United States history with an edge. No academic nitwittery – just some really smart people discussing essential historical topics: political, social, cultural, and economic. Subscribe, listen, and join the conversation atTheRogueHistorian.com.
I am super stoked to speak with Evan about his new book, Living by Inches: The Smells, Sounds, Tastes, and Feeling of Captivity in Civil War Prisons - we take on the lived experience of POWs - what it smelled, sounded, and tasted like. Maybe you shouldn't listen before you eat :)
Chris and I discuss some of the finer points in public history.
Disclaimer: the views expressed on this episode of The Rogue Historian do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Park Service or Gettysburg National Military Park
Richard Bell’s new book, Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and Their Astonishing Odyssey Home, is a beautifully crafted narrative tracing the story of five young boys - free African Americans from Philadelphia - who were kidnapped and sold into slavery in the 1820s.
Greetings! Today I am reviewing Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow. by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Black people - their voices, their aspirations, their actions - take center stage in Gates’s book, and rightfully so. Have a listen.
Julio and I discuss his book Welcome to Fairyland: Queer Miami before 1940 - about a city that embraced gender and sexuality difference long before the 1969 Stonewall Uprising. This is fascinating stuff that helps broaden our understanding of a transnational borderland.
The United States is currently in the midst of an opioid crisis...but it's not the first time this has happened. I speak with Jonathan Jones about "opium slavery" and Civil War veterans. Tragic indeed.
It was great to have Diane on the show...we discussed her latest book, Aberration of Mind: Suicide and Suffering in the Civil War Era South. And...she schooled me on some stuff about which I was misinformed. I love it when that happens :)
I was very happy to speak with Matt Clavin, a professor of history at the University of Houston. We take on his most recent publication, The Battle of Negro Fort: The Rise and Fall of a Fugitive Slave Community. Listen up y'all - this is a very good show.
I'm stoked to welcome Pat to the show - when he not at work practicing immigration law in New York, he's busy blogging some first-rate stuff on the Civil War and Reconstruction. You'll for sure know him the Immigrant's Civil War series and the Reconstruction Era blog.
We get right down to discussing the finer points of 19th-century masculinity during and following the Civil War and how soldiers’ damaged minds and bodies compromised Victorian standards of masculinity.
I am always happy to speak with folks who have an interesting and innovative approach to exploring their passion for history. Today I speak with Todd Adyelotte - an ultrarunner who traces some of New York City's most salient historical events...one mile at a time!
It's great to welcome Kevin BACK to the show...we discuss his new book, Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth - and get down to why the myth is so compelling to so many. We also talk about blogging as academics and using social media effectively. Listen up!!
Ronald D. Kirkwood's new study, “Too Much for Human Endurance”: The George Spangler Farm Hospitals and the Battle of Gettysburg, really helps us understand the significance of a vital piece of farmland just east of the Union line on Cemetery Ridge.
I was very pleased to speak with Dr. Victoria Bynum...who wrote the book The Free State of Jones, which inspired the Matthew McConaughey film of the same name. But the story, as you will see, goes a lot deeper than what the movie covers. We talk about the history and memory of Jones county, and of course, the film.
I read this book straight through with increased interest at every turn of the page…and I don’t want to spoil the intricacies of the ending. Let’s just say that Gayle used the “I was just kidding” defense and well…he was not among those on the gallows when justice was finally served...so go figure.
I believe you will come away from this talk, as I did, with an understanding that despite our differences, we can absolutely sit down and have an honest conversation about the past. Like Robert Lee says…perhaps we should think less about passion and more about compassion…that’s at least a place to start...
Today we discussed Pamela's book Heroines of Mercy Street: The Real Nurses of the Civil War. This is the book tie-in to the popular PBS series Mercy Street, which follows the stories of Civil War nurses, doctors, and civilians in Alexandria, Virginia.
There are a number of remarkable things about this collection of edited Civil War letters, not the least of which is the gender negotiation between a prisoner of war and his wife behind the lines. Check this out - especially if you enjoy reading things that make you think about complexity.
Why does the Battle of Gettysburg loom so large in the American historical consciousness? Find out why it does (and a bunch of other stuff too) as I welcome Matt Callery of the Addressing Gettysburg Podcast to the show!
Alex and I have a great discussion about his books: Six Days in September and The Guns of September...all concerning the 1862 Maryland Campaign during the Civil War...and listen closely :) Some other cool stuff comes up too...
Well if you're unfamiliar with the term "Boothie" now's your chance to learn something new...and quite fascinating. Dave is indeed a self-styled Boothie. Once a derogatory term used to dismiss those who studied Lincoln's assassin, he's reclaimed it and has dedicated his historical pursuits to the study of the man and the conspiracy - as part of a serious scholarly effort to add to the comprehensive narrative of the nation's martyred president.
Well...we start with all this, but there is a lot more to the show including the discussion of an NYC literary movement and the movie biz...good stuff to be sure. Kevin is the author or editor of seven books all dealing with New York history in the teens and twenties
Jamie Goodall gives us a ton of insight about public history...and then we talk about pirates. Because pirates. Listen!! You'll learn about things ranging from pirate subterfuge to personal branding...who knew??
Historical interpretation is something near and dear to my heart so I am especially pleased to welcome Jake Wynn to the show. Jake is the Director of Interpretation at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederick, Maryland...and we have tons to discuss when it comes to public history. Listen!!! You can thank me later :)
Wow! If you've ever wanted to know what goes on behind the scenes when it comes to the publication of the founders' historical papers - this show is for you. And we don't stop there. I'm a big fan of popular culture - so we talk about how John Adams on the screen stacks up to John Adams the man. Good stuff, my friends.
Fashion fiends, history buffs, political junkies - the show you've all been waiting for has arrived. I am very happy to be able to speak with Roxy Haji and Kimi Gallegos of Old News Company about the intersection of fashion, history, and political discourse. We bring it all in...bi-partisanship, controversy, the fine line between commemoration and trivialization, and maybe a few words about James Buchanan.
There a whole lot more to community activism and the Black Panther Party than what you might know from the iconic photographs - and I speak with Holly Genovese (who by the way has mad time management skillz) about this fascinating group and their efforts supporting the Angola Three in Louisiana.
Taking history to the streets. Why the hell not. I mean, what better way to learn about the past than by going to check it out in person? Maybe grab a beer? Maybe talk some smack? Count me in 100%. There are few things more tantalizing to yours truly that getting together with the public and walking in the footsteps of those who made history. Doug and I see eye to eye on this. This is what history is about. Let’s get it!
Have you ever stopped to wonder if that thing from history you knew to be true was just a bunch of bullshit? A famous quote...a questionable detail about someone's life...a significant theme in the historical narrative? Man...just imagine if all of that was just important sounding nonsense. Today I talk with Joseph "Professor Buzzkill" Coohill about myths in history - why they are important and how we can spot them. Trust me, they're everywhere...and they can be dangerous.
I will talk about history books all freakin' day. This is why I am especially happy to welcome Bob to the show. I noticed recently that he was giving a talk on three significant authors and their contributions to Confederate historiography...so naturally, I had to have him on the show. Under the microscope today: Douglas Southall Freeman, T. Harry Williams, and C. Vann Woodward.
It might be easy to overlook the Dakota War of 1862...as the conflict is greatly overshadowed by the Civil War. But John Legg, soon to embark on the journey to obtain his master's degree in history, helps us correct this issue...by connecting the war to the broader Civil War era historiography. We discuss commemoration and reconciliation in the Minnesota River Valley - and even get down to brass tacks over naming. After all, it is the origin of all particular things :) Have a listen.
John and I talk about all kinds of things including...tattoos of course, and lots of other stuff. Most important, how we see the future of the discipline, what it means to challenge the tradition of academia, and how we reach a broader audience.
We are shifting focus as of 2018...new episodes will feature interviews AND movie reviews AND book reviews AND lots of other interesting things beyond the standard history podcast format. Yay. For this episode, co-host Coni Constantine, creator of Lady Balls Nation and joins me for a discussion of a truly remarkable film: Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. There's lots of insight on this episode...check it out.
This week we talk with George Mason University Ph.D. candidate Eric Gonzaba about his work with two absolutely fascinating digital archives: Wearing Gay History and the Rainbow History Project. If there has ever been a great case for exploring how textiles and other material culture can help us understand currents of history, this is it. We also get into Eric's research on African American and Queer nightlife in the latter third of the 20th century.
Peeps - this is a super fascinating story...tracing the history of Asian Americans from Chinese immigration and the exclusion act to Japanese internment and well beyond. Ellen explains how Asians went from being mostly reviled in the United States to the "model minority." You need to listen to this. Seriously.
Holla!!! We're back!!! After a second semester hiatus I am very happy to return to the podcasting world with Maggie Yancey. Maggie is a Ph.D candidate at the University of Tennessee (her home state) and is finishing up her dissertation on Civil War era liquor and identity. As you might imagine, there is so much more to this than I had expected, and Maggie certainly fills me in. But we talk about so much other stuff...from yoga to comfort food to the state of academia. This is a must listen for history peeps and anyone who is thinking about life beyond a post graduate degree. We have some laughs on this one, and Maggie calls someone a dirty name...guess who...? (snicker)
Wow - so if you ever wanted to know about mid-19th century Irish immigration and Irish involvement in the American Civil War this is your guy. We discuss all kinds of stuff, including Damian's most recent book, The Forgotten Irish. I had a great time speaking with Damian - I am more than certain you will enjoy the talk too. SO LISTEN UP :)
I could talk about this stuff all day (well, I sort of do...) and so I am thrilled to offer this fascinating conversation with Alexis Hlavaty. I think most are unaware of how vibrant the free black community was in New Orleans during the antebellum years - and we talk about why these folks are relatively unknown today. We also get way into the radicals after the war in the Reconstruction period and all the way to the infamous Plessy case. Just for fun - and I won't spoil it - but Alexis hits us with some straight up controversy right away (hint: neo-Confederates be warned...). So listen up. This is important stuff.
I love speaking with my fellow high school teachers - and I am thrilled to have such an inspiring educator on the show. Chris and I have collaborated in the past, and I am looking forward to some upcoming projects - we talk about those AND how he gets his students actively engaged both in and out of the classroom. You'll want to listen especially to Chris's experiences with a Rogue Historian alum - Joe McGill...kind of a once in a lifetime thing.
There is really no way that we, as Americans in the 21st century, will ever know what it was really like to experience what slaves did in the Ante-Bellum South. However, we can get closer to understanding it - archival research is a good start. But, as Joe McGill illustrates, the actual slaves dwellings, many of which are still standing, offer a great deal of the story - and engaging with the physical artifact can only add to our understanding. In this episode, Joe explains his Slave Dwelling Project - an effort to educate about the realities of slavery and his campaign to save the places where slaves lived their lives. Joe is also a living historian - recreating a soldier from the famous 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment. We talk a great deal about Black men in the Civil War - both North and South. So if you think about it, this is two-for-one episode. Enjoy!!
Toni is a historian and genealogist who is doing some outstanding work researching the lives of slaves and former slaves in the so-called Low Country. If you do not know where that is then you need to listen - like right now. I am really happy to finally get to talk with Toni about how she connects people with their ancestors and all of the things she is doing with African American public history.
Okay so we took a short break to recover from the election. 'Nuff said. But we're back and I am freakin' stoked to be talking digital history with Patrick Lewis - director of the Civil War Governors of Kentucky Digital Documentary project. Yo, this is some of the most innovative work in the digital humanities that I have ever encountered. Peeps - pay attention and follow suit. State archivists should especially listen - you will be doing yourself (and researchers) a favor.
The 1915 silent film, The Birth of a Nation, is about as controversial as a film can get. Why? Because racism. What you might not know is that the film is based in part on a novel - a historical romance, really - written by Thomas Dixon. The name of the book is The Clansman...and it is some of the most vile racist propaganda of its day. Today we talk to historian Lynn Lyerly, who is currently working on a book about Dixon, and sort through the heritage of racism and its legacy. Listen...and pay attention. This shit is important, yo.
You know what? Banjo music makes me happy. So I am super stoked to have Dusty on the show - he is a first-rate banjo player and a really cool dude. Dusty plays NINE instruments - can you believe it? Today we are focusing on the banjo - its origins and some different playing styles in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Cool shit, yo - have a listen.
I'm stoked because today I got to interview my old friend Mike Sonksen - well known to the world as Mike the PoeT. Mike is a third-generation Angeleno (a rarity in Los Angeles) and is dedicated - through his work as a historian, teacher, writer, and performer - to connecting the many dots that are LA.
Next time you find yourself humming the melody to John Brown's Body in line at the grocery store - make sure to think over what Christian says about Civil War music...it's more than just the backdrop to the shooting.
From time to time you will read about the small (relatively) battles that took place in the far West during the Civil War. Historians seldom mention these, and when they do - they usually gloss over the events as little more than interesting anecdotes. I challenge Megan Kate Nelson, who is writing a book on the subject, to explain why these little engagements are so important...and she dose. Look out!
We all think we know about the great victories of the movement to secure voting rights in the 1950s and 1960s. What if you found out that there were some unintended consequences of this movement? Would that blow you mind? Because it blew mine! Let's see what my friend Julian Hayter has to say about the subject.
You may have heard people talk about the thousands of black Confederate soldiers who filled the ranks of southern armies during the Civil War. Well...those people are confused. There really no evidence at all that these folks existed - no matter how badly some folks would like them to have been on board with the Rebel cause. I recently had a talk with Kevin Levin - who knows more than most on this subject - especially why this is such a persistent myth.