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New & Improved

Advertising in America

On this episode — how we love to persuade and be persuaded. Brian, Ed and Peter sell you a history of advertising in the United States.

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Black History Month

2015 Playlist

A playlist of BackStory segments in honor of this year’s Black History Month.

Middle Clash

Making It in America

As the President touts “middle-class economics,” the Guys go in search of middle America. They’ll explore the meaning of middle class and the origins of the idea itself.

Real to Reel… and Beyond

The 2015 Awards Show

As the Oscars approach, the Guys look back at the highs and the lows of history in pop culture in the past year.

Women at Work

A History

BackStory goes to work on stories about women at work. How has the way Americans value the work that women do — at home and beyond — changed over time?

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!


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From the Blog

One of these days, straight to the moon!

Selling the Apollo Lunar program

  By Emily Gadek There are few moments more iconic in 20th-century history[...]

Smoke gets in your eyes

Selling American Women on the idea of smoking

  By Andrew Parsons Taboos are tough to overturn in American society. It[...]


Latest Comments


Commented on: Real to Reel... and Beyond

I nominate the Outlander series of books by Diana Gabaldon and the companion television series on Starz. I know some [...]


Commented on: Real to Reel... and Beyond

I nominate the Pearl Harbor episode of the new Hawaii 5-0. "Honor Thy Father" is the name of the episode. [...]