Professor Buzzkill History Podcast | History Myths and Misconceptions Buzzkilled!2021-07-27T10:35:12-04:00

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History Myths Buzzkilled

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is nearly here. The holiday has a fascinating history of its own, but the ways people have thought about the origins and history of Mother’s Day provides us a great opportunity here at the Buzzkill Institute to talk about the complications of history and memory. But it also gives us the chance to show how the history of Mother's Day is closely tied up with such important 19th and 20th century historical issues such as: the American Civil War; international campaigns for disarmament; and peace movements from the late 1860s to the 1920s. And I hope you’ll hear about some important people from the 19th and early 20th centuries who you may not have known, but who deserve a great deal more [...]

Dinner in Camelot: When Art, Literature, and Science Mattered in the United States

Joseph Esposito tells us about “the night America’s greatest scientist, writers, and scholars partied at the White House in April 1962. Listen to us discuss this glittering event, including the untold stories of controversy, protest, and personality clashes before, during, and after the famous dinner. This is a fascinating look at the workings of the social side of the Kennedy White House, and also how this dinner became mythologized in the Kennedy-Camelot legend. Episode 411. --- Buzzkill Bookshelf Joseph A. Esposito, Dinner in Camelot: The Night America's Greatest Scientists, Writers, and Scholars Partied at the Kennedy White House In April 1962, President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy hosted forty-nine Nobel Prize winners, along with many other prominent scientists, artists, and writers, at a famed White [...]

Immigration and “The Deportation Machine” in the United States

Professor Adam Goodman explains the unknown history of deportation and the fear that shapes immigrants' lives in the modern United States. He explains how federal, state, and local officials have targeted various groups for expulsion, from Chinese and Europeans at the turn of the twentieth century to Central Americans and Muslims today. A very timely show! Episode #410 Organizations mentioned on the show: American Civil Liberties Union United We Dream Raices: The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services Organized Communities Against Deportation --- Buzzkill Bookshelf Adam Goodman, The Deportation Machine: America's Long History of Expelling Immigrants Constant headlines about deportations, detention camps, and border walls drive urgent debates about immigration and what it means to be an American [...]

Warfare, Technology, Constitutions, and the Making of the Modern World

Professor Linda Colley gives us the first full integrative, as well as literary, examination of the written constitution globally. Tracing their rise to the mid-eighteenth century and the emergence of hybrid warfare (cross-continental battles waged on land and at sea), constitutions addressed a growing concern for rulers during the Enlightenment: popular support. Episode #409. Read Professor Jill Lepore’s review essay about Professor Colley’s “The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen: Warfare, Constitutions, and the Making of the Modern World” in The New Yorker here -> --- Buzzkill Bookshelf Linda Colley, The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen: Warfare, Constitutions, and the Making of the Modern World Vivid and magisterial, The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen reconfigures the rise of a modern world through [...]

The Munich Crisis, 1938

The Munich Crisis of 1938 had major diplomatic and political effects. It was also a "people’s crisis," and an event that gripped the world. Join Professors Richard Toye, Julie Gottlieb, and Daniel Hucker as they present new research and findings about this prelude to World War II. Episode #408 --- Buzzkill Bookshelf The Munich Crisis, politics and the people: International, transnational and comparative perspectives (Cultural History of Modern War) 1st Edition by Julie Gottlieb (Editor), Daniel Hucker (Editor), Richard Toye (Editor) The Munich Crisis of 1938 had major diplomatic as well as personal and psychological repercussions. As much as it was a climax in the clash between dictatorship and democracy, it was also a People’s Crisis and an event that gripped and worried the people [...]

The History of Concentration Camps

The development of concentration camps in world history is both compelling and distressing. Award-winning author and journalist, Andrea Pitzer, explains how and why human societies have come to use them so frequently. From 1890s Cuba to the detention camps in the 21st century USA, concentration camps have exposed the "savage practicality" used by governments and militaries. Episode #407. --- Buzzkill Bookshelf One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps A groundbreaking, haunting, and profoundly moving history of modernity's greatest tragedy: concentration camps. For over 100 years, at least one concentration camp has existed somewhere on Earth. First used as battlefield strategy, camps have evolved with each passing decade, in the scope of their effects and the savage practicality with which governments have employed them. [...]

“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 [...]


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