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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

188 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Piece image
We’ll spend our last regularly scheduled broadcasts reviewing some of BackStory’s most memorable moments. We’ll revisit BackStory interviews with h...

  • Added: Jan 27, 2017
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: BackStory with the American History Guys logo
30-second promo for "Best Of BackStory Pt. 1” with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag

  • Added: Jan 20, 2017
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: President Grant taking the oath of office, March 4, 1873., Credit: Source: Library of Congress
As Washington prepares for the next four years, BackStory looks back at some of the more dramatic presidential transitions from the past. On this s...

  • Added: Jan 13, 2017
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: Student nurses being trained in nutrition, New York, 1942 – photographed by Fritz Henle , Credit: Source: Library of Congress
Good fats vs. bad fats, milk chocolate vs. dark chocolate, red meat, red wine, carbs, sugar -- all have been the subject of conflicting nutritional...

  • Added: Jan 06, 2017
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: Group reading newspapers with news of death of Woodrow Wilson, Feb. 1924, Credit: Source: Library of Congress
As 2016 comes to a close, we’re turning back the clock and looking back on the history behind some of the year’s biggest headlines. From the parti...

  • Added: Dec 30, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: Boy in prayer shawl, 1911., Credit: Source: Library of Congress
On Dec. 24th, Jewish communities across the country begin celebrating Hanukkah. The annual holiday celebrates the victory of the Jews over the Gree...

  • Added: Dec 23, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: 1899 illustration from Puck magazine, reading "The greatest department store on Earth; —and every day a bargain day.", Credit: Source: Library of Congress
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Or is it? The holiday season is notorious for bringing out the beast in shoppers. On this episode of Back...

  • Added: Dec 16, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: “Church and state – No Union upon any terms” by Thomas Nast in Harper’s Weekly, Feb. 25, 1871. , Credit: Source: Library of Congress
From the persecution of Quakers in colonial Massachusetts, to 21st century battles over nativity scenes in public squares, the wall separating chur...

  • Added: Dec 09, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: 'Toward Los Angeles, Calif.,' by Dorothea Lange, 1937., Credit: Source: Library of Congress
Nieman-Marcus’ 2016 Christmas Book, which was first published nearly a century ago as a 16-page leaflet, is 300 pages long. According to Advertisi...

  • Added: Dec 02, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: Thanksgiving turkey., Credit: Source: Library of Congress.
If a Pilgrim were to attend a contemporary Thanksgiving celebration, he or she would probably be stunned by our “traditional” foods. In this episod...

  • Added: Nov 23, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: Utopia Ltd., a poster by Dietmar R. Winkler. , Credit: Source: Library of Congress.
In Rutger Bregman’s book “Utopia for Realists,” Bregman advocates for a 15-hour workweek, universal basic income, and open borders. Sounds like pa...

  • Added: Nov 18, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: Only an emigrant. 1879, Credit: Source: Library of Congress.
With Donald Trump vowing to keep undocumented Mexicans out of the U.S. with a wall and Hillary Clinton promising the same immigrants a path to citi...

  • Added: Nov 11, 2016
  • Length: 53:00
Caption: Voting in Washington, D.C., 1938, Credit: Source: Library of Congress
If the record TV viewership of the Clinton-Trump presidential debates is any guide, voter turnout for the November election could reach levels not ...

  • Added: Nov 04, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: Promotional photo of Boris Karloff from The Bride of Frankenstein as Frankenstein’s monster., Credit: Source: Wikimedia Commons
What’s a Halloween show without a helping of horror, one of America’s favorite forms of entertainment? Rooted in legend and culture, horror stories...

  • Added: Oct 28, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: A version of Barnum's Feejee Mermaid., Credit: Source: Unknown
America has a long and colorful history of confidence men and counterfeiters. On this episode of BackStory, we go back to the time when fake money...

  • Added: Oct 21, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: Best Coat and Apron Mfg. Company : Attaching trouser buttons with automatic button-fastening machine, Credit: Source: Library of Congress
Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have talked about loss of manufacturing jobs, and the importance of having things “Made In America.” In this ...

  • Added: Oct 14, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: President Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter meet at the Walnut Street Theater in Philadelphia to debate domestic policy during the first of the three Ford-Carter Debates. , Credit: Source: Wikimedia Commons
With the presidential debates between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton dominating the final weeks of the 2016 campaign, we’re taking a look at the ...

  • Added: Oct 11, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption:  Photo credit: Uncle Sam wants your privacy. , Credit: Source: Jeff Schuler via Flickr (https://secure.flickr.com/photos/jeffschuler/2585181312/in/set-72157604249628154)
Calls to pardon Edward Snowden, the former CIA contractor who blew the whistle on the NSA’s secret internet and phone surveillance programs, have i...

  • Added: Sep 30, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: "Quiet! Loose talk can cost lives." Office of War information 1943. , Credit: Source: National Archives
Americans have sought to censor all kinds of expression: political speech, music, radio, TV, film, even books. In this episode, Peter, Ed, and Bria...

  • Added: Sep 23, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: "Washington Prayer", Credit: Library of Congress
American presidential candidates are expected to proclaim their religious faith and the 2016 election is no exception. In this episode of BackStory...

  • Added: Sep 16, 2016
  • Length: 54:00