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Rank #41 in History category

Education
History

BackStory

Updated 12 days ago

Rank #41 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

2755 Ratings
Average Ratings
1955
541
106
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

2755 Ratings
Average Ratings
1955
541
106
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 May 29, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 12 days ago

Rank #1: 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 #2: 319: Overcoming An Outbreak: How San Francisco Survived the Plague

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In this special bonus episode, Ed talks with David K. Randall, author of Black Death at the Golden Gate: The Race to Save America from the Bubonic Plague. David tells Ed about how Dr. Rupert Blue defied conventions to get an outbreak of the plague under control in San Francisco during the early 20th century. It’s a story that can offer us some important lessons as we wrestle with our own public health crisis today.   Music:
Chainlink Melody by Podington Bear Going Forward, Looking Back by Podington Bear Winter Walk by Podington Bear Massive by Podington Bear Pounded Piano by Podington Bear Light Touch by Podington Bear

Image: Screenshot of headline on page 5 of the Oroville Daily Register, Oroville, California, Wednesday, November 27, 1907. Source: Newspapers.com

Apr 09 2020

25mins

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Rank #3: 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.

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Nov 30 2018

45mins

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Rank #4: 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 #5: 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 #6: 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 #7: 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 #8: 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 #9: 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 #10: 320: Best of BackStory: The Time Nathan Connolly Had A Close Encounter

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As BackStory moves towards the end of its production, we’ve asked our hosts to select memorable moments from the show that we’re publishing as episodes once per month. 
Since joining BackStory in 2017, Nathan Connolly has interviewed a ton of different people about everything from Bruce Lee to Bison. But a handful of conversations are particularly memorable to Nathan because they unpacked issues that he cares deeply about.

Apr 10 2020

37mins

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Rank #11: 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 #12: 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 #13: 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 #14: 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 #15: 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 #16: 281: Mind, Body and Spirit: The History of Wellness In America

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In these trying times, we’re all trying to stay well mentally, emotionally, and physically. Naturally, that got us thinking about the history of health in America. It also reminded us that maybe we could all use a break from thinking about COVID-19. So this week BackStory explores the history of wellness, a story which involves breakfast cereal, aerobics, and Sigmund Freud.

Apr 03 2020

56mins

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Rank #17: 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 #18: 299: Haunted Histories: A BackStory Halloween Special

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Image: Alleged 1911 spirit photograph of Emma Hardinge Britten taken by William H. Mumler.

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 25 2019

37mins

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Rank #19: 271: Oh, Bloody Hell: BackStory’s History of Profanity in America

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WARNING: THIS EPISODE CONTAINS UNCENSORED USE OF THE STRONGEST PROFANITIES. PLEASE DO NOT LISTEN IF YOU ARE LIKELY TO BE OFFENDED AND PLEASE DO NOT PLAY IF CHILDREN ARE LISTENING.

This week, BackStory looks at the history of profanity in America. We’ll discover how soldiers returning from World War Two brought home more than just tales from the battlefield, explore what it really means to swear like a sailor, and discover how Lenny Bruce challenged and provoked the America of the 1950’s and 60’s. Plus Nathan talks to scholar Elizabeth Pryor, who just happens to be the daughter of comedian Richard Pryor, about the charged and painful history of the “n-word.”

Mar 08 2019

56mins

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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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