On this week’s Past Present podcast, Nicole Hemmer, Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, and Neil Young discuss Pope Francis’ visit to the US, the “quit lit” phenomenon, and Donald Trump.
Here are some links and references mentioned during this week’s show:
In our regular closing feature, What’s Making History:
- Natalia discussed the recent finding that more people in 2015 have died from “selfie-related deaths” than from shark attacks. Such news reminded Natalia of Christopher Lasch’s critique of American society in his 1979 classic, The Culture of Narcissism.
- Neil recommended Johnny Depp’s new movie, Black Mass, which depicts the career of James “Whitey” Bulger, the mafia kingpin and FBI informant who terrorized South Boston in the 1970s and early 1980s.
- ·Niki spoke about Erik Kirschbaum’s recent editorial, “Whatever Happened to German America?” Niki, our resident German American, waxed nostalgic about her love for kuchen, springerle, and the Schnitzelbank drinking song. While understanding the history of discrimination against German Americans, which David Kennedy outlined in his book Over Here, Niki suggested there are much stronger historical reasons why we won’t see an organized drive to reclaim German-American identity any time soon.