Aural History Productions
Radio Archive ~ January-June 2013
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June 27 - July 4, 2013
Talking History is taking two weeks off; feel free to explore our many past programs below and in our program archive. We'll be back July 11.
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June 20, 2013
Segment 1 | "That Lawless Stream: A History of the Mississippi River" (2013).
From Backstory and the American History Guys (backstoryradio.org): "The Mississippi River is central to the American landscape and imagination. And for centuries, it has served as a battlefield in which our most complicated social and economic struggles have played out. So in this episode, the Guys set out to explore the Mississippi's mighty imprint on American life.
'From technological tales and political intrigues, to the personal stories of those caught up in the river's thrall, they discover the crucial role the river has played in the American story -- how access to its waters has both united and divided the country, and how it has always proved resistant to our full control. GUESTS INCLUDE:
Walter Johnson, Harvard University; Karen O'Neill, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; AND Jennifer Abraham-Cramer, The T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History, Louisiana State University."
Segment 2 | "From the Archives: The Maxwell House Orchestra and Roll On, Mississippi, Roll On" (1930s).
This 1930s recording of Roll On, Mississippi, Roll On by the Maxwell House Orchestra is but one of many scores of songs and musical compositions that focused on or were inspired by the Mississippi River. The Maxwell House Orchestra performed on the radio program Captain Henry's Maxwell House Showboat during the Great Depression; it was the most popular program on radio in the years 1933-1935 and aired nationwide on NBC affiliates on Thursday evenings.
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June 13, 2013
Segment 1 | "Chris Brookes/Hindsight: A Bullet for the General" (2012).
First aired on RTE Radio in Ireland and written, recorded and produced by Newfoundland radio producer Chris Brookes and Battery Radio, this piece comes to us through ABC’s Hindsight (http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/hindsight/bullet-for-the-general/4729656): “Major General Hugh Tudor: friend of Winston Churchill, and a World War One commander who originated the smokescreen and the artillery box barrage. Strangely, the decorated general spent the last four decades of his life in Newfoundland, Canada. There he shunned photographs and interviews, scrupulously avoided publicity, and lived a carefully quiet life in the shadows—far from his country, his wife and children, and very far indeed from the limelight. But Tudor lived in fear, carrying a revolver and a set of brass knuckles in case of a surprise attack. For he harboured a dark secret—one that would eventually cause an assassin to cross the Atlantic with a mission: to hunt him down. Or so they thought. For Hugh Tudor, after his wartime exploits, had become commander of the RIC, the Dublin Metropolitan Police and the reinforcements or specials to the RIC such as the notorious Black and Tans and the Auxiliaries, known as 'Tudors Toughs'. As we know now, the British forces in Ireland at that time were directed to 'fight fire with fire' against the IRA in Ireland in 1920. Under Tudor's command, the Tans along with the Auxiliaries became notorious for reprisal killings, burning whole villages, setting fire to the city of Cork, and turning guns on the football crowd in Croke Park among other actions. After Irish independence in 1922, Tudor was considered to be a marked man, and he escaped across the Atlantic to exile in the island of Newfoundland—then an independent nation. Years later, two assassins came to the capital city of St John's to eliminate him. They were ultimately talked out of committing the deed by a local priest. So it is said, and widely believed, in St John's. But did the near-killing actually happen, or is it the stuff of legend? A desire for the man known in Ireland as 'Black Tudor' to get what many felt he deserved, or a convenient fiction to assuage Newfoundlanders' consciences for having harboured a war criminal among them? 'Fiction', says Newfoundland crime novelist Thomas Curran, 'is often truer than fact.' With Curran's help, documentary maker Chris Brookes unravels the mystery of the man reviled in Ireland as a rapacious war criminal, and remembered in St John's as simply a quiet, kindly old man. There's not much information available about General Tudor's time in Newfoundland—not officially, anyway. He kept a low profile here; there seems to be only one photograph, and he avoided interviews altogether. In fact the interview you hear in the documentary may be the only one he engaged in—at the age of 92 he may have thought he had nothing to lose at that point by speaking publicly. The interviewer you hear with him was Iris Power. Iris wrote feature articles for local newspapers and periodicals and had a weekly radio program during the 1960s. The interview may have been recorded for that. Dramatised scenes in this documentary are taken from the novel Death of a Lesser Man, by Thomas Rendell Curran. Performers: Aiden Flynn as Stride, Brian Hennessey as Butcher and Greene, and Berni Stapleton as Rita and Catherine."
Segment 2 | "Queen Elizabeth II's May 2011 Visit to Ireland" (2011).
In a historic visit -- and gesture of reconciliation -- in May of 2011 Queen Elizabeth II became the first British soverign to visit Ireland since her grandfather (King George V), did in 2011. Here's a short piece about her visit -- audio from a telvision report from an ABC (Australia) report on her visit.
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June 6, 2013
Segment 1 | "States of Mind: Mental Illness in America" (2013).
Here's another contribution from Backstory and the American History Guys (backstoryradio.org): "in this episode of BackStory, the American History Guys look back over the history of mental illness in America --- exploring how the diagnostic line between mental health and madness has shifted over time, and how we've treated those on both sides of it. We'll hear how the desire of slaves to escape bondage was once interpreted as a psychological disorder, how a woman's sleepwalking landed her in the state asylum, and how perspectives on depression altered in the 1970s. Plus, the Guys walk us through a mid-20th century quiz that promised to identify a new kind of mental 'disorder' -- our susceptibility to fascism. Guests Include:
Katherine Bankole-Medina, Coppin State University; Allan Horwitz, Rutgers University; Jonathan Metzl, Vanderbilt University; Jamie Cohen-Cole, George Washington University; Benjamin Reiss, Emory University; Elyn Saks, University of Southern California."
Segment 2 | "R.D. Laing Talking About Transpersonal Psychology" (1982).
Existential Scottish psychiatrist R.D. Laing challenged established psychiatric orthodoxy from the 1960s through the 1980s by suggesting that psychoses often involved understandable and valid responses to ontological crises, whose logic emphathic therapists can recognize. His involvement with the anti-psychiatry movement of the 1960s and 1970s (along with Michel Foucault) and his challenges to the "authoritarian" uses of psychiatry to define pathologies and to enforce behaviorial conformity led him to become a major contributor to New Left critiques of modern society and culture. Here we offer a selection from a Stockholm 1982 talk. For his full comments, see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiCOazoizjU
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May 30, 2013
Segment 1 | "Patent Pending ~ A History of Intellectual Property" (2013).
From Backstory and the American History Guys (backstoryradio.org) --: "Can genes be patented? Are downloaders inhibiting musical creativity -- or enhancing it? Questions about "intellectual property" are everywhere today -- but what exactly is intellectual property? And what are these kinds of rights supposed to achieve? In this episode of BackStory, the American History Guys look to the past for answers.
Where the Constitution gave Congress the power "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts" through a patent and copyright system, the Guys uncover how industrial piracy actually propelled the economy of the early Republic -- and with the Government's stamp of approval! We hear how an author's copyright used to extend little further than the letters on the page, and why it has come to embrace so much more. And as the Supreme Court gets ready to rule on gene patents, the Guys get perspective from the first scientist to patent a living organism." Guests for this show include: Ananda Chakrabarty, University of Illinois College of Medicine; Kembrew McLeod, University of Iowa; Doron Ben-Atar, Fordham University; Siva Vaidhyanathan, University of Virginia; and Chris Sprigman, University of Virginia School of Law."
Segment 2 | "Newton's Opticks and the 'Invention' of Calculus. (Librivox Reading of the 1717 edition of Opticks - selection)."
Related to the issue of "intellectual property," here is a LibriVox reading of Sir Isaac Newton's 1704 Opticks (actually from the 1717 edition of the work) which contains a claim to his earlier discovery of calculus (at least an inference to that claim). The controversy over the discovery of calculus -- sorting out the competing claims of Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz -- is one of the most famous controversies in the history of mathematics and science. The major question -- since both had established different approaches to conceptualizing calculus -- was which of the two deserved credit for the first invention of the differential and integral "calculus." For more information about this controversy, see: http://www.uiowa.edu/~c22m025c/history.html and http://www.uh.edu/engines/epi1375.htm.
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May 23, 2013
Segment 1 | "One Billion Seconds Later: A Social History of LSD" (1974).
Here's a fascinating look at the history of LSD and the generation it helped to shape. This piece comes to us from From the Vault and the Pacifica Radio Radio Archives. We present the 1974 documentary "One Billion Seconds Later: A Social History of LSD," which won the prestigious Ohio State Award for Radio Excellence. "Produced in 1974 by legendary radio producer Adi Gevins, this program explores acid’s social history, from its accidental discovery at Sandoz laboratories in Switzerland, through the halls of academia, to Golden Gate Park and beyond. Included are the voices of Albert Hofmann, Timothy Leary, Baba Ram Dass, Ken Kesey, and Dr. John Lilly, among others, who describe the LSD experience and speculate on acid’s importance an agent of therapy, religious sacrament, and revolution."
Segment 2 | "William S. Burroughs' Junkie (selection)."
Here is a selection from William S. Burroughs' reading of Junkie, his 1953 semi-autobiographical novel. Burroughs was one of the best known of the Beat Generation writers. Junkie: Confessions of an Unredeemed Drug Addict (originally titled Junk and later released as Junky) was published initially under the pseudonym "William Lee" and was Burroughs' first published novel. The book is a brutally honest exploration of "Junk" as a way of life: "Junky offers a detailed account of a drug addict's entrance into the seedy underworld, his daily search for a fix, the shady characters he must rely on, and the suffering he experiences while trying to fix himself. The purpose is to fully immerse the reader in the world of a man engulfed in addiction." Burroughs was in fact addicted first to morphine then to heroin from the 1940s till his death in 1997. For the complete reading and overview of the book, see: http://ubu.com/sound/burroughs_junky.html.
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May 16, 2013
Segment 1 | "Judy Juanita on the Black Panthers" (2013).
At a time when the world was changing, the Black Panther Party in Oakland came along to transform the US civil rights movement. How has the world changed (or not) since? What lessons can we learn from the Panthers' radical perspective on US society? Judy Juanita, a member of the party in its early days, describes in her debut novel those times and the people she knew. Juanita is the author of Virgin Soul (Viking, 2013) and "Five Comrades in the Black Panther Party, 1967-1970," in Black Bird Press News & Review.
Segment 2 | "Bobby Seale on Black Power."
"Bobby" [Robert George] Seale was a co-founder of the Black Panther Party in Oakland and the 8th defendent in the famous "Chicago 7"  Trial. Here we present a segment of a speech he made (probably back in the late1960s). For more information on his life and career, see the brief biography at: http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAseale.htm. For information on the "Chicago 7"  Trial, see: http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/chicago7/chicago7.html For more audio (and video) selections on the Black Panthers -- including more from Bobby Seale, go to: http://www.negroartist.com/black%20panthers/black%20panthers.htm.
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May 9, 2013
Segment 1 | "Backstory: How Wars End" (2013).
From the Virginia Foundation For the Humanities and Backstory (backstoryradio.org)-- we bring you this look at how wars end: "On May 1st, 2003, President George W. Bush stood on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln and declared an end to major US combat operations in Iraq. Yet the war would drag on for almost a decade after “Mission Accomplished,” with the majority of casualties occurring after that famous pronouncement.
But have America’s other wars had neat or definitive endings? In this episode, BackStory casts its gaze over prominent conflicts of the last three centuries, and explores what it takes to end a war — both in legal terms, and in the popular imagination.
From military and diplomatic maneuvers, to courtroom battles and ongoing cultural conflict, the Guys and their guests explore whether wars ever really end. Guests include: Colin Calloway, Dartmouth College;
Amy Greenberg, Pennsylvania State University;
Michael Gorman, historian and consultant for the film Lincoln;
Elizabeth Varon, University of Virginia;
Gideon Rose, editor of Foreign Affairs;
Mary Dudziak, Emory University School of Law.
Segment 2 | Douglas McCarthur Addresses Congress (1951).
President Harry S. Truman, on April 11th,1951, relieved General of the Army Douglas MacArthur--commander of the United Nations forces fighting in Korea--of his command. He did so because of dfifferences on strategies in waging the war but more specifically because McCarthur took his disagreements into the public realm -- making public statements that contradicted Truman's positions. MacArthur's popularity made this an exceptionally controversial action on the part of Truman and McCarthur was soon invited by Congress to address that body. He did so in his famous "Farewell Speech," delivered on April 19th, 1951. Here we present part of what he said. You can SEE MacArthur delivering the speech on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tuagi9kZe8A. For the full TEXT of his speech, see: http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/koreanwar/documents/index.php?documentdate=1951-04-19&documentid=ma-2-18&pagenumber=1.
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May 2, 2013
Segment 1 | "Searching for Answers: The Searchers" (2013).
This week's program comes to us from Against the Grain: "Many consider The Searchers to be one of the greatest movies to come out of Hollywood. According to Glenn Frankel, author of The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend (2013), this iconic Western has much to say about the mythos of US expansionism. It also, he argues, portended changes in the way Hollywood viewed Native Americans and the doctrine of manifest destiny. Frankel discusses as well the history of battles between whites and Indians on the Texas frontier in the nineteenth century."
Segment 2 | "Geronimo's Story of his Life" (selection) (1906; Librivox Reading: 2011).
Complementing our look at a classic, but subversive, Western, we examine the life of Geronimo, the famour sioux warrier chief. Here is a short introduction to the pieve fro Librivox: "Geronimo's Story of His Life is the oral life history of a legendary Apache warrior. Composed in 1905, while Geronimo was being held as a U.S. prisoner of war at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Geronimo's story found audience and publication through the efforts of S. M. Barrett--Lawton, Oklahoma, Superintendent of Education, who wrote in his preface that 'the initial idea of the compilation of this work was . . . to extend to Geronimo as a prisoner of war the courtesy due any captive, i.e. the right to state the causes which impelled him in his opposition to our civilization and laws.' Barrett, with the assistance of Asa Deklugie (1872-1955), son of Nedni chief Whoa as Apache translator, wrote down the story as Geronimo told it --beginning with an Apache creation myth. Geronimo recounted bloody battles with Mexican troopers, against whom he had vowed vengeance in 1858 after they murdered his mother, his wife, and his three small children. He told of treaties made between Apaches and the U.S. Army--and treaties broken. There were periods of confinement on the reservations, and escapes. And there were his final days on the run, when the U.S. Army put 5000 men in the field against his small band of 39 Apache."
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April 25, 2013
Segment 1 | "Backstory: American Exodus ~ A History of Emigration" (2013).
Backstory With the American History Guys looks at "the flip side of the Ellis Island story: emigration. This week, we bring you the stories of Americans who have left the country in search of a better life elsewhere.
From the loyalists who fled revolutionary America, to the free blacks who sailed to Liberia in search of liberty (and a spot at the top of the racial hierarchy), we ask which groups have chosen to leave America, and what ideas they've taken with them. We meet a stowaway teenager who found the American Dream in the black artistic communities of 1930s Europe. And finally, a group of cotton farmers who moved to Uzbekistan in search of jobs -- and the chance to build a communist state." For more information on this and other stories produced by Backstory, go to their Web site at: www.backstoryradio.org.
Segment 2 | "Johnny Cash and the Trail of Tears" (1970).
Here is a selection from a rare 1970 LP of Johnny Cash narrating Private John G. Burnett’s 1890 eyewitness account of the Trail of Tears, when the Cherokees were forced to emigrate from their Smokey Mountain home ack in 1838-39. The recording was produced by the Historic Landmarks Association in Nashville for educational purposes (to be used by schools and libraries).
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April 18, 2013
No broadcast today. Check out our previous shows as we prepare for next week's prgram.
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April 11, 2013
Segment 1 | "Bridge for Sale: Deception in America" (2013).
Backstory With the American History Guys comes back to explore deceptive practices in American History: "This week on BackStory, we dig into the long story of confidence men and counterfeiters. We’ll discover a time when fake money jump-started the economy, and take a look at the long, strange history of "the truth compelling machine." And, oh yeah… We’ll try to sell the Brooklyn Bridge.
Stephen Mihm : University of Georgia. [A Nation of Counterfeiters: Capitalists Con Men, and the Making of the United States]
Jay Cook : University of Michigan. [The Art of Deception: Playing with Fraud in the Age of Barnum]
Geoffrey Bunn : Manchester Metropolitan University. [The Truth Machine: A Social History of the Lie Detector].
Segment 2 | "Profile of a Fraudulent Document: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" (1904).
Since we are focusing on the theme of deception and deceptive documents, we next explore one of the most notorious deceptive documents of the 20th century -- The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The Protocols was published in the early 20th century and circulated by the Czarist Russian secret police. It was supposedly "written in 1897 from the minutes of 24 secret meetings between Jews and Freemasons in which they conspired to bring down Western civilization and jointly rule the world. In reality, it is nothing of the sort. In 1921, Philip Graves of the London Times revealed The Protocols to be a fraud, showing it to be based on a French satire aimed at Napoleon III. In a series of side-by-side extracts printed in the Times, Graves demonstrated that the forgers took long portions of the original text, titled Dialogues in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu, and simply replaced "France" with "Zion" and "The Emperor" with "We the Jews." Further investigations by the Russian historian Vladimir Burtsev revealed other sources for The Protocols, including a fantasy novel by Hermann Goedsche and, more darkly, the hand of the Russian secret police. Sadly, despite its clearly fraudulent nature, The Protocols continues today to feed the fears of the credulous and to fan the flames of fanaticism and hate."[Source: Perry M. Atterberry]. Here, we present a short reading of the summary of the document from archive.org: http://archive.org/details/Anti-warRadioScottHortonInterviewsStuBykofsky.
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April 4, 2013
Segment 1 | "The Flight of the Eagle: A Retrospective on the United Farm Workers Union" (Pacifica Radio Archives ~ 1995; 2013).
This week we air a 1995 Pacifica documentary presented originally as a 30 years retrospective of the united farm workers union produced in 1995 on the occasion of the UFW's 30th anniversary. It comes to us from FROM THE VAULT, the Pacifica Radio weekly program that mines Pacifica's audio archives for historically significant broadcasts and prepares them for presentation to contemporary audiences: "This was produced and narrated by Chuy Varela. Produced from archival material which provides a 30 year retrospective of the UFW. Examines the evolution of the union, from a local organization which championed farm workers, into a civil rights organization which fights for issues effecting the larger Latino community. The program examines the impact of the 1965 Delano Strike, who was Dolores Huerta and what was her role in developing the UFW, how the death of Cesar Chavez has effected the union."
Segment 2 | "Theodore Roosevelt on Farmers and Businessmen" (1912).
During the election of 1912, Theodore Roosevelt, now alientated from William Howard Taft and the Republican Party, ran as a third party candidate for the Progressive Party. In the course of the 1912 election he recorded a number of political position statements. This is one of them, recorded in August of 1912 in New York, focusing on farmers and businessmen. The original was distributed as an Edison cylinder recording.
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March 28, 2013
Segment 1 | "Sheridan County Reds: Communism in Sheridan County, Montana" (2013).
In the 1920s and early 1930s the political landscape of Sheridan County, Montana, located in the extreme northeast corner of the state -- in a flat, short-grass prairie region bordered by Saskatchewan to the north and North Dakota to the east -- was heavily influenced by the American Communist party (CPUSA). As one 1927 FBI report noted, a "majority of the officers of Sheridan County, including the Sheriff, [State] Senator, Clerk of the District Court, Treasurer" were all members of the Party. Talking History producer and historian Gerald Zahavi, author of "'Who's Going to Dance With Somebody Who Calls You a Mainstreeter': Communism, Culture, and Community in Sheridan County, Montana, 1918-1934" (The Great Plains Quarterly, vol. 16 | Fall/Winter 1996) and Prof. Verlaine Stoner McDonald, author of Red Corner: The Rise and Fall of Communism in Northeastern Montana (Montana State Historical Society Press, 2010) explore some of the fascinating aspects of this little-known story. This is the first of three programs related to communism in Sheridan County, Montana that will be broadcast in the coming year.
Segment 2 | "The Autobiography of Big Bill Haywood: From LibriVox (selection)."
There were more "reds" in the American West than resided in Sheridan County! William "Big Bill" Haywood
is perhaps one of the better known of American western radicals. As a leader of the Western Federation of Miners and later of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), he established a reputation as a miltant proponent of syndicalism and industrial unionism.
From 1905 to 1920, as head of the IWW, he helped organize hundreds of thousands of workers in lumber mills, farms, factories, and mines. Though it was decimated in the domestic repression that followed World War I, the IWW laid the foundations for progressive, socially-minded unionism in the 1930s, in the form of the CIO. Here we present a reading of a short segment of his autobiography. The reading comes to us from Christian Pecaut and archive.org: http://archive.org/details/bigbill. For a short biography of Haywood, see: http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAhaywood.htm.
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March 21, 2013
Segment 1 | "Backstory: Real to Reel ~ History at the Movies" (2013).
Backstory's back! This time, the History Guys are looking at the movies: "Six of this year's nine nominees for Best Picture at the Oscars are films based in history. That may seem like a lot, but for the past 40 years, the majority of Best Picture winners have had an historical bent. On this episode we ask what makes history such a popular subject for American filmmakers.
From the early days of film -- when people thought movies would replace textbooks in the classroom -- to the Cold War -- when the government and Hollywood thought they could control behavior through film -- the History Guys look at the impact of history on celluloid culture, and at how movies have made and remade history. They also debate the merits of current Oscar nominees (Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty, and Django Unchained) and consider the ways those movies reflect contemporary thinking about history." For more information on Backstory and this segment, go to their Web site at: http://backstoryradio.org/on-the-clock-a-brief-history-of-time/,
Segment 2 | "Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator (1940; final speech / audio track selection)."
This is the final speech from the film The Great Dictator, written, produced and starring Charlie Chaplin. It is one of the most eloquent statements of the filmmaker's humanitarian philosophy. It was one of the more commecially successful of his films. Released in 1940, the film an obvious condemnation of Hitler and Mussolini. For more informaton on The Great Dictator, see: http://www.tcm.com/this-month/article/157939%7C0/The-Great-Dictator-The-Essentials.html
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March 14, 2013
Segment 1 | "Backstory: On the Clock: A (Brief ) History of Time." (2013).
In 1883, the a coalition of railroad officials carved the continental U.S. into five time zones, introducing Americans to the idea of “standard time.” Twenty five years later, the revolutionary idea was codified into law, with the 1918 Standard Time Act." In this episode, Backstory and the American History Guys take a look at "the impact of those powerful Gilded Age railroads, and look at the role of economic forces in shaping America’s relationship with the clock: . . . . how people have experienced the rhythm of night and day — and why the advent of electric lighting changed that rhythm forever." For more information on Backstory and this segment, go to their Web site at: http://backstoryradio.org/on-the-clock-a-brief-history-of-time/,
Segment 2 | "T. S. Elliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (published 1915; recitation circa 1940s)."
The poet and critic T. S. Eliot (1888-1965) was one of the most accomplished practioners of modernist poetry. Here we present one of Elliot's earlier forays into interior dialogic writing, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," completed around 1910 and published in 1915. In its rumination about time, mortality, sexuality, regret, and the most mundane aspect of the human condition, Elliot anticipated a whole generation's exploration of the tragic and neurotic aspects of modern life,
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March 7, 2013
Segment 1 | "Culture Shock, 1913" (2013).
MP3 unavailable by request of producers.
"Culture Shock 1913" explores a seminal year in development of cultural modernism. It comes to us from WNYC: "What a year was 1913! Many have called it the true beginning of 20th century culture. From New York, where the first large-scale show of modern art alarmed viewers, to Vienna and Paris, where music by Schoenberg and Stravinsky sparked audience riots --- it was a year of artistic upset and audience apoplexy! A hundred years later, WNYC's Sara Fishko and guests tell the story of this Mad Modernist moment of sweeping change, and the ways in which it mirrors our own uncertain age. Producd by WNYC, New York Public Radio.
Producer/Host Sara Fishko
Guests: Museum of Modern Art's Ann Temkin; author Philipp Blom; pianist Jeremy Denk; Neuroscientist and Nobel Laureate Dr. Eric Kandel; The New Yorker's Joan Acocella and Alex Ross; author Frederic Morton; Conductor and educator Leon Botstein; and others."
Segment 2 | "John Reed in Mexica, 1913"
1913 was also an important political year. The Mexican Revolution was heating up and drawing the attention of the American press. In that year, young reporter John Reed (1887-1920) was sent to Mexico by the Metropolitan Magazine to report on that revolution. Joining Pancho Villa's army for four months, the "embedded" reporter sent out regular reports on what he observed. Here is a reading of a selection of one of Reed's dispatches -- later compiled and published in Insurgent Mexico. You can listen to the rest of the readings at http://archive.org/details/insurgent_mexico_1207_librivox and www.librivox.org. For more information on Reed and his career (he later wrote a seminal work on the Russian Revolution, Ten Days That Shook The World), go to: http://www.marxists.org/archive/reed/index.htm.
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February 28, 2013
Segment 1 | "Inside Robbers Cave" (2013).
Today we bring you a documentary from Radio National/Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Hindsight -- about a series of sociological experiments in intergroup hostility that took place in the 1950s: "In 1954 at a small national park in rural Oklahoma, Turkish-American psychologist Muzafer Sherif brought two groups of 11-year-old boys to a summer camp. The boys, from Oklahoma city, arrived at the camp excited at the prospect of three weeks outdoors. What they didn't know and what they were never told was that their behaviour over the next three weeks would be studied, analysed, discussed and used in theories about war, interracial conflict and prejudice for generations to come.
Almost 60 years since it was conducted, it's still cited in psychology textbooks today. But what's less well known is that the Robbers Cave was Sherif's third attempt to generate peace between warring groups. The earlier studies were the 1949 'Happy Valley Camp' study in Connecticut, and the second was his 1953 'Camp Talualac' study.
'Inside the Robbers Cave' tells the story of two of the three studies. Producer Gina Perry's research unearths a tale of drama, failure, mutiny and intrigue that has been overlooked in official accounts of Sherif's research.
The program features original archival audio from recordings made during 1953 and 1954."
Segment 2 | "William Golding's Lord of the Flies (1954).
Here is a short reading from a classic 1950s work on inter-group hostility. Published in 1954, William Goldng's allegorical Lord of the Flies has since become required reading for many students around the world. The book offers a commentary on post WWII "civilization" and reflects the concern of many post-War writers about human nature in light of the murderous era they had just witnessed.
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February 21, 2013
Segment 1 | "Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times" (2013).
Today we bring you a discussion from ACTION SPEAKS! focusing on Charlie Chaplin's 1936 classic film, Modern Times: "Chaplin previews a world beyond the factory and unionism where one's identity is as fragile as one's last pay check and where even a walk into the sunset leads to nowhere in particular.
In our discussion, we will look at the many ways that for Chaplin, Modern Times was a film living 'in the between,' with its meanings similarly situated. Debuting in 1936, almost ten years after the advent of sound, this film marked the first time Chaplin quite reluctantly left the pantomime style of the silent film and drifted hesitantly into allowing the public to hear the sound of his voice. From a political point of view, shot in the midst of the great depression, Modern Times was both a skeptical look at the depersonalization of the industrial world, and an unclear vision of the alternative. At once terrified of the inhumane qualities of the assembly line and modern surveillance techniques, Chaplin in this film seems to also view unionism with reluctance. The Tramp, now showing his wear and age, fits nowhere. He lives in an imagined past without strong connection to a realized future." The discussion features: Charles Musser, Professor of American Studies, Film Studies, and Theater Studies at Yale University where he teaches courses on silent cinema and documentary. His books include The Emergence of Cinema: The American Screen to 1907 (1990). He recently completed the documentary Errol Morris: A Lightning Sketch (2012) with Carina Tautu.
Maureen Reddy, Professor and Chair of the English Department a Rhode Island College. Her books include Crossing the Color Line: Race, Parenting, and Culture, Evteryday Acts Against Racism, and Traces, Codes, and Clues: Reading Race in Crime Fiction. Her current project focuses on race in Irish popular culture, 1988-present.
Philip Rosen is a Professor of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University. He works in the fields of film theory and history, with special attention to questions of culture and ideology, and to historiography and temporality in the contexts of a variety of national cinemas. Rosen's most recent book, Change Mummified: Cinema, Historicity, Theory, relates problems in contemporary film and cultural theory to theories of history, arguing for a special relationship between onceptions of film and conceptions of history.
Segment 2 | "Desk Set (film soundtrack selection; 1957)
Machines and their potential threat to human labor (in this case, intellectual labor) was a theme in this romantic comedy from 1957, Desk Set, featuring Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn. Here we offer you a short, edited audio excerpt from the film.
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February 14, 2013
Segment 1 | "Rules of Engagement: Ethics in Warfare" (2013).
Backstory looks at warfare and ethics in this week's segment of Talking History: "America’s use of targeted drone strikes in Pakistan and elsewhere raise questions about what is—and is not—an appropriate means of waging war. In this episode, the American History Guys look at how previous generations have answered these sorts of questions. They explore the shockingly violent battle tactics of Europeans in comparison to original Indian ways of war. And, at a time when many fear that chemical weapons may be deployed in Syria, the History Guys consider what made the use of chemical weapons taboo in the first place."
Segment 2 | "Clausewitz On War."
Here's a LibriVox reading selection from German-Prussian soldier and military theorist Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz's classic treatise on military strategy, Vom Kriege (On War), published posthumously in 1832. For more information on Clausewitz and On War, see: http://www.clausewitz.com/index.htm.
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February 7, 2013
Segment 1 | "Justice Denied."
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This one-hour documentary comes to us from Humankind. It ' examines the fascinating historical role played by U.S. federal courts in enforcing slavery. Produced in association with WGBH/Boston. . . . We revisit how a Boston judge's decision to order a runaway slave returned to his Virginia owner provoked the largest abolitionist protest the nation had ever seen. Then an in-depth look at the Supreme Court's famous Dred Scott ruling -- adamantly opposed by Abraham Lincoln -- that blacks "have no rights a white man is bound to respect". To what extent did these and other cases inflame tensions leading to the Civil War and damage the reputation of the federal judiciary? Featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning Lincoln historian Eric Foner, Museum of African-American History director Beverly Morgan-Welch, Duke Univ. law professor Paul Finkelman as well as dramatic readings from Frederick Douglass and others."
Segment 2 | "The Narrative of Sojourner Truth" (from LibriVox).
Here is a LibriVox reading of a selection from The Narrative of Sojourner Truth, "the gripping autobiographical account of Sojourner Truth's life as a slave in pre-Civil War New York State, and her eventual escape to Freedom. Since Sojourner could neither read or write, she dictated her story to Olive Gilbert after they met at a Women’s Rights rally. The Narrative was first published in 1850, and was widely distributed by the Abolitionist Movement. It was one of the catalysts for the rise of anti-slavery public opinion in the years leading up to the Civil War. Though Olive Gilbert's writing about Sojourner takes on a patronizing tone at times (a weakness of some Abolitionists), The Narrative of Sojourner Truth remains a moving and historic document, chronicling the struggles of African-Americans under slavery and the life of a truly remarkable woman." [Marc Kockinos] For the full reading, go to Librivox.org.
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January 31, 2013
Segment 1 | "All Hooped Up: Drugs in America" (2013).
Here's another informative piece from Backstory and the American History Guys: December, recreational marijuana use became legal in Washington and Colorado. But back in the early 20th century, both states were among the first to ban the drug. If that seems like a radical change, well – it’s hardly the first time a drug has undergone a major image overhaul in America. This week, we trace the changing face of drugs – and drug users – in the U.S.
We start in the 19th century, when opium and cocaine were perfectly legal, and heroin was touted as for cure for morphine addiction. And we bring the story right on up through the 1970s, when Vietnam vets and suburban housewives triggered two very different drug panics. Throughout, we’ll look trace the story of the criminalization – and in the case of pot, decriminalization — of those substances. Along the way, we explore the influence of the medical establishment, as well as the role of popular culture, in shaping American attitudes about drugs."
Segment 2 | Samuel Coleridge's "Kubla Khan" (from LibriVox).
Written after taking a dose of laudanum -- essentially opium -- used as a medicine in the 19th century. Coleridge fell into a deep sleep and dreamt about a Mongol emperor named Kubla Khan. He dreamt he was writing a poem about Khan and when he awoke, he indeed began to write the poem about the emperor. "Kubla Khan" was the result. The poem became a classic and one of the most recognizable of Coleridge's poetry. Here we present a Librivox recording of a reading of the Poem (one of 19 different recordings of the poem). For more information and for other readings of the poem, go to: http://librivox.org/kubla-khan-by-samuel-taylor-coleridge/.
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January 24, 2013
Segment 1 | "Presidential Inaugurations" (2008)
From Backstory and the American History Guys: "As the rest of Washington looks forward to the next four years, BackStory is looking back — at the last 224 years of presidential transitions. On today's show, the History Guys focus in on several of the most high-stakes presidential inaugurations, and ask what these moments tell us about the social and political forces at work around them.
Why was Washington's voice trembling when he took the Oath of Office? Why did Lincoln's contemporaries greet his now-famous second inaugural… with a shrug? What incoming president in the 1870s feared the specter of a rival inauguration by armed opponents? And in the larger scheme of things, why do inaugurations really matter, anyway?
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Joanne Freeman, Yale University, on the incredibly high stakes of the nation's first U.S. presidential inauguration.
Tim McBride, former personal aide to George H.W. Bush, on how to project the right inaugural image.
William J. Cooper, Louisiana State University, on the three inaugurations of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
George Rable, University of Alabama, on Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural address, an extraordinary speech that garnered a collective shrug in its own time.
Greg Downs, City College of New York, on the specter of a two dueling inaugurations after the hotly disputed election of 1876."
Segment 2 | "John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Speech" (January 20, 1961).
After a night of heavy snow which almost led to the cancellation of inaugural ceremonies, John F. Kennedy went on to deliver his inaugural address on January 20, 1961. He offered an estimation of the domestic and foreign policy challenges that the nation faced (and would continue to face) as a new decade dawned. The oath of office was administered by Chief Justice Earl Warren and Robert Frost read one of his poems at the ceremony. Here we offer you Kennedy's full address.
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January 17, 2013
Segment 1 | "1865-1876: How the South (or White Supremacy) Won the Civil War"
For this audio segment, please use "RealMedia" link, rather than embedded player. "From the founding of the Ku Klux Klan by ex-Confederate officers, through the defeat of Reconstruction: How history is made and remade, with historical myths, including how the Klan ‘saved the South’ from carpetbagger incompetence and corruption and Freedmen’s brutality, considered and debated in the light of rare recorded testimony by ex-slaves and others. Told in the words of actual eyewitnesses and engaged historians, and with rare field recordings (oral histories and music both) from the period." This is the first installment of the award-winning Between Civil War and Civil Rights series, produced by Listening Between the Lines. For more information on other series segments, contact producer Alan Lipke at [email protected].
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January 10, 2013
Segment 1 | "1908: Lewis Hine Documents Child Labor"
From the Action Speaks Fall 2012 season, Private Rights and Public Fights: "In 1908, a young teacher and photographer, Lewis Hine, was hired by the National Child Labor Committee to document evidence of child labor primarily on the East Coast and in the South. Hine had previously photographed arriving immigrants at Ellis Island and even then, his photos showed an extraordinary sensibility, one filled with respect, dignity, and equality. Hine's work helped introduce America to the issues of child labor at a time when the glories of Industrialization were filling the coffers of the rich, while beginning ever so slightly, to offer promises of economic advancement for those of the working class. Hine's pictures were worth more than a thousand words as he established the camera as an actor in social change. His heirs are many: the Photo League, Sebastian Salgado and perhaps even social documentary filmmakers like Michael Moore. Today artists continue to bear witness to perceived injustices, while at the same time prompting post-modern questions about the "objectivity" of the photograph and its makers."
Segment 2 | Archival Audio: "Booker T. Washington: Character Building"
This audio excerpt is Chapter 19, The Gospel of Service from a a talk given by Booker T. Washinton. From Librivox and Archive.Org: "Character Building is a compilation of speeches, given by Mr. Booker T. Washington, to the students and staff of the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute (now known as Tuskegee University). Booker T. Washington was one of the most prominent leaders in advancing African-American civil rights. Born into slavery and freed as a young boy, he rose through the ranks of education to eventually earn his position as principal of Tuskegee. Under his guidance, the school was built, by students and for students, to give them a deeply meaningful education. Mr. Washington stressed the importance of developing oneself for life-long success. He strived to imbue in his students the highest personal standards, and these speeches represent the core messages he gave. (Originally published by Doubleday, Page & Co., NY, in 1902.). The reading and sound recording is from LibriVox.
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January 3, 2013
Segment 1 | "Turf Wars: A History of College Sports"
Backstory explores the history of college sports: "From Taylor Branch’s controversial article about college sports for The Atlantic to the tragic scandal uncovered at Penn State, the relationship between higher education and college athletics has provided some of the most heated controversies of the year. But why do sports even exist at colleges and universities? .... The American History Guys unpack the origins of college sports, and the ways universities have justified athletics on campus. Peter, Ed, and Brian take us to Amherst College in the 19th century, where the first collegiate Phys. Ed. program blossomed. They also recount a little-known story about the integration of the University of Alabama’s football team."
Segment 2 | Archival Audio: "President Eisenhower Proclaims Hawiian Statehood"
After a long and contested struggle, Hawaii become the 50th and most recent state admitted to the Union. In this audio clip from August 21, 1959, President Dwight D. Eishenhower proclaims Hawaii's statehood. See the National Archives site, http://www.archives.gov/legislative/features/hawaii/ for additional
documents ranging from Queen Liliuokalani's December 19, 1898 letter to the U.S. House of Representatives protesting U.S. assertion of ownership of Hawaii, to the Certificate of Election for Representative Daniel K. Inouyeon August 21, 1959, as Hawaii's first voting member of the U.S. House of Representatives. One perspective on Hawaiian statehood is found in Gerald Horne's book, Fighting in Paradise: Labor Unions, Racism, and Communists in the Making of Modern Hawaii, University of Hawaii Press 2011. http://www.uhpress.hawaii.edu/p-8554-9780824835026.aspx.
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