BackStory with the American History Guys

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BackStory is a weekly one-hour public radio show that provides a national broadcast audience with an enjoyable and accessible way of engaging challenging themes in American history and how they connect with today. The show is hosted by renowned historians Peter Onuf, Ed Ayers, and Brian Balogh. BackStory’s signature sound and spirit of inquiry emanates from the hearts and minds of its genial hosts, whose unscripted brilliance reflects a warmth and rapport that comes from their longtime friendship.

Please confirm carriage of BackStory with the American History Guys by contacting Andrew Parsons at (434) 982-2955 or andrewparsons@virginia.edu.

Moving from current headlines to drill down into U.S. history, each surprising BackStory episode features lively interviews with a diverse roster of scholars, experts, and ordinary citizens from around the country; listener calls; host discussions; and produced pieces. Topics are as diverse as college sports, reenactments, sugar, memorials, domestic terrorism, birthing, homeownership, the post office, philanthropy, protests, privacy, marriage, revivalism, and childhood—all in the context of American history.

Since BackStory first began as a monthly show in 2008, episodes have been broadcast by more than 130 primary stations in 39 states, 29 in the top 50 markets by population. Podcasts have been downloaded 1.4 million times.

BackStory is produced by VFH Radio at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. Major funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities with additional corporate, foundation, institutional, and individual support.

Please visit our station landing page for upcoming episodes, promotional photos, and other information.

 


Series

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188 Pieces

This series is for stations that want to subscribe to Backstory for WEEKLY deliveries using PRX's SubAuto system.

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203 Pieces

A collection of the best stories and features from BackStory, meant for excerpt by programs or stations.

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189 Pieces

BackStory is a weekly one-hour public radio show that provides a national broadcast audience with an enjoyable and accessible way of engaging challenging themes in American history and how they connect with today.

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4 Pieces

A collection of one-hour BackStory specials for use in station holiday programming.

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182 Pieces

Promos for stations airing upcoming episodes of BackStory with the American History Guys.

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0 Pieces

A special three-part series of hour-long episodes exploring the causes and consequences of the American Civil War.


Pieces

Caption: Toward Los Angeles, Calif., by Dorothea Lange, 1937., Credit: Library of Congress
Author Richard Jurek describes how one giant leap in public relations helped launch NASA’s lunar program - and how brands used the space program to...

Bought by KPIP-LP and PRX Remix


  • Added: Feb 04, 2015
  • Length: 09:39
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Toward Los Angeles, Calif., by Dorothea Lange, 1937., Credit: Library of Congress
Historian Cathy Gudis returns with the story of how advertising followed 20th century Americans out onto the open road, and discusses efforts to cu...

Bought by WOUB and PRX Remix


  • Added: Feb 04, 2015
  • Length: 10:37
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Toward Los Angeles, Calif., by Dorothea Lange, 1937., Credit: Library of Congress
Composer Michael Levine, who wrote the long-running Kit-Kat jingle, tells host Brian Balogh what makes a jingle powerful — and catchy. Then… he off...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Feb 04, 2015
  • Length: 10:07
  • Purchases: 1
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30-second promo for "Women at Work: A History," with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag.

Bought by Troy Public Radio, WCPN, WESM 91.3 FM, and KSUT


  • Added: Feb 03, 2015
  • Length: :30
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: Toward Los Angeles, Calif., by Dorothea Lange, 1937., Credit: Library of Congress
On the first of February, more than 100 million Americans will tune in to watch the two best teams in the NFL vie for the national championship … a...

Bought by Boise State Public Radio, KSRQ, XRAY.fm, WTIP, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio and more


  • Added: Jan 30, 2015
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: Toward Los Angeles, Calif., by Dorothea Lange, 1937., Credit: Library of Congress
On the first of February, more than 100 million Americans will tune in to watch the two best teams in the NFL vie for the national championship … a...

  • Added: Jan 30, 2015
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: Toward Los Angeles, Calif., by Dorothea Lange, 1937., Credit: Library of Congress
30-second promo for "New & Improved: Advertising in America," with 5-second bed at end for station-specific time/date tag.

  • Added: Jan 28, 2015
  • Length: :30
Caption: Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg, November 19th, 1863., Credit: Library of Congress
Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is, of course, one of the most iconic speeches in American history. But in 1863, it got decidedly mixed review...

Bought by WUFT, South Dakota Public Broadcasting - Radio, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, WRGY, KREV-LP and more


  • Added: Jan 23, 2015
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg, November 19th, 1863., Credit: Library of Congress
30-second promo for "Talk of the Nation:Oratory in America" with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag. Full episode posted ...

  • Added: Jan 23, 2015
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg, November 19th, 1863., Credit: Library of Congress
30-second promo for "Talk of the Nation; Oratory in America" with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag.

Bought by 90.1 WFYI Public Radio


  • Added: Jan 21, 2015
  • Length: :30
  • Purchases: 1