Ever want to start a podcast? Let me help! Join my new course, "Create a Successful and Rewarding Podcast!" Click here: https://bit.ly/PBPodcastCourse Professor Philip Nash joins us to dispel myths about Hitler during World War II. We talk about strategic and operational blunders (especially Operation Barbarossa), harsh occupation policies, declaration of war against the US, and imperial overstretch. We also examine the Holocaust and Holocaust deniers, Hitler’s micromanagement, his declining health, the plots to kill him, and his eventual suicide. Join us in the Buzzkill Bunker!
Start your own podcast and let me help! Join my new course, "Create a Successful and Rewarding Podcast!" Click here: https://bit.ly/PBPodcastCourse It's been weeks and weeks since we looked at a Gandhi quotation. Given that he's probably the most misquoted person in human history after Windy Winston Churchill, it's about time that we examined another supposed Gandhi-ism. As you know, Gandhi was one of the leaders of the Indian Independence movement in the early 20th century, and is usually considered the spiritual leader of Indian nationalism. He spent the second half of his life seeking moral and religious meaning behind the fights against injustice and oppression. This led him to add a certain moral (sometimes moralistic) tone to his political statements from the 1920s onwards. [...]
Start your own podcast and let me help! Join my new course, "Create a Successful and Rewarding Podcast!" Click here: https://bit.ly/PBPodcastCourse 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 to do important work in [...]
Ever want to start a podcast? Let me help! Join my new course, "Create a Successful and Rewarding Podcast!" Click here: https://bit.ly/PBPodcastCourse In this Professor Buzzkill episode we examine the many myths surrounding Adolf Hitler’s rise from Chancellor to the outbreak of World War II. These include: how Nazi Germany functioned; the myth of purely tyrannical dictatorship; and the myth of an efficient, orderly dictatorship. We also explore Hitler’s genuine popularity, and explain the successes of Hitler’s diplomacy and expansionism. It’s very deep and complicated, Buzzkillers! --- Buzzkill Bookshelf
Yes, you read that correctly, Buzzkillers! Trading cards sets like "Fight the Red Menace" were popular in the west, and were regularly purchased by young people (especially boys) during the Cold War. Historian Harriette Kevill-Davies explains the roles these cards played in American and Allied culture during those extremely tense times! Episode 425.
Reflecting on his past, President John Adams mused that it was religion that had shaped his family's fortunes and young America's future. For the nineteenth century's first family, the Adamses of Massachusetts, the history of how they lived religion was dynamic and well-documented. Christianity supplied the language that Abigail used to interpret husband John's political setbacks. Scripture armed their son John Quincy to act as father, statesman, and antislavery advocate. Unitarianism gave Abigail's Victorian grandson, Charles Francis, the religious confidence to persevere in political battles on the Civil War homefront. By contrast, his son Henry found religion hollow and repellent compared to the purity of modern science. A renewal of faith led Abigail's great-grandson Brooks, a Gilded Age critic of capitalism, to prophesy [...]
Professor Blake Scott Ball discusses his new book on the history of the Peanuts comic strip! Despite--or perhaps because of--its huge popular culture status, Peanuts enabled cartoonist Charles Schulz to offer political commentary on the most controversial topics of postwar American culture through the voices of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the whole Peanuts gang. Episode 423. You can find Dr. Blake Scott Ball’s Medium blog here: https://blakescottball.medium.com/ Blake Scott Ball, Charlie Brown's America: The Popular Politics of Peanuts Despite--or because of--its huge popular culture status, Peanuts enabled cartoonist Charles Schulz to offer political commentary on the most controversial topics of postwar American culture through the voices of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the Peanuts gang. In postwar America, there was no newspaper comic strip [...]
The Appalachian Trail has a long and winding place in American history and culture. Professor Philip D’Anieri takes us on a hike through the significant aspects of its history and explains what the trail's construction and development have meant for the country. Episode 422 Link to the Appalachian Trail Conference: https://appalachiantrail.org/ --- Buzzkill Bookshelf Philip D'Anieri, The Appalachian Trail: A Biography The Appalachian Trail is America’s most beloved trek, with millions of hikers setting foot on it every year. Yet few are aware of the fascinating backstory of the dreamers and builders who helped bring it to life over the past century. The conception and building of the Appalachian Trail is a story of unforgettable characters who explored it, defined it, and captured [...]
The filibuster, and the practice of filibustering in the United States Senate, is a raging topic in American politics these days. And, of course, the abuse of history has been rampant when current politicians attack or defend the filibuster. Professor Sarah Binder (_the_ expert!) explains it to you Buzzkillers! Episode 421 --- Buzzkill Bookshelf Sarah A. Binder and Steven S. Smith, Politics or Principle: Filibustering in the United States Senate Is American democracy being derailed by the United States Senate filibuster? Is the filibuster an important right that improves the political process or an increasingly partisan tool that delays legislation and thwarts the will of the majority? Are century-old procedures in the Senate hampering the institution from fulfilling its role on the eve [...]
Voting rights are being taken away in 2021. So we should listen again to Honest Abe. Right? But did he actually say, "...government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth"? Was it his phrase originally? The background of the quote will fascinate you. Listen and learn, Buzzkillers! Episode 420 —- Original Blog Post Ah, Buzzkillers, I have so much in common with Abraham Lincoln. Height (well, almost), a refusal to suffer fools (hence the founding of the Buzzkill Institute), we're both excellent wordsmiths, and we have a healthy man-crush on the 19th century Unitarian theologian Theodore Parker. (More on him later.) I must be getting soft in my old age, Buzzkillers. I've been rolling out [...]
Marjorie Taylor Greene has brought up the Nazi-Socialist thing to defame certain left-wing American politicians in 2021. Obviously, she doesn't know history. But why was Hitler’s fascist party named the “National-Socialist German Workers' Party”? “Socialist” and “Fascist” usually have totally different, indeed opposite, meanings. How did they get combined and what did the “National Socialist” label mean in the 1930s and 1940s? And why are some Democrats (even President Biden) tarred with the “Nazi” brush by political circus clowns nowadays? Professor Nash helps us understand it all. Listen and learn! Episode 419 --- Buzzkill Bookshelf Jason Stanley, How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them By uncovering disturbing patterns that are as prevalent today as ever, Stanley reveals that the stuff of [...]
There’s so much talk these days about the radicalism of the Republican Party. Politics has often been nasty in American history, but when did this particular style of Republican extremism start? Professor Julian Zelizer from Princeton University shows us how Newt Gingrich helped create the new Republican party, and in the process, burned down American politics. Episode 418. --- Buzzkill Bookshelf Julian E. Zelizer, Burning Down the House: Newt Gingrich and the Rise of the New Republican Party The story of how Newt Gingrich and his allies tainted American politics, launching an enduring era of brutal partisan warfare When Donald Trump was elected president in 2016, President Obama observed that Trump “is not an outlier; he is a culmination, a logical conclusion of [...]