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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: December, 2022
Dec 26, 2022

In 1848, New England ships crossed the Bering Strait in pursuit of the bowhead whales that provided their income. In the years since, the activity of outsiders- from hunters, to government bureaucrats from the US and Russia / Soviet Union, to consumers of energy who never set foot in the region- has had a deep impact on the region, but the environment of Beringia has made the place itself an active participant in this process.

About a century and a half after New England whalers crossed the Bering Strait, Bathsheba Demuth graduated High School in Iowa and moved north of the Arctic Circle in the Yukon. She later earned a PhD in history, and is currently Associate Professor of History at Brown University. In this episode, Bathsheba joins Ben for a conversation about her research, how her fascination with the arctic led her to dedicate much of her life to understanding Beringia, and the ways that an environmental perspective allows us to better understand our place in the world and that of others. Bathsheba’s new book, Floating Coast: An Environmental History of the Bering Strait was published by W.W. Norton & Co in 2019. It is a masterpiece.

For more on Dr. Bathsheba Demuth, visit her website- www.brdemuth.com- and follow her on instagram at @brdemuth.

This is a reair of RTN Episode #153, which originally aired on December 2, 2019. This rebroadcast was edited by Ben Sawyer.

Dec 19, 2022

Bob & Ben speak w/ historian Carson Hudson, whose program “Uncivil Christmas” tells of life in Williamsburg, Virginia during the years of the Civil War. Carson explains the politics and culture of the era, the major role that music played in uniting (and dividing) Americans during the war, the challenges of understanding how people in the past experienced war, and the ways that the Civil War still looms large in American culture today.

Carson Hudson is Educational Program Developer at Colonial Williamsburg and a specialist in the history of war and music history. He is the author of multiple books on Williamsburg history, including Hidden History of Civil War Williamsburg (The History Press, 2019). To attend one of Carson’s site tours, visit www.Colonial Williamsburg.com.

This is a rebroadcast of episode #155, which originally aired on December 23, 2019. The original episode was edited by Gary Fletcher. This reair was edited by Ben Sawyer.

 

This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.

Dec 12, 2022

Lyndon B. Johnson’s Presidency is bookended by the tragedies of JFK’s assassination and the escalation of the Vietnam war, but his career in politics and the policies he championed transcend his time in the Oval Office. In this episode, two of the foremost experts on LBJ, Mark Updegrove and Mark A. Lawrence, join Bob & Ben to discuss Johnson’s life and legacy.

Mark Updegrove is the President & CEO of the LBJ Foundation in Austin, TX, the presidential historian for ABC News, and the author of multiple books on Presidential History, including Indomitable Will: LBJ in the Presidency.

Dr. Mark Atwood Lawrence  is Director of the LBJ Presidential Library and Museum and Associate Professor of History at UT-Austin. He is the author of multiple books on US history including The Vietnam War:  A Concise International History.

If you enjoy The Road to Now, make sure to check out their podcast, With the Bark Off, which offers a critical examination of the 45 men who have served as President of the United States and is available on your favorite podcast player.

This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.

Dec 5, 2022

On July 4, 1964, Alabama Governor George Wallace decried the passing of “ [a] law that is going to destroy individual freedom and liberty in this country.” That law was the Civil Rights act of 1964, which struck down many of the Jim Crow laws that relegated black Americans to second-class citizens. How could Wallace and so many like him throughout American history see no irony in decrying the federal government for taking away their freedom to deny freedom to others? In this episode, we take that question up with Jefferson Cowie whose new book, Freedom’s Dominion: A Saga of White Resistance to Federal Power (Basic Books, 2022), explores the meaning of freedom as understood by the white residents of one county in southern Alabama in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Dr. Jefferson Cowie is James G. Stahlman Professor of History at Vanderbilt University, where he teaches social and political history. You can hear our previous conversations with Jeff in episode #24 The Great Exception: The Rise and Fall of the New Deal Order and in episode #115 The 1970s.

This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.

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