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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: 2016
Jul 5, 2016

In this week's episode, Neil, Natalia, and Niki debate the legacy of basketball coach Pat Summitt, the place of Women's Whole Health v. Hellerstedt in America's abortion debate, and the House Democrats' sit-in over gun control.

 

Jun 28, 2016

In this week's episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki debate the politics of Brexit, the growing popularity of adult summer camps, and Donald Trump's missing campaign. 

 

Time stamps: 

 

Brexit: 3:15

 

Camps: 15:00

 

Campaign In Absentia: 30:38

 

WMH: 44:08

 

Jun 21, 2016

In this week's episode, Neil, Natalia, and Niki discuss the Orlando shooting, focusing on the city's history, the attack's place in multiple histories of violence, and the role of presidential empathy in response to national crises. 

 

Time stamps:

Orlando History: 3:10

Histories of Violence: 16:57

Presidential Empathy: 30:49

WMH: 43:20

Jun 14, 2016

On this week's episode, Niki, Neil, and Natalia debate the legacy of Muhammad Ali, the aftermath of the Brock Turner trial, and America's first woman nominated to the presidency by a major party.

Jun 7, 2016

In this week's episode, Niki, Neil, and Natalia debate the death of Harambe the gorilla, the coverup of sexual assault in the Baylor football program, and Peter Thiel's legal vendetta against Gawker.

May 31, 2016

In this week's episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki debate the history of presidential candidates and tax returns, Obama's visit to Japan, and feminism and footwear. 

May 24, 2016

In this week's episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil debate lethal injection and the death penalty, the return of political correctness, and the secret shame of voting for Hillary Clinton.

May 17, 2016

In this week's episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki debate the changing racial demographics of American evangelicalism, the decline of running, and Facebook's digital imperialism.

May 10, 2016

In this week's episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil debate Dennis Hastert's sentencing, the coup facing Phyllis Schlafly and Malia Obama's pre-Harvard gap year. 

May 3, 2016

In this week's episode, Niki, Neil, and Nataliadebate Prince's career, Donald Trump’s America First foreignpolicy, and educational divide in partisan politics. 

Apr 26, 2016

In this week's episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki debate the decision to put Harriet Tubman on the $20, the history of sex toy regulation, and the politics of Whole Foods.

Apr 12, 2016

In this week's episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil debate Trump and political violence, the nostalgia of Kimmy Schmidt, and the origins of prisons for profit.

Apr 12, 2016

In this week's special flashback episode, Niki, Neil, and Natalia debate Woodrow Wilson's legacy at Princeton, the spiritual origins of SoulCycle, and Bernie Sanders's place in America's socialist tradition.

Apr 5, 2016

In this week's episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki debate the politics of public bathrooms, the history of Spring Break, and the origins of the American heroin crisis.

Mar 29, 2016

In this week's episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil delve into the privacy laws protecting Hulk Hogan's sex tape, the fight for paid parental leave, and the left's love of Scandinavia. 

Mar 22, 2016

In this week's episode, Neil, Niki, and Natalia debate Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Misty Copeland and the future of ballet, and the history of contested conventions. 

Mar 15, 2016

In this week's episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil debate Nancy Reagan's legacy, the impact of the OJ Simpson trial, and the politics of presidential bodies.

Mar 8, 2016

In this week's episode, Neil, Natalia, and Niki debate Trump's hold on the white evangelical vote, the politics of the KKK, and the place of CrossFit in fitness history.

Mar 1, 2016

In this week's episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki debate the government's attempt to hack the iPhone, Michael Pollan's new documentary "Cooked," and Obama's latest attempt to close Guantanamo Bay.

Feb 23, 2016

In this week's episode, Niki, Neil, and Natalia debate Scalia's legacy, women in comedy, and Kendrick Lamar's Grammy performance. 

Feb 16, 2016

In this week's episode, Neil, Natalia, and Niki debate the Zika virus and public health, Beyonce's Formation, and Hillary Clinton's feminism problem.

Feb 9, 2016

In this week's episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki debate Hillary Clinton's comments on Reconstruction, Mattel's release of a curvy Barbie doll, and Bernie Sanders's religious (non)affiliation.

Feb 2, 2016

In this week's episode, Neil, Niki, and Natalia debate racism and the Oscars, Oprah and the history of Weight Watchers, and why Iowa comes first. 

Jan 26, 2016

In this week's episode, Neil, Natalia, and Niki debate the origins of Flint's water crisis, Ted Cruz and New York values, and Wheaton College and evangelical higher education. 

Jan 19, 2016

In this week's episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil debate David Bowie's legacy, the history of bikini bodies, and Ted Cruz's citizenship.

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