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Past Present

Past Present brings together three historians to discuss what's happening in American politics and culture today. Natalia, Neil, and Niki bring historical insights to the news of the day, offering listeners an alternative to the reflexive and polarized world of punditry. Interested in the world around you but exhausted by rote reactions and partisan talking points? You've come to the right place.
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Now displaying: Page 1
Nov 19, 2019

In this episode, Neil, Natalia, and Niki interviewed Emily Bazelon about her new book, Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration.

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In our regular closing feature, What’s Making History:

 

Nov 5, 2019

In this episode, Niki, Neil, and Natalia discuss the assassination of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the scandal over Representative Katie Hill, and the booing of President Trump at a baseball game.

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Oct 29, 2019

In this episode, Natalia, Niki, and Neil discuss the life and legacy of U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings, the rising trend of homelessness, and a new documentary about a dangerous New Jersey amusement park.

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Oct 22, 2019

In this episode, Neil, Niki, and Natalia discuss the anxiety over automation, new treatments for male baldness, and the controversial Trump spiritual advisor Paula White.

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Oct 15, 2019

In this episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil discuss Rudy Giuliani’s political career, the climate activist Greta Thunberg, and the controversy over vaping.

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Oct 8, 2019

In this episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki discuss the role of whistleblowers in American politics, the recent string of church arsons, and the trend of co-working spaces.

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Oct 1, 2019

In this episode, Neil, Natalia, and Niki discuss Ukraine’s connection to the impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump, the declining bird population of North America, and the high price of parking spaces in New York City.

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Sep 24, 2019

In this episode, Niki, Neil, and Natalia discuss anti-Asian comments by comedian Shane Gillis, an attack in Saudi Arabia, and the not-so-lost art of the telephone call.

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Sep 17, 2019

In this episode, Natalia, Niki, and Neil discuss government surveillance of American universities, the political career of John Bolton, and the technological and cultural reasons women’s voices are often insulted as “shrill.”

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Sep 10, 2019

In this episode, Neil, Niki, and Natalia discuss the legacy of late bodybuilder Franco Columbu, the candidacy of Kamala Harris, and a proposal to eliminate selective testing for New York City public high schools.

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Sep 3, 2019

In this episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil discuss the legacy of late billionaire David Koch, the menace of bedbugs, and why so many people are choosing to remain friends after a breakup.

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Aug 20, 2019

In this episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki discuss social media “twinfluencers,” a boycott of fitness brands Equinox and SoulCycle, and the controversy over the film The Hunt.

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Aug 13, 2019

In this episode, Neil, Natalia, and Niki discuss the history of anti-Latino nativism, newly discovered racist comments by Ronald Reagan, and the growing popularity of sound baths.

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Aug 6, 2019

In this episode, Niki, Neil, and Natalia discuss President Trump’s insults to Baltimore, the presidential candidacy of self-help guru Marianne Williamson, and a proposal for a national service requirement.

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Jul 30, 2019

In this episode, Natalia, Niki, and Neil discuss the new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the death knell of “purity culture,” and new controversy over spaying and neutering dogs.

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Jul 23, 2019

In this episode, Neil, Niki, and Natalia discuss the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, the history of telling immigrants and minorities to “go back” to where they came from, and whether or not air conditioning is sexist.

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Jul 16, 2019

In this episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil discuss the Women’s World Cup, the life and legacy of Ross Perot, and the case against Jeffrey Epstein.

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Jul 9, 2019

In this episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki discuss the recent debate over school busing, the launch of the women’s networking platform, “Girlboss,” and the rapper Lil Nas X.

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Jul 2, 2019

In this episode, Neil, Natalia, and Niki discuss the recent escalation of tensions with Iran, new allegations of rape against President Trump, and controversy on the knitting social media network Ravelry.

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In our regular closing feature, What’s Making History:

Jun 25, 2019

In this episode, Niki, Neil, and Natalia discuss the recent passing of two major figures: political historian Alan Brinkley and socialite fashion designer Gloria Vanderbilt, and the historical significance of a viral Buzzfeed essay about attending a lesbian cruise.

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In our regular closing feature, What’s Making History:

Jun 18, 2019

In this episode, Natalia, Niki, and Neil discuss YouTube’s role in political radicalization, the history of tariffs, and the presidential candidacy of Senator Elizabeth Warren.

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Jun 11, 2019

In this episode, Neil, Niki, and Natalia discuss the significance of the Stonewall Uprising, the legacy of Jazzercise, and the fortieth anniversary of C-SPAN.

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Jun 4, 2019

In this episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil discuss the 1994 Crime Bill, a surge in deaths among Mount Everest climbers, and controversy over a plan to build a luxury complex at the Grand Canyon.

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May 28, 2019

In this episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki discuss billionaire Robert F. Smith’s historic gift to the Morehouse College class of 2019, a proposed fur ban in New York City, and the opening of a chic new hotel in the TWA terminal.

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In our regular closing feature, What’s Making History:

May 21, 2019

In this episode, Neil, Natalia, and Niki discuss a proposed “sex strike,” historian David McCullough’s new book, and the life and legacy of Doris Day.

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