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Fair Wages

A History of Getting Paid [Rebroadcast]

With President Obama calling on Congress to raise the minimum wage, and several states debating similar increases, this episode looks to the origins of the minimum wage, and explores how we’ve thought about fair pay over time.

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Serve & Protect?

A History of the Police

The police shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, MO has raised a new round of questions about the role of local police in their communities. On this episode, we’ll explore the ways that relationship has played out in the past.


Americans and the Wilderness

As the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act approaches, BackStory heads into the wilderness, exploring Americans’ fascination with – and fear of – wild places, and the ways in which humans have impacted even the most remote corners of the country.

Pitch a Show

Spring/Summer 2014

Last year we received nearly 200 pitches for show topics – some of which made it on the air! Episodes about higher education and the US relationship with Mexico were pitched by listeners, and lots of individual stories had their origins in your brains as well. So help us keep up the process!


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The Great War

The Long Shadow of WWI

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From the Blog

The photograph that changed Earth

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  It’s an age-old problem: an underpaid government worker tries to get ahead[...]


Latest Comments

nancy noteman

Commented on: Pitch a Show

I live in Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Yesterday we had a block party and I met and [...]


Commented on: Untrammeled

Very excited to hear this topic. I'm currently living down in Floyd, VA where the "back to the land" movement [...]