BackStory with the American History Guys

GroupAccount image

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

Series image
41 Pieces

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

Series image
188 Pieces

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

Series image
1 Piece

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

Series image
42 Pieces

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

Series image
0 Pieces

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


Pieces

Caption: Three ballerinas perform pas de trois as they cast ballots into trash can, atop the Empire State Building., Credit: World Telegram and Sun, Library of Congress
Legal scholar David Sklansky discusses California v. Greenwood, a landmark Supreme Court case that decided whether Americans throw out their expect...

Bought by KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio and PRX Remix


  • Added: May 04, 2015
  • Length: 07:29
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Three ballerinas perform pas de trois as they cast ballots into trash can, atop the Empire State Building., Credit: World Telegram and Sun, Library of Congress
Historians Brett Mizelle and Catherine McNeur help BackStory producer Kelly Jones tell the story of the thousands of free-range pigs who managed Ne...

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


  • Added: May 04, 2015
  • Length: 09:05
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: Surrender of Genl. Lee, at Appomattox C.H. Va. April 9th. 1865, Credit: Currier & Ives, Library of Congress
Historian Brenda Stevenson talks with Ed about the extraordinary struggles black families endured to reunite, after slavery had wrenched them apart.

Bought by KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio and PRX Remix


  • Added: Apr 24, 2015
  • Length: 07:34
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Surrender of Genl. Lee, at Appomattox C.H. Va. April 9th. 1865, Credit: Currier & Ives, Library of Congress
Freedom was a tenuous reality for many former slaves in the early days of the federally occupied South, with bands of returning soldiers — now out ...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Apr 24, 2015
  • Length: 09:43
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Surrender of Genl. Lee, at Appomattox C.H. Va. April 9th. 1865, Credit: Currier & Ives, Library of Congress
Were any rebel leaders hung for treason? Historian David Blight explains what happened to Confederate officials after the war, and why. This story ...

  • Added: Apr 24, 2015
  • Length: 09:41
Caption: "The death bed of the martyr President Abraham Lincoln", Credit: Currier & Ives, Library of Congress
Scholar Elizabeth Leonard talks with host Brian Balogh about the trials of the surviving suspects in Lincoln’s assassination, conducted in an atmos...

Bought by KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio and PRX Remix


  • Added: Apr 16, 2015
  • Length: 10:38
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: "The death bed of the martyr President Abraham Lincoln", Credit: Currier & Ives, Library of Congress
Historian Martha Hodes outlines the public grief – and celebration – at Lincoln’s death across the Union. This story comes from the BackStory show ...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Apr 16, 2015
  • Length: 08:08
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
Terry Alford, Edward Steers Jr., Wyatt Evans, and Sarah Jencks walk the Guys through the evolution of John Wilkes Booth’s plan not only to kill Lin...

  • Added: Apr 16, 2015
  • Length: 11:50
Caption: Cartograph by Ruth Taylor White, for the Hawaii Tourist Bureau, circa 1930. , Credit: Via the University of Oregon’s Knight Library.
Scholar and chef Ben Davison helps the Guys answer a burning question: What’s the origin of Thousand Island dressing, anyway? This piece comes from...

Bought by KCMJ Community Radio and WABE


  • Added: Mar 25, 2015
  • Length: 08:44
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Cartograph by Ruth Taylor White, for the Hawaii Tourist Bureau, circa 1930. , Credit: Via the University of Oregon’s Knight Library.
Chinese immigrants held on San Francisco's Angel Island in the early 20th century carved poetry deep into the walls that confined them. Judy Yung w...

Bought by WOUB, KUER, and PRX Remix


  • Added: Mar 25, 2015
  • Length: 09:21
  • Purchases: 3