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: 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
Maria Lane, author of Geographies of Mars, relates what Percival Lowell observed on the red planet. This segment comes from BackStory's episode "Th...

Bought by Radio Newark and PRX Remix


  • Added: Jan 05, 2015
  • Length: 09:02
  • Purchases: 2
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
Bradley Boyd and reporter Ashley Creek head to the top of an old hotel in Birmingham, Alabama, which made provisions for a future that never came. ...

Bought by Troy Public Radio, WABE, and PRX Remix


  • Added: Jan 05, 2015
  • Length: 05:11
  • Purchases: 3
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
Historian Max Page talks about why New York City is so often the target of destruction on the page and the silver screen. This segment comes from t...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Jan 05, 2015
  • Length: 09:10
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: The greatest department store on earth; — and every day a bargain day,’ by J.S. Pughe. Puck, 1899.
Producer Eli Wirtschafter brings us the story of author L. Frank Baum’s very successful career creating other fantasy lands — department store wind...

Bought by WABE, Troy Public Radio, and PRX Remix


  • Added: Dec 22, 2014
  • Length: 10:09
  • Purchases: 3
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Producer Andrew Parsons explores the legacy of John Tyler, a man who was called a tyrant and worse simply for insisting that he was, in fact, the P...

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


  • Added: Dec 08, 2014
  • Length: 08:30
  • Purchases: 4
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What is the role of the First Lady, anyway? Host Brian Balogh and scholar Lisa Burns discuss the ill-defined role of First Ladies, and the backlash...

Bought by WTJU and PRX Remix


  • Added: Dec 08, 2014
  • Length: 09:45
  • Purchases: 2
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Legal scholar Bruce Ackerman talks about how presidents from Lincoln to Obama have used their military powers. This segment is from the BackStory e...

  • Added: Dec 08, 2014
  • Length: 09:22
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Ed sits down with historian Adam Shprintzen to discuss the 19th-century Americans who saw a vegetarian diet as a powerful tool of moral reform, one...

Bought by XRAY.fm and PRX Remix


  • Added: Dec 01, 2014
  • Length: 08:45
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Student nurses being trained in nutrition, New York, 1942 – photographed by Fritz Henle
Ed talks with Pomona College English professor Kyla Wazana Tompkins about the austere diet created by Sylvester Graham, designed to ward off a new ...

Bought by Troy Public Radio


  • Added: Dec 01, 2014
  • Length: 10:09
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Student nurses being trained in nutrition, New York, 1942 – photographed by Fritz Henle
Host Brian Balogh talks with food journalist Marian Burros about the US Senate’s attempt to encourage healthy eating in the 1970s, and the pushback...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Dec 01, 2014
  • Length: 07:41
  • Purchases: 1