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#153 Floating Coast: The Environmental History of the Bering Strait w/ Bathsheba Demuth

The Road to Now

Release Date: 12/02/2019

#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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#160 NASCAR and Moonshine w/ Kyle Petty and Dan Pierce (Recorded Live at the McGlohon Theater in Charlotte, NC) show art #160 NASCAR and Moonshine w/ Kyle Petty and Dan Pierce (Recorded Live at the McGlohon Theater in Charlotte, NC)

The Road to Now

NASCAR has a reputation as a family-friendly organization, but its history is inseparable from the moonshining and bootlegging of the prohibition era. While today's cars have little in common with their mid-20th century predecessors, many of the sports traditions have endured. In this episode, Bob and Ben talk with third-generation racer Kyle Petty and Dr. Dan Pierce of UNC-Asheville to find out more about the history of stock car racing and the changes that have transformed the sport in the 21st Century.

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#159 The History of Charlotte, NC  w/ Thomas Hanchett & Pam Kelley (Recorded Live at the McGlohon Theater in Charlotte, NC)  show art #159 The History of Charlotte, NC w/ Thomas Hanchett & Pam Kelley (Recorded Live at the McGlohon Theater in Charlotte, NC)

The Road to Now

Charlotte, NC has grown tremendously in the last half-century, yet it still lacks a clear national identity. Bob & Ben both spent pivotal years of their lives in the Queen City, so they dedicated the first portion of RTN Live in Charlotte to a conversation on the city and its history with two people who know it best: historian Dr. Thomas Hanchett (author of Sorting Out the New South City) & journalist Pam Kelley (author of Money Rock). The show opens w/ musical guest David Childers.

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In 1848, New England ships crossed the Bering Strait in pursuit of the bowhead whales that provided their income. In the years since, the activity of outsiders- from hunters, to government bureaucrats, to consumers of energy who never set foot in the region- has had a deep impact on the region, but the environment of Beringia has made the place itself an active participant in this process.

About a century and a half after New England whalers crossed the Bering Strait, Bathsheba Demuth graduated High School in Iowa and moved north of the Arctic Circle in the Yukon. She later earned a PhD in history, and is currently Assistant Professor of History at Brown University. In this episode, Bathsheba joins Ben for a conversation about her research, how her fascination with the arctic led her to dedicate much of her life to understanding Beringia, and the ways that an environmental perspective allows us to better understand our place in the world and that of others. Bathsheba’s new book, Floating Coast: An Environmental History of the Bering Strait was published by W.W. Norton & Co in 2019. It is a masterpiece.

For more on Dr. Bathsheba Demuth, visit her website- www.brdemuth.com- and follow her on twitter at @brdemuth.

The Road to Now is part of the Osiris Podcast Network. This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.