BackStory with the American History Guys

GroupAccount image

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 Steve Martin at 703-715-0827 or steve@sfmconsulting.com.

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: Charles Peales’ mastodon, skeleton (1816)
30-second promo for BackStory episode, "Dust to Dust: Americans and Extinction” with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag.

  • Added: Apr 16, 2014
  • Length: :30
Caption: Charles Peales’ mastodon, skeleton (1816)
30-second promo for BackStory episode, "Dust to Dust: Americans and Extinction” with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag.

  • Added: Apr 16, 2014
  • Length: :00
Piece image
Producer Eric Mennel tells the story of how a turn-of-the-century American writer grappled with his own ambivalence about the meanings and purposes...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Apr 15, 2014
  • Length: 08:06
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: “The Anarchist Riot in Chicago,” from Harper's Weekly, May 15, 1886, Credit: Library of Congress
The Boston Marathon bombings took place one year ago, leaving a stunned nation to wrestle with what the government response should be. But how did ...

Bought by WRPI and 90.1 WFYI Public Radio


  • Added: Apr 11, 2014
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: “The Anarchist Riot in Chicago,” from Harper's Weekly, May 15, 1886 , Credit: Library of Congress
The Boston Marathon bombings took place one year ago, leaving a stunned nation to wrestle with what the government response should be. But how did ...

  • Added: Apr 11, 2014
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: “The Anarchist Riot in Chicago,” from Harper's Weekly, May 15, 1886, Credit: Library of Congress
30-second promo for BackStory episode, "Fear Tactics: A History of Domestic Terrorism [2014]” with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific t...

  • Added: Apr 08, 2014
  • Length: :30
Caption: "Save me from my friends!" Uncle Sam shelters Cuba, illustration from Puck, 1898, Credit: Library of Congress
In 1898, President McKinley called for war with Spain to liberate Cuba from the “barbarities, bloodshed, starvation, and horrible miseries now exis...

Bought by KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio


  • Added: Apr 04, 2014
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: "Save me from my friends!" Uncle Sam shelters Cuba, illustration from Puck, 1898, Credit: Library of Congress
In 1898, President McKinley called for war with Spain to liberate Cuba from the “barbarities, bloodshed, starvation, and horrible miseries now exis...

  • Added: Apr 04, 2014
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: "Save me from my friends!" Uncle Sam shelters Cuba, illustration from Puck, 1898., Credit: Library of Congress
30-second promo for BackStory episode, "Responsibility to Protect? A History of Humanitarian Interventions [rebroadcast]” with 5-second music bed a...

  • Added: Apr 01, 2014
  • Length: :30
Piece image
Host Brian Balogh talks with legal historian Risa Goluboff about the legal background to the federal minimum wage, established by the Fair Labor St...

Bought by Radio Newark


  • Added: Mar 31, 2014
  • Length: 08:48
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
Historian Gregg Kimball tells host Ed Ayers about the phenomenon of “hiring out” enslaved persons prior to the Civil War, and how this introduced s...

Bought by Radio Newark


  • Added: Mar 31, 2014
  • Length: 08:09
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
Host Ed Ayers talks with historian Karin Shapiro about the convict leasing arrangements of the 1890s that led to labor disputes with free workers, ...

Bought by Radio Newark


  • Added: Mar 31, 2014
  • Length: 09:31
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Strikers from the Ladies Tailors Union, 1910 , Credit: Library of Congress
In his 2014 State of the Union address, President Obama called on Congress to increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10. And last month, he signe...

Bought by WEZU, WRPI, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, and 90.1 WFYI Public Radio


  • Added: Mar 28, 2014
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: Strikers from the Ladies Tailors Union, 1910, Credit: Library of Congress
In his 2014 State of the Union address, President Obama called on Congress to increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10. And last month, he signe...

  • Added: Mar 28, 2014
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: Strikers from the Ladies Tailors Union, 1910 , Credit: Library of Congress
30-second promo for BackStory episode, "Fair Wages: A History of Getting Paid” with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag.

  • Added: Mar 25, 2014
  • Length: :30
Piece image
An audio postcard from the University of Virginia’s Memorial Gym resurrects a famous speech given there by FDR.

Bought by Radio Newark and KFAI


  • Added: Mar 25, 2014
  • Length: 04:10
  • Purchases: 2
Piece image
Host Ed Ayers explains how the South used college football to reassert itself in American culture after the Civil War, and Backstory producer Eric ...

Bought by Radio Newark and KFAI


  • Added: Mar 25, 2014
  • Length: 12:34
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Player for the Chicago Kent College of Law indoor baseball team, 1910, Credit: Library of Congress
As the nation plunges into March Madness 2014, betting on who will make it to the Final Four and claim college basketball’s championship, BackStor...

Bought by KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, KREV-LP, WEZU, and 90.1 WFYI Public Radio


  • Added: Mar 21, 2014
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: Player for the Chicago Kent College of Law indoor baseball team, 1910 , Credit: Library of Congress
As the nation plunges into March Madness 2014, betting on who will make it to the Final Four and claim college basketball’s championship, BackStor...

  • Added: Mar 21, 2014
  • Length: 54:00
Piece image
BackStory producer Jess Engebretson explains how the Statue of Liberty gained new meaning in American life – as a symbol of immigration – as it dev...

Bought by Radio Newark and KFAI


  • Added: Mar 18, 2014
  • Length: 09:05
  • Purchases: 2