American history podcast ‘Backstory’ ends: Episodes move to archives

BackStory

BackStory hosts Joanne Freeman, Nathan Connolly, Brian Balogh and Ed Ayers are shown on the stage of Charlottesville’s Paramount Theater before “BackStory Live: Who Speaks for America?,” a live show honoring University of Virginia’s Bicentennial, Oct. 5, 2017. Photographer: Sanjay Suchak

After more than 300 episodes that have reached millions of listeners over the last 12 years, BackStory, the American history podcast produced by Virginia Humanities, published its final episode today.

“Virginia Humanities is proud to have produced BackStory for the past twelve years. The staff, guests, and hosts have created a show that makes history not just interesting, but also relevant. Without an understanding of what came before us in human experience, we run the risk of plodding through the present and into the future with amnesia,” said Matthew Gibson, Virginia Humanities’ executive director. “BackStory has been a great antidote to that possibility and has helped listeners understand the importance of the past in shaping our future. The show’s accomplishments are many and I am happy we have ensured the public will continue to have access to every episode in perpetuity.”

BackStory began in 2008 as a monthly radio show. Created by Andrew Wyndham and somewhat styled after popular radio show “Car Talk,” BackStory then featured noted historians Peter Onuf, Ed Ayers and Brian Balogh as its hosts. In 2017, Onuf retired and historians Joanne Freeman and Nathan Connolly joined the team. Together, Ayers, Balogh, Connolly and Freeman continued to make history engaging, accessible and often, downright fun.

“The Radio Years” of BackStory, 2008 – 2016, are available in the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) – a collaboration between the Library of Congress and Boston public media producer WGBH. More than 55,000 historic public radio and television programs are available for streaming through the AAPB, with more on the way, including BackStory’s episodes from 2017 onward. BackStory is featured as one of AAPB’s special collections.

“All of BackStory will be preserved for posterity at AAPB,” said Alan Gevinson, Library of Congress project director for AAPB. “The series has consistently used audio innovatively to explore complexities of the American past and present, while offering ways for making sense of its stories that will be appreciated for generations to come.”

“The Podcast Years,” 2017 – present, continue to be available on BackStory’s website, but will also have a home on New American History, the latest digital humanities project led by BackStory host, Ed Ayers. New American History explores America’s past with the power of digital media. Its core projects are Bunk, a curated remix of contemporary online content, and American Panorama, an interactive digital atlas. Partner content is contributed by BackStory, the video documentary series The Future of America’s Past,  as well as others who share a commitment to innovative public history.

“We look forward to sharing the riches of BackStory for years to come,” Ayers said.  “The shows responded to current events and yet offer insights of enduring value and interest.”

Thanks to early and continued support from an anonymous donor and the National Endowment for the Humanities, BackStory reached diverse audiences with the latest and most innovative humanities scholarship.  Aligning around common missions, NEH supported BackStory with generous grants for production and creation of educational materials, while BackStory staged live shows in conjunction with the NEH for bipartisan offices.

BackStory has been downloaded millions of times every year by listeners around the globe. Through these partnerships, the entire catalog will continue to be available online for years to come.

Learn more about BackStory by visiting www.BackStoryradio.org/.

         
 

UVA Basketball Fans!

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25. The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe, and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018 through to the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”

Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”

Feedback from buyers: “Got the Book in the Mail Saturday, and could not put it down! Great read and great photography as well! Love all of the books I’ve received, but hands down, this is my favorite!” – Russell

Buy here.


augusta free press news
augusta free press news
augusta free press news


Comments