The Pizza Effect

Yes, it’s me, your favorite professor, here to get you back on the straight and narrow. Today I’m going to talk about something called “the pizza effect,” but it’s not the effect that pizza has on our collective waistlines. The pizza effect is something that affects our thinking about the history and origins of foods,…

Read More

Vietnam: War and History

Professor Phil Nash explains the history of Vietnam in the 20th century, and the very complicated ways in which it was torn apart by war and civil war throughout the mid-century. Along the way, we learn about the deep complications in the history of the Vietnam War that have allowed myths and misconceptions to solidify.…

Read More

Great October Revolution – 100th Anniversary

The Russian Revolution of 1917 was one of the most important events in the 20th century. Professor Nash joins us to untangle the extremely complicated history of Russian politics between 1905 and 1917. He tells us what happened and why. Why, for instance, were there so many revolutions (or “state coups”) between the Russo-Japanese War…

Read More

Programmed Inequality: Women and British Computing

Professor Marie Hicks joins us to talk about gender and employment in the emerging field of computing in Britain, and all the historical myths that surround them. In 1944, Britain led the world in electronic computing. By 1974, the British computer industry was all but extinct. We examine why this happened in the tense post-war…

Read More

The Irish Slaves Myth

Ah, Buzzkillers, all of you know the depth of my love/hate relationship with the internet. On the one hand, I love the internet and the crazy history stories that fly around it via email and blog posts. They provide grist for the Buzzkill Institute mill, and, of course, keep us floated financially, as well as…

Read More

Cause of the Civil War

Cause. Singular. Not plural. We talk about the cause of the American Civil War because there was one overwhelming cause — slavery. Not tariff disputes. Not states’ rights. The Civil War was fought over the preservation of slavery in the south and its expansion to the west. But, perhaps no other aspect of the history…

Read More

Confederate Statues, Memorials, and Flags

When and why were statues to Confederate soldiers, generals, and politicians put up across the American south? Why is the Confederate Battle Flag so proudly waved and displayed in many parts of the US? Professor Nash joins us to explain why all of this happened, who was selected for commemoration, and what it all means…

Read More

The KKK: History and Myths

No one actually cares why I started this show, Buzzkillers. But I did so because I worried about the strength with which cultures seem to hold on to historical myths. That strength seemed to be one of the things that affected our thinking and, sometimes, the way we acted, and perhaps even the way we…

Read More

Trump Fire and Fury, Truman Rain of Ruin

Ah, Buzzkillers, it’s one thing for the internet and email to provide us with topics to follow-up (especially those emails from your nutty uncle), but it’s another thing entirely when the Buzzkill Institute get inundated with phone calls, text messages, and panicked faxes after President Trump’s recent response to North Korea’s nuclear threats. You remember…

Read More

The JFK Legacy

Professor Phil Nash joins us for part three of our examination of John F. Kennedy in the 100th anniversary of his birth. This episode looks at how the JFK legacy was constructed in the immediate aftermath of the assassination in 1963, how it was burnished by the first generation of Kennedy historians, and how it…

Read More