BackStory with the American History Guys

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BackStory  is a weekly podcast that uses current events in America to take a deep dive into our past. Hosted by noted U.S. historians, Ed Ayers, Brian Balogh, Peter Onuf, Nathan Connolly and Joanne Freeman, each episode provides listeners with different perspectives on a particular theme or subject – giving you all sides to the story and then some.

Please confirm carriage of evergreen BackStory with the American History Guys episodes by contacting Diana Williams @(434)-924-6894 or dwilliams@virginia.edu.

Moving from current headlines to drill down into U.S. history, each surprising BackStory episode features lively interviews with a diverse roster of scholars, experts, and ordinary citizens from around the country; listener calls; host discussions; and produced pieces. Topics are as diverse as college sports, reenactments, sugar, memorials, domestic terrorism, birthing, homeownership, the post office, philanthropy, protests, privacy, marriage, revivalism, and childhood—all in the context of American history.

BackStory is produced by  Virginia Humanities. Major funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities with additional corporate, foundation, institutional, and individual support.

Please visit our station landing page for upcoming episodes, promotional photos, and other information.

 


Series

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41 Pieces

This series is for stations that want to subscribe to Backstory for WEEKLY deliveries using PRX's SubAuto system.

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188 Pieces

A collection of the best stories and features from BackStory, meant for excerpt by programs or stations.

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1 Piece

A collection of one-hour BackStory specials for use in station holiday programming.

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42 Pieces

Promos for stations airing upcoming episodes of BackStory with the American History Guys.

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0 Pieces

A special three-part series of hour-long episodes exploring the causes and consequences of the American Civil War.


Pieces

Caption: Twin mothers with their newborn babies at Columbia Maternity Hospital, Washington, D.C., April 7th, 1939 , Credit: Library of Congress
Some say motherhood is the hardest job in the world; turns out, there's a lot of history to back that up. In this special Mother's Day episode, the...

Bought by KUHF, KMXT, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, XRAY.fm, Marfa Public Radio and more


  • Added: May 03, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: Students from J.H. Rose High School in Greenville, NC raise the Confederate flag in April 1961., Credit: Library of Congress.
Historian Maurie McInnis and journalist Michael Paul Williams weigh in on the history and controversy of the Confederate monuments on Richmond, Vir...

Bought by KSFR and WETS


  • Added: Dec 04, 2015
  • Length: 10:28
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Students from J.H. Rose High School in Greenville, NC raise the Confederate flag in April 1961., Credit: Library of Congress.
Listeners describe encountering memories of the Confederacy in their local landscapes. This story comes from the BackStory episode "Contested Lands...

Bought by WETS


  • Added: Dec 04, 2015
  • Length: 03:32
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Students from J.H. Rose High School in Greenville, NC raise the Confederate flag in April 1961., Credit: Digital Public Library of America, East Carolina University.
Film critic Eileen Jones talks with Brian Ballogh about Hollywood’s enduring love affair with Confederate heroes. This story comes from the BackSto...

Bought by WETS and KBCS 91.3 FM Community Radio


  • Added: Dec 04, 2015
  • Length: 06:56
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Students from J.H. Rose High School in Greenville, N.C. raise the Confederate flag in April 1961., Credit: Digital Public Library of America, East Carolina University.
WBEZ Chicago’s Logan Jaffe talks with three Americans for whom the Confederate flag represents three very different things. This story comes from t...

Bought by WETS


  • Added: Dec 04, 2015
  • Length: 08:49
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: A family listening to the radio in Royal Oak, Michigan, 1939. Photo by Arthur S. Siegel., Credit: Library of Congress.
Pledge drive hour for stations carrying BackStory with the American History Guys. Includes special content on the history of pledge drives and fund...

Bought by Troy Public Radio, Tri States Public Radio, KHNS, WRIR, KACU and more


  • Added: Dec 03, 2015
  • Length: 38:20
  • Purchases: 9
Caption: President Nixon gamely tries out his chopsticks at a banquet given in his honor, 1972., Credit: White House Photo Collection
Historian Joe Orser has the story of Chang and Eng Bunker, and how their efforts to assimilate illuminate changing attitudes towards Chinese immigr...

Bought by WETS, KRZA, Georgia Public Broadcasting, and WRIR


  • Added: Oct 26, 2015
  • Length: 06:34
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: President Nixon gamely tries out his chopsticks at a banquet given in his honor, 1972., Credit: White House Photo Collection
Author Nicholas Griffin has the story of the backchannel diplomacy that eventually lead to Nixon’s historic visit to China. This segment comes from...

Bought by WETS, New Hampshire Public Radio, and WRIR


  • Added: Oct 26, 2015
  • Length: 12:09
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: President Nixon gamely tries out his chopsticks at a banquet given in his honor, 1972., Credit: White House Photo Collection
Lisa Morehouse reports from Mexicali, Mexico, a border town which is home to a surprising legacy of the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act. This segment co...

Bought by WETS, New Hampshire Public Radio, KRZA, WABE, and WRIR


  • Added: Oct 26, 2015
  • Length: 08:15
  • Purchases: 5
Caption: William Jennings Bryan beating the drum of populism, cover of 'Puck' magazine, 1901. , Credit: Library of Congress
Slate chief political correspondent Jamelle Bouie talks about the legacy of segregationist demagogue George Wallace in Donald Trump’s presidential ...

Bought by WETS and WRIR


  • Added: Oct 26, 2015
  • Length: 08:50
  • Purchases: 2