My History Can Beat Up Your Politics

Since 2006, this podcast has been using history to elevate today's political debates.  "The perfect antidote to bloviating talking heads, My History is thoughtful, nuanced, and highly engaging." -Columbia Journalism Review

Wills On Duty: The Story of Watergate Security ...
We are a month beyond of the 50th anniversary of the Watergate break-in, but it does seem appropriate to note an obscure player in the story. Frank Wills discovered a door had been deliberately held unlocked in the basement of The Watergate Office Complex. The rest became history. But for Wills it was bittersweet. His intersection with history also became a story of race and the choppy waters of a "proto-reality TV" 1970's America. We also tell the story of an intern in the wrong place at the wrong time, though it was perhaps the right time who played a completely accidental role in thwarting a burglary. We are part of Airwave Media Network Interesting in advertising? Music by Lee Rosevere - he's on bandcamp -
28 min
A History of Student Loans and Higher Ed Financ...
College costs have been an issue since the founding of the Republic, as we discuss in this issue, And equally, the desire to provide education to young minds has been strong. What's different about the era we live in is that college is closely associated with debt. Debt that cannot be removed by bankruptcy, and debt that is now considered a national problem. We look at student loans, their history, and on the way a bit of a history of American education. How Harvard isn't Harvard, in a manner of speaking. How Jefferson and Wilson got seriously involved in dorms. How Nixon created a monster, though we can say on purpose. How even education for GIs has been controversial, and how Senator Joe Biden played a role in the problem that President Joe Biden seeks to solve (or ameliorate). Thankful to Brian Stolk and Chris Novembrino who made contributions to research for this episode. We are part of Airwave Media Podcast Network Interested in advertising -
87 min
A Midterm Election About Nothing, and Other Sto...
31 min
George B. McClellan Junior Would Like a Word
George B. McClellan Junior, son of the Union general and Mayor of New York City for two turn-of-the century terms is not history's usual voice, his takes are different. He saw Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson at their most base and political. He became mayor of the nation's largest city and talked about for its highest office, only to earn the displeasure of his sponsors for acting independently (and probably, prudently). He thinks at least one story about Lincoln was overplayed, he was against the United State's entry into World War I. Let's speak to McClellan Jr [ by reviewing his memoirs! ]. About turn of the century politics, political machines, being New York City major and son of famous Civil War General and Democratic candidate for President. . He also speaks to race relations in Congress in the 1890's, being a Northern Congressman in a Southern-dominated party, what it's like to fight the 'tiger' of Tammany Hall and other things.
45 min
About That War of 1812
We are just a few days shy of the 210th anniversary of the War of 1812, the declaration of war by Congress was June 17th, 1812. And you know it because there are celebrations and events all across America.., Oh wait, there's not. The War of 1812 is a little understood war, known mostly for its ending battle in New Orleans and the song that originated from one of its battles. We look at the War of 1812 and one of the battles that was critical, but little talked about today. We talk about what happened that brought us to war? What were the significant battles? What don't people know about it? and what does it all mean for America today including direct influences on today's politics. From a previous episode, aired 10 years ago on the 200th anniversary, and worth revisiting.
40 min
Presenting: History Is Us
Pleased to introduce History is US. It is a 6-part documentary podcast from C13Originals Studios and Jon Meacham, the team behind the 2021 Webby Award-Winning Best Podcast Series It Was Said. Written and narrated by Dr. Eddie Glaude, award-winning author and professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, History is US journeys back to face the truths about race at the heart of the American story. From the aftermath of the Civil War to the mid-twentieth century struggle for freedom to the election of Barack Obama to the current day racial reckoning, History is US asks questions about who we are as a nation, what race might reveal about our current crisis and where we go from here. Through the voices of distinguished historians and scholars, this limited series gives listeners the background and education to understand how we got here … and how we can all use history to clarify the choices before us. As you enjoy this preview, please be sure to search for … History is US … available now for free wherever you listen to your podcasts.
4 min
Nixon Versus Plywood, and Other Presidential In...
Stories of Presidential inflation fighting and fund-raising that seem to have a similar ring to today's events, in this episode. Nixon's plans to cut housing costs by reducing prices on the key element of housing inspires timber companies but riles environmentalist. Johnson uses his air fleet to shuttle the right people around to get the price of electrical wiring down. Eisenhower, Reagan, Hoover and Clinton raise the gas tax.
26 min
Introducing: History Daily Podcast (Story of D....
36 min
The Underrated Patrick Henry
Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death! When Henry said it, he might have been committing treason. Yet the words also made him famous and indicated his superior bravery and patriotism to his country. The trouble is, that's often all he's remembered for. But without Henry the Revolution may not have succeeded and the Constitution may not look like it does. We get into why. From a 2017 interview - a bit about Patrick Henry and his times. Why the forgotten American "founder," one who was often too busy in his home state of Virginia to get nationally famous can provide us with American Revolutionary war stories and government founding narratives more interesting than just the Franklin, Jefferson and Washington stories we are accustomed to.
45 min
Lincoln Over Easy - A Look at a President's Image
31 min
So, There Was No Smoke-Filled Room After All? A...
It's the classic story of the 1920 election, but it's probably not true, not in the way it's told at least - that Warren Harding was chosen in a smoke-filled room. Sure, there was probably smoking in a Chicago hotel room in 1920, Sure, there was some Presidential -picking chatter going on. But the story of a single, smoke-filled room that picked a President appears to be more of a legend. Not only that it may be a legend on purpose, or as we now say, fake news. And that may be on purpose, as it originated from a tall tale told to a reporter to make a candidate look good. This and how another fake news story was created to bring down Martin Van Buren's Presidency and other stories of politics, leftovers from a 2020 cast.
18 min
The Zinger That Saved America: Daniel Webster's...
The Union threatened by legislative fiat, a Senator rose to reply to another. For Daniel Webster, it was a real comeback, What we might call a "zinger" today. "Not Liberty First and Union Afterwards! ...but Liberty and Union now and Forever One and Inseparable," Though since it was a 19th century zinger, it took 4 hours to deliver the line. Still it would become some of the most famous oratory in Senate history. When South Carolina's Senator Robert Hayne spoke in the Senate in 1830 to criticize Massachusetts and its Senator Daniel Webster, his comments were governmental but his intentions were personal. Haynes was an ally of John Calhoun, and he sought to reduce that Senator's reputation and the New England influence in federal government with a stunning interpretation of how the Constitution should work. A state could interpret any law the way it wished, he argued. . And although several friends told him not to, Haynes aimed his remarks purposefully at the Senate's best Speaker. Then Webster replied, He defended the patriotism of his home state, attacked the logical points Hayne and made about a state's right to veto a federal law, and called for the Union to be cherished. Although he and Andrew Jackson were not allies, Daniel Webster's speech set the stage for the Jackson administration's position in the upcoming South Carolina tariff nullification crisis. His speech, and the resulting consensus of agreement in Congress with his side, also set standards for federal and state roles in government, and that still has lots of relevance today. We are part of Airwave Media Podcast Network Advertise on this podcast: Support us on Patreon - Make a one=time donation -
52 min
What's Going on Across the Pond w/ Steve Byrne ...
Lockdown drinks, Partygates, Boris, Brexit, Ukraine, Keir Starmer's wanting and Eurovision: An update on UK, Irish and Northern Ireland politics with Steve Byrne, formerly of What Am Politics Podcast (recently stopped but still with a huge archive). We talk about where things stand in British politics and Bruce and Steve agree with what's likely to happen with Boris. Steve has a favorite if something happens to Keir Starmer. Also Steve complements UK and Bruce Norway in their respective Eurovision teams, while both accept Ukraine's deserved win.
60 min
Free Speech is Easy, and Hard w/ Lynn Greenky o...
Freedom of speech is boundless and yet has boundaries, according to our guest, Lynn Greenky of Syracuse University School of Law. She is the author of 'When Freedom Speaks' There are areas where the First Amendment of The U.S. Constitution protects, and areas where it does not. And this is no normal time. Social media, hate speech, violence in speech, lawsuits against media have all seemed to become more prominent in news. We discuss. Lynn Greenky's book WHEN FREEDOM SPEAKS can be found at: We are part of Airwave Media Network To advertise on the program, Our sponsor for this program is Athletic Greens. Got to for a special offer on their "nutritional insurance" AG1, a powder you drink every day to cover 75 vitamins, minerals, adaptagens and probiotics.
47 min
Nine Kings, One Room: Introducing the Everythin...
Something happened in May 29th 1910. It had never happened before. And it has never (so far) happened again. To explain, we turn things over to Airwave Media network podcast Everything Everywhere Daily. Highly recommend subscribing to this podcast if you want to learn interesting facts about a new topic every day. Check out Everything Everywhere Daily's casts on solar power, the history of Friday the 13th (it will surprise you) and other topics.
12 min
Stare Decisis and Spider Man, and Other Stories
We discuss the recent leaked SCOTUS interim decision, we discuss Casey, Roe cases, as well as abortion and anti-abortion politics of the 70s through the 90s. We also answer listener questions on - U.S. Grant and his image, favorite podcasts, which President to go on a bus ride with, why John Kerry lost and George W. Bush won in '04, Clinton impeachment, historical novels, First Past the Post voting systems, and conspiracy theories, oh and the signs of the end of the republic, all from MHCBUYP listeners. We are part of Airwave Media Network. Want to advertise -
110 min
History of a History: Ken Burn's "The Civil War"
As Ken Burns moves on to Ben Franklin and Ernest Hemmingway, Vietnam and other topics. it's worthwhile to note how much of our history and historical sense on things, comes from his programs. As old VHS tapes fade, we look at the series that gave so many modern Americans their 'vision' of the Civil War. We take a look at his groundbreaking series, its impact, and how it looks amid today's controversies. In the process, Bruce sees commonality in Burns's approach and his own podcast. This was originally a premium or Patreon episode, now available to all listeners. Unlock content that is only available to Patreon supporters: Support the Podcast on Patreon: Email to enquire about advertising on the podcast
32 min
Like the Visions of a Fever: America in Pre-War...
A look at pre-war America, 1941, the passage of Lend-Lease, and the sinking of four ships in the Atlantic. Robin Moor, Greer, Kearny and Ruben James, each inflicting a body blow but not yet producing war. As Americans waited for war in one ocean, it came in another.
75 min
Politics and Margarine
When America's politicians were scared of a edible spread. When James Blaine and Roscoe Conkling first squared off, setting in motion a political rivalry for the ages. And ranking the Secretaries of State.
37 min
In The Arena - Adlai Stevenson and Other Losing...
We talk about Adlai Stevenson, a candidate with a critical flaw and operating in a tough political environment, and the other people who have sought the Presidency but lost. Our guest is Peter Shea, author of In The Arena, His book looks not only at candidates, but at the memorials that have been made to honor them. Presidents get most of the statues, but there are some for the Presidential also-rans, such as the Stevenson statue in an Illinois airport. Trope Publishing [at] is the publisher of Shea's book they publish large print books with beautiful photographs. We are part of Airwave Media Network Interesting in advertising?
39 min
Didn't Mean to Make a Country: First Congress, ...
We think about the American Revolution beginning in 1776. Our textbooks tell us that was the signing of the Declaration, thus the beginning, right? Not really. The events of 1774 are very important to understanding. Before we discuss the Congress that assigned Jefferson to write a Declaration and officially broke off relations with Britain, we should study the first congress that Jefferson was unable to get into. We do that in this episode, and look at a few decisions the Congress made and didn't make which determined the history afterwards. We also look at a seemingly minor decision of the 1774 Congress, in rejection a suggestion by Patrick Henry, which would turn out to have huge implications on our politics today. While we are a discussing a meeting that Jefferson was not at, and not yet enough of a name to be asked, perhaps, We do discuss him. Thomas Jefferson does participate, virtually. We also take a look at Jefferson's Summary View of the Rights of British North America, written in this year. This podcast is part of the Airwave Media Network. - Interested in advertising on this podcast? Contact
51 min
The Man Who Saved Biden, And Other Stories
Maybe, just maybe, a quick scheduling decision by an overworked and now obscure VP candidate in the 1970's changed politics in 2022. The current President thinks so. This, and a Reagan Ford ticket? How would that have worked? Lincoln appoints a judge, and other stories. We are part of Airwave Media Podcast Network Advertise on this podcast: Support us on Patreon - Make a one=time donation -
43 min
Ukraine and History w/ Ben Sawyer of Middle Ten...
Where did Ukraine begin? With the Rus, the Cossacks, the Soviets? What is Putin's motive and what his seriously questionable historical justification? Why should we not say 'The Ukraine?' in discussions. To help answer these questions, Bruce is joined by Ben Sawyer of Middle Tennessee State University and of "The Road to Now" Podcast and an expert in Russian talk about the history behind the War in Ukraine.
64 min
Millions Fall: The Destruction of Trees During ...
An army moves on its stomach, the saying goes. But a 19th century army also moved on its wood. A look at the environmental impact of the Civil War, particularly on forests. This and a bit about William Howard Taft on Television. He didn't live to see it, but he and his family had an indirect impact on its history. We are part of Airwave Media Network Interesting in advertising?
38 min
The War in the Former Yugoslavia (Bosnian War) ...
In the early 1990's, few outside the Balkans could foresee the brewing conflict as parts of a former communist country sought independence. The result was destructive war with multiple actors, civilian deaths and war crimes in a civilized area. In no area was this felt more than the city of Sarajevo, where the world had watched the Winter Olympics just 8 years before. We will relay a timely podcast from Ohio v. the World podcast from 2018 on the War in the former Yugoslavia, known as the Bosnian War. Bruce will jump in with some points about politics and national security in the 1990. Alex joins us to talk about current events. We also cover the world reaction and the Dayton Accords. We are pleased to have Alex Hastie on and his informative guest. We also get into a surprising connection to the creation of Ukraine and the question of intervention in Bosnia that came up at the time. Subscribe to Alex's podcast Ohio v..The World Podcast. The history of Ohio is so connected to the history of America that we've found no particular local interest about Alex's podcasts, they are about all the events in American history and they are well-done. We are part of Airwave Media Network Interested in advertising?
68 min