439 episodes

Listening to America aims to “light out for the territories,” traveling less visited byways and taking time to see this immense, extraordinary country with fresh eyes while listening to the many voices of America’s past, present, and future.

Led by noted historian and humanities scholar Clay Jenkinson, Listening to America travels the country’s less visited byways, from national parks and forests to historic sites to countless under-recognized rural and urban places. Through this exploration, Clay and team find and tell the overlooked historical and contemporary stories that shape America’s people and places. Visit our website at ltamerica.org.

Listening to America Listening to America

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.6 • 1.1K Ratings

Listening to America aims to “light out for the territories,” traveling less visited byways and taking time to see this immense, extraordinary country with fresh eyes while listening to the many voices of America’s past, present, and future.

Led by noted historian and humanities scholar Clay Jenkinson, Listening to America travels the country’s less visited byways, from national parks and forests to historic sites to countless under-recognized rural and urban places. Through this exploration, Clay and team find and tell the overlooked historical and contemporary stories that shape America’s people and places. Visit our website at ltamerica.org.

    #1596 Ten Things on Nullification

    #1596 Ten Things on Nullification

    Clay Jenkinson’s conversation with regular guest Dr. Lindsay Chervinsky about the doctrine of nullification. That’s when a state refuses to accept the legitimacy of a federal law. Nullification is nowhere enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, but through the course of American history a number of nullification crises have arisen. When the Adams administration passed the Alien and Sedition laws of 1798 Jefferson wrote a set of secret resolutions for the state of Kentucky resisting those laws, which Jefferson said were worthy of the ninth or tenth century. John C. Calhoun attempted nullification for South Carolina and other southern states in the 1830s, mostly over tariffs, and now again a number of states, led by Texas, are threatening to nullify federal laws they hate--or even to secede if necessary. Dr. Chervinsky has a hilarious response to the idea of Texas or Louisiana secessions.

    • 54 min
    #1595 The Solar Eclipse of 2024

    #1595 The Solar Eclipse of 2024

    Clay Jenkinson joins his friend Dennis McKenna in Chaco Canyon in northwestern New Mexico to observe the solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. Chaco Canyon dates to at least the ninth century CE, more than a thousand years ago, and somehow their skywatchers know how to observe equinoxes, solstices, and eclipses. What better place to see the solar eclipse of 2024? Administered by the US National Park System, but interpreted for us by a Native Navajo and Zia expert Kailo Winters, it was a magical experience in a sacred place. We came away impressed by the capacity of the European Enlightenment to figure all of this out, but far more in awe of the Puebloan scholars who figured such phenomena out centuries before European science was out of its swaddling clothes. We also check in with our favorite Enlightenment correspondent David Nicandri.

    • 50 min
    Live from Oklahoma

    Live from Oklahoma

    In this special edition program, Listening to America records in front of a live audience at Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, Oklahoma. Clay Jenkinson and Professor of Political Science Dr. Aaron Mason focus their conversation on Thomas Jefferson and his influence on the American West. Dr. Mason is also co-executive director of the NWOSU Institute for Citizenship Studies.

    • 50 min
    The LTA Survey and American Reflections

    The LTA Survey and American Reflections

    Listen in on Clay Jenkinson’s conversation with media consultants Luke Peterson and Riki Conrey of Washington, DC. Luke distributed a survey based on our questions about America at 250 and 2,700 people responded. Some survey results are discussed, but also the question of how exactly does Clay or anyone else go out to listen to America? How do you check your own biases? Where do you go exactly and to whom do you talk to listen to America? How do you present what you have learned and in what larger historical context? One thing is certain: all people everywhere are storytellers. The question is how to hear those stories in a way that is useful to the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

    • 51 min
    Geert Mak and John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley

    Geert Mak and John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley

    Clay Jenkinson’s interview with the distinguished Dutch journalist Geert Mak, the author of In Europe, and also In America: Travels with John Steinbeck. In 2010 Geert Mak and his wife retraced the entire Steinbeck journey in a rented Jeep. After he returned to the Netherlands, Mak wrote a 550-page account of his travels. Though Steinbeck isn’t the main theme of In America, Mak fulfills the mission that Steinbeck set out to accomplish—that is, to wrestle with the character and narrative of what Steinbeck called “this monster country.” Clay and Mr. Mak discuss the sheer size of America, Steinbeck’s occasional fibs about the exact circumstances of the journey, race relations in America, violence in America, and the current state of the American Dream. It’s an amazing and quite moving interview.

    • 58 min
    The Election of 2024 and the Constitution

    The Election of 2024 and the Constitution

    Clay Jenkinson and regular guest Dr. Lindsay Chervinsky talk about the ways in which the Constitution of the United States is impeding and even preventing good government, with a particular focus on the coming election of 2024. Topics include the need for a uniform national election procedures act; the many problems of the Electoral College; and the possibility that in the next four years we may need to invoke the 25th Amendment, which was passed in 1967 to prepare for the possibility that a President might be incapacitated before the end of his term. We also look briefly at civilian control of the military and the future of the religious freedom principles of the First Amendment. 

    • 55 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
1.1K Ratings

1.1K Ratings

Shadwell von Bernstein ,

Life enhancing podcast

In an age of low information voters, rudeness and ridicule online (and in government) this podcast is a wonderful and refreshing reminder of the true meaning of public discourse. Mr. Jenkinson is absurdly smart, educated and a fantastic speaker, yet is quite humorous and easy going with a good dose of self deprecating humor. As if all this wasn't enough the honest and transparent exploration into the endless contradictions of one of history's most important figures is truly fascinating. My only criticism? With Mr. Swenson on sabbatical the show is not quite up to snuff. Swenson has become a critical component of what makes this podcast so wonderful. To have him, then have him taken away is bordering on cruel and unusual punishment! Update. Now with the new show Clay is branching out and I enjoy it as much as ever. I do miss David though but wish him well in his retirement.

Latif mansplains ,

What do you mean leftist?

The people give minimal stars to this show because of its supposed leftist views are plain stupid. Uninformed. Ignorant. Completely devoid of any semblance of a complex thought. I urge the listeners here to crack open a book from time to time, too much social media and local news seem to have warped their already delicate minds. Do yourself and society a favor and learn something. Stop listening to stories from your Confederate-sympathizing grandpa.

JCfromJKT ,

The DNC Must Love This Podcasr

I originally started following this podcast because I was looking for something historical that was neutral politically. I thought initially that I had found it here but I was wrong. Jenkinson complains about how partisan America has become and then proceeds to contribute that mess with his left wing pontificating. When the focus of the show was Jefferson and Adams and the founding fathers it was interesting but now it’s become unbearable. If you’re liberal you’ll love it so enjoy. For me, unfollowing.

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