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Bridge for Sale

Deception in America [rebroadcast]

On this episode of Backstory, we’ll explore the fascinating history of confidence men and counterfeiters in the U.S. And we’ve got a bridge on our hands you might want. Trust us.

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Let’s Make Up

Reconciliation & Its Limits

To mark the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall’s demise, the Guys dig up buried hatchets to help us explore Americans’ best and worst efforts at making amends. What are the limits of reconciliation?

The Future Then

Visions of America Yet to Come

Flying cars, 3-hour workdays, meals in a pill, nuclear holocaust — what has the future held? On this episode, the Guys revisit yesterday’s visions of tomorrow, and what they say about the moments in time that conjured them up.

Islam & the United States

The long history of Islam in America, from the narratives of Muslim slaves to the Nation of Islam and the Black Power movement of the 1960s. What has it meant to be Muslim in America — and how has the idea of Islam in the U.S. changed over time?

What Gives

Generosity in America

Public radio listeners, beware: pledge drive season is upon us. So in this episode, we ask, “What gives?” The stories we’re working on explore giving in American history and consider the meaning of charity, philanthropy and reciprocity.

Pitch a Show

Last year we received nearly 200 pitches for show topics — some of which made it on the air! Listeners suggested episodes about higher ed and U.S.-Mexico relations, and lots of individual stories also had their origins in your brains. Help us keep up the process!


Recent Episodes


Columbus in American Memory [rebroadcast]

Columbus Day is here again -- along with the controversy over its namesake.[...]

Little Feet

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From the Blog

Fishy Business

How honest should you be about where you found your mermaid?

When you go to a science museum, like the Smithsonian or the Museum[...]

Fake Money, Real Problems

Counterfeiters, Greenbacks, and the origins of the Secret Service

Today’s consumers can be pretty confident that the cash in their pockets or[...]


Latest Comments

K. Adams

Commented on: Pitch a Show

I second this. My interest is the age we use to define adulthood, how that's changed over time, and [...]


Commented on: Pitch a Show

I would like to hear about the history of Hawaii and how it became the 50th state. While I do [...]