Aural History Productions
Radio Archive ~ Recent Programs
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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: "Andrew Carnegie: The Gospel of Wealth" (1889; 1914).
Here us a rare recording of Andrew Carnegie, at age 78, reading selections from one of his most famous essays --- "The Gospel of Wealth," originally published in 1889. The recording took place iinside Thomas Edison's Bronx, N.Y.
studio. For more information on this recording, go to: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/businessnews/2007/10/30/Only-known-recording-of-Andrew-Carnegie-gives-voice-to-history/stories/200710300181
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July 8, 2014
Segment 1 | "The American Counter Revolution" (1914)
From Against the Grain: "Gerald Horne sees the colonists' revolt of 1776 not as a noble struggle for liberty and independence but as a counter-revolution, one waged by this nation's Founding Fathers to defend their right to enslave Africans. The white settlers rose up, argues Horne, in the face of growing evidence that London was moving toward abolition." Recent works of University of Houston professor Gerald Hornes include The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America NYU Press, 2014 and Race to Revolution: The United States and Cuba during Slavery and Jim Crow Monthly Review Press, 2014.
Segment 2 | From the Archives: "Mississippi Governor Ross Barnet, 1962 Spech"
From the Pacifica Radio Series, From the Vault: "Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett condemns the actions of voter registration activists who have created a Movement to register disenfranchised Black voters who have been traditionally excluded from voting in Mississippi. Interestingly, Governor Barnett uses the same language used today to dismiss efforts to make improvements in American society. He recoils to name calling of activists as Communist, Liberals and other such labels that threaten the very fabric of America...."
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July 1, 2014
Segment 1 | "Independence Daze: A History of July 4th"
From Backstory: "In the early days of our nation, July Fourth wasn’t an official holiday at all. In fact, it wasn’t until 1938 that it became a paid day-off. So how did the Fourth become the holiest day on our secular calendar? This episode offers some answers. With perspective from guests and taking questions from listeners, Peter, Ed, and Brian explore the origins of July Fourth. They highlight the holiday’s radical roots, look at how the Declaration’s meaning has changed over time, and consider how the descendants of slaves embraced the Declaration’s message of liberty and equality."
Segment 2 | From the Archives: "Mark Twain: An Independence Day Speech in London, 1907"
From the LibriVox readings of Mark Twain's speeches (go to #99), this is his talk to
The American Society in London on July 4, 1907, at
the Hotel Cecil. American Ambassador Choate called on Mr. Clemens to
respond to the toast "The Day We Celebrate."
For the full text, see: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/3188/3188-h/3188-h.htm#link2H_4_0100.
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June 24, 2014'
Segment 1 | "Hindsight: 'Eichmann on Trial' and 'The Man in the Glass Box'" (2014).
From ABC/RN's Hindsight: "Part 1 ~ Adolf Eichmann was responsible for sending millions of people to the Nazi death camps during World War Two. After the end of the war he escaped to Argentina, but in 1960 he was snatched by the Mossad, Israel's intelligence service, and brought to Jerusalem to stand trial.
In this programme the award-winning British journalist Gavin Esler travels to Israel to meet those involved in Eichmann's dramatic and controversial capture and trial.
The kidnapping violated Argentina's sovereignty and was condemned by the UN. Questions were raised about whether it was appropriate to try Eichmann in Israel, and international Jewish leaders feared an anti-Semitic backlash.
David Ben-Gurion, Israel's Prime Minister, insisted that the Jewish state was the only heir of the six million murdered and that the trial would fulfil a historic duty. Ultimately, it forced the young country to confront its history in a way that had profound consequences.
Gavin meets Rafi Eitan, who led the Mossad team and who recalls his acute sense of being involved in something momentous. Gabriel Bach, the deputy prosecutor, explains that Eichmann's defence; that 'he was only following orders' was laughable. In fact he disobeyed orders to carry out his extermination ambitions. Michael Goldman Gilad, who survived Auschwitz, became a policeman and witnessed Eichmann's execution. He remembers being forced to spread ash from the Birkenau crematorium onto the icy ground so SS officers wouldn't slip. Only when he saw the tiny pile of ash after Eichmann's cremation did he realise how many bodies must have made up the ash mound in the camp.
This program is a Whistledown production." PART 2 ~ Jeffrey Shandler, author of While America Watches, analyzes the impact of the televising of the Eichmann Trial.
Segment 2 | From the Archives: Hermann Goering at Nuremberg, March 18, 1946.
We present here some excerpts from the cross examination of Hermann Goering on March 18, 1946 by chief American Prosecutor Robert H. Jackson at the Nuremberg trials. For the film/video version of these excerpts, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfwujaV7Ia8.For further information on Goering, see: http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007112. For more on the Nuremberg trials, see: http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_Law/Nuremberg_trials.html.
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June 17, 2014
Segment 1 | "Against the Grain: Greg Grandin on Freedom and Slavery" (2014).
From Against the Grain, we bring you this discussion with historian Greg Grandin: "In 1805, a remarkable slave rebellion took place -- not in the Atlantic, but in the Pacific, and involving an unusual ruse. And it illustrates, argues historian Greg Grandin, something fundamental about freedom and unfreedom in the New World. Grandin examines the historical event, immortalized by Herman Melville, in which insurgent slave leaders maintained a striking deception against the odds, but were ultimately repressed by an anti-slavery republican. Greg Grandin is the author of The Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World (Metropolitan Books, 2014).
Segment 2 | From the Archives: "LibriVox reading of William Lloyd Garrison from The Liberator, December 28, 1859." Original document: 1859; reading: 2007).
From LibriVox, here is a selection from a reading of a William Lloyd Garrison sympathetic editorial on John Brown's attack on Harper's Ferry. It appeared in Garrison's paper, The Liberator on October 28, 1859. For the text, see: http://fair-use.org/the-liberator/1859/10/28/the-tragedy-at-harpers-ferry.
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June 10, 2014
Segment 1 | "Backstory: Black Gold ~ An American History of Oil" (2014).
From Backstory and the American History guys, we bring you these stories of oil in American history: "At the beginning of the 20th century, oil was hardly on America's energy map. Coal was king, supplying as much as 90% of the nation's energy needs. And the second most used energy source? Wood. But in just a few short decades Americans would come to depend on oil to heat their homes, get to work, power their military, and supply the plastics for their appliances. By the dawn of the 21st century, President George W. Bush would declare America "addicted" to the substance. So in this episode, the BackStory guys and their guests look to the roots of that addiction, and explore how oil has shaped the American lifestyle and economy over time.
H.W. Brands, University of Texas--Austin, on John D. Rockefeller, the Standard Oil trust, and the contradictory capitalism of the Gilded Age;
Kathryn Morse, Middlebury College, on the beauty some observers discerned in the first oil 'gushers';
Matt Huber, Syracuse University, on the 1930s oil boom in the American southwest, and the military might brought in to control it; Rochelle Zuck, University of Minnesota--Duluth, on the emergence of Spiritualist fervor in the Pennsylvania oil fields of the 1860s; and
Andrew Scott Cooper, author of The Oil Kings, on the oil shocks of 1973 and how they continue to shape the world we live in today.
Segment 2 | From the Archives: "Franklin D. Roosevelt's Fireside Chat on the 1943 Coal Strike" (1943).
During World War II, John L. Lewis, head of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), and one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's most consistent critics, repeatedly violated the union's "no strike" pledge. The pledge -- one that was also taken by CIO and AFL unions -- came right after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Probably the most egregious violation of that pledge came in 1943 when half a million UMWA mine workers walked off their jobs. "By 1943, the UMWA's agreements with bituminous
coal mine owners had expired, and Lewis demanded a 2-
dollar wage increase to compensate workers for the
time it took them to travel from the entrance of the
mine to the work site, travel time for which they had
not previously received any pay. The matter was referred
to the War Labor Board, but Lewis refused to appear
before the board, and the union went out on strike.
President Roosevelt responded by seizing the coal
mines and attempting to force the UMWA and the
mine owners to come to an agreement. No agreement
was reached however, and Lewis led the miners out on
strike a second time on 11 June 1943, this time against
the federal government, who were at that point running
the mines. Roosevelt responded by threatening to ask
Congress for the ability to draft striking miners. This
temporarily ended the strike, but UMWA walked out
again in October. This time an agreement was reached,
and the coal miners received a wage increase of $1.50." [SOURCE: Encylopedia of U.S. Labor and Working-Class History, Routledge, 2007; p. 1279). Lewis' repeated violation of the "no-strike" pledge outraging public opinion and ultimately contributed to the passage of the Smith-Connaly Act, which restricted the ability of war industry workers to strike.
Right after the US. government took control of the mines in 1943, President Roosevelt went on the air with one of his fireside chats and appealed to mine workers to return to work. Here we present his recorded remarks.
For the published text of FDR's remarks, see: http://millercenter.org/president/speeches/detail/3330.
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June 3, 2014
Segment 1 | "Hindsight: Child of Ardoyne" (Falling Tree Production, 2011 ).
From our friends at ABC's Hindsight we bring you this Falling Tree Production: "Ardoyne, in north Belfast, lies at the heart of 'murder mile', the working class community where there were more deaths per capita than anywhere else in Northern Ireland during thirty years of 'the Troubles' And at the centre of Ardoyne are the Holy Cross primary schools, one for girls and one for boys.
Of the ninety-nine people killed in Ardoyne between 1969 and 1997 by the army or by nationalist or loyalist paramilitaries, two-thirds attended these schools. Children like Philip McTaggart used the burnt-out houses abandoned by Protestant families in 1969 as their playground. Others like Karen McGuigan leapt from their bicycles and ran for cover as gun battles broke out between republicans and the army.
A generation later - and three years after the 1998 Good Friday Agreement - Karen and her daughter Christine, who was then in her last year at primary school, became embroiled in the Holy Cross dispute. This protest by loyalist residents against their Catholic neighbours' route to the school shocked a world that had been lulled into thinking the worst of Northern Ireland's troubles was in the past.
In this 'composed meditation', residents of Ardoyne - Catholic and Protestant, nationalist and loyalist - remember growing up during the conflict and, together with children of today, seek an understanding of the legacy that's been bequeathed to the children of tomorrow."
Segment 2 | From the Archives: "Samuel Becket's Endgame" (selection; 1992 film production audio track).
Here is a short excerpt from the play Endgame by the Irish-born playwright Samuel Becket. The play was originally directed for the stage by Becket; the 1992 film version of the play -- from which this was extracted -- was directed by Robert Bilheimer and starred Bud Thorpe, Rick Cluchey, Teresita Garcia Suro and Alan Mandell. For the video of the production, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Joj4Akj_rPo. For more information on the play and on Becket, see: http://www.sparknotes.com/drama/endgame/themes.html. For the script, see: http://samuel-beckett.net/endgame.html.
Segment 3 | "With Good Reason: The Doctors of Nazi Germany" (2014).
Here's a segment from With Good Reason from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities: "In the late 19th century, German medical practices were considered to be the best in the world. But by the start of World War II, German physicians were directly involved in the mass killings of the Holocaust. Theodore Reiff (Christopher Newport University) looks at the subversion of German doctors in the Nazi era." See http://withgoodreasonradio.org/2014/03/the-aftermath-of-nazi-germany/ for more details.
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