BackStory’s Year In Review

Top 12 Shows of 2016

The BackStory logo with the words "2016 Year In Review."

 

As 2016 comes to a close, BackStory takes a look at the stories that resonated most with our audience. Here are the 12 most popular episodes from this year:

 

Boy in prayer shawl. Source: Library of Congress

Boy in prayer shawl. Source: Library of Congress

12. Judaism In America
In this episode, the Guys explore the history of Judaism in America.

 

Throne room, Iolani Palace, King & Richards Streets, Honolulu, Honolulu County, HI. Source: Library of Congress

Throne room, Iolani Palace, King & Richards Streets, Honolulu, Honolulu County, HI. Source: Library of Congress

11. Watch The Throne: America & Royalty
For this episode, the Guys explore the tensions that have arisen as many Americans defined the nation as the opposite of monarchy, while admiring, and sometimes emulating, royal families throughout the world.

 

"Harper's Ferry insurrection - Interior of the Engine-House, just before the gate is broken down by the storming party - Col. Washington and his associates as captives, held by Brown as hostages." Source: Library of Congress

“Harper’s Ferry insurrection – Interior of the Engine-House, just before the gate is broken down by the storming party – Col. Washington and his associates as captives, held by Brown as hostages.” Source: Library of Congress

10. Well-Regulated Militias: A History Of Armed Protest
In this episode of BackStory, the Guys will consider different groups who have taken up arms and the causes that have led Americans to, on occasion, rebel.

 

A photo of "The prayer at Valley Forge" by H. Brueckner

“The prayer at Valley Forge” by H. Brueckner

9. Believer-In-Chief: Faith & The Presidency
In this episode of BackStory, Peter, Ed, and Brian explore the relationship between American presidents and their spiritual beliefs.

 

"See America" by Frank S. Nicholson. Source: Library of Congress

“See America” by Frank S. Nicholson. Source: Library of Congress

8. Wish You Were Here: A History Of American Tourism
In this episode of BackStory, Peter, Ed and Brian explore the history of American tourism.

 

"Audre Osborne and Mrs. James S. Stevens, with several others in background, 1917." Source: Library of Congress

“Audre Osborne and Mrs. James S. Stevens, with several others in background, 1917.” Source: Library of Congress

7. You’ve Come A Long Way? A History Of Women In Politics
On this episode of BackStory, we look at the different ways women have influenced American politics, both before and after they won the right to vote in 1920.

 

M. H. Kimball portrait of Isaac White and Rosina Downs, two New Orleans slave children, c. 1863. (Library of Congress).

6. Color Lines: Racial Passing In America
On this episode of BackStory, the Guys will consider what the history of “passing” has to say about race, identity, and privilege in America.

 

A photo of The Supreme Court of the United States, December 1864. A. Gardner, photographer. Source: Library of Congress

The Supreme Court of the United States, December 1864. A. Gardner, photographer. Source: Library of Congress

5. Above The Fray? Ideology & The Court
In this episode, the Guys will examine why the Supreme Court is regarded as an institution that remains above partisan squabbles.

 

 

An image of "Work promotes confidence," a poster for Works Progress Administration encouraging laborers to gain confidence from their work.

“Work promotes confidence,” a poster for Works Progress Administration encouraging laborers to gain confidence from their work.

4. Nose To The Grindstone: A History Of American Work Ethic
In this episode, the Guys look at American attitudes towards the value, meaning, and importance of work.

 

"The Lady Cop. She will never be a success on some "fixed posts." Illus. in: Puck, v. 73, no. 1885 (1913 April 16), cover. Source: Library of Congress

“The Lady Cop. She will never be a success on some “fixed posts.” Illus. in: Puck, v. 73, no. 1885 (1913 April 16), cover. Source: Library of Congress

3. Politically Incorrect: Speech In American Politics
On this episode of BackStory, we trace what it has meant to be “politically incorrect” throughout American history. CONTENT ADVISORY: THIS EPISODE CONTAINS STRONG, UNBLEEPED LANGUAGE

 

A photo of "Who are you?" by L.M. Glackens in Puck, v. 66, no. 1691 (1909 July 28). Source: Library of Congress

“Who are you?” by L.M. Glackens in Puck, v. 66, no. 1691 (1909 July 28). Source: Library of Congress

2. The GOP: A History Of The Republican Party
On this episode of BackStory, we unpack the origins, evolution, and reinvention of the Grand Old Party.

 

 

Alexander Hamilton engraved by Prud'homme from miniature by Arch. Robertson, 1835. Source: Library of Congress

Alexander Hamilton engraved by Prud’homme from miniature by Arch. Robertson, 1835. Source: Library of Congress

1. Hamilton: A History
On this episode of BackStory, we take apart the Hamilton phenomenon by considering who he was, his legacy and why a white migrant from the British West Indies appeals to so many Americans in 2016.

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