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BackStory with the American History Guys

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BackStory is a weekly one-hour public radio show that provides a national broadcast audience with an enjoyable and accessible way of engaging challenging themes in American history and how they connect with today. The show is hosted by renowned historians Peter Onuf, Ed Ayers, and Brian Balogh. BackStory’s signature sound and spirit of inquiry emanates from the hearts and minds of its genial hosts, whose unscripted brilliance reflects a warmth and rapport that comes from their longtime friendship.

Please confirm carriage of BackStory with the American History Guys by contacting Andrew Parsons at (434) 982-2955 or andrewparsons@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.

Since BackStory first began as a monthly show in 2008, episodes have been broadcast by more than 130 primary stations in 39 states, 29 in the top 50 markets by population. Podcasts have been downloaded 1.4 million times.

BackStory is produced by VFH Radio at the Virginia Foundation for the 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.

 


Pieces

Caption: The mountain pass, Sierra Nevada. , Credit: Library of Congress.
BackStory is quitting the city and heading into the wild. In this episode, Brian, Ed, and Peter revisit America’s fascination with wild places and ...

  • Added: Aug 26, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: The mountain pass, Sierra Nevada. , Credit: Library of Congress.
BackStory is quitting the city and heading into the wild. In this episode, Brian, Ed, and Peter revisit America’s fascination with wild places and ...

  • Added: Aug 26, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: Gary police department, Credit: Library of Congress
For many Americans, police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota earlier this summer were strikingly reminiscent of similar instances across the nat...

  • Added: Aug 24, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: The mountain pass, Sierra Nevada. , Credit: Library of Congress.
30-second promo for " Untrammeled: Americans and the Wilderness” with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag

Bought by 90.1 WFYI Public Radio


  • Added: Aug 23, 2016
  • Length: :30
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Gary police department, Credit: Library of Congress
For many Americans, police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota earlier this summer were strikingly reminiscent of similar instances across the nat...

Bought by KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, XRAY.fm, WRGY, WRIR, RadioFreePalmer and more


  • Added: Aug 19, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 8
Piece image
30-second promo for "Serve & Protect? A History Of The Police” with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag

Bought by 90.1 WFYI Public Radio


  • Added: Aug 16, 2016
  • Length: :30
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: “See America” by Frank S. Nicholson, Credit: Library of Congress
As summer winds down, millions of Americans are packing their bags and hitting the road. In this episode of BackStory, Peter, Ed and Brian explore ...

  • Added: Aug 12, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: “See America” by Frank S. Nicholson. , Credit: Library of Congress
As summer winds down, millions of Americans are packing their bags and hitting the road. In this episode of BackStory, Peter, Ed and Brian explore ...

Bought by KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, KREV-LP, XRAY.fm, KAZU, WRGY and more


  • Added: Aug 12, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 9
Caption: “See America” by Frank S. Nicholson. , Credit: Library of Congress
30-second promo for "Wish You Were Here” with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag

Bought by 90.1 WFYI Public Radio


  • Added: Aug 09, 2016
  • Length: :31
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Historical Marker Littered With Trash, Credit: Library of Congress
Let’s just call this episode trashy. The Guys pick through America’s history of garbage - from the filth-eating pigs that once ran free in New York...

Bought by KREV-LP, KUHF, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, XRAY.fm, RadioFreePalmer and more


  • Added: Aug 05, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 10
Caption: Three ballerinas perform pas de trois as they cast ballots into trash can, Credit: Library of Congress
Let’s just call this episode trashy. The Guys pick through America’s history of garbage - from the filth-eating pigs that once ran free in New York...

  • Added: Aug 05, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: Historical Marker Littered With Trash, Credit: Library of Congress
30-second promo for "Another Man’s Treasure” with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag

  • Added: Aug 02, 2016
  • Length: :00
Caption: “Audre Osborne and Mrs. James S. Stevens, with several others in background, 1917.”, Credit: Library of Congress
Hillary Clinton moved a giant step closer to becoming the first woman elected President of the United States when she accepted the Democratic nomin...

Bought by KREV-LP, WXDU, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, XRAY.fm, WRGY and more


  • Added: Jul 29, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 9
Caption: Audre Osborne and Mrs. James S. Stevens, with several others in background, 1917, Credit: Library of Congress
Hillary Clinton moved a giant step closer to becoming the first woman elected President of the United States when she accepted the Democratic nomin...

  • Added: Jul 29, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: Audre Osborne and Mrs. James S. Stevens, with several others in background, 1917, Credit: Library of Congress
30-second promo for "You've Come a Long Way?" with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag

Bought by 90.1 WFYI Public Radio


  • Added: Jul 26, 2016
  • Length: :30
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Attendees at the 1952 Republican National Convention, Chicago, IL , Credit: Library of Congress
The 2016 presidential race switches into high gear this month with the back-to-back Republican and Democratic party conventions. Before they becam...

  • Added: Jul 26, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: Attendees at the 1952 Republican National Convention, Chicago, IL , Credit: Library of Congress
The 2016 presidential race switches into high gear this month with the back-to-back Republican and Democratic party conventions.  Before they becam...

Bought by KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, XRAY.fm, WRGY, RadioFreePalmer, WXDU and more


  • Added: Jul 22, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Attendees at the 1952 Republican National Convention, Chicago, IL , Credit: Library of Congress
30-second promo for "Conventional Wisdom" with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag

Bought by 90.1 WFYI Public Radio


  • Added: Jul 19, 2016
  • Length: :30
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: “Who are you?” by L.M. Glackens in Puck, v. 66, no. 1691 (1909 July 28). , Credit: Library of Congress
Donald Trump has clinched the Republican party presidential nomination, and some political pundits wonder if his nomination represents a watershed ...

  • Added: Jul 15, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: “Who are you?” by L.M. Glackens in Puck, v. 66, no. 1691 (1909 July 28). , Credit: Library of Congress
Donald Trump has clinched the Republican party presidential nomination, and some political pundits wonder if his nomination represents a watershed ...

Bought by KREV-LP, WCPN, KSRQ, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, XRAY.fm and more


  • Added: Jul 15, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 11