Professor Buzzkill History Podcast | History Myths and Misconceptions Buzzkilled!2021-05-14T09:10:26-04:00

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History Myths Buzzkilled

Ronald Reagan “Most Terrifying Words – ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’” Quote or No Quote?

At a press conference on August 12th, 1986, US President Ronald Reagan said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’” So many short statements, quotes, and even off-hand phrases and jokes become engraved in stone as wisdom when they’re uttered by someone whom a large part of society already considers a hero or sage. Even the most facile and simple utterances become maxims when they happen to have come out of the mouths of Gandhi, Churchill, Lincoln, Einstein, and Mark Twain. I think this cultural habit is already extreme, problematic, and sometimes dangerous, as I’ve explained in many of these Quote or No Quote shows. But this societal tendency seems to [...]

Otto and Elise Hampel: “Ordinary” Resisters to Hitler’s Regime

Otto and Elise Hampel were a working-class German couple who wrote postcards denouncing Hitler's government and left them in public places around Berlin during World War II. Professor Philip Nash explains their significance in a combined Man Crush Monday/Woman Crush Wednesday! Episode 415 --- Buzzkill Bookshelf Hans Fallada, Alone in Berlin Alone in Berlin takes place during World War II in 1940. It conveys the omnipresent fear and suspicion engulfing Germany at the time caused by the constant threat of arrest, imprisonment, torture, and death. Even those not at risk of any of those punishments could be ostracized and unable to find work. Escherich, a Gestapo inspector, must find the source of hundreds of postcards encouraging Germans to resist Adolf Hitler and the [...]

The Historical Novels of Anna Lee Huber – Fiction Friday!

Historical novelist Anna Lee Huber gives us a glimpse of what it's like to be a historical novelist. She discusses her famous Verity Kent series (set in Britain during the WWI period) and her Lady Derby series (set in 1830s Britain). It's a Fiction Friday and let's have fun!! Episode 414 --- Buzzkill Bookshelf: Check out Anna Lee Huber’s Novels at: https://www.annaleehuber.com/

Mary Ware Dennett – Woman Crush Wednesday!

Mary Ware Dennett was an American women's rights activist, pacifist, and pioneer in the areas of birth control, sex education, and women's suffrage. Yet, she is largely unknown to the general public. So, she’s our Woman Crush Wednesday this week! Listen as historian Sharon Spaulding explains Mary’s important life and work! Episode 413. Click here for more info about Mary Ware Dennett and about Sharon Spaulding: sharonspaulding.com --- Buzzkill Bookshelf: Constance M. Chen, The Sex Side of Life: Mary Ware Dennett's Pioneering Battle for Birth Control and Sex Education Suffragist, pacifist in WWI, artisan in America's Arts and Crafts movement, mother, advocate of sex education, Mary Ware Dennett (1872-1947) launched the nation's first birth control organization, the National Birth Control League, in 1915. [...]

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 hear about some important people from the 19th and early 20th centuries who you may not have known, but who deserve a great deal more [...]

Dinner in Camelot: When Art, Literature, and Science Mattered in the United States

Joseph Esposito tells us about “the night America’s greatest scientist, writers, and scholars partied at the White House in April 1962. Listen to us discuss this glittering event, including the untold stories of controversy, protest, and personality clashes before, during, and after the famous dinner. This is a fascinating look at the workings of the social side of the Kennedy White House, and also how this dinner became mythologized in the Kennedy-Camelot legend. Episode 411. --- Buzzkill Bookshelf Joseph A. Esposito, Dinner in Camelot: The Night America's Greatest Scientists, Writers, and Scholars Partied at the Kennedy White House In April 1962, President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy hosted forty-nine Nobel Prize winners, along with many other prominent scientists, artists, and writers, at a famed White [...]

Immigration and “The Deportation Machine” in the United States

Professor Adam Goodman explains the unknown history of deportation and the fear that shapes immigrants' lives in the modern United States. He explains how federal, state, and local officials have targeted various groups for expulsion, from Chinese and Europeans at the turn of the twentieth century to Central Americans and Muslims today. A very timely show! Episode #410 Organizations mentioned on the show: American Civil Liberties Union https://www.aclu.org/ United We Dream https://unitedwedream.org/ Raices: The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services https://www.raicestexas.org/ Organized Communities Against Deportation https://www.organizedcommunities.org/ --- Buzzkill Bookshelf Adam Goodman, The Deportation Machine: America's Long History of Expelling Immigrants Constant headlines about deportations, detention camps, and border walls drive urgent debates about immigration and what it means to be an American [...]

Warfare, Technology, Constitutions, and the Making of the Modern World

Professor Linda Colley gives us the first full integrative, as well as literary, examination of the written constitution globally. Tracing their rise to the mid-eighteenth century and the emergence of hybrid warfare (cross-continental battles waged on land and at sea), constitutions addressed a growing concern for rulers during the Enlightenment: popular support. Episode #409. Read Professor Jill Lepore’s review essay about Professor Colley’s “The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen: Warfare, Constitutions, and the Making of the Modern World” in The New Yorker here -> https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/03/29/when-constitutions-took-over-the-world --- Buzzkill Bookshelf Linda Colley, The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen: Warfare, Constitutions, and the Making of the Modern World Vivid and magisterial, The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen reconfigures the rise of a modern world through [...]

The Munich Crisis, 1938

The Munich Crisis of 1938 had major diplomatic and political effects. It was also a "people’s crisis," and an event that gripped the world. Join Professors Richard Toye, Julie Gottlieb, and Daniel Hucker as they present new research and findings about this prelude to World War II. Episode #408 --- Buzzkill Bookshelf The Munich Crisis, politics and the people: International, transnational and comparative perspectives (Cultural History of Modern War) 1st Edition by Julie Gottlieb (Editor), Daniel Hucker (Editor), Richard Toye (Editor) The Munich Crisis of 1938 had major diplomatic as well as personal and psychological repercussions. As much as it was a climax in the clash between dictatorship and democracy, it was also a People’s Crisis and an event that gripped and worried the people [...]

The History of Concentration Camps

The development of concentration camps in world history is both compelling and distressing. Award-winning author and journalist, Andrea Pitzer, explains how and why human societies have come to use them so frequently. From 1890s Cuba to the detention camps in the 21st century USA, concentration camps have exposed the "savage practicality" used by governments and militaries. Episode #407. --- Buzzkill Bookshelf One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps A groundbreaking, haunting, and profoundly moving history of modernity's greatest tragedy: concentration camps. For over 100 years, at least one concentration camp has existed somewhere on Earth. First used as battlefield strategy, camps have evolved with each passing decade, in the scope of their effects and the savage practicality with which governments have employed them. [...]

“The Deviant’s War”: the Homosexual vs. the United States of America

Professor Eric Cervini tells us the secret history of the fight for gay rights that began a generation before Stonewall. Above all, it is a story of America (and Washington) at a cultural and sexual crossroads; of shocking, byzantine public battles with Congress; of FBI informants; murder; betrayal; sex; love; and ultimately victory. Episode #406 --- Buzzkill Bookshelf Eric Cervini, The Deviant's War: The Homosexual vs. the United States of America (2020). From a young Harvard- and Cambridge-trained historian, the secret history of the fight for gay rights that began a generation before Stonewall. In 1957, Frank Kameny, a rising astronomer working for the U.S. Defense Department in Hawaii, received a summons to report immediately to Washington, D.C. The Pentagon had reason to believe he [...]

Appeasement and “Guilty Women” in Inter-War Britain

Professor Julie Gottlieb deepens our understanding of the crisis between World War I and World War 2 in Britain. She shows us how crucial female public opinion was to the development of foreign policy during this period. Chamberlain, Churchill, Munich, and appeasement are better-illuminated light by her new research and interpretations. Join us for a truly eye-opening examination of the crucial years leading up to the Second World War. Episode #405. --- Julie V. Gottlieb ‘Guilty Women’, Foreign Policy, and Appeasement in Inter-War Britain British women were deeply invested in foreign policy between the wars. This study casts new light on the turn to international affairs in feminist politics, the gendered representation and experience of the Munich Crisis, and the profound impression made by female [...]


 

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