Woman Crush Wednesday! Qiu Jin

It’s a rare thing indeed to find someone in history who stands up and rebels against almost all the things she finds oppressive in society. Such a woman was Qiu Jin [Cho Jeen], the Chinese revolutionary whose short but dramatic life has led her to be called “China’s Joan of Arc.” Born in 1875 or…

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Jesse James and the Civil War

Was Jesse James a famous “western outlaw” or is the story more complicated than that? Listen as Professor Nash takes us through James’ life and explains the centrality of the Civil War, and how the bitterness enhanced by the civil war motivated his post-war life of crime. And how about Jesse James as a modern-day…

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Irish Things that are Actually British

It’s getting to be mid-March, and all good Buzzkillers’ minds turn towards things Irish. We have done shows before on St. Patrick and on the Irish Slaves Myth, which, of course, were quite serious and brought up important historical issues and themes. But this March we thought we’d be a little more light-hearted, yet probably…

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Making of the Non-Smoker

The “Non-Smoker” as a category of person seems obvious in the 21st century. But it wasn’t always this way. Professor Sarah Milov gives the history of the non-smoking movement, including the medical, legal, and political battles that eventually led to smoke-free public places. Hear about pressure groups like GASP, ASH, and the countless local movements…

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“Nazi” “Socialist”: What’s in a Name?

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 democratic socialists nowadays tarred with the “Nazi” brush by the talk radio circus…

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Woman Crush Wednesday! Irene Gut Opdyke

Seeing a German soldier killing an infant in 1942 was a transformative moment for Irene Gut, a young Polish nurse. She dedicated the rest of her wartime life to rescuing and hiding Jews, despite the some of the most harrowing circumstances imaginable. Listen to Professor Nash explain the life of a woman who truly deserves…

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Birthright Citizenship

A while ago, in the late 20th century, I was a junior year abroad student in Europe, doing my best to find some direction in life. It was an especially high and noisy time for American patriotism. And I remember distinctly one night in the college bar being asked by a fellow student, what, if…

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New Map of Empire in British North America

After the Treaty of Paris ended the Seven Years’ War in 1763, British America stretched from Hudson Bay to the Florida Keys, from the Atlantic coast to the Mississippi River, and across new islands in the West Indies. To better rule these vast dominions, Britain set out to map its new territories with unprecedented rigor…

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1964 Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking

Professor Sarah Milov explains the political and medical environments in which the 1964 US Surgeon General’s Report on dangers of smoking appeared in 1964. In addition to the medical and scientific concerns in producing the report, there were significant non-medical concerns and obstacles to overcome. One of the most significant of these was the political…

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