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: Cartograph by Ruth Taylor White, for the Hawaii Tourist Bureau, circa 1930. , Credit: Via the University of Oregon’s Knight Library.
BackStory producer Andrew Parsons brings us the story of James Strang, a Mormon leader who moved his followers to Michigan’s Beaver Island -- where...

Bought by WABE and PRX Remix


  • Added: Mar 25, 2015
  • Length: 11:02
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Cartograph by Ruth Taylor White, for the Hawaii Tourist Bureau, circa 1930. , Credit: University of Oregon
BackStory producer Nina Earnest recounts the extremes to which Puerto Rican nationalist Pedro Albizu Campos and his followers fought for independen...

Bought by WABE and PRX Remix


  • Added: Mar 25, 2015
  • Length: 10:59
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Crowd lining street under the marquee of the Pantages Theatre at the 31st Academy Awards in 1959. , Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
30-second promo for "Pop History," with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag

Bought by 90.1 WFYI Public Radio and WABE


  • Added: Feb 18, 2015
  • Length: :30
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt and Soviet premier Joseph Stalin at the Yalta conference, February 1945.
In the past few years, the White House and the Kremlin have sparred over Syria, the Winter Olympics, and now, the crisis in Ukraine. It can be temp...

  • Added: Feb 13, 2015
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: Mural of Rosie the Riveter, Sacramento, Calif., Credit: Library of Congress
Producer Nina Earnest and legal scholar Lea VanderVelde unpack the tort of seduction — one of the few claims women could make to challenge sexual h...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Feb 10, 2015
  • Length: 07:26
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Toward Los Angeles, Calif., by Dorothea Lange, 1937., Credit: Library of Congress
Author Larry Tye and host Brian Balogh discuss the masterful campaign by PR guru Edward Bernays, to convince American women to take up smoking. Plu...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Feb 04, 2015
  • Length: 11:13
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Toward Los Angeles, Calif., by Dorothea Lange, 1937., Credit: Library of Congress
Author Richard Jurek describes how one giant leap in public relations helped launch NASA’s lunar program - and how brands used the space program to...

Bought by KPIP-LP and PRX Remix


  • Added: Feb 04, 2015
  • Length: 09:39
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Toward Los Angeles, Calif., by Dorothea Lange, 1937., Credit: Library of Congress
Historian Cathy Gudis returns with the story of how advertising followed 20th century Americans out onto the open road, and discusses efforts to cu...

Bought by WOUB and PRX Remix


  • Added: Feb 04, 2015
  • Length: 10:37
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Toward Los Angeles, Calif., by Dorothea Lange, 1937., Credit: Library of Congress
Composer Michael Levine, who wrote the long-running Kit-Kat jingle, tells host Brian Balogh what makes a jingle powerful — and catchy. Then… he off...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Feb 04, 2015
  • Length: 10:07
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Elektro the Moto-Man and his Little Dog Sparko, created by Westinghouse Electric Company for the 1939 World’s Fair., Credit: New York City Public Library
Matt Novak of the blog "Paleofuture" talks about "The Jetsons," the show that helped define American ideas of future technology without thinking mu...

Bought by WOUB, New Hampshire Public Radio, WABE, and PRX Remix


  • Added: Jan 05, 2015
  • Length: 07:47
  • Purchases: 4