American LifePeople, Places & Issues in the News Across America

12 November 2009 

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Talking History

Talking History is a 30-minute weekly radio program produced by the Organization of American Historians.  Join host Bryan Le Beau as he separates fact from fiction and myth from reality through interviews with nationally recognized historians and writers.

Whether it is the dramatic history behind the building of the first transcontinental railroad, or an intriguing examination of the American romance with Robert Kennedy, Talking History has something for everyone.

The show is available to more than 400 stations nationwide on the Public Radio Satellite System and internationally on the Voice of America Web page.

The Organization of American Historians is the largest learned society devoted to the study of American history.

The United Nations

United Nations
The United Nations was established October 24th, 1945, and it is fitting that this week Talking History should air an interview with Stephen Schlesinger. Schlesinger is the Director of the World Policy Institute and the author of Act of Creation: The Founding of the United Nation.

And, we will continue our special series of readings from the unpublished manuscript, “Recollections of Field Hospital Service During the War of Secession,” by T.V.Brown

Listen - MP3

1491: America before Columbus

America Before Columbus
According to John Herron's guest this week, Charles C. Mann, the Americas before Columbus were very different from the commonly perceived unpopulated pristine wilderness awaiting Manifest Destiny.  He explains that new evidence presented in his book, 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, suggests that
before it became the New World, it was more populated and sophisticated than previously thought.  Mann is an award winning author and correspondent for Scienceand The Atlantic Monthly.

And Michael Farquhar joins us in the readings adapted from his book, A Treasury of Deception: Liars, Misleaders, Hoodwinkers, and the Extraordinary True Stories of History's Fakes and Frauds.

Listen - MP3

Richmond Burning

Richmond Burning
Talking History's Bryan Le Beau is joined by Nelson Lankford, author of Richmond Burning :The Last Days of the Confederate Capital. Lankford's book draws upon letters, diaries, memoirs and newspaper accounts of the burning of the city of Richmond, Virginia, on April 2, 1865

Commentary: Andrew Schocket joins us to comment on what he calls "a new low," referring to the White House revelation in summer 2003 of the identity of a CIA agent to columnist Robert Novak.

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Hatfields and McCoys

Hatfields and McCoys

Their feud has become the stuff of legend--setting the mark against which all other quarrels are measured. But how much of what we know--or think we know--about the feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys is true, and how much is legendary? In this week's show, Talking History's Eileen Dugan discusses the Hatfields and McCoys with her guest Altine Waller.
In commentary this week Jeffrey Pasley offers his thoughts on the popularity of the Founding Father, John Adams.

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America's Greatest Generation Part 4: The Baby Boom Generation

Baby Boom Generation

In the final segment of our four-part series on Greatest Generations we talk with David Farber about the Baby Boom generation. Farber is a professor of history at the University of New Mexico and author of The Age of Great Dreams.

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America's Greatest Generation Part 3: The Depression, WWII Generation

Franklin D. Roosevelt

WWII GenerationIn part 3 of our four-part series on Greatest Generations we talk with David Kennedy about the Depression and WWII generation. Kennedy is the author of Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression which received the Pulitzer Prize.  

The commentary by Robert Stinnett looks at whether Admiral Husband Kimmel and Lt. General Walter Short were guilty of failing to anticipate the attack on Pearl Harbor. Stinnett is the author of Day of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor.

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America's Greatest Generation Part 2: The Civil War Generation.

Abraham Lincoln

American Civil WarIn part 2 of our four-part series on Greatest Generations we talk with James McPherson about the Civil War generation. McPherson is a professor at Princeton University and the pre-eminent historian of the Civil War. He is the author of several books including The Battle Cry of Freedom which won the Pulitzer Prize. 
The commentary by Stephanie Coontz looks at whether defining people by generation is really a useful way to look at the past. Coontz is a professor of history at Evergreen State College.

Listen - MP3

America's Greatest Generation Part 1:The Founding Fathers

The Founding Fathers


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Inheriting the RevolutionGreatest Generation Part 1: Part 1 of a four-part series on Greatest Generations. In this program Joyce Appleby, a professor of history at UCLA, talks about the generation of the founding fathers. Appleby is the author of Inheriting the Revolution: The First Generation of Americans.

The commentary by Char Miller looks at Tom Brokaw's claim for the greatest generation. Miller is the chairman of the Department of History at Trinity University and his most recent book is Gifford Pinchot and the Making of Modern Environmentalism.