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Now & Then

Author: CAFE

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How can the past help inform today’s most pressing challenges? Every Tuesday, award-winning historians Heather Cox Richardson and Joanne Freeman use their encyclopedic knowledge of US history to bring the past to life. Together, they make sense of the week in news by discussing the people, ideas, and events that got us here today. Now and Then is produced by CAFE and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

11 Episodes
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On this episode of Now & Then, “Projecting America at the Olympics,” Heather and Joanne frame the current Tokyo Olympics alongside historical examples of American cultural diplomacy. They trace efforts to appeal to France in the Revolutionary Period, the rise of World’s Fairs, and the controversies that accompanied Jesse Owens’ 1936 Olympics dominance in Berlin and the 1968 Black Power salute by medalists Tommie Smith and John Carlos. What do these earlier negotiations say about American self-definition, particularly given the contemporary Olympics controversy over Simone Biles’ decision to withdraw from portions of the gymnastics competition? Join CAFE Insider to listen to “Backstage,” where Heather and Joanne chat each week about the anecdotes and ideas that formed the episode. And for a limited time, use the code HISTORY for 50% off the annual membership price. Head to www.cafe.com/history Join us each Tuesday for new episodes of Now & Then, and keep an eye out for live events with Heather and Joanne and the rest of the CAFE Team.  For references & supplemental materials, head to: cafe.com/now-and-then/projecting-america-at-the-olympics Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
On this episode of Now & Then, “The Human Toll of Infrastructure,” Heather and Joanne discuss the historical precedents for President Biden’s infrastructure proposals. What role did river infrastructure play in spurring the Constitutional Convention? What was the revolutionary impact of the Transcontinental Railroad and President Eisenhower’s championing of the Interstate highway system? What were the consequences of the Nixon administration’s veto of national childcare legislation? And turning to today, how does the congressional wrangling over Biden’s plans reflect a long-standing debate over the role that the government should play in how Americans connect to one another?  Join CAFE Insider to listen to “Backstage,” where Heather and Joanne chat each week about the anecdotes and ideas that formed the episode. And for a limited time, use the code HISTORY for 50% off the annual membership price. Head to www.cafe.com/history Join us each Tuesday for new episodes of Now & Then, and keep an eye out for live events with Heather and Joanne and the rest of the CAFE Team.  For references & supplemental materials, head to: cafe.com/now-and-then/the-human-toll-of-infrastructure Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Culture Wars

Culture Wars

2021-07-2044:532

On this episode of Now & Then, “Culture Wars,” Heather and Joanne discuss moments of dramatic cultural change in American history: pre-Civil War abolitionism, early 20th-century individualism, to our current reckoning over police brutality and history education. How do our pop cultural artifacts, from Uncle Tom’s Cabin, to P.T. Barnum’s problematic attractions, to Gone with the Wind, show the ways American self-identity and priorities have evolved over time? This episode was recorded before a live audience on Facebook on July 15, 2021.  Join CAFE Insider to listen to “Backstage,” where Heather and Joanne chat each week about the anecdotes and ideas that formed the episode. And for a limited time, use the code HISTORY for 50% off the annual membership price. Head to www.cafe.com/history Join us each Tuesday for new episodes of Now & Then, and keep an eye out for live events with Heather and Joanne and the rest of the CAFE Team.  For references & supplemental materials, head to: cafe.com/now-and-then/culture-wars Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
On this episode of Now & Then, “Judging the Supreme Court,” Heather Cox Richardson and Joanne Freeman discuss the recently-concluded Supreme Court term, and they place the Roberts Court in the context of other consequential Supreme Courts throughout American history, from the Marshall Court of the early 19th century, to the Taney Court and its infamous Dred Scott decision of 1857, to the progressive Warren Court of the mid 20th century, and finally to the modern era.  Join CAFE Insider to listen to “Backstage,” where Heather and Joanne chat each week about the anecdotes and ideas that formed the episode. And for a limited time, use the code HISTORY for 50% off the annual membership price. Head to www.cafe.com/history Thank you for listening! Join us each Tuesday for new episodes of Now & Then. To RSVP to Thursday's live taping, head to cafe.com/live. For references & supplemental materials, head to: https://cafe.com/now-and-then/judging-the-supreme-court/ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
On this episode of Now & Then, “Creating Federal Holidays, July 4th to Juneteenth,” Heather Cox Richardson and Joanne Freeman discuss the recent debate over making Juneteenth a Federal holiday. Then, Heather and Joanne look at the earlier debates that accompanied the creations of July 4th, Columbus Day, and Election Day, with a focus on the economic, moral, and political considerations that went into the formations of these iconic American celebrations.  Join CAFE Insider to listen to “Backstage,” where Heather and Joanne chat each week about the anecdotes and ideas that formed the episode. And for a limited time, use the code HISTORY for 50% off the annual membership price. Head to www.cafe.com/history Thank you for listening! Join us each Tuesday for new episodes of Now & Then, and keep an eye out for live events with Heather and Joanne and the rest of the CAFE Team.  For references & supplemental materials, head to: cafe.com/now-and-then/creating-federal-holidays-july-4th-to-juneteenth Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
On this episode of Now & Then, “Corrupting the Commonwealth,” Heather Cox Richardson and Joanne Freeman discuss recent reporting that the Trump Department of Justice subpoenaed the metadata of journalists and members of Congress. Heather and Joanne then look at three past reckonings over accusations of presidential corruption: Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson’s back-and-forth over the First Bank of the United States, the break in the 1870s Republican Party over President Grant’s enforcement of voting rights in the South, and President Nixon’s justifications for his notorious “black bag” operations. In the process, Heather and Joanne zero in on the morphing roles of the public and Congress in defining executive overreach and self-dealing.  Join CAFE Insider to listen to “Backstage,” where Heather and Joanne chat each week about the anecdotes and ideas that formed the episode. And for a limited time, use the code HISTORY for 50% off the annual membership price. Head to www.cafe.com/history Thank you for listening! Join us each Tuesday for new episodes of Now & Then, and keep an eye out for live events with Heather and Joanne and the rest of the CAFE Team.  For references & supplemental materials, head to: cafe.com/now-and-then/corrupting-the-commonwealth Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
On the fourth episode of Now & Then, “QAnon, Cults, and Cutlery,” Heather Cox Richardson and Joanne Freeman discuss the recent FBI assessment of QAnon as a violent domestic terrorism threat. They also reflect on the historical relationship between cults and the government, from the Salem Witch Trials, to the utopian Oneida Community, to the tragic saga of Jonestown.  Join CAFE Insider to listen to “Backstage,” where Heather and Joanne chat each week about the anecdotes and ideas that formed the episode. And for a limited time, use the code HISTORY for 50% off the annual membership price. Head to www.cafe.com/history Thank you for listening! Join us each Tuesday for new episodes of Now & Then, and keep an eye out for live events with Heather and Joanne and the rest of the CAFE Team.  For references & supplemental materials, head to: cafe.com/now-and-then/qanon-cults-and-cutlery Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
On the third episode of Now & Then, “Battling Over Critical Race Theory,” Heather Cox Richardson and Joanne Freeman discuss the current debate over Critical Race Theory and the development of American historical scholarship, from Parson Weems’s fables, to George Washington Williams’ pioneering histories of Black America, to Reagan-era controversies over “Western Civilization” courses, to the influential work of Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw. Join CAFE Insider to listen to “Backstage,” where Heather and Joanne chat each week about the anecdotes and ideas that formed the episode. And for a limited time, use the code HISTORY for 50% off the annual membership price. Head to .cafe.com/history Thank you for listening! Join us each Tuesday for new episodes of Now & Then, and keep an eye out for live events with Heather and Joanne and the rest of the CAFE Team.  For references & supplemental materials, head to: cafe.com/now-and-then/battling-over-critical-race-theory Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Investigating Democracy

Investigating Democracy

2021-06-0845:595

On the second episode of Now & Then, “Investigating Democracy,” Heather Cox Richardson and Joanne Freeman discuss the history of congressional commissions, following the Senate Republican filibuster of the proposed commission to investigate the January 6th insurrection. Heather and Joanne look back on investigations of the 1856 caning of Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner, the 1871 Ku Klux Klan hearings, and the 1954 back-and-forth between Senator Joseph McCarthy and the Army. In the process, they explore the partisanship and lasting cultural impact of these commissions and what that says about the utility of a January 6th Commission.  Join CAFE Insider to listen to “Backstage,” where Heather and Joanne chat each week about the anecdotes and ideas that formed the episode. And for a limited time, use the code HISTORY for 50% off the annual membership price. Head to www.cafe.com/history Thank you for listening! Join us each Tuesday for new episodes of Now & Then, and keep an eye out for live events with Heather and Joanne and the rest of the CAFE Team.  For references & supplemental materials, head to: cafe.com/now-and-then/investigating-democracy/ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Entangling Alliances

Entangling Alliances

2021-06-0148:209

On this first episode of Now & Then, “Entangling Alliances,” Heather Cox Richardson and Joanne Freeman discuss the emerging Biden Doctrine and the relationship between foreign and domestic policy throughout American history. Heather and Joanne focus on the French Revolution, Teddy Roosevelt’s progressive turn, and the cultural legacies of the Vietnam War as three moments from “then” that can particularly inform this transitional moment for America’s role in the world.  Join CAFE Insider to listen to “Backstage,” where Heather and Joanne chat each week about the anecdotes and ideas that formed the episode. And for a limited time, use the code HISTORY for 50% off the annual membership price. Head to www.cafe.com/history Thank you for listening! Join us each Tuesday for new episodes of Now & Then, and keep an eye out for live events with Heather and Joanne and the rest of the CAFE Team.  For references & supplemental materials, head to: cafe.com/now-and-then/now-then-episode-1-entangling-alliances/ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Introducing Now & Then

Introducing Now & Then

2021-05-1402:222

Now & Then is a new podcast from CAFE hosted by historians Heather Cox Richardson and Joanne Freeman. Each Tuesday, they will break down the week in news and look back at historical parallels to help us understand our present. Along the way, they’ll introduce us to history’s influential and often-forgotten characters. New episodes drop every Tuesday starting June 1st. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Comments (4)

Constance Moylan

enjoyed this fact based & balanced podcast

Jul 12th
Reply

Richard Nixon

Love this podcast, and this episode specifically!

Jun 29th
Reply

Lorraine LaFrazia

Thanks again for a great listen !

Jun 18th
Reply

Claude Poliakoff

looking forward to active discussion of our current autocratic risk,as well as restoration of truth & trust, essential for democracy to survive.

Jun 5th
Reply
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