Summary: 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.
On this episode of BackStory, Brian, Joanne and Nathan explore the many different forms gift giving has taken in American history.
On this episode, Nathan, Joanne, Brian and Ed turn our annual Holiday Book Show into an opportunity to talk all things historical fiction. They offer their picks for movies and books about history, and unpack the many ways fiction can help us understand the past.
Brian, Joanne, and Nathan sit down to discuss some of America’s many homegrown culinary traditions and what the food we eat says about American identity.
On this episode of BackStory, Brian, Ed and Joanne explore the history of Sesame Street and what made a show about muppets and their neighbors so revolutionary.
Brought to you by This Old House, Clearstory sheds light on the surprising stories behind our homes.
On this episode of BackStory, Brian, Nathan and Joanne talk about the memorable moments of the last 10 years and what future historians might say about the decade.
On this episode of BackStory, Nathan, Joanne and special guest host Erika Lee go beyond the standard narrative of US-China relations.
In this episode of BackStory, Ed, Joanne and Brian look at the many reasons for joining the US armed services - from a sense of patriotism, to escaping poverty, to earning American citizenship.
In this episode, Brian teams up with Lizzie Peabody, host of Sidedoor, a podcast from the Smithsonian, to detonate some explosive stories in dynamite’s history.
This is a preview of our upcoming episode, in which BackStory teams up with Lizzie Peabody, host of Sidedoor, a podcast from the Smithsonian, to present the explosive history of dynamite in America.
On this episode, Joanne brings you a sampling of some of our spookiest segments just in time for Halloween.
On this episode of BackStory, Brian, Nathan and Joanne dig into the little known history of white women and white supremacy.
In this excerpt from the 2014 episode "States of Mind," sociologist Jonathan Metzl talks with Brian about the rise of black protest in the 1960s and 70s, and how it was increasingly redefined in psychiatric terms.
On this episode, Ed sits down with Eric Foner to talk about public perceptions of Reconstruction, the landmark amendments to the Constitution and how they have the power to change the country today.
In this segment from BackStory’s 2015 show, “Where There's Smoke: A History of Fire,” host emeritus Peter Onuf presents a story by reporter Chelsea Davis about how San Francisco’s thriving Chinatown emerged from the ashes of the 1906 Earthquake and the fires that followed, despite efforts to suppress it.