Cover image of BackStory
(2573)

Rank #39 in History category

Education
History

BackStory

Updated 4 days ago

Rank #39 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

2573 Ratings
Average Ratings
1833
508
95
63
74

The reviews are hilarious

By  - Nov 07 2019
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This podcast is awesome. The reviews from the recent changes reflect just how real white fragility is. I don’t care if you are gay and liberal (as stated in a few reviews ) racism is alive & well in both categories. People want history, well you can’t have history without all the warts (so to say). The whiney reviews should be ignored. Show is great.

Excellent podcast

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

iTunes Ratings

2573 Ratings
Average Ratings
1833
508
95
63
74

The reviews are hilarious

By  - Nov 07 2019
Read more
This podcast is awesome. The reviews from the recent changes reflect just how real white fragility is. I don’t care if you are gay and liberal (as stated in a few reviews ) racism is alive & well in both categories. People want history, well you can’t have history without all the warts (so to say). The whiney reviews should be ignored. Show is great.

Excellent podcast

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

BackStory

Updated 4 days ago

Read more

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.

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: 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 #3: 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 #4: 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 #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: 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 #7: 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 #8: 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 #9: 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 #10: 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 #11: 297: How Reconstruction Transformed the Constitution: A Feature Conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning Historian Eric Foner

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If you turn on the news, you’re likely to find a heated debate about big issues, from citizenship to voting rights. For Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Eric Foner, these issues are at the heart of what are often called the “Reconstruction Amendments”: the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the US Constitution. They were passed in 1865, 1868 and 1870, respectively. And if you ask Eric, they’ve been misinterpreted and overlooked for generations. 

On this episode, Ed sits down with Eric Foner, a professor emeritus of history at Columbia University, to talk about public perceptions of Reconstruction, the landmark amendments to the Constitution and how they have the power to change the country today. Foner’s new book is The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution.

Image: February 18, 1865 Harper's Weekly cartoon depicting celebration in the House of Representatives after adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment. Source: Internet Archive.

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 11 2019

36mins

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Rank #12: 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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Rank #13: 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 #14: 212: The Melting Pot: Americans and Assimilation

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In the spirit of July 4th, BackStory revisits an episode on the abiding question: What does it mean to be an American? We’ll explore 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 any room for it today.

Image: Cover of Theater Program for Israel Zangwill's play "The Melting Pot," 1916. 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

Jul 05 2019

1hr 2mins

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Rank #15: 283: In God We Trust? The History of Religious Identity in America

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The Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment forms the basis for the separation of church and state: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Yet, throughout American history, this principle hasn’t stopped Americans from using religious differences to draw boundaries around who is and isn’t American. Joanne digs into the BackStory archives to bring you a selection of segments that look at religious identity in America and how faiths, cultures and rituals adapted to American life.

Image: "Church and state - No Union upon any terms" by Thomas Nast in Harper's Weekly, Feb. 25, 1871. 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

Jun 21 2019

40mins

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Rank #16: 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 #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: 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 #19: 289: Man Up: A Look at Masculinity in American History

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It’s an age-old question: What makes a man? Americans have thought about it for generations. So this week on BackStory, we go back into the archives to look at past segments that explore the changing perceptions of American manhood. We’ll look at why so many men started growing beards in 19th century America, and we’ll explore how ideas about the perfect male body used to be very different from what you might think of today.
Image: The “Manly art of self-defense” Newsboys’ Protective Association, Cincinnati, Ohio, August 1908. 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 09 2019

28mins

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Rank #20: 220: Red Dawn: Americans and the Bolshevik Revolution

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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. 

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Nov 10 2017

55mins

Play