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

Benevolent Policeman? The History of Congressio...
Harry S. Truman thought a congressional committee ideally should be like a 'benevolent policeman' Not changing the facts but investigating them. He should know as he headed up one. Yet he was also critical of committees during his time that he felt did not meet the criteria. Since an investigation of a U.S. army defeat by a Native American tribe in the 1790's, to a look at an attack on the Capitol today, there is a voluminous history of Congressional committees. That makes even this hour and one half plus episode an incomplete history. We take a look at some of the committees, including HUAC the House Un-American Activities Committee, not only in the 1940's but it in it's earlies form under Martin Dies in the 1930, we take a look at Kefauver's crime commission that became a TV sensation and a Civil War era committee that is viewed by historians to have hurt the Union effort in that war. We are part of Airwave Media Network.
95 min
"We Gotta Go and Never Stop Going!" The Modern ...
The Elvis before Elvis. Making stores out of jukebox technology. World human rights. What a concept? From sending simian astronauts (read monkeys) into space, to the writing of Jack Kerouac - his roadtrip to Cassidy which will beget On the Road begins this year. And of course, there's Truman's election surprise.. We scour the My History Can Beat Up Your Politics archives to look at post war America in the year 1948. Knowing the atmosphere around 1948 in culture and in economics can shed light on Truman's surprise win. We are part of Airwave Media Network Want to advertise -
35 min
Smiling Like He Meant It: Vice President Schuyl...
Last week we looked at Thomas Hendricks as part of our summer look at Vice Presidents. Today we look at his Indiana political opposite, Schuyler Colfax, GOP Vice President under Grant for his first term and [notably] not for Grant's second. Hero, smiler, progressive-minded politician, crook, orator, storyteller, friend to Lincoln. These are the labels that have been put on this forgotten Vice President of the United States.
50 min
Martyr or Villain?: Thomas A. Hendricks
As part of our summer series on obscure Vice Presidents, About Grover Cleveland's first vice President, Thomas A. Hendricks. The Indiana Democratic partisan, stumper, soft money ticket balancer and sometimes issue-straddler is the only Vice President who didn't become President who had his image on the currency. His views were moderate at his time and disturbing in modern times. He opposed the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments but also opposed the Confederacy in the Civil War. And he was the highest American official to speak for independence for Ireland.
51 min
My History Can Beat Up Your Politics on C-SPAN ...
We will be on C-SPAN - check out Bruce Carlson live on C-SPAN on Saturday, July 30th at 9:15 AM. Bruce Carlson will be interviewed about his podcast and of course history and politics. Thanks to CSPAN for featuring us. We talk a bit on this quick update episode about midterms and inflation.
6 min
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
Infringe: The History of a Word and The Gun Debate
What's in a word? Lots, maybe, when its a key word in the most contentious debate in America. The word "infringe" determines the threshold of how the Constitution should be enforced. But do we understand the word, and if we do, are we applying it correctly in our political debates over guns and politics? In this cast we look at how framers like Washington, Madison, Hamilton and Jefferson used the word, and how it's applied in DC v. Heller and US v. Miller. We contrast infringe to its Constitutional cousin abridge, and we look at what the NRA asserts about the 2nd amendment's words, including the word infringe. We also look at the current New York carry law Supreme Court case and where the Court is likely to go, and look at guns and politics in general.
49 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
The Anguish of Calvin Coolidge ( w/ David Priess )
The President Calvin Coolidge most know in history is the man who put American's business squarely with business and said very little Less known is that Coolidge suffered a great tragedy while in the White House, and it may have affected what kind of President he was. or not. We talk to David Priess. Chief Operating Officer of Lawfare Institute and co-host of The Chatter Podcast also the author of "How to Get Rid of a President," which deals with issues of inability to serve. We discuss how people should view Coolidge's time in office after the death of his son. Was it active, or deeply reduced by the tragedy? Interested in advertising? We are part of Airwave Media Network.
54 min
Abyssinia: The Italian-Ethiopian War and its Co...
A bit about the brief Italian-Ethiopian War. The brief conflict between an aggressor and an outmatch defender presaged the Second World War. It also split the European countries, tested the boundaries of international collective security and created a heroic figure.
50 min
Congressional Stock Trading and The Pan-Electri...
A scandal of the 1880's involving Congress, an Attorney General and telephone company stock was big enough to nearly derail an inventor's legacy, and brought unwanted attention to the House and the Cleveland Administration. What does it say about congressional stock trading today?
41 min
I'll Take Presidents and Canadian Prime Ministe...
A look at prime ministers and their relationship with the United States, including one named Trudeau. Side B: Also a look at what might happen if tickets were reversed?
32 min
Ramsay MacDonald / What Happened to the Gold St...
48 min
The "Send a Dime" Chain Letters of 1935 and The...
You don't need social media to spread an idea. Or a small coin, in this case, which was representative of a badly thought-out get-rich scheme. We discuss the fad of 1935 that tied up post offices and its political implications. And Grover Cleveland takes on a powerful lobby group, while a city slowly discovers a lost subway system.
55 min
Listener Questions: Jan 6th, Gingrich, Inflatio...
A lot of listener topics, which we do our best to address. Not answered fully, but good questions where history can be of some help. We are part of Airwave Media Podcast Network Advertise on this podcast: Support us on Patrion - Make a one=time donation -
44 min
Judge Lincoln, Orval Faubus and Bill Clinton, M...
Four stories of politics and history, starting with, the relationship between Bill Clinton and Orval Faubus. Clinton would see the segregation proponent Faubus on the television as young man and swell with rage, later he'd run against him. But the relationship, like anything with Clinton I guess, gets more complicated than that.
57 min
The Space Shuttle Challenger Explosion and Othe...
The story of the Challenger Explosion 35 years ago, along with the crowning of the USS Princeton during the Tyler administration and the resulting explosion as well as other Disasters.
23 min
The Iranian Side of Iran Contra, Gladstone and ...
The Iran-Contra Scandal was a significant moment of the Reagan Administration and the 80's, but its rarely seen from the other country's side. In Iran, the event was not insignificant. A mix of unreleased content and some long-lost episodes that were quite popular in their time and still have some points today on this podcast.
57 min
The History Behind a Holiday: Martin Luther Kin...
This was a holiday that was not obtained without struggle including strikes, shaming and strange political bedfellows. In one of the first casts on MHCBUYP from 2007, We took a look at this history and some well-known and lesser known actors in its occurrence.
8 min
Drug Legalization Before it Was Cool: The Story...
timore Mayor Kurt Schmoke was called a madman, a "brilliant spokesman for a bad idea," and e even the most dangerous man in America when he called for drug legalization in the late 80s and early 90s. Those were forbidden ideas then. Yet Schmoke's statements seem prophetic now, and his radical plans are the basis of drug policy in many cities.
40 min
Disorder at the Capitol in History
Comments from Jan 7, 2021 about the events of 1/6 and the historical context of the Capitol and safety of the government on this episode, previously unreleased.
50 min
The Forgotten Forage War of 1777: Realities of ...
Did New Jersey Save the Revolutionary Cause? Maybe. Amid a sea of troubles, irregular units fight off the British and make their stay less than hospitable. A bit about George Washington's offensive campaign to be sure that the new nation would not be garrisoned. And it happened in New Jersey (we should be clear with a large contingent of soldiers from all across the Eastern Seaboard).
21 min
Tricornes and Tomahawks - Realities of the Revo...
Previously only available to premium subscribers, this podcast on the Revolution talks about the everyday equipment. Including the piece of clothing that just scared the heck out of the enemy.
25 min
About Those Hessians: Realities of the Revolution
It's easy to forget that Hessians were people too, with the way they are discussed in history. A bit about the German "mercenaries" for the British Side in the Revolution in this episode. We discuss their true purpose and story, the impact on the Revolution and American motives. How some Hessians switched sides, or just settled down in the country they were assigned to conquer. And we tell one Hessian's story, found in his diary by German relatives. Since Hessians figure prominently in the Battle of Trenton, a special treat: Bob Crawford and Ben Sawyer make a brief appearance on the show. Their podcast Road to Now is a favorite of My History Can Beat Up Your Politics. Check 'em out at Road to Now ( And Road to Now Theology - We are part of Airwave Media Network. To advertise on this podcast, contact
50 min
Shooting Behind Trees? Realities of The Revolu...
We look at a unsung Revolutionary War battle, The Battle of Camden, a loss for the American side that would nonetheless have some positive long-term effects, and demonstrate a common theory about the Revolution is wrong.
31 min
What Would Cicero Say? Interview with Professo...
Through most of American history, calling someone a Cicero was the highest democratic honor. John Adams wrote of the Roman orator, that “as all the ages of the world have not produced a greater statesman and philosopher united in the same character, his authority should have great weight.” Thomas Jefferson said Cicero was “the father of eloquence and philosophy” John Quincy Adams dramatically said that if he did not have book of Cicero at hand it was having to live without "of one of my limbs.” And a young Abraham Lincoln reading from a borrowed library benefited greatly from his works, as well as others. We talk to Ryerson University professor of politics and author of Words on Fire Rob Goodman about these topics. Through close readings of Cicero – and his predecessors, rivals, and successors – political theorist and former speechwriter Rob Goodman tracks the development of this ideal, in which speech is both spontaneous and stylized, and in which the pursuit of eloquence mitigates political inequalities. For cicero, speech was essential. More than just talking or Cicero referred to speech as “what has united us in the bonds of justice, law, and civil order, this that has separated us from savagery and barbarism”. Speech was to Cicero a sign of humanity’s inherently communal and cooperative nature and one of our greatest tools in creating a prosperous life for ourselves. "Be no Atticus," John Quincy Adams told his good friend Charles Sumner when he thought he got to reclusive and too bookish and didn't get out there in the debate. He almost could of said, be more like Atticus's friend Cicero. Cicero got out and spoke, took controversial positions in defense of republic and eventually was executed. Rob Goodman's book Words on Fire is available here - We are part of Airwave Media Network. Check out the other shows there - airwave
38 min
Lincoln on Infrastructure
Known in history for his role in ending slavery and prosecuting the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln's most important issue in his time as an elected official was infrastructure. And in that, he was little different than his pioneer constituents. In this episode, we talk about Lincoln's roots, his arguments countering objections to improvement projects (that have relevance today), and how it shaped slavery and other political issues of his time.
43 min
Harris and the Vice Presidency in a Historical ...
Office or incumbent? The office has been described as a nullity and a spare tire. The historic incumbents include many 'also-rans' and some did very little to speak of in office. Some didn't even get to talk to the President. So can you judge an occupant? The media certainly has made Kamala Harris a topic of attention. Is this fair? On one hand, there's an overall critical tinge to coverage that seems to have started January 21st. On the other there are some historic facts behind it, as Harris has the best predictable chance of becoming President of any modern VP, and comes from less years experience in Washington than recent incumbents? Spurred on by an article from Bill Scher in Washington Monthly - check it out [] we look at this question. Is it, as Scher suggests, the office and we need to cut its newest incumbent slack? Or does the incumbent drive? Is there any way to judge a Vice President? Short answer - We think there can be VP success and failure, but in the end, it's a political job with political goals, and that's what watchers of politics should be focused on.
37 min
The 1890's Part IV: Imperialism Just Happened
112 min
Near-President Bob Dole? Biden v. Dukakis, Gar...
Bob Dole's passing has us thinking again about the fateful 1988 election and its consequences. Extra's from a series of podcasts we did on that election that were not aired to the main audience. After the series of episodes on the 1988 election, Bruce discussed the making of those episodes and some leftover stories that didn't make it in. Among them - the Kitty Dukakis story, one that focuses needed attention on the personal toll of politics. Also a re-emphasis on the forgotten fact that it was Dukakis who beat Biden in that primary, in a way that made Biden supporters mad - and they let him know it. Also more about Gary Hart, and what may have been the reason for his woes, put together decades after the election.
40 min
The 1890's Part III: No, Not That Winston Churc...
A look at the cultural 1890's decade. Science fiction, A new form of voiced patriotism, Exploding growth in cities. And an American Winston Churchill.
58 min
The 1890's Part II: Tin Man
In this second look at the decade of the 1890's. Economic disaster and marching citizens. Pitchfork and tin making rebellion. Competing metals and ideas. An election only makes clearer the divisions in society - it does not create them. An author struggle to captures these modern conflicts and develop a new fairy tale. Music by the excellent Kevin MacLeod (find him on free music and Lee Rosevere (find him on Bandcamp). We are part of Airwave Media Podcast Network We have a patreon if you'd like to support us; Want to advertise on this podcast? Contact
61 min
The 1890's: Part I : Mauve Decade
How did things get modern in America? The popularity of a color derived from coal tar is just one of the ways. A look at the 1890's, a decade where America developed in many ways. A look at the 1890's, a decade where America developed in many ways. This is part of a FOUR PART series of podcasts on My History Can Beat Up Your Politics. X-rays, flying machines, oyster pirates and basketball. Also strikes, war, populism and long-forgotten literature. How did things get modern in America? The popularity of a color derived from coal tar is just one of the ways. Of course Modern doesn't mean all upside, necessarily, and we get into the conflicts during the time. This is part of a FOUR PART series of podcasts on My History Can Beat Up Your Politics. Support us on Patreon: Music by the excellent Lee Rosevere - We are part of Airwave Media Network. Interested in advertising on the podcast? Contact
62 min
Inflation Gardens and Other Stories
It's the most abstract of the economic stats and yet, it's the most personal. It's the one that often has turned Presidents into crusaders. And sometimes turned the American people into the critical actors, volunteers or even 'the problem'. Pins, gardens and tough talk on this episode about Presidents, shrinking dollars, and rising prices.
31 min
News Stories From 1921 That Matter Today - with...
Auctioning people for paid jobs, Resisting smoking and liquor bans, Actors in trouble, Fistfight in Congress, Prosperity around the corner and News articles spreading fear and encouraging violence. With Jon Blackwell, Wall Street Journal Editor and creator of the Twitter handle This Day in 1921, we discuss significant news stories of 1921 that have meaning for today involving racism, poor economic times, censorship, government mandates and attacks on science, among others. Jon's twitter publishes every day with a news story from 1921. He's also the author of Notorious New Jersey. We did a 1921 episode earlier in the year, with Jon we cover new ground.
65 min
Introducing "Smoke Screen: The Sellout"
14 min
Ashamed in the Day of Judgment - Resistance to ...
Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren's policy of Indian population removal, which lead to the Trail of Tears and thousands of deaths, was not uncontested or passively allowed at the time. Nearly half of Congress opposed it, as did petition writers all over the nation. So did one of the President's former friends and of course, most of the elected representatives of the Cherokee people. These debates happened not in modern times but then. One of Jackson's friends voted against so he would not be Ashamed in the Day of Judgment and sought the Presidency in his stead. Support our sponsor Inkl - Support the Podcast on Patreon: Music by Lee Rosevere Email to enquire about advertising on the podcast We are part of Airwave Media Podcast Network. -
44 min
The Miserable Daniel D. Tompkins, Vice President
Vice President under Monroe, Tompkins was a popular populist republican governor of New York and symbol of young America. But he had a problem. Tim Pearson's book on Vice Presidents is Second Fiddle - This episode's sponsor - Light Stream credit card consolidation And a unique news service that helps you get through news paywalls. Want to advertise on the program? sales@advertisecast We are part of Airwave Media network.
31 min
The Anti-Masonic Party and Conspiracy Theory Po...
We look at the Anti-Masonic Party of the 1820s and 1830s from backwater movement to national stage and its lasting influence on one of the two major parties today, and on political conventions. Was it truly a conspiracy theory-based movement? What can it say about today's politics. And a candidate who didn't want to run for President. We look at all that.
38 min
Joe Manchins of History, Clinton's 50-50 Senate...
We take a look at a few topics, the "Joe Manchins" of History, Senators who have disagreed with their own parties Presidents, while also helping in some ways. FDR, Clinton and Lyndon Johnson dealt with their own versions of the dynamic in politics today. We are also reminded in telling this story that Clinton had a 50-50 Senate, in a form. And a bit about British Prime Minister Harold Wilson and his idea for a University of The Air, long before today's online learning.
49 min
Biden, Crime Bill, How and Why He Was Elected a...
WIth Matthew Howland from the Political Darkside podcast, Bruce discusses Joe Biden, his story, and the issues of crime, business, busing and more. Find Matthew's podcast at
99 min
Grover Cleveland Cake and Other Stories
Of the many things Grover Cleveland is remembered for, his still extant wedding cake stands out for the few visitors to his birthplace home in Caldwell, N.J. He's not a President much remembered though podcasts have revived knowledge about him a bit. We discuss Cleveland, his legacy, and a great fight of the 1880's that determined executive power. We also look at another President's argument for why Cleveland should be remembered. We also look at Lincoln's coat, Hayes's oysters and dominos, Washington's teeth and the short military career of William Jennings Bryan.
53 min
Andrew Carnegie Questions
Andrew Carnegie went from a bobbin-boy child worker to becoming the richest man in America. He also inspired generations of philanthropists, and his money is still at work today educating minds, funding books and pushing for world peace. But his story raises questions. His attitude towards unions was friendlier than most business people of his day on paper, but his actions differed from his words. And even in his philanthropy, is the model of giving after successful business a good one? We look at these questions, and tell his story.
32 min
Introducing "9/12" from Wondery
6 min
Snack, Dessert, Dinner, Supper: The Paris Peace...
Nixon's first bombing campaigns had the names of mealtimes which seem to also correspond with the years of his first term: 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972. In this episode we look at Nixon, Kissinger and the Paris Peace Accords that ended the Vietnam War. In addition to providing some additional context for the Saigon 1975 situation so much in the news today, we revisit whether the accord was a sham peace or a true deal. The deal left hundreds of thousands of enemy troops in South Vietnam as U.S. troops exited. Could a better deal have been etched? Or could the same deal have been made sooner. And what about those leopard spots? The great debate over the negotiating table? and the dingy carpet? All this and more.
67 min
Mike Duncan on The Marquis de Lafayette and His...
With podcast host of Revolutions and History of Rome Mike Duncan, we talk about the Marquis de Lafayette. He left an aristocratic life in France to fight in the American Revolution, and did so with bravery and zeal. He remains the central figure of American-French cooperation. Mike talks about Lafayette's role not just in American history but in French history. He also talks about his book, Hero of Two Worlds. We also chat about Napoleon and Lafayette, French generals and other stories. Music by Kevin McLeod and Chris Novembrino.
49 min
Saigon Comparisons: The Events of April 29th an...
We look at the 1975 Operation Frequent Wind - the evacuation of Saigon and the comparisons to today's events, the politics at the time and now and more. Also - FOR UNBIASED NEWS (or to have a fair chance at seeing the bias), download the app at Ground.News/myhistory. Support our sponsor. The first thing to know is, despite the image of failure, those days were an operational success in a sea of bad policy decisions. In this episode we look at that and: the original plan that was ditched, what Marines on the ground that day said, how it felt for a journalist, effects on the '76 election if any, the reluctant ambassador, 2022 midterms and burning US dollars.
30 min
Playing Cards With the Signers of The Declarati...
Break your news bubble and see biases in coverage clearly -Download our sponsor Ground News's App at - Ground.News/myhistory All about Signers in this one. We talk to Jason Petri, listener to MHCBUYP about his playing card deck project, and we discuss: :the lives of the signers What can Button Gwinnett, Stephen Hopkins or Thomas Heyward Jr. do for us? The importance of the Declaration, even when the country hasn't lived up always to the aspiration (with help from a former president for a good interpretation). The history of the actual document, and how it was saved from British capture. A reminder - we are part of Airwave Media Podcast Network - Check out great shows at Songs by Lee Rosevere - and Kevin MacLeod who has excellent jazz music opens our episode up.
68 min
Charles Dawes: The Anti-Filibustering Musician ...
Opponent of the filibuster and sometimes a royal pain for the President he served under, Dawes is probably one of the most accomplished Vice Presidents of the United States. In his life time he would win a Nobel Peace Prize, posthumously he would win a Grammy. Friend to both William McKinley and William Jennings Bryan, a banker who could play that piano. We don't know him as well today but in his times, he was oft larger than life.
44 min
Extras from the Airline Deregulation Episode
Stories of baseball, banking and love. More from our episode on airline deregulation. What was left on the legal pad and didn't make it into the episode.
13 min
Friendly Skies? - The Story of Airline Deregula...
A Democratic President and a liberal Senator push a free-market reform in the late 1970s that affects us all today. We look at the story of the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978. Among the topics - legroom politics, cold fried chicken, consumer rights, cargo politics, Carter's legislative ability or lack of it, champagne denial, mistreated pets, and the deregulator now wearing a robe at SCOTUS.
51 min
Richard Bey of "The Richard Bey Show" on Cancel...
We are joined by Richard Bey of "The Richard Bey" show and "People are Talking" fame for a talk on a lot of things. We are pleased to have Richard as a long time listener of the show. Richard takes aim at the current depiction of cancel culture as a new thing, which is especially easy for him as he was canceled himself at least twice. Richard and Bruce also talk Iraq War, the 2016 election and what happened, and other topics.
58 min
15th Anniversary Show Part I: Speaking w/ Liste...
Bruce reviews favorite old clips and speaks to two listeners from all the way back at the beginning, Kevin Willis and Tom Morris.
82 min
Afghanistan - The Soviet War
60 min
Vaccines Then and Now
Vaccine history, acceptance and denial.  The man who saved Boston and never got credit.   Law and the citizen and medicine.   FDR's polio - if it was polio - and what it meant for America.  From 2014, with an update for...
70 min
What You May Not Know About Lexington and Conco...
You know about the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the shot heard around the world, the minutemen and their trifold hats and muskets. But how much do you really know about the day's events? This episode we look at the day of fighting at Concord, when a British raiding party turned into a display of American resistance and a trial run for American independence. We look at the stories from that day, and deal with some misconceptions and discuss the impact of the American origin story.
34 min
Dennis Kucinich on Public Service, Public Power...
We speak to Dennis Kucinich about his fight to save Cleveland's municipal power system as mayor of the city in 1970's. He risked not only his career but his life during that battle, and he gives us some of the details from his new book -"The Division of Light and Power"
40 min
The Man in the Cave and Other Stories of the Si...
We know Jefferson and Franklin, but what about the other signers - John Hart, John Penn, William Williams, Richard Stockton, William Whipple, John Morgan, William Floyd, George Read and others. I released this series as its own podcast in 2012, some...
323 min
1866 Mechanics Institute Attack
One violent event, captured in the best media technologies of its time and brought to American living parlors, completely changed American politics during the Reconstruction period.  A convention at the stately Mechanics' Institute in New...
37 min
D.C. Representation: A Love Story
This episode is all about voting in the federal capital we now call the District of Columbia. We talk about a movement to get voting rights that succeeded for a group of (then) D.C. residents 180 years ago, And about the petitions, committees, tea parties, bus trips and statements by Presidents over the years, and the reactions of Congress to them. Why Lincoln and Jefferson Davis found common ground on one issue about D.C. and neither got their wish. And about the rioting soldiers that may have spurred the whole idea of a federal city on a hill in the first place. Plus, about that guy who lived in a tree.
69 min
Hannibal Hamlin Stood Up: A Look At an Overlook...
Known for being Lincoln's first VP and dropped from the ticket, Hamlin was actually as well-known as the President he served under. He was a fighter against the expansion of slavery and an important Senator. It was not out of the question that Hamilin could have been in Lincoln's spot. History has forgotten, but we'll give him a few words in this look at Vice Presidents this summer.
43 min
Terrible Tuesday 1987 (The Ark of Commerce, Par...
For Wall Street Insiders, Black Monday was not the worst day. The next day, Terrible Tuesday was an agonizing test of the financial system. As part of our series on the commercial history of the United States, we examine the events of Tuesday the 20th. And we look at the history of insurance in America, the reasons there is a stock market, what was learned and not learned from 1987 and a few other things.
52 min
On The Lincoln Train: The 13-Day Journey of a P...
Lincoln's turbulent period as President-elect also featured a novel twist: a thirteen-day train ride through the states that had cast their votes for him, and two that had not.  He countered large cheering crowds and some security risks, while he...
78 min
Black Monday 1987 and The Shock of Risk (Final ...
Worried hands gripping phones. Black screens with green digits, going downward. Faces pressed against fancy brokerage office glass. Busy signals. The history of Black Monday 1987 crash and the history of what came before it, from stock commodities and even butter and eggs. This is the first of what will be a two-parter on commerce, risk and the attempts to control that risk, insurance. All of it came together on one day in 1987 which made history, but has been somewhat forgotten about. Don't forget to try out our sponsor Betterhelp -
59 min
American Epidemic: Philadelphia's Yellow Fever ...
Five thousand people died in Philadelphia, then the capital of the United States in just a few months.  Between August and November of 1793.  Thousands of others, including the President, fled the city.   Preachers told of sins...
37 min
We've Got Problems. We've Always Had Problems.
In this episode, no big deal, we just tackle about every significant problem we have in our politics today.  norm-breaking, free-speech and free-speech limits, threats and violence, double impeachments, pushing envelopes and reverse virtue...
102 min
Elephant in the Room: Former Presidents and Th...
About Presidents and their parties, particularly situations where a former President who was not re-elected is still in the political picture. There can be some interesting challenges for the party. We look at four cases in history, Gerald Ford's golfing and soft-pedaling in 1980, Truman's attack on a front-runner in 1956, Bush's largely successful exeunt from the stage in 1993 and Carter's absence in 1981-3 which still became an invisible influence.
40 min
1995: A Story of Politics On The Information Su...
Stealth ads. Secret advice. Kids in uniforms.  Soft money and hard choices in the information age.  As we discuss in this cast, a Presidential election was almost completely settled a year before it happened.  Some knew an election was...
73 min
Leftovers From the Black Monday and Terrible Tu...
Leftovers From the Black Monday and Terrible Tuesday Casts.
22 min
Leftovers from the Mechanics Institute Attack P...
More about New Orleans Mayor Monroe and Louisiana's first black lieutenant governor.
16 min
The Man Behind the UN Who Never Got Credit - Ed...
Edward Stettinius, Jr. served a short but important time as Secretary of State serving F.D.R. and Truman.  Without him, there may not have been a UN.  And because he got very little credit, he was able to be successful.   With...
53 min
Golden Beauty Boss: Madame Sara Spencer Washing...
In this episode, we speak with Cheryl Woodruff Brooks, author of  Washington was a cosmetic entrepreneur whose company turned her into one of of America's first black millionaires. She was founder and president of Apex Enterprises consisting of...
30 min
The Young Dick Cheney
We know the globe-running, meeting master Vice President Cheney, but did you know his parents were hardcore Democrats?  or that he thought his father turned into a bird (albeit at a pretty young age).   As we discuss with Tim Pearson,...
35 min
1921 - One Hundred Years Ago
Events 100 years ago have nothing at all to do with today's events, unless you consider new technologies changing the pace of life, the immigration issue, a new administration changing messaging and policies, racism and racial violence, crime, labor...
38 min
The 25th Amendment, Section Four Explained, w/ ...
The Constitution contains two possible forms of presidential removal outside of election, one is the much-discussed impeachment process. The other is the 25th Amendment's fourth section. We discuss 25 Section 4 with Professor Brian C. Kalt, Professor...
46 min
This is William Rufus King w/ Thomas Balcerski ...
The 13th Vice President of the United States remains obscure. Where King's name does come up, it's often with the wrong picture. Or he's confused with Rufus King.  According to our guest, Thomas Balcerski, Associate Professor of History at...
43 min
Mario Cuomo is Not Running: A Tale of Politics
A look at Governor Andrew Cuomo's father Mario, a classic tale of American politics and the potential campaign for President that he ran. 
32 min