american history

The Roundtable
10:10 am
Wed November 5, 2014

'To Make Men Free: A History Of The Republican Party'

  When Abraham Lincoln helped create the Republican Party on the eve of the Civil War, his goal was to promote economic opportunity for all Americans, not just the slaveholding Southern planters who steered national politics. Yet while visionary Republicans like Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower shared Lincoln’s egalitarian dream, their attempts to use government to guard against the concentration of wealth have repeatedly been undone by the country’s moneyed interests and members of their own party. Ronald Reagan’s embrace of big business—and the ensuing financial crisis—is the latest example of this calamitous cycle, but it is by no means the first.

In To Make Men Free, historian Heather Cox Richardson traces the shifting ideology of the Grand Old Party from the antebellum era to the Great Recession, showing how Republicans’ ideological vacillations have had terrible repercussions for minorities, the middle class, and America at large.

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The Roundtable
10:35 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Ideas Matter - How The Civil War Continues To Shape Civic And Cultural Life In America

  This week in our Ideas Matter segment, we are joined by representatives from The Vermont Humanities Council to discuss their Fall conference which is entitled: A Fire Never Extinguished; How the Civil War Continues to Shape Civic and Cultural Life in America.

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The Roundtable
10:10 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Slavery And The Making Of American Capitalism

  Historian Edward Baptist reveals in The Half Has Never Been Told that slavery and its expansion were central to the evolution and modernization of our nation in the 18th and 19th centuries, catapulting the US into a modern, industrial and capitalist economy. 

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The Roundtable
11:12 am
Thu September 11, 2014

'Band Of Giants: The Amateur Soldiers Who Won America's Independence' By Jack Kelly

    Band of Giants brings to life the founders who fought for our independence in the Revolutionary War. Jefferson, Adams, and Franklin are known to all; men like Morgan, Greene, and Wayne are less familiar. Yet the dreams of the politicians and theorists only became real because fighting men were willing to take on the grim, risky, brutal work of war.

We know Fort Knox, but what about Henry Knox, the burly Boston bookseller who took over the American artillery at the age of 25? Eighteen counties in the United States commemorate Richard Montgomery, but do we know that this revered martyr launched a full-scale invasion of Canada?

The soldiers of the American Revolution were a diverse lot: merchants and mechanics, farmers and fishermen, paragons and drunkards. Most were ardent amateurs. And journalist, novelist and historian Jack Kelly tells their story in Band of Giants.

The Roundtable
11:35 am
Wed September 10, 2014

'The Bully Pulpit' By Doris Kearns Goodwin

  Doris Kearns Goodwin—the bestselling, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of No Ordinary Time and Team of Rivals—brings her blend of scholarship, intellectual rigor and riveting storytelling to the turbulent and fateful relationship between two presidents, the rise of muckraking journalism, and the far-reaching ferment of the Progressive Era.

Her best-selling book The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism is out this week in paperback.

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WAMC Programs
3:06 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

The Book Show #1364 - Simon Winchester

      Simon Winchester, The New York Times bestselling author of Atlanticand The Professor and the Madman delivers his first book about America.

The Men Who United the States is a fascinating history that illuminates the men who toiled to discover, connect, and bond the citizenry and geography of The United States of America.

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New England News
12:20 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Magna Carta And Its 'Grandchildren' Take Over The Clark

One of four remaining copies of the original Magna Carta, sealed in 1215, is on display at The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass., surrounded by influential documents in American history.
Credit Jim Levulis / WAMC

One of four remaining copies of the original Magna Carta is on display at The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, surrounded by influential documents in American history.

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The Roundtable
10:10 am
Wed September 3, 2014

'Wilson' By A. Scott Berg

  Scott Berg, the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winning author of Lindbergh, Kate Remembered, Max Perkins: Editor of Genius, and Goldwyn, received remarkable acclaim this past year for Wilson, his first book published in more than ten years.

Wilson is a biography of Berg’s boyhood hero Woodrow Wilson, the enormously important and influential but enigmatic and often mischaracterized twenty-eighth President of the United States. 

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The Roundtable
11:35 am
Tue September 2, 2014

'Gruesome Spectacles: Botched Executions And America's Death Penalty' By Austin Sarat

  Renewed and vigorous debate over the death penalty has erupted as DNA testing has proven that many on death row are in fact innocent. In this debate, however, the guilty have been forgotten. In his new book, Gruesome Spectacles: Botched Executions and America's Death Penalty, legal scholar Austin Sarat describes just how unquiet death by execution can be. If we assume a death row prisoner is guilty, how can we be sure that we are fulfilling the Supreme Court's mandate to ensure that his execution is "the mere extinguishment of life" and not a cruel and unusual punishment?

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The Roundtable
10:35 am
Tue September 2, 2014

'The Port Chicago 50' By Steve Sheinkin

  On July 17, 1944, a massive explosion rocked the segregated Navy base at Port Chicago, California, killing more than 300 sailors who were at the docks, critically injuring off-duty men in their bunks, and shattering windows up to a mile away.

On August 9th, 244 men refused to go back to work until unsafe and unfair conditions at the docks were addressed. When the dust settled, fifty were charged with mutiny, facing decades in jail and even execution.

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