American History

The Pluralism of MLK

Anders Walker— Fifty years after Memphis, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy remains closely tied to integration, to Brown v. Board of Education, the Montgomery bus boycott, and the creation of a society where, as King himself put it in 1963, “the sons of former slaves and the sons of former

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Free Speech in America

Floyd Abrams— American law could hardly be more inconsistent. When a family of religious zealots that formed what it characterized as the Westboro Baptist Church carried signs a thousand feet from a church where the death of an American soldier in Afghanistan was being mourned, saying that his death was deserved

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Ep. 58 – Mark Bradford’s Pickett’s Charge Installation

We discuss the current Mark Bradford exhibition at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC with the curator of that show, Evelyn Hankins.   Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Soundcloud | Spotify Further Reading:

Global Power and US Sanctions

Victor Bulmer-Thomas— Sanctions have always played a part in conflicts among states and between states and non-state actors. However, their use by the United States government has accelerated in recent years. There are now nearly twenty countries subject to US sanctions and roughly ten sets of sanctions that are not

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Cherokee People in the Eighteenth Century

Gregory D. Smithers— During the latter half of the eighteenth century, the Cherokee people experienced an unprecedented series of challenges to their established modes of life. The matrilineal and matrilocal social structures that gave Cherokee life its meaning and purpose were increasingly exposed to an overlapping series of imperial political,

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Washington’s understanding of the Declaration

Steve Pincus— George Washington’s understanding of America’s founding document as a call for an energetic government stands in stark contrast with the majority of interpretations of the Declaration. Whereas Washington complained that the British imperial state since 1760 had done too little to promote the welfare and happiness of colonial

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Ep. 57 – Harvey Milk

A look at the life of one of the most influential figures in modern history from his childhood to his assassination and beyond.   Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Soundcloud | Spotify  

The Peaceful South

Anders Walker— The recent opening of a lynching memorial in Montgomery, Alabama underscores the role that violence played in upholding racial segregation, or Jim Crow.  From the 1870s through the 1950s, even the slightest challenge to white supremacy could spark a violent, terrifying backlash.  And yet, the actual incidence of

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Ep. 53 – Class in America

Class in America, often ignored, has shaped the country from the very beginning. We take a look at the changing role of class and how it has led us to where we are today.   Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Soundcloud  

Ep. 51 – Why Baseball Matters

Baseball is America’s Pastime but can it survive in the technological era when games are longer than most attention spans? Susan Jacoby, author and longtime baseball fan, discusses the history of the game and what it can do to keep fans engaged. Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher | Soundcloud