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Talking History: Shows from 2005

Subscribe to the Talking History Podcast for 2005

Chocolate

In this season of feasting and overindulgence what better topic to discuss than chocolate? Marcy Norton joins host Bryan Le Beau to discuss the history of chocolate, specifically its transformation from a sacred good to a secular commodity. Marcy Norton is Assistant Professor of History at George Washington University.

Airdate: December 26, 2005.

1491
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 Science and The Atlantic Monthly.

Airdate: December 19, 2005.

Debutante
For many of us, the holiday season is a time for parties and celebration. For a select few young women, it is time to preen, groom, and don a dazzling gown. The debutante season for them marks the occasion of their presentation to society. Talking History’s Linna Place is joined by Karal Ann Marling author of Debutante: Rites and Regalia of American Debdom.

Airdate: December 12, 2005.

Public Enemies
Bryan Burrough, joins host Bryan Le Beau Bryan to give us solid facts on the era that has become legendary in the American lexicon for its criminals, the likes of John Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde, Baby Face Nelson, and Pretty Boy Floyd. Burrough is the author of Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-34.

Airdate: December 5, 2005.

Shades of Hiawatha
Talking History's John Herron and Alan Trachtenberg explore the ways that Americans in latter part of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries struggled to define the evolving concept of the American nation and its peoples. Their conversation takes them through Trachtenberg's analyses of popular culture, photography and poetry, notably Longfellow's Hiawatha. Trachtenberg is Neil Gray, Jr. Professor of English and American Studies at Yale University and author of numerous books.

Airdate: November 28, 2005

Thanksgiving
Host Bryan Le Beau and author Matthew Dennis resume their discussion on the history and origins of American holidays. This time they take a look at perhaps the most celebrated holiday of them all: Thanksgiving. Dennis is Professor of History at the University of Oregon and author of Red White and Blue: The American Holiday Calendar.

Airdate: November 21, 2005

Influenza
Talking History's Fred Nielsen and author John M. Barry discuss the flu epidemic of 1918 that swept across the world killing an estimated 100 million people worldwide. According to our guest, it was the world's most lethal epidemic- responsible for the deaths of more people in 24 weeks than the Black Death killed in a hundred years. John Barry is author of The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History.

Airdate: November 14, 2005

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
Talking History's Fred Nielsen and author Jared Diamond delve into the historical and cultural patterns of catastrophe, and discuss the interdependent relationship between a society's development and its environment. Jared Diamond is Professor of Geography and Physiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and an award winning author. His latest book, and the subject of our discussion is Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed.

Airdate: November 7, 2005

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
This week Jim Basker and Lesley Herrmann of The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History discuss the role of the institute in promoting the teaching of American history.

Airdate: October 31, 2005

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.

Airdate: October 24, 2005

John Brown
On October 16th, 1859 John Brown led the famous raid on the arsenal at Harper’s Ferry. And to mark the anniversary, Talking History offers an interview with host Bryan Le Beau and David Reynolds author of John Brown: Abolitionist.

Airdate: October 17, 2005

Columbus Day
Talking History’s host Bryan Le Beau and Matthew Dennis continue their yearlong look at the American Holiday Calendar. This time they discuss Columbus Day. Matthew Dennis is author of Red, White and Blue Letter Days: An American Holiday Calendar.

Airdate: October 10, 2005

Alexander Hamilton
This week, Bryan Le Beau is joined by Ron Chernow, whose biography of Alexander Hamilton has gained widespread acclaim. Their conversation reveals not only the familiar highs and lows of Hamilton’s life but its depth and breadth.

Airdate: October 3, 2005.

American Secularism
This week Talking History’s Fred Nielsen and Susan Jacoby discuss the history of secularism in America. Journalist Susan Jacoby is the director of the Center for Inquiry Metro New York and the author of Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism.

Airdate: September 23, 2005

Jesus in America
Richard Wightman Fox and Talking History’s Fred Nielsen explore what Fox calls "America’s national obsession." Wightman Fox is author of Jesus in America: Personal Savior, Cultural Hero, National Obsession.

Airdate: September 19, 2005.

Teaching History
Jacquelyn Hall joins Host Bryan Le Beau to discuss the teaching of American history in the schools. Hall is Julia Cherry Spruill Professor of History at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and past president of The Organization of American Historians.

Airdate: September 12, 2005.

Labor Day
We begin our new season with Matthew Dennis who returns to Talking History to discuss the origins and history of Labor Day with host Bryan Le Beau. Dennis is Professor of History at the University of Oregon and the author of Red, White, and Blue Letter Days: An American Calendar.

Airdate: September 5, 2005.

The Best of Talking History: Program #5: Lincoln's Greatest Speech: The Second Inaugural
On March 4, 1865, Abraham Lincoln delivered his second inaugural address. It was short, and to the point--a mere 703 words. In it, he uttered one of his most memorable phrases, when he called on Americans to proceed from the Civil War "with malice toward none, with charity for all." Ronald White, author of Lincoln's Greatest Speech: The Second Inaugural, discusses the speech and its impact with Talking History's Fred Nielsen.

Airdate: August 29, 2005. (This show originally aired the week of March 28, 2005.)

Best of Talking History Program 4: Washington’s Slaves
This week Talking History’s Fred Nielsen discussed the complex story of George Washington, and his action of granting freedom to his slaves, with Henry Wiencek, author of An Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves, and the Creation of America. Wiencek’s previous book, The Hairstons: An American Family in Black and White, received the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1999. The show originally aired the week of February 28th, 2005.

Airdate: August 22, 2005

Best of Talking History Program 3: Saboteurs
Host, Bryan Le Beau, was joined by Michael Dobbs author of Saboteurs: The Nazi Raid on America. They discussed "Operation Pastorius" a Nazi plot to cause havoc on the East Coast of the United States. The show originally aired the week of November 29, 2004.

Airdate: August 15, 2005

The Best of Talking History: Program 2: Einstein
Einstein's reputation as a genius rests to a large extent on his publication of five major papers in 1905. Talking History marked the centennial by taking up the subject of those papers--and the rest of Albert Einstein's life--with Assistant Professor of Physics, at the University of Missouri Kansas City, Elizabeth Stoddard. The program originally aired the week of April 18th, 2005.

Airdate: August 8, 2005

The Best of Talking History: Program 1: Dr. Seuss
This week we begin our five week best of Talking History series. The programs have been selected on the basis of listener response to our 2004-5 season. Talking History's Bryan Le Beau and Philip Nel explored the life and works of the beloved children's author, Dr. Seuss, who was born 100 years ago. Philip Nel is a Professor of English at Kansas State University and author of Dr. Seuss: American Icon. The show originally aired the week of December 27, 2004

Airdate: August 1, 2005

1968: The Year That Rocked the World
According to Bryan Le Beau's guest this week, Mark Kurlansky, "There has never been a year like 1968, and it is unlikely that there will ever be one again." Kurlansky discusses his reasons for this statement and his latest book, 1968: The Year That Rocked the World.

Airdate: July 25, 2005

The Scopes Trial
On July 10th, 1925, the case of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes, better known as the Scopes Monkey Trial opened in Dayton, Tennessee. It was a public clash between proponents and opponents of teaching evolution in the schools. According to John Herron's guest this week – Edward Larson - the trial took on a life and meaning of its own. Edward Larson, is Professor of History and Law at the University of Georgia, and the author of Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America’s Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion.

Airdate: July 18, 2005.

Revolutionary Mothers
Abigail Adams, Betsy Ross, Molly Pitcher - their names are prominently linked with the American Revolution. But what about the rank and file of women? Talking History's Linna Place and Carol Berkin discuss Berkin's recent book, Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America's Independence. Berkin is Professor of History at Baruch College and the City University of New York.

Airdate: July 11, 2005

Independence Day
This week host Bryan Le Beau and guest Matthew Dennis continue their year long look at the American holiday calendar and discuss the origins and history of Independence Day. Dennis is Professor of History at the University of Oregon and the author of Red, White, and Blue Letter Days: An American Calendar.

Airdate: July 4, 2005

The Bicycle
Fred Nielsen is joined by David Herlihy author of Bicycle: The History. They retrace the story of the bicycle--a history of disputed patents, brilliant inventions, and missed opportunities. (Please note: In his discussion of the high wheeler, David Herlihy said "solid iron tires" instead of "solid rubber.")

Airdate: June 27, 2005

Treasonable Doubt
This week host Bryan Le Beau and guest Bruce Craig explore the Harry Dexter White Spy case.  Craig is author of Treasonable Doubt: The Harry Dexter White Spy Case and executive director of the National Coalition of History.  

Airdate: June 20, 2005

Cold War, Cool Medium
The Cold War was a period of  international, fear and anxiety.  And, much of the Cold War was covered on television literally brought into the homes of millions of Americans.  Our guest this week, Thomas Doherty, the author of Cold War,  Cool Medium, examines one aspect of that phenomenon, television and McCarthyism with Talking History's Linna Place.

Airdate: June 13, 2005

William Clark
Fred Nielsen discusses William Clark with his guest, Landon Jones, the author of William Clark and the Shaping of the American West. Jones is also the editor of The Essential Lewis and Clark, an edition of the explorers’ journals.

Airdate: June 6, 2005

Memorial Day
This week, Matthew Dennis and Bryan Le Beau continue their year long look at American holidays and discuss the origins and history of Memorial Day. Dennis is Professor of History at the University of Oregon, and the author of Red, White, and Blue Letter Days: An American Calendar.

Airdate: May 30, 2005

The Death Penalty
Many Western nations view America's use of capital punishment as being in conflict with its stance on human rights. We examine the paradoxes of America's death penalty by examining its history with guest Stuart Banner. Banner is professor of law at University of California, Los Angeles and the author of The Death Penalty: An American History.

Airdate: May 23, 2005

Liberty: Founders and the Constitution Series, Part II
Bryan Le Beau concludes the series with an interview with Craig Yirush on the notion of liberty as a guiding principle for the Founding Fathers and on the life of George Mason. Yirush is a professor of history at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Airdate: May 16, 2005

Equality: Founders and the Constitution Series, Part II
Robert McDonald joins Bryan Le Beau to discuss one of the most commonly misinterpreted ideas expressed by the Founding Fathers--the idea of equality. Airdate: May 9, 2005.

Limited Government: Founders and the Constitution Series, Part II
We continue our series produced in collaboration with the Bill of Rights Institute on The Founders and the Constitution. This week David Marion discusses the concept of Limited Government with host Bryan Le Beau and comments on the life of James Madison. Marion is Elliot Professor of Political Science at Hampden-Sydney College and Director of the Wilson Center for Leadership in the Public Interest.

Airdate: May 2, 2005

Republican Government: Founders and the Constitution Series, Part II
This week Talking History begins its second four part series on the Founders and the Constitution. Stephen Klugewicz rejoins host Bryan Le Beau to discuss Republican Government. The eight week series, the first part of which aired in Fall 2004 is a collaborative effort with The Bill of Rights Institute. Stephen Klugewicz is  Executive Director of The Collegiate Network.

Airdate: April 25, 2005

Einstein
Einstein's reputation as a genius rests to a large extent on his publication of five major papers in 1905.We are marking the centennial by taking up the subject of those papers--and the rest of Albert Einstein's life--with Assistant Professor of Physics, at the University of Missouri Kansas City, Elizabeth Stoddard. 

Airdate: April 18, 2005 

Hellfire Nation
Host Bryan Le Beau and James Morone discuss how "America became a nation with the soul of a church." Morone is author of Hellfire Nation: The Politics of Sin in American History, and  professor of political science at Brown University.

Airdate: April 11, 2005

A Brilliant Solution
In May 1787, our Founding Fathers gathered in Philadelphia to create a new American constitution.  Some have referred to it as a "brilliant solution." Talking History's Fred Nielsen discusses the "brilliant solution" with Carol Berkin, professor of history at Baruch College and the City University of New York., and the author of A Brilliant Solution: Inventing the American Constitution.

Airdate: April 4, 2005

Lincoln's Greatest Speech: The Second Inaugural
On March 4, 1865, Abraham Lincoln delivered his second inaugural address. It was short, and to the point... a mere 703 words. In it, he uttered one of his most memorable phrases, when he called on Americans to proceed from the Civil War "with malice toward none, with charity for all." Ronald White, author of Lincoln's Greatest Speech: The Second Inaugural, discusses the speech and its impact with Talking History's Fred Nielsen.

Airdate: March 28, 2005

Paternalism Incorporated
The period from the end of the Civil War to World War II was a time of considerable change in the United States. It witnessed an industrial revolution, which transformed not only the American economy and the way Americans worked, but also race, class, and gender relations and, as our guest this week has found, the role and image of the father. He is David Leverenz, the author of Paternalism Incorporated: Fables of American Fatherhood: 1865–1940.

Airdate: March 21, 2005

Failed Century of the Child
It is often said that children are our most important resource. But how effective has public policy been throughout the twentieth century in improving the well being of the nation's children? Talking History's Jim Madison and Judith Sealander discuss this, and more. Sealander is professor of history at Bowling Green State University and author of The Failed Century of the Child: Governing America's Young in the Twentieth Century.

Airdate: March 14, 2005

No Turning Back
Talking History marks Women's History Month with an interview with Estelle Freedman. She discusses the gradual social change that continues to bring a realization that women are equal to men, with host Bryan Le Beau. Estelle Freedman is the Edgar E. Robinson Professor in U.S. History at Stanford University, and author of No Turning Back: The History of Feminism and the Future of Women.

Airdate: March 7, 2005

Washington’s Slaves
This week Talking History’s Fred Nielsen discusses the complex story of George Washington, and his action of granting freedom to his slaves, with Henry Wiencek, author of An Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves, and the Creation of America. Wiencek’s previous book, The Hairstons: An American Family in Black and White, received the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1999.

Airdate: March 1, 2005

Presidents’ Day
This week Matthew Dennis and host Bryan Le Beau continue their yearlong look at the American holiday calendar. They discuss Presidents’ Day and the rise of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln as national heroes. Matthew Dennis is Professor of History at the University of Oregon and author of Red, White and Blue Letter Days: An American Calendar.

Airdate: February 21, 2005

Rudolf Valentino
Talking History’s Eileen Dugan and author Emily Leider discuss what made the matinee idol Rudolf Valentino such a sensation in life and death. Emily Leider is author of Dark Lover: The Life and Death of Rudolf Valentino.

Airdate: February 14, 2005

Nat Turner
This month we celebrate Black History. Bryan Le Beau’s guest this week, Ken Greenberg, discusses Nat Turner, leader of the slave rebellion in August 1831, and perhaps one of the least understood figures in American history. Ken Greenberg is author of Nat Turner: A Slave Rebellion in History and Memory and writer, co-producer for "A Troublesome Property," a documentary about Nat Turner.

Airdate: February 7, 2005

The Chinese in America
Several months before her death in November 2004, author Iris Chang joined Bryan Le Beau in conversation about her work. This week we air the second part of that discussion on her book: The Chinese in America.

Airdate: January 31, 2005

The Rape of Nanking
Several months before her death in November 2004, author Iris Chang joined Bryan Le Beau in conversation about two of her books The Rape of Nanking and The Chinese in America. This week we air the first of those conversations and focus on the massacre in Nanking.

Airdate: January 24, 2005

Martin Luther King Day
This week we begin the first in a series that will take us through the American holiday calendar year with our guest, Matthew Dennis, author of Red, White and Blue Letter Days: An American Calendar. He discusses the youngest of American public holidays, Martin Luther King Day, with host Bryan Le Beau.

Airdate: January 17, 2005

Samuel. F. B. Morse
The invention of the electromagnetic telegraph earned Samuel F. B. Morse the name of Lightning Man. But Morse was also a painter, sculptor, and photographer, whose genius produced great inner turmoil. Talking History’s John Herron, a new addition to our team, discusses the life of Morse with Kenneth Silverman, author of Lightning Man: The Accursed Life of Samuel F. B. Morse. Silverman is Professor Emeritus of English at New York University. He is winner of the Bancroft Prize in American History and the Pulitzer Prize for Biography for The Life and Times of Cotton Mather.

Airdate: January 10, 2005

Boston Marriages
Host Bryan Le Beau begins the year with a discussion of same sex unions in the past with our guest, Estelle Freedman. Her article, "Boston Marriage, Free Love, and Fictive Kin: Historical Alternatives to Mainstream Marriage," appeared in the Organization of American Historians’ Newsletter of August 2004. Estelle Freedman is Edgar E. Robinson Professor in U.S. History at Stanford University.

Airdate: January 3, 2005