Aural History Productions
Radio Archive ~ Recent Programs
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May 19, 2015
Segment 1: Backstory: "Another Man's Treasure ~ History of Trash" (2015).
From Backstory: "This week on the show we’re picking through history’s waste basket. What does America’s garbage tell us about its past? How have ideas about what is disposable and what isn’t changed over time? And have Americans always generated so much junk?
To get to the bottom of things, the Guys are salvaging all kinds of trashy stories… about filth-eating pigs that once ran amok in New York City… about Americans’ legal rights to their own garbage… and about how Big Soda promoted recycling to boost the industry’s own bottom line. Plus, find out what an anthropologist sees in the decades-old debris now washing ashore at a place called Dead Horse Bay." Guests include: Gary Anderson, designer of the recycling symbol; Bart Elmore, University of Alabama; Catherine McNeur, Portland State University
e Brett Mizelle, California State University, Long Beach; Robin Nagle, New York University, and anthropologist-in-residence at New York City's Department of Sanitation; David Sklansky, Stanford University Law School; Carl Zimring, Pratt Institute.
Segment 2 | From the Archives: "Bill Steele's Garbage, Earth Day Anthem (Pete Seeger 1996 performance; written by Steele in 1969).
From the Cornell Chronicle: "A year before the first Earth Day observance on April 22, 1970 -- a nationwide environmental "teach-in" for 20 million participants -- folk musician Bill Steele [Cornell University] '54 wrote one of the environmental movement's anthems: "Garbage!" Forty years on, the song still resonates as much as it did when Steele wrote it in San Francisco in 1969.
"There was a big fuss in San Francisco at the time about dumping garbage in the bay, not as trash but as landfill to build new waterfront condominiums. So that sort of inspired it all," Steele says."
For more informaton on the sing and its writer, go to: http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/2009/04/bill-steeles-garbage-earth-anthem-40-years-later.
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May 12, 2015
Segment 1: Against the Grain: Sheila Rowbotham on Feminism" (2015).
From Against the Grain: "They were socialists, free love advocates, birth control campaigners, and trade unionists. Feminist historian Sheila Rowbotham describes the women who transformed gender relations in the US and the UK at the turn of the last century, prefiguring in many ways the New Left, and embodying an optimism about social change that is sorely lacking today." For more details on this subject, see: Sheila Rowbotham, Dreamers of a New Day: Women Who Invented the Twentieth Century (Verso, 2010).
Segment 2 | From the Archives: "Speeches of Victoria Woodhull, Election of 1872 (Selective readings).
Victoria Claflin Woodhull (Martin), born in Homer, Ohio in 1838, became one of the most outspoken and notorious spokeswomen of radical feminism in the latter half of the 20th century. As a child, Victoria was drawn to the growing spiritualist movement of the mid-19th century, first attempting to communicate with the spirits of three of her dead siblings, and then -- as a young woman -- working as a clairvoyant telling fortunes and contacting spirits. She moved to New York City in 1868, and she and her sister, Tennessee began working as clairvoyants for the railroad baron Cornelius Vanderbilt. Tapping the financial knowledge and relying on advice obtained from Vandebilt (by that time Woodhull and Vanderbilt had grown quite close), the two sisters began successfully speculating in stocks. With Vanderbilt’s financial backing, Victoria and Tennessee were able to open their own investment -- Woodhull, Claflin & Co. -- becoming the first female stockbrokers on Wall Street. As a strognly independent and successful woman who still faced obstacles in her public life (she was denied a seat on the NY Stock Exchange), Woodhull was also drawn to the feminist movement -- though her brand of feminism went far beyond what other feminists advocated. She soon became an important leader of the woman's suffrage movement but achieved notoriety when she began to advocate "free love," or complete sexual freedom, for women. In 1872, Woodhull became the first female candidate for President of the United States, running along with Frederick Douglas under the banner of the Equal Rights Party. She died in 1877. For more information of Victoria Claflin Woodhull, see http://ocp.hul.harvard.edu/ww/woodhull.html: and http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/04/victoria-woodhull-first-woman-presidential-candidate-116828.html#.VVnjpeehR9U. For the original video version of our audio selection -- a reading of selections from 1872 campaign speeches of Woodhull -- go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvYr9c1T4QQ.
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May 5, 2015
Segment 1: Backstory: "'Now He Belongs to the Ages': Abraham Lincoln's Assassination" (2015).
Here's a recent production from Backstory and the American History Guys: "On the night of April 14, 1865, Abraham Lincoln was shot at Ford’s Theatre. He died early the next morning. It was the first time a sitting president had been murdered. On this episode of BackStory, we mark the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination by exploring how his death came to pass — and how a changed nation moved forward.
Terry Alford, Northern Virginia Community College; C. Wyatt Evans, Drew University; Richard Wightman Fox, University of Southern California; Martha Hodes, New York University; Sarah Jencks, Director of Education Programming, Ford's Theater; Elizabeth Leonard, Colby College; Edward Steers Jr., author, Lincoln's Assassination. For full details on this segment, go to this Backastory Web page: http://backstoryradio.org/shows/now-he-belongs-to-the-ages/
Segment 2 | From the Archives: "The Ballad of Czolgosz" (from the 2004 production of Assassins).
Complementing our show's focus on a presidential assassination, we offer you this musical selection ("The Ballad of Czolgosc") from Assassins, a musical about political assassins with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, inspired by Charles Gilbert, Jr. The Off-Broadway, then on Boradway production " uses the premise of a murderous carnival game to produce a revue-style portrayal of men and women who attempted (successfully or not) to assassinate Presidents of the United States. The music varies to reflect the popular music of the eras depicted.
The musical first opened Off-Broadway in 1990, and the 2004 Broadway production won five Tony Awards." [Source of quotation: Wikipedia entry for The Assassins].
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April 28, 2015
Segment 1: From Against the Grain: "Black Slaves, Indians, and the US Colonial Project" (2015).
Against the Grain host C.S. Soong interviews historian Barbara Krauthamer on today's show: "Notions of racial hierarchy abounded in the early nineteenth century as missionaries tried to convert Native Americans, federal officials sought to seize Indian lands, and Indians in the southern US bought, sold, and owned black slaves. Barbara Krauthamer relates what happened when people of different races, agendas, and social status encountered one another in the shadow of the US colonial project." The discussion between Soong and Krauthamer center around the following readings:
Barbara Krauthamer, Black Slaves, Indian Masters: Slavery, Emancipation, and Citizenship in the Native American South (UNC Press, 2013);
Alyosha Goldstein, ed., Formations of United States Colonialism (Duke U. Press, 2014); and
Willis and Krauthamer, Envisioning Emancipation (Temple U. Press, 2013).
Segment 2 | From the Archives:"The Searchers" (film sound track excerpts, 1956).
This classic John Ford western, starring John Wayne and Natalie Wood, is considered by many critics to be one of the finest westerns every made. Its foocus on an obsessed man driven to extremes, suggest Captain Ahab and Moby Dick. Like the obsessive quest at the heart of Moby Dick, this film, too, is about an obsessive quest: "The niece of Ethan Edwards (Wayne) is kidnapped by Comanches who murder her family and burn their ranch house. Ethan spends five years on a lonely quest to hunt down the tribe that holds the girl Debbie (Natalie Wood)--not to rescue her, but to shoot her dead, because she has become “the leavin's of a Comanche buck.” Ford knew that his hero's hatred of Indians was wrong, but his glorification of Ethan's search invites admiration for a twisted man. Defenders of the film point to the famous scene where Ethan embraces his niece instead of killing her. Can one shot redeem a film?" [Source: Roger Ebert review, http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-the-searchers-1956].
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April 21, 2015
Segment 1: Backstory: "Born Again ~ Religious Renewal in America" (2015).
From Backstory and the American History Guys: "For Christians all over the world, the Easter season is a time of renewal, rebirth and reflection. Here at BackStory, it’s our chance to reflect on the history of religious fervor in America. This time on the show, Brian, Ed and Peter journey in search of upswings in spiritual energy across the generations — from the First Great Awakening of the of the early 1700s, to the era of broadcast faith-healing.
Who fueled these revivals? What do evangelical movements say about the times in which they unfolded? Why did huge masses of people suddenly “get religion”? And what do these recurring moments of religious revitalization say about the role of faith in America… and the character of its believers?
Matthew Dennis, University of Oregon; Tona Hangen, Worcester State University; Thomas Kidd, Baylor University; Randall Stephens, Northumbria University; Grant Wacker, Duke University Divinity School.
Segment 2 | From the Archives:"Bruce Barton's The Man Nobody Knows" (1925; selection from 2008 reading).
Advertising executive Bruce Barton published The Man Nobody Knows in
1925. In the book, Barton depicted Jesus as a model of the modern business and advertising man -- an extremely effective organization man that modern business leaders should emulate. The book was a bestseller -- controversial and influential. For more about Barton and this book, see: http://americainclass.org/sources/becomingmodern/prosperity/text2/mannobodyknows.pdf and http://classes.maxwell.syr.edu/hst347/bartonexcerpt.htm.
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April 14, 2015
Segment 1 | From Against the Grain: A. Philip Randolph, Black Socialist" (2015).
From Pacifica Radio's Against the Grain: "A. Philip Randolph famously led the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, but he did much more than that. Eric Arnesen traces Randolph's emergence as a militant socialist at a time when few Blacks were attracted to the Socialist Party and its emphasis on class. Arnesen also discusses Randolph's relationship with Eugene Debs and W. E. B. Du Bois."
Eric Arnesen is the author of Brotherhoods of Color (Harvard U. Press, 200) and The Black Worker (U. of Illinois Press, 2007). See also his most recent essay in Kersten and Lang, eds., Reframing Randolph: Labor, Black Freedom, and the Legacies of A. Philip Randolph (NYU Press, 2015).
Segment 2 | From the Archives:" Marcus Garvey, 1921 Speech."
In contrast to the socialism of A. Philip Randolph was the black nationalist vision of Marcus Josiah Garvey, Jr., Jamaican born Garvey was an entrepreneur and pubisher and a strong proponent of black nationalism and Pan-Africanism. He founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL) and the Black Star Line, a shipping firm incorporated to facilitate the return of African Americans to Africa. In this 1921 speech, Garvey explains his ideas. For a transcription of the speech and more on Garvey see: http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/sayitplain/mgarvey.html.
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April 7, 2015
Segment 1 | Backstory: "Island Hopping" (2015).
Here's another exploration of the nooks and crannies of American history with the American History guys from Backstory: "For those of us who live on the mainland, islands are something we often tend to think about as destinations. As places to visit, perhaps, to take a break from our ordinary lives. And then to leave again. They're places on the periphery -- and that's borne out not only in the way we draw our maps, but also in the way we write our history.
On this episode, we make the peripheral central. From the Caribbean to the Great Lakes to the San Francisco Bay, it's an hour all about islands in American history." Guest on this episode of Backstory include:
Noelani Arista, University of Hawai'i at Manoa; Sandra Birdsall, Beaver Island Historical Society; Ben Davison, University of Virginia; Nelson Dennis, author of forthcoming War Against All Puerto Ricans; Harry Franqui-Rivera, Hunter College; John Hamer, president of the John Whitmer Historical Association; James Horn, president of the Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation; and Judy Yung, University of California, Santa Cruz, emerita.
Segment 2 | From the Archives: Music from the Sea Islands - Bessie Jones and The Georgia Sea Island Singers sing "O Day."
Here is a song from a group and a singer, Bessie Jones, associated with another very historically significant group of islands located along the shore of South Carolina and Georgia. From a review by Steve Legett, available at: http://www.allmusic.com/album/get-in-union-recordings-by-alan-lomax-1959-1966-mw0002753831(go there for the full review): "The music of the Georgia Sea Islands is unlike any other in the world, and its uniqueness is due to an extraordinary collision of events in American history. Once the site of large plantations, the islands, strategic in blockading shipments by sea to the rebel Southern states, were seized early in the Civil War by the Union. Since the plantation landowners then fled, leaving some 10,000 now-free slaves (some of African descent and some from the Bahamas) behind, the Union, much occupied elsewhere, allowed the islands to self-govern. It was an almost accidental, but still radical, social experiment, given further cultural dimension by the blending of the two former slave cultures, the African and the Bahamian, with American folk music, particularly its gospel and blues. It led to a freshly envisioned tradition of sparsely rhythmic folk and religious music unlike any other, and given the islands' relative isolation, it developed on its own path without undue intrusion from mainland pop. This is where Bessie Jones comes into the story. Born on the Georgia mainland, she settled on St. Simons Island as a young woman, and already familiar as a singer with American and African folk music, she absorbed the islands' own skewed Caribbean spin on things, and was soon singing with the loose confederation of local singers and musicians who came to be known as the Georgia Sea Island Singers. The music they made, a mix of traditional call-and-response work songs, hymns, ring songs, rope-skipping rhymes, and other cultural flotsam drawn from a blended trio of folk traditions, was sparse, joyous, and vital, often accompanied by just handclaps, foot stomps, and the occasional cane fife. Jones was fully aware of the preservationist side of the music she led and directed, and she understood its educational aspect as well, as did cultural archivist Alan Lomax, who visited the Georgia Sea Islands twice to make field recordings of the island singers, once in 1959, and again in 1966. Lomax also recorded over 50 hours of tape with Jones alone on the mainland in 1960 and 1961 . . . " .
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March 31, 2015
Our transmitter was under repair this week and so there was no broadcast of Talking History. Check out previous broadcasts available below and through links to the left.
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March 24, 2015
Segment 1 | "The Investigator by Reuben Ship" (1954).
Reuben Ship's celebrated satire of the work of the US House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) and the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, and its chairman, Joseph McCarthy, was first aired in Canada by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) on May 30, 1954. For the most part, the drama was reviewed favorably in Canada. In the USA, it was reviewed in a positive light by the New York Times and by the left-wing press (including New Masses), but it was excoriated by the right wing as anti-American propaganda. By mid-June, tapes of the broadcast were circulating in the USA where some attempts to broadcast the CBC production raised objections from the American Legion and private individuals. For an extended discussion of the story behind this unique radio play by Gerald Gross of Concordia University, Montreal, visit the Journal for MultiMedia History: http://www.albany.edu/jmmh/vol3/investigator/investigator.html.
Our thanks to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) Archives for permission to air and archive "The Investigator." [Re-broadcast; originally aired on Talking History on August 16, 2001].
Segment 2 | From the Archives: CBS Radio Workshop: Brave New World (selection; 1956)
The CBS Radio Workshop was a dramatic radio program that ran from January 1956 through September of 1957 that featured the works of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Sinclair Lewis, H. L. Mencken, Edgar Allan Poe, Frederik Pohl, James Thurber, Thomas Wolfe, James Thurber, Mark Twain, Robert Heinlein, Eugene O’Neil, H. Balzac, Carl Sandburg, and many other writers and playwrights. The first two episodes featured an adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s dystopian novel Brave New World( read by Huxley). The series also broadcast original productions of comedy, drama, and music. For the full broadcasts of the CBS Radio WOrkshop, go to: https://archive.org/details/CBSRadioWorkshop.
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March 17, 2015
Segment 1 | Backstory: "Pop History: The Past in Last Year's Media" (2015).
Here's another piece from Backstory and the American History Guys. focusing on last year's history-focused films and other media productions: "U.S. history is everywhere in pop culture -- in movies like Selma, TV shows like The Americans, even in video games like Assassin's Creed, with a recent version set during the French and Indian War. So in their shout-out to the Oscars this year, Brian, Ed and Peter consider how all kinds of popular media adopt historical themes in their plot lines. How did last year's art, literature and entertainment relive -- and reinvent -- America's past."
Jamelle Bouie, Slate; Maxime Durand, Historian at Ubisoft; Emily Gadek, BackStory's Digital Producer; Adrienne LaFrance, The Atlantic; Kevin M. Levin, Civil War Memory blog; David G. Major, Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies.
Segment 2 | From the Archives: Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps (1935)
Here is a selection from the sound track of Alfred Hitchcock's 1935 film production, The 39 Steps, a British spy thriller. The film was loosely based on Scottish novelist John Buchan's 1915 novel, The Thirty-Nine Steps. The film starred Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll. Though there were four film versions of Buchan's book (Hitchcok's in 1935, and three others -- in 1959, 1978, and 2008), Hitchcock's has been the most highly regarded.
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March 10, 2015
Segment 1 | From the Vault: "Forty Cents a Ton: Coal Mining in Hazard County, Kentucky" (1963; 2015).
From Pacifica Radio Archives' From the Vault, "Forty Cents a Ton: Coal Mining in Hazard County, Kentucky" is a Pacifica Radio documentary "about mining practices in Hazard County, Kentucky that was recorded in March 1963 and broadcast on WBAI on April 6th, 1963. The program shares the voices of residents from all walks of life in Hazard County, who discuss the coal miners' union, the harassment union miners face from large mining companies, and the unofficial strikes organized in Hazard County. Participants include strike leaders Berman Gibson, Preacher Smith, Graham Noble, retired miner Harley Caldwell, and Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Noble; Mrs. W.P. Nolan and Louise Hatmaker of the Hazard Herald newspaper; C.E. Bean, president of District 30 -- United Mine Workers of America; Reverend Aikley and Reverend Carroll of St. Mark's Episcopal Church and Hazard Christian Church, respectively; Drs. Creeley and Potter of the Harlan Miners' Memorial Hospital; Ed Johnson, a non-union mine owner; Brian Whitfield III, a union mine-owner; Floyd McDowell, president of the Harlan County Coal Operators Association; and Lee Cretchfield, president of the Hazard Chamber of Commerce. This documentary, which was produced by Hamish Sinclair, Bob Heifetz. Engineered by Sam Sanders and Stanley Aronowitzc, also features a song by Pete Seeger and Phil Ochs titled, "Mining Is a Hazard." For more information on the program and From the Vault, go to: http://fromthevaultradio.org/home/2014/12/19/ftv-449-forty-cents-a-ton-coal-mining-in-hazard-county-kentucky/
Segment 2 | From the Archives: Woody Guthrie on The Ludlow Massacre (1944)
Here's a classic song about the 1914 Colorado massacre that had a profound impact on American labor-management relations. The Ludlow Massacre involved an attack on 1200 striking coal miners and their families by the Colorado National Guard and Colorado Fuel & Iron Company camp guards on April 20, 1914. It led to major reforms by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. when he hired Mackenzie King In June 1914 to head the Rockefeller Foundation's new Department of Industrial Research and to implement reforms in labor management in Rockefeller family-owned firms (and to publicize such reforms to other industrialists).
The Rockefellers were the major owners of the mines under strike. For information on the massacre -- with links to additional sources -- see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludlow_Massacre and http://zinnedproject.org/materials/ludlow-massacre/. For the full lyrics to Woody Guthrie's song, go to: http://woodyguthrie.org/Lyrics/Ludlow_Massacre.htm. Additional information on Guthrie is available here: http://woodyguthrie.org/index.htm.
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March 3, 2015
Segment 1 | Backstory: "The Middling Sort: Visions of the Middle Class" (2015).
From Backstory and the American History guys: "President Obama has been talking a lot about 'middle-class economics' lately. In his State of the Union address, he called it 'the idea that this country does best when everyone gets their fair shot, everyone does their fair share, everyone plays by the same set of rules.' It’s a powerful idea in American culture. So on this show, Brian, Ed and Peter explore the rise -- and, some might say, the fall -- of the middle class in the United States. They'll ask how this concept became central to the way Americans think about themselves. What is the middle class, anyway? Who’s in it? And... who isn’t?" Guests include:
Tim Noah, Politico, on where the phrase “the American Dream” came from;
Richard White, Stanford University, on the very different definition of “rags-to-riches” in the 19th century;
Andrew Haley, University of Southern Mississippi, on the history of tipping and how it changed along with the middle class.
Segment 2 | From the Archives: The Middle Class in 1950s TV Sitcoms (Selection - The Trouble With Father, 1951)
Middle class values and gender roles were depicted, perpetuated, but also caricatured and sometimes subtly undermined in 1950s television sitcoms. Here is a selection from the audio track of an episode from one of the earliest TV sitcoms: The Trouble with Father (also known as the Stu Erwin Show). It aired on ABC between 1950 and 1955. For more information on the series, see: http://www.tv.com/shows/the-trouble-with-father/.
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February 24, 2015
Segment 1 | Open Source: "Stokely Carmichael and Black Power." (2014).
This segment of our show comes to us from OPEN SOURCE: "At the end of June, 1964, Stokely Carmichael, Martin Luther King Jr., and hundreds of civil rights activists marched across Mississippi to register African-American voters in one of the turning points of the civil rights movement. In remembrance of that 'Freedom Summer,' we’re republishing our show with the Carmichael biographer Peniel Joseph, historian Isabel Wilkerson, and activist Jamarhl Crawford.
Stokely Carmichael was a down-home organizer and radical off-beat visionary of racial equality in America 50 years ago, a quicksilver activist, theorist, street hero, preacher and prophet of black revolution in America and the world. He’s in the civil rights pantheon, for sure, but he’s still struggling in spirit with the leadership, especially the example of Martin Luther King; and he’s still a scarecrow in the memory of white America. Stokely Carmichael had some of Malcolm X’s fury and fire, and some of the comedian Richard Pryor’s gift with a punchline, too. “Black power” was his slogan that became a chant, that built his bad-boy celebrity and awakened a political generation but may also have been his undoing in the 1960s. So what does a half-century’s hindsight make of the man and his Pan-African vision? And while we’re at it: what would Stokely Carmichael make of black power today – looking at Hollywood, Hip Hop, the White House, and prisons and poverty?"
Segment 2 | From the Archives: "George Lincoln Rockwell Debates SNCC Chairman Stokely Carmichael" (1966)
This is a selection from a debate between American Nazi Party head George Lincoln Rockwell and SNCC chairman Stokely Carmichael, aired on WBBM television in Chicago, Illinois on July 28, 1966. Rockwell and Carmichael debated Black Power and White Power" during their exchange. For the full broadcast, go to YouTube, where the debate is available in multiple parts. For part 1 -- and links to additional parts -- see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4av8z8WEZM#t=18. For information about Rockwell, see the biography by Fredrick James Simonelli, American Fuehrer: George Lincoln Rockwell and the American Nazi Party (University of Illinois Press, 1999), Rockwell's Wikipedia entry and the following FBI document: http://vault.fbi.gov/American%20Nazi%20Party%20/American%20Nazi%20Party%20Part%201%20of%202.
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February 17, 2015
Segment 1 | Backstory: "Women at Work." (2015).
This week Backstory explores the history of women in the workforce, "from 19th century domestic workers, to the Rosies of World War II, to the labs of Silicon Valley -- where programming a computer was once very much a woman's job. Find out how sexual harassment claims came into being, and why 'protective' labor laws regarding women often amounted to discriminatory exclusion from certain jobs." Guests Include: Nathan Ensmenger, Indiana University; Risa Goluboff, University of Virginia; Eileen Hagan, Intuit Vice President, Innovation and Transformational Change; Margaret O'Mara, University of Washington; Betty Soskin, Park Ranger, Rosie the Riveter / World War II Home Front National Historic Park; Lea VanderVelde, University of Iowa; Gay Semel, Retired labor lawyer for the Communications Workers of America -- and former switchboard operator at New York Telephone.
Segment 2 | From the Archives: "From Building Bridges' The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire & Its Legacy - Rose Schneiderman's Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Speech, April 2, 1911" (2011)
This is a reading of labor activist Rose Schneiderman's 1911 Speech delivered soon after the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. It was part of a 2011 radio docudrama featured on WBAI's Radio Building Bridges: Your Community & Labor Report, produced by Mimi Rosenberg and Ken Nash : "On this the 100th anniversary of The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire of March 25, 1911, the fire still remains one of the most vivid and horrid tragedies that changed American Labor Unions and labor laws. The tragic death of 146 young women, whose average age was 19, was what it took before the politicians and the people saw for the need to regulate safety in the workplace. For the Triangle anniversary, during this Women’s History Month, Building Bridges has produced 'Out of the Flames & Ashes: The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire & Its Legacy', a docudrama, a tapestry of sounds – archival voices of advocates and survivors, re-enactments of the voices of those flowering girls who lost their lives. Threaded through the sound tapestry the haunting voices from the fire intermingled with the poetry and songs that arose in the wake of the tragedy. Another thread of the tapestry will be the voices of scholar/activists who know the legacy of Triangle for today - to regulate the workplace and create a safe, decent life for working people, to attend to the problems around us today, still echoing the conditions at the time of the Triangle Fire. This will be a drama of the pathos, complexity and importance of the fire on this 100 anniversary and the organizing still to be done and the work to preserve the gains we’ve made bargaining collectively in unions." For information on Schneiderman, see: http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/schneiderman-rose.
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February 10, 2015
Segment 1 | Against the Grain: "History from the Bottom Up - E. P. Thompson and the Making of the New Left." (2015).
From Against the Grain: "E.P. Thompson was the greatest English socialist historian of the 20th century and his work still resonates today in how we understand class, social struggle, and history. Thompson's student Cal Winslow reflects on his life, politics, and writings, from his early days in the Communist Party, his key role in the early New Left, and his commitment to radical working class education." Cal Winslow is the author of E.P. Thompson and the Making of the New Left (Monthly Review Press, 2014).
Segment 2 | From the Archives: "'Herbert Marcuse Speaks at Berkeley, 1969."
Herbert Marcuse and Angela Davis spoke at a rally at the University of California, Berkeley on October 24, 1969. Marcuse, at the time a Marxist philosopher based at the University of California, San Diego, was also one of the most influential intellectual figures behind the American New Left. The rally at Berkeley was precipitated by the University of California Board of Regents' challenge to the appointment of Communist Angela Davis to U.C. Berkeley. Here we present an excerpt from Marcuse's speech. To obtain the entire recording from the rally, go to the Pacifica Radio Archives at: http://www.pacificaradioarchives.org/. For more information about Marcuse, see: http://www.marcuse.org/herbert/.
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February 3, 2015
Segment 1 | Backstory: New and Improved ~ Advertising in America" (2015).
Continuing a theme we began last week -- focusing on economic history and consumption/shopping -- we move on to the related subject of advertising with this program, again from Backstory and the American History Guys: "On the first of February, more than 100 million Americans will tune in to watch the two best teams in the NFL vie for the national championship … and to watch advertisers duke it out during the commercial breaks. Brian, Ed and Peter, meanwhile, will tackle the history of advertising in the United States, from how cigarettes were marketed to women, to budget-busting trips to to moon. They’ll even take a stab at selling BackStory to the masses, with some colorful ads of our own." Segments include the following: "Historian Cathy Gudis tells hosts Ed Ayers and Peter Onuf about the ad-drenched streets of late 19th century American cities; Historian Kathleen Franz describes a scandalous 1917 soap ad that hooked consumers by showing them a little more than just the soap; Historian Cathy Gudis returns with the story of how advertising followed 20th century Americans out onto the open road, and discusses efforts to curb the spread of ubiquitous billboards. Plus, an ad inspired by BackStory listener Jim Mica’s request; Composer Michael Levine, who wrote the long-running Kit-Kat jingle, tells host Brian Balogh what makes a jingle powerful -- and catchy. Then… he offers up a new jingle for BackStory; Author Larry Tye and host Brian Balogh discuss the masterful campaign by PR guru Edward Bernays, to convince American women to take up smoking. Plus, listener suggests an ad for BackStory in the style of a 1950s cigarette ad; and author Richard Jurek describes how one giant leap in public relations helped launch NASA’s lunar program."
Segment 2 | From the Archives: "'Women for Eisenhower' - Political Advertising, 1956 U.S. Election."
Political advertising matured in the 1950s as television became the preferred venue for getting one's electoral message across to millions. Dwight D. Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson's campaigns in 1952 and 1956 became a battleground for the hearts and minds of American voters. Here's the audio from one of Eisenhower's 1956 television campaign commercials, from the Web site "The Living Room Candidate." It's an example of an early female-focused appeal for votes. Later campaigns would be even more sensitive to gender-specific issues. For more examples of 1956 television political advertisements -- both Democratic and Republican -- see: http://www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/1956.
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January 27, 2015
Segment 1 | Backstory: "Counter Culture ~ A History of Shopping" (2014).
Here's another piece from Backstory and the American History Guys: "The word shop first appeared as a verb in the 16th century -- when it meant to put someone in prison. And boy can shopping feel that way, especially around the holiday season. The smells, the colors, the teeming shelves and showcases, the muzak. On this episode, BackStory will go shopping for the historical roots of Americans' consumer habits, considering the role of mercantilism in the revolutionary politics of early America, the journey from general store to shopping mall, and even look at shoplifting. When did coveting your neighbor's possessions go from sin to virtue? How did holiday shopping become the modern engine of the retail industry? And how did transformations in systems of consumer credit change American thinking about shopping?"
Guests appearing on this show Include:
Elaine S. Abelson, The New School; T.H. Breen, Emeritus, Northwestern University;
Peter Hanff, Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley;
Jeff Hardwick, George Mason University and The National Endowment for the Humanities; Louis Hyman, Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations; Kathleen Moran, University of California, Berkeley; Eli Wirtschafter, Independent producer.
Segment 2 | From the Archives: "George Carlin on American Consumerism."
Here's a selection from a standup routine by George Carlin -- an excerpt (with approriate radio edits to comply with FCC regulations). Carlin was notorious in his critique of materialism and consumerism in many of his routines. Here are few examples -- all available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvgN5gCuLac and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egwghf1lPik. For information about Carlin see: http://www.biography.com/people/george-carlin-9542307.
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January 20, 2015
Segment 1 | From the Vault: "The Second Battle of Selma." (1965).
This piece comes to us from Pacifica Radio's From the Vault: "The Second Battle of Selma, produced by legendary newsman Dale Minor in 1965 during his time at Pacifica station WBAI, includes rare audio of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and actuality of the march on Selma. This program, a fine example of early Pacifica Radio editing and storytelling style, remains as relevant today as it did almost fifty years ago when it was first broadcast." For more information and links to primary sources, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selma_to_Montgomery_marches.
Segment 2 | From the Archives: "Stokely Carmichael at Berkeley, 1966"
Stokely Carmichael (1941-1998)
delivered this speech at the University of California, Berkeley on
October 29, 1966.
Carmichael's celebration of "black power" and advocacy of a more militant approach to civil rights organizing emerged in reaction to the violence used against demonstrators at Selma and elsewhere. For more information on Carmichael and a transcript of this speech, see: http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/blackspeech/scarmichael-2.html.
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January 13, 2015
Segment 1 | Backstory: "The Future Then ~ Visions of America Yet to Come." (2015).
From Backstory and the American History Guys: "Across history, Americans have dreamed of what the future will hold, from the flying cars and 3-hour workdays of The Jetsons to fears of World War III and nuclear holocaust. Sometimes, we've made those dreams come true . . . or, at least tried. On this episode of BackStory, hosts Brian Balogh, Ed Ayers and Peter Onuf will ask what these past visions of the future have to tell us about the times that conjured them up."
Matthew Beaumont, University College of London; Maria Lane, University of New Mexico;
Matt Novak, author of the 'Paleofuture' blog at Gizmodo; Max Page, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Segment 2 | From the Archives: "Ray Bradbury's 1953 Classic, Fahrenheit 451 -- a reading selection)."
Here's a short selection (a reading) from Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury's classic science fiction novel abour censorship published in 1953. In Bradbury's novel, Guy Montag -- a fireman whose job it was to burn books -- begins to question his job. In Bradbury's novel, reactions to controversial content in books had led to the decision to ban them altogether. While it was written during the Cold War era and was clearlyinfluenced by that era -- in light of current violence against, and controversy over, the French humor and cartoon magazine Charlie Hebdo, we thought it would be an appropriate segment to feature in conjunction with our main segment.
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January 6, 2015
Segment 1 | Lisa Tetrault on"The Making of a Myth: Seneca Falls Unraveled." (Recorded 11-21-2014).
Recorded at the 2014 Researching New York conference at the University at Albany -- SUNY, this talk by historian Lisa Tetrault from Carnegie Mellow University, focuses on a central women's rights origins myth and how it emerged: "The story of how women's rights began in 1848, at the women's rights meeting in Seneca Falls, New York, is a cherished American myth. But where did that story come from? Who invented it? And for what reasons? Unraveling that story by investigating its roots, which lay fifty years after the convention, Tetrault invites us to rethink the relationship of Seneca Falls to the evolution of modern women's rights activism. Carnegie Mellon University historian Lisa Tetrault is the author of The Myth of Seneca Falls: Memory and the Women's Suffrage Movement, 1848-1898. She specializes in U.S. women's history, memory, and social movements."
Segment 2 | From Archives: "Winifred Banks Singing 'Sister Suffragette' in Mary Poppins" (1964).
The treatment of suffragists in popular film before the 2nd wave feminist movement (and after!) has not always been flattering. Here's an example from the film Mary Poppins from 1964. For more on the topic -- focusing on the silent film era, see Kay Sloan, “Sexual Warfare in the
Silent Cinema: Comedies and Melodramas of Woman Suffragism,” American Quarterly , 33:4 (Autumn,
Segment 3 | From Open Source: "13 Days in September" (2014).
The New Yorker magazine's Lawrence Wright is interviewed by Christopher Lydon of Open Source about "the only (and unviolated) peace treaty between Israelis and Arabs, the Camp David Summit in 1978." Wright is the author of Thirteen Days in September:
Carter, Begin, and Sadat at Camp David (Alfred A. Knopf, 2014).
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December 30, 2014
Talking History is taking a break for the holidays. We'll be back next week to start the New Year with all new programming. Meanwhile, we invite you to browse the Talking History pages, with the links and search function on the left menu, to find shows you may have missed or favorites you would like to hear again.
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December 23, 2014
Segment 1 | Backstory: "What Gives: Generosity in America" (2014).
From Backstory and the American History Guys: "’Tis the season for giving. And on this episode, we’re going to give you the history of that. The stories we’re working on explore gifts in the American past and consider how ideas about charity, philanthropy and generosity have changed over the centuries.
Sometimes, it paid to be poor — but not too poor. In earlier days, philanthropy had humble aims: to foster community and put the idea of charity out of business. Along the way, we’ll also look the questionable notion of the “free gift,” the idea of reciprocity in Native cultures, and the back story behind tax-deductible donations." Guests include: Cynthia Bell, of the Bell Sisters; Shelia Moeschen, author of Acts of Conspicuous Compassion: Performance Culture and American Charity Practices; Johann Neem, Western Washington University; Alice O'Connor, University of California, Santa Barbara; Kevin Rozario, Smith College; Isaiah Wilner, graduate student, Yale University. Segment also available on line at Backstory: http://backstoryradio.org/shows/what-gives-2/.
Segment 2 | From the Archives: "Literary Lessons in Generosity: "Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree" (reading/sound track selection from 1973 film).
Here is a selection -- read by the author in a 1973 animated film -- from a controversial 20th century children's book classic about generosity. From Barnes and Noble: "Shel Silverstein takes a poignant and gentle look at theart of giving and the concept of unconditional love in his deeply profound children's book The Giving Tree. The story tells of the relationship between a young boy and a tree. Giving the boy what he wants is what makes the tree happy, a function it serves throughout the boy's life. First the tree is a place for the boy to play and munch on apples, later its branches serve as a source of lumber to build a house, and later still, its trunk provides the wood for a boat. By the time the boy has become an old man, he has used so much of what the tree has to give that all that remains is a stump. Yet all the old man needs at this point is a place to sit and rest, a function the stump nicely -- and happily -- serves." The book has been variously interpreted -- and those interpretations have been well summarized here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Giving_Tree#Interpretations. For the full film, from which this selection was taken, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TZCP6OqRlE.
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December 16, 2014
Segment 1 | Open Source: "Capitalism and Slavery" (2014).
From Open Source: "We're continuing our series on capitalism by going back to its unspeakable origins.
A new wave of historians say that the "peculiar institution" of slavery explains more about the present than we'd care to admit: not just how the West got wealthy, but the way that global capitalism evolved in the first place.
. . .
It was the global slave trade that helped make America rich, and yet no part of our history was more brutally unequal, more lucrative and less regulated than the slave-and-cotton empire." Guests include: Sven Beckert, Laird Bell professor of history at Harvard, chair of Harvard's Program on the Study of Capitalism, and author of the forthcoming book, Empire of Cotton; Craig Steven Wilder professor of American history at MIT, and author of Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America's Universities.
Segment 2 | From the Archives: "Karl Marx, Das Kapital, Vol. 1(selection from ch. 31)." (LibriVox reading of 1867 classic).
This is an edited selection (focusing on slavery and capitalism) from Karl Marx's first volume of his 3-volume classic, Capital, published in 1867. Here and elsewhere Marx offered an throrough analysis of the evolution, structure, and sources of instability of capitalism as it evolved from the late Middle Ages through the latter decades of the 19th centiry.) Volume 1 was the only one of his three volumes to actually be published during Marx's life. For the full text, see: http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/. For the full LibRiVox reading, see https://librivox.org/capital-volume-1-by-karl-marx/.
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December 9, 2014
Segment 1 | Backstory: "Let's Make Up:
Reconciliation and Its Limits
From Backstory: "Twenty-five years ago this November, East and West Berliners began chipping away at the iconic wall that had kept them apart for three decades, and symbolized the deep divisions that the Cold War had inflicted on the world at large. As this piece of history crumbled, the Western press was almost euphoric: Freedom, we were told, had triumphed over political repression and cultural imprisonment. But the fall of the Berlin Wall also set in motion a long and difficult process of reconciliation among German citizens. And, indeed, of reconciling the First and Second Worlds -- a process still fraught with tension and uncertainty.
On this episode, the Guys dig up buried hatchets to help us explore some of our own best and worst efforts at making amends. How have Americans tried to restore ties and move beyond strain and strife? When does it work? And what are the limits of reconciliation?
Guests Include: Rebecca Brannon, James Madison University; Clifton Truman Daniel, grandson of President Harry S. Truman; Benjy Melendez, Founder of the Ghetto Brothers; Shigeko Sasamori, Hiroshima survivor; Orin Starn, Duke University; Karen Van Lengen, University of Virginia; Julian Voloj, author of Ghetto Brother: Warrior to Peacemaker.
Segment 2 | From the Archives: "Desmund Tutu on Truth and Reconciliation." (1998)
On November 5th and 6th, 1998,the University of Virginia and the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Asian Democracy hosted the Nobel Peace Laureates Conference. Nine Laureates presented on a variety of topics related to their areas of recogniton. One of them was 1984 Nobl Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Here we present an excerpt from his talk, "Reconciliation in Post-Apartheir South Africa: Experiences of the Truth Commission." You can read the full transcript of his presentation at this University of Virginia Web site: http://www.virginia.edu/nobel/transcript/tutu.html. The Web site also contains a short biography of Tutu, available here: http://www.virginia.edu/nobel/laureates/bios/tutu_bio.html.
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December 2, 2014
Segment 1 | Open Source: "WWI: The Shock of the New ~ James Joyce's Ulysses and Post-WWI Modernism" (2014)
From Open Source and Christoper Lydon: "Out of the mire and death of World War One, even before the shooting stops, comes the strangest thing: the novel of the century. It's James Joyce’s Ulysses, transposing the wily warrior of Greek myth into the buried consciousness of a single day in Dublin in 1904. The global war was only part of the nightmare from which Joyce was trying to awake. From his teens, he'd set himself against every orthodoxy of provincial Ireland, against the pieties of family, church and Empire. Even before pre-publication, Ulysses became the fighting flag of Modernism: a sort of cracked 'true realism,' an anti-violent anarchism in prose, poetry and painting, too. Do you still hear the rebellious voice in the modernist masterpieces: Mrs. Dalloway, The Waste-Land? Have you made it through Ulysses? Is history a nightmare we're still sleeping through?
Guests include Kevin Birmingham, author of The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce's Ulysses; Howard Eiland,
Modernist scholar, editor of the modernist philosopher, Walter Benjamin, and author of the biography Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life;
Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, currently writing a book on empathy and elegy in British modernism.
Segment 2 | From the Archives: "T.S. Elliot's The Waste Land ("What the Thunder Said")." (1992)
Here is the last part of one of the best know 20th century modernist poems, by T. S. Elliot -- The Waste Land -- read by Elliot himself. For more readings by Elliot, go to: http://www.eliotsociety.org.uk/?page_id=95. For a short biography of Elliot, see: http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/a_f/eliot/life.htm.
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November 25, 2014
Segment 1 | Backstory: "Imagined Nations ~ Depictions of American Indians (2014)
From Backstory and the American History Guys: "Is redskin a racial slur? The U.S. Patent Office says so. So do many Native Americans who have protested the use of the term by that team. Activists say the team's name and its logo -- the image of a generic Indian man in profile, with braids and long feathers -- celebrate negative stereotypes about America's indigenous people.
On this show, we're taking a long look at how Native peoples have been represented -- and misrepresented -- in U.S. history. We'll also ask how American Indians themselves have challenged and reinvented those depictions. We have stories about art in the early days of European conquest, dioramas in America's museums of 'natural history,' and a 19th century football team that was actually made up entirely of American Indian players."
David Wallace Adams, emeritus, Cleveland State University; Joyce Chaplin, Harvard University; Frederick Hoxie, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Christian McMillen, University of Virginia; Barbara Meek, University of Michigan; Veronica Pasfield, American Studies scholar and member of the Bay Mills Indian Community; Martha Sandweiss, Princeton University
Segment 2 | From the Archives: "Buffy Sainte Marie and Bury My Heart in Wounded Knee." (1992)
Canadian-American Cree folksinger and songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie (1941-) wrote this song to commemorate an event that by the early 1990s symbolized the exploitation and abuse of native Americans throughout America's history: the abortive 1973 uprising at Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Reservation of South Dakota by 300 Oglala Lakota and supporters -- organized by the Oglala Civil Rights Organization (OSCRO) and the American Indian Movement (AIM). For more information on the event see the papers of the Wounded Knee Legal Defense/Offense Committee held at the Minnesota Historical Society. The following is drawn from the finding aid to that collection (:http://www2.mnhs.org/library/findaids/00229.xml):
On February 27, 1973, approximately 300 Indians on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, led by members of the Oglala Sioux Civil Rights Organization (OSCRO) and the American Indian Movement (AIM), occupied the village of Wounded Knee. During the 71-day siege, the occupants established the Independent Oglala Nation and demanded the U.S. Government's recognition of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty with the Sioux Nation, the removal of the Oglala Sioux tribal council, and new elections.
In March 1973, under the guidance of AIM, seventeen lawyers and legal workers from across the country established the Wounded Knee Legal Defense/Offense Committee (WKLD/OC) in Rapid City, South Dakota. As outlined in a proposal submitted at the time, the committee's objectives were to provide an adequate defense for those charged with crimes in or about Wounded Knee, to encourage the return of the rule of law to the area surrounding Wounded Knee, to permit residents to return to their homes, to prohibit federal agents from making further illegal arrests, and to make the facts about Wounded Knee known to the American public. While pursuing these objectives WKLD/OC became an active participant in the negotiations that led to the end of the siege and the stand-down on May 8, 1973.
Over 400 people were arrested at Wounded Knee resulting in 275 cases in federal, state, and tribal courts. WKLD/OC represented all defendants in the federal and tribal Wounded Knee cases. The Wounded Knee federal cases included 7 defendants charged with major conspiracy (so-called leadership cases) and 127 defendants faced with charges involving breaking and entering, larceny, conspiracy, and interfering with federal marshals (Consolidated Wounded Knee Cases). The 97 persons tried in the tribal courts of the Oglala Sioux Tribe were charged almost exclusively with either riot or unlawful assembly as defined in the tribal code.
The Committee also handled related cases arising from events prior to the occupation and afterwards including protests at Scottsbluff, Nebraska, and Custer, Rapid City, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
In addition to its efforts at providing an adequate defense, WKLD/OC undertook several offensive actions, bringing about a dozen civil suits against several authorities, including the Oglala Sioux tribal council and its president, Dick Wilson, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Due to a determination that it would be impossible to obtain a fair trial in South Dakota, the federal leadership trials were moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and the consolidated cases to Lincoln, Nebraska, Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Bismarck, North Dakota.
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November 18, 2014
Segment 1 | Hindsight: "War and Peace" (2014)
From Hindsight and Radio National (Australia), this is part four of a 4-part series ("The Long Shadow") marking the centenary of World War I: "In his great novel, War and Peace, set during the Napoleonic era, Leo Tolstoy gives a cameo role to a Prussian officer serving with the Russian army. Carl von Clausewitz, like many of Tolstoy’s characters, was a real person and probably the best-known philosopher of modern war. In War and Peace, Tolstoy uses Clausewitz to make a point about the moral emptiness of reducing war to a series of rational actions. For Tolstoy, war was fundamentally chaotic and uncontrollable. For Clausewitz, while war was certainly subject to the vagaries of chance, it was also an instrument of the state – war, in his famous aphorism, was “policy by other means”. Clausewitz published his treatise On War in 1832. The book had a great influence on military planning in the late 19th and early 20th century, particularly on German strategy up to 1914. Tolstoy in his later years developed a pacifism which opposed both war and the state, and which influenced the conscientious objector movement which flourished throughout World War One. Together, these two great thinkers enrich our understanding of both war and peace."
include: Professor Sir Hew Strachan,
Chichele Professor of The History of War at All Soul’s College, the University of Oxford;
David E. Kaiser,
historian, former Professor in the Strategy and Policy Department of the United States Naval War College;
Associate Professor of Politics at the Australian Defence Force Academy;
Donna Tussing Orwin,
Professor of Russian Literature at the University of Toronto;
Senior Lecturer in Political Science & Public Policy at the University of Waikato;
Author and translator, and a specialist in Russian Literature.
Segment 2 | From the Archives: "George Kennan on the U.S., the Soviet Union, and the Atomic Bomb" (1957; short selection)
Here is a short selection from a recorded talk by
US diplomat and historian George F Kennan -- the intellectual architect of the U.S. Cold War policy of "containment" -- delivered on December 1, 1957. Kennan "discusses the military tensions between Russia and the West in the fourth lecture in his Reith Lectures series 'Russia, the Atom and the West'. He considers how atomic weapons have changed the relationship between East and West, and confronts the problem of the 'mutually assured destruction' doctrine." For the trasncript of the entire talk, see: http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rmhttp/radio4/transcripts/1957_reith4.pdf. To access the full recording go to the BBC site: http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/rla48/all.
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November 11, 2014
Segment 1 | Against the Grain: "Imperial Suburb" (2014)
From Against the Grain, we bring you this exploration of the early hisory of the CIA: "In the early days of the CIA, Allen Dulles moved the agency from Washington, D.C. to the suburbs, spawning a complex of government and private entities in the service of US empire. Scholar Andrew Friedman unearths the significance of the national security state's base in Northern Virginia. He examines the imperial ties and intimate connections between agents -- such as well-known female science fiction writer James Tiptree -- and their collaborators in Africa, Vietnam, Iran, Central America, and elsewhere." Andrew Friedman is the author of Covert Capital: Landscapes of Denial and the Making of U.S. Empire in the Suburbs of Northern Virginia (UC Press, 2014).
Segment 2 | From the Archives: "OSS Training Film Soundtrack" (1942)
The OSS -- the Office of Strategic Services -- was the US intelligence agency formed during World War II. It was a predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency. Here is an excerpt from the audio track of one of many training films that they produced during World War II. For the full film (in video), see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vy1ZAMTENTI.
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November 4, 2014
Segment 1 | Backstory: "American Apparel: A History of Fashion" (2014)
Backstory and the American History Guys, an exploration of fashion in history: "...what Americans wear reflects so much more than the weather. In this episode, an examinaiton of what our self-presentation can say about our society and culture, and what fashions reflect about moments and movements in American history. Can fashion statements be political statements? How does fashion evolve, or does it revolve? And does the United States have a unique style?"
Segment 2 | From the Archives: "the Emperor's New Clothes"
From Librivox, a reading of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Emperor's New Clothes," published in Copenhagen in 1837 in the third installment of Fairy Tales for Children. More on Andersen and the influence of an earlier Spanish folktale on his story, at The Hans Christian Andersen Center.
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October 28, 2014
Segment 1 | Hindsight: "Islam and the United Sates" (2014).
From Backstory and the American History Guys: "The fastest growing major religion in the world today, Islam has some 1.6 billion followers practicing a wide array of religious traditions and speaking hundreds of different languages. And yet, even as more and more Americans convert to the faith and foreigners emigrate to the U.S. from all over the Islamic world, Muslims are still often caricatured in the American imagination. This time on BackStory, we look at the longer history of America’s relationship with Islam, from the Barbary Wars and the narratives of Muslim slaves in the New World, to the Nation of Islam and the Black Power movement of the 1960s. What has it meant to be Muslim in America — and how has the idea of Islam in the U.S. changed over time?.
Nabeel Abraham, Emeritus, Henry Ford Community College; Ala Alryyes, Hofstra University; Frank Cogliano, University of Edinburgh; Sylviane Diouf, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; Su'ad Abdul Khabeer, Purdue University; Richard Brent Turner, University of Iowa."
Segment 2 | From the Archives: "Muhammad Ali Speaks on Not Going to Fight in Vietnam." [circa 1967]
Here's an audio selection from a talk delivered by boxing champion Muhammad Ali explaining his opposition to the Vietnam War. On April 28, 1967, Ali refused to be inducted into the U.S. Army citing religious reasons. He was almost immediately stripped of his heavyweight title. On June 20, 1967, Ali was convicted of draft evasion and sentenced to five years in prison. In addition, he received a $10,000 fine and was banned from boxing for three years. Ali's lawyers appealed the decision and he stayed out of prison as his case worked its way up to the Supreme Court. In June of 1971, the Supreme Court overturned his conviction. Months before that decision, Ali had already returned to the ring. On October 26, 1970, he knocked out Jerry Quarry in Atlanta in the third round. For more information on Ali's trial, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clay_v._United_States and you can watch Ali explaining his opposition to the war here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JDM4MY71G4.
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October 21, 2014
Segment 1 | Hindsight: "A History of Forgetting - From Shellshock to PTSD" (2014)
Here's an exploration of the impact of warfare on soldiers' minds, from ABC Radio National's Hindsight, starting off with an Australian story and expanding it into a broader look at PTSD: "Australia may well hold the record for rescuing the most shell-shocked ANZAC soldier from the front in World War One. His amnesia was total. He couldn't even remember his own name. 'George Brown' became famous in the newspapers of 192'’s as the Unknown Patient of Callan Park, the mental hospital in Sydney. Hundreds turned up to look at him, hoping he was their missing son, brother or husband, finally returned from the trenches.
In this program, we tell George's story.
The Great War was the first time the world experienced trauma on such a massive scale. But the world was ill-equipped to know what to do about it.
Historians are now looking through repatriation files to see the extent of the damage. The medical records of returned servicemen offer a forgotten history, which runs parallel to the public story of the brave men of the ANZAC legend. Incredibly brave they were, but many were deeply troubled and in desperate need of help.
Millions of returned servicemen took their troubles home, where they were encouraged to forget and move on.
From World War One right up until 1980, psychiatrists were predominantly of the view that some men were 'predisposed' to suffer trauma because of their inherent individual weakness. 'Malingering' was of great concern to the military in its administration of war pensions.
In 1980, after lessons learned from the Vietnam War, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was first recognised in the DSM -- the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
PTSD acknowledged that trauma was created by a catastrophic event outside the range of usual human experience. For the first time, soldiers were not to blame for their own distress.
'The history of forgetting' charts the uneasy relationship between the military, psychiatry and the men and women who've fought those wars."
Segment 2 | From the Archives: "All Quiet on the Western Front" (1929; 1930 film and reading - excerpts).
Here are a couple of excerpt from Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front -- first from the 1930 sound film that won Academy Award for Best Picture, and then a very short excerpt from a reading from the original novel (narrator Frank Muller; full version available from Audible Audio Edition). The 1929 novel was one of the most powerful anti-war novels of the 20th century, describing in detail the traumatic impact of war on soldiers' bodies and minds. It was condemned and denounced by the Nazi government in the 1930s and later banned.
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October 14, 2014
Segment 1 | Hindsight: "Little Feet ~ Children Starting Over in America" (2014).
From Backstory and the American History Guys: "Stories about the surge in unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S./Mexico border filled news pages this summer. It's often been referred to as an immigration 'crisis.' But American history is replete with stories of children leaving their families to start new lives in America. On this week's episode, BackStory delves into some of these, including first-hand accounts of European children sent to America during WWII and of New York orphans who were put on trains out West a generation earlier. And the American History Guys consider the complexities of 'humanitarian' efforts to save children from Communism during the Cold War, as well as from their own Native American pasts. Guests include: Kate Reen, program supervisor at Northern Virginia Family Services talks about the legal, emotional, and practical challenges that accompany children who cross the border on their own; BackStory editor Robert Armengol explores the legacy of Operation Pedro Pan, a plan to save Cuban children from communist indoctrination by leaving their families and resettling in the United States; Historian Tsianina Lomawaima talks about the enduring legacy of Indian
boarding schools, which sought to forcibly integrate tribal children into white society;
Siblings Sheila and Malcolm Barlow, who were sent from wartime London to rural Pennsylvania to escape the danger of German air raids, tell their story; Historian Kristen Lashua tells host Peter Onuf about a wave of kidnappings in 17th century London, where children were abducted specifically to be sold to plantation owners in the New World as indentured servants;
some of the last generation of orphan train riders -- children from the orphanages of New York and other cities who were shipped west to families in the West who needed farm labor -- share their stories."
Segment 2 | From the Archives: "Charles Lindbergh in Des Moines, Sept. 11, 1941 Speech."
Charles A. Lindbergh delivered this speech at an America First Committee meeting in Des Moines, Iowa on September 11, 1941. His address summarized the reasons why he believed the U.S. should not enter the war in Europe. His continuing vocal opposition-- in 1940 and 1941 -- to U.S. involvement in the growing conflict in Europe greatly alienated him from Franklin Roosevelt and many Americans who were starting to recognize the threat of Fascism. Lindbergh was awarded the Medal of Honor for his historic 1927 trans-Atlantic flight from Long Island to Paris; in 1932, his infant child was kidnapped and murdered. Lindbergh reversed his position on U.S. involvement in WWII after the attack on Pearl Harbor. For more information on Lindbergh, see: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/lindbergh/index.html.
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October 7, 2014
Segment 1 | Hindsight: "Wheelwork of Nature: Tesla and the 21st Century"
From ABC Radio National's Hindsight, here's a creative theatrical documenary on the life and work of electrical engineer Nikola Tesla: "He’s been called a poet of science, modern Prometheus, creator of the 20th century and has been likened, in his polymath genius, to Leonardo da Vinci.
Nikola Tesla is known for the many inventions he gave to the world. He’s also remembered for his eccentricities and some apparently extraordinary, even crazy, claims about discovering different ways of providing energy. But these ideas have proved to be prescient and he’s now seen by some as the first ecologist, a prophet of the 21st century. This program draws on Nikola Tesla's autobiography, to enter into the complex, charged world inside his head, and across a life fused by the rhythmic beat of a fierce imagination, and a thirst for knowledge and meaning. Alongside, some differing perceptions of Tesla are offered, with interpretations of his life and work, and the legacy he’s left to us and to future generations."
Segment 2 | From the Archives: "George Wise on Charles Proteus Steinmetz."
Historian of science and technology George Wise explores the early career of another electrical engineer, Charles Proteus Steinmetz. Steinmetz pioneered in the study of AC current and electrical motor efficiency and helped found General Electric's first corporate laboratory in Schenectady, New York. For more information on Steinmetz (and the full video of Wise's comments), see: http://edisontechcenter.org/CharlesProteusSteinmetz.html.
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September 30, 2014
Segment 1 | Backstory: "Seve and Protect: A History of the Police" (2014)
Backstory and the American History Guys explore various stories pertaining to the history of policing in America: "For many Americans, the storyline that played out on August 9 in Ferguson, Mo. -- when an unarmed black teenager was fatally shot by a white police officer -- is not a new one. But the sustained protests that followed, in which Ferguson police used military equipment for crowd control, have generated a new round of questioning about the role of local police in their communities.
So on this episode, we're looking at the history of policing in America, and how the police departments we're familiar with today began to take shape. And we'll consider what happens when the police don't protect those they serve." GUESTS INCLUDE:
The Rev. Thabiti Anyabwile, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, D.C.; John Buntin, Author, L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America's Most Seductive City; Edward Escobar, Arizona State University; Fred Harris, Former Senator from Oklahoma, member of the Kerner Comission; Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; Alasdair Roberts, Suffolk University School of Law.
Segment 2 | From the Archives:" Calvin Coolidge and 'Law and Order'" (1920)
Here's a recording from the presidential election of 1920 (from the Library of Congress); it features a talk by Vice Presidentaial candidate Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933). Its relevance as a complement to the above piece should be obviou. From the Library of Congress site: "Governor Calvin Coolidge of Massachusetts first achieved national prominence during the Boston police strike of 1919, when he sent a telegram to Samuel Gompers, President of the American Federation of Labor, saying: 'There is no right to strike against the public safety by anyone, anywhere, any time.'
Coolidge was a reserved, uncommunicative New Englander; writer and wit Dorothy Parker once remarked he looked as though he had been "weaned on a pickle." Even so, his obvious integrity and the simple American values he espoused soon made 'Silent Cal' a popular figure. He succeeded to the presidency upon Harding's death in 1923, and was elected to the White House in his own right in 1924."
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September 23, 2014
Segment 1 | Hindsight: "War, Lies, and Audiotape" (2014).
From Hindsight and Somethin' Else Production -- and BBC -- here's a look back at the events that led to rapid escalation of U.S. involvement in Vietnam: "The war between the United States and Vietnam cost over 58,000 American and more than one million Vietnamese lives. It left one country physically devastated and the other socially splintered. It began, President Lyndon Johnson told the world, with an 'unprovoked attack' on American ships on the night of August 4, 1964.
What we know today is that the incident that was reported to have taken place in the South China Sea off the coast of Vietnam didn't ever happen. Yet three days later it was cited as the justification for the Gulf of Tonkin resolution which authorised "the President, as Commander in Chief, to take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression."
The Gulf of Tonkin was the crucial turning point. In 1960 there were 900 American troops in Vietnam - by the end of 1965 there were nearly 200,000.
Did President Johnson take his country to war on a lie, or was he misled?
Journalist and historian D. D. Guttenplan explores these dramatic events through archive recordings and new interviews with the key players, bringing all the evidence together for the first time. Taped White House phone calls transport us back to that day - we'll listen in on President Johnson as he discusses the situation with Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and hear the situation unfold through conversations between key military personnel.
Daniel Ellsberg remembers being in the Pentagon receiving reports of the incident on the day, and Jim Stockdale tells us how his father was flying above the USS Maddox when the attack supposedly happened.
Producer: Peggy Sutton; A Somethin' Else production."
Segment 2 | From the Archives: "Telephone Interview with Nurse Ruby Brooks About Evacuation of Survivors of the 1954 Battle of Dien Bien Phu (2004)."
Telephone interview with Ruby Brooks, nurse aboard USS Haven during the evacuation of defeated French survivors of Dien Bien Phu from Saigon in September 1954. Conducted by Jan K. Herman and Andre Sobocinski, Historians of the Navy Medical Department, 28 June 2004. Available on archive.org at: https://archive.org/details/BROOKSRuby.
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September 16, 2014
Segment 1 | Backstory: "Untrammeled ~ Americans and the Wilderness"
Backstory and the American History Guys mark the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act with this examination of wilderness and the changing attitudes about it -- "exploring Americans' fascination with, and fear of, wild places-- and the ways in which humans have impacted even the most remote corners of the country. From early early English colonists who saw wilderness in an already settled land, to 19th and 20th century Americans who sought to flee cities and find peace in nature, we're taking a look at how our physical and mental landscapes have changed over time. Journalist Charles Mann, author of 1493, tells the Guys about how the 'wilderness' that Europeans first encountered in New England wasn't so wild after all -- and how those early colonists, in their drive to settle the land, actually created untamed forests.
Host Ed Ayers talks with historian Lisa Brady about fears of the encroaching wilderness brought on by the 'slash and burn' tactics of advancing Union soldiers in the Civil War South.
Historian Char Miller and host Brian Balogh discuss how John Muir, the city of San Francisco, and Teddy Roosevelt's right-hand man, Gifford Pinchot, battled over the fate of the remote Hetch Hetchy valley in Yosemite National Park. Producer Jesse Dukes has the story of some five hundred families who were made to leave their homes in an area supposedly 'pristine and free of human habitation' to create Shenandoah National Park.
Writer Emma Marris and historian Paul Sutter join the Guys as they discuss the Wilderness Act of 1964, and how American ideas of the wilderness and how it should be used have changed -- and what the future of the wild is in a world where nothing is completely unchanged by human activity."
Segment 2 | From the Archives: A LibiVox reading ~ "Henry David Thoreau's 'The Wild' (from Walking, 1852; 1862)."
From LibriVox, we offer this short selection of Henry David Thoreau's ruminations on wilderness and "the wild." See the following for background and a summary of the essay (source: http://www.cliffsnotes.com/literature/t/thoreau-emerson-and-transcendentalism/thoreaus-walking/summary-and-analysis): "Thoreau's essay "Walking" grew out of journal entries developed in 1851 into two lectures, "Walking" and "The Wild," which were delivered in 1851 and 1852, and again in 1856 and 1857. Thoreau combined the lectures, separated them in 1854, and worked them together again for publication in 1862, as he was dying. "Walking" was first published just after the author's death, in the June 1862 issue of Atlantic Monthly. . . . .Thoreau takes up the subject of the wild (synonymous with the west), in which he finds "the preservation of the World." The legend of Romulus and Remus (founders of Rome, who as infants were suckled by a wolf) demonstrates that civilization has drawn strength from the wild. He writes of the wildness of primitive people, of his own yearning for "wild lands where no settler has squatted," and of his hope that each man may be "a part and parcel of Nature" (the phrase repeated from the beginning of the essay), exuding sensory evidence of his connection with her. He equates wildness with life and strength. He himself prefers the wild vigor of the swamp, a place where one can "recreate" oneself, to the cultivated garden. The wild confers health on both the individual and society." For the full reading of Thoreau's work, go to: https://librivox.org/walking-by-henry-david-thoreau/. For the full text, see: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1022.
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September 9, 2014
Segment 1 | Hindsight: "The War of the Worlds: Myth or Legend"
From ABC Radio National's Hindsight, we bring you this excellent documentary that revisits Orson Wells' classic 1938 broadcast: "It's more than 75 years since the broadcast of one of the best known hoaxes in the history of radio - Orson Welles' production of The War of The Worlds. Some now believe that the newspapers of the time, fearing the growing power of radio, exaggerated events in order to discredit the new medium. Nevertheless, when The War Of The Worlds dramatisation was repeated in Ecuador in 1949 it triggered a dramatic and tragic series of events, and saw the radio station that broadcast the program set alight and burnt to the ground. . . ."
Segment 2 | From the Archives: "Joseph Conrad's The Heart of Darkness" (1899; LibriVox reading).
On November 6, 1938, one week after they broadcast the radio adaptation of War of the Worlds, The Mercury Theater of the AIr broadcast an adaptation of Joseph Conrad's 1899 novel Heart of Darkness. Though that broadcast survives, the audio is of such poor quality that we could not re-broadcast it (you can listen to it -- and other broadcasts -- at: http://www.mercurytheatre.info). However, we did find a reading of the novel from LibriVox. Here is a short excerpt from the novel. For the full reading, go to: https://librivox.org/heart-of-darkness-by-joseph-conrad. Here is a short summary of the novel, also from Lbrivox: "Set in a time of oppressive colonisation, when large areas of the world were still unknown to Europe, and Africa was literally on maps and minds as a mysterious shadow, Heart of Darkness famously explores the rituals of civilisation and barbarism, and the frighteningly fine line between them. We get the tale through a classic unreliable narrator, relating as Marlow, a ship’s captain, tells how he was sent by the Company to retrieve the wayward Kurtz, and was shaken to discover the true depths of darkness in that creature’s, and in his own, soul. Conrad based the work closely on his own terrible experience in the Congo. This work has been reinterpreted and adapted into many modern forms, the most well known being the film Apocalypse Now. (Summary written by Marlo Dianne) ."
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September 2, 2014
Segment 1 | Backstory: "The Great War"
From Backstory and the American History guys" "World War I was sometimes called 'Tthe war to end all wars." But a hundred years after the fighting began, it's become a war that's often forgotten in American history, or viewed as a prelude to WWII. In this episode, we explore some of the ways the conflict affected Americans far beyond the battlefields of Europe -- from debates about the meaning of free speech, to the fight over how the war would be remembered."
Segment 2 | From the Archives: "Eugene V. Debs, 1904, on the Benefits of Socialism -- as read by Leon Spencer."
During the 1904 presidential campaign Eugene Debs gave a speech, read here and recorded in the Edison Studio by Leon Spencer, on the benefits of socialism. Additional details on the recording and the speech are at http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5658.
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August 26, 2014
Segment 1 | Hindsight: "Famagusta 'Ammochostos': hidden in the sand" (2014).
From Hindsight, the Australia Radio National program that looks at the past, we present this documentary exploring some of the recent history of divided Cyprus. Produced by Anna Messariti, with sound engineering by Andrei Shabunov, the program marks the 40th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, in 1974. "The setting is Famagusta which appears as a 'double city': on the one hand, a beautiful but crumbling medieval town, set against the stunning backdrop of its more Ancient Greek past. On the other hand, it's a modern, new but completely derelict city; situated by the seaside, of about eight square kilometres, and is called Varosha -- and surprisingly, Varosha has been a ghost town since 1974. It's hard to imagine the existence of a ghost city by the seashore, especially in Cyprus--a tourist mecca and a member country of the European Unio--but, since ancient times, this tiny Eastern Mediterranean island has suffered a turbulent history.
This documentary investigates the so-called Cyprus Problem, which has remained static for forty years. The heart of the program lies in an articulation of the experiences and perspectives of women and children during the war in 1974 and of its aftermath." For more information about the program, see: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/hindsight/famagusta/5642146.
Segment 2 | From the Archives: 'U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's Speech on U.S.-Cyprus Relations, delivered on his visit to Cyprus" (May 22, 2014).
Here is the audio of remarks by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden at an official lunch with President Nicos Anastasiades of Cyprus. A full transcription of his remarks can be found at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/05/22/remarks-vice-president-joe-biden-official-lunch-president-nicos-anastasi. You can also find a video recording of both Biden's and President Anastadiades' speeches here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4wO3KurOgk. Biden noted that he was the first U.S. VP to visit Cyprus since Lyndon B. Johnson visited in 1962.
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August 19, 2014
Segment 1 | Backstory: "On the Take ~ Corruption in America" (2014).
Backstory and the American History guys explore various stories of corruption in American history: "It's a worry as old as the Republic: Do politicians look out for the public good, or their own private interests? But what exactly Americans consider the corruption of public office has changed over time. This week, BackStory shines a light on fears of corruption in America–from back room deals in Congress, to paying bureaucrats on commission, to the taint of corporate money in modern politics.
Elliot Berke, Managing Partner, Berke-Farah; Daniel Feller, University of Tennessee, Knoxville; Joanne Freeman, Yale University; Nicholas Parrillo, Yale University; Michael Smith, McNeese State University; Adam Winkler, UCLA."
Segment 2 | From the Archives: 'Almanac Newsreel: Teapot Dome" (1958).
Here is the audio of a short newsreel describing one of the two most important scandals in 20th century U.S. history: the Teapot Dome scandal. You can see the original version (in video) in this collection, available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gk9ebeaZcU.
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August 12, 2014
Segment 1 | "Hindsight: The Guns of August" (2014).
Here's another segment from the weekly history program Hindsight from Australia's Radio National -- focusing on Barbara Tuchman's Guns of August and its influence on John F. Kennedy and Cold War diplomats." In 1962, American historian Barbara Tuchman published The Guns of August, a book about the first month of World War 1, from the opening shots to the Allied victory against the Germans at the First Battle of the Marne. It also depicts the diplomatic chaos preceding it – the July crisis – how political events can spiral out of control, how human failings affect crucial decisions, and how military plans can take on their own unstoppable imperative.
In 1962, there were lessons here for the belligerents of a new era – the Cold War. The Guns of August became a surprise best seller and won the coveted Pulitzer prize, but did it help to save the world from nuclear conflagration?" Guests include: Margaret MacMillan,
Professor of History at St Anthony's College, Oxford;
Professor of History at San Francisco State University;
Professor of Diplomatic History at the University of East Anglia;
James Der Derian,
Michael Hintze Chair of International Security Studies, and Director of the Centre for International Security Studies at the University of Sydney;
Journalist and historian of the Cold War;
Professor of History at Le Moyne College.
Segment 2 | From the Archives: 'Harold Macmillan at DePauw University" (1958).
Harold Macmillan, who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from January 1957 to October 1963, delivered this talk at DePauw Universisty in Indiana in June of 1958. Macmillan, like John F. Kennedy, was quite impressed with Barbara Tuchman's book The Guns of August (he received a copy from Kennedy soon after its publication in 1962). And like Kennedy, the book influenced -- or reinforced -- his approach to the Soviet Union in the 1960s. For more information on his 1958 talk, see: )http://www.depauw.edu/news-media/latest-news/details/20586/.
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August 5, 2014
Segment 1 | "Backstory: Tapped Out ~ Thirsting for Fresh Water" (2014).
From Backstory and the American History guys, we bring you this historical exploration of the quest for water in American history: "The Western U.S. is in the grip of a punishing drought. Reservoir levels are dropping, and farmers are struggling to ensure water access for their crops and livestock. Consider California. Without water access, one of the nation’s largest states could lose up to $2.2 billion in revenue -- and let's not forget the strain on an already fragile climate. Some scientists even fear that Americans have reached 'peak water' in the West.
In this episode, we’re looking at how Americans have managed access to water throughout our history. From early legal struggles over natural waterways to the shared irrigation systems of New Mexico, we'’ll consider how Americans have divided up water rights for private profit and public good. We'll explore how ideas about usage shifted as the country expanded into the water-scarce West. And we'll even take a dip into the debate over who could use swimming pools in the 1920s.
William Kahrl; Dan Tarlock, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law; Jeff Wiltse, University of Montana; Ralph Vigil, Member, New Mexico Acequia Commission."
Segment 2 | From the Archives: 'The Sons of the Pioneers Sing 'Cool Water'" (1936; 1947).
There are many songs about water and water scarcity. One of the best known is
Bob Nolan's "Cool Water," written in 1936 and recorded by
Vaughn Monroe and The Sons of the Pioneers -- a pioneering Western music group that included Bob Nolan and Roy Rogers.
The recording was released by RCA Victor Records. For more details about Nolan and The Sons of the Pioneers, see: http://www.sonsofthepioneers.org/History_Sons_of_the_Pioneers.html.
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July 29, 2014
Segment 1 | "Lucia Joyce: Diving and Falling"
From Hindsight, the weekly history program from Radio National and the Austrailian Broadcasting Corporation, this piece looks at the life of Lucia Joyce, daughter of James Joyce: "Imagine being the daughter of one of the world's most experimental and famous writers. Imagine you have inherited some of your father's creativity and are determined to find a way to express this in some way.This is story of Lucia Joyce, the troubled and talented daughter of James Joyce. A story set against the fascinating backdrop of Europe between the World Wars."
Segment 2 | From the Archives: Charlotte Perkins Gilman: "The Yellow Wallpaper"
From the LibriVox short story collection, scroll to # 20 for one of several readings of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper. An early text, with illustrations is available at http://www.sffaudio.com/podcasts/TheYellowWall-PaperByCharlottePerkinsStetson.pdf. First published in January 1892, in "The New England Magazine," the story echoes many of the themes of of women and mental illness, medical care, theories of hysteria, and societal beliefsabout suitable activities for women that are echoed in the experiences of Lucia Joyce.
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July 22, 2014
Segment 1 | "Backstory: Legislation Impossible ~ The Civil Rights Act of 1964" (2014).
In this segment from Backstory, the American History guys offer a detailed examination of the events and personalities that led to the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.: "In the summer of 1963, the prospects for a long-awaited civil rights bill looked dim. One book published that year saw the situation as hopeless, saying Americans 'underestimate the extent to which our system was designed for deadlock and inaction.' Just a year later, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the law of the land. So how did something that seemed so unlikely become a reality? BackStory traces the various strands of history that culminated in this momentous legislation.
Clay Risen, author of The Bill of the Century (2014); Donald A. Ritchie, U.S. Senate Historian, on the legislative battle for the Civil Rights bill and Republican Senator Everett Dirksen's crucial role in ensuring its success;
Bruce Ackerman, Yale University, and Risa Goluboff, University of Virginia, on the Supreme Court case that threatened to derail Civil Rights legislation in the spring of 1964;
Jo Freeman, independent scholar, on how the gender equality provisions got included in the Civil Rights Act, and whether they were meant to impede its passage; and
Charlie Cobb, journalist and former Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) activist, on what the Civil Rights Act failed to address."
Segment 2 | From the Archives: "John R. Lynch on The Facts of Reconstruction" (1913; LibriVox reading).
John R. Lynch (1847 - 1939), a former Mississippi slave, rose to prominence during the Reconstruction era -- first opbtaining a position as a Justice of the Peace, then becoming Mississippi State Representative, and finally getting himself elected to the U.S. Congress in 1873. He took an especially active role in supporting the Civil Rights Act of 1875, banning discrimination in public accommodations.
Even after the abandonment of Reconstruction reforms, Lynch continued to remain politically active. Theodore Roosevelt nominated him In 1884 to the position of Temporary Chairman of the Republican National Convention in Chicago, Illinois and he was later appointed Treasury Auditor and then Paymaster under the Republicans. He served with the Regular Army with tours of duty in the United States, Cuba, and the Philippines during and after the Spanish-American War. After completing military service in 1911, he moved to Chicago, where he practiced law and wrote historical works focusing on the Reconstruction era. He died in Chicago in 1939 at the age of 92, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Lynch's book, The Facts of Reconstruction, published in 1913, was one of the earliest books to challenge the increasingly influential and popular post-Reconstruction historians who were extremely critical of the Reconstruction policies of the Federal government (the "Dunning School"). Lynch -- like later historians such as E. B. DuBois, emphasized the substantial contributions that African Americans made during this period. Here we present a LibriVox reading of one of the chapters from The Facts of Reconstruction. For the full book reading (and links to the full text of the book), see: https://librivox.org/the-facts-of-reconstruction-by-john-r-lynch/.
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July 15, 2014
Segment 1 | "Backstory: America Incorporated ~ A History of Corporations" (2014).
In this episode of Backstory, the American History guys explore the history of U.S corporations from the early National period to the present: "From the proliferation of corporations in the post-Revolutionary era to the rise of the Gilded Age giants, we’ll consider how corporations have been viewed in the courts and by the population-at-large.
Brian Murphy, Baruch College, City University of New York, on the “Manhattan Company” – a small-scale water corporation that had an outsize impact on party politics in the early Republic;
Charles McCurdy, University of Virginia, on the aftermath of the 1819 'Dartmouth College' Supreme Court case and the rise of the anti-monopoly movement in Jacksonian America;
Jack Beatty, journalist and author of Age of Betrayal (2007), on the legal footnote that helped establish 'corporate personhood' in the late 19th Century;
Bart Elmore, University of Alabama, on the Coca-Cola company's secret formula for corporate organization and economic success. and Rakesh Khurana, Harvard Business School, on the 1970s transformation of the corporate manager into the superstar CEO."
Segment 2 | From the Archives:" Calvin Coolidge and 'Law and Order'" (1920)
From Here's a recording from the presidential election of 1920 (from the Library of Congress); it features a talk by Vice Presidentaial candidate Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933). Its relevance as a complement to the above piece should be obviou. From the Library of Congress site: "Governor Calvin Coolidge of Massachusetts first achieved national prominence during the Boston police strike of 1919, when he sent a telegram to Samuel Gompers, President of the American Federation of Labor, saying: 'There is no right to strike against the public safety by anyone, anywhere, any time.'
Coolidge was a reserved, uncommunicative New Englander; writer and wit Dorothy Parker once remarked he looked as though he had been "weaned on a pickle." Even so, his obvious integrity and the simple American values he espoused soon made 'Silent Cal' a popular figure. He succeeded to the presidency upon Harding's death in 1923, and was elected to the White House in his own right in 1924."
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