Been There, Done That: Historical Reenactments
Americans have a fascination with their past – not just discussing it, but actually reliving it. And we’re not just talking about the Civil War. Every weekend, there are people in various parts of the country putting on the clothes of old time baseball players, enslaved people — even KKK members.
And so on this episode, we’re asking what drives Americans to the scripts of the past. Is it purely educational? Or is there something deeper, more personal, at stake? What events do we reenact and why? Are there some chapters of American history that are still off-limits for this sort of treatment?
- Charlie Schroeder, journalist, author, and reenactor
- Richard Slotkin, Professor of English and American Studies, Wesleyan University
- Vince Vaise, Chief of Interpretation, Hampton National Historic Site
- Arik Greenberg, Loyola Marymount University
- Marvin Greer, Atlanta History Center
Resources galore! Peruse a list of outside sources compiled by the BackStory team to provide a more complete picture of reenactment culture in the United States, and consult a bibliography of works consulted in the making of this show.
Listen to individual show segments.
Photos of 1860s base ball [sic], past and present.
See a listing of music used in the making of this episode.
Read the listener discussion that helped shape the show.