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On the Clock

A (Brief) History of Time [Fall 2014]

As we switch the clocks to “fall back” this week, we’re taking a look at time itself in American history. How have Americans understood and experienced time, over time?

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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.

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.

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!


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Latest Comments


Commented on: Let's Make Up

How about the reaction to the Holocaust? Both the reaction after the war when it became obvious that FDR/allies delayed [...]

Emily Gadek [BackStory Digital Producer]

Commented on: Pitch a Show

Karen, we had a story about claims of Viking explorers in North America on our Columbus Day show. [...]