Professor Buzzkill History Podcast | History Myths and Misconceptions Buzzkilled!2020-12-01T08:17:27-05:00

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History Myths Buzzkilled

The Myth of the 1938 War of the Worlds Radio Panic

A 1938 radio play based on H.G. Wells' novel, The War of the Worlds, supposedly panicked America. The Martians were invading! People went hysterical and ran for their lives! Or did they? Listen to Professors Jefferson Pooley and Michael Socolow explain what really happened. Episode #387. --- J.E. Hayes, K. Battles, and W. Hilton-Morrow (eds.), War of the Worlds to Social Media: Mediated Communication in Times of Crisis Decades after the infamous broadcast, does War of the Worlds still matter? This book answers with a resounding yes! Contributors revisit the broadcast event in order to reconsider its place as a milestone in media history, and to explore its role as a formative event for understanding citizens’ media use in times of crisis. Uniquely focused on [...]

Buzzkill Bookshelf – J.E. Hayes, K. Battles, and W. Hilton-Morrow (eds.), War of the Worlds to Social Media: Mediated Communication in Times of Crisis

Decades after the infamous broadcast, does War of the Worlds still matter? This book answers with a resounding yes! Contributors revisit the broadcast event in order to reconsider its place as a milestone in media history, and to explore its role as a formative event for understanding citizens’ media use in times of crisis. Uniquely focused on the continuities between radio’s «new» media moment and our contemporary era of social media, the collection takes War of the Worlds as a starting point for investigating key issues in twenty-first-century communication, including: the problem of misrepresentation in mediated communication; the importance of social context for interpreting communication; and the dynamic role of listeners, viewers and users in talking back to media producers and institutions. By examining the [...]

October Surprises in US Presidential Elections

There seem to have been a lot of October Surprises in American Presidential elections since the 1940s. And there have been different types of October Surprises, for different reasons, and with different motivations. But have they ever seriously affected the election results? Our political history genius, Professor Philip Nash, explains all! Episode #386 --- Buzzkill Bookshelf Joseph Cummins, Anything for a Vote: Dirty Tricks, Cheap Shots, and October Surprises Today's political pundits express shock and disappointment when candidates resort to negative campaigning. But history reveals that smear campaigns are as American as apple pie. Anything for a Vote is an illustrated look at 200-plus years of dirty tricks and bad behavior in presidential elections from George Washington to G. W. Bush. Highlights include: 1836: Congressman [...]

Buzzkill Bookshelf – Joseph Cummins, Anything for a Vote: Dirty Tricks, Cheap Shots, and October Surprises

Today's political pundits express shock and disappointment when candidates resort to negative campaigning. But history reveals that smear campaigns are as American as apple pie. Anything for a Vote is an illustrated look at 200-plus years of dirty tricks and bad behavior in presidential elections from George Washington to G. W. Bush. Highlights include: 1836: Congressman Davy Crockett accuses candidate Martin Van Buren of secretly wearing women's clothing: "He is laced up in corsets!" 1912: Theodore Roosevelt is shot in the chest while preparing to give a campaign speech, then proceeds to deliver it anyway: "I don t know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot, but it takes more than that to kill a bull moose!" 1960: President Harry Truman advises [...]

How Americans Became Political Junkies

Dr. Claire Bond Potter explains how Americans became political junkies in the 20th and 21st centuries. From talk radio to Twitter, she shows us how alternative media hooked us on politics and broke our democracy. Listen right away! Episode #385 --- Buzzkill Bookshelf Claire Bond Potter, Political Junkies: From Talk Radio to Twitter, How Alternative Media Hooked Us on Politics and Broke Our Democracy A wide-ranging history of seventy years of change in political media, and how it transformed -- and fractured -- American politics With fake news on Facebook, trolls on Twitter, and viral outrage everywhere, it's easy to believe that the internet changed politics entirely. In Political Junkies, historian Claire Bond Potter shows otherwise, revealing the roots of today's dysfunction by situating online [...]

Buzzkill Bookshelf – Claire Bond Potter, Political Junkies: From Talk Radio to Twitter, How Alternative Media Hooked Us on Politics and Broke Our Democracy

A wide-ranging history of seventy years of change in political media, and how it transformed -- and fractured -- American politics With fake news on Facebook, trolls on Twitter, and viral outrage everywhere, it's easy to believe that the internet changed politics entirely. In Political Junkies, historian Claire Bond Potter shows otherwise, revealing the roots of today's dysfunction by situating online politics in a longer history of alternative political media. From independent newsletters in the 1950s to talk radio in the 1970s to cable television in the 1980s, pioneers on the left and right developed alternative media outlets that made politics more popular, and ultimately, more partisan. When campaign operatives took up e-mail, blogging, and social media, they only supercharged these trends. At a time [...]

The Electoral College in US History

What is the "electoral college" and how does it work? Why was it created? Was it created to protect slavery and slave states in the 18th century? Is the current electoral college what the Founders intended? And what can Americans do about this broken and abused relic? Prof Philip Nash explains all! Episode #383. Here’s the link to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC): https://www.nationalpopularvote.com/ --- Buzzkill Bookshelf Alexander Keyssar, Why Do We Still Have the Electoral College? With every presidential election, Americans puzzle over the peculiar mechanism of the Electoral College. The author of the Pulitzer finalist The Right to Vote explains the enduring problem of this controversial institution. Every four years, millions of Americans wonder why they choose their presidents through the [...]

Buzzkill Bookshelf – Alexander Keyssar, Why Do We Still Have the Electoral College?

With every presidential election, Americans puzzle over the peculiar mechanism of the Electoral College. The author of the Pulitzer finalist The Right to Vote explains the enduring problem of this controversial institution. Every four years, millions of Americans wonder why they choose their presidents through the Electoral College, an arcane institution that permits the loser of the popular vote to become president and narrows campaigns to swing states. Most Americans have long preferred a national popular vote, and Congress has attempted on many occasions to alter or scuttle the Electoral College. Several of these efforts―one as recently as 1970―came very close to winning approval. Yet this controversial system remains. Alexander Keyssar explains its persistence. After tracing the Electoral College’s tangled origins at the Constitutional Convention, [...]

Fake News in American History

Professor Michelle Nickerson explains the complicated and compelling history of the news media in US history, and the changing development of "fake news." She also helps us understand what to do about it! Episode #382. Our listeners get a free trial at The Great Courses Plus! Click here to go to thegreatcoursesplus.com/buzzkill !! --- Buzzkill Bookshelf James W. Cortada and William Aspray, Fake News Nation: The Long History of Lies and Misinterpretations in America Cortada and Aspray examine how rumors, lies, and misrepresentations shaped American history. After the election of Donald Trump as president, people in the United States and across large swaths of Europe, Latin America, and Asia engaged in the most intensive discussion in modern times about falsehoods pronounced by public officials. Fake [...]

Buzzkill Bookshelf – James W. Cortada and William Aspray, Fake News Nation: The Long History of Lies and Misinterpretations in America

Cortada and Aspray examine how rumors, lies, and misrepresentations shaped American history. After the election of Donald Trump as president, people in the United States and across large swaths of Europe, Latin America, and Asia engaged in the most intensive discussion in modern times about falsehoods pronounced by public officials. Fake facts in their various forms have long been present in American life, particularly in its politics, public discourse, and business activities – going back to the time when the country was formed. This book explores the long tradition of fake facts, in their various guises, in American history. It is one of the first historical studies to place the long history of lies and misrepresentation squarely in the middle of American political, business, and [...]

Mark Twain: “A Lie Can Travel Halfway Around the World Before the Truth Puts On its Shoes” – Quote or No Quote?

Like all good and sentient Americans, I have been reading Dr. Heather Cox Richardson’s “Letters from an American,” and watching her Facebook Live and YouTube “History and Politics” talks, where she ties current events to their historical backgrounds and puts them in context. Not only is Professor Richardson one of the most notable historians in the United States, her selfless public outreach during her career has made her one of the most important intellectuals in 21st century America. I’ve put links to her work for you in the blog post for this episode. In a show about “fake news” a few weeks ago, Dr. Richardson mentioned that the quote “a lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth puts on its shoes” is [...]


 

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