Saturday, April 14, 2018

A Conversation with historian Ed Ayers on why Americans are still fighting about the Civil War

Historian Ed Ayers is the guest on this week's edition of The Chauncey DeVega Show. Ed Ayers has written and edited twelve books, including In the Presence of Mine Enemies: Civil War in the Heart of America, winner of the Bancroft Prize and the Beveridge Prize; and The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction, a finalist for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. His new book is The Thin Light of Freedom: The Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America.

Ayers has been named National Professor of the Year, received the National Humanities Medal at the White House, and been elected President of the Organization of American Historians. 

During this episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show, Professor Ayers and Chauncey discuss popular myths about the American civil war and slavery, the Charlottesville white supremacist riot, public memory and monuments to the Confederacy, and why Donald Trump's presidency may ironically have helped to renew American democracy by spurring on a new progressive movement.  

In this week's episode Chauncey DeVega tries to make sense of an especially tumultuous week where Donald Trump raged, his "pee pee" sex video seems more likely to exist, and the Trump monster basically admitted that he obstructed justice to stop any investigation into his collusion with Russia to steal the 2016 election.  And in this week's episode of the podcast Chauncey shares some letters written by African-American soldiers during the Civil War as well as newspaper ads where formerly enslaved black Americans desperately search for their families and friends after Emancipation.

Chauncey also offers a reflection upon and honors Art Bell, the radio legend and pioneer who passed away on Friday.

This episode with Ed Ayers can be 
downloaded from Libsyn and also listened to here.

The Chauncey DeVega Show is available on 
Itunes, Spotify and at Stitcher

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