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Imagined Nations

Depictions of American Indians

On this show, we’re taking a long look at how native people have been represented — and misrepresented — in U.S. history. We’ll also ask how Native Americans themselves have challenged and reinvented those depictions.

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Uses & Abuses of Executive Power

Call it a special American condition — the fear that any one person or party could wield too much power over the body politic. On this episode, we ask how perceptions of authoritarianism, and responses to it, have changed over time.

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.

What Gives

Generosity in America

In this holiday season, we 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


A History of Gridlock [rebroadcast]

With the midterm elections over, we're looking at the history of gridlock. Are[...]

Let’s Make Up

Reconciliation and Its Limits

To mark the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall’s demise, the Guys dig[...]


From the Blog

The Elephant(s) in the Room

The epic gridlock of the 1924 Democratic national convention

In 1924, politicians from around the country gathered in a hot auditorium that[...]

A Bronx Peace

How a Treaty Among Gangs Led to Hip-Hop

By Andrew Parsons   Benjy Melendez says that as a teenager in the[...]


Latest Comments

Jim Markley

Commented on: The Future Then

When does the future begin? For George Orwell's 1984 (published in 1948) it was 36 years off. For Arthur C.Clarke [...]


Commented on: Tyrannophobia

Why does Congress complain about executive orders, while passing laws that grant the president so much power? I think it's because, [...]