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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: 2021
Oct 26, 2021

In this episode, Natalia, Niki, and Neil discuss the life and legacy of Colin Powell, the United States’ first Black Secretary of State.

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

Oct 19, 2021

In this episode, Neil, Niki, and Natalia discuss the inflation currently affecting the U.S. economy.

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Oct 12, 2021

In this episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil discuss Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen.

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Oct 5, 2021

In this episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki discuss the history of veganism in light of an eviscerating review of the new plant-based menu at the New York restaurant Eleven Madison Park.

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Sep 28, 2021

In this episode, Neil, Natalia, and Niki discuss the disappearance of Gabby Petito and the media frenzy that has ensued.

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Sep 21, 2021

In this episode, Niki, Neil, and Natalia discuss the popularity of the drug Ivermectin as a treatment for the coronavirus – despite lack of evidence of its effectiveness.

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Sep 14, 2021

In this episode, Natalia, Niki, and Neil discuss the implications of the new restrictions on abortion rights in Texas.

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Aug 31, 2021

In this episode, Neil, Niki, and Natalia discuss the past and present of U.S. military engagement in Afghanistan.

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Aug 17, 2021

In this episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil discuss the rise – and fate – of the “ethnic food aisle” at the American grocery store.

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Aug 3, 2021

In this episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki discuss the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the pandemic.

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Jul 20, 2021

In this episode, Neil, Natalia, and Niki discuss the mass protests in Cuba.

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Jul 6, 2021

In this episode, Niki, Neil, and Natalia discuss the tragedy of the Surfside condominium collapse and what it means for Miami.

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Jun 29, 2021

In this episode, Natalia, Niki, and Neil discuss the Supreme Court decision to allow education-related payments to student-athletes.

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Jun 22, 2021

In this episode, Neil, Niki, and Natalia discuss the history of the Internal Revenue Service and why the uber-wealthy pay so little in income taxes.

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Jun 15, 2021

In this episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil discuss the history of LGBTQ+ Pride.

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Jun 8, 2021

In this episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki discuss the controversy over tennis champion Naomi Osaka’s decision not to participate in post-match press conferences.

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

  • Natalia recommended Lyz Lenz’ Substack, “A Grown-Ass Woman."
  • Neil discussed the new FX documentary series, Pride.
  • Niki talked about what the “post-pandemic” period might mean.
Jun 1, 2021

In this episode, Neil, Natalia, and Niki discuss the emergence of the cicadas this season.

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May 25, 2021

In this episode, Niki, Neil, and Natalia discuss the current controversy over critical race theory.

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  • A series of legislative bills seek to ban the teaching of critical race theory in K-12 public institutions. At CNN, Niki looked at how the controversy over journalist Nikole Hannah-Smith’s appointment at the University of North Carolina is part of this larger battle. Natalia referred to historian Jonathan Zimmerman’s book Whose America?

 

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May 18, 2021

In this episode, Natalia, Niki, and Neil discuss the gas panic triggered by the recent cybersecurity breach at Colonial Pipeline.

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May 11, 2021

In this episode, Neil, Niki, and Natalia discuss the recall of the latest Peloton exercise machine in historical context.

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May 4, 2021

In this episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil discuss the history – and future – of office life.

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Apr 27, 2021

In this episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki discuss the cultural influence of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

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Apr 20, 2021

In this week's episode, Neil, Natalia, and Niki discuss the parallels between the 1920s and our current moment.

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Apr 13, 2021

In this episode, Niki, Neil, and Natalia discuss the debate over school reopening.

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Apr 6, 2021

In this episode, Natalia, Niki, and Neil discuss the life and legacy of the late children’s author Beverly Cleary.

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