Info

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.
RSS Feed
Past Present
2023
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2022
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2021
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2020
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2019
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2018
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2017
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2015
December
November
October
September


All Episodes
Archives
Now displaying: May, 2023
May 30, 2023

In this episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki discuss the life and legacy of rock star Tina Turner. 

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

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

 

·      Tina Turner, at age 83, died last week. Neil drew on this Guardian article about Turner’s genre-crossing body of work and this New Yorker essay, while Natalia referenced this Buzzfeed list that discussed her influence on generations of artists. Neil also recommended the documentary, Tina.

 

 

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

·      Natalia discussed the experimental Jewish community LAB/SHUL.

·      Neil recommended the Daily podcast episode, “When the Culture Wars Came for NASA.”

·      Niki shared about her most recent column for CNN, “Don’t Misread the Failed Effort to Put the Ten Commandments in Every Classroom.”

May 23, 2023

In this episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil discuss Martha Stewart’s appearance on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.

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

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

 

·      Martha Stewart, at age 82, is the oldest model to appear on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Neil discussed the first swimsuit issue, in 1964, and Niki referred to this Washington Post article about different “firsts” on the publication’s cover. We all drew on this Slate history of the swimsuit issue.

 

 

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

·      Natalia discussed historian Dan Royles’ book, To Make the Wounded Whole: The African American Struggle Against HIV/AIDS.

·      Neil recommended the new Hulu series, Grand Nighthawk: Infiltrating the KKK.

·      Niki shared about James Risen’s new book, The Last Honest Man: The CIA, the FBI, the Mafia, and the Kennedys.

May 16, 2023

In this episode, Neil, Natalia, and Niki discuss the history of camping 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:

 

·      Camping has a long history as a form of recreation – and more. Natalia drew on this New Yorker review of historian Phoebe Young’s book on camping, as well as historian Rachel Gross’ forthcoming book on the history of outdoor gear. Neil recommended the podcasts Lost Hills and Park Predators, and Niki referred to this history about the exclusion of women from camping.

 

 

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

·      Natalia recommended historian Estelle B. Freedman’s Oral History Review article, “’Not A Word Was Ever Said Again’: Silence and Speech in Women’s Oral History Accounts of Sexual Harassment.”

·      Neil discussed Lauren McCarthy’s New York Times article, “Why Americans Are Smuggling Fruit Roll-Ups Into Israel.”

·      Niki shared about Jonathan Eig’s new book, King: A Life.

May 9, 2023

In this episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki discuss the continued cutbacks and collapses of digital media companies.

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

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

 

·      Buzzfeed is the most recent company to announce massive layoffs. Natalia cited Derek Thompson’s Atlantic newsletter, and Niki referred to media columnist Ben Smith’s new book, Traffic: Genius, Rivalry, and Delusion in the Billion-Dollar Race to Go Viral. We all drew on this New York Times article about the future of media.

 

 

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

·      Natalia shared Joshua Travis Brown’s Chronicle of Higher Education essay, “The Ethical Poverty of Dorms for the Rich.”

·      Neil recommended this episode of the Slate Culture podcast and Aaliyah Wright’s Capital B article, “Once An ‘All-Black Utopia,’ Eatonville Residents Say New Development Could Erase History.”

·      Niki discussed Claire McNear’s Ringer article, “The Search for the Lost Jeopardy Tapes is Over. The Mystery Behind Them Endures.”

May 2, 2023

In this episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil discuss Tucker Carlson’s dismissal from Fox News.

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

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

 

·         Fox News personality Tucker Carlson was summarily fired earlier this week, intensifying turmoil at the conservative news network. Niki covered this in her most recent CNN column. Natalia drew on this POLITICO piece about the future of streaming news and this Atlantic essay about Carlson’s early career.

 

 

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

·         Natalia discussed Ashley Southall’s New York Times article, “Harlem Businesses Sue to Stop Cannabis Dispensary Planned for 125th Street.”

·         Neil recommended the new Netflix series Queen Charlotte.

·         Niki shared about Josh Moody’s Inside Higher Ed article, “New College Board Denies Tenure for 5 Professors.”

1