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#144 Saudi Arabia and the Middle East w/ Sean Foley

The Road to Now

Release Date: 09/23/2019

#41 The History of Health Insurance w/ Melissa Thomasson show art #41 The History of Health Insurance w/ Melissa Thomasson

The Road to Now

Fixing the American healthcare system has been one of the most difficult and divisive problems in modern US history. The Affordable Care Act has helped more Americans than ever gain insurance, yet the remaining problems have led the Republican-controlled Congress to put “repeal and replace” at the top of their legislative agenda in 2017. Why has health insurance been such a tricky issue in the United States? Why did our insurance model develop differently than in other industrialized countries, and how can understanding this help us overcome the problems we face today? In this episode of...

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#44 The History of NASCAR w/ Kyle Petty show art #44 The History of NASCAR w/ Kyle Petty

The Road to Now

When Bill France Sr. founded NASCAR in 1948, his goal was to turn stock car racing from an activity associated with bootlegging roughnecks into a successful spectator sport. To say he accomplished that goal would be an understatement, as the once-regional sport has become one of the most popular in the United States. How did this happen? And how did a competition once associated with outlaws and rogues become one of the most family-friendly sports in modern America? Anyone who knows NASCAR history will tell you that you can’t answer these questions without talking a lot about the Petty...

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#167 The Outbreak Narrative w/ Priscilla Wald  show art #167 The Outbreak Narrative w/ Priscilla Wald

The Road to Now

Bob & Ben speak with Dr. Priscilla Wald about her research on what she calls the “outbreak narrative” and how understanding it might help us respond better to epidemics in the present.

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#166 Everything’s Going To Be Okay show art #166 Everything’s Going To Be Okay

The Road to Now

Based on what you’ve told us on social media, it’s time for a break from the outbreak. So in this episode, Bob and Ben talk about the French Revolution, nationalism and colonization (aka the books assigned for Bob’s Graduate European History Seminar). They also talk about the art of teaching and Ben’s approach to transitioning to teaching his history classes online (which he recently had to do for an unspecified reason).

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#165 Saving America’s Cities w/ Lizabeth Cohen show art #165 Saving America’s Cities w/ Lizabeth Cohen

The Road to Now

The suburbanization of the American landscape after World War II left the country’s urban centers in crisis. Revitalizing cities was no easy task, and many of the most inspiring plans for reconstructing America’s urban space went unfulfilled. These visions may have never come to fruition, but Lizabeth Cohen says there is much to learn from the visionaries. Dr. Cohen joins us for a conversation about her new book Saving America’s Cities: Ed Logue and the Struggle to Renew Urban America in the Suburban

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#164 What('s) A Disaster show art #164 What('s) A Disaster

The Road to Now

Disasters abound, and what comes next is all about making good decisions. Ben talks about the Nashville tornado of 1998, the Nashville tornado of 2020, and the coronavirus, and Dr. Andy Bruno shares his expertise on the origins of natural disasters and what we can learn from studying them in history.

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The History of Coal w/ Chuck Keeney show art The History of Coal w/ Chuck Keeney

The Road to Now

Bob and Ben speak w/ Chuck Keeney about the history of coal in the United States. Chuck explains the ways that the coal industry has shaped not only the physical landscape of mining towns, but also, through lobbying efforts and information campaigns, the way we understand our nation’s history. Chuck is uniquely qualified to tell the story of coal- he had a PhD in history from West Virginia Univ. & is the great-grandson of coal miner/ labor organizer Frank Keeney.

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#163 The Avett Brothers Archive w/ Tim Mossberger show art #163 The Avett Brothers Archive w/ Tim Mossberger

The Road to Now

Tim Mossberger talks about how he became the Avett Archivist, where he gets his rare items, and how he processes, preserves, and organizes the massive amount of material he’s acquired over the years. Bob and Tim also talk about the history of The Avett Brothers & the turning points that helped the band bring their music to a wider audience.

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#162 The Presidents’ Day Rundown show art #162 The Presidents’ Day Rundown

The Road to Now

The Road to Now is celebrating our fourth Presidents’ Day by launching our first Presidents’ Day episode! To mark this momentous occasion, Bob and Ben both sat down with a list of three significant moments in presidential history and discussed how they changed the country. Are there Roosevelts? Yes. Are there presidents born in three different centuries? Yes. Should you listen instead of asking any more question? Yes! We hope you enjoy the episode! Edited by Gary Fletcher & part of the Osiris Network.

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#161 Food in the Era of Adulteration w/ Benjamin Cohen show art #161 Food in the Era of Adulteration w/ Benjamin Cohen

The Road to Now

When it comes to food, knowing what you’re getting can be tricky. On the surface, words such as “pure” and “natural” seem straightforward, yet defining them in the modern world has required experts, laws, & administrative structures. In this episode, Bob & Ben speak with Dr. Benjamin Cohen about the pure food crusades of the late nineteenth century, the origins of the Food & Drug Administration (1906), and the lessons this era offers us as we seek to make decisions about food policy in the 21st ce

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More Episodes

The recent drone strike on Saudi oil fields has implications for the entire world, but we remain uncertain who is responsible for the attack. Yemen’s Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility, but Trump claims it was actually Iran. There’s a lot at stake here, so Ben sat down with his MTSU colleague Sean Foley to learn about the history of the conflict and how that might inform policy moving forward.

In the second part of the episode, Bob and Ben talk about Bob’s research and what he’s learned about Monsanto since our last episode. We also share an exciting announcement about upcoming plans for the podcast!

Dr. Sean Foley is a Professor of History at Middle Tennessee State University, where he specializes in the contemporary history and politics of the Middle East and the wider Islamic world. He frequently visits Asia and the Middle East, follows events in both regions closely, and speaks Arabic and Bahasa Malaysian. Dr. Foley has held Fulbright fellowships in Syria, Turkey, and Malaysia, and lived in Saudi Arabia from April 2013 until January 2014. His most recent book is Changing Saudi Arabia: Art, Culture, and Society in the Kingdom (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2019). You can follow him on twitter at @foleyse.