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History Myths Buzzkilled

Americans Bailing Out the French

Did the United States really “bail the French out in two world wars,” or is it a blustering, bigoted myth? Professor Phil Nash joins us to discuss what actually happened in World Wars I and II, and whether the United States was “bailing out” the French or repaying a major debt from the American Revolution. Join us as we discuss all the issues. Lafayette, the Buzzkillers are here! --- Buzzkill Bookshelf Larrie D. Ferreiro, Brothers at Arms: American Independence and the Men of France and Spain Who Saved It (2016). The remarkable untold story of how the American Revolution's [...]

Edith Hamilton Woman Crush Wednesday!

Alice Hamilton was a pioneer in occupational medicine and industrial toxicology. And it’s not an exaggeration to say that she was the most important person in helping to make the American workplace safer. She also campaigned for women’s rights, social and economic reform, and international peace. There are very few people who need more historical fame and glory than Dr. Alice Hamilton. Listen and be inspired! --- Buzzkill Bookshelf Alice Hamilton M.D., Exploring the Dangerous Trades: the Autobiography of Alice Hamilton (1943). Alice Hamilton’s memoir’s gives a direct and personal view of the difficulties in finding the effects of [...]

Robert Kennedy’s 1968 Speech about Martin Luther King

Historian Ray Boomhower joins us to analyze the famous speech given by RFK in Indianapolis, on hearing about the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968. It’s one of the most famous and touching speeches in modern American history, and is usually credited with keeping Indianapolis calm in the wake of that horrible tragedy. We talk about the background to the speech, what else contributed to Indianapolis’ peaceful reaction to what happened, and what part it played in the race for the 1968 Democratic Presidential Nomination. Listen and be inspired. --- Buzzkill Bookshelf Ray Boomhower, Robert F. Kennedy and [...]

The Unknown Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King did so much more for American society, and wanted so much more from the US government and US elite, than most people realize. Popular history has airbrushed out far too much about his life and work. Professor Phil Nash reminds us of the importance of King’s work, especially during the forgotten period between his 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech and his assassination in 1968. Listen and learn. --- Buzzkill Bookshelf Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Cornel West, The Radical King (2016).

MCM Robert Sherrod

Reporters and photographers rarely get discussed on this show. And that’s a pity because, in one way at least, reporters and photographers help provide a lot of the original material that historians use to study events and try to build up as full a picture as possible about the past. But one of the great dangers in relying too much on journalistic evidence in writing history is forgetting that those pieces of reportage were usually produced with a specific audience in mind — readers and consumers of news. In times of war, accurate news usually has to be cleared [...]

Civil War Medicine

We usually hear that surgery and medical treatment during the Civil War was backward butchery. But was it? Historian Nic Hoffman from Kennesaw State University tells us how complicated it really was. We discuss: medical care before the war; the shock of Civil War carnage and how medics initially reacted; and changes in medical treatment and surgery because of the War. Listen and learn! --- Buzzkill Bookshelf Drew Gilpin Faust, This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War (2009). In This Republic of Suffering, Drew Gilpin Faust reveals the ways that death in the Civil War changed [...]

Churchill, “Blood, Sweat, and Tears.” Quote or No Quote?

With the popular film, The Darkest Hour, getting even more attention now because Gary Oldman won the Best Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of Winston Churchill, I have even more reason than usual to point out bogus Churchill quotes. But I thought I'd talk about something that Churchill actually said, and that was a well-known saying in his day, to show how certain phrases that were certainly commonplace in the late 19th century and early 20th century, have been Churchill-ized by people after World War II. On the 13th of May 1940, Churchill gave first speech to the [...]

Benjamin Lay, Quakerism, and Anti-Slavery

We interview Professor Marcus Rediker about his new book, Benjamin Lay: The Quaker Dwarf Who Became the First Revolutionary Abolitionist. Benjamin Lay was one of the most famous anti-slavery protesters in colonial Pennsylvania in the early 1700s. He agitated against slavery and the slave trade in very unusual ways, and was eventually kicked out of his church, the Quakers, for his actions. He was also one of the pioneers of political boycotting of certain consumer goods. Professor Rediker tells the story of one of the most interesting men of the early 18th century, and learn why he deserves more [...]

WCW Alison Palmer

It's a Woman Crush Wednesday! Alison Palmer was a pioneer in gaining increased women's rights and human rights in the American State Department. While working there in the 1950s and 1960s, Palmer ran up against the glass ceiling when trying to advance in the civil service at the State Department. She found it almost impossible to become a foreign service officer, and was forced to remain in the clerical ranks until she sued the Department. She spent years in court, and wasn't fully vindicated until the mid-1970s. But the story's even more complicated than that. Listen and learn! ---- [...]

Buzzkill Bookshelf

Larrie D. Ferreiro, Brothers at Arms: American Independence and the Men of France and Spain Who Saved It (2017).

The remarkable story of how the American Revolution's success depended on substantial military assistance provided by France and Spain, and places the Revolution in the context of the global strategic interests of those nations in their fight against England.

Alice Hamilton M.D., Exploring the Dangerous Trades: the Autobiography of Alice Hamilton (1943).

Alice Hamilton’s memoir gives a direct and personal view of the difficulties in finding the effects of industrial toxic materials on workers’ health. One of the most important public health officials of the 20th century, Dr. Hamilton’s work saved thousands of lives and prevented even more cases of disease.

The Radical King (2016)

Every year, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is celebrated as one of the greatest orators in US history, an ambassador for nonviolence who became perhaps the most recognizable leader of the civil rights movement. But after more than forty years, few people appreciate how truly radical he was. This revealing collection shows that Dr. King was every bit as radical as Malcolm X.

Dispatches from the Pacific

Living shoulder to shoulder with the marines, Sherrod chronicled combat and the marines’ day-to-day struggles as they leapfrogged across the Central Pacific, battling the Japanese on Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.

This Republic of the Suffering

In This Republic of Suffering, Drew Gilpin Faust reveals the ways that death in the Civil War changed not only individual lives but the life of the nation, describing how the survivors managed on a practical level and how a deeply religious culture struggled to reconcile the unprecedented carnage with its belief in a benevolent God.

Buzzkill Book Shelf

Buzzkillers! Here are the books that we have featured on certain episodes. We highly recommend them!

American History, British History, and World History Myths Busted by Professor Buzzkill

Don’t forget to check-in every week for new history myths being busted.

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