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: Female personification of the Bill of Rights, 1941, Credit: Library of Congress
At the height of World War II, Jehovah’s Witnesses fought for the right not to pledge allegiance to the flag. Historian Sarah Barringer Gordon has ...

Bought by WOUB, New Hampshire Public Radio, KMRE-LP, KCMJ Community Radio, KBRP Community Radio and more


  • Added: Jul 01, 2015
  • Length: 08:44
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: Female personification of the Bill of Rights, 1941, Credit: Library of Congress
Host Brian Balogh chats with legal historian Sophia Lee, about how both Big Tobacco and the anti-smoking lobby have breathed the language of civil ...

Bought by KMRE-LP and PRX Remix


  • Added: Jul 01, 2015
  • Length: 07:37
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Female personification of the Bill of Rights, 1941, Credit: Library of Congress
English professor Jeannine DeLombard talks with host Ed Ayers about the paradox some slaves faced when they sued their owners for the right to be f...

Bought by KMRE-LP and PRX Remix


  • Added: Jul 01, 2015
  • Length: 06:41
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Female personification of the Bill of Rights, 1941, Credit: Library of Congress
Historian Sophia Lee has the story of how Hollywood powerhouse Cecil B. DeMille fought labor unions in the 1940s, and championed the “right to work...

Bought by KMRE-LP and PRX Remix


  • Added: Jul 01, 2015
  • Length: 08:16
  • Purchases: 2
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Host Ed Ayers talks to historian Christopher Jones about the 1870s skirmish between John D. Rockefeller and the upstart competitors who built the c...

  • Added: Jun 08, 2015
  • Length: 10:26
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Journalist Marc Levinson shares the story of Malcolm McLean, who invented the shipping container and changed the way goods move around the world.

Bought by WOUB and KMRE-LP


  • Added: Jun 08, 2015
  • Length: 09:58
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Italian-British driver Dario Resta finished a close second at the 1915 Indianapolis 500. , Credit: Library of Congress
Is America’s national pastime too slow? Major League historian John Thorn and famously off-speed pitcher Bill “Spaceman” Lee toss around this old d...

Bought by KMRE-LP and KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio


  • Added: May 26, 2015
  • Length: 09:00
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Italian-British driver Dario Resta finished a close second at the 1915 Indianapolis 500. , Credit: Library of Congress
The Guys talk with historian Mella Harmon and guest Barbara Davis about Reno, Nev.'s boom years as America’s quickie divorce capital. This story co...

Bought by KMRE-LP, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, and PRX Remix


  • Added: May 26, 2015
  • Length: 07:14
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Italian-British driver Dario Resta finished a close second at the 1915 Indianapolis 500. , Credit: Library of Congress
With the help of historians Joyce Chaplin and Matthew Goodman, BackStory producer Nina Earnest has the story of journalist Nellie Bly’s 1889 race ’...

Bought by KBCS 91.3 FM Community Radio, KMRE-LP, New Hampshire Public Radio, and KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio


  • Added: May 26, 2015
  • Length: 11:31
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: Italian-British driver Dario Resta finished a close second at the 1915 Indianapolis 500. , Credit: Library of Congress
Historian John Mason takes host Brian Balogh to Virginia’s Eastside Speedway for a crash course in the surprisingly egalitarian history of drag rac...

Bought by KMRE-LP and KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio


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