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History Myths Buzzkilled

Albert Einstein: “A Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing.” Quote or No Quote?

Ah yes, Albert Einstein. Perhaps number 3 or number 4 on the all time mis-quoted list. No, he didn’t say that thing about the disappearance of bees, and the disappearance of bee pollination being the sign that animal life on the planet, especially humans, was doomed within four years. No, he didn’t say “if the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts.” And, as we’ve shown in an earlier episode of Quote or No Quote, he didn’t say “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” But people keep crediting [...]

The Nadir of African-American Life, 1865-1930

1865. The Civil War is over. Slavery has been abolished. The country is “reconstructing” itself. This should have meant that the lives of African-Americans improved during this period. But it didn’t. 1865-1930 is often called the “nadir of African-American life.” Not only did they gain very little economic or social benefit from the end of slavery, white Southerners built up a system of race oppression that still stains American consciousness. Listen as Professor Phil Nash explains it all! [/fusion_text]

Elizabeth Magie – Woman Crush Wednesday!

The board game Monopoly seems too complicated to have had one single inventor, right? Well, no. Elizabeth Magie invented it in the first few years of the 20th century, and called it The Landlords Game. But the original game was anti-landlord, and embodied many aspects of communitarianism. Find out about it, about Elizabeth Magie, and how it became “Monopoly” on this Woman Crush Wednesday! [/fusion_text]

U.S. Reconstruction

U.S. Reconstruction The Reconstruction period (1865-1877) after the Civil War was at least as complicated as the war itself. It’s also been fraught with different historian interpretations over the generations. Professor Phil Nash joins us to untangle what happened and put the strands back together to understand the history of the period and the people involved. [/fusion_text]

Man Crush Monday – Tommy Flowers

June 5th, 1944. An undisclosed location in southern England. The planned Allied invasion of Normandy has been delayed by weather, and by concerns over German troop deployments on the northern French coast. A grumpy American general is weighing all the options. A courier rushes in and hands him an urgent notification of a decrypted German message. The general reads it, and pauses while the surety of his decision comes over his face. He turns to his officers and says, “we go tomorrow.” Dramatic enough for you? Well, you’ve probably guessed that the General was Dwight D. Eisenhower, making the [...]

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is nearly here. The holiday has a fascinating history of its own, but the ways people have thought about the origins and history of Mother’s Day provides us a great opportunity here at the Buzzkill Institute to talk about the complications of history and memory. But it also gives us the chance to show how the history of Mother's Day is closely tied up with such important 19th and 20th century historical issues such as: the American Civil War; international campaigns for disarmament; and peace movements from the late 1860s to the 1920s. And I hope you’ll [...]

Otto von Bismark, “Laws are like sausages. It’s is best not to see them being made.” Quote or No Quote?

Politics is a messy business, even in the best of times, and especially in the worst of times. Many people console themselves with this reality by quoting Otto von Bismarck, the 19th century Prussian politician who, among other things, was the the first Chancellor of the German Empire (from 1871 to 1890). He was also a strong believer in realpolitik, the idea that realism and practicalities should outweigh ideology and emotion in political decisions. It’s not surprising, therefore, that he often quoted as saying, “Laws are like sausages. It is best not to see them being made.” The analysis [...]

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 [...]

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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