Sunday, April 5, 2009

It was 20 years ago today - history podcast

It was 20 years ago today is a very personal history podcast by Jamie Lawson. She takes a date close to the publication of the podcast and then discusses what happened on that day, twenty years ago. Just like me, she is old enough to actively remember 1989 and so these episodes are also about her personal perception and memory of the discussed occurrence.

This works out usually very well, I guess, especially for those who also have a recollection of the event. Here issue about the elections in the Soviet Union in 1989, that saw Boris Yeltsin's star rise, really touched the right to one for me. The next issue on The Satanic Verses admittedly, did less so. Lawson was so set on expressing her indignation of the fatwa against Salman Rushdie, that the history and the memory got lost in the moral of the show.

So it is always a gamble when you hook up to such a personal podcast. The chosen era is a very good one though. She started here podcast in 2006 and thus has made here way through 1986 to 1989 and if you think of it, there are so many great events to connect to, that there are many exciting podcasts to be found in the feed and fine podcasts to be made still.

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Slave Culture - Gilder Lehrmann history podcast

The Gilder Lehrmann Institute for American History promotes the study and love of American History and among their activities are to have lectures and these are recored and published as podcast. The feed of the Gilder Lehrmann Podcast contains the ten last issues, seven of which are about Lincoln, but at the site, more audio can be had.

I was contacted by the institute to review their podcast and to begin I chose the first issue they put out as it was about Slavery. Since I have taken up listening to Forgotten Classics' rereading of Uncle Tom's Cabin, this looked like a pertinent subject.

The lecture is delivered by Philip D. Morgan who has done research into the culture of the slaves themselves. In comparison to Uncle Tom's Cabin, the picture is much more diverse and much less easy to digest. But then again, Stowe's novel was to drive home an ideological point. Morgan attempted to describe, in spite of the problem there are so little sources in which the slaves speaks themselves. Morgan's painted picture is eventually that of a paternalism that gave rise to just as much the justifications of slavery as well as a novel such as Uncle Tom's Cabin.

The Gilder Lehrmann podcast promises to be a good quality source for history lectures in the realm of American History.

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