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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: June, 2024
Jun 24, 2024

In 1866, the Fenian Brotherhood, comprised primarily of Irish Civil War veterans, led a series of attacks on Canadian provinces just across the border from the United States. Their goal: seize Canadian territory and exchange it for Irish independence. Similar raids continued until 1871, and although they were ultimately unsuccessful, they are part of a greater story of the American Civil War, Irish Independence, and trans-Atlantic immigration to the United States in the mid-19th Century. In this episode, Bob & Ben speak with Christopher Klein about his book When the Irish Invaded America: The Incredible True Story of the Civil War Veterans Who Fought for Ireland’s Freedom (Doubleday, 2019).

Christopher Klein is an author and freelance writer specializing in history. He writes stories about the past that inform us about the present and guide us to the future. He is the author of four books, including Strong Boy: The Life and Times of John L. Sullivan, America’s First Sports Hero, and a frequent contributor to history.com and many other media outlets.

This is a rebroadcast of RTN #125, which originally aired on March 18, 2019. This version was completely reedited using Adobe’s Enhanced Speech software by Ben Sawyer.

Jun 17, 2024

The American Civil War and the end of slavery in the US may seem like one and the same from our modern perspective, but for those living through the conflict, the abolition of human bondage was anything but certain. Even into the last days of the war, slave traders in Confederate-held cities continued to auction off human beings, realizing handsome profits as they imposed violence and family separation on their subjects.

In his new book, An Unholy Traffic: Slave Trading in the Civil War South, Robert K.D. Colby brings together a wide variety of sources to offer up a never-before seen look into the slave trade during the American Civil War. In this episode, he joins Ben and guest co-host Tim Talbott to explain how the slave trade evolved, why slave traders remained confident in the future of slavery even during the Civil War, and how the combined trauma of slavery and war impacted enslaved Americans long after their freedom had been secured.

Robert K.D. Colby is Assistant Professor of History at Ole Miss who specializes in the Civil War and the history of slavery. His newest book, An Unholy Traffic was published by Oxford University Press in April 2024 and is available in both print and audiobook.

Tim Talbott is the Chief Administrative Officer for the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust in Fredericksburg, Virginia and founding member and President of the Battle of New Market Heights Memorial and Education Association. Tim holds a MA in Public History from Appalachian State University, where Ben had the great fortune to study alongside him.

Relevant Links:

·      The Smithsonian Digital Volunteers Transcription Center website

·      RTN Episode 270: Women & American Slavery w/ Stephanie E. Jones Rogers

·      RTN Episode 117: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism w/ Edward Baptist

 

This episode was edited by Ben Sawyer.

Jun 10, 2024

In 2002, Ashley Capps took a gamble- he rented hundreds of acres in rural Tennessee and put on a music festival. Coming on the heels of the infamous Lollapalooza ’99 and an unsuccessful festival at the same site two years earlier, few thought Ashley could pull it off. As you (and the 80,000 people who attended the festival this year) know, Ashley and his partners proved the doubters wrong and created one of the most iconic festivals in modern America.

Bob and Ben caught up with Ashley Capps back stage at Bonnaroo to talk about the history of the Bonnaroo Music Festival, how Ashley selected Manchester, TN, and the changes in the live music industry that have happened since he began working in live music decades ago. He also shares his insight on building the relationships that make a major festival sustainable. Bob also shares his experiences playing Bonnaroo with the Avett Brothers from the small stage in 2006 to the main stage in 2019.

This episode was recorded live at Bonnaroo on Friday, June 14, 2019 and originally aired as episode #133. This rebroadcast was edited by Ben Sawyer.

Jun 3, 2024

In this episode, music writer Michaelangelo Matos joins Bob and Ben to discuss why 1984 was a pivotal year in music history. Michaelangelo also shares why he loves books about a single year.

 

Michaelangelos’ book, Can't Slow Down: How 1984 Became Pop's Blockbuster Year (Hachette Books) was selected as a Rolling Stone-Kirkus Best Music Book of 2020. You can follow him on substack at @michaelangelomatos.

 

Love a good trivia night? Want to support The Road to Now? You can do both at the same time by joining us for RTN Patreon Trivia! The next round will be in the last full week of June so let us know your availability by Fri. June 7 and then look for the schedule on our Patreon page on Monday, June 10. We look forward to seeing you there!

 

This episode is a rebroadcast of RTN #230, which originally aired on April 11, 2022. This rebroadcast was edited by Ben Sawyer.

 

 

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