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Books That Shaped America

C-SPAN

A companion podcast to the 10-episode C-SPAN television series, Books that Shaped America, produced in partnership with the Library of Congress. The Library of Congress created the Books That Shaped America list to explore key works of literature from American history that have had a major impact on society. The 10 iconic books featured in the series have provoked thought, won awards, led to significant policy changes, and are still talked about today. In this companion podcast, you can learn more about the authors of the books featured. Find out more about Books that Shaped America at c-span.org/booksthatshapedamerica.

Location:

United States

Networks:

C-SPAN

Description:

A companion podcast to the 10-episode C-SPAN television series, Books that Shaped America, produced in partnership with the Library of Congress. The Library of Congress created the Books That Shaped America list to explore key works of literature from American history that have had a major impact on society. The 10 iconic books featured in the series have provoked thought, won awards, led to significant policy changes, and are still talked about today. In this companion podcast, you can learn more about the authors of the books featured. Find out more about Books that Shaped America at c-span.org/booksthatshapedamerica.

Language:

English


Episodes

"The Words of Cesar Chavez" with historian Miriam Pawl

11/17/2023
Born in Yuma, Arizona, César Chávez began his working life as a manual laborer. After serving in the U.S. Navy, Chávez moved to California to join an organization that helped laborers register to vote. This week's guest is historian Miriam Pawl. He later began organizing strikes among farm workers, calling for better pay and working conditions. Chávez eventually co-founded the labor union that became known as United Farm Workers. In this first published anthology, from 2002, the editors of The Words of César Chávez reveal how the labor leader presented his calls to action and sought to inspire his audiences. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:35:53

"Free to Choose" Milton & Rose Friedman with Prof. Mark Skousen

11/10/2023
Milton Friedman was a 1976 Nobel Prize-winning American economist and advisor to President Ronald Reagan and conservative British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, among others. This week, a conversation with his friend and a Professor at Chapman University, Mark Skousen. In 1980, Friedman partnered with his wife, Rose, to create a 10-part television series for PBS titled "Free to Choose." The Friedmans argued that free-market capitalism works best for all members of society, leading to problem-solving where other economic approaches have failed. The companion book to the PBS series, also titled Free to Choose, was among the best-selling non-fiction books of 1980. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:28:59

"Their Eyes Were Watching God" by Zora Neale Hurston w/ Prof. Gary Richards

11/3/2023
Zora Neale Hurston brings to life a Southern love story that explores race, gender roles, and identity, which influenced African-American and women's literature. In this episode, we speak with English Professor Gary Richards of The University of Mary Washington. The book is considered a classic of the Harlem Renaissance. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:24:15

"My Antonia" by Willa Cather w/ Historian Richard Norton Smith

10/27/2023
Willa Cather's novel, My Ántonia, evokes the Nebraska prairie life of her childhood and pays tribute to the spirit and courage of immigrant pioneers in America. Historian Richard Norton Smith discusses Cather's works, including My Antonia, which was written in 1918. The book tells the story of a girl who arrives on the frontier as part of a family of Bohemian immigrants, and her friendship with an orphaned boy who taught her English. The novel explores issues facing women of the time in that region, and the meaning of success in America. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:24:31

The Life of Mark Twain w/ Professor Matt Seybold

10/20/2023
Our guest this week is Elmira College Professor Matt Seybold, who shares insights and introspections into the life of Mark Twain. Named among the great American novels, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been known internationally since its first printing in 1884 and remains popular yet controversial. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:35:27

"The Common Law" by Oliver Wendell Holmes w/ Historian Stephen Budiansky

10/13/2023
Our guest this week is historian Stephen Budianksy, who shares his insights into the late Justice's life and work. After serving in the Civil War, during which he was wounded, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. became a scholar and jurist, eventually rising to the U.S. Supreme Court after being nominated by President Theodore Roosevelt. While practicing law in Boston, Holmes summarized a series of lectures he had delivered and had them published in 1881 as a book titled The Common Law. Holmes is known for the maxim, "The life of the law has not been logic: it has been experience," and that the law develops according to the "felt necessities of the time." He served on the high court for nearly 30 years, retiring at age 90, and has been of the most frequently cited justices. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:29:08

Life of Frederick Douglass w/ Prof. David Blight

10/6/2023
Our guest this week is Pultizer-Prize-winning Yale Professor David Blight. He expounds on the life of Frederick Douglas, when he learned to read and write, and his relationship with President Abraham Lincoln. Born into slavery in Maryland, Frederick Douglass went on to become a writer, orator, statesman, and key leader in the abolitionist movement. After his escape to freedom as an adult, Douglass in 1845 wrote the first of his three autobiographies, titled The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:36:37

Journals of Lewis and Clark w/ Author Lanny Jones

9/29/2023
Our guest this week is author, historian, and magazine editor Lanny Jones. He is the author of "William Clark and the Shaping of the West. His latest work is Celebrity Nation. Shortly after the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, President Thomas Jefferson commissioned Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to explore and map the newly acquired territory and to seek a water route to the Pacific Ocean. Lewis and Clark's two-year Tour of Discovery ended in September 1806 as the explorers returned to St. Louis with maps, sketches and journals detailing the region's plants, animal life, geography, and indigenous people. In 1814, many Americans were able to learn for the first time about the western lands upon the publishing of the book titled History of the Expedition Under the Command of Captains of Lewis and Clark. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:22:23

James Madison, Alexander Hamilton & John Jay "The Federalist Papers"

9/22/2023
Colleen Sheehan, Arizona State University Professor, discusses the early life and times of the Federalist's three authors. She explains how their lives challenged their writing and thinking. Plus their lasting legacy today. In September 1787, the newly drafted Constitution of the United States was sent to the states for ratification. Responding to initial public criticism of the document, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay - under the collective pseudonym "Publius" - wrote a series of 85 essays to promote the ratification of the Constitution. The essays were first published in several New York newspapers and were later combined into a book titled The Federalist. Today, the original essays are commonly referred to as The Federalist Papers. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:33:53

"Common Sense" by Thomas Paine (1776) w/ Professor Richard Bell

9/15/2023
Richard Bell, a University of Maryland history professor discusses Thomas Paine's life, and what led him to publish Common Sense. Common Sense written by Thomas Paine is a 47-page pamphlet advocating for independence from Great Britain, it was published in 1776. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:28:43

TRAILER: Books That Shaped America

8/29/2023
A companion podcast to the 10-episode C-SPAN television series, Books that Shaped America, produced in partnership with the Library of Congress. The Library of Congress created the Books That Shaped America list to explore key works of literature from American history that have had a major impact on society. The 10 iconic books featured in the series have provoked thought, won awards, led to significant policy changes, and are still talked about today. In this companion podcast, you can learn more about the authors of the books featured. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:01:42