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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: 2020
Feb 18, 2020

In this episode, Neil, Natalia, and Niki discuss an architectural proposal to “Make Federal Buildings Beautiful Again.”

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

Feb 11, 2020

In this episode, Niki, Neil, and Natalia discuss the debacle of this year’s Iowa caucuses.

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

Feb 4, 2020

In this episode, Natalia, Niki, and Neil discuss the shrinking number of moderate Republicans in the GOP.

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Here are some links and references mentioned during this week’s show: 

  • Where have all the moderate Republicans gone? Neil wrote about Susan Collins and the end of moderate Republicans in his column for The Week. Niki shared Geoffrey Kabaservice’s book Rule and Ruin as the definitive history of moderate Republicans. Natalia discussed Ezra Klein’s recent New York Times piece on the different effect polarization has had on both parties, an argument he expands in his new book, Why We’re Polarized. Neil commented on how Republican suburban women have been moving away from the GOP during the Trump years, something he wrote about for the Atlantic in 2018.

 

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

  • Natalia discussed the controversy surrounding Jeanine Cummins’ new book, American Dirt, and recommended the episode of “Latino USA” that discusses the controversy and Myriam Gurba’s review of the book for Tropics of Meta.
  • Neil recommended the new Netflix series, “Cheer.” We discussed the history of cheerleading in Episode 125.
  • Niki commented on Jerry Falwell, Jr.’s proposal for Virginia’s border counties to join West Virginia, something being referred to as “Vexit.
Jan 28, 2020

In this episode, Neil, Niki, and Natalia discuss Greta Gerwig’s film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women.

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

Jan 21, 2020

In this episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil discuss the longevity of the game show Jeopardy!

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

Jan 14, 2020

In this episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki discuss the devastating bushfires in Australia.

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

Jan 7, 2020

In this episode, Neil, Natalia, and Niki discuss the recent attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.

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Here are some links and references mentioned during this week’s show: 

 

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

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