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Published October 24, 2018

Since 2008, BackStory, Virginia Humanities’ American history podcast, has provided listeners with a weekly deep-dive into the past, using current events as an opportunity to offer lively historical views of today’s headlines in the context of history.

In honor of their tenth anniversary, we asked hosts Ed Ayers, Brian Balogh, Nathan Connolly, and Joanne Freeman and host-emeritus Peter Onuf for their favorite episodes and compiled them into this top ten list.

Ed Ayers

Tucker-Boatwright Professor of the Humanities at the University of Richmond

Rare History Well Done: Meat in America (2016 rebroadcast)


Shock of the New
: The legacy of the 1893 World’s Fair (2018)

Brian Balogh

Professor of History at the University of Virginia

Color Lines: Racial passing in America (2016)


City Upon a Hill:
A history of American exceptionalism (2012)

Joanne Freeman

Professor of History and American Studies at Yale University

The Battle for Charlottesville’s Soul: One year later, a community looks back (2018)


Fit to Print:
A History of Fake News (2018)

Nathan Connolly

Herbert Baxter Adams Associate Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University

Behind the Bylines: Advocacy Journalism in America (2018)


Revisionist Climate:
Americans and the atmosphere (2017)

Peter Onuf

Thomas Jefferson Foundation Professor of History, Emeritus, at the University of Virginia

Land of the Free:  The history of incarceration in the U.S. (segment from 2005)


War of 1812:
Which one was that? (2012)

Learn More

Listen to more BackStory episodes and subscribe to their podcast at BackStoryRadio.org »

Vanessa Adkins, right, is apprenticing under her cousin Jessica Canaday Stewart learning the finer points of traditional Chickahominy dancing. Photos taken at the Fall Festival and Pow Wow in Charles City on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012.

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