American History Tellers

A weekly History, Society and Culture podcast featuring
 8 people rated this podcast
The Cold War, Prohibition, the Gold Rush, the Space Race. Every part of your life -the words you speak, the ideas you share- can be traced to our history, but how well do you really know the stories that made America? We’ll take you to the events, the times and the people that shaped our nation. And we’ll show you how our history affected them, their families and affects you today. Hosted by Lindsay Graham (not the Senator). From Wondery, the network behind Tides Of History, Fall Of Rome and Dirty John.
Host
218 episodes
Producer
218 episodes
Producer
218 episodes
The thing I love about American History Tellers is that Lindsay does an incredible job captivating and making history fun. Each episode is packed with information not only on the person, event or topic of the week but their families and the lasting impact of the subject. Some of my favorite episodes have been based around The Cold War, Prohibition, and National Parks. Names of people you probably never heard of before have made the biggest impact on our story as Americans so why not go take a listen to American History Tellers and learn how and why things done in our history happened and what last effects they have had on us.
I was scrolling through YouTube one day when I came across a video of policemen draining barrels of alcohol. It was during Prohibition. Using a hammer – or something similar – they punctured the barrels and the liquid burst out into a drainage ditch. The images struck me. Yes, I had learned about Prohibition in school, but the sight of liquor being drained viscerally reminded me that there was a time when alcohol was actually illegal. Given our drinking culture and the ubiquity of alcohol advertisements, we don’t think about Prohibition very often. We also have forgotten the other culture wars related to alcohol. For example, there were legal restraints against liquor ads on radio. While we have moved on from the dispute over the legality of alcohol, we are currently arguing about the same for drugs. Many of the arguments are similar. For example, legalization advocates make the case for personal liberty, while prohibitionists argue that drugs – because of their mind-altering and addictive qualities - don’t allow individuals to make rational, personal decisions about use. One of the most compelling arguments for legalization – at least for me – is that government injunctions against drugs have harsh unintended consequences. These include over-incarceration, policy brutality, and organized crime. While listening to the American History Tellers (AHT) series “Prohibition” I couldn’t help but think about these kinds of unintended consequences following the injunction against alcohol. Entire careers were created for criminals to produce and deliver illegal goods that consumers still wanted. This led to other types of crime in the provision of this service – for example, homicide, tax evasion, and racketeering. I found the podcast series compelling for this reason – it put me in the 1920s and early 1930s and led me to consider these issues from that perspective. The script is tight and the story is engaging. Upon completion of each episode, I wanted to listen to the following one. This is history story-telling done well – to lead the listener to experience the past and consider the present, all while not saying what to think but how to consider present issues in light of historical developments. “Prohibition” has been my favorite AHT series. The other series have not been quite as compelling to me, although many are enjoyable, such as “The Space Race” and “The Bastard Brigade.”
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Podcast Details

Created by
Wondery
Podcast Status
Active
Started
Dec 13th, 2017
Latest Episode
Apr 14th, 2021
Release Period
Weekly
Episodes
225
Avg. Episode Length
32 minutes
Explicit
No
Order
Serial
Language
English

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