Skip to main content


July 10, 2014

On Being with Krista Tippett: W.E.B. Du Bois

Krista Tippett's national public radio program On Being examines the teachings and legacy of African-American nationalist and NAACP founder, W.E.B.

June 27, 2014

Legislation Impossible: The Civil Rights Act of 1964

On the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, BackStory Radio looks at how it became law. 

June 20, 2014

America, Inc.: A History of Corporations

BackStory radio examines the history of America corporations

May 29, 2014

"Reflections West"

Reflections West's aim is simple: to circulate—as widely as possible—wonderful passages of literature and history of the West in a thoughtful and thought-provoking way.

April 18, 2014

This Week on BackStory - The Departed: Extinction in America

In this Earth Day episode of BackStory, our hosts explore how Americans have grappled with the idea of extinction over time, and what the loss of native species has meant for our ecosystems and everyday lives.

March 14, 2014

Beehive Archive - all of the history & none of the dust!

Tune in for the Beehive Archive, a two-minute look at some of the most pivotal and peculiar events in Utah.

February 28, 2014

This Week on BackStory - The 2014 Oscars Show

BackStory explores how Hollywood takes on history and the stories the film industry chooses to tell.

February 21, 2014

BackStory with the American History Guys - On The Money: A History of American Currency

This week's BackStory unpacks America's relationship with money, exploring the transformations of currency over the centuries.

January 3, 2014

Heaven on Earth: A History of American Utopias

This Week on BackStory - Heaven on Earth: A History of American Utopias.

November 22, 2013

BackStory with the American History Guys

BackStory takes a look at conspiracy thinking throughout American history.

October 18, 2013

American Spirit: A History of the Supernatural [rebroadcast]

BackStory explores the ways in which witches, spirits and ghosts have haunted our history.

May 17, 2013

Patent Pending: A History of Intellectual Property

BackStory Radio examines the history of intellectual property in America

December 28, 2012

Best of the Best of the New BackStory

As 2012 winds down, and a New Year is born, American History Guys Brian, Ed, and Peter reflect on their first weekly season, reprising favorite interviews, riffs, features, and calls.
December 21, 2012

Naughty & Nice: A History of the Holiday Season

The Puritans banned Christmas, once a time of rowdiness when the poor demanded food from the rich.

December 14, 2012

Apocalypse Now & Then: End Times in America

BackStory Radio examines how apocalyptic visions gain traction from time to time, and what they tell us about American hopes and fears through the centuries.

December 7, 2012

You've Got Mail: A History of the Post Office

BackStory Radio looks at the history of the U.S. Postal Service

November 16, 2012

Straight Shot: A History of Gun Ownership

The American History Guys explore the history of guns in America

November 2, 2012

Pulling the Curtain: Voting in America

BackStory Radio looks at the history of voting in America.

October 19, 2012

Tiny Nation, Big Problems: Cuba in American History

50 years ago this week, a U.S. military jet photographed strategic nuclear missiles that had been installed by the Soviets in Cuba.

August 31, 2012

Turf War: A History of College Sports

BackStory Radio's American History Guys explore the history of American college sports.

August 24, 2012

Conventional Wisdom: A History of American Political Conventions

BackStory Radio's American History Guys explore the development of American political conventions.

August 17, 2012

Climate Control: A History of Heating and Cooling

The American History Guys consider the advent of air conditioning, and explore its far-reaching implications on everything from architecture and leisure to demography and politics.

August 10, 2012

Here to There: A History of Mapping

From the 16th to 18th centuries, many European mapmakers were convinced that California was an island — an Edenic paradise populated by black Amazons.

August 3, 2012

Beach Bodies: A History of the American Physique

Aspirations to a more perfect body have a long history in America.

July 27, 2012

City Upon a Hill: American Exceptionalism in U.S. History

In this episode, the American History Guys at BackStory Radio look at the changing meanings of Exceptionalism.

June 29, 2012

Independence Daze: A History of July Fourth

In the early days of our nation, July Fourth wasn’t an official holiday at all.

May 25, 2012

Monumental Disagreements

Why is there no image of George Washington on the Washington Monument? Three history professors discuss the controversy over building the Washington Monument in "Monumental Disagreements,"...

May 18, 2012

Home Bittersweet Home

The American history guys, all history professors, ask whether there was ever a Golden Age of home ownership in the second episode of a new NEH-funded weekly radio show being launched across the country.

May 16, 2012

Wade in the Water: Songs and Stories of the Mississippi

As the Mississippi winds its way past New Orleans, American Routes is reminded of the power and place of these waterways in American culture.

May 11, 2012

BackStory with the American History Guys

University of Virginia history professors Peter Onuf and Brian Balogh and Ed Ayers, president of the University of Richmond, explore “Childbirth in America” in the first episode of a NEH-funded weekly show.