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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: November, 2023
Nov 28, 2023

In this episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil discuss Americans’ attachment to the thirty-year mortgage. 

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

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

 

·      A thirty-year mortgage is an enticement to home ownership – if you can lock one in at a low interest rate. Niki cited this Washington Post article about the unfavorable market for millennial homebuyers, and Natalia referenced this New Yorker piece about the pitfalls of mortgages. We all drew on this Atlantic article about the resilience of the “ownership society” ideal. Natalia referred to this New York Times article about a landlord harassed by her tenant.

 

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

·      Natalia shared about the paperback release of Myth America: Historians Take on the Biggest Legends and Lies About Our Past and a 60% holiday discount on the audiobook of Fit Nation: The Gains and Pains of America’s Exercise Obsession.

·      Neil recommended visiting the Museum of Neon Art in Glendale, California.

·      Niki discussed the latest episode of the What Next podcast, “Moms for Liberty Tanked at the Polls. This Guy Called It.”

Nov 21, 2023

In this episode, Neil, Niki, and Natalia discuss the history of drive-thru dining. 

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

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

 

·      Drive-through dining is more popular than ever since the pandemic. Neil drew on this Serious Eats history, and we all referred to this photo collection.

 

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

·      Natalia recommended Eboo Patel’s essay for Inside Higher Ed,Why Campuses Need Centers for Pluralism.”

·      Neil discussed Natasha Singer’s New York Times article, “This Florida District Banned Cellphones. Here’s What Happened.

·      Niki shared about the latest episode of Unclear and Present Danger, on which she appears.

Nov 14, 2023

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

 

·      Speaker of the House Mike Johnson is a proponent of “covenant marriage,” an institutional arrangement that makes it much more difficult to get divorced. Natalia referred to this Atlantic article about the history of no-fault divorce. Niki drew on this JSTOR Daily piece on how women advocated for these changes and on this CNN piece as well.

 

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

·      Natalia recommended the “Dog Eat Dog” episode of Season 4 of the History Channel’s Food That Built America program.

·      Neil discussed Bruce Weber’s New York Times obituary, “Bobby Knight, Basketball Coach Known for Trophies and Tantrums, Dies at 83.”

·      Niki shared about a new edited collection, LBJ’s America: The Life and Legacies of Lyndon Baines Johnson.

Nov 7, 2023

In this episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil discuss the drama around the election of the new Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson.

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

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

 

·      Until this week, the new Speaker of the House Mike Johnson was little known beyond Louisiana and ultraconservative circles. Natalia referenced this CNN piece about Johnson’s homophobic comments, and historian Matthew Dallek’s article for TIME. Neil referred to Niki’s latest CNN column.

 

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

·      Natalia discussed Ksenia Svetlova’s New Republic piece, “Why We On the Israeli Left Feel Hit on Both Sides.”

·      Neil recommended historian Lauren Lassabe Shepherd’s Daily Beast article, “Could Mississippi Actually Elect a Democratic Governor?

·      Niki shared about the Radiotopia podcast, “The Unmarked Graveyard: Stories from Hart Island.”

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