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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: January, 2024
Jan 29, 2024

One episode. Two historians/podcasters. Four stories from American history that you’ve probably never heard. And an unknown number of listeners that we hope will find these stories as fascinating and surprising as we do.

 

Greg Jackson is the creator of History That Doesn’t Suck and a Professor at Utah Valley University. Ben Sawyer hosts this podcast and has been teaching history at the university level for over a decade and a half. You might think that at this point they’ve heard it all, but when you keep digging into history, it just keeps surprising you. In this episode, Greg and Ben each share two stories that they discovered in the last year that they found to be the most fascinating. Enjoy!

 

This is a rebroadcast of The Road to Now #239, which originally aired on June 27, 2022. This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.

Jan 22, 2024

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 is a rebroadcast of RTN #247, which originally aired on September 19, 2022. The original episode was edited by Gary Fletcher. This reair was edited by Ben Sawyer.

Jan 15, 2024

Stephen Foster was America’s first great published musician. He wrote some of America’s great folk songs, including “Oh, Suzanna,” “Camptown Races” and “Hard Times Come Again No More,” and his music was the inspiration for Paul Green’s play “The Stephen Foster Story,” which is performed every summer in Bardstown, Kentucky. In this episode we speak with two of the artists involved in that play- Donna Phillips and Johnny Warren- as well as My Kentucky Old Kentucky Home State Park Mansion Supervisor, Richard Blanton, to learn more about Foster’s life, their work in preserving his memory, and how it all can help us understand our past.

 

If you’re traveling through Kentucky, make sure to check out dates for “The Stephen Foster Story” and visit My Old Kentucky Home Mansion!

 

This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.

Jan 8, 2024

Ben & Bob kick off the new year with a conversation over some current events, including the history of New Year’s Resolutions (and why Bob doesn’t make them) and the 14th Amendment, and Ben shares what he learned about North Carolina history during his holiday road trip from Nashville, TN to Concord, NC to visit his family.

This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.

 

Relevant links:

-“Swept Away w/ John Logan & John Gallagher Jr.” The Road to Now #219
      -on Apple podcasts
      -on Spotify

-John Pierce, “The Reasons for Secession: A Documentary Study,” from American Battlefield Trust (Battlefields.org), Updated October 3, 2023.

-“The Disqualification Clause,” What Roman Mars Can Learn About Con Law, episode 78, December 12, 2023.

-Robert Harrell (the Fort Fisher Hermit) at Wikipedia.org.

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