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: December, 2023
Dec 19, 2023

In this episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil discuss controversies over Christmas “classics.” 

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

 

·      Beloved Christmas songs and movies, like so many cultural products, have come under new scrutiny recently. Neil’s Atlantic essay about Christmas controversies informed our whole conversation. We drew on this Atlantic essay that began the backlash against the film Love Actually, and Natalia referenced this interview with its director. Niki referred to this Variety essay about “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”

 

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

·      Natalia, Neil, and Niki reflected on eight years of making the show together and announced both Niki’s departure and Past Present’s first hiatus. Thank you, Niki. And listeners, see you in the spring!

Dec 12, 2023

In this episode, Neil, Niki, and Natalia discuss the strange career of now ex-Republican Congressman George Santos. 

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

 

·      George Santos’ lies are so numerous, it is difficult to keep track of them. Niki referred to this Atlantic article about how Santos got elected, and Neil and Natalia referred to this one by Adam Serwer. We all drew on this New York Times history of expelled Congress members.

 

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

·      Natalia declared her ambition to compete in the HYROX fitness competition.

·      Neil recommended the Slate podcast Dear Prudence and historian Julie Golia’s book, Newspaper Confessions: A History of Advice Columns in a Pre-Internet Age.

·      Niki discussed Rivka Galchen’s New Yorker article, “Inside the Illegal Cactus Trade.”

Dec 5, 2023

In this episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki discuss Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley. 

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

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

 

·      Nikki Haley recently secured the backing of the wealthy Koch Brothers, bringing more attention to her presidential run. Natalia referred to this multi-part POLITICO series on Haley’s career. Neil drew on this NPR piece, and Niki on this article from The Intercept.

 

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

·      Natalia shared about her most recent MSNBC column, “How Feminists Have Failed Israeli Victims of Sexual Violence.”

·      Neil recommended Sopan Deb’s New York Times article, “Nom Nom Nom. What’s the Deal With Cookie Monster’s Cookies?

·      Niki discussed the National Security Archive’s “Henry Kissinger: The Declassified Obituary.”

 

1