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The Road to Now

In 2006, Bob Crawford (The Avett Brothers) & Dr. Benjamin Sawyer (MTSU History) sat down to talk history in a Detroit coffee shop. Their discussion lasted a couple hours, but the conversation kept going. Join them as they trace the road between past and present with the help of great thinkers from the academy, the media, politics, entertainment and more.
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Now displaying: December, 2018
Dec 17, 2018

The 1970s was a pivotal decade in American history. In a ten-year span, the United States admitted defeat in Vietnam, saw a President resign in shame, and came face to face with many of the atrocities it had committed abroad. American citizens also faced a score of economic problems, including “stagflation,” an energy crisis, and the realization that many of them would end the decade worse off than they had been when it began. In today’s episode we reflect on what happened in the 1970s, and what we can learn from it, in a conversation with RTN favorite, Vanderbilt University’s Jefferson Cowie.

Dr. Jefferson Cowie is James G. Stahlman Professor of History at Vanderbilt University and the author of Stayin Alive: The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working (The New Press, 2010) and several other award-winning books on American history. Check out his other appearances on RTN in episode 24 and episode 70. You can find out more about Jefferson Cowie and his work at his website by clicking here.

Stayin’ Alive: The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class will be released on audiobook on December 18, 2018, and libro.fm is the place to get it! Click here and use promo code RTN to get three audiobooks for just $15 as a new libro.fm member. You can support The Road to Now, Jefferson Cowie, and your local bookstore, all while you learn more about the past!

The Road to Now is part of the Osiris Podcast Network.

Dec 10, 2018

Peter Kornbluh has spent his life working to shed light on US covert operations abroad. Along with his colleagues at the National Security Archive, Peter has helped to declassify documents related to the Bay of Pigs (1961) and Cuban Missile Crisis (1962), the coup against Chile’s democratically elected government (1973) and the Iran-Contra Scandal (1980s). As it turns out, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operatives and many prominent politicians have a lot to hide.

In this episode, Bob and Ben speak with Peter Kornbluh about the National Security Archive and how he and others have used the Freedom of Information Act to ensure that citizens have access to information about their government. Peter also explains the impact that these documents have had on modern politics at home and abroad, the difference between his work and that of Edward Snowden and Julian Assange (Wikileaks), and why he believes that access to government documents is essential to a strong democracy. He also shares one of the greatest “how I got here” stories we’ve ever heard on The Road to Now!

Peter Kornbluh has worked at the Archive since April 1986. He currently directs the Archive's Cuba and Chile Documentation Projects. He was co-director of the Iran-Contra documentation project and director of the Archive's project on U.S. policy toward Nicaragua. He is the author of multiple books, the most recent of which, Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana (w/ William M. LeoGrande; UNC Press, 2014), received multiple honors and was a Foreign Affairs Best Book of the Year.

You can get Back Channel to Cuba on audiobook through libro.fm! Click here and use promo code RTN to get three audiobooks for just $15 as a new libro.fm member. You can support The Road to Now, our guest, and your local bookstore, all while you learn more about the past!

The Road to Now is part of the Osiris Podcast Network. For more on this and all other episodes, visit our website: www.TheRoadToNow.com.

Dec 3, 2018

Bob and Ben sit down to talk about the current events and historical questions that have been on their mind lately. They cover the GI bill delays that student veterans are currently facing, the one war that Teddy Roosevelt didn’t win, the tragedy of the 1970s and why Ronald Reagan is the Godfather of punk rock. They also talk about all the times and places that they’ve seen J. Mascis.

For more on the GI Bill delays, check out this piece by WPLN’s Sergio Martinez-Beltran on how missed payments are affecting students at Ben’s home university, MTSU. Bob and Ben encourage you to contact your elected officials and ask that they do what it takes to ensure that those who have served our country get the education they’ve earned.

We’re also excited to announce a new partnership with Libro.fm, which lets you purchase audiobooks directly from your favorite local bookstore. You get the same audiobooks, at the same price as the other one (you know which one), but you’ll be part of a much different story, one that supports community. Road to Now listeners can get a 3-month membership for the price of one (3 audiobooks for just $14.95) w/ promo code RTN. Get started by checking out our libro.fm playlist, which features books by past RTN guests!

To see the articles and pictures discussed in this episode, check out our episode page.

The Road to Now is part of the Osiris Podcast Network.

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