Aural History Productions
Radio Archive ~ January - June 2012
June 28, 2012
Segment 1 | "Cheers and Jeers: Alcohol in America" (2012).
This week Backstory asks "...when and why alcohol consumption and production has ebbed and flowed. They look at why rum became the drink of choice among revolutionary troops, explore why American Indians were rejecting alcohol two centuries before the rest of the country, and follow the long march toward Prohibition." Visit the Backstory Web site for more information about this and other their other programs: http://backstoryradio.org.
Segment 2 | Archival Audio Segment: "Prohibition Repeal Pro and Con"
This audio segment from a 1930's newsreel features John D. Rockefeller and Fred A. Victor, Superintendent of the NYS Anti-saloon league outlining their respective positions on the repeal of Prohibition. As Rockefeller notes, given his and his family's strong financial support of the Anti-Saloon League, his advocacy of Prohibitio repeal was unexpected at the time.
Original is audio and video from the Internet Archive, http://archive.org/details/tobacco_pew27a00. Additional details in the University of California, San Francisco Legacy Tobacco Documents holdings
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June 21, 2012
Segment 1 | "Backstory: The War of 1812 ~ Which One Was That?" (2012).
This week Backstory explores the history of the War of 1812: "200 years ago this week, the U.S. declared war for the first time in its history. Today, few people remember who we were fighting, much less what we were fighting for. If you do remember anything about the War of 1812, it's probably something from the back of a high school history flashcard, like the burning of the White House or the Battle of New Orleans.
But despite its status as a forgotten war, the War of 1812 was hugely influential in shaping the nation we live in today. And so in this hour of BackStory, we go beyond the trivia, and explore some of the war's deeper legacies. We look at why the war loomed so large in novels & poems of the post-war years, how the war re-defined government policies towards Native Americans, and why the war nearly led to a Civil War within the U.S. Through it all, we set out to answer the most fundamental questions about the War of 1812: What did we win, what did we lose, and why should we care?
Rear Admiral Herman A. Shelanski, Commander Carrier Strike Group 10, U.S. Navy;
Brian Merrett, CEO of the 1812 Legacy Council;
Alan Taylor, Professor of History, University of California; Davis
Nicole Eustace, Associate Professor of History, New York University;
Adam Jortner, Assistant Professor of History, Auburn University;
and Bill C. Malone, country music historian, radio host, and Professor Emeritus at Tulane University. Visit the Backstory Web site for more information about their programs: http://backstoryradio.org.
Segment 2 | Archival Audio Segment: "A LibriVox Reading of Theodore Roosevelt's 1902 Classic, THE NAVAL WAR OF 1812." (2012).
In keeping with our main segment's theme, we turn to an reading of a selection from a 1881 classic by Theodore Roosevelt, The Naval War of 1812. The reading comes to use from LibriVox (www.librivox.org), Roosevelt had been fascinated by all things military -- and especially naval -- for quite some time and decided to write an undergraudate thesis on the War of 1812 emphasizing the naval aspects of the war. This was in 1879. That work became the basis of his book. Roosevelt, many years after the book was published was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy by President McKinley. McKinley later selected him as his running mate in 1900 for his second term. He was soon elevated to President after Pres. McKinley's assassination. For more information on Roosevelt's book on the War of 1812, see: http://www.ijnhonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/pdf_crawford.pdf.
Segment 3 | From the Archives: "Ray Bradbury Remembered ~ 1964 and 1973 Speeches from the Pacifica Radio Archives (From the Vault)
Pacifica Radio's From the Vault pays homage to recently deceased sci-fi writer Ray Bradbury (died June 5, 2012): "We present two classic recordings from Pacifica Radio Archives. Our first featured recording, The World of Ray Bradbury (1964), Bradbury is interviewed by Francis Roberts, and traces the evolution of his unique writing style – from his childhood to then-present day. The second recording is a speech Bradbury delivered at the International Colloquium on Mars in December 1973; here, Bradbury reflects on the literary and visionary masters before him that inspired him as a child to dream, and calls on humanity to momentarily ignore the influence of popular culture and focus on personal dreams."
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June 14, 2012
Segment 1 | "Backstory: Weathering the Storm" (2012).
This week Backstory explores the history of severe wearther events and responses to them: "In 1815, a volcanic eruption in Indonesia sent enough ash into the sky to disrupt the world's weather for the next year. In New England, 1816 became known as 'The Year Without a Summer.' Snow fell in June and July. Crops and animals died. Tens of thousands of people picked up and left; their search for greener pastures became an early chapter in a larger story of westward expansion.
This story and more are a part of this week's exploration of extreme weather in America.
Gareth Davies, Lecturer in American History at St. Ann's College, University of Oxford and
Aaron Beebe, Director of the Coney Island Museum."
Visit the Backstory Web site for more information about their programs: http://backstoryradio.org.
Segment 2 | Archival Audio Segment: "The Great New England Hurricane of 1938" (WPA file soundtrack; 1939).
From the Prelinger Archives and archive.org, we bring you the sound track from the WPA documentary, "Shock Troops of Disaster: The Story of the New England Hurricane" (1938). The film focuses on the extensive damage caused by the worst Hurricane to ever hit New England, one that took nearly 800 lives and destroyed tens of thousands of homes. The film focuses on the mobilization of WPA workers in response to the disaster.
Producer: U.S. Work Projects Administration.
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NOTE: Beginning in June 2012, we will no longer be regularly posting RealMedia versions of our programs. We will only be providing MP3 playback or downloads (a download option will only be provided where the contributing producer has not restricted it).
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June 7, 2012
Segment 1 | "Backstory: In the Beginning: Science and Religion in America" (2012).
From the American History Guys & Backstory: "In 1925, Tennessee high school teacher John Scopes was charged with violating a state law banning the teaching of evolution. Back then, many people believed the Scopes 'Monkey Trial' would be the last gasp of the anti-evolution movement. But 85 years later, about the same percentage of Americans believe in creationism as believe in evolution.
On this episode of BackStory, the History Guys explore the ways Americans have attempted to grapple with the biggest question of them all: 'Where did we come from?' Together, they trace the ups and downs in the relationship between science and religion. Are there times when the two have not been at odds? How did the Founders conceive of "creation," and why did the idea of extinction pose such a challenge to their worldview? How were Darwin's ideas received in the U.S., and why did it take six decades before public school systems started challenging the teaching of his theories? What lessons does history offer those interested in charting a peaceful relationship between science and religion in the future?
Ronald Numbers - Professor of the History of Science and Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and
Joe Wilkey - Head of the Department of Science at Rhea County High School, Evensville, TN." Visit the Backstory Web site for more information about their programs: http://backstoryradio.org.
Segment 2 | "H.L. Mencken on The Scopes Trial: 'The Hills of Zion'"
Henry Louis Mencken, the American satirist, journalist, and magazine editor reported on the Scopes Trial. This is a recent reading of one of his accounts, "The Hills of Zion," originally composed in July of 1925. Mencken recalled: "I wrote [it] on a roaring hot Sunday afternoon in a Chattanooga hotel room, naked above the waist and with only a pair of BVDs below."
Source: http://www.storyspieler.net/?p=1663. For more on Mencken's visit to Dayton, see: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/monkeytrial/peopleevents/p_mencken.html.
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May 31, 2012
Segment 1 and 3: "Backstory: Monumental Disagreements" (2012).
Real Media. MP3 Time: 31:34.
Real Media. MP3 Time: 19:02.
The History Guys come back this week to look at how we remember the past in stone, steel, and bronze: "This is a country awash in monuments. They are the centerpieces of traffic circles, street corners and, of course, the National Mall. We have erected them to Rosie the Riveter and Confederate generals. Yet our ambivalence towards these monuments is as old as our enthusiasm for them. Case in point: The Washington Monument. Ever wonder why there isn't actually a image of Washington on it?
In this Memorial Day episode of BackStory, we take on national remembrance. By looking at some of our country's most iconic monuments, the Guys ask what—and whom—Americans choose to remember. They discover that memorials often tell us more about their creators than what or whom they memorialize.
Kirk Savage – Professor of Art and Architecture at the University of Pittsburgh;
Kristin Szakos – City Council Member in Charlottesville, Virginia; and Teresa Bergman–Professor of Communications and Film Studies at the University of the Pacific." Visit the Backstory Web site for more information about their programs: http://backstoryradio.org.
Segment 2: "FDR on Westward Expansion and the Northwest Ordinance" (1938).
Real Media. MP3. Time: 22:53.
On July 8, 1938, FDR delivered this talk during the inauguration of the Start Westward Monument in Marietta, Ohio. The monument was carved by Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor of Mt. Rushmore, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the passage of the Northwest Ordinance and the establishment of the Northwest Territory; Marietta was the first settlement in the Territory, established in 1788 and Ohio was the first state to be carved out from the territory, in 1803. The event provided another opportunity for Franklin Roosevelt to argue for an activist role for government.
Additional Segment (aired 8-9 AM, EST): "Howard Zinn on 'Virtual Optimism' ~ The Other Side of American History" (1992).
PART 1: Real Media. MP3. Time: 35:06.
PART 2: Real Media. MP3. Time: 23:16.
From the Pacifica Radio Archives and From the Vault, we present this talk by Howard Zinn, delivered in Berkeley, California in November 1992 -- titled, "Virtual Optimism: The Other Side of American History.' "In this recording, Zinn shares how his personal view of history changed following his experiences during the Vietnam War, and explains his interests in the cause of war, the nature of "enemy" soldiers, the laborers who built the railroad, factory laborers, the poor, and the unrepresented."
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May 24, 2012
Segment 1 and 3: "Backstory: Home, Bittersweet Home ~ A History of Homeownership" (2012).
Real Media. MP3 Time: 25:54.
Real Media. MP3 Time: 25:02.
We continue wiith our Backstory spring/summer marathon with this program, focusing on home ownership in American history: "In 1931, Herbert Hoover called the idea of owning one's own home "a sentiment deep in the heart of our race and of American life." In this episode, the History Guys search for the roots of that sentiment, and consider how it has played out over time. The image of a deed to a home with a yard and picket fence is at the core of the American Dream, but for many, the housing reality has looked more like a pile of rent receipts and back mortgage payments. Why has the ideal of home ownership been so difficult for so many generations of Americans to attain? Was there ever a Golden Age of home ownership, anyway?
Loren Moulds -- Historian, University of Virginia
Richard White – Professor of History, Stanford University
David Edelstein -- Film critic, New York Magazine." Visit the Backstory Web site for more information about their programs: http://backstoryradio.org.
Segment 2: "Hull House and Jane Addams" (LibriVox reading; orig. document: 1962).
Real Media. MP3. Time: 8:25.
Here's a selection from Jane Addams' Twenty Years at Hull House (1910) -- describing her quest for a Chicago house that would serve as the center for her settlement work activities. It comes from chapter 5 ("First Days at Hull House") of her book. For the full reading of this Progressive Era classic, go to: http://librivox.org/twenty-years-at-hull-house-by-jane-addams/. You'll find a link there as well to the full on-line text as well as links to biographical information on Addams.
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May 17, 2012
Segment 1 and 3: "Backstory: Born in the USA" (2012).
Real Media. MP3 Time: 31:25.
Real Media. MP3 Time: 18:46.
"The History Guys set out to explore the earliest stages of life in America. They begin with a few of the basic assumptions we have about birth in America today, and spend the hour exploring how those assumptions came into being. How is it that hospital doctors moved in on what had been midwife’s exclusive territory? Why did Puritans think their newborns were damned from the outset? When did courts start ruling that fetuses had legal rights? Why have generations of Americans resisted the notion of birthright citizenship?" This week's guests include: Laura Wattenberg, founder of BabyNameWizard.com, Peggy Bendroth of the Congregational Christian Historical Society,
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Professor of History, Harvard University and author of A Midwife's Tale),
Jessica Waters, Professor of Law, American University. For more information about this program and about Backstory, go to: http://backstoryradio.org/born-in-the-usa/.
Segment 2: "Psychoanalyzing Babies: Benjamin Spock" (1962).
Real Media. MP3. Time: 3:16.
Here's a selection from a 1962 interview with one of the most influential baby doctors of 20th century America.
You can watch the full interview at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GF20rgdd0RI. A lengthy biography appeared in the New York Times' obituary of March 17, 1998: http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/bday/0502.html.
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May 10, 2012
Segment 1: "Making of the War of the Worlds" (1988).
Real Media. MP3 Time: 29:28.
In 1938, the Mercury Theater broadcast one of the most controversial and famous dramatic radio theatrical production of all time -- Orson Welles' The War of the Worlds. This 1988 documentary by award-winning radio producer and voice actor Joe Bevilacqua "looks at how the landmark broadcast came about and examines its impact on broadcast history. The half-hour program includes rare interviews with Mercury Theater producer John Houseman and writer Howard Koch, actor Arthur Anderson and the people of Grover's Mill, NJ who lived through the 'Martian Invasion.' )."
Segment 2: "Blithedale Romance and Brook Farm" (1959).
Real Media. MP3. Time: 27:53.
From a 14-part 1959/1960 Pacifica series titled The American Woman, we offer this segment, a dramatic adaptation
of a section of one of Nathaniel Hawthorne's novels,The Blithedale Romance (1852). The novel was partially based on Hawthorne's 1841 experiences at the utopian community of Brook Farm and his encounter with several prominent individuals who shared those experiences with him -- especially Margaret Fuller (most likely represented by the character Zenobia in the novel). For information about Hawthorne and The Blithdale Romance, see: http://www.eldritchpress.org/nh/hawthorne.html For information on Fuller, see: http://www.vcu.edu/engweb/transcendentalism/authors/fuller/.
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May 3, 2012
Segment 1 and 3: "Enclosure, Luddism, and Magna Carta" (from Against the Grain, 2012).
PART 1: Real Media. MP3 Time: 26:36.
PART 2: Real Media. MP3.Time: 21:23.
Peter Linebaugh talks to Against the Grain host C.S. Soong about early instances of 19th century worker resistance to assaults on "the commons" and their ancestral roots in the Magna Carta: "Once there was a lot of land that anyone could access and from which anyone could take what they needed to survive. When that land, and other common resources, was enclosed, people, including machine-breakers called Luddites, rose up." Linebaugh is the author of Ned Ludd & Queen Mab: Machine-Breaking, Romanticism, and the Several Commons of 1811-12 (PM Press, 2012) and
The Magna Carta Manifesto: Liberties and Commons for All (UC Press, 2008) and recently wrote the introduction to the re-issue of
E.P. Thompson, William Morris: Romantic to Revolutionary (PM Press, 2011).
Segment 2: "Thomas More's Utopia" (1952).
Real Media. MP3. Time: 4:14.
Here is a short selection from a reading of Thomas More's Utopia, one of the earliest fictional explorations of an idealized society and, like later utopian literature, an ironic exploration of 16tth century society and political economy. For information on More and Utopia, see: http://thomasmorestudies.org/. For the full reading of More's Utopia, go to Learn Out Loud at: http://www.learnoutloud.com/Podcast-Directory/Philosophy/Ancient-and-Medieval-Philosophy/Utopia-Podcast/23673.
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April 26, 2012
Segment 1 and 3: RE-BROADCAST / "Rose Tattoo: Tramps, Wobblies, and Rail Songs."
PART 1: Real Media. MP3. Time: 23:16.
PART 2: Real Media. MP3. Time: 22:08.
Rose Tattoo (NOT the Australian rock and roll band) is a fluid group of singers and musicians who specialize in songs that focus on labor, railroad work, hoboes, and Wobblies. The group includes (or included on and off over the years) Mark Ross, U. Utah Phillips, Bob Suckiel, Diana Suckiel, Kuddie, Bruce Brackney, Rik Palierim, and Larry Penn. Back in June of 2002, a few of the members of the group came by the WRPI studios in Troy, NY, and graciously performed some of their repertoir of songs for Talking History. We are now rebroadcasting their performance in anticipation of May Day 2012 (and because our transmitter was down this morning and we were only broadcasting over the Internet).
Our thanks to Rose Tatoo and to Greg Giorgio, who arranged their appearance at the station. Recorded on June 27, 2002.
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April 19, 2012
Segment 1: "Germany After World War II" (With Good Reason, 2010).
Real Media. | MP3 Unavailable by request of producers. Time: 28:21.
From With Good Reason, we present this examination of educational and cultural transformations in Germany after World War II -- how Germans came to terms with the rise of Nazism and the Holocaust: "New research examines how postwar German history textbooks addressed the traumatic events of the Second World War. Brian Puaca (Christopher Newport University) explores how the textbooks first depicted Germans as victims and how these books gradually incorporated a frank and honest account of National Socialism and Nazi atrocities. He challenges those who have argued that the Germans have long repressed their memories of the Second World War – both in terms of their own suffering and the crimes committed in their name. Also: It is generally thought that German intellectuals did not start examining the Nazi period until the 1960s, some twenty years after World War II. However, Mark Clark (University of Virginia's College at Wise) identifies four German intellectuals—Thomas Mann, Karl Jaspers, Friedrich Meinecke, and Bertolt Brecht—whose work directly confronted the disastrous rule of the Third Reich immediately after the war."
Segment 2: "From the Archives: Jean-Paul Sartre Huis Clos." (1962)
Real Media. MP3. Time: 22:04.
No Exit is a 1944 play by French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic Jean-Paul Sartre. The original French title of the play was Huis Clos (English translations have also been performed under the titles In Camera, No Way Out, and Dead End). First performed in May of 1944, Huis Clos was an existential play that explored morality and moral responsibility in a Godless world -- focusing on three characters placed in a room after their deaths to ponder their lives and choices and to mentaly torture one another. In the context of its time, the play has been interpreted as a metaphor and commentary on WWII-era inhumanity -- but various other interpretations have been suggested as well. Sartre was awarded the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature but refused it, saying that he always declined official honours and that, "a writer should not allow himself to be turned into an institution."
Segment 3: "Joe Richman and the Use of Historical Archival Tape: The Plane the Flew Into The Empire State Building." (How Sound/PRX, 2011)
Real Media. MP3. Time: 22:30.
From the PRX (Public Radio Exchange) series, How Sound, we offer this profile of Joe Richman's approach to producing historical documentaries. Here's a more detailed description from How Sound: "The 20th century was captured in sound. Why aren't there more radio stories featuring archive audio — oral histories, news reels, odd bits of audio flotsam? It seems like an obvious source of content and story ideas, doesn't it?
Fortunately, producer Joe Richman understands the power and pleasure of storytelling with archive tape. On this edition of HowSound, we feature Joe's radio story about the historic crash of a B-52 bomber into the Empire State Building — the video alchemized for radio.
Joe's not alone, of course, but the field of producers using archive tape isn't crowded. American Radio Works comes to mind. So, too, does Lost and Found Sound by the Kitchen Sisters. And, there's Talking History, a radio program produced at the State University of New York at Albany. Anybody I've missed?
Now, you producers, go mine those archives!"
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April 12, 2012
Segment 1 and 3: "New York Sings: Musicologist Rena Kosersky and Folklorist/Musician George Ward Explore New York’s Rich Musical Heritage (2012).
PART 1: Real Media. MP3 Time: 31:31.
PART 2: Real Media. MP3.Time: 23:03.
This is a recording of Capital Repertory Theatre's (Albany, NY) presentation of New York Sings!, a lecture and performance with Rena Kosersky and George Ward held on March 24, 2012. New York Sings! explored New York's rich musical traditions, focusing on Rena Kosersky's research into the 19th and early 20th century folk and popular songs of NY's Schoharie County as collected by Ida Finkell (whose "songster" or ballad book was kept from 1879-83) and Emelyn Elizabeth Gardner (Folklore from The Schohairie Hills New York, 1937). The presentation was funded by a grant from the New York Council for the Humanities, with additional support from the University at Albany’s Department of History and Documentary Studies Program, and by the Researching New York Conference.
RENA KOSERSKY is a renowned musicologist whose research and music supervisor credits include the PBS programs The Great Depression, Woody Guthrie and Eyes on the Prize. A resident of Schoharie County and NYC, Kosersky has expertise in the Lomax archive and in the 19th and early 20th century songs of Schoharie County, including the collections and writings of Ida Finkel, Emelyn E. Gardner, and others.
GEORGE WARD, a folklorist by academic training, has spent more than 30 years collecting and performing traditional songs and drawing on the rural singing tradition of the American Northeast. A frequent performer at concerts, festivals, and educational series, his CDs include Oh! That Low Bridge!: Songs of the Erie Canal and All Our Brave Tars: Songs of the Age of the Fighting Sail. For more information on Ward, see his Web site: www.mulesong.com.
Segment 2: From the Archives: "Mary Godwin Shelley and Frankenstein -- the Short Story" (1952).
Real Media. MP3. Time: 4:00.
There have been many radio productions of Mary (Wollstoncraft) Godwin Shelley's Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. Here is a short selection from one of them, aired as an episode of the series NBC Presents: Short Story, broadcast in 1952. You can find the full version -- as well as other broadcasts of this classic here: http://archive.org/details/FrankensteinOldTimeRadioClassics. Frankenstein is, in many ways, a modern, transfigured version of older Germanic and Eastern European folktales about human-made creatures (such as the Golem, a monster created to protect Jews against gentile persecution and physical attacks). While the specific events that led to Mary Shelley's short story and later novel are well covered in numerous texts, less well-known are the imbedded folktale motifs imbedded in that work. For more information on Mary Shelley, see: http://www.rc.umd.edu/reference/chronologies/mschronology/mws.html and the well-documented Wikipedia article on her: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Shelley. There are many on-line editions of Frankensein available on line. The Project Gutenberg e-text version is available here: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/84/84-h/84-h.htm.
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April 5, 2012
Segment 1: "Slave Rebellion of 1811" (2012).
Real Media. MP3 Time: 32:36.
In this Against the Grain interview, Daniel Rasmussen tells the story of the largest slave revolt in US history, which took place in 1811 in and around New Orleans. Rasmussen is the author of American Uprising: The Untold Story of America's Largest Slave Revolt (Harper, 2012); his book originated as an undergraduate history thesis at Harvard. From Rasmussen's Web site http://www.danrasmussen.net/, here is summary of the narrative of the book: "In January 1811, a group of around 500 enslaved men, dressed in military uniforms and armed with guns, cane knives, and axes, rose up from the slave plantations around New Orleans and set out to conquer the city. They decided that they would die before they would work another day of back—breaking labor in the hot Louisiana sun. Ethnically diverse, politically astute, and highly organized, this slave army challenged not only the economic system of plantation agriculture but also American expansion. Their march represented the largest act of armed resistance against slavery in the history of the United States—and one of the defining moments in the history of New Orleans and the nation.
American Uprising is the riveting and long—neglected story of this elaborate plot, the rebel army's dramatic march on the city and its shocking conclusion. No North American slave revolt—not Gabriel Prosser, not Denmark Vesey, not Nat Turner—has rivaled the scale of this rebellion either in terms of the number of the slaves involved or in terms of the number who were killed. Over 100 slaves were slaughtered by federal troops and French planters, who then sought to write the event out of history and prevent the spread of the slaves' revolutionary philosophy. With the Haitian Revolution a recent memory and the War of 1812 looming on the horizon, the revolt had epic consequences for America."
Segment 2: "Prisons in America: DeToqueville on Sing Sing and Auburn." (1962)
Real Media. MP3. Time: 28:37.
In 1962 the Division of General Education of New York University in conjunction with the Fund for Adult Educationhis Democracy in America produced a series of fourteen 30-minute dramatizations of Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America, a book originally published in 1835 and 1840 (in two volumes). The series followed the travels of Tocqueville and his companion, Gustave de Beuamont, through their French government sponsored nine-month visit to the U.S. in 1831. Sent here to examine U.S. penal institutions, the two travelers ended up studying a broad spectrum of U.S. social, political, and cultural institutions. But they did not neglect their charge and visited a number of prisons. Here we present an excerpt from the radio series focusing on the Tocqueville and Beuamont's visit to New York's Sing Sing and Aubrun prisons (chapter 10" "The Heavenly Prison").
The radio series was a collaboration between American and Canadian producers. It was directed by historian George Probst and produced by Andrew Allan at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation studios. It was aired in the U.S. on NBC and in Canada on CBC. For the whole series, see: http://archive.org/details/DemocracyinAmericaOTR.
Segment 3: "Women and the World Antislavery Convention." (1959)
Real Media. MP3. Time: 20:01.
Here we present an excerpt from Pacifica Radio's 1959 three-part series called The American Woman in Fact and Fiction. This segment, from Part 2 of the series, focuses on the floor debate at the 1840 World Anti Slavery Convention to decide if women delegates from the United States would be seated. The events helped stimulate an activist agenda for women's rights in the 1840s, culminating in the 1848 Seneca Falls Women's Rights Convention. For a detailed account of the London Anti-Slavery meeting see: http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/history/dubois/classes/995/98F/doc4.html.
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March 29, 2012
Segment 1 and 3: "Margaret Sanger: Woman Rebel" (2012).
PART 1: Real Media. Time: 34:46 | MP3 unavailable by producer request.
PART 2: Real Media. Time: 18:38 | MP3 unavailable by producer request.
From New Mexico KUNM's Radio Theater, we offer this dramatic interpretation of Margaret Sanger's life and work. "Margaret Sanger - Woman Rebel," was written and performed by Ann Beyke. It's an "an adaptation of a Chautauqua presentation that portrays the life and work of the noted birth control activist. It seems almost unbelievable that contraception has again become a hot political topic in the year 2012. So it's a good time to take a look at the life and work of the woman who coined the term birth control, opened the first birth control clinic in the United States, and established Planned Parenthood." The broadcast includes an interview by Linda Lopez McAlister of Ann Beyke and political commentator Martha Burk focusing on Sanger's legacy and contemporary political controversies over birth control and family planning.
Segment 2: From the Archives: "Biography in Sound: Grandma Moses" (1956).
Real Media. MP3. Time: 3:16.
Here is a short, edited selection from a a 1956 radio biography on Anna Mary Robertson Moses (September 7, 1860 – December 13, 1961), better known as "Grandma Moses." For the full audio biography (originally broadcast in December of 1956 as part of the CBS Biography in Sound series), see: http://www.myoldradio.com/old-radio-episodes/biography-in-sound-grandma-moses-ep-72/9. There are numerous on line sites devoted to the life and work of Moses. The Dec. 14, 1961 obituary that appeared in the The New York Times contains a good summary of her achievements and the major benchmarks of her life: "Grandma Moses, the spry, indomitable "genuine American primitive" who became one of the country's most famous painters in her late seventies, died here today at the age of 101.
She died at the Hoosick Falls Health Center, where she had been a patient since August, after a fall at her home in nearby Eagle Bridge. . . . The simple realism, nostalgic atmosphere and luminous color with which Grandma Moses portrayed homely farm life and rural countryside won her a wide following. She was able to capture the excitement of winter's first snow, Thanksgiving preparations and the new, young green of oncoming spring. . . " For the rest of the obituary, go to this New York Times Web site: http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/bday/0907.html.
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March 22, 2012
Segment 1 and 3: "With Good Reason: Three Stories ~ Sisters of Mercy, Guest Workers, Equal Time" (2012).
PART 1: Real Media. MP3 Time: 27:57.
PART 2: Real Media. MP3.Time: 14:54.
Here are three historical segments from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities series, With Good Reason:
1) "The contributions that Irish nuns made to help destitute immigrant Catholic children in New York City were instrumental in developing modern American social institutions like foster care and welfare. Before the nuns aided these children, they were being sent to live with Protestant families, often never seeing their parents again. Maureen Fitzgerald (College of William and Mary) speaks about what lessons can be learnt from the Irish immigrant experience." Produced 2008.
2) "Cindy Hahamovitch compares the history and experience of guest workers in the United States to other countries." Produced 2008.
3) "Aniko Bodroghkozy (University of Virginia) is the author of the new book Equal Time: Television and the Civil Rights Movement which explores how the newly created evening news shows shaped attitudes about race relations during the Civil Rights Movement. She investigates the network news treatment of events including the 1965 Selma voting rights campaign, integration riots at the University of Mississippi, and the March on Washington." Produced 2012. For more information about With Good Reason, go to: http://withgoodreasonradio.org/.
Segment 2: "Boatman's Cure" by George Ward."
Real Media. MP3. Time: 5:51.
This is a preview of a production we are currently working on -- a look back at some of the folksongs associated with Upstate New York and the hills and valleys of Northern Appalachia. In this selection, Albany folklorist George Ward, who has spent more than 30 years
collecting and performing traditional songs and drawing on the rural
singing tradition of the American Northeast, offers one of his own tributes to the boatmen who manned the flat-bottomed boats -- the batteau -- of the Mohawk River in the late 18th century, although this song was inspired but a specific event. This is what Ward had to say about the song on his Web site (http://www.mulesong.com/): "This song was originally published on George Ward's album 'Pea Soup and Port: A Batteau Salute' recorded to celebrate the launching of a replica of Gen. Philip Schuyler's 1792 batteau.
On Tuesday, August 21, 1792, General Philip Schuyler and two other Albany, NY businessmen [Goldsbrow Banyar, a banker and Elkanah Watson, a 'business venturer'] began a westward journey by batteau to survey the Mohawk River – Wood Creek water route as far west as Rome, NY. The objective was to propose improvements to the route, to be constructed by the recently chartered Western Inland Lock Navigation Company. With them in the batteau traveled a surveyor [Moses DeWitt], a carpenter [Abraham Lighthall] and a millwright [Archibald Nisbet]. Canal engineers did not yet exist in the new republic. A crew of three batteaumen [William Culbertson, Andrew Bearup and John House] completed the party. The entire expedition consumed all of two weeks. Yet because the improvement projects to which it led reflected the first measurable stirrings of that great ambition that would shortly lead to the building of the Erie Canal, its consequences for New York and for the nation were enormous.
[Bateaux had been ferrying cargo and passengers along this ancient water route for well over a hundred years before the Schuyler expedition. Many were built in Schenectady, the western terminus of the overland route from Albany that bypassed the great Cohoes Falls at the mouth of the Mohawk River]. "
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March 15, 2012
Segment 1 and 3: "The Tashkent Arc" (2012).
PART 1: Real Media. MP3 Time: 28:43.
PART 2: Real Media. MP3.Time: 23:20.
From Australian Broadcasting Corporation / Radio National's Hindsight: "In the summer of 1941, almost two years after the German invasion of Poland triggered the start of the Second World War, Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union. This invasion in turn prompted the Soviet authorities to initiate an evacuation of their civilian population. Over the course of the months which followed, Soviet authorities transported people away from the western war fronts into the relative safety of their eastern lands. The Urals, Siberia, the Middle Volga, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan together received 16 million evacuees, with Tashkent a favoured destination. It remains the largest organised movement of a civilian population in history.
Those evacuated included the country's intellectual and artistic elite: doctors, scientists, economists, playwrights, poets, actors, film directors, composers were evacuated, often in their professional guilds, along with their supporting infrastructure. The nation's administrative and industrial capacity was also shipped eastwards, with entire government departments and factories sent piecemeal, along with essential staff. But the bulk of the evacuees were ordinary citizens who were facing imminent danger from the Nazi invasion. For most it was a difficult, sometimes fatal, passage in their lives, one of hunger, danger, illness and deprivation. Yet many evacuees owed their survival to their time in the east.
In this feature we hear from historians and from those who were evacuated as children, and who are now resident in Australia." Guests include:
Professor Rebecca Manley, Queens University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada; Maria Tumarkin, Historian and writer; and Professor Anna Sternshis, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Segment 2: "Song About Stalingrad" (1943).
Real Media. MP3. Time: 5:07.
The "Song About Stalingrad," performed here by the chorus of the Bolshoi Theater, commemorates one of the bloodiest and most important battles of World War II. The music was written by B. Mokrousov, with words by V.. Lebedev-Kumach. The Battle of Stalingrad halted the advance of Nazi forces into southwestern Russia -- then the "Eastern Front." Taking place between Aug. 23, 1942 and Feb. 2, 1943, the battle cost the lives of more than 2 million soldiers and civilians (it is still considered one of the bloodiest battles in military history). The heroic defense of Stalingrad by Soviet troops (and civilians) and their success in bleeding the German army -- at considerable Russian sacrifice -- transformed the battle into a major turning point in the war, one from which the Nazi military could not fully recover.
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March 8, 2012
Segment 1 and 3: "Betty Friedan and the Making of The Feminine Mystique." [Re-broadcast; originally aired on Dec 9, 1999]
PART 1: Real Media. MP3 Time: 29:43.
PART 2: Real Media. MP3.Time: 27:16.
Prof. Lisa Kannenberg of the College of St. Rose joined us on Talking History to interview Smith College Professor Daniel Horowitz about his book, Betty Friedan and the Making of The Feminine Mystique. Kannenberg and Horowitz explored the personal, political, and intellectual origins of Betty Friedan's feminist ideas. Friedan is the author of The Feminist Mystique, the 1963 book that explored the roots of the discontent of housewives—"the problem that has no name"—and in the process helped launch modern feminism. The Feminine Mystique, along with the organization Friedan co-founded, the National Organization for Women (NOW), radically changed every sphere of modern American public and private life—from politics, to family dynamics, to daycare. Horowitz challenges the notion that feminism emerged in the 1960s without any connection to prior organized attempts to improve women's political, social, and economic status. Contrary to the concept of a "sharp historical break between 1960s feminism and what went on before," Horowitz asserts that Friedan and other feminists, "were quite aware of women's issues and women's movements in the period before the 1960s." His book argues that part of modern feminism's origins are to be found in left-wing labor union culture and activism in the 1940s and 1950s. Daniel Horowitz is currently Mary Huggins Gamble Professor of American Studies at Smith College. At the time of the interview, he was also the Director of the American Studies program at Smith. For more information about Horowitz, go to: http://www.smith.edu/history/faculty_dhorowitz.php.
Segment 2: "Excerpts from Sylvia Plath interview session with Peter Orr" (1962).
Real Media. MP3. Time: 14:12.
Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) was born in Boston (Jamaica Plain), Massachusetts in the early years of the Gr eat Depression. Like Betty Friedan (see above), she attended Smith College, Massachusetts, and graduated summa cum laude in 1955, going on to graduate work at Cambridge.While at Cambridge, she married the English Poet Ted Hughes, with whom she had two children. Plath came back to Smith to serve as a lecturer in English after the completion of her graduate work, but soon returned to live in England. Her life in England was short and tragic; she committed suicide in 1963. Plath's work has had a profound influence on many modern poets and writers, especialy feminist writers. Plath's first collection of poems, The Colossus, was published in 1961 and her novel, The Bell Jar, perhaps her most familiar and acclaimed work, was published under a pseudonym in January, 1963. A later collection of poems, Ariel, was published postumously in 1965. There aren't many recorded interviews with poet Sylvia Plath. Here we offer an excerpt from an interview conducted with Plath by Peter Orr on October 30, 1962. Plath committed suicide a year later. You can find a transcription of the interview here: http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/m_r/plath/orrinterview.htm. You can find links to books, arricles, and on-line sources on Plath at: http://www.sylviaplath.de/plath/intro.html.
About this recording:
BBC producers Peter Orr and Jack Sweeney collaborated on the Poet Speaks a series of taped conversations and readings by poets. It was aired on BBC in the 1960s. Most were recorded at the BBC's offices at Albion House, 55 New Oxford Street, London. Sylvia Plath was one of the many poets interviewed (on October 30, 1962). Only Orr conducted the interview with Plath. Selected recordings were later released on long playing records. The recording of Plath was accompanied by recordings of Thom Gunn, Ted Hughes, and Peter Redgrove. Plath also read the following poems during her session (not included here due to copyright restrictions: "Daddy", "Lady Lazarus", "Fever 103", and "Ariel").
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March 1, 2012
Segment 1 and 3: "The Last Tutor (from Hindsight; 2010).
PART 1: Real Media. MP3 Time: 25:10.
PART 2: Real Media. MP3.Time: 27:25.
Hindsight (Radio National, Australian Broadcasting Corporation) offers us another gem, the "remarkable life story of Reginald Fleming Johnston, one of the few foreigners to make his way into the inner court of the Qing Dynasty.In 1919, in the final turbulent years of British Colonial rule, after the 1911 revolution which saw the abdication of the monarchy, Johnston was appointed tutor to the last Emperor of China, 13-year-old Pu Yi, who was virtually a captive, inside the Forbidden City. Johnston's record of his time as tutor, and of the curious friendship which developed between teacher and pupil, offers an illuminating insight into one of the most dramatic periods in modern Chinese history."
Segment 2: "The Last Emperor (1987; film excerpt, audio track).
Real Media. MP3. Time: 2:41.
Here is a short audio segment from the sound track of Bernardo Bertolucci's 1987 film, The Last Emperor -- focusing on the life of the last Emperor of China, Aisin-Gioro Pu Yi. The film won nine Academy Awards (including Best Picture and Best Director). The excerpt -- slightl edited -- comes from the scene that introduces Peter O'Toole (playing the role of Reginald Fleming Johnston -- see above) to Pu Yi. For more information on the film, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Emperor.
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February 23, 2012
Segment 1 and 3: "Hurricane Carter (from Humankind)" (2011).
PART 1: Real Media. Time: 27:10 | MP3 unavailable by request of producers.
PART 2: Real Media. Time: 27:25 | MP3 unavailable by request of producers.
From the series Humankind, we bring you this account of the story of the boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter: "Memorialized in a Bob Dylan song and an Academy Award nominated Denzel Washington film, Rubin “Hurricane” Carter was a successful prize fighter, who was falsely accused of murder. After nearly two decades in prison, Carter was exonerated by a federal judge (also heard in our documentary) in a ruling later affirmed by the US Supreme Court. Now in his 70s and an outspoken advocate for others wrongly convicted, Carter recently published a spiritual memoir on how he emerged not only from physical incarceration, but from the emotional prison of hatred and bitterness."
Segment 2: "'Davey Moore' by Phil Ochs" (selection, 1964).
Real Media. MP3. Time: 1:01.
Boxer David ("Davey") S. Moore, (1933 – 1963) died as a result of injuries sustained in a match against Sugar Ramos. His death inspired two major folksingers to write ballads critical of the exploitative business of boxing. Here we feature a short selection from one of them -- Phil Ochs' 1963 (released in 1964) song "
Davey Moore." Bob Dylan wrote the second song about Moore, "Who Killed Davey Moore?" For more information about Moore, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davey_Moore_(boxer,_born_1933).
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February 16, 2012
Segment 1 and 3: "The Oakland General Strike of 1946" (1976).
PART 1: Real Media. MP3. Time: 28:01.
PART 2: Real Media. MP3. Time: 17:16.
"The Oakland General Strike of 1946," was produced in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the event by the New American Movement and the Oakland Study Group and originally broadcast on KPFA (Pacifica) on November. 29, 1976. It was recently re-broadcast by Against the Grain. For more information about the strike, see: http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/11/01/the-1946-oakland-general-strike/ and this selection from Fred Glass -- Communications Director for the California Federation of Teachers -- from his forthcoming book on California Labor History:
Segment 2: "Strike! The Musical, 2005" (about the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919).
Real Media. MP3. Time: 1:32.
Here's a short excerpt from the title song of Danny Schur's musical Strike!, about the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919, the largest labor conflagration in Canadian history. "For six weeks in the summer of 1919 the eyes of the world were turned on Winnipeg. What started as a simple conflict between the city’s building trade and metal shop workers and their employers had turned into the biggest strike in Canadian history. At least 30,000 people were off the job; half of them were not even union members. The event is referred to as a general strike because so many of the workers on strike were not involved the direct dispute between the building and metal trades workers and their employers." (Source: http://manitobia.ca/content/en/themes/strike). For more information about the musical and the events the inspired it, see: http://www.strikemusical.com/strike; http://canadiandimension.com/articles/1853; http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/articles/winnipeg-general-strike; and the previously cited http://manitobia.ca/content/en/themes/strike.
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February 9, 2012
Segment 1: "Hog Butcher of the World" (1999).
Real Media. MP3. Time: 28:01.
Dan Collison looks back at the history of African Americans in Chicago's meatpacking industry and the formation of the Packinghouse Workers Union. The piece features Studs Terkel reading excerpts from Upton Sinclair's The Jungle. We originally broadcast this piece back in 1999.
Segment 2: "Jefferson Davis Resigns From the U.S. Senate Upon the Withdrawal of Mississippi from the Union (1861/2007)."
Real Media. MP3. Time: 12:08.
On January 21, 1861, after the secession of his home state, Mississippi, Senator Jefferson Davis resigned from the Senate. He delivered this speech upon his resignation. The reading comes to us from LibriVox (http://www.librivox.org). On February 18, 1861, Davis was inaugurated as the President of the Confederate States of America.
Segment 3: "Strike (2012)."
Real Media. MP3. Time: 27:26.
From With Good Reason, we bring you this examination of a student strike that went all the way to the Supreme Court: "In 1951 a group of African American students at Robert R. Moton High School in Prince Edward County, Virginia, organized a strike to protest the substandard school facilities provided for black students. The walkout, led by 16 year old Barbara Johns, is one of the great stories in the struggle for Civil Rights—a story of courage and persistence against what seemed at the time like overwhelming odds. Larissa Smith Fergeson (Longwood University) provides the historical context to the walkout; Lacy Ward Jr. (Moton Museum) interviews two students who participated in the strike and Mildred Robinson (University of Virginia) describes the effects on students and families when the Virginia government closed the schools rather than succumb to the federal mandate to integrate them."
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February 2, 2012
Segment 1 and 3: "The Struggle of Memory Against Forgetting" (2006/2012).
PART 1: Real Media. MP3. Time: 29:15.
PART 2: Real Media. MP3. Time: 24:53.
From Hindsight and Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation): "Oral history has been part and parcel of the democratisation of history since the Second World War. Through interviews with historians from many different countries, and archival material from seminal oral history projects, we chart the international oral history movement, paying special attention to the role of oral history in Aboriginal historiography, and in post-Apartheid South Africa.
Historians have always relied on oral history. Think of Homer and Thucydides and their reliance on eyewitness accounts and oral tradition. It was only in the 19th century when history as a discipline became professionalised, and historians started to think of their discipline as a 'science', that a total reliance on documentary sources developed.
From the 1950s onwards, historians became interested again in personal testimony. In the US it was an archival project, an effort to get the reminiscences of 'movers and shakers' on the record, great men who were too busy to write their autobiographies. But in the UK and Europe, historians with a socialist ethos like Paul Thompson were keen to get the experiences of ordinary people on the record, in order to write 'history from below'. This impulse emerged from the inclusive social movements of the 1960s.
In the decades since, oral history has been a democratising force in historical work, and a crucial means of achieving cultural and political recognition for marginalised groups. In countries with recent histories of trauma and political instability, oral history has urgent applications in restorative justice processes and national reconciliation. In 'The Struggle of Memory Against Forgetting', we explore some of these.
Contributors include Inga Clendinnen, Paul Thompson, Peter Read, Heather Goodall, Sean Field and Bonnie Smith. Archival oral history material featured in the program relates to apartheid South Africa, the Stolen Generations in Australia, Aboriginal cattle drovers in the Northern Territory, British nuclear tests in South Australia, and working people in Edwardian England."
Segment 2: "Otto Von Bismarck -- a History and a Recording
Real Media. MP3. Time: 3:28.
Here's an edited aural record of Otto Von Bismark -- first, a short excerpt from a LibriVox (http://www.librivox.org) reading from a 1909 compilation of biographical sketches, Famous Men of Modern Times by John H. Haaren and A.B. Poland (NY: American Book Company, 1909), then an excerpt from a recently uncovered 1889 Edison recording of Bismarck. For the full version of the latter recording and more information on it (and on other German recordings discovered along with it) , see: http://www.nps.gov/edis/photosmultimedia/prince-bismarck-and-count-moltke-before-the-recording-horn.htm.
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January 26, 2012
Segment 1 and 3: "Rosa Luxemburg's Legacy" (2012).
PART 1: Real Media. MP3. Time: 29:17.
PART 2: Real Media. MP3. Time: 26:00.
From Against the Grain, here's an exploration of the life and legacy of the Polish-born German revolutionary activist and Marxist theoretician Rosa Luxemburg: "Proponent of the mass strike and socialist democracy, advocate of anticapitalism and anti-imperialism -- Rosa Luxemburg is a thinker for our tumultuous times. Peter Hudis, editor of the forthcoming fourteen-volume Collected Works of Rosa Luxemburg, talks about the pioneering Marxist theoretician and leader, and why her radical politics and vision endure nearly a century after her assassination. For more on Luxemburg, see: http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/RUSluxemburg.htm. Annelies Laschitza, Georg Adler, and Peter Hudis, eds., Letters of Rosa Luxemburg (Verso, 2011).
Segment 2: "The Rebel Girl" (Joe Hill. 1915; sung by Joe Glazer and Bill Friedland, 1954).
Real Media. MP3. Time: 7:25.
IWW labor organizer and song writer Joe Hill wrote this song in tribute to Elizabeth Gurley Flynn and other female labor activists. Flynn was one of the more prominent speakers of the Industrial Workers of the World and went on to play a very prominent role in the U.S. Communist Party (CPUSA),
Song source: http://www.archive.org/details/SongsOfTheWobblies. See the following for the lyrics and a brief accont of the genesis of the song: http://www.kued.org/productions/joehill/voices/rebelgirl.html.
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January 19, 2012
Segment 1 and 3: "Malthus and the New World" (2011).
PART 1: Real Media. MP3. Time: 32:41.
PART 2: Real Media. MP3. Time: 18:10.
From Hindsight and Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), we bring you this exploration of hitherto unexplored aspects of Thomas Robert Malthus's writings and ideas: "People love to hate him, but when historian Alison Bashford stumbled across the 1803 edition of Malthus's 'Essay on the Principle of Population', an updated version of the first publication in 1798, she saw the British parson and political economist in a whole new light. The 1803 edition contained extra chapters, one of which examined population through the experience of the young colony of NSW. Alison Bashford began to realise that there was a great deal more in Malthus's thesis than had been assumed—his study of the New World raised questions about colonialism, occupation, land, and how we share it—deeply moral and enduring concerns, which the contemporary world continues to grapple with." For some basic information and links to various editions and explications of Malthus' populations theory, go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Robert_Malthus.
Segment 2: "Carl Djerassi and theDevelopment of the Birth Control Pill" (2010).
Real Media. MP3. Time: 7:25.
Here is a selection from a 2010 Deutsche Welle interview with one of the developers of the birth control pill, Carl Djerassi. For the full segment, go to: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5536408,00.html. Austrian-born Djerassi synthesized a progestin-analogue that was orally effective, contributed greatly to the development of the first successful oral contraceptive, the 'combined oral contraceptive pill' (COCP). You can find a short biography of Djerassi at http://www.djerassi.com/bio/bio2.html.
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January 12, 2012
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Segment 1 and 3: "State of Siege: Mississipi Whites and the Civil Rights Movement" (2011).
From American RadioWorks, the national documentary unit of American Public Media, we bring you this documentary on white resistance to the Civil Rights movement in Mississippi,produced by Kate Ellis and Stephen Smith and edited by Peter Clowney. By request of the producers, we can only link to the program at the American Public Media Web site at: http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/mississippi/. Here are the direct links to the program on the APM server: download the radio program; listen online; read the Transcript.
Here's the producers' summary of the program: "Mississippi occupies a distinct and dramatic place in the history of America's civil rights movement. No state in the South was more resistant to the struggle for black equality. No place was more violent. While the history of civil rights activists has been well documented in radio and television, the stories and strategies of their white opponents are less well known.
Using newly discovered archival audio, along with oral histories and contemporary interviews, State of Siege brings to light the extraordinary tactics whites in Mississippi used to battle integration. Their strategies ranged from organizing a massive network of citizens councils to promote white supremacy, to establishing a state-run spy agency to disrupt civil rights activism.
The program also traces the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, and illuminates the way whites came to both accommodate and defy the mandates of civil rights legislation in the mid-1960s. Ultimately, what happened during the civil rights era in Mississippi had a profound and lasting impact on American politics to the present day."
Segment 2: "Politics in 1968: Political Advertisements" (1968).
Real Media. MP3. Time: 2:02.
Here's an early 1908 Edison recording of third-time Presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan discussing the need and justification of railroad regulation, recorded in
Lincoln, Nebraska, on July 21, 1908. For more information on Bryan's life and career, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Jennings_Bryan. Here's the transcript of the recording: "The Railroad Question
The right of Congress to exercise complete control over interstate commerce, and the right of each state to exercise just as complete control over commerce within its borders, can no longer be questioned. But it is necessary that there shall be an enlargement of the powers of the Interstate Commerce Commission to enable it to compel railroads to perform their duties as common carriers and to prevent discrimination and extortion. The first step in the direction of supervision and rate legislation is to be found in the valuation of the railroad, and we believe that the Interstate Commerce Commission should be authorized to make such valuation, taking into consideration not only the physical value of the property but the original cost of production and all other elements which enter into a fair and just evaluation. We believe that railroads should be prohibited from engaging in business which brings them into competition with their shippers, that the older issue of stocks and bonds should be prevented, and that such reductions should be made as conditions justify, care being taken to avoid reduction that would compel a reduction of wages, prevent adequate service, or do injustice to legitimate investment. The Interstate Commerce Commission should have the power to take the initiative in the determination of rate and all traffic agreements should be subject to the approval of the commission. Telegraph lines and telephone lines, so far as they are engaged in interstate commerce, should be also under the jurisdiction of the Interstate Commerce Commission. In other words, these quasi-public corporations must recognize the obligations which they owe to the public and the government acting to its reported agents should be in a position to require obedience to law, and submission to necessary regulations. Railroad managers sometimes assume that the general public is bent on injustice, but this is a mistake. There is a sense of justice among the masses and this sense of justice can always be appealed to. The Democratic party is not hostile to railroads, but it is hostile to the mismanagement of railroads and to the extortion that is sometimes practiced by railroads. It insists upon fair play and nothing more. It insists that the patron as well as the stockholder must be considered, and it believes that friendly relations between the railroads and the public can only be maintained by an understanding of the situation and by the recognition, by all corporations, of the supremacy of the government.".
January 5, 2012
Segment 1 and 3: "Hearing the Past" (2012).
PART 1: Real Media. MP3. Time: 24:49.
PART 2: Real Media. MP3. Time: 28:58.
Hindsight brings us an exploration of an emerging sub-discipline of History, featuring guests Shane White, Professor of History, University of Sydney; Mark Smith, Professor of History, University of South Carolina; Alan Atkinson, ARC Professorial Fellow, University of New England, Armidale; Diane Collins, Associate Dean, Conservatorium of Music, Sydney; and Bruce Johnson, Docent and Visiting Professor, University of Turku, Finland. Summary: "Historians are starting to listen, tuning their ears to the sounds of the past to gain a new understanding of times gone by.
Sound may be irretrievable in itself but references to hearing and listening resonate in many written records and can be highly significant for grasping a sense of how people thought in the past.
Australian historians are making key contributions to the field of sound history, in particular with the work of Professor Shane White and Graham White at Sydney University. They are specialists in African-American history, and together have written an acclaimed book on the sound history of slavery. They recover the sounds of plantation and urban life and document the differing responses from those who heard them.
How sounds are heard is crucial for Professor Mark Smith of the University of South Carolina. He is one of the pioneers in sound history, and has argued for the importance of sound in the thinking of Americans in the years leading up to the Civil War.
Meantime historians have begun to consider how Australia was heard in the past—from early explorers to the lead-up to Federation. Many of the themes from the American research resound here too—the power of silence, the appeal of uniformity, the question of noise—suggesting that sound history is going to be heard loudly in the future."
Segment 2: "Edison Recording (1908): William Jennings Bryan on Railroad Regulation."
Real Media. MP3. Time: 2:06.
Here's an edited selection from archival recordings from the Pacifica Radio Archives focusing on the Iran Hostage Crisis of 1979-1981 (November 4, 1979 to January 20, 1981) -- when 52 Americans were held hostage by a militant group of Islamist students who took over the American Embassy in Tehran in support of the Iranian Revolution. The hostage seizure and the failed attempts by the Carter administration helped bring down his administration and brought Ronald Reagan to power. For more information on the event, see: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/general-article/carter-hostage-crisis/.
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