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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: Page 6
May 5, 2020

In this episode, Niki, Neil, and Natalia discuss meatpacking plants and the Defense Production Act.

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

Apr 28, 2020

In this episode, Natalia, Niki, and Neil discuss protests against the current national lockdown.

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

Apr 21, 2020

In this episode, Neil, Niki, and Natalia discuss the prospect of large-scale voting by mail come November and the fate of the U.S. Postal Service.

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

Apr 14, 2020

In this episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil discuss hydroxychloroquine, the drug President Trump is pushing as a potential cure for the coronavirus.

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Apr 7, 2020

In this episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki discuss the new Netflix series, Tiger King.

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Mar 31, 2020

In this episode, Neil, Natalia, and Niki discuss the history of school closings.

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

Mar 24, 2020

In this episode, Niki, Neil, and Natalia discuss the history of “cabin fever.”

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Mar 17, 2020

In this episode, Natalia, Niki, and Neil discuss the history of the quarantine.

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

Mar 10, 2020

In this episode, Neil, Niki, and Natalia discuss the bans on single-use plastic bags.

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

Mar 3, 2020

In this episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil discuss the history of fat activism and the body positivity movement.

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

Feb 25, 2020

In this episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki discuss COVID-19 and the history of protective face masks.

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Feb 18, 2020

In this episode, Neil, Natalia, and Niki discuss an architectural proposal to “Make Federal Buildings Beautiful Again.”

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Feb 11, 2020

In this episode, Niki, Neil, and Natalia discuss the debacle of this year’s Iowa caucuses.

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

Feb 4, 2020

In this episode, Natalia, Niki, and Neil discuss the shrinking number of moderate Republicans in the GOP.

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  • Where have all the moderate Republicans gone? Neil wrote about Susan Collins and the end of moderate Republicans in his column for The Week. Niki shared Geoffrey Kabaservice’s book Rule and Ruin as the definitive history of moderate Republicans. Natalia discussed Ezra Klein’s recent New York Times piece on the different effect polarization has had on both parties, an argument he expands in his new book, Why We’re Polarized. Neil commented on how Republican suburban women have been moving away from the GOP during the Trump years, something he wrote about for the Atlantic in 2018.

 

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

  • Natalia discussed the controversy surrounding Jeanine Cummins’ new book, American Dirt, and recommended the episode of “Latino USA” that discusses the controversy and Myriam Gurba’s review of the book for Tropics of Meta.
  • Neil recommended the new Netflix series, “Cheer.” We discussed the history of cheerleading in Episode 125.
  • Niki commented on Jerry Falwell, Jr.’s proposal for Virginia’s border counties to join West Virginia, something being referred to as “Vexit.
Jan 28, 2020

In this episode, Neil, Niki, and Natalia discuss Greta Gerwig’s film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women.

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Jan 21, 2020

In this episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil discuss the longevity of the game show Jeopardy!

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Jan 14, 2020

In this episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki discuss the devastating bushfires in Australia.

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Jan 7, 2020

In this episode, Neil, Natalia, and Niki discuss the recent attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.

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

Dec 24, 2019

In this episode, Niki, Neil, and Natalia discuss controversy over the “OK” sign, the Black Israelite sect, and the history of CIA disguises.

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Dec 17, 2019

In this episode, Natalia, Niki, and Neil discuss a cockfighting ban in Puerto Rico, Russia’s Olympic ban for doping its athletes, and the dawn of a new era in fonts.

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

Dec 10, 2019

In this episode, Neil, Niki, and Natalia discuss virginity tests, international achievement tests, and the end of the 2010s.

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

Dec 3, 2019

In this episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil discuss President Trump’s pardons of war criminals, controversial opinions about food, and the practice of indigenous land acknowledgments.

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

Nov 26, 2019

In this episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki discuss the political ascent of Pete Buttigieg, infighting within the far right, and the 50th anniversary of Sesame Street.

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

Nov 19, 2019

In this episode, Neil, Natalia, and Niki interviewed Emily Bazelon about her new book, Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration.

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Nov 5, 2019

In this episode, Niki, Neil, and Natalia discuss the assassination of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the scandal over Representative Katie Hill, and the booing of President Trump at a baseball game.

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

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