Welcome to Impressions of America, a podcast on modern American history, presented by Simon, Tobi and Vaughn. We cover the changing political discourse since the 1950s. From the Cronkite years to Trump. You can also follow us on Twitter @USAimpressions
Simon, Tobi and Vaughn are joined by Pulitzer Prize winning scholar and critic Louis Menand to discuss his latest book The Free World: Art and Thought in the Cold War. To help us we are also joined by returning guest Alex Sayf Cummings.
Simon, Tobi and Vaughn wish you all a happy July 4th, talk about Joe Biden’s first (roughly) 6 months in charge, and then discuss patriotic films. Also, Vaughn drinks and Simon loses track of Vaughn’s swearing.
Tobi is joined by Professor Victor Pickard to talk about the origins and unraveling of the Fairness Doctrine. They also discuss the origins of the FCC, the limits of media regulation in the mid 20th century and how the Fairness Doctrine was eventually removed.
Simon, Tobi and Vaughn are joined by friend of the show Jeff Lucia to look at Boston on Film, with a focus on six films that depict the city. This is the second episode of our America on Film series - our previous episode was on New York on Film.
Simon, Tobi and Vaughn start a new series of episodes looking at some key American cities on film. And we’re starting with New York! We each picked 3 films to talk about that capture the energy of New York, as well as discussing the city and the topic in broader terms.
The intro to this episode features music and film clips from New York movies, including use of a montage from Movieclips Trailers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0_rHbGCpLU&list=LL&index=2&t=53s
Simon, Tobi and Vaughn look at the life and career of legendary news anchor Walter Cronkite, from his early years as a journalist covering the Second World War, through his time on television in the 1950s and onto becoming the news anchor for CBS in the 1960s where he reported on some of the biggest stories of the 20th century, including the assassination of President Kennedy, the Vietnam War, and the Moon landing. Also, can Vaughn connect Walter Cronkite to It’s a Wonderful Life? Find out at the end of this episode.
Simon is joined by historian Joshua Tait to discuss the New Conservatives who came about after the Second World War. We talk about the origins of the movement, its key figures and what happened after the movement died. We also look at the Republican party of today and discuss Trump’s impact.
It finally happened; Vaughn has got her episode on Star Wars! We look at the films and TV shows of the Star Wars universe and discuss how they reflect American history. We also go in depth on some of the key philosophical and political themes of Star Wars. Plus, make sure to stick around to the end of the episode to listen to some Star Wars hot takes from Vaughn (including her defence of the prequels).
Simon, Tobi and Vaughn discuss President Biden’s first 100 days in office and look at his successes and failures. We also look at the continued adventures of the Republican party and all the dreadful things they do. Also, how have the people of Scotland been doing without the Duke of Edinburgh around to lead them? Simon gives an update.
Simon, Tobi and Vaughn each pick candidates for Conservative and Liberal Halls of Fame. Stay tuned to the end when they discuss which fictional characters would also make it in. Also, Tobi turned out to be the least cynical person on this topic - who saw that coming?
Simon, Tobi and Vaughn are joined by investigative journalist Michael Isikoff to discuss his role in investigating the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal. Stay tuned to the end of the episode for the co-hosts discussing their thoughts on their trilogy of shows on Bill Clinton.
Simon, Tobi and Vaughn are joined by author Ben Railton to discuss his latest book Of Thee I Sing: The Contested History of American Patriotism. We also chat about wider themes of patriotism and nationalism, as well as discussing specific individuals, from Andrew Jackson and Donald Trump, to Colin Kaepernick and Ronald Reagan.
Simon, Tobi and Vaughn look at Bill Clinton’s time in office – specifically his first term, the 1994 mid-terms and the Republican Revolution. We also briefly look at the 1996 election, meaning Vaughn gets to discuss Ross Perot again. We also cover the Waco Siege and Tobi solves history.
Simon, Tobi and Vaughn are joined by Alex Hochuli from the Aufhebunga Bunga Podcast to discuss the New Democrats and their rise in the late 80s and early 90s. We also chat with Alex about his new book The End of the End of History. Also, Vaughn gets to talk about her favourite subject: Ross Perot.
Simon, Tobi and Vaughn discuss the events of January 6th where Trump supporters stormed the United States Capitol. We also look at what it means for America to see Washington, D.C. under attack. Later in the episode we look at the Georgia runoff election results and what they mean for President-elect Joe Biden. And finally we wildly speculate on what these events may mean for the future of the Republican party.
In this special Christmas episode, Simon, Tobi and Vaughn look at Vaughn’s PHD thesis on post-war Christmas films and later in the episode they play some Christmas games, including Vaughn deciding the greatest Christmas film ever made. Also, is Australia a legitimate country? Tobi has some thoughts.
Simon, Tobi and Vaughn look at the three most recent presidents to lose an election - Jimmy Carter in 1980, George H. Bush in 1992 and Donald Trump in 2020. Also, Simon goes on a journey to understand whether Ross Perot was a Himbo or not.
Simon, Tobi and Vaughn react to Joe Biden being projected as the winner of the 2020 election. This episode also looks at some of the key states in the election, Trump's reaction to Biden being declared the winner and Rudy Giuliani's visit to Four Seasons Total Landscaping.
In this episode, Simon, Tobi and Vaughn are joined by Peter Robinson, a speechwriter for Ronald Reagan, to discuss the 1984 election. Also stick around to the end of the episode where we give some thoughts on our trilogy of shows on Ronald Reagan.
In this episode, Simon, Tobi and Vaughn discuss the 2020 Democratic National Convention, as well as Kamala Harris being picked as the VP candidate. They also look ahead to the Republican National Convention and discuss another interesting week for President Trump.
Here is the link to the article mentioned in the episode on voting options in every state https://impressionsofamerica.com/2020/08/15/voting-options-in-every-state/
In this episode, Simon, Tobi and Vaughn look at the Christian Right in the second episode of their trilogy of shows on Ronald Reagan. This episode explores the political and social climate that lead to evangelicals forming an alliance with the Republican party and the role religion played in Ronald Reagan's 1980 presidential campaign. We also look at Reagan's response to the AIDS crisis and the role religion has played in politics in the decades following Reagan.
To celebrate the launch of our new website www.ImpressionsOfAmerica.com we've done a bonus episode focusing on Vaughn's Book Corner - featuring The President Is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson and Too Much and Never Enough by Mary L. Trump.
A special thanks to Tim Fransen for creating the website.
In this episode, Simon, Tobi and Vaughn are joined by Richard Barbrook and Alex Sayf Cummings to discuss the "Californian Ideology", an essay co-authored by Richard in 1995 which was a critique of dotcom neoliberalism.
In this special episode we're joined by Rasheed (@phreedomjawn) to discuss the events going in in America right now around the death of George Floyd and the protests that have been taking place all around America.
In this episode, Simon, Tobi and Vaughn discuss the novel The President Is Missing, written by Bill Clinton and James Patterson. They also talk about Klobuchar being vetted for Vice President and another lively few days for Trump.
In this episode, Simon, Tobi and Vaughn discuss who might be Biden's pick for VP, what the hell is going on in America right now, the possible death of Kim Jong-un and near the end of the episode there's some "Breaking News" on Mitt Romney and who he is backing in the 2020 election.
In this episode, Simon and Tobi look at the 1968 Presidential election between Richard Nixon, Hubert Humphrey and George Wallace, and specifically the issue of Law and Order which dominated the election.
In this episode, Simon and Tobi are joined by Taeil (@Judge_T234 on Twitter) to discuss the 2018 film Vice film, which looks at the life of Dick Cheney. We also chat about Taeil's own experience of being a Marine over in Iraq.
In this episode we chat with Angie Maxwell, co-author of The Long Southern Strategy. We discuss the history of the Southern Strategy and dive into the coded language of the Republicans when discussing race, the role of Southern white women in the strategy and the large role Christianity plays in shaping the identity of southern politics. We also look ahead to 2020 and how the extreme views of Trump's Republican party could help turn Texas blue.
In this episode, Simon, Tobi and friend of the show Steve Lawes are joined by legendary illustrator Ralph Steadman to discuss Ralph's life and career, working with Hunter S. Thompson and the role of political art in society. And as always on the show, the topic of Richard Nixon is never far away.
In this episode we chat with Matt Christman from Chapo Trap House to discuss the radical left militant group The Weather Underground and the New Left of the 1960s and 1970s. We also discuss the current Democratic party and its failure to embrace the Left.
In this episode we interview music journalist, critic, and author Simon Reynolds and discuss his book Shock and Awe: Glam Rock and Its Legacy, as well as wider social themes connected to music and pop culture.
In this episode, Simon and Tobi are joined by author and historian Kevin Mattson to discuss Kevin's book "What the Heck Are You Up To, Mr. President?': Jimmy Carter, America's 'Malaise,' and the Speech That Should Have Changed the Country".
In this bonus episode, Simon and Tobi discuss everything from The Simpsons and The Social Network, to Richard Nixon and Donald Trump, as they talk about their own backgrounds, why they started the podcast and the future plans for the show.
In this episode, we look at the life of William F. Buckley Jr. and his impact on American politics, media and political discourse. We delve into the National Review, his debates with Gore Vidal and the legacy of Buckley, as well as his connections to Donald Trump and the modern GOP.