101 episodes

How can the past help inform today’s most pressing challenges? Every Tuesday, award-winning historians Heather Cox Richardson and Joanne Freeman use their encyclopedic knowledge of US history to bring the past to life. Together, they make sense of the week in news by discussing the people, ideas, and events that got us here today. Now and Then is produced by CAFE and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

Now & Then CAFE Studios

    • History
    • 4.8 • 2.7K Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

How can the past help inform today’s most pressing challenges? Every Tuesday, award-winning historians Heather Cox Richardson and Joanne Freeman use their encyclopedic knowledge of US history to bring the past to life. Together, they make sense of the week in news by discussing the people, ideas, and events that got us here today. Now and Then is produced by CAFE and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Free Speech: The Power of an Independent Press

    Free Speech: The Power of an Independent Press

    What have been the gravest threats to a free press over the nation’s history? And how can the past tell us how to safeguard our access to information today? 

    On this second episode in a three-part series on free speech, Heather and Joanne discuss the 1837 murder of abolitionist journalist Elijah P. Lovejoy, the role of Joseph Pulitzer in the creation of the independent press, and the rise and fall of the Fairness Doctrine. 

    Join CAFE Insider to listen to “Backstage,” where Heather and Joanne chat each week about the anecdotes and ideas that formed the episode. Head to: cafe.com/history

    For more historical analysis of current events, sign up for the free weekly CAFE Brief newsletter, featuring Time Machine, a weekly article that dives into an historical event inspired by each episode of Now & Then: cafe.com/brief

    For references & supplemental materials, head to: cafe.com/now-and-then/free-speech-the-power-of-an-independent-press

    Now & Then is presented by CAFE and the Vox Media Podcast Network. 
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 56 min
    Now & Then: Backstage 5/24

    Now & Then: Backstage 5/24

    “Backstage” is a special segment of Now & Then exclusively for members of CAFE Insider. In this installment, Heather and Joanne discuss their memories of shifts in American news culture.

    Thank you for being a member of the CAFE Insider community.

    For more analysis of politics and history, sign up for the free weekly CAFE Brief newsletter: cafe.com/brief

    Free Speech: The Government and Us

    Free Speech: The Government and Us

    How has the federal government limited and protected free speech rights over the course of American history? How have citizens responded when Washington has limited their speech rights? And what can Elon Musk’s commentary on online free speech tell us about the difficult lines between free speech, disinformation, and political power? 

    In this first installment of a three-episode series on free speech, censorship, and so-called cancel culture, Heather Cox Richardson and Joanne Freeman explore the Alien & Sedition Acts, the Palmer Raids and the post-WWI rise of the ACLU, and the 1980s debate over burning the American flag. 

    Join CAFE Insider to listen to “Backstage,” where Heather and Joanne chat each week about the anecdotes and ideas that formed the episode. Head to: cafe.com/history

    For more historical analysis of current events, sign up for the free weekly CAFE Brief newsletter, featuring Time Machine, a weekly article that dives into an historical event inspired by each episode of Now & Then: cafe.com/brief

    For references & supplemental materials, head to: cafe.com/now-and-then/free-speech-the-government-and-us
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 49 min
    Now & Then: Backstage 5/17

    Now & Then: Backstage 5/17

    “Backstage” is a special segment of Now & Then exclusively for members of CAFE Insider. In this installment, Heather and Joanne discuss how they conceptualize free speech online and in the classroom.

    Thank you for being a member of the CAFE Insider community.

    For more analysis of politics and history, sign up for the free weekly CAFE Brief newsletter: cafe.com/brief

    The Weeds: How the 1918 Flu Pandemic Ended

    The Weeds: How the 1918 Flu Pandemic Ended

    Heather and Joanne are off this week, so we’re showcasing an episode from another Vox Media Podcast Network show: “How the 1918 Flu Pandemic Ended,” from The Weeds. Hosts Dara Lind and Dylan Matthews often explore the roots of our current political issues, from healthcare, to immigration, to housing.  

    In this installment, originally aired in January, host and Senior Vox Correspondent Dylan Matthews talks with historian John Barry, who wrote an authoritative account of the 1918 flu pandemic, “The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic.”

    Heather and Joanne will be back next Tuesday for the first installment in a new three-episode series about free speech, censorship, and so-called “cancel culture.” 

    In the meantime, enjoy this episode of the Weeds podcast. And if you like it, you can find more episodes of the Weeds at vox.com/the-weeds, or by searching for “The Weeds” in your favorite podcast app. 
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 38 min
    A Disability Discourse

    A Disability Discourse

    How has America historically defined physical disabilities? How have disability rights activists achieved hard-fought wins? And how does the current debate over mask mandates and pandemic restrictions leave out those with disabilities or chronic illness? 

    Heather and Joanne discuss the impact of pensions for disabled war veterans in the Revolutionary and Civil War periods, the interlocking histories of racism, sexism, and ableism, and the impact of the 1970s disability rights movement. 

    Join CAFE Insider to listen to “Backstage,” where Heather and Joanne chat each week about the anecdotes and ideas that formed the episode. Head to: cafe.com/history

    For more historical analysis of current events, sign up for the free weekly CAFE Brief newsletter, featuring Time Machine, a weekly article that dives into an historical event inspired by each episode of Now & Then: cafe.com/brief

    For references & supplemental materials, head to: cafe.com/now-and-then/a-disability-discourse

    Now & Then is presented by CAFE and the Vox Media Podcast Network. 
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 51 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
2.7K Ratings

2.7K Ratings

jprime- e ,

Now and Then on Free Speech.

Excellent discussion, I’m looking forward to the next two weeks talks!!!

lizfromny&ma ,

Always interesting

And always interesting and enlightening podcast by two of my favorite historians!

Shellinva ,

Enlightening, thought provoking and a little funny too!!

I have listened for a while now and have learned so much. I am especially fascinated with how history seems to repeat itself. The expertise that the hosts bring as well as the way they interact with one another makes for a truly unique experience.Well I found this to be educational I’ve also found it to be entertaining. I recommended it to my college freshman goddaughter. And we’ve used it as a conversation piece and a way to keep in touch while she is at school on the opposite coast. Kudos ladies!!! Thank you for your work and fascinating insight

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