Backstory with the American History Guys, the popular American history radio show and podcast, is going to have to make a slight alteration to its subtitle. That is because Yale historian Joanne Freeman has joined the show. Freeman will join Ed Ayers and Brian Balogh beginning February 3, 2017. In addition to Freeman, Johns Hopkins history professor Nathan Connolly will also join the cast.
Peter Onuf, one of the original “American History Guys” is stepping down from his regular hosting slot, but he will continue to contribute to the show.
Here is a taste of the press release from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities:
Freeman is a professor of History and American Studies at Yale, author of the award-winning “Affairs of Honor: National Politics in the New Republic,” and editor of “Alexander Hamilton: Writings.” A specialist in revolutionary and early national American history, her work focuses on political violence and the culture of politics. Her extensive knowledge of dueling and research into the life of Alexander Hamilton influenced Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator and star of Broadway’s “Hamilton” the musical. In a New York Times story, Miranda credited Freeman’s book “Affairs of Honor” and her edited volume of “Alexander Hamilton: Writings” as “indispensable.”
Connolly is the Herbert Baxter Adams Associate Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University and the author of “A World More Concrete: Real Estate and the Remaking of Jim Crow South Florida.” Connolly’s research and writing focuses on the “interplay between racism, capitalism, politics, and the built environment in the twentieth century.” A self-described desegregationist, Connolly is the first African American author to win either the Kenneth T. Jackson Book Award from the Urban History Association or the Bennett H. Wall Award from the Southern Historical Association. Connolly is also the co-author of “Trump Syllabus 2.0” and the first black U.S. historian to earn tenure at Johns Hopkins.
Longtime host Peter Onuf will continue to contribute to the program.
“Peter Onuf’s rambunctious sense of humor, iconoclastic insight, broad vision, and passion have given BackStory much of its energy, irreverence, and relevance,” said Ayers. “We’re delighted that Peter will remain a part of BackStory, with guest appearances on the show, and we know our listeners will always be happy to hear his resonant voice.”
BackStory’s audience is already familiar with the voices of both Freeman and Connolly as guests and as co-hosts. This year, Connolly guest-hosted “Well-Regulated Militias” and Freeman guest-hosted “Judaism in America.”
“I can’t wait to start working with Joanne and Nathan on a weekly basis. It’s about time that they earned an honest living,” Balogh said. “All kidding aside,” he continued, “I am honored to work with two such fine scholars, who have advanced their fields but not lost sight of the big picture.”