BackStory show

BackStory

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.

Podcasts:

 220: Red Dawn: Americans and the Bolshevik Revolution | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3344

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. 

 219: Other People’s Battles: American Volunteer Soldiers | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3226

An estimated 200 American volunteer soldiers have joined the fight against the Islamic State. They’re part of a much longer tradition of freelance fighters, like early 19th century American privateers who fought in Latin America’s wars of independence and those who participated in the Spanish Civil War. On this episode, Ed, Brian and Joanne explore when and why Americans signed up to fight for other countries’ causes.

 Close Encounters: UFOs in American History | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3888

On this week’s episode, Nathan, Brian and Ed discuss things in the sky we can’t explain - unidentified flying objects. What the heck are they? And what do they say about American history?

 217: Boy Scouts Welcome Girls, Trump Drums Up Support for War, America as a Judeo-Christian Nation | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2099

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.

 What’s in a Number? Thirteen in American History | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3186

This Friday the 13th, Joanne, Nathan and Brian explore stories of superstition and the surprising roles the number 13 has played across American history. survey.panoply.fm

 215: It is So Ordered: 4 Landmark Decisions of the Supreme Court | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2831

This month, the Supreme Court hears oral arguments for cases that may have a profound impact on the lives of everyday Americans -- ranging from cell phone privacy and the rights of workers during labor disputes, to whether a baker has the right to turn away same-sex couples because of his religious beliefs. So this week, Joanne, Ed, and Nathan dip into the BackStory archive to look at four rulings that shaped public life in America. survey.panoply.fm

 214: Enemies: A History of Bad Blood | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2746

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.

 213: Longer Commutes, Equifax Data Breach, and Income Inequality | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2284

In this week’s roundtable discussion, Brian, Joanne and Ed discuss the history behind 3 stories in the news: our lengthening work commutes, the massive data breach at Equifax, and the Census Bureau’s latest numbers on income inequality in America. 

 212: The Melting Pot: Americans & Assimilation | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3841

This week, Brian, Joanne, and Nathan wrestle with a long-running tension in our country’s history: what it means to assimilate and “become American.” We’ll explore the 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 room today. 

 211: A Conversation with Karl Rove | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2434

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.

 Death Before Dishonor: Shame and Reputation in American History | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2993

This week, Ed, Nathan and Joanne discuss the importance of honor throughout American history. We’ll explore how 19th-century honor culture demanded that a man’s good name be saved by any means necessary — even murder. And we’ll consider how the concept lives on today.

 Starry-Eyed: A History of the Heavens | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3051

Why do we want to travel to the moon, to Mars, or beyond? We’re saluting this week’s total solar eclipse by looking at how Americans in the past have made sense of meteors, eclipses, and the stars. 

 Guns v. Speech: When Protesters Are Armed | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1083

When hundreds of armed white supremacists descended on Charlottesville on August 12th, violence broke out across the city. In this Short Take, Brian sits down with University of Virginia Law School Vice Dean Leslie Kendrick to discuss the constitutionality of regulating weapons at public protests. 

 207: Charlottesville: Our Town, Our Country | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1781

On this episode of BackStory, Brian, Ed, Joanne, and Nathan share their personal reactions to the violence that happened in Charlottesville in 2017.

 Revisionist Climate: Americans & the Atmosphere | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2817

On this week’s episode, Nathan, Brian and Ed, talk about how Americans have interacted, dealt with, and tried to actively change the North American climate. 

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