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United States of Uncertainty

At the close of the Civil War — 150 years ago this month­ — no one knew how things would turn out for the United States and the defeated Confederacy. How would a nation torn asunder ever rebuild?

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Speed Through Time

The Changing Pace of America

Brian, Ed and Peter shift into overdrive with stories about the history of velocity. When did America’s need for speed take off?

Tools of the Trade

America's Workplace Technologies

Join the Guys on an exploration of the things that have shaped the places where America works. How has the stuff of work changed the way we live and work?

Another Man’s Treasure

A History of Trash

That’s right, trash: refuse, rubbish, litter and landfills — we’ll dive into all that good stuff. What does America’s garbage tell us about its past?

Pitch a show!

Winter/Spring 2015

Have a topic you’d like to see on air this year? Tell us more.


Recent Episodes

Rules of Engagement

Ethics in Warfare [rebroadcast]

The sentencing this past week of former Blackwater guards in the killings of[...]

‘Now He Belongs to the Ages’

Abraham Lincoln's Assassination

On this episode of BackStory, we mark the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination[...]


From the Blog

Chemical Reaction

The debate over chemical weapons

A few years back, President Obama’s “red line” on Syria’s use of chemical[...]

Fighting In Code

The rules of (Civil) War

Francis Lieber knew firsthand what war was like. When he was seventeen years[...]


Latest Comments

Thomas D Dial

Commented on: Pitch a show!

We hear a great deal about the increase of partisanship and the deep divide between the major parties, and I [...]

Matthew Benedict

Commented on: Another Man's Treasure

I am the Recycling Coordinator for Seattle University where I manage all the manipulable sold waste, operate our on-site compost [...]