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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: April, 2023
Apr 25, 2023

In this episode, Neil, Niki, and Natalia discuss the push to rollback child labor laws in the United States.

Support Past Present on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/pastpresentpodcast

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

 

·         Republican legislatures have begun to chip away at protective child labor laws across the country. The New York Times has also reported on how the Biden administration has refused to address child labor abuses. Natalia referenced this Guardian article about Iowa’s rollback of protective labor legislation, and Niki referred to this NPR report. Neil drew on the this New York Times opinion piece.

 

 

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

·         Natalia discussed her own reaction to a change in Twitter’s “blue check” marker.

·         Neil recommended Kathryn Schulz’ New Yorker essay “How One Mother’s Love for Her Gay Son Started a Revolution.”

·         Niki shared about the Washington Post piece, “Mistaken Address Shootings Echo Killing of Japanese Teen 30 Years Ago,” and Andrew McKevitt’s forthcoming book, Gun Country: Gun Capitalism, Culture, and Control in Cold War America.

 

Apr 18, 2023

In this episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki discuss the expulsion of two representatives from the Tennessee state legislature.

Support Past Present on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/pastpresentpodcast

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

 

·         When two Democratic lawmakers were expelled from the Tennessee legislature, discussion turned to the state of democracy there – and in the nation. Niki referred to this Vox article about Tennessee’s dubious distinction as the least democratic state. Natalia drew on this Memphis Flyer piece about how the state turned red, and Neil referenced this Jacobin essay about the insufficiency of federalism to ensure democracy.

 

 

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

·         Natalia discussed this PBS News Hour podcast, “Study Shows Parents Overestimate Their Student’s Academic Progress.”

·         Neil recommended Allyson P. Brantley’s Slate piece, “Queer Beer.”

·         Niki shared Lauren MacIvor Thompson’s Washington Post article, “The Original Comstock Act Doesn’t Support the New Antiabortion Decision.”

Apr 11, 2023

In this rerun episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil discuss the history of spring break and other topics. 

Support Past Present on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/pastpresentpodcast

Apr 4, 2023

In this episode, Neil, Niki, and Natalia discuss the history of children’s story hour. 

Support Past Present on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/pastpresentpodcast

On this week’s Past Present episode, Nicole Hemmer, Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, and Neil J. Young discuss the history of children’s story hour.

 

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

 

·         “Drag queen story hours” have become the latest arena in the culture wars. Niki drew on this Slate piece about children’s librarian Anne Carroll Moore. Neil referenced this New York Times piece on the history of drag queen story hours. Natalia referred to historian Julia Mickenberg’s book Learning from the Left: Children’s Literature, the Cold War, and Radical Politics in the United States.

 

 

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

·         Natalia discussed historian Ava Purkiss’ new book, Fit Citizens: A History of Black Women’s Exercise from Post Reconstruction to Postwar America.

·         Neil recommended Gina Kolata’s New York Times article, “DNA From Beethoven’s Hair Unlocks Medical and Family Secrets.”

·         Niki shared Maham Javaid’s Washington Post article, “After a 1935 Tragedy, a Priest Vowed to Teach Kids About Menstruation.”

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