Professor Buzzkill History Podcast | History Myths and Misconceptions Buzzkilled!2021-02-24T11:34:12-05:00

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History Myths Buzzkilled

“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 [...]

Daughters of Yalta: the Churchills, the Roosevelts, and the Harrimans in 1945

Catherine Grace Katz joins us to tell the story of three intelligent and glamorous young women (Sarah Churchill, Anna Roosevelt, and Kathleen Harriman) who accompanied their famous fathers to the Yalta Conference in February 1945, and how they affected the conference and its fateful reverberations in the waning days of World War II. Episode #404. --- Buzzkill Bookshelf Catherine Grace Katz, The Daughters of Yalta: The Churchills, Roosevelts, and Harrimans: A Story of Love and War The untold story of the three intelligent and glamorous young women who accompanied their famous fathers to the Yalta Conference in February 1945, and of the conference’s fateful reverberations in the waning days of World War II. Tensions during the Yalta Conference in February 1945 threatened to tear apart [...]

“Robert E. Lee and Me” – General Ty Seidule

General Ty Seidule returns to the Buzzkill Institute to talk about his wonderful new book, "Robert E. Lee and Me: a Southerner's Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause." This is required listening for every American, and all those interested in why our country continually struggles with racism, white supremacy, and false and ahistorical interpretations of the Civil War. Episode #403 --- Buzzkill Bookshelf Ty Seidule, Robert E. Lee and Me: A Southerner's Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause In a forceful but humane narrative, former soldier and head of the West Point history department Ty Seidule's Robert E. Lee and Me challenges the myths and lies of the Confederate legacy―and explores why some of this country’s oldest wounds have never healed. [...]

Presidential Transitions in American History

Even though nothing tops the 2020-2021 Trump-Biden "transition," presidential transitions have not always been smooth and stable in American history. Professor Philip Nash explains all and puts historical transitions in the context of what's happening now. Episode #402 Buzzkillers can enjoy free membership at Hark Audio, the coolest new thing in the podcast world. Go to and sign up with the code “Buzzkill”! --- Buzzkill Bookshelf Winter War: Hoover, Roosevelt, and the First Clash Over the New Deal Hardcover – November 20, 2018 by Eric Rauchway (Author) “Winter War” is the history of the most acrimonious presidential handoff in American history -- and of the origins of twentieth-century liberalism and conservatism As historian Eric Rauchway shows in Winter War, FDR laid out coherent, far-ranging [...]

Girls to the Rescue: Young Heroines in American Series Fiction of World War I

During World War I, many young American women longed to be part of a larger, more glorious war effort. A new genre of young adult books entered the market, written specifically with the young girls of the war period in mind, and demonstrating the wartime activities of women and girls all over the world. Professors Emily Hamilton-Honey and Susan Ingalls Lewis explain the historical significance of this literature! Episode #401 Go to Project Gutenberg to Find Some of These Books: --- Buzzkill Bookshelf Girls to the Rescue: Young Heroines in American Series Fiction of World War I Paperback – May 11, 2020 by Emily Hamilton-Honey (Author), Susan Ingalls Lewis (Author) During World War I, as young men journeyed overseas to battle, American women maintained [...]

Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence

Dr. Kate Lemay from the National Portrait Gallery tells us about the popular historical exhibition, “Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence.” She outlines the movement for women to obtain the right to vote as part of the larger struggle for equality, and tells us how that was shown in portraiture. A great show to finish the 1920-2020 centennial! Episode #400. Here’s the link to the exhibition webpage: And here’s the link to The Pudding, the website that Dr. Lemay mentioned near the end of the show: --- Buzzkill Bookshelf Kate Clark Lemay, Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence, with contributions by Dr. Susan Goodier, Dr. Lisa Tetrault, and Dr. Martha Jones A richly illustrated history of women’s suffrage in the United [...]

“It’s a Wonderful Life” Myths and Urban Legends

Imagine being tortured by wartime memories. Explosions, death, mutilated bodies (some of them friends of yours), all the screaming. Now, imagine them coming from a very confined and dangerous place. I’ve always thought that being in a warplane or submarine would add the extra stress of being trapped, and not even being able to contemplate running away from the situation. If you leave a submarine, you’ll drown. If you leap out of an airplane without having first put on a parachute, you’ll fall to your death. You’re trapped. Of course, even the most vivid and active imagination can’t come close to the horrifying realities of war, and having to live with those images forever. And, if I’m right about the added submarine and airplane stress, [...]

Christmas: Commercialism, FDR, the Nazis, and Beyond!

Professor Philip Nash explains the complexities of the celebration and commercialism of Christmas -- from the Roman holiday of Saturnalia to the Victorian era to the Nazi period and beyond! Listen to the best explanation of the history of modern Christmas that you're gonna find this side of Bethlehem! Episode #387 --- Buzzkill Bookshelf Gerry Bowler, Christmas in the Crosshairs: Two Thousand Years of Denouncing and Defending the World's Most Celebrated Holiday An Anglican priest hands out brass knuckles to his congregation, preparing to battle anti-Christmas fanatics. Fascists insist that the Winter Solstice is the real Christmas, while Communists stage atheist musicals outside of churches on Christmas Eve. Activists vandalize shops that start touting the holiday in October and anti-consumerists sing parody carols in shopping [...]

“I, Eliza Hamilton” and “The Secret Wife of Aaron Burr” – Fiction Friday!

Historical novelist, Susan Holloway Scott, joins us to discuss two of her fabulous books -- "I, Eliza Hamilton" and "The Secret Wife of Aaron Burr." We learn a lot about these historical figures, but also how historical novelists are able to create characters from the past. Episode #396 Susan Holloway Scott is the author of over fifty historical novels and novellas. Her bestselling books have received numerous awards and honors, and with more than three million copies of her books in print, she has been published in nineteen foreign countries around the world. --- Buzzkill Bookshelf Susan Holloway Scott, I, Eliza Hamilton In this beautifully written novel of historical fiction, bestselling author Susan Holloway Scott tells the story of Alexander Hamilton’s wife, Eliza—a fascinating, strong-willed [...]

George Washington and the Development of the Cabinet

How and why did George Washington create the cabinet structure that he used in his Presidency? How did it help create new political norms and traditions in the early United States? What was its long-standing effect? Professor Lindsey Chervinsky explains all! Episode #395. --- Buzzkill Bookshelf Lindsay M. Chervinsky, The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution The US Constitution never established a presidential cabinet―the delegates to the Constitutional Convention explicitly rejected the idea. So how did George Washington create one of the most powerful bodies in the federal government? On November 26, 1791, George Washington convened his department secretaries―Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Henry Knox, and Edmund Randolph―for the first cabinet meeting. Why did he wait two and a half years into [...]


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