Tuesday, February 3, 2009

BackStory, a New Radio Program About American History

BackStory - With the American History Guys : "BackStory is a brand-new public radio program that brings historical perspective to the events happening around us today. On each show, renowned U.S. historians Ed Ayers, Peter Onuf, and Brian Balogh tear a topic from the headlines and plumb its historical depths. Over the course of the hour, they are joined by fellow historians, people in the news, and callers interested in exploring the roots of what’s going on today."

BackStory began in the spring of 2008. You can subscribe to the shows as podcasts, and download (and comment on!) older shows at the archive. This is a fun program, with compelling topics and unusually high production values. You can't even hear a telephone buzz in the interviews! BackStory is aimed at a general audience rather than historical specialists.

Backstory is not equivalent to the late lamented Talking History radio program, which featured academic historians interviewing other academics, usually focused a new book. Backstory is both more popular and more wide-ranging.



Very interesting, here in Mexico we have some radioshows about history, but I think we don´t have a balance yet between an "academic show", and a more popular view of history based primarily on gossips about "the greater fathers of the mexican nations"

Larry Cebula said...

Are any of the Mexican history radio shows online? My colleague who teaches Latin American history would be very interested.

The American public has a strange relationship to history. There is a great interest in certain subjects: American Indians, disasters, the Civil War, the lives of the Founding Fathers. Other areas such as economic history get very little play.

And there is not much history on the radio, though political talk radio is very popular.