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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: October, 2019
Oct 28, 2019

Death is something that everyone has in common, yet most of us spend our lives trying not to think about it. Even as we buy our decorations and costumes for Halloween, we rarely consider that witches, skeleton and other symbols associated with the holiday have their own histories. In this episode, Caitlin Doughty takes Ben, Bob & Guest co-host Tanya Marsh on a conversational haunted trail that covers the history of witch hunts, the disposal of dead bodies, and how social norms surrounding death have come to shape the world around us.

Caitlin Doughty is a Los Angeles-based mortician, activist, and funeral industry rabble-rouser. Her books Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and From Here to Eternity were both New York Times bestsellers. Her newest book Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? Big Questions from Tiny Mortals about Death was released in September 2019. For more on Caitlin, check out caitlindoughty.com and visit her YouTube channel, Ask a Mortician.  

All three of Caitlin’s books (read by Caitlin herself!) are available on audiobook through Libro.fm. Click here and use promo code RTN to get 3 months of Libro.fm membership for just $15!

 This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.

The Road to Now is hosted by Ben Sawyer and Bob Crawford. A member of the Osiris Podcast Network.

Oct 21, 2019

In 2015, the New Orleans City Council voted to remove four Confederate monuments from the city. Immediately following that vote, the monuments’ defenders sought to use the courts to prevent their removal. In the end, the city prevailed, and the last of the monuments came down in May of 2017. In this episode, Ben and guest co-host Tanya Marsh speak with lawyer Adam Swensek, who led the New Orleans City Council’s legal team as they defended the city’s right to remove these public monuments. The conversation covers the history of the monuments, the arguments that both sides used in court, and what monuments can (and can’t) tell us about the history.

The Road to Now is part of the Osiris Podcast Network. This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.

Oct 14, 2019

With the current impeachment inquiry underway, there has been a lot of talk about government information, where it is stored, and who has the right to access these records. In this episode, Ben speaks with archive and information policy expert Stacy Woods, to get the answers to a lot of the questions surrounding impeachment past and present. They also discuss Presidential authority regarding documents, the state of government transparency, and the relationship of government secrecy to conspiracy theories.

Dr. Stacy Wood is Assistant Professor at the School of Computing and Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh. She is a critical scholar of archives, information policy and information studies who engages with the legal and cultural aspects of records and technology. You can find out more about her at her personal website, StacyEWood.com and follow her on twitter at @StacyEWood.

To hear our first interview w/ Stacy Wood in RTN #12, join us on Patreon. You’ll get episodes 1-75, extra episodes, bonus content and more, and you’ll be an essential part of keeping The Road to Now going!  Click here to join!

The Road to Now is a member of the Osiris Podcast Network. This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.

Oct 7, 2019

Right now an average of one person dies about every 11 minutes from an opioid overdose in the United States. The staggering number of lives ruined by opioid addiction has finally gotten public attention in recent years, but the origins of the crisis goes back to 1996, when Purdue Pharma began selling Oxycontin through a misleading marketing campaign that claimed it was unlikely to cause addiction. In this episode, Ben speaks with journalist Beth Macy, who chronicled the lives of those affected by opioid addiction in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and across the country. Her book Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America tells the history of the opioid crisis through the deeply intimate stories of the people and communities that were hit hard by addiction, but never stopped fighting the companies who placed profit over humanity.

Beth Macy is a journalist and author of three books, the most recent of which, Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America (Little, Brown & Company, 2018), was an instant NY Times Best Seller. Her audio documentary Finding Tess: A Mother’s Search for Answers in a Dopesick America was released on October 3, 2019 is and is available by clicking here. For more on Beth Macy, visit her personal website- intrepidpapergirl.com- and follow her on twitter at @papergirlmacy.

You can get Dopesick and two additional audiobooks for just $15 from Libro.fm. Just click here and enter promo code RTN at checkout!

The Road to Now is a member of the Osiris Podcast Network. This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.

 

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