70 episodes

A biweekly discussion dedicated to American History, historical thinking, and the role of history in our every day lives. Hosted by historian John Fea

The Way of Improvement Leads Home: American History, Religion, Politics, and Academic life. Recorded History Podcast Network

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.9, 73 Ratings

A biweekly discussion dedicated to American History, historical thinking, and the role of history in our every day lives. Hosted by historian John Fea

    Episode 67: Exploring the History of Childhood and Play Through 50 Historic Treasures

    Episode 67: Exploring the History of Childhood and Play Through 50 Historic Treasures

    We are back! COVID-19 forced us to make some changes to our production, but the podcast is ready to forge ahead into the Summer. Since many Americans are still stuck at home playing games with their families to bide the time, we thought it would be fun to devote an entire episode to your favorite childhood toys and playthings. Public historian Susan Fletcher, author of the recently released Exploring the History of Childhood and Play Through 50 Historic Treasures, joins us.
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    • 46 min
    Episode 66: The Boston Massacre

    Episode 66: The Boston Massacre

    What happened when British soldiers and their families arrived in Boston in 1768? In Episode 66, we talk with Carleton College history professor Serena Zabin about her new book, The Boston Massacre: A Family History. Zabin's close reading of everyday life in revolutionary Boston will forever shape how we understand this important moment in our shared past.
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    • 43 min
    Episode 65: "What Would Lasch Say?"

    Episode 65: "What Would Lasch Say?"

    The American historian and cultural critic Christopher Lasch (1932-1994) had a powerful influence on the world of ideas. What would the author of the best-selling Culture of Narcissism (1979) have to say about Donald Trump and his particular brand of populism? In this episode we talk about Lasch, Trump, populism, progress, and "evangelical elitism" with intellectual historian Eric Miller, author of the award-winning Hope in a Scattering Time: A Life of Christopher Lasch (2010).
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    • 1 hr 3 min
    Episode 64: Protestants and American Conservatism

    Episode 64: Protestants and American Conservatism

    Is the Christian Right conservative? In this episode we talk with Grove City College history professor Gillis Harp about the relationship between Protestantism and American conservatism. Harp puts conservatism in the context of American history from the colonial period to the present and offers a sympathetic, if sharply critical, view of religious conservatives. Harp is the author of Protestants and American Conservatism: A Short History (Oxford University Press, 2019).
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    • 1 hr
    Episode 63: The 1619 Project

    Episode 63: The 1619 Project

    In August 2019, The New York Times Magazine published The 1619 Project, an attempt to reframe American history by "placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative." American historians have praised and criticized the project. In this episode we talk with Thomas Mackaman, a history professor at Kings University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and a writer for World Socialist Web Site. Mackaman has not only criticized The 1619 Project, but has interviewed other critics of the project, including several award-winning historians. Why are socialists so upset about this project? What is the backstory behind Mackaman's interviews with Gordon Wood, James McPherson, Clayborne Carson, and other 1619 Project critics? Anyone interested in debates over how historians do history and connect the past to present political and social issues will learn something from this episode.
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    • 46 min
    Episode 62: Drew's Farewell

    Episode 62: Drew's Farewell

    For four years Drew Dyrli Hermeling has been the heart and soul of The Way of Improvement Leads Home Podcast. We are saddened that he has decided to step away from his work here, but excited that he will have more time to devote to his history students at The Stone School, an independent college-prep school in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Drew joins us for one final episode to reminisce with John about their work together on this project.
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    • 36 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
73 Ratings

73 Ratings

drums4life24 ,

Like listening to a car commercial shout info at me

Too brash to absorb info from

Joe From GR ,

Turn it up!

TWofILH has quickly turned into my go-to podcasts when I jump in the car or go to the gym.

John Fea has a way of leading this podcast like a great quarterback in the 4th quarter. His knowledge and insight is outstanding. He really gives off the vibe of a real “Guy’s Guy”. Someone you can go to that can entertain through teaching

All in all the best way to describe John Fea on TWofILH is by quoting the great Rakim, “I’m internationally known when I be on the mic”

Merry_Ho ,

For such a time as this

John Fea is truly an insightful person, which is extremely valuable, especially in our current political and religious climate. Don’t miss out on this.

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