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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, 2022
Sep 26, 2022

Armenia and Azerbaijan were once fellow Republics within the USSR, but in the Soviet Union’s last days tension between them led to bloodshed and animosity that continues today. For decades, Russia played the role of peacekeeper in the region, but Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has opened the door for a new wave of Azerbaijani attacks on Armenia and both sides say the other is to blame. Laurence Broers has spent the last twenty years working as a scholar and peacemaker in the region, and has built relationships with leaders in both countries. In this episode, Laurence joins Ben for a conversation about the history of the conflict, the state of affairs today, and the impact that the international community has (and can) have on the people and politics of the region.

Dr. Laurence Broers is Associate Fellow at the Russia-Eurasia Program at Chatham House, and the author of the book Armenia and Azerbaijan: Anatomy of a Rivalry. You can follow him on twitter at @LaurenceBroers.

This episode was edited by Ben Sawyer.

Sep 19, 2022

The FBI has been the subject of criticism and concern since it was founded in 1908, but it has nevertheless become one of the most powerful, stable, and mythologized branches of the Executive Branch of the US government. In this episode, Steve Underhill joins us to discuss the origins of the FBI, the role J. Edgar Hoover played in making the modern Brueau, and how that greater history of the FBI can help us understand how they’ve approached their seizure of documents from Mar-a-Lago and the subsequent attack from Donald Trump.

 

Dr. Stephen M. Underhill is Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication Studies at Marshall University, where he studies the rhetoric of law enforcement. His book The Manufacture of Consent: J. Edgar Hoover and the Rhetorical Rise of the FBI was published in 2020.

This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.

Looking for a new shirt that fits well, looks good, and feels fantastic? Go to Criquetshirts.com and use promo code RoadToNow for 20% off your first order from Criquet. Ben and Bob both love these shirts!

 

Sep 12, 2022

The New Deal policies of the 1930s never brought an end to the Great Depression, but by establishing Social Security, ending child labor, and establishing a federal minimum wage, Franklin Roosevelt’s administration and their allies in Congress laid the framework for the widespread prosperity of the post-World War II-era. As the gap between the richest and poorest Americans continues to widen at remarkable speed, politicians on the left have called for a return to the New Deal. But it might be better to look elsewhere.

In this episode we speak with Jefferson Cowie about his books Capital Moves: RCA’s Seventy-Year Quest for Cheap Labor, (Cornell University Press, 1999) & The Great Exception: The New Deal & The Limits of American Politics, (Princeton University Press, 2016).

Dr. Jefferson Cowie is James G. Stahlman Professor of History at Vanderbilt University. You can learn more about him and his work at his website, jeffersoncowie.info.

This episode originally aired on October 17, 2016 as RTN #24 The New Deal and It’s Legacy w/ Jefferson Cowie. This reair was edited by Ben Sawyer.

Sep 5, 2022

On August 4, 1789, the National Assembly of France adopted the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which asserted the Enlightenment ideals of universal rights and democracy. Though the French Declaration shared a common ideological lineage with the American Declaration of Independence, the French Revolution took a very different path: fifteen years after their founding revolutionary documents, the US had George Washington and France had Napoleon.

In this episode of The Road to Now we talk to Dr. Peter McPhee, an expert on the history of the French Revolution at the University of Melbourne (Australia) to learn how geography, religion, and the French effort to fundamentally redefine society, shaped the complex course of the French Revolution. Peter explains how the French Revolution changed the world and left a legacy that is all around us today. (And for all you Hamilton fans- if you ever wondered what happened to the Marquis de Lafayette after Hamilton died, Dr. McPhee has the answer!)

This is a rebroadcast of episode 78, which originally aired on November 9, 2017. This rebroadcast was edited by Ben Sawyer.

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