BackStory with the American History Guys Weekly Episodes

Series produced by BackStory with the American History Guys

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

Public radio’s contemporary take on American history, "BackStory with the American History Guys" is a weekly hour-long show that brings historical perspective to the events happening around us today. Each week, renowned historians Ed Ayers, Peter Onuf, and Brian Balogh take a topic from the contemporary world and spend an hour plumbing its depths, looking for the connections and disconnections between past and present.

BackStory isn’t history the way you may remember it. The Guys deliver smart, deeply informed talk on such wide-ranging topics as the history of marriage, extreme weather, birthing, time, home ownership, apocalyptic thinking, college sports, alcohol, the post office, the War of 1812, emigration, American exceptionalism, and the Mississippi river, among many others. Brian, Ed, and Peter trade ideas with guest experts, debate each other, present features that delve into the little-known past, and talk with listeners who call in. The result: radio that has the style of a stimulating chat with your brightest friends around the kitchen table.

Please confirm carriage of BackStory with the American History Guys by contacting Steve Martin at 703-715-0827 or steve@sfmconsulting.com.

BackStory is produced by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. Major funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities with additional corporate, foundation, institutional, and individual support. Hide full description

Public radio’s contemporary take on American history, "BackStory with the American History Guys" is a weekly hour-long show that brings historical perspective to the events happening around us today. Each week, renowned historians Ed Ayers, Peter Onuf, and Brian Balogh take a topic from the contemporary world and spend an hour plumbing its depths, looking for the connections and disconnections between past and present.BackStory isn’t history the way you may remember it. The Guys deliver smart, deeply informed talk on such wide-ranging topics as the history of marriage, extreme weather, birthing, time, home ownership, apocalyptic thinking, college sports, alcohol, the post office, the War of 1812, emigration, American exceptionalism, and the Mississippi river, among many others. Brian,... Show full description


Additional Files

41 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: Strikers from the Ladies Tailors Union, 1910, Credit: Library of Congress
In his 2014 State of the Union address, President Obama called on Congress to increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10. And last month, he signe...

  • Added: Mar 28, 2014
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: Player for the Chicago Kent College of Law indoor baseball team, 1910 , Credit: Library of Congress
As the nation plunges into March Madness 2014, betting on who will make it to the Final Four and claim college basketball’s championship, BackStor...

  • Added: Mar 21, 2014
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: Shades of Green, Credit: Wikimedia Commons
With St. Patrick’s Day on the horizon, the color green seems to be everywhere we look. So BackStory sets out to celebrate the holiday with an offbe...

  • Added: Mar 14, 2014
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: “Victory! Congress Passes Daylight Saving Bill,” detail from 1918 lithograph , Credit: Library of Congress
As we "spring forward" into Daylight Saving Time, BackStory explores the different ways Americans have experienced and understood time, over time.

  • Added: Mar 07, 2014
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: The Pantages Theater in Los Angeles, decked out for the 1959 Academy Awards, Credit: UCLA Library
In honor of the Academy Awards, BackStory heads to the movies! With Oscar-nominated movies like "12 Years A Slave" bringing the antebellum United S...

  • Added: Feb 28, 2014
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: “The Almightier,” illustration from Puck, May 15th, 1907 , Credit: Library of Congress
There’s a lot of talk about Bitcoin these days—the digital currency that's been gaining ground. Bitcoin allows online payments to be made person-to...

  • Added: Feb 21, 2014
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: Detail from Chicago Department of Health vaccination poster, produced by the Works Progress Administration, late 1930s , Credit: Library of Congress
It’s the height of the flu season, and federal public health agencies have been spending millions of dollars trying to keep this year’s virus under...

  • Added: Feb 14, 2014
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: "Sugar - save it!" Detail from U.S. Food Administration poster, c1917 , Credit: U.S. National Archives
Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and that means candy, chocolate, cakes – all the sweet stuff for your sweetheart! It’s just one of the ways s...

  • Added: Feb 07, 2014
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: Affectionate Valentine couple, c1890., Credit: Wikimedia Commons
As the Winter Olympics in Sochi approach, countries around the world have expressed concerns over Russian legislation outlawing LGBTQ “propaganda.”...

  • Added: Jan 31, 2014
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: Harlem Newsboy, 1943, by Gordon Parks, Credit: Library of Congress
BackStory takes on the history of childhood in America. Have children shared a common core experience across American history? Or has the nature o...

  • Added: Jan 24, 2014
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: Map of Mexico, 1847 , Credit: Library of Congress
Twenty years ago, NAFTA — the North American Free Trade Agreement — removed barriers to trade between the United States and Mexico, marking a more ...

  • Added: Jan 17, 2014
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: A rabbit serves a meal to three kittens (Harry Whittier Frees, c1870)
From household pets to beasts of burden, domesticated animals are a major part of American life – and we spend billions of dollars each year lookin...

  • Added: Jan 10, 2014
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: Robert Owen’s proposed utopian community in New Harmony, Indiana (1838), Credit: Wikimedia Commons
The New Year is here and many Americans will be resolving to make this one better than the last. But some Americans have sought to make changes to ...

  • Added: Jan 03, 2014
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: New York City policemen pour liquor into a sewer following a raid during Prohibition, c1921 , Credit: Library of Congress
New Year’s Eve is just round the corner – and many Americans will be marking the midnight hour with a drink (or three). And it’s not just New Year'...

  • Added: Dec 27, 2013
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: “At it again,” Pope Leo XIII is depicted exerting influence “through the ballot box to the Constitution.” Puck, November 18th 1885., Credit: Library of Congress
The holidays are here, and along with the celebrations come questions over the appropriateness of religious displays on public property. And there’...

  • Added: Dec 13, 2013
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: “Testimony in the great Beecher-Tilton scandal case illustrated,” 1875 lithograph. , Credit: Library of Congress
15 years ago this month, then-President Bill Clinton was impeached by the US House of Representatives for perjury and obstruction of justice. The c...

  • Added: Dec 06, 2013
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: Dinner at Broad Channel, in Queens, New York City, c1910 , Credit: Library of Congress
As families across the United States sit down for their Thanksgiving meal, this episode of BackStory explores the meals we eat for the rest of the ...

  • Added: Nov 26, 2013
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: President John F. Kennedy greets the crowd in Dallas on November 22nd, 1963, shortly before his assassination., Credit: Library of Congress
On November 22nd, 1963, 50 years ago, President John F. Kennedy was killed while riding in a motorcade in Dallas – a tragedy that inspired conspira...

  • Added: Nov 22, 2013
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg, November 19th, 1863. , Credit: Library of Congress
November 19th, 2013 marks the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. It’s one of the most iconic speeches in American history, ...

  • Added: Nov 15, 2013
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: Detail from 1919 Red Cross poster, “Facing the Future: Uncle Sam offers training to every man disabled in the service.”, Credit: Library of Congress
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have created thousands of new combat veterans - but what is it like for those soldiers as they return home? How we...

  • Added: Nov 08, 2013
  • Length: 54:00