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: William Jennings Bryan beating the drum of populism, cover of 'Puck' magazine, 1901. , Credit: Library of Congress
Scholars Harry Watson and Jason Opal tell the story of “people’s president” Andrew Jackson’s notoriously wild inauguration party. This segment come...

Bought by WETS


  • Added: Oct 26, 2015
  • Length: 07:33
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: William Jennings Bryan beating the drum of populism, cover of 'Puck' magazine, 1901. , Credit: Library of Congress
Producer Kelly Jones and scholar Ranjit Dighe explain how The Wizard of Oz is more than just a children’s story—it’s also a great way to make sense...

Bought by WOUB, WVTF, New Hampshire Public Radio, and WETS


  • Added: Oct 26, 2015
  • Length: 08:37
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: William Jennings Bryan beating the drum of populism, cover of 'Puck' magazine, 1901. , Credit: Library of Congress
Historian Omar Ali tells the story of the Black Populists of the American South, who paid an immense price for their brief rise to political power ...

Bought by WETS and WRIR


  • Added: Oct 26, 2015
  • Length: 07:21
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: William Jennings Bryan beating the drum of populism, cover of 'Puck' magazine, 1901., Credit: Library of Congress
Historian Paul Gilje describes a series of riots against smallpox inoculation in colonial Massachusetts, making the case that 18th century mobs and...

Bought by WETS


  • Added: Oct 26, 2015
  • Length: 07:38
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: "Quiet! Loose talk can cost lives." Office of War information 1943., Credit: National Archives
Reporters Joe Galloway and John Fialka, along with scholar Dan Hallin, discuss how coverage of Vietnam lead to new restrictions on the press in war...

Bought by WOUB, WETS, and New Hampshire Public Radio


  • Added: Oct 02, 2015
  • Length: 08:36
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: "Quiet! Loose talk can cost lives." Office of War information 1943., Credit: National Archives
Scholar Thomas Doherty explores the Motion Picture Production Code, a 5,000 word guideline that censored — and shaped –American cinema for nearly t...

Bought by WETS and PRX Remix


  • Added: Oct 02, 2015
  • Length: 08:28
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: "Quiet! Loose talk can cost lives." Office of War information 1943., Credit: National Archives
Producer Nina Earnest has the story of Ida Craddock, whose spiritualist sex advice became the target of censor Anthony Comstock’s crusade to ban th...

Bought by WETS, New Hampshire Public Radio, and WRIR


  • Added: Oct 02, 2015
  • Length: 09:40
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: "Quiet! Loose talk can cost lives." Office of War information 1943., Credit: National Archives
Host Peter Onuf and scholar Joanne Freeman discuss efforts by Southern Congressmen in the 1830s to bar any mention of slavery on the floor of the U...

Bought by WETS


  • Added: Oct 02, 2015
  • Length: 07:06
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, painted by Claude Chuchetiere c.1696., Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Presidential scholar Barbara Perry discusses Protestant fears that JFK would answer to the Pope, not the American people if elected president — and...

Bought by WOUB, WETS, KMRE-LP, and PRX Remix


  • Added: Sep 24, 2015
  • Length: 09:39
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, painted by Claude Chuchetiere c.1696., Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Host Brian Balogh heads to Our Lady of the Angels, a Trappist monastery in the Blue Ridge Mountains, to find out what life is really like behind th...

Bought by WETS, KMRE-LP, and PRX Remix


  • Added: Sep 24, 2015
  • Length: 07:12
  • Purchases: 3