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#165 Saving America’s Cities w/ Lizabeth Cohen

The Road to Now

Release Date: 03/23/2020

#172 Fourth Anniversary Party show art #172 Fourth Anniversary Party

The Road to Now

There was a lot happening when Bob & Ben launched the first episode of The Road to Now on May 19th, 2016. It was the year of a Presidential election, there was an intense feeling of partisanship in the air, and people were everywhere- at concerts, in classes, on the sidewalk….

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#171 Baseball in Context w/ Jayson Stark show art #171 Baseball in Context w/ Jayson Stark

The Road to Now

Bob & Ben talk with award-winning sportswriter Jayson Stark about baseball’s place in American culture, how the scandals in the sport reflect moments in American history, and how Major League Baseball has persevered through some of our country’s hardest times. Jayson also talks about his path from beat writer to award-winning sportswriter, what he considers important when casting his vote for the Baseball Hall of Fame, and why nobody wants to visit the National Baseball Hall of Purity.

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#170 Soviet Soldiers and the Red Army in World War II w/ Brandon Schechter show art #170 Soviet Soldiers and the Red Army in World War II w/ Brandon Schechter

The Road to Now

On June 22, 1941, Nazi Germany launched an attack on the USSR that caught Soviet leaders completely off guard. Over the next four years, the Red Army was transformed, as were the lives of its more than 34 million men & women. In this episode, Ben speaks with Brandon Schechter about his book The Stuff of Soldiers: A History of the Red Army in World War II Through Objects and how examining the objects used during World War II can give us a deeper understanding of soldiers’ lives and the war as a whole.

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# 169 The Kinks: Songs of the Semi-Detached w/ Mark Doyle show art # 169 The Kinks: Songs of the Semi-Detached w/ Mark Doyle

The Road to Now

The Kinks are one of the great rock bands of the 20th century, and like all artists, they reflect the times and places they’ve inhabited. In this episode, we speak with Mark Doyle about his excellent new book The Kinks: Songs of the Semi-Detached (Reaktion Books, 2020) and how the band, their origins, and Ray Davies’ lyrics can teach us a lot about both the real and imagined spaces of mid-20th Century England.

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Technology and the Mind w/ Nicholas Carr show art Technology and the Mind w/ Nicholas Carr

The Road to Now

Many of us are beginning to sense that technology is affecting the way we think and interact with one another. How is the internet affecting our brains, and should we be concerned about it? How is the internet different from other media technologies such as print, radio and television? And is google making us stupid? In this episode of the Road to Now, we get the answer from New York Times Best Selling Author Nicholas Carr. (This is a rebroadcast of an episode that originally aired on March 20, 2017)

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#168 Breaking Down the 5G Conspiracy w/ Stacy Wood  show art #168 Breaking Down the 5G Conspiracy w/ Stacy Wood

The Road to Now

As people try to make sense of the Coronavirus epidemic, some have unfortunately turned to conspiracy theories linking Covid-19 to the installation of 5G networks. In this episode, Bob and Ben speak with Stacy Wood about her research on conspiracy theories, the past conspiracy theories that have converged in the 5G theory, and the reasons some people are willing to accept these explanations of the world in spite of strong evidence to the contrary.

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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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Note: Bob and Ben start off talking about the Covid-19 outbreak and plans for upcoming episodes of this podcast. We shift to our discussion with Dr. Cohen at about 10:30.

The suburbanization of the American landscape after World War II left the country’s older 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. In this episode Dr. Cohen joins us for a conversation about post-WWII America, the pros and cons of biography, and her new book Saving America’s Cities: Ed Logue and the Struggle to Renew Urban America in the Suburban Age, which recently won her a second Bancroft Prize for American History.

Dr. Lizabeth Cohen is Lizabeth Cohen is the Howard Mumford Jones Professor of American Studies and a Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of History at Harvard. Cohen’s previous books include Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919-1939, winner of the Bancroft Prize and a finalist for the Pulitzer, and A Consumers’ Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America.

Note: Bob and Ben start off talking about the Covid-19 outbreak and plans for upcoming episodes of this podcast. We shift to our discussion with Dr. Cohen at about 10:30.

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