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: Voting in Washington, D.C., 1938, Credit: Source: Library of Congress
If the record TV viewership of the Clinton-Trump presidential debates is any guide, voter turnout for the November election could reach levels not ...

  • Added: Nov 04, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: Voting in Washington, D.C., 1938, Credit: Source: Library of Congress
If the record TV viewership of the Clinton-Trump presidential debates is any guide, voter turnout for the November election could reach levels not ...

Bought by KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, XRAY.fm, Tri States Public Radio, WMUU-LP, WXDU and more


  • Added: Nov 04, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: Source: Library of Congress, Credit: Voting in Washington, D.C., 1938
30-second promo for "Pulling the Curtain: Voting in America [rebroadcast]” with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag

Bought by WXDU and 90.1 WFYI Public Radio


  • Added: Nov 01, 2016
  • Length: :30
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Promotional photo of Boris Karloff from The Bride of Frankenstein as Frankenstein’s monster., Credit: Source: Wikimedia Commons
What’s a Halloween show without a helping of horror, one of America’s favorite forms of entertainment? Rooted in legend and culture, horror stories...

  • Added: Oct 28, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: Promotional photo of Boris Karloff from The Bride of Frankenstein as Frankenstein’s monster. , Credit: Source: Wikimedia Commons
What’s a Halloween show without a look at horror, one of America’s favorite fascinations? Rooted in legend and culture, American horror plays on ou...

Bought by KKWE Niijii Radio, WLPR, WDET Detroit Public Radio, KAZU, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio and more


  • Added: Oct 28, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 12
Caption: Promotional photo of Boris Karloff from The Bride of Frankenstein as Frankenstein’s monster. , Credit: Source: Wikimedia Commons
30-second promo for "American Horror Story” with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag

Bought by KAZU and KREV-LP


  • Added: Oct 25, 2016
  • Length: :30
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: A version of Barnum's Feejee Mermaid., Credit: Source: Unknown
America has a long and colorful history of confidence men and counterfeiters. On this episode of BackStory, we go back to the time when fake money...

  • Added: Oct 21, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: A version of Barnum's Feejee Mermaid., Credit: Source: Unknown
America has a long and colorful history of confidence men and counterfeiters. On this episode of BackStory, we go back to the time when fake money...

Bought by CI Dolphin Radio, WUFT, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, XRAY.fm, WRGY and more


  • Added: Oct 21, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 9
Caption: A version of Barnum's Feejee Mermaid., Credit: Source: Unknown
30-second promo for "Bridge For Sale: Deception In America [rebroadcast]” with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag

Bought by 90.1 WFYI Public Radio


  • Added: Oct 18, 2016
  • Length: :30
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Best Coat and Apron Mfg. Company : Attaching trouser buttons with automatic button-fastening machine, Credit: Source: Library of Congress
Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have talked about loss of manufacturing jobs, and the importance of having things “Made In America.” In this ...

  • Added: Oct 14, 2016
  • Length: 54:00