 
On this episode of BackStory, Brian speaks with Hussein Banai, author of “Becoming Enemies: U.S.-Iran Relations and the Iran-Iraq War, 1979-1988,” about what the history of US/Iran relations can teach us about the current moment -- and where we might be headed.

Image: A staff member removes the Iranian flag from the stage after a group picture with foreign ministers and representatives of Unites States, Iran, China, Russia, Britain, Germany, France and the European Union during the Iran nuclear talks at the Vienna International Center in Vienna, Austria Tuesday July 14, 2015. Source: AP Images

Jan 10 2020

32mins

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Rank #13: 265: Nixon Beyond Watergate: A History of the Presidency Before the Scandal

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Today the Presidency of Richard Nixon is mostly remembered for how it ended - with the Watergate scandal, impeachment and resignation. But what about early Nixon, the man sworn into office in January 1969? As Nathan, Ed and Brian discover, Nixon ran a more imaginative and ideologically flexible administration than its ignominious ending might suggest.

Jan 25 2019

1hr 5mins

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Rank #14: 276: Red in the Stars and Stripes?: A History of Socialism in America

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With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and record levels of unemployment, the conversation around socialism in the U.S. has resurfaced in surprising ways. So we thought we'd revisit this episode from 2019. 

Image: The cover art for the album "Power to the Working Class: Revolutionary songs written & sung by workers & students in struggle." Source: Library of Congress

BackStory is funded in part by our listeners. You can help keep the episodes coming by supporting the show: https://www.backstoryradio.org/support

May 08 2020

59mins

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Rank #15: American Prophets: Religions Born in the U.S.

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History textbooks often argue that the United States was founded on the principle of religious freedom, beginning with the Pilgrims who sought refuge from the Church of England. But the America of centuries past was more than a safe haven for religious dissenters. It was also fertile ground for many new religious faiths. In this hour of BackStory, the History Guys will consider religions that originated or transformed in America, from Christian Science to Scientology. They’ll find out how the threat of colonization briefly united 18th-century Native Americans under a single deity, and how the Nation of Islam found converts among African-Americans in the civil rights era. What makes a religion “American”? Why do so many new faiths sprout from American soil? And what role will 21st century America play in the history of religious innovation?

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Dec 11 2015

53mins

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Rank #16: A History of Manufacturing in 5 Objects

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Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have talked about loss of manufacturing jobs, and the importance of having things “Made In America.” In this episode of BackStory, we take a look at the history of American manufacturing by exploring several objects that transformed American life. From 18th century colonists struggling to produce that most coveted of tems -- porcelain -- to the invention of nylon stockings and the TV picture tube in the 20th century, Peter, Ed, and Brian explore the surprising history behind five inventions and innovations.

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Oct 13 2016

58mins

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Rank #17: 298: Rallying Behind Racism: The Women of White Supremacy

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White supremacy has been in the news a lot recently. It is often seen as a movement at the fringes of American society, and discussion of it rarely includes white women. But women play a critical, if overlooked, role in the white supremacy movement, and examining their involvement shows it to be far less fringe than many think. So on this episode of BackStory, Brian, Nathan and Joanne dig into the little known history of white women and white supremacy.

Image: Attention has been focused on the almost mythical Ku Klux Klan organization in the United States, following the allegations that Senator Black, the new Supreme Court judge, was a member of the sect. Virtually unknown, even in the U.S., a women’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan has grown into a powerful organization in the south. The women’s Klan salute to the cross at Atlanta, Georgia, on Aug. 18, 1937. Source: AP Images

BackStory is funded in part by our listeners. You can help keep the episodes coming by supporting the show: https://www.backstoryradio.org/support

Oct 18 2019

55mins

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Rank #18: Skin Deep: Whiteness in America

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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. 
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Jul 14 2017

53mins

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Rank #19: 275: Alternative Facts, Falsehoods and Delusions: The Lies We've Told Ourselves and Each Other in American History

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Late last month, the Washington Post reported President Trump has made some 9,451 false or misleading claims throughout his term in office. Yet, Trump’s supporters have maintained he’s not lying — he’s presenting so-called alternative facts. No matter how you look at it, it’s clear we’re living in what many pundits are calling a post-truth moment — where misinformation, lies and alternative facts are everywhere. Nathan digs into the BackStory archives to bring you a selection of segments that look at alternative facts in American life. 

Image: Feejee Mermaid, shown in P.T. Barnum's American Museum, 1842, as leased from Moses Kimball of the Boston Museum, papier-mache - Peabody Museum, Harvard University. Source: Wikimedia Commons

BackStory is funded in part by our listeners. You can help keep the episodes coming by supporting the show: https://www.backstoryradio.org/support

Apr 19 2019

30mins

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Rank #20: 264: When You Just Want to be Alone: The History of Solitude in America

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We all have times when we want to be alone, but what is the history of solitude in America? How are experiments on dolphins connected with consciousness raising and isolation tanks? And what does Thoreau’s solitary experiment at Walden Pond have to teach us all in the digital age?

Jan 18 2019

55mins

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