234 episodes

BackStory is a weekly public podcast hosted by U.S. historians Ed Ayers, Brian Balogh, Nathan Connolly and Joanne Freeman. We're based in Charlottesville, Va. at Virginia Humanities.
There’s the history you had to learn, and the history you want to learn - that’s where BackStory comes in. Each week BackStory takes a topic that people are talking about and explores it through the lens of American history. Through stories, interviews, and conversations with our listeners, BackStory makes history engaging and fun.

BackStory BackStory

    • History

BackStory is a weekly public podcast hosted by U.S. historians Ed Ayers, Brian Balogh, Nathan Connolly and Joanne Freeman. We're based in Charlottesville, Va. at Virginia Humanities.
There’s the history you had to learn, and the history you want to learn - that’s where BackStory comes in. Each week BackStory takes a topic that people are talking about and explores it through the lens of American history. Through stories, interviews, and conversations with our listeners, BackStory makes history engaging and fun.

    309: Best of BackStory: The Time Peter Onuf Declared Independence

    309: Best of BackStory: The Time Peter Onuf Declared Independence

    On this episode of BackStory, Peter Onuf brings you some of his favorite segments from his time with the show.

    • 31 min
    235: The Real Martin Luther King: Reflecting on MLK 50 Years After His Death

    235: The Real Martin Luther King: Reflecting on MLK 50 Years After His Death

    On this episode of BackStory, Ed, Brian, Nathan and Joanne explore the legacy of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.

    • 51 min
    308: The U.S. and Iran: A Brief History of an Often Tense Relationship

    308: The U.S. and Iran: A Brief History of an Often Tense Relationship

    On this episode of BackStory, Brian speaks with Hussein Banai about the history of U.S./Iran relations.

    • 32 min
    307: Those Were The Days: Nostalgia in American History

    307: Those Were The Days: Nostalgia in American History

    On this episode of BackStory, Ed, Nathan, and Joanne explore how a longing for bygone eras has shaped politics and culture throughout American history.

    • 1 hr 9 min
    257: Stuffed - Taxidermy in the History of America

    257: Stuffed - Taxidermy in the History of America

    On this episode of BackStory, Ed, Brian and Nathan explore the history of American taxidermy.

    • 1 hr 10 min
    306: The Best of BackStory 2019

    306: The Best of BackStory 2019

    On this episode of BackStory, Brian brings you a sampling of some of our favorite segments from the past year. 
    BackStory is funded in part by our listeners. You can help keep the episodes coming by supporting the show: https://www.backstoryradio.org/support

    • 46 min

Customer Reviews

nicowill-belfast ,

America for grown ups

I’m from the UK but I love America having visited several times. I studied some American history at university and the contrast between the beliefs and politics of different parts of what is supposed to be one country, fascinated me. I heard about this podcast from Dan Snows History Hit, and it is brilliant for combining modern issues with their American historical context. Keep it up!!!!!

HmbH player ,

My new favourite

Love love love all of the Backstory episodes I have managed to get through so far! They are a perfect mix of story telling, fact checking and easy to listen to explanations of sometimes complex issues in a conversational style. Fascinating and reminding me why I loved studying American political history at uni. So much about America I still want to hear about. Great work.

UKFanofAmericanPodcasts ,

Fascinating, informative history podcast

I love this podcast. It has helped me understand so much of American history. It made me realise that America as a still young nation was never a sure thing at its start and this explains many of its institutions and how many of its notable politicians acted in the past. The presenters are extremely knowledgable, they have great interviewees and consistently select interesting topics. A must listen every week.

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