Info

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
RSS Feed Subscribe in Apple Podcasts
The Road to Now
2024
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2023
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2022
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2021
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2020
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2019
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2018
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2017
December
November
October
September
August
July
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May


Categories

All Episodes
Archives
Categories
Now displaying: November, 2023
Nov 27, 2023

As the person responsible for documenting the Obama Administration, Pete Souza spent more time with Barack Obama than almost anyone else, which left him with some deep in sights on Obama and the office of the Presidency. In this episode, Pete joins Bob for a conversation about his work as Chief Official White House Photographer, the state of American politics, and the power of photography. Pete’s most recent book, Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents (Little, Brown, & Co, 2018) uses photography to contrast the stark differences between the Presidency of Barack Obama and that of Donald Trump.

 

If you enjoy this conversation, make sure to check out Pete’s other appearances on the show in episodes #251 & #151.

 

This is a rebroadcast of RTN #131, which originally aired on June 3, 2019. The original episode was edited by Gary Fletcher and Bob Crawford; this rebroadcast was edited by Ben Sawyer.

 

 

Nov 20, 2023

Faith has played an important role in American history, but not always in the ways we’d expect.

In this episode, Andy Polk joins Bob and Ben to explain how politicians, advertising executives and public relations experts bypassed America’s religious leaders, ignored theological debates, and dismissed historical evidence to fabricate and sell a story of America’s religious origins that served their own political needs. That story remains with us today so, to quote the title of Andy’s op-ed in The Tennessean: “When you hear ‘In God We Trust’, pay attention to what comes next.”

 

Dr. Andrew R. Polk is Associate Professor of History at Middle Tennessee State University and the author of the new book, Faith In Freedom: Propaganda, Presidential Politics, and the Making of an American Religion (Cornell University Press, December 2021).

 

This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.

 

This is a rebroadcast of RTN #216, which originally aired on December 13, 2021. This rebroadcast was edited by Ben Sawyer.

 

 

Nov 13, 2023

Bob welcomes Mark McKinnon for an exit interview about his work as co-producer and co-host of The Circus. Showtime announced last week that after eight seasons and 130 episodes this would be the final season of the political docuseries.

 

Mark reflects on chronicling American political history as it happened from 2016 to 2023, during a turbulent period in American history that includes the rise of Donald Trump’s MAGA movement, a once in a century pandemic, and the largest war in Europe since WWII.

 

This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.

Nov 6, 2023

Monsanto’s Past, Our Future w/ Bart Elmore

 

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 US 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.

 

You can hear Bart’s other appearances on The Road To Now in episode #140:  Citizen Coke: The History of Coca-Cola w/ Bartow Elmore and #277: Country Capitalism w/ Bartow Elmore.

 

This is a fully re-edited and audio-enhanced rebroadcast of RTN Episode 208, which originally aired on September 27, 2021. This episode was edited by Ben Sawyer.

1