American History

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

Divided Lands

Hasia R. Diner— Nearly every place the immigrant Jewish peddlers went, with the exception of the British Isles and Scandinavia, they stumbled into societies in which color mattered. In some places—Canada, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand—the color divide followed a native-versus-European colonist divide. Where one stood across the native-European

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Struggling and Failing to Break White Supremacy and Injustice

Gary Dorrien— Martin Luther King Jr., at the end of his life, fixed on three reform objectives, a movement ambition, and something bigger. The policy objectives were to terminate racial discrimination in housing, establish a minimum guaranteed income, and end America’s global militarism. Sometimes he put it in ethical terms,

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The Four Horsemen of Capitalist Decline

Fredrik Erixon and Björn Weigel— Now, however, capitalism seems to have lost its founding spirit of enterprise. Four forces that guided the economy from the 1970s assisted in reducing the scope for experimentation and innovation. They are not the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, nor were they all undesirable, but

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Ep. 8 – A History of Things That Go Bump in the Night

On this special Halloween edition of the podcast, cultural historian Leo Braudy, author of Haunted, sat down with us to talk about the history of monsters and other scary creatures. Spooky!

Taming the US Shadow Banks

Tamim Bayoumi— US financial reformers faced a fundamentally different issue from those in Europe. Banks in Europe were under a flawed single system. The issues in the United States, on the other hand, centered on the dual nature of the pre-crisis banking system that contained a relatively tightly regulated core and

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Strangers of Familiar Soil

Edward Dallam Melillo— On October 31, 1967, California governor Ronald Reagan addressed seventy-three diplomats, businesspeople, and academics who had assembled in Sacramento for the fourth annual Chile-California Conference. As the former Hollywood actor and future US president told his audience, “Well, Chile is something special to California, and to Californians

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Memories of the 1938 Hurricane

Stephen Long— Memory is a capacity both individual and cultural. Think back to when the recent economic downturn began in 2007 and how frequently it was compared to the Great Depression. Some called it the “great recession” to reinforce the comparison. Because so many individuals could tell firsthand tales about

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The Politics of Civility: From George Washington to Donald Trump

Richard D. Brown & Richard L. Bushman— A century ago, a grandson and great-grandson of presidents, Henry Adams, observed, “the progress of evolution from President Washington to President Grant was alone evidence enough to upset Darwin.”  Today, considering the succession from Washington to Trump, it appears Darwin has not merely been

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Make America Progressive Again

Bruce Ackerman— Begin on an optimistic note: Americans of the twenty-first century are much better equipped for citizenship than their counterparts were at the dawning of the Progressive era. About 10 percent of young Americans graduated high school in 1910; it was almost 80 percent a century later. The length

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