BackStory with the American History Guys

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BackStory  is a weekly podcast that uses current events in America to take a deep dive into our past. Hosted by noted U.S. historians, Ed Ayers, Brian Balogh, Peter Onuf, Nathan Connolly and Joanne Freeman, each episode provides listeners with different perspectives on a particular theme or subject – giving you all sides to the story and then some.

Please confirm carriage of evergreen BackStory with the American History Guys episodes by contacting Diana Williams @(434)-924-6894 or

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.

BackStory is produced by  Virginia 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.



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This series is for stations that want to subscribe to Backstory for WEEKLY deliveries using PRX's SubAuto system.

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188 Pieces

A collection of the best stories and features from BackStory, meant for excerpt by programs or stations.

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A collection of one-hour BackStory specials for use in station holiday programming.

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Promos for stations airing upcoming episodes of BackStory with the American History Guys.

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A special three-part series of hour-long episodes exploring the causes and consequences of the American Civil War.


Caption: May 1, 2003: President George W. Bush declares an end to major combat operations in Iraq , Credit: (Paul Morse, White House photographer).
The declaration of "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq was famously premature. But have America's other wars had neat or definitive endings?  In this ep...

Bought by KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, KFOK-LPFM, KBRP Community Radio, WRPI, Louisville Public Media and more

  • Added: May 03, 2013
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 8
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30-second promo for "Mission Accomplished: How Wars End" 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag.

  • Added: May 01, 2013
  • Length: :30
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Ed Ayers talks with historian Amy Wood about how lynching photographs were used first by white supremacists to spread terror.

Bought by Radio Newark and PRX Remix

  • Added: Apr 29, 2013
  • Length: 11:26
  • Purchases: 2
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BackStory Producer Eric Mennel tells the story of how a turn-of-the-century American writer grappled with his own ambivalence about the meanings an...

Bought by KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, Radio Newark, and PRX Remix

  • Added: Apr 29, 2013
  • Length: 08:04
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Woodcut of the 1886 Haymarket Square Bombing., Credit: Harper's Weekly, LOC.
With recent events in Boston highlighting the horrors of domestic terrorism, we're re-broadcasting this episode of BackStory, which originally aire...

Bought by KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, WUFT,, KBRP Community Radio, WCAI / WNAN Cape & Islands, Mass. and more

  • Added: Apr 26, 2013
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 10
Caption: A woodcut of the Haymarket Square bombing in 1886., Credit:  From Harper’s Weekly
30-second promo for "Fear Tactics: A History of Domestic Terrorism " 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag.

Bought by WUFT

  • Added: Apr 23, 2013
  • Length: :30
  • Purchases: 1
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Hosts Brian Balogh and Peter Onuf tell the story of the founding of Liberia.

Bought by KRZA, Radio Newark, and PRX Remix

  • Added: Apr 22, 2013
  • Length: 06:43
  • Purchases: 3