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The Road to Now

Bob Crawford (The Avett Brothers) & Dr. Ben Sawyer (MTSU History) share conversations with great thinkers from a variety of backgrounds – historians, artists, legal scholars, political figures and more –who help us uncover the many roads that run between past and present. For more information, visit TheRoadToNow.com If you'd like to support our work, join us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheRoadToNow
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Now displaying: September, 2021
Sep 27, 2021

The Monsanto Company officially ceased to exist when it was acquired by Bayer in 2018, but its legacy lives on in courtrooms, factory towns and farms across the globe. Today the company’s name is most associated with the herbicide Roundup and genetically modified seeds, but Monsanto also served as a leading producer of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, an essential supplier of caffeine and saccharin to Coca-Cola in Coke’s early years, and the sole US producer of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs). In short, Monsanto’s history is one that will continue to shape the world well into the future.

In this episode, Bart Elmore joins Bob and Ben to talk about his new book Seed Money: Monsanto’s Past and Our Future (W.W. Norton, 2021), and how a small midwestern company founded in 1901 became an agricultural powerhouse by selling solutions to the problems it helped to create.

Dr. Bartow Elmore is Associate Professor of History at The Ohio State University where he specializes in Global Environmental History and the History of Capitalism. He is also the author of the award-winning book Citizen Coke: The Making of Coca-Cola Capitalism (W. W. Norton, 2015). You can follow him on twitter at @BartElmore and find out more about his work at his website, BartElmore.com.

You can hear Bart’s first appearance on The Road To Now in episode #140:  Citizen Coke: The History of Coca-Cola w/ Bartow Elmore.

This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.

For more on The Road to Now, visit our website, www.TheRoadToNow.com. (It’s great because it was designed by Seven Ages Design!)

Sep 20, 2021

Most Americans know Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land”, but the song, much like the man who wrote it, is far more complex than many of us realize. Guthrie, who was born in Oklahoma in 1912, moved west during the Dust Bowl of the mid-1930s and witnessed the tragedy of the Great Depression first-hand. A self-proclaimed “common-ist,” Woody dedicated his life to documenting the experiences of his generation and using his platform to advocate for the common worker. In this episode, Bob & Ben speak with Woody Guthrie Center Executive Director Deana McCloud to learn more about Woody Guthrie, his music, and his legacy.

This episode was recorded at the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, OK. If you’re ever in the area, we highly recommend you take the time to visit. A video of Bob's visit is available on our episode page and on The Road to Now's YouTube channel.

You can visit the Guthrie Center's website at woodyguthriecenter.org and follow on them at twitter at @WoodyGuthrieCtr. You can follow Deana McCloud on twitter at @DKMcCloud.

This episode is a rebroadcast of The Road to Now #94, which originally aired on May 1, 2018.

Sep 13, 2021

Bob & Ben catch up to talk about the state of political and social unrest in the US and where they see current events within recent history. They cover the recent turn to vigilantism in the US by both anti-mask protestors and the state of Texas, as well as their concern over a tyrannical minority shaping American institutions to maintain power. They also speculate about where all this might lead us…..

If you’re enjoying the Road to Now and want to support our work, join us on Patreon at Patreon.com/TheRoadToNow.

This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.

The Road to Now is hosted by Bob Crawford (The Avett Brothers/Press On Fund) & Dr. Ben Sawyer (MTSU History).

Sep 6, 2021

Most Americans drink coffee. Our love for coffee ties us to people and countries around the world, and to those who lived long before us. In this episode of The Road to Now, we speak with Mark Pendergrast, author of Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee & How It Changed the World and Beyond Fair Trade to find out coffee’s origins, its effects on global trade, and how a small cherry that originated on the other side of the planet became part of our daily life.                       

This is a rebroadcast of RTN #81, which originally aired on December 11, 2017.

This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.

 

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