BackStory show


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.


 321: Give Us the Ballot: From LBJ and the Great Society | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3033

How did Lyndon Johnson, who made so ruinous a mess in Vietnam, pull off such an extraordinary set of accomplishments on the domestic front? That’s the question "LBJ and the Great Society" will be exploring through the recorded recollections of those who were there when this history was being made, and who had a hand in its making. Hosted by Melody Barnes, chief domestic policy advisor to Barack Obama and now co-head of the Democracy Initiative at the University of Virginia.

 320: Best of BackStory: The Time Nathan Connolly Had A Close Encounter | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2147

In this best of BackStory, Nathan presents three of his favorite interviews from his time on the show.

 319: Overcoming An Outbreak: How San Francisco Survived the Plague | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1410

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.

 281: Mind, Body and Spirit: The History of Wellness In America | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3284

On this episode of BackStory, Ed and Brian explore the history of the wellness industry in the U.S.

 318: Best of BackStory: The Time Brian Balogh Went to a Monastery | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1549

In this edition of the “Best of BackStory,” Brian brings you three of his favorite interviews from his time at BackStory.

 316: Fighting Jane Crow: The Multifaceted Life and Legacy of Pauli Murray | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 4502

This week on BackStory, Ed and Joanne explore the life and legacy of Pauli Murray.

 Blacks and Indians: From What's Ray Saying? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2311

What’s Ray Saying? is a podcast that takes a deeper view into Black life in America by examining the intersection of history, narrative, and experience.

 Past Pandemics: What Can We Learn That May Help Us Today? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1371

The coronavirus might be new. But this is by no means the first time that America and the world have been in the grips of a deadly virus.

 315: New Stories for an Old Conflict: Rethinking Civil War Narratives | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2062

On this episode of BackStory, Joanne and Ed speak with two scholars who are offering new takes on the Civil War you think you know.

 314: People Making History: The Power and Perils of Telling History Through Individual Stories | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1994

On this episode of BackStory, Joanne, Ed and Brian present and discuss a particular person from their time period, someone who they think sheds much-needed light on our current moment.

 313: Best of BackStory: The Time Ed Ayers Marched Into Richmond | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2279

A founding host of the show, Ed Ayers has had hundreds of conversations on a huge variety of topics. But some of his favorite BackStory moments touched on anniversaries and events related to his own field in American history: slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction.

 312: From Music to Madiba: A History of U.S. Relations with South Africa | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2969

On this episode of BackStory, Joanne, Ed and Brian take a look at the complicated and often contentious relationship American officials and anti-racism activists have had with South Africa.

 311: "The Gay Agenda" from American Hysteria | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2600

This week, we're showcasing another incredible history podcast, American Hysteria.

 310: Seminoles, Retirees and Florida Man: A Brief History of the Sunshine State | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 4381

On this episode of BackStory, Joanne, Nathan and Brian learn about the history of the state of Florida.

 309: Best of BackStory: The Time Peter Onuf Declared Independence | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1779

On this episode of BackStory, Peter Onuf brings you some of his favorite segments from his time with the show.


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