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History Myths Buzzkilled

Woman Crush Wednesday! Maria Bochkareva

It’s a Woman Crush Wednesday! Maria Bochkareva’s life reflects almost all of the tumultuous period of the Russian Revolution (1917-1922). During World War I, she fought, and eventually led, the “1st Russian Women’s Battalion of Death.” She then connected with the White forces in the Russian Civil War, did diplomatic work for them in the US and Britain, and returned to Russia to fight in 1918. Professor Nash joins us to discuss her fascinating career! --- Maria Botchkareva, Yashka: My Life as a Peasant, Exile and Soldier; A Biography and History of Russia in WW1, and the Bolshevik Revolution [...]

Nixon’s 1968 October Surprise

Richard Nixon was already known as “Tricky Dick” long before the Presidential Election of 1968. But would he do anything so tricky as to negotiate with a foreign country against American interests in order to get elected? Professor Nash comes to the Buzzkill Bunker to explain all the shenanigans of the 1968 election, and whether the Nixon and his team crafted an October Surprise to win in November. This story is full of intrigue, drama, and dread. Listen in! --- Buzzkill Bookshelf: John A. Farrell, Richard Nixon: The Life (2018). From a prize-winning biographer comes the defining portrait of [...]

The 1968 Presidential Election

1968 was a dramatic, upsetting, and confusing year in many parts of the world. The American Presidential Election was equally strange and unusual. Protests, riots, assassinations, major political parties in turmoil, and a segregationist third party candidate. All in the shadow of the Vietnam War. No election before or since has been so tumultuous. How did the country survive? Professor Phil Nash explains it all in this episode! --- Buzzkill Bookshelf: Joe McGinniss, The Selling of the President: The Classical Account of the Packaging of a Candidate What makes you cast your ballot? A Presidential candidate or a good [...]

Gandhi: “An Eye for an Eye Makes the Whole World Blind” – Quote or No Quote?

Did Gandhi say “and eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”? If he didn’t, where did it come from? The Bible? The Canadian House of Commons? Movie script writers? And is there something more significant in how this phrase has come down to us as an essential Gandhi-ism? Listen and learn with your eyes open, Buzzkillers! --- Buzzkill Bookshelf: Louis Fischer, Life of Mahatma Gandhi. Fischer was an American journalist who knew Gandhi well and understood his unique strategy of satyagraha, or passive resistance, which earned him the admiration of millions throughout the world. This was one [...]

Traveling While Black: Guides to African American Motoring

20th century automobile travel was supposed to represent freedom, but what else did it represent? Professor Cotten Siler joins us to discuss the difficulties and hazards of traveling in the United States faced by African-American motorists in the 20th Century, especially during the height of segregation and Jim Crow. Specifically, we learn how important guides like the Negro Motorist Green Book and the popular Travelguide: Vacation and Recreation Without Humiliation were to the reality of “travelling while black.” --- Buzzkill Bookshelf: Cotten Seiler, Republic of Drivers: A Cultural History of Automobility in America How did automobile use become so [...]

Ada Lovelace – Woman Crush Wednesday!

As Lady Buzzkill and I can tell you, it’s tough to be born to wealth and privilege. The constant socializing, serving on the boards of charities and non-profits, being invited to an endless number of weddings and events by everybody who’s anybody, and on and on. In the face of these massive temptations to live the easy life of privilege, it takes a stainless steel backbone and a stupendous sense of civic responsibility to do the kind of humanitarian work we do here at the Buzzkill Institute. Our Woman Crush Wednesday this week overcame the same sorts of pressures [...]

The Monopolists and the History of Monopoly

Journalist Mary Pilon joins us to discuss the history of the game Monopoly and its wonderful twitsts, turns, complications, and lawsuits! It all starts during The Depression and doesn't stop until the 21st Century! Make sure to listen, and tell a playing partner about the show!! --- Buzzkill Bookshelf: Mary Pilon, The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World's Favorite Board Game (2016). The Monopolists reveals the unknown story of how Monopoly came into existence, the reinvention of its history by Parker Brothers and multiple media outlets, the lost female originator of the game, and one man's [...]

Man Crush Monday! Ron Stallworth, First African-American KKK Member

Something arrived in the mail the other day that reminded me of a party I went to in LA five or six years ago. It may have been Hollywood, or it may have been Santa Monica (I can’t remember). Lady Buzzkill and I were out there, socializing with our west coast set (you know, the George Clooney crowd) when I heard a shout from across the room. “Prof!,” came the shout, “Prof baby!” I looked over my martini and who was it but my old Buzzkill buddy, Spike Lee. Hadn’t seen him for a few years, but, as Lady [...]

U.S. Political Parties

I got so sick of idiots posting completely ahistorical things about American Political Parties on Twitter and Facebook, that I called Professor Nash in for an emergency episode. We were able to diagnose the interpretative problems, stop the bleeding, and heal the wound. We explain why political parties have had the same name, but totally different attitudes and policies over the centuries of US history. This episode is necessary listening for the elections coming up this year! Listen and be enlightened! ---- Buzzkill Bookshelf James Reichley, The Life of the Parties (2000). This classic work traces the decline of [...]

Buzzkill Bookshelf

Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health (1964).

Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service On January 11, 1964, Luther L. Terry, M.D., Surgeon General of the United States, released Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee of the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service. This was the first in the series that is now generally referred to as the Surgeon General’s reports.

“If You Don’t have Anything Nice to Say … ” Decorative Pillow.

A nice replica of Alice Roosevelt's throw pillow. Liven up your parties and literary salons with your wit!

Recapturing the Oval Office

Several generations of historians figuratively abandoned the Oval Office as the bastion of out-of-fashion stories of great men. And now, decades later, the historical analysis of the American presidency remains on the outskirts of historical scholarship, even as policy and political history have rebounded.

Andrew J. Huebner, Love and Death in the Great War (2018).

Tracks ideas of redemptive war across public and private spaces, policy and implementation, home and front, popular culture and personal correspondence. In beautifully rendered prose, Andrew J. Huebner merges untold stories of ordinary men and women with a history of wartime culture.

Max Brooks and Caanan White, The Harlem Hellfighters (2014).

From bestselling author Max Brooks, the riveting story of the highly decorated, barrier-breaking, historic black regiment—the Harlem Hellfighters!

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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