Aural History Productions
Radio Archive ~ July-December 2013
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December 26, 1913 - January 2, 2014
Vacation break. Check out our previous broadcasts available here and through the drop-down menu on the upper left of this page.
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December 19, 2013
Segment 1 | "Backstory: Shocked and Appalled ~ A History of Scandal" (2013).
From Backstory (http://backstoryradio.org) and the American History Guys: "the Guys and their guests rediscover some of the scandals that captured earlier generations' 'imaginations - like a lurid tale of adultery and infanticide at a 1790s Virginia plantation called (no joke) 'Bizarre." Or the 19th century Beecher-Tilton trial, in which a celebrity preacher was accused of seducing his best friend's wife. And in more recent years, the serious congressman whose affair with an exotic dancer helped end his career, and helped change Washington too. Along the way, they consider what has constituted a scandal in American history and how public attitudes toward them have evolved.
Julian Zelizer, Princeton University, on the sex scandal that brought down Wilbur Mills -- one of the most powerful congressman of the 1970s -- and how it changed the Congress for good;
Debby Applegate, independent scholar, on the adultery trial of famous 19th Century preacher Henry Ward Beecher, and the fears of a wider societal breakdown it generated;
Christopher Doyle, Watkinson School, Hartford, CT, on the alleged murder of an illegitimate baby that scandalized Virginia high society in the early Republic; and John Hellerman, crisis communications specialist, whotakes a look back on some historical scandals and gives those involved a little retrospective advice (pro bono, of course)."
Segment 2 | "An Avoided Scandal: Strom Thurmond and Essie Mae Washington." (Interview, 1978)
Here's a short selection from an oral history interview with former South Carolina senator and Dixicrat presidential candidate Strom Thurmond conducted in 1978. It comes to us from the Southern Oral History Program Collection at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. The full interview is available on line at: http://docsouth.unc.edu/sohp/A-0334/menu.html. Thurmond, an avid supporter of racial segregation and states' rights for much of his political life, nonetheless -- while a young man -- had a sexual relationship with his family's black 16-year-old maid and fathered a mixed-race daughter, Essie Mae Washington-Williams. This part of his scandalous past was the subject of rumour during his life but never publicly acknowledged or revealed -- at least not until his death in 2003. Essie Mae Washington-Williams recalled in her autobiography: "In a way, my life began at 78, at least my life as who I really was." For more on Thurmond and Essie Mae Washington-Williams' relationship in the years after her birth, see: Essie Mae Washington-Williams and William Stadiem, Dear Senator: A Memoir by the Daughter of Strom Thurmond (Regan Books, 2005) and http://www.cbsnews.com/news/essie-mae-on-strom-thurmond/.
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December 12, 2013
Segment 1 | "The Mandela Tapes" (2013).
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's radio program, IDEAS, was given full access to a remarkable set of recordings of Nelson Mandela: "The man chosen to record Mandela's life story was Rick Stengel, a young reporter working in South Africa for Rolling Stone magazine. From 1992 to 1996, Stengel shadowed Mandela, using his small cassette machine to record the stories which would help in the writing of Mandela's autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom. The two other key voices in the documentary are the current managing editor of Time Magazine, Rick Stengel, and freelance radio producer Robin Benger.
This was first broadcast on CBC Radio in May 2013. It was updated for the death of Nelson Mandela. For more information about The Mandela Tapes, see: http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/themandelatapes/. For more information about Mandela, see: http://www.nelsonmandela.org/content/page/biography.
Segment 2 | "Don Pinnock interview of Joe Slovo [UWC/Robben Island Mayibuye Archive] (1992).
Here's a short excerpt from an interview conducted by Don Pinnock in 1992 with Joe Slovo, former head of the South African Comunist Party. The recording is part of a series carried out at Grahamstown University. and held at the UWC/Robben Island Mayibuye Archive. Much of the interview focuses on Ruth First, Slovo's first wife who -- like Slovo -- was an active South African member of the militant anti-Apartheid movement in exile. First was a journalist, Communist, and scholar; she was killed in 1982 by a parcel bomb in Mozambique -- planted by the South African police. For the full interview, go to: http://www.ruthfirstpapers.org.uk/content/407. For a short summary of Ruth First's life, see: http://www.sahistory.org.za/people/ruth-herloise-first; on Joe Slovo: http://www.sacp.org.za/main.php?ID=2310. For an excellent book on Joe Slovo and Ruth First, see Alan Wieder, Ruth First and Joe Slovo in the War against Apartheid (Monthly Review Press, 2013) [http://monthlyreview.org/press/books/pb3560/].
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December 5, 2013
Segment 1 | "Trey Kay's The Long Game: Texas' Ongoing Battle for the Direction of the Classroom" (2013).
In 2011, Trey Kay won the prestigeous duPont-Columbia Award radio journalism for his eploration of a 1974 conflict in West Virginia over multiculturalism and textbooks. This year, he completed another excellent piece on cultural war in education. Our show today showcases that piece:
"For more than a half a century, citizens of the Lone Star State have had intense, emotional battles over what children should and shouldn’t be taught in public school classrooms. While there have been fights over just about every academic subject, debates over history, evolution, God and country generate the most heat. In many ways, Texans are stuck. Some believe teachers should lay out relevant facts before students and have them draw their own conclusions. Others believe there should be particular values —perhaps absolute values— added into the mix to help guide students.
For “Long Game,” Trey Kay (producer of the Peabody, Murrow and DuPont honored “Great Textbook War”) spent nearly two years gathering interviews and acquiring archival audio in Texas. During this process, he was present to capture a new controversy that erupted over a Texas-generated curriculum system known as CSCOPE. Tea Party parents were outraged when they discovered there were CSCOPE lessons that equated Boston Tea Party participants to terrorists and encouraged students to design a flag for a new communist country. These parents were also troubled by lessons that taught the fundamental principals of Islam. When they asked to see more of their children’s lessons, they were told that CSCOPE material was protected by a non-disclosure agreement and that parents couldn’t have access. The controversy reached critical mass after conservative talk show host Glenn Beck began speaking to his national audience about CSCOPE as a form of leftist indoctrination that was running rampant in Texas and could potentially appear in public schools in other states. After about six months of intense media and political pressure, the lesson plan wing of CSCOPE – used in over 70% of Texas schools – was disbanded. Kay’s report also examines Texas’ perennial battle over science standards and in particular, how the state chooses to teach all things related to the origins of the universe and theory of evolution. This fall (2013), the Texas Board of Education is selecting biology textbooks for use by high school students over the next decade. The panel responsible for reviewing submissions from publishers has stirred controversy because a number of its members do not accept evolution and climate change as scientific truth."
Segment 2 | "A Banned Book: D. H. Lawrence's The Rainbow".
D.H. Lawrence's The Rainbow, was published in 1915 and almost immediately censored for its sexual content. The book is a family chronicle -- tracing three generations of the Brangwen family living near Marsh Farm in the East Midlands of England near Nottingham. The novel explores the impact of power, repression, and desire on several members of the family: [From Wikipedia: "The book spans a period of roughly 65 years from the 1840s to 1905, and shows how the love relationships of the Brangwens change against the backdrop of the increasing industrialisation of Britain. The first central character, Tom Brangwen, is a labourer whose experience of the world does not stretch beyond Nottinghamshire; while the last, Ursula, his granddaughter, studies at University and becomes a teacher in the progressively urbanised, capitalist and industrial world that would become our modern experience.
The book starts with a description of the Brangwen dynasty, then deals with how Tom Brangwen, one of several brothers, fell in love with a Polish refugee, Lydia. The next part of the book deals with Lydia's daughter by her first husband, Anna, and her destructive, battle-riven relationship with her husband, Will, the son of one of Tom's brothers. The last and most extended part of the book, and also probably the most famous, then deals with Will and Anna's daughter, Ursula, and her struggle to find fulfilment for her passionate, spiritual and sensual nature against the confines of the increasingly materialist and conformist society around her. She experiences a lesbian relationship with a teacher, and a passionate but ultimately doomed love affair with Anton Skrebensky, a British soldier of Polish ancestry. At the end of the book, having failed to find her fulfilment in Skrebensky, she has a vision of a rainbow towering over the Earth, promising a new dawn for humanity:
"She saw in the rainbow the earth's new architecture, the old, brittle corruption of houses and factories swept away, the world built up in a living fabric of Truth, fitting to the over-arching heaven.] The book is available on line at: https://archive.org/details/rainbowlawrence00lawrrich.
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November 28, 2013
No broadcast today. Check out our previous broadcasts available here and through the drop-down menu on the upper left of this page.
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November 21, 2013
Segment 1 | "Backstory: Talk of the Nation ~ Oratory in America" (2013).
In this episode of BackStory (http://backstoryradio.org), the American History Guys examine the importance of public discourse in American history: "From the fiery sermons of traveling preachers in the 18th century to the teleprompted prime-time addresses of presidents today, this episode of BackStory explores the changing nature of American oratory. It looks look at how audiences’ expectations of orators have shifted, and asks why some speeches loom so much larger — or smaller — in our memory than they did in their own times.
Harold Holzer, scholar and chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation, on the delivery of the Gettysburg Address in 1863;
Gordon Stewart, former speechwriter to President Jimmy Carter, on the “crisis of confidence” or “malaise” speech of 1979;
Lisa Tetrault, Carnegie Mellon University, on the rise of women orators in the Lyceum movement of the late 19th Century;
Carolyn Eastman, Virginia Commonwealth University, on the emphasis placed upon Native American speeches in the early Republic, and the search for a corpus of truly “American” oratory."
Segment 2 | "Thucydides: Pericles' Funeral Oration" (LibriVox Reading).
Pericles' Funeral Oration, delivered during the first year of the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC) and paraphrased in Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War, is one of the most famous orations in history; it shaped public pronouncements at public war memorials for millennia to come. It even influencing the structure of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, according to Garry Wills in Lincoln at Gettysburg (1992). Pericles, as one of Athens' most prominent politicians, was called upon to deliver the oration during the annual public funeral for the city's war dead. For the full text, as paraphrased by Thucydides, can be found in this on-line version of abou the oration, see Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War at: http://classics.mit.edu/Thucydides/pelopwar.html.
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November 14, 2013
Segment 1 | "Hindsight: Return to Inexpressible Island" (2013).
Here's a piece from ABC/Radio National's Hindsight: "The Antarctic Winter of 1912 has become known as one of the worst on record.
It was the winter that Robert Falcon Scott's Polar expedition perished after having being beaten to the South Pole by Roald Amundsen; and it was the same winter that a lesser known group, the Northern Party, was stranded on a desolate snow drift. Tony Fleming, grandson of the youngest member of Scott's Northern Party, retraces the group's incredible journey." For more, see: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/hindsight/return-to-inexpressible-island/5020014
Segment 2 | "Frances Flaherty on Robert Flaherty and His Docuentary Films" (1960).
Back in 1960, Robert Gardner, then from Harvard's Peabody's Museum, interviewed the widow of documentary filmmaking pioneer Robert Flaherty about her husband's -- and Frances Flaherty's -- approach to documentary filmmaking (Frances worked closely with her husband). Here we present an edited excerpt from that interview. You can view the video interview here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mvzxu3syq_A. Flaherty's classic, Nanook of the North, is also available on line. here's the link to it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6PNSf1XJbw.
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November 7, 2013
Segment 1 | "Action Speaks! - "Betting on Hedonism" ~ The Birth of Las Vegas in 1941 (2013).
Here's a piece that comes to us from Providence, Rhode Island and "Action Speaks Radio" [http://actionspeaksradio.org]. This taped panel discussion focuses on the birth of the Las Vegas ‘Strip’ when the first casino/hotel, "El Rancho Vegas" opened in 1941. Panelists include Larry Gragg, author of Bright Light City: Las Vegas in Popular Culture, Larry Gragg; Natasha Schüll, cultural anthropologis and Associate Professor of Science & Technology at MIT -- and author of Addiction By Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas; and David Konstan, classics professor at NYU whose research focuses on beauty and materialism.
Segment 2 | "Fyodor Dostoevsky and The Gambler" (1867 / LibriVox reading).
Here's a selection from a reading of one of Fyodor Dostoevsky's early novella's, The Gambler. It's a novel about gambling addiction, a problem that Doestoevsky was very familiar with -- since he suffered from it for many years. For the text of the entire novel, see: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/2197. For the full audio reading of the novel, see: http://librivox.org/the-gambler-by-fyodor-dostoyevsky/.
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October 31, 2013
Segment 1 | "Backstory: Splintered Parties ~ A History of Political Factions" (2013).
"In this episode of BackStory, Peter, Ed, and Brian peer into the parties themselves, and explore some of the influential factions that have left a mark on the American political landscape – from the Radical Republicans after the Civil War, to the Dixiecrats after World War II. Plus, they look back to the early Republic and a time before the formation of parties, when 'faction' was the only game in town.
Joanne Freeman, Yale University, on factional strife in the Early Republic, and why parties themselves were universally despised;
Annette Gordon-Reed, Harvard University, on the Republican Party’s own civil war over radicalism and Reconstruction;
Joseph Crespino, Emory University, on the Democratic conflict that led to the Dixiecrat Bolt of 1948 and its lasting legacy in American politics." Backstory segment page: http://backstoryradio.org/?p=11300.
Segment 2 | "James Madison and Federalist #10" (1787 ~ LibriVox reading).
During the debates over the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton wrote a series of supportive essays that collectively came to be known as the "Federalist Papers." Federalist No. 10 is perhaps one of the best known and regarded of the Federalist essays. Written by Madison, it deals with the issue of political factions. Madison felt that factions are better controlled in larger political units than in smaller ones. Here we present a LibriVox reading of Madison's famous essay (see: http://librivox.org/the-federalist-papers-by-alexander-hamilton-john-jay-and-james-madison/ for readings of ALL of the Federalist Papers).
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October 24, 2013
Segment 1 | "Against the Grain: What Missionaries Provoked" (2013).
This week we air a recent segment from Against the Grain -- a conversation with Heather Sharkey, Associate Professor in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (NELC) at the University of Pennsylvania. Sharkey is the editor of Cultural Conversions: Unexpected Consequences of Christian Missionary Encounters in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia (Syracuse U. Press, 2013) and the author of American Evangelicals in Egypt: Missionary Encounters in an Age of Empire (Princeton U. Press, 2008). Summary: "Christian missionaries operating in foreign lands did convert many people, but their activities, asserts Heather Sharkey, were also intrinsically political. Sharkey describes how missionaries provoked local resistance and galvanized nationalist and ethnic (including Islamic) sentiment and organizing."
Segment 2 | "The Book of Mormon (selection from The Book of Enos)"
One of the most active missionary groups today is The Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints (LDS) -- the Mormons. The Book of Mormon offers many stories that encourage Church members to spread their faith among unbelievers. See the Book of Enos, part of the Book of Mormon, for examples. SOURCE: http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/enos/1?lang=eng
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October 17, 2013
Segment 1 | "Backstory: 1492 ~ The Discover of America and the Memory of Columbus (2013).
From Backstory: . This episode of BackStory looks into the contested memory of Columbus and his significance: "Christopher Columbus remains a central figure in American history: his name has been worked into numerous cities across the United States, ships, universities – even a space shuttle. And from an early age, schoolchildren learn about the voyages of the Niña, Pinta, and Santa María. But many Americans have also questioned Columbus’ legacy - should we venerate a man who symbolizes European colonization, and began the decimation of native American populations that would continue for centuries? With another Columbus Day upon us, this episode of BackStory looks back at the controversial Columbian legacy. When and why did Americans begin to revere the Italian explorer? Who has seized on his legacy, and who has contested it?
Tony Horwitz, author, A Voyage Long and Strange (2008), on his search for the “real” Christopher Columbus;
Rolena Adorno, Yale University, on Washington Irving’s massive biography of Columbus, published in 1828, and its role in creating the heroic Columbus myth.
Joanne Mancini, NUI Maynooth, on an alternative 'discovery' story promoted by Norwegian-Americans in the 19th Century, and the battle for 'Leif Erikson Day.'
Ellen Berg, University of Maryland, on the symbolic figure of 'Columbia' and her popularity in American history. See www.backstoryradio.org for more details on this and other programs produced by Backstory.
Segment 2 | "Declaring Thanksgiving: George Washington's Declaration of Thanksgiving as a National Day of Celebration" (1789; modern LibriVox reading)
President George Washington proclaimed the creation of the first national Thanksgiving Day on October 3rd, 1789, Here we present a LibriVox reading of Washington;s's proclamation. For more information on the origins of Thanksgiving, see: http://www.randomhistory.com/2008/10/23_thanksgiving.html. For the LibriVox source, see: http://librivox.org/short-nonfiction-collection-vol-015/.
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October 10, 2013
Segment 1 | "Against the Grain: Prof. Robin D. G. Kelley on Aimé Fernand David Césaire (2013).
From Against the Grain, we present this examinationg of an important Cariibbean Francophone literary and political figure: "Colonialism in both its traditional and contemporary versions is not just about power and coercion: it's about how the 'other' is thought and talked about. Aimé Césaire took a radical anticolonial stance inflected with surrealist and Marxist notions. Robin D. G. Kelley discusses Césaire's ideas and their relevance for today." For more information about Césaire, see: http://postcolonialstudies.emory.edu/aime-cesaire/.
Segment 2 | "Mark Twain's Anti-Imperialism: The War Prayer." (1916; Reading)
The Spanish American War, which began in April of 1898, was a very short war; it ended only months after it began -- with Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines transformed into American protectorates and territorial possessions. The war soon followed by another one -- a protracted colonial war against Filipino rebels led by Emilio Aguinaldo who demanded independence. When it became clear that America's war with Spain and Aguinaldo was all about developing an American empire, a vocal protest movement emerged in the U.S. One of the most outspoken groups that sought to roll back colonialism and imperialism was the American Anti-Imperialist League, which was established in June of 1898. Among its members were William Jennings Bryan, Moorfield Storey, Andrew Carnegie, Samuel Gompers, and Mark Twain. Twain was one of the best-known member of the League; he served as vice president of the organization from 1901 till his death in 1910. Twain became an outspoken speaker and writer against war, colonialism, and imperialism. Here, we present a reading of one of Twain's most compelling antiwar writings -- a short story called "The War Prayer" -- a work considered too radical to be published in his lifetime. "I don't think the prayer will be published in my time," Twain said. "None but the dead are permitted to tell the truth." Twain wrote The War Prayer in 1904; it wasn't published till 1916. This reading of Twain's The War Prayer comes from archive.org. It was originally broadcast as a radio radio drama, produced and directed by W.D. Sherman Olson and starring Abbie Williams and folk singer/song writer Billy Krause. For the full version of the radio production, see: http://archive.org/details/MarkTwainsTheWarPrayer. For more information on the American Anti-Imperialist League, see: http://teachersites.schoolworld.com/webpages/ASchulzki/files/the%20antiimperialist%20movement1.pdf
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October 3, 2013
Segment 1 | "Backstory: Green Acres ~ A History of Farming in America" (2013).
"In the 18th Century, Thomas Jefferson saw farmers as ideal citizens, whose agricultural lifestyle would uphold a virtuous republic. Just 2% of Americans live on farms today, however, yet the republic persists -- however virtuous -- and farmers still loom large in the national consciousness. In this episode of BackStory, Peter, Brian, and Ed consider why the ideal of the self-sufficient, independent American farmer is still so powerful -- even as the reality has changed dramatically -- and who has invoked that ideal over time. From railroad companies to anti-imperialists, the image of the 'yeoman farmer' has served many different ends over the years, and served to anchor one of the most successful government lobbies in history, as the Guys and their guests explore.
Adam Sheingate, Johns Hopkins University, on how the struggling American farmer turned into the farm lobby -- one of the most powerful interest groups in American politics.
Sergei Khrushchev , Brown University, and Liz Garst, on the unlikely friendship between their father and grandfather -- Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev and Iowa farmer Roswell Garst -- and the agricultural diplomacy they waged in the 1950s.
Kathleen Mapes, University of Illinois, on agriculture and anti-imperialism -- as American sugar beet farmers industry attacked U.S. acquisition of new (sugar-producing) colonies at the turn of the 20th Century.
Andy Piasecki, independent scholar, on the massive PR campaign launched by the railroads in the late 19th Century, presenting an ideal of American farming to attract Europeans to the Midwest." See more on Backstory at: http://backstoryradio.org/.
Segment 2 | "Vernon Dalhart: 'Farm Relief Song" (1929).
The Great Depression hit farmers and rural areas earlier than it did the rest of the country. Their desperate need for reform and relief was expressed in this Vernon Dalhart song, recorded in 1929. For more information on Dalhart, see: http://countrymusichalloffame.org/full-list-of-inductees/view/vernon-dalhart.
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September 26, 2013
Segment 1 | Backstory: "Responsibility to Protect ~ A History of Humanitarian Interventions" (2013).
The American History Guys from Backstory explore the history of U.S. military interventions -- particularly those justified by humanitarian claims: "With President Obama making the case for military action against Syria, BackStory takes on the history of humanitarian intervention. In 1898, President McKinley called for war with Spain to liberate Cuba from the 'barbarities, bloodshed, starvation, and horrible miseries now existing there' -- offering the kind of humanitarian rhetoric that has come up time and time again in American history, justifying numerous interventions around the world -- from Haiti in 1915 to Libya in 2011. But where does the idea of a humanitarian obligation originate? When and why has the US felt justified to intervene in other nations' affairs? And how have these interventions shaped Americans' attitudes toward the world -- and the world's attitudes toward us? These are the questions that Brian, Ed, and Peter explore in this episode, looking to history to help us make sense of America's international role, and understand the deep roots of current debates over Syria. Guests on this show include: Daniel Feller, University of Tennessee-Knoxville; Ann Marie Wilson, Leiden University College; Timothy M. Roberts, Western Illinois University; David Koren, Participant in the Biafran Airlift. You can find more details and information about Backstory at: http://backstoryradio.org/.
Segment 2 | "Ronald Reagan Speech on Lebanon and Grenada" (October 27, 1983).
aOn October 27, 1983, President Ronald Regan spoke at 8 p.m. from the Oval Office at the White House about U.S. interventions in Lebanon and Grenada. The address was broadcast live on nationwide radio and television. Here, we bring you his speech. You can also find a full transcription of the speech at this Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Web site: http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/1983/102783b.htm.
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September 19, 2013
Segment 1 | "Raoul Wallenberg" (2013).
Here's another piece from ABC/Radio National's Hindsight: the story of Swedish diplomat and war hero Raoul Wallenberg, who saved the lives of an estimated 100,000 people during the Holocaust. "Wallenberg's story also contains a deep and tragic mystery. He was groomed to be a star of a Swedish financial empire, but the Second World War saw Wallenberg's life take a very different turn, one which would see him disappear forever inside a Russian prison.
This program features the memories of Raoul Wallenberg's sister, and the experiences of those Australians who owe their lives to his actions." For more details, go directly to the Hindsight Web site: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/hindsight/an-honourable-citizen-raoul-wallenberg/4838708.
Segment 2 | "Mein Kampf and Hitler's Contempt for Parliamentary Democracy" (1925; contemporary reading).
Behind the Holocaust were hundreds of years of evolving arian racial ideas and ideologies and a growing contempt for democractic institutions -- coming to a head and given exceptional potency by the diabolical genius of Adolph Hitler and his followers. Here we present a short excerpt of a reading of Hitler's Mein Kampf (1925-26), a two volume autobiographical account of Hitler's life and ideas about Jews, Germany, parliamentary democracy, and much more. The excerpt focuses on Hitler's contemp for the Austrian parliament and democracy in general (the latter he considered the necessary foundation for European Marxism). The full text of Mein Kampf is widely available in print and in audio editions. See: http://archive.org/details/MeinKampf_472 and http://archive.org/details/AdolfHitlersMeinKampf-CompleteAudioBookMp3.
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September 12, 2013
Segment 1 | "Degrees of Freedom: A History of Higher Education in America" (2013).
In this episode of BackStory, the American History guys take on the history of higher education -- exploring "earlier battles over the nature and purpose of the collegiate enterprise, and what they mean today." Their guests include: Caroline Winterer, Stanford University; Caitlyn Rosenthal, University of California, Berkeley; Carlos Santos, Journalist and co-author of Rot, Riot, and Rebellion: Mr. Jefferson's Struggle to Save the University That Changed America (2013); and Michael Sauder, University of Iowa. More details at: http://backstoryradio.org/shows/degrees-of-freedom-2/ .
Segment 2 | "The Willard Straight Takeover at Cornell, April 1969" (selections and link).
Debates about the proper mission of universities periodically arose through the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. In the 1960s, such debates sometimes led to violent or near-violent confrontations. Here we present a short edited selection of interviews collected by Cornell University focusing on the black student takeover of Willard Straight Hall in April of 1969. The entire collection of interviews is available at: http://africana.library.cornell.edu/africana/lecture/wsh.html. Additional information on the Willard Straight takeover can also be found at this Cornell Web site: http://guides.library.cornell.edu/wshtakeover.
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September 5, 2013
Segment 1 | "Famine Girls" (2013).
This piece comes to us through ABC’s Hindsight. We often hear about the great Irish diaspora to the United States that was the direct result of the great potato famine of the mid-19th century. But in the U.S. we rarely hear about the migrations of the Irish to Canada and Australia that also took place at this time. Here, we bring you the story of one part of this great migration, the tale of 4000 Irish girls who were sent to settle in Australia. For more details, go directly to the Hindsight Web site: (http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/hindsight/the-famine-girls/4857904).
Segment 2 | "The Russian Famine of 1921" (2011).
The Irish potato famine of the mid-19th century was not the only or most severe famine to impact a nation. In 1921, a terrible famine hit Russia. It came in the wake of the political chaos that followed the Russian Revolution and World War I, and began when a devestating drought hit the Volga and Ural River regions of Russia. It took the lives of more than 6 million people (the Irish famine cost the lives of 1 million). Begining in the early spring of that year and lasted through 1922, conditions rapidly deteriorated and the newly formed government was unable to adequatly provide relief services. It reached to other nations, inclduing the United States. The story of the famine and American involvement (including future President Herbert Hoover's role in Russian relief initiatives) were recounted in a fine PBS documentary from which we have excerpted a few edited testimonies here (audio only). For the complete documentary, and additional information on the Great Famine of 1921, go to the following PBS Web site: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/famine/player/.
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August 29, 2013
Segment 1 | "Backstory: The Fierce Urgency of Now: The 1963 March on Washington" (2013).
The American History guys "explore the roots of the March on Washington in radical labor politics in the 1940s, and look even further back to the Emancipation Proclamation -- the 100th anniversary of which the march was timed to coincide with. With guests who helped organize or attended the march, they'll consider the anxieties felt by many in Washington in the days leading up to it, and get personal perspectives on the events and impact of the day. And they'll reflect on that impact in the long-run. Guests include: David Blight, Yale University, on the continuing impact of the Civil War, shaping the context in which the march took place; William P. Jones, University of Wisconsin-Madison, on the campaign against employment discrimination in the 1940s, which led to early calls to march; Tom Jackson, University of North Carolina--Greensboro, on the Kennedy administration's efforts to manage the march; Aniko Bodroghkozy, University of Virginia, on the television coverage of the Civil Rights movement, and the march itself; Hank Thomas, veteran freedom rider, and a security marshal at the march." For more information on this and other programs from Backstory, go to: http://backstoryradio.org/.
Segment 2 | "Another March on Washington: The Bonus March of 1932" (archival selections).
Here are some selections from archival broadcasts from the summer of 1932 focusing on the famous "Bonus Army" march of 1932, when over 17,000 World War I veterans and their families marched on Washington D.C. demanding the payment of a cash bonus promised to them by the U.S. government a few years after the war. To listen to an NPR special on the march produced by Radio Diaries, which utilized these archival segments, go to: http://www.radiodiaries.org/march-of-the-bonus-army/.
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August 22, 2013
Talking History was pre-empted today. Please explore our many past programs below and in our program archive. We'll be back Augusr 29th.
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August 15, 2013
Segment 1 | "State of the Re-Union: Who Is This Man?" (2010).
Media (Only the streaming version of this production is available -- by request of the producers).
From the State of the Re-Union series, we bring you this examination of Civil Rights activist Bayard Rustin: "MLK Jr.'s 'I have a Dream' speech has become the shorthand of the Civil Rights Movement -- but we might never have heard it, if it were not for another man, who's largely been forgotten by history: Bayard Rustin. In this program hour, we explore the life and legacy of Mr. Rustin, a black, gay, Quaker who brought Gandhian non-violent protest to the Civil Rights movement in America."
Segment 2 | "A. Phillip Randolph at the March on Washington, 1963 (selection).
Back in late August of 1963, American University's National Educational Radio Network (NERN) affiliate, WAMU-FM, covered the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom live for the entire day. Their coverage of the day included recordings of many of the key Civil Rights leader of the era -- besides Martin Luther King Jr. Here we present a short excerpt from the comments of A. Phillip Randolph, one of the organizers of the March on Washington.
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August 8, 2013
Segment 1 | "Backstory: Keeping Tabs ~ Data & Surveillance in America (2013).
Here's another program from Backstory and the American History Guys (http://backstoryradio.org/shows/keeping-tabs/): Last month, Americans learned that the NSA has been collecting data on millions of American’s phone calls, and tapping into data gathered by tech companies like Google and Yahoo. The revelations set off another round of debate over the scope of personal privacy in a democratic republic like ours, and the means by which the government “keeps tabs” on citizens. So in this episode, the Guys explore the changing ways we’ve collected information on each other – and when it crosses from something necessary into something invasive.
From early attempts to determine people’s credit rating to the accumulation of data about Americans’ “racial purity,” the History Guys and their guests look at how, and why, Americans have kept tabs on each other, and consider how earlier generations have balanced the need-to-know with expectations of privacy. GUESTS INCLUDE:
Beverly Gage, Yale University; Scott Sandage, Carnegie Mellon University; Helen Rountree, Old Dominion University; Kevin Schultz, University of Illinois at Chicago; Ron Brown, Private investigator
Segment 2 | "Spy Proof America (1917)."
Spy Proof America! was a booklet written and published in 1917 by J. Francis Logan proposing the creation of "a volunteer civilian anti-spy organization to root out enemy spies from the USA. While he VSS (Voluntay Secret Service) never materialized, other organizations such as the American Protective League did. Here we presenr a Librivox reading of a section of Spy Proof America!
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August 1, 2013
Talking History will not be aired today. Please explore our many past programs below and in our program archive. We'll be back Augusr 8th.
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July 25, 2013
Segment 1 | "People's History of Baseball" (2013).
Here's a recent program from Against the Grain: "Has the game of baseball developed independently of social and political forces and movements in this country? Certainly not, says Mitchell Nathanson. He traces the impact of class-based concerns, racial dynamics, labor struggles, and 1960s protest mobilizations on baseball's origins and development. Nathanson also considers the oft-propagated story of baseball as America." Mitchell Nathanson is the author of A People's History of Baseball (U. of Illinois Press, 2012) and The Fall of the 1977 Phillies (McFarland, 2008).
Segment 2 | "First West Coast West Series (1959)."
Here is an audio selection from a Univesal Newsreel released on October 5, 1959 focusing on the first West Coast World Series between the White Sox and the LA Dodgers. The original newsreel is available on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkINp-YNvjE.
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July 18, 2013
Segment 1 | "Backstory: Rinse and Repeat ~ Cleanliness in America" (2013).
We continue our summer Backstory (backstoryradio.org) marathon with this exploration of notions of cleanliness in American history: "Cleanliness is next to godliness, we say, and Americans have long associated good hygiene with moral and spiritual purity. On this episode, we dig into the changing ways we’ve defined what it is to be clean.
We’ll meet an 18th-century Pennsylvania woman who didn’t immerse herself in water for 28 years, and ask how Americans like her kept clean without getting wet. We’ll also hear about the campaign to clean up New York City in the mid-19th century, and question the extent to which germ theory really revolutionized sanitary practices. And we’ll consider a dark chapter in the history of cleanliness, when social reformers in the early 20th-century set out to “sanitize” America’s racial profile." Guests on this show include:
Kristen Egan, Mary Baldwin College;
Jennifer Marshall, University of Minnesota; Charletta Sudduth, University of Northern Iowa; and Owen Whooley, University of New Mexico.
Segment 2 | "Personal Hygiene in the Army (1950)."
Here is a selection (audio track only) from a 1950 rmy film focusing on personal hygiene. The full version is availabe on archive.org and YouTube. Check out part 1 here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qjNB-v9XGI. The U,S, military produced several training films focusing on cleanliness, neatness, and general hygiene. A quick keywod search through the aforementioned on-line collections will link you to several examples.
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July 11, 2013
Segment 1 | "Backstory: Pet Friendly ~ A History of Domestic Animals" (2013).
Here's another segment from Backstory and the American History Guys (backstoryradio.org): "America is a pet-owning nation. Over 60% of households, in fact, possess some sort of furry or feathered friend, and we spend over $50 billion a year looking after them. But domestic animals have long been woven into the fabric of American life, even if we weren't always treating them like members of the family. So in this episode, the Guys take a deep-dive into the history of human-animal interaction, and try to figure out how our lives have been shaped by the animals whose lives we control.
From the contributions made by pigs in the colonization of America itself, to the lethal justice carried out on circus elephants centuries later, the Guys and their guests explore what our relationships with animals have meant and continue to mean, and whether they serve as some sort of practice field for our relationships with each other." The guests on this segment include: Virginia DeJohn Anderson, University of Colorado, Boulder; Susan Pearson, Northwestern University; Sarah Hand Meacham, Virginia Commonwealth University; Amy Louise Wood, Illinois State University; and Doron Ben-Atar, Fordham University.
Segment 2 | "Thomas Steinbeck on John Steinbeck's Travels with Charley" (2010).
Animals have often played important roles in works of narrative fiction and non-fiction. Here, we present a short excerpt from a discussion that took place in April of 2010 between Thomas Steinbeck, author and son of Nobel prizewinning writer Johns steinbeck, and Steinbeck scholar Dr. Susan Schillinglaw. Their discussion took place at the Carlsbad City Library in Carlsbad, Califronia. Thomas Steinbeck taked about his father and Charley, the French Poodle that accompanied John Steinbeck in his cross-country journey across America -- immortalized in the elder Steinbeck's Travels with Charley. You can watch this and other segments of Tthomas Steinbeck's comments on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUCObHvyIpA.
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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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