Professor Buzzkill History Podcast | American and World History Myths Buzzkilled!2020-01-21T12:05:00-05:00

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History Myths Buzzkilled

Felice and Boudleaux Bryant

It’s Tuesday, and this is a combined Man Crush Monday and Woman Crush Wednesday! Today we’re going to look at a couple, Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, who were a driving creative force behind perhaps the biggest popular music revolution in American history in the 1950s. Often called the first professional songwriters in Nashville, the Byants wrote songs for The Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, and nearly every aspiring singing act of the 1950s. Younger Buzzkillers will just have to ask their grandparents who the Everly Brothers were, and who Buddy Holly was. In some cases, their grandparents will respond, “they were popular when your great-grandparents were young.” If your grandparents or great-grandparents are in the house somewhere while you’re listening to me on the radio, call [...]

The Professor Gets Personal!

Today’s episode is special! It’s an interview I gave to Colin Woodward from the American Rambler podcast. Among other things, we talk about how I started doing the show, and about the nature of historical myths and how damaging they can be. Colin even drags a few personal things out of me! Lady Buzzkill will be horrified! --- Buzzkill Bookshelf Joseph Coohill, Ideas of the Liberal Party: Perceptions, Agendas and Liberal Politics in the House of Commons, 1832-1852 Ideas of the Liberal Party: Perceptions, Agendas, and Liberal Politics in the House of Commons, 1832-1852 utilizes previous unexamined archival material of backbench members of parliament to reveal the emergence and development of early-to mid-nineteenth century liberalism. It analyzes crucial votes in the House of Commons to [...]

Man Crush Monday – Umrao Singh

Umrao Singh was one of thirty-one British Indian Army soldiers awarded the Victoria Cross during WWII, and was the only NCO in Royal Artillery or Royal Indian Artillery to receive a VC during WWII. On the night of 15-16 Dec 1944, Singh commanded a field gun detachment close to front. His defense of his position and his counter-attack on Japanese forces was heroic and has become legendary. But listen to our Man Crush Monday to get the full story! --- Buzzkill Bookshelf Tarak Barkaw, Soldiers of Empire: Indian and British Armies in World War II Re-imagining the study of armed forces and society, Barkawi examines the imperial and multinational armies that fought in Asia in the Second World War, especially the British Indian army in [...]

Truman Assassination Attempt

Puerto Rican nationalists tried to assassinate President Harry Truman in 1950. Then, in 1954, different Puerto Rican Nationalists opened fire in the House of Representatives, wounding Congressmen. Professor Perry Blatz joins us to explain the background to Puerto Rican nationalism and its impact on US political life in the mid-20th century. Listen and learn! --- Buzzkill Bookshelf Stephen Hunter and John Bainbridge Jr, American Gunfight: The Plot to Kill President Truman--and the Shoot-out That Stopped It

Quote or No Quote: “The Pen is Mightier Than the Sword”

Ah, I’m a Romantic at heart. And, apart from seeing the sunlight glinting through Lady Buzzkill’s golden tresses, the thing I like best in this world is hearing from you, dear listeners. And I’ve certainly heard from a lot of you recently. We did a Woman Crush Wednesday show on the great Chinese revolutionary writer, Qiu Jin, and I ended the episode wondering whether her life showed that the pen was indeed mightier than the sword. Many of you wrote in asking me to trace that very phrase, “the pen is mightier than the sword” for a Quote or No Quote episode. Was it Shakespeare, Voltaire, or Thomas Jefferson? Some of you have even seen it attributed to Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, and that famous [...]

Income Tax and Inequality in US History

Income Tax and Inequality in US History Income tax is a troubling issue in American politics and history. We explain its long and complicated history, and delve into the even more complicated history of how personal income tax has related to the question of equality and inequality in US society. Professor Nash tells us how the American government has raised funds for peacetime needs and, of course, times of war. It’s not a simple tale of taxes rising as the country grew and the US government grew. Taxation is perhaps the most difficult thing to explain in American governmental history, but we make it easy to understand. --- Buzzkill Bookshelf W. Elliot Brownlee, Federal Taxation in America: A History This authoritative and readable survey is [...]

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 1877 (experts disagree on the exact date), Qiu Jin grew up in a fairly traditional Chinese household, had her feet bound as a young woman, was placed in an arranged marriage, and had two children in quick succession. As a young woman, however, she was able to study Chinese literature, as well as martial arts. She not only studied both (and celebrated Chinese heroes from the past), she became active [...]

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 Robin Hood? We explore that myth and how the celebration of Frank and Jesse James has been based on hype, hatred, and histrionics.  --- Buzzkill Bookshelf T.J. Stiles, Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War In this brilliant biography T. J. Stiles offers a new understanding of the legendary outlaw Jesse James. Although he has often been portrayed as a Robin Hood of the old west, in this ground-breaking [...]


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