Professor Buzzkill History Podcast
Professor Buzzkill is an exciting new blog & podcast that explores history myths in an illuminating, entertaining, and humorous way.
info_outline October Surprises in US Presidential Elections 10/22/2020
October Surprises in US Presidential Elections There seem to have been a lot of October Surprises in American Presidential elections since the 1940s. And there have been different types of October Surprises, for different reasons, and with different motivations. But have they ever seriously affected the election results? Our political history genius, Professor Philip Nash, explains all! Episode #386
info_outline How Americans Became Political Junkies 10/20/2020
How Americans Became Political Junkies Dr. Claire Bond Potter explains how Americans became political junkies in the 20th and 21st centuries. From talk radio to Twitter, she shows us how alternative media hooked us on politics and broke our democracy. Listen right away! Episode #385
info_outline PB and Axelbank Reports History Today Interview Each Other! 10/15/2020
PB and Axelbank Reports History Today Interview Each Other! Evan Axelbank from the new podcast "Axelbank Reports History and Today" interviews Professor Buzzkill, and vice versa! We talk about books, history, and podcasting. Fun, fun, fun!! Episode #384
info_outline The Electoral College in US History 10/13/2020
The Electoral College in US History What is the "electoral college" and how does it work? Why was it created? Was it created to protect slavery and slave states in the 18th century? Is the current electoral college what the Founders intended? And what can Americans do about this broken and abused relic? Prof Philip Nash explains all! Episode #383.
info_outline Fake News in American History 10/06/2020
Fake News in American History Professor Michelle Nickerson explains the complicated and compelling history of the news media in US history, and the changing development of "fake news." She also helps us understand what to do about it! Episode #382. Our listeners get a free trial at The Great Courses Plus! Click here to go to !!
info_outline The "Image" Myth from the Kennedy-Nixon 1960 Debates 09/30/2020
The "Image" Myth from the Kennedy-Nixon 1960 Debates The first Biden-Trump debate was called "a sh*t show" immediately when it was over. And the "Kennedy image" myth from the first 1960 Presidential debate was brought up over and over in the pre-debate, during-debate, and post-debate analysis. Here's our original episode about it. Our listeners get a free trial at The Great Courses Plus! Click here to go to !!
info_outline Mark Twain: A Lie Can Travel Halfway Around the World Before the Truth Puts On its Shoes - Quote or No Quote? 09/30/2020
Mark Twain: A Lie Can Travel Halfway Around the World Before the Truth Puts On its Shoes - Quote or No Quote? "A Lie Can Travel Halfway Around the World Before the Truth Puts On its Shoes" has been attributed to Mark Twain (and almost everyone else). But who first said it, and why is the quote's history so important during this period of heightened "fake news"? Episode #381 Our listeners get a free trial at The Great Courses Plus! Click here to go to !!
info_outline Churchill's Wartime Speeches: the Untold Story 09/29/2020
Churchill's Wartime Speeches: the Untold Story Professor Richard Toye explains the background and context of Winston Churchill's famous World War II speeches, from how they were written, to how they were delivered, to how the public reacted. It's the "untold story"! Episode #380. Our listeners get a free trial at The Great Courses Plus! Click here to go to !!
info_outline Babe Didrikson Zaharias - Woman Crush Wednesday! 09/23/2020
Babe Didrikson Zaharias - Woman Crush Wednesday! One of the greatest athletes of all time, Babe Didrikson Zaharias has been somewhat forgotten in the 21st Century. An Olympic gold medalist, she excelled in track and field, basketball, baseball, and golf throughout her career. Episode #379. Our listeners get a free trial at The Great Courses Plus! Click here to go to !!
info_outline Churchill Myths in Film and Television 09/22/2020
Churchill Myths in Film and Television Professor Steven Fielding explains Churchill myths in film and television from Mission to Moscow (1943) to Darkest Hour (2017), and everything in between! The new book, “The Churchill Myths” is available on the Buzzkill Bookshelf. Episode #378. Our listeners get a free trial at The Great Courses Plus! Click here to go to !!
info_outline Watergate Myths - Flashback Friday!! 09/18/2020
Watergate Myths - Flashback Friday!! Bob Woodward's new book about Trump, entitled "Rage," has reminded Buzzkillers of Woodward's journalism in the early '70s. This Flashback Friday encore episode busts myths about Watergate, Woodward and Bernstein, and the Washington Post. Enjoy! Our listeners get a free trial at The Great Courses Plus! Click here to go to !!
info_outline Churchill, Boris Johnson, and Brexit 09/15/2020
Churchill, Boris Johnson, and Brexit Professor Bill Schwartz explains the relationship between Churchill worship, Brexit, and Boris Johnson’s rise to the office of Prime Minister. This crucial episode also explains how “wartime nostalgia continues to work in conjunction with the fashioning of new installments of the Churchill myths, each acting upon the other,” as Professor Schwartz writes in the new book, “The Churchill Myths” (available on the Buzzkill Bookshelf). Episode # 377. Our listeners get a free trial at The Great Courses Plus! Click here to go to !!
info_outline Militias and the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution 09/10/2020
Militias and the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution Debates about the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution (“right to bear arms”) never seem to address the 18th-century meaning and importance of “militias” (included in the amendment’s first clause). Professor Noah Shusterman explains the long history of citizen militias since ancient Rome, and what the Constitution’s Framers accepted as the meaning of “militia.” Episode #376. Our listeners get a free trial at The Great Courses Plus! Click here to go to !!
info_outline Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All 09/08/2020
Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All Professor Martha Jones offers a new history of African American women's political lives in America. She recounts how they defied both racism and sexism to fight for the ballot, and how they wielded political power to secure the equality and dignity of all persons. From the earliest days of the republic to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and beyond, Jones excavates the lives and work of black women -- Maria Stewart, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Fannie Lou Hamer, and more -- who were the vanguard of women's rights, calling on America to realize its best ideals. Episode #375
info_outline Accounting for Slavery 09/01/2020
Accounting for Slavery How did Southern slave-owners "manage" their plantations? Was it pastoral or was it more professional and driven by hard-headed accounting, record-keeping, and statistics? Professor Caitlin Rosenthal explains her fascinating new research on "masters and management" in the 19th century US south. Episode #374
info_outline Churchill: a Life in the News 08/25/2020
Churchill: a Life in the News Professor Richard Toye tells us how Churchill’s long life and career developed in parallel with the changes in the development of modern media and news. Churchill’s first career was as a journalist and author, and it stayed with him as a second vocation as he moved through his life in the military, in politics, and as a world statesman. In essence, Toye analyzes whether there was a “public Churchill” whose image was at odds with the behind-the-scenes reality, or whether, in fact, his private and public selves became seamlessly blended as he adjusted to living in the constant glare of the media spotlight.
info_outline Sound of Music - Movie Myths Monday! 08/24/2020
Sound of Music - Movie Myths Monday! Our first "Movie Myths Monday" episode! We look at the famous, and heart-warming musical, The Sound of Music, and discuss the historical accuracies and inaccuracies. What Captain Von Trapp a member of the Nazi Party? How did the family escape? And what's the real story behind the much-misunderstood song, "Eidelweiss"? Listen and sing along!
info_outline J. Marion Sims and Medical Experimentation on Enslaved Women 08/18/2020
J. Marion Sims and Medical Experimentation on Enslaved Women Advanced Placement student researchers from Caddo Parish Magnet High School in Shreveport, Louisiana explain their research into the career of J. Marion Sims. His medical experiments on enslaved women during the 19th century are still controversial. In addition, they discuss Sims's legacy in the 20th and 21st centuries. Important listening! Episode #372.
info_outline Albert Battel - Man Crush Monday! 08/17/2020
Albert Battel - Man Crush Monday! Your favorite Professor, Philip Nash, tells us about Albert Battel, a German Army lieutenant and lawyer recognized for his resistance during World War II to the Nazi plans for the 1942 liquidation of a Jewish ghetto in Poland. Battel was posthumously recognized by the State of Israel as “Righteous Among the Nations” in 1981. Listen to his remarkable story! Episode #371.
info_outline League of Wives: the Women Who Took on the US Government to Bring Their Husbands Home 08/11/2020
League of Wives: the Women Who Took on the US Government to Bring Their Husbands Home Historian Heath Hardage Lee tells us the remarkable story of Sybil Stockdale, Jane Denton, Louise Mulligan, and other wives of American Navy and Air Force pilots who pressured the LBJ and Nixon administrations to get their POW husbands freed during the Vietnam War. Listen to this story of highly sophisticated, persistent, and dedicated political activism!
info_outline Arleen Lorrance “Be the Change…” Special Episode! 08/05/2020
Arleen Lorrance “Be the Change…” Special Episode! Our Quote or No Quote episodes are roaring back with the most important person we've ever interviewed -- Arleen Lorrance, the teacher and social innovator who created the "be the change you want to see happen" idea. As "be the change you want to see in the world," this idea is usually attributed to Gandhi, but Buzzkill Institute historians and quote history experts have proved over and over again that it started with Arleen Lorrance in 1970!
info_outline The Fuse that Helped Win World War II 08/04/2020
The Fuse that Helped Win World War II The "proximity fuse" was a technological marvel of its time. Produced under enormous time pressure and urgency to save lives, it is often called one of the three most important technological advances that helped win World War II. Award-winning author Jamie Holmes talks to us about it and his new book, 12 Seconds of Silence: How a Team of Inventory, Tinkerers, and Spies Took Down a Nazi Superweapon.
info_outline Hitler and Gun Control 07/28/2020
Hitler and Gun Control Did Hitler disarm the German citizenry as a way to make it easy to control them? Were Jews and other minorities targeted for gun confiscation so that they could be exterminated? Professor Philip Nash explains this _very_ complicated issue, and busts many myths about Hitler and "gun control."
info_outline Ante Pavelic - POS Saturday! 07/25/2020
Ante Pavelic - POS Saturday! It's hard to be a bigger POS than Ante Pavelic, the fascist ultranationalist and dictator who was one of the worst war criminals in Europe during the 1930s and 1940. The Nazi SS even tried to rein in his excesses! Professor Nash explains all! BTW, it's a brutal episode, so don't let the Buzzlings listen.
info_outline Ideological Exclusion and Deportation in US History 07/21/2020
Ideological Exclusion and Deportation in US History Dr. Julia Rose Kraut explains the history of American laws used to bar or expel foreigners based on their beliefs and associations. Immigration history is more complicated than most of us think. Listen and learn!
info_outline European Nationalists and the Confederacy 07/13/2020
European Nationalists and the Confederacy Professor Ann Tucker explains that white American southerners closely analyzed European nationalist movements 1830-1860. This led them to conceive of a separate southern nation, and helped them try to defend and legitimize the Confederacy. This great episode presents a new angle on Confederate nationalism, and refutes the myth that southern enslavers were intellectually isolated and ignorant of the trends of the time.
info_outline Chief Seattle "We Do Not Inherit the Earth from Our Ancestors; We Borrow It from Our Children" Wednesday Wisdom! 07/08/2020
Chief Seattle "We Do Not Inherit the Earth from Our Ancestors; We Borrow It from Our Children" Wednesday Wisdom! As a parting piece of wisdom about generational stewardship of land and nature, Chief Seattle supposedly said to American colonizers pushing west, "we do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children." But, like spiritual quotes that get attached to a great many leaders, this may have complicated origins. Listen and learn, Buzzkillers!
info_outline 1918 Pandemic Second Wave 07/07/2020
1918 Pandemic Second Wave The second wave of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic was more deadly than the first. In this short episode, Professor Buzzkill explains why, but also wonders whether there are useful parallels for the COVID-19 virus. Listen and learn.
info_outline Changes in American Political Parties 07/02/2020
Changes in American Political Parties Current debates, protests, tensions, and turmoil in the United States have revived a number of ahistorical rants on social media about all kinds of things, including the history of American political parties. We explain why the Democratic and Republican political parties have the same names, but totally different attitudes and policies over the decades. Essential listening for the 2020 election!
info_outline Lucy Stone - Unapologetic Warrior for Women's Rights 06/30/2020
Lucy Stone - Unapologetic Warrior for Women's Rights Professor Sally McMillen explains why Lucy Stone should be restored to her rightful place at the center of the nineteenth-century women's rights movement. Stone did not relish the limelight the way Elizabeth Cady Stanton did, nor did she gain the many followers whom Susan B. Anthony attracted through her extensive travels and years of dedicated work. Yet her contributions to the woman's rights movement were no less significant or revolutionary than those of her more widely lauded peers. Listen!