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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: April, 2022
Apr 25, 2022

The first amendment right to the freedom of speech is a cornerstone of American liberty, but this broad principle becomes a bit narrower when put into practice. Why, for example, is burning an American flag in protest protected by the first amendment but burning your draft card is not? Lynn Greenky, whose new book When Freedom Speaks: The Boundaries and Boundlessness of our First Amendment Rights joins Ben and Bob to answer these questions and others in a master session on the freedom of speech.

Lynn Greenky is a former lawyer and current teaching professor in Syracuse University’s Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies, where she teaches a course on the First Amendment. Her book, When Freedom Speaks, will be available on May 15th from Brandeis University Press and can be pre-ordered from her website, LynnGreenky.com.

This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.

Apr 18, 2022

Ron Suny joins Ben for a conversation about the Armenian Genocide. Ron, one of the world’s foremost experts on the history of the Armenian genocide, explains why the Ottoman government tunred on its Armenian subjects during World War I and the methods it used to carry out this atrocity. He also explains why, in spite of the evidence, recognizing this as genocide remains a political hotspot both internationally and within modern Turkey, and why it is important to remember tragedies even when doing so makes us uncomfortable.

Dr. Ronald Grigor Suny is the William H. Sewell Jr. Distinguished University Professor of History at the University of Michigan and Emeritus Professor of Political Science and History at the University of Chicago. He is the author of numerous books, including “They Can Live in the Desert But Nowhere Else:” A History of the Armenian Genocide (Princeton University Press, 2015).

This is a rebroadcast of RTN #92, which originally aired on April 23, 2018. In 2019, the both houses of US Congress recognized the Armenian Genocide.

This episode was edited by Ben Sawyer.

Apr 11, 2022
In this episode, music writer Michaelangelo Matos joins Bob and Ben to break down why he thinks 1984 was a crucial year for the music industry. Michaelangelo also shares why he loves books about a single year.

Check out Michaelangelo Matos' book Can't Slow Down: How 1984 Became Pop's Blockbuster Year here.

Apr 4, 2022

It’s difficult to fathom how Benjamin Franklin accomplished so much in a single lifetime. It’s equally difficult to imagine how to take such an incredible life and consolidate it into four hours of documentary film. In this episode, we cover both feats with writer Dayton Duncan and producer David Schmidt, two of the great minds behind Ken Burns’ new documentary on Benjamin Franklin. Dayton and David discuss Franklin’s life, the work that goes into creating a historical documentary film, and their process for deciding the best way to tell an American icon’s story in a pair of two-hour episodes.

Benjamin Franklin: A Film by Ken Burns premieres Monday, April 4th and Tuesday, April 5th on your local PBS station and we highly recommend it!

If you enjoy this episode, check out Ben and Bob's conversation with Ken Burns in episode #191.

This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.

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