Episode 119: Beatlemania and the 55th Anniversary of the First Beatles Tour to the US

Host: Augusta Dell’Omo, Department of History
Guest: Eddie Watson, Department of History

The Beatles arrived for their first concert in the United States on February 11, 1964 to rabid fanfare. Legions of screaming women greeted John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr on every stop of the U.S. tour, leading to observers dubbing the period as “Beatlemania.” As one of the most commercially successful and influential musicians of all time, almost every pop music artist cites their influence over their music. Yet who were the Beatles? What was their music like? And why were they so popular?

Ph.D. student in history Eddie Watson takes us deep into the history of the Beatles first tour in the United States, and reveals why we should understand these popular cultural movements. But perhaps most importantly, Eddie tells us who is the best Beatle, reveals their greatest hits, and regales us of his own attempt at the Beatle bowl cut.


Continue reading

Episode 68: The Russian Empire on the Eve of World War 1

Host: Joan Neuberger, Editor, Not Even Past & Professor, Department of History
Guest: Dominic Lieven, Professor, London School of Economics and Political Science; Fellow, British Academy; Fellow, Trinity College, Cambridge

UnknownWorld War I is often described as “the war to end all wars,” a global conflagration unprecedented in human society whose outbreak reshaped the face of Europe, and led to the collapse of the Russian Empire and the rise of the Soviet Union. But did the war really come out of nowhere? What else was going on in Europe—and around the world—that led to the outbreak of this “global” conflict?

Our guest, Dominic Lieven of the London School of Economics, has spent his career examining problems of political stability in Europe in the 19th century, and the history of the Russian Empire’s waning days, and helps us understand the world on the eve of its first global war.

Download podcast (mp3—right click to save)

Continue reading

Episode 60: Texas and the American Revolution

Host: Joan Neuberger, Editor, Not Even Past and Professor, Department of History
Guest: Ben Wright, Public Information Officer, Briscoe Center for American History, UT-Austin

Spanish_troops_at_PensacolaWhat role did Texas play in the American revolution?  (What–Texas?  It wasn’t even a state yet!)  And yet, Spain and its empire–including what is now the Lone Star State, did play a role in defeating the British Empire in North America. New archival work is lending light on the ways that Spain, smarting from its loss of the Floridas to Britain in the Seven Years War, backed the American colonists’ push for independence.

Ben Wright of UT’s Briscoe Center for American History has been working with the Bexar archives and documents how Spain’s–and Texas’s–efforts to divert sources of food and funding to the American troops helped to tip the balance of power in North American forever.

Download audio (right click to save).

Continue reading