BackStoryAuthor: BackStory
22 Mar 2019

BackStory

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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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    243: Shore Thing: A History of the Beach

    Spring Break is here and BackStory has gone to the beach. Ed, Joanne, and Brian dip their toes into four tales from America’s shoreline. We’ll talk about race, health, and daringly provocative woolen swimsuits. And the hosts will add their own experiences of the beach as a weird, magical place. Download a full transcript of this episode (https://www.backstoryradio.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/13/2018/07/ShoreThing.pdf) . BackStory is funded in part by our listeners. You can help keep the episodes coming by supporting the show: https://www.backstoryradio.org/support

  • Posted on 15 Mar 2019

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

    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.”

  • Posted on 08 Mar 2019

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    270: Shattering the Glass Ceiling in America: BackStory Celebrates Women's History Month

    In celebration of Women’s History Month, Brian showcases our favorite BackStory segments that highlight female achievement in American history. We’ll hear from a former switchboard operator about her experiences at New York Telephone in the 1970’s and learn how Ida B. Wells found her voice as an advocacy journalist. We’re also sharing a Radio Diaries (http://www.radiodiaries.org/) story on Margaret Chase Smith, a Republican Senator from Maine whose 1964 presidential bid inspired a generation of women to enter politics.

  • Posted on 01 Mar 2019

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    269: Man vs. the Machine: Technophobia and American Society

    What drives people to reject technology? Though American society has been driven by technological leaps forward, not everyone has come along for the ride. We explore the strain of technophobia in American society from Neo-Luddism to Sabbatarianism and the anti-technology terrorism of the Unabomber. About the image: Original Film Title: METROPOLIS. English Title: METROPOLIS. Film Director: FRITZ LANG. Year: 1927. Credit: U.F.A / Album. Source: Album / Alamy Stock Photo

  • Posted on 22 Feb 2019

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    268: Love Off Limits: A History of the Relationships Once Considered Taboo in America

    In this episode, Joanne, Brian, and Nathan discuss stories of love that challenged social norms and transcended class, race, and gender. They explore how people subverted laws banning interracial marriage, and why a wave of heiresses running away with their coachmen caused a moral panic in the Gilded Age.

  • Posted on 15 Feb 2019

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