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BackStory with the American History Guys

Found in: social studies; 6-8; 9-12

BackStory with the American History Guys is a public radio program and podcast that brings historical perspective to today’s events. During each hour-long program, the hosts, guest historians, figures in the news, and callers explore the past and present. Social studies and history teachers and students can browse by year (2008-2016), topic, or the complete Archive or search by keyword. Episodes can be streamed or downloaded for free. Beginning in 2013, broadcasts can be accessed in segments and transcripts are available.

“Aliens” in America (2008) examines why in a country populated by immigrants, Americans are wary of newcomers. Quests include historian Mae Ngai, Frank Morris of the Center for Immigration Studies, and immigration lawyer Stan Braverman. Topics discussed included immigration restrictions of the 1920’s, tensions between immigrants and African-Americans, and legislation passed in the 1990s.

Fear Tactics: A History of Domestic Terrorism (2012) discusses the origins of domestic terrorism and explores the kinds of people and movements have been identified as “terrorists.” The hosts and guest historian Beverly Gage consider terror and the state, lynching as a tactic of terrorism, and terrorism, is it ever justified?

Women at Work (2015) the hosts and seven guests examine women in the workforce from 19th century domestic workers to the present day Silicon Valley. They explore sexual harassment and why “protective” labor laws regarding often excluded women from certain jobs.


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