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BackStory with the American History Guys

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BackStory is a weekly one-hour public radio show that provides a national broadcast audience with an enjoyable and accessible way of engaging challenging themes in American history and how they connect with today. The show is hosted by renowned historians Peter Onuf, Ed Ayers, and Brian Balogh. BackStory’s signature sound and spirit of inquiry emanates from the hearts and minds of its genial hosts, whose unscripted brilliance reflects a warmth and rapport that comes from their longtime friendship.

Please confirm carriage of BackStory with the American History Guys by contacting Andrew Parsons at (434) 982-2955 or andrewparsons@virginia.edu.

Moving from current headlines to drill down into U.S. history, each surprising BackStory episode features lively interviews with a diverse roster of scholars, experts, and ordinary citizens from around the country; listener calls; host discussions; and produced pieces. Topics are as diverse as college sports, reenactments, sugar, memorials, domestic terrorism, birthing, homeownership, the post office, philanthropy, protests, privacy, marriage, revivalism, and childhood—all in the context of American history.

Since BackStory first began as a monthly show in 2008, episodes have been broadcast by more than 130 primary stations in 39 states, 29 in the top 50 markets by population. Podcasts have been downloaded 1.4 million times.

BackStory is produced by VFH Radio at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. Major funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities with additional corporate, foundation, institutional, and individual support.

Please visit our station landing page for upcoming episodes, promotional photos, and other information.

 


Pieces

Caption: Photo credit: Uncle Sam wants your privacy. , Credit: Source: Jeff Schuler via Flickr (https://secure.flickr.com/photos/jeffschuler/2585181312/in/set-72157604249628154)
30-second promo for "Keeping Tabs: Data & Surveillance in America [rebroadcast]“ with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag.

  • Added: Sep 27, 2016
  • Length: :30
Caption:  Photo credit: Uncle Sam wants your privacy. , Credit: Source: Jeff Schuler via Flickr (https://secure.flickr.com/photos/jeffschuler/2585181312/in/set-72157604249628154)
30-second promo for "Keeping Tabs: Data & Surveillance in America [rebroadcast]“ with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag.

  • Added: Sep 27, 2016
  • Length: :00
Caption: "Quiet! Loose talk can cost lives." Office of War information 1943. , Credit: Source: National Archives
Americans have sought to censor all kinds of expression: political speech, music, radio, TV, film, even books. In this episode, Peter, Ed, and Bria...

Bought by XRAY.fm, RadioFreePalmer, KUHF, WRGY, GCR (Global Community Radio) and more


  • Added: Sep 23, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: "Quiet! Loose talk can cost lives." Office of War information 1943. , Credit: Source: National Archives
Americans have sought to censor all kinds of expression: political speech, music, radio, TV, film, even books. In this episode, Peter, Ed, and Bria...

  • Added: Sep 23, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: "Quiet! Loose talk can cost lives." Office of War information 1943. , Credit: Source: National Archives
30-second promo for "Banned: A History of Censorship [rebroadcast]” with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag

  • Added: Sep 20, 2016
  • Length: :30
Caption: "Washington Prayer", Credit: Library of Congress
American presidential candidates are expected to proclaim their religious faith and the 2016 election is no exception. In this episode of BackStory...

  • Added: Sep 16, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: "The prayer at Valley Forge" by H. Brueckner, Credit: Source: Library of Congress
American presidential candidates are expected to proclaim their religious faith and the 2016 election is no exception. In this episode of BackStory...

Bought by WXDU, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, XRAY.fm, WRGY, WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Sep 16, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: "Washington Prayer", Credit: Library of Congress
American presidential candidates are expected to proclaim their religious faith and the 2016 election is no exception. In this episode of BackStory...

Bought by 90.1 WFYI Public Radio


  • Added: Sep 13, 2016
  • Length: :30
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Private William Sergeant, in uniform after the amputation of both arms. , Credit: Credit: Library of Congress.
In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act made everything from parking lots to bathrooms accessible. But before this legislation, disabled peopl...

Bought by KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, XRAY.fm, WRGY, RadioFreePalmer, WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Sep 09, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Private William Sergeant, in uniform after the amputation of both arms. , Credit: Credit: Library of Congress.
In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act made everything from parking lots to bathrooms accessible. But before this legislation, disabled peopl...

  • Added: Sep 09, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: Private William Sergeant, in uniform after the amputation of both arms., Credit: Credit: Library of Congress.
30-second promo for "Body Politics: Disability in America [rebroadcast]” with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag

Bought by 90.1 WFYI Public Radio


  • Added: Sep 06, 2016
  • Length: :30
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: “Work promotes confidence,” a poster for Works Progress Administration encouraging laborers to gain confidence from their work. , Credit: Source: Library of Congress
The Labor Day holiday offers some of us a much-needed break from work, but most Americans don’t get much vacation time. In this episode, the Guys l...

Bought by KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, XRAY.fm, WRGY, RadioFreePalmer, WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Sep 02, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: “Work promotes confidence,” a poster for Works Progress Administration encouraging laborers to gain confidence from their work. , Credit: Source: Library of Congress
The Labor Day holiday offers some of us a much-needed break from work, but most Americans don’t get much vacation time. In this episode, the Guys l...

  • Added: Sep 02, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: “Work promotes confidence,” a poster for Works Progress Administration encouraging laborers to gain confidence from their work. , Credit: Source: Library of Congress
30-second promo for "Nose to the Grindstone: A History of American Work Ethic” with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag

Bought by 90.1 WFYI Public Radio


  • Added: Aug 30, 2016
  • Length: :30
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: The mountain pass, Sierra Nevada. , Credit: Library of Congress.
BackStory is quitting the city and heading into the wild. In this episode, Brian, Ed, and Peter revisit America’s fascination with wild places and ...

Bought by KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, XRAY.fm, KSFR, WRGY, WRIR and more


  • Added: Aug 26, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 10
Caption: The mountain pass, Sierra Nevada. , Credit: Library of Congress.
BackStory is quitting the city and heading into the wild. In this episode, Brian, Ed, and Peter revisit America’s fascination with wild places and ...

  • Added: Aug 26, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: Gary police department, Credit: Library of Congress
For many Americans, police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota earlier this summer were strikingly reminiscent of similar instances across the nat...

  • Added: Aug 24, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: The mountain pass, Sierra Nevada. , Credit: Library of Congress.
30-second promo for " Untrammeled: Americans and the Wilderness” with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag

Bought by 90.1 WFYI Public Radio


  • Added: Aug 23, 2016
  • Length: :30
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Gary police department, Credit: Library of Congress
For many Americans, police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota earlier this summer were strikingly reminiscent of similar instances across the nat...

Bought by KSFR, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, XRAY.fm, WRGY, WRIR and more


  • Added: Aug 19, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 9
Piece image
30-second promo for "Serve & Protect? A History Of The Police” with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag

Bought by 90.1 WFYI Public Radio


  • Added: Aug 16, 2016
  • Length: :30
  • Purchases: 1