BackStory is a public radio show and podcast hosted by Peter Onuf, Ed Ayers, and Brian Balogh. We take a topic and try to find the most interesting stories to help give that topic context through three centuries of American history.

The show is broadcast weekly. Check us out on iTunes, Facebook, or at backstoryradio.org.

Working on our upcoming show on wilderness, we’ve realized there’s not much of our country - or the planet, for that matter- that hasn’t been touched or shaped by human interaction.

That’s why we want to hear from you. What do you think the wilderness has become in America? Have we pushed all of the wilderness out? If we’ve conquered the land and the forest, what other wildernesses are there? Let us know what you think on our website, or drop us a line at backstory@virginia.edu.

Photos: Ansel Adams, via U.S. National Archives

On our latest show, producer Andrew Parsons takes to the streets to find out how America’s thousands  of World War I memorials, have blended in to our urban landscape as the war itself has been forgotten.
Listen here.
And if you know of a World War I memorial in your town, our guest Mark Levitch would love to hear about it over at the World War I Memorial Inventory Project. Help him find the estimated 8,000 WWI memorials that may be scattered unnoticed across the country.

On our latest show, producer Andrew Parsons takes to the streets to find out how America’s thousands  of World War I memorials, have blended in to our urban landscape as the war itself has been forgotten.

Listen here.

And if you know of a World War I memorial in your town, our guest Mark Levitch would love to hear about it over at the World War I Memorial Inventory Project. Help him find the estimated 8,000 WWI memorials that may be scattered unnoticed across the country.

One hundred years ago this summer, fighting in Europe broke out, starting a conflict that was soon so severe as to be called the Great War and even “the war to end all wars.” The war brought great social, moral and political change, as well as great destruction. But today, it’s often forgotten in American history, or seen as a simple prologue to WWII. On our new episode, we explore some of the forgotten legacies of World War I, and its profound impact in the U.S. Take a listen.

World War I was sometimes called “the war to end all wars.” But one hundred years after the fighting began, it’s become a war that’s often forgotten in American history, or viewed as just a prelude to WWII. In our new episode, we’ll be exploring how the conflict affected Americans far beyond the battlefields of Europe — from debates about the meaning of free speech, to the fight over how the war would be remembered.  Stay tuned.


WWI recruitment posters from the U.S., France, the U.K., and Germany.

Images via the Library of Congress WWI Posters collection.