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USA TODAY AWARD

Aural History Productions


Talking History, based at the University at Albany, State University of New York, is a production, distribution, and instructional center for all forms of "aural" history. Our mission is to provide teachers, students, researchers and the general public with as broad and outstanding a collection of audio documentaries, speeches, debates, oral histories, conference sessions, commentaries, archival audio sources, and other aural history resources as is available anywhere. We hope to expand our understanding of history by exploring the audio dimensions of our past, and we hope to enlarge the tools and venues of historical research and publication by promoting production of radio documentaries and other forms of aural history. In addition to our weekly radio program, we are engaged in numerous educational efforts, from running and sponsoring workshops to offering full-semester courses on radio production and oral history. Some of the most talented radio producers and engineers currently working in public and non-commercial radio now contribute to Talking History—both to our programming and to our educational efforts through production workshops. Here, you'll also find digital archives of their enormously creative and captivating works. Our weekly broadcast/internet radio program, Talking History, focuses on all aspects of history. Follow the link to the left, "The Radio Show," for more information on the program and to access the live WWW broadcast. Below you will find our latest archived shows; use the drop-down menu to the left to access to our full radio archive.

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August 26, 2014
Segment 1 | Hindsight: "Famagusta 'Ammochostos': hidden in the sand" (2014).
 Download: MP3



From
Hindsight, the Australia Radio National program that looks at the past, we present this documentary exploring some of the recent history of divided Cyprus. Produced by Anna Messariti, with sound engineering by Andrei Shabunov, the program marks the 40th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, in 1974. "The setting is Famagusta which appears as a 'double city': on the one hand, a beautiful but crumbling medieval town, set against the stunning backdrop of its more Ancient Greek past. On the other hand, it's a modern, new but completely derelict city; situated by the seaside, of about eight square kilometres, and is called Varosha -- and surprisingly, Varosha has been a ghost town since 1974. It's hard to imagine the existence of a ghost city by the seashore, especially in Cyprus--a tourist mecca and a member country of the European Unio--but, since ancient times, this tiny Eastern Mediterranean island has suffered a turbulent history. This documentary investigates the so-called Cyprus Problem, which has remained static for forty years. The heart of the program lies in an articulation of the experiences and perspectives of women and children during the war in 1974 and of its aftermath." For more information about the program, see: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/hindsight/famagusta/5642146.

Segment 2 | From the Archives: 'U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's Speech on U.S.-Cyprus Relations, delivered on his visit to Cyprus" (May 22, 2014).
 Download: MP3



Here is the audio of remarks by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden at an official lunch with President Nicos Anastasiades of Cyprus. A full transcription of his remarks can be found at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/05/22/remarks-vice-president-joe-biden-official-lunch-president-nicos-anastasi. You can also find a video recording of both Biden's and President Anastadiades' speeches here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4wO3KurOgk. Biden noted that he was the first U.S. VP to visit Cyprus since Lyndon B. Johnson visited in 1962.

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August 19, 2014
Segment 1 | Backstory: "On the Take ~ Corruption in America" (2014).
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Backstory and the American History guys explore various stories of corruption in American history: "It's a worry as old as the Republic: Do politicians look out for the public good, or their own private interests? But what exactly Americans consider the corruption of public office has changed over time. This week, BackStory shines a light on fears of corruption in America–from back room deals in Congress, to paying bureaucrats on commission, to the taint of corporate money in modern politics. Guests Include: Elliot Berke, Managing Partner, Berke-Farah; Daniel Feller, University of Tennessee, Knoxville; Joanne Freeman, Yale University; Nicholas Parrillo, Yale University; Michael Smith, McNeese State University; Adam Winkler, UCLA
."

Segment 2 | From the Archives: 'Almanac Newsreel: Teapot Dome" (1958).
 Download: MP3



Here is the audio of a short newsreel describing one of the two most important scandals in 20th century U.S. history: the Teapot Dome scandal. You can see the original version (in video) in this collection, available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gk9ebeaZcU.

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August 12, 2014
Segment 1 | "Hindsight: The Guns of August" (2014).
 Download: MP3



Here's another segment from the weekly history program Hindsight from Australia's Radio National -- focusing on Barbara Tuchman's Guns of August and its influence on John F. Kennedy and Cold War diplomats." In 1962, American historian Barbara Tuchman published The Guns of August, a book about the first month of World War 1, from the opening shots to the Allied victory against the Germans at the First Battle of the Marne. It also depicts the diplomatic chaos preceding it – the July crisis – how political events can spiral out of control, how human failings affect crucial decisions, and how military plans can take on their own unstoppable imperative. In 1962, there were lessons here for the belligerents of a new era – the Cold War. The Guns of August became a surprise best seller and won the coveted Pulitzer prize, but did it help to save the world from nuclear conflagration?" Guests include: Margaret MacMillan, Professor of History at St Anthony's College, Oxford; Anthony D’Agostino, Professor of History at San Francisco State University; Thomas Otte, Professor of Diplomatic History at the University of East Anglia; James Der Derian, Michael Hintze Chair of International Security Studies, and Director of the Centre for International Security Studies at the University of Sydney; Michael Dobbs, Journalist and historian of the Cold War; John Langdon, Professor of History at Le Moyne College.

Segment 2 | From the Archives: 'Harold Macmillan at DePauw University" (1958).
 Download: MP3



Harold Macmillan, who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from January 1957 to October 1963, delivered this talk at DePauw Universisty in Indiana in June of 1958. Macmillan, like John F. Kennedy, was quite impressed with Barbara Tuchman's book The Guns of August (he received a copy from Kennedy soon after its publication in 1962). And like Kennedy, the book influenced -- or reinforced -- his approach to the Soviet Union in the 1960s. For more information on his 1958 talk, see: )http://www.depauw.edu/news-media/latest-news/details/20586/.

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August 5, 2014
Segment 1 | "Backstory: Tapped Out ~ Thirsting for Fresh Water" (2014).
 Download: MP3



From Backstory and the American History guys, we bring you this historical exploration of the quest for water in American history: "The Western U.S. is in the grip of a punishing drought. Reservoir levels are dropping, and farmers are struggling to ensure water access for their crops and livestock. Consider California. Without water access, one of the nation’s largest states could lose up to $2.2 billion in revenue -- and let's not forget the strain on an already fragile climate. Some scientists even fear that Americans have reached 'peak water' in the West. In this episode, we’re looking at how Americans have managed access to water throughout our history. From early legal struggles over natural waterways to the shared irrigation systems of New Mexico, we'’ll consider how Americans have divided up water rights for private profit and public good. We'll explore how ideas about usage shifted as the country expanded into the water-scarce West. And we'll even take a dip into the debate over who could use swimming pools in the 1920s. Guests Include: William Kahrl; Dan Tarlock, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law; Jeff Wiltse, University of Montana; Ralph Vigil, Member, New Mexico Acequia Commission."

Segment 2 | From the Archives: 'The Sons of the Pioneers Sing 'Cool Water'" (1936; 1947).
 Download: MP3



There are many songs about water and water scarcity. One of the best known is Bob Nolan's "Cool Water," written in 1936 and recorded by Vaughn Monroe and The Sons of the Pioneers -- a pioneering Western music group that included Bob Nolan and Roy Rogers. The recording was released by RCA Victor Records. For more details about Nolan and The Sons of the Pioneers, see: http://www.sonsofthepioneers.org/History_Sons_of_the_Pioneers.html.

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July 29, 2014
Segment 1 | "Lucia Joyce: Diving and Falling"
 Download: MP3



From Hindsight, the weekly history program from Radio National and the Austrailian Broadcasting Corporation, this piece looks at the life of Lucia Joyce, daughter of James Joyce: "Imagine being the daughter of one of the world's most experimental and famous writers. Imagine you have inherited some of your father's creativity and are determined to find a way to express this in some way.This is story of Lucia Joyce, the troubled and talented daughter of James Joyce. A story set against the fascinating backdrop of Europe between the World Wars.
"

Segment 2 | From the Archives: Charlotte Perkins Gilman: "The Yellow Wallpaper"
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From the LibriVox short story collection, scroll to # 20 for one of several readings of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper. An early text, with illustrations is available at http://www.sffaudio.com/podcasts/TheYellowWall-PaperByCharlottePerkinsStetson.pdf. First published in January 1892, in "The New England Magazine," the story echoes many of the themes of of women and mental illness, medical care, theories of hysteria, and societal beliefsabout suitable activities for women that are echoed in the experiences of Lucia Joyce.

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July 22, 2014
Segment 1 | "Backstory: Legislation Impossible ~ The Civil Rights Act of 1964" (2014).
 Download: MP3



In this segment from Backstory, the American History guys offer a detailed examination of the events and personalities that led to the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.: "In the summer of 1963, the prospects for a long-awaited civil rights bill looked dim. One book published that year saw the situation as hopeless, saying Americans 'underestimate the extent to which our system was designed for deadlock and inaction.' Just a year later, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the law of the land. So how did something that seemed so unlikely become a reality? BackStory traces the various strands of history that culminated in this momentous legislation. Guests Include: Clay Risen, author of The Bill of the Century (2014); Donald A. Ritchie, U.S. Senate Historian, on the legislative battle for the Civil Rights bill and Republican Senator Everett Dirksen's crucial role in ensuring its success; Bruce Ackerman, Yale University, and Risa Goluboff, University of Virginia, on the Supreme Court case that threatened to derail Civil Rights legislation in the spring of 1964; Jo Freeman, independent scholar, on how the gender equality provisions got included in the Civil Rights Act, and whether they were meant to impede its passage; and Charlie Cobb, journalist and former Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) activist, on what the Civil Rights Act failed to address."

Segment 2 | From the Archives: "John R. Lynch on The Facts of Reconstruction" (1913; LibriVox reading).
 Download: MP3



John R. Lynch (1847 - 1939), a former Mississippi slave, rose to prominence during the Reconstruction era -- first opbtaining a position as a Justice of the Peace, then becoming Mississippi State Representative, and finally getting himself elected to the U.S. Congress in 1873. He took an especially active role in supporting the Civil Rights Act of 1875, banning discrimination in public accommodations.
 Even after the abandonment of Reconstruction reforms, Lynch continued to remain politically active. Theodore Roosevelt nominated him In 1884 to the position of Temporary Chairman of the Republican National Convention in Chicago, Illinois and he was later appointed Treasury Auditor and then Paymaster under the Republicans. He served with the Regular Army with tours of duty in the United States, Cuba, and the Philippines during and after the Spanish-American War. After completing military service in 1911, he moved to Chicago, where he practiced law and wrote historical works focusing on the Reconstruction era. He died in Chicago in 1939 at the age of 92, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Lynch's book, The Facts of Reconstruction, published in 1913, was one of the earliest books to challenge the increasingly influential and popular post-Reconstruction historians who were extremely critical of the Reconstruction policies of the Federal government (the "Dunning School"). Lynch -- like later historians such as E. B. DuBois, emphasized the substantial contributions that African Americans made during this period. Here we present a LibriVox reading of one of the chapters from The Facts of Reconstruction. For the full book reading (and links to the full text of the book), see: https://librivox.org/the-facts-of-reconstruction-by-john-r-lynch/.

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July 15, 2014
Segment 1 | "Backstory: America Incorporated ~ A History of Corporations" (2014).
 Download: MP3



In this episode of Backstory, the American History guys explore the history of U.S corporations from the early National period to the present: "From the proliferation of corporations in the post-Revolutionary era to the rise of the Gilded Age giants, we’ll consider how corporations have been viewed in the courts and by the population-at-large. Guests include: Brian Murphy, Baruch College, City University of New York, on the “Manhattan Company” – a small-scale water corporation that had an outsize impact on party politics in the early Republic; Charles McCurdy, University of Virginia, on the aftermath of the 1819 'Dartmouth College' Supreme Court case and the rise of the anti-monopoly movement in Jacksonian America; Jack Beatty, journalist and author of Age of Betrayal (2007), on the legal footnote that helped establish 'corporate personhood' in the late 19th Century; Bart Elmore, University of Alabama, on the Coca-Cola company's secret formula for corporate organization and economic success. and Rakesh Khurana, Harvard Business School, on the 1970s transformation of the corporate manager into the superstar CEO."

Segment 2 | From the Archives: "Andrew Carnegie: The Gospel of Wealth" (1889; 1914).
 Download: MP3



Here us a rare recording of Andrew Carnegie, at age 78, reading selections from one of his most famous essays --- "The Gospel of Wealth," originally published in 1889. The recording took place iinside Thomas Edison's Bronx, N.Y. studio. For more information on this recording, go to: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/businessnews/2007/10/30/Only-known-recording-of-Andrew-Carnegie-gives-voice-to-history/stories/200710300181

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July 1, 2014
Segment 1 | "Independence Daze: A History of July 4th"
 Download: MP3



From Backstory: "In the early days of our nation, July Fourth wasn’t an official holiday at all. In fact, it wasn’t until 1938 that it became a paid day-off. So how did the Fourth become the holiest day on our secular calendar? This episode offers some answers. With perspective from guests and taking questions from listeners, Peter, Ed, and Brian explore the origins of July Fourth. They highlight the holiday’s radical roots, look at how the Declaration’s meaning has changed over time, and consider how the descendants of slaves embraced the Declaration’s message of liberty and equality."

Segment 2 | From the Archives: "Mark Twain: An Independence Day Speech in London, 1907"
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From the LibriVox readings of Mark Twain's speeches (go to #99), this is his talk to The American Society in London on July 4, 1907, at the Hotel Cecil. American Ambassador Choate called on Mr. Clemens to respond to the toast "The Day We Celebrate."
For the full text, see: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/3188/3188-h/3188-h.htm#link2H_4_0100.

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June 24, 2014'
Segment 1 | "Hindsight: 'Eichmann on Trial' and 'The Man in the Glass Box'" (2014).
 Download: MP3



From ABC/RN's Hindsight: "Part 1 ~ Adolf Eichmann was responsible for sending millions of people to the Nazi death camps during World War Two. After the end of the war he escaped to Argentina, but in 1960 he was snatched by the Mossad, Israel's intelligence service, and brought to Jerusalem to stand trial. In this programme the award-winning British journalist Gavin Esler travels to Israel to meet those involved in Eichmann's dramatic and controversial capture and trial. The kidnapping violated Argentina's sovereignty and was condemned by the UN. Questions were raised about whether it was appropriate to try Eichmann in Israel, and international Jewish leaders feared an anti-Semitic backlash. David Ben-Gurion, Israel's Prime Minister, insisted that the Jewish state was the only heir of the six million murdered and that the trial would fulfil a historic duty. Ultimately, it forced the young country to confront its history in a way that had profound consequences. Gavin meets Rafi Eitan, who led the Mossad team and who recalls his acute sense of being involved in something momentous. Gabriel Bach, the deputy prosecutor, explains that Eichmann's defence; that 'he was only following orders' was laughable. In fact he disobeyed orders to carry out his extermination ambitions. Michael Goldman Gilad, who survived Auschwitz, became a policeman and witnessed Eichmann's execution. He remembers being forced to spread ash from the Birkenau crematorium onto the icy ground so SS officers wouldn't slip. Only when he saw the tiny pile of ash after Eichmann's cremation did he realise how many bodies must have made up the ash mound in the camp. This program is a Whistledown production." PART 2 ~ Jeffrey Shandler, author of While America Watches, analyzes the impact of the televising of the Eichmann Trial.

Segment 2 | From the Archives: Hermann Goering at Nuremberg, March 18, 1946.
 Download: MP3


We present here some excerpts from the cross examination of Hermann Goering on March 18, 1946 by chief American Prosecutor Robert H. Jackson at the Nuremberg trials. For the film/video version of these excerpts, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfwujaV7Ia8.For further information on Goering, see: http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007112. For more on the Nuremberg trials, see: http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_Law/Nuremberg_trials.html.

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June 17, 2014
Segment 1 | "Against the Grain: Backstory: Greg Grandin on Freedom and Slavery" (2014).
 Download: MP3



From Against the Grain, we bring you this discussion with historian Greg Grandin: "In 1805, a remarkable slave rebellion took place -- not in the Atlantic, but in the Pacific, and involving an unusual ruse. And it illustrates, argues historian Greg Grandin, something fundamental about freedom and unfreedom in the New World. Grandin examines the historical event, immortalized by Herman Melville, in which insurgent slave leaders maintained a striking deception against the odds, but were ultimately repressed by an anti-slavery republican. Greg Grandin is the author of The Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World (Metropolitan Books, 2014).

Segment 2 | From the Archives: "LibriVox reading of William Lloyd Garrison from The Liberator, December 28, 1859." (Original document: 1859; reading: 2007).

 Download: MP3


From LibriVox, here is a selection from a reading of a William Lloyd Garrison sympathetic editorial on John Brown's attack on Harper's Ferry. It appeared in Garrison's paper, The Liberator on October 28, 1859. For the text, see: http://fair-use.org/the-liberator/1859/10/28/the-tragedy-at-harpers-ferry.

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