December 31

Ep. 0131: Opening Gambits: The Not-So-Civil War Part 1

Drum roll please……………..Here we go — the first podcast installment in a monstrous enterprise, CJ’s White Whale: the Dangerous History Podcast’s coverage of the War Between the States!

In this first installment, we’ll cover the opening moves, from December 1860 to November 1861.

Join CJ as he discusses:

  • The secession of the seven states of the Deep South following the election of Abraham Lincoln
  • The formation of the Confederate States of America, including its constitution
  • The accession to office of the Lincoln Administration
  • The firing on Fort Sumter
  • Sumter’s impact on the North and the South, including the secession of the Upper South
  • Lincoln’s actions to try to keep the Border States in the Union, by any means neccessary
  • Preparations for war & early skirmishes
  • The Battle of Manassas (or First Bull Run) and its impact
  • Julia Ward Howe’s “Battle Hymn of the Republic” (written in Nov. 1861) as portent of the total war-crusade to come

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December 7

Ep. 0128: Foundation of the Permanent Garrison State

Between 1946 and 1953, the cornerstones of a permanent garrison state were laid within the structure of the US government.

Join CJ as he discusses:

  • Henry Luce’s 1941 article “The American Century” & the construction of the Pentagon (begun on Sept. 11th, 1941 -the pic above shows the Pentagon under construction, BTW) as harbingers of this change
  • George Kennan’s original, much more limited strategy of ‘containment’ towards the USSR
  • American intervention in Greece, 1946
  • The National Security Act of 1947 (the single most important piece of formal legislation in this process)
  • NSC-68
  • Proof of a revolution within the form: Harry Truman’s sending of American forces into significant combat in 1950 without a declaration of war
  • How the Eisenhower Administration tacitly ratified all this into permanence, despite Ike’s occasional statements that indicate his misgivings about the whole thing

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November 26

Ep. 0126: The Story of Squanto

Tisquantum (or Squanto, as he’s better known today) was a Patuxet Indian with an incredible, complex life story that  very few people have an inkling of today; and when you look at the story of early seventeenth-century New England from his perspective, it’s a very different tale than what you get from standard American mythology.

Join CJ as he discusses:

  • Squanto’s early life as a Wampanoag in Dawnland, and his abduction & transportation (possibly more than once) to England as a young man
  • How he finally made it home after years of absence only to find his community had been wiped out by European diseases while he was gone
  • His uneasy relationship with the Wampanoag sachem Massasoit
  • How Squanto used his knowledge of the English language & culture to make himself indispensable to the Pilgrims who began settling on the former site of his village, and tried to leverage that for his own ambition, but ultimately died before any of his ambitions came to pass.

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November 8

Ep. 0124: 2016 Election Day Special: The American Civil Religion

Ever get the sense that the government and politics in the United States is kinda cult-y? If so, CJ thinks your spidey sense is justifiably tingling, and what you’re picking up on is the phenomenon known as the civil religion.

Join CJ as he discusses:

  • The concept of civil religion
  • The origins of the American civil religion, and a brief word on the scholarship on the concept
  • Some of the overtly religious elements that can be found in American government and politics, including: dogmas, rituals, sacred texts, holy places, sermons, sacrifices, sacred days, spells/mantras/incantations/prayers, music, sacred histories/narratives, temples, symbols/totems, priests, and saints
  • The ways in which people of different cultural and ideological predilections can — just like with conventional religion — interpret the civil religion in order to make it fit their preferences
  • How voting fits into this civil religion, and why CJ thinks a reasonable person should reject the civil religion — whether they are theists or not

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October 16

Ep. 0121: Ravenous: A Dangerous History Movie Review

In the spirit of the season, in this episode CJ reviews the 1999 film Ravenous, a horror movie about cannibalism on the American frontier in the heyday of Manifest Destiny in the mid-nineteenth century.  This film was directed by Antonia Bird and stars Guy Pearce, Robert Carlyle, and Jeffrey Jones.

Join CJ as he discusses:

  • A few words about his recent experience of Hurricane Matthew
  • A synopsis of the movie, CJ’s take on it, and some of the deeper themes in the film

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October 2

Ep. 0120: DHP Heroes: Major General Smedley Butler

In this episode, CJ profiles Major General Smedley Darlington Butler of the United States Marine Corps, probably most famous for being a very highly decorated Marine (the most decorated at the time of his death in 1940), and for writing War is a Racket.  Butler was a very complex man to say the least, and CJ covers the good, the bad, the ugly and, of course, the dangerous about his life and legacy.

Join CJ as he discusses:

  • A brief look at Smedley’s family history & childhood, to his joining of the Marines in 1898 during the Spanish-American War
  • Subsequent services in places as wide-ranging as the Philippines, China, Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua, Mexico, Haiti, Quantico, Philadelphia, San Diego, and China (again), as he rose through the ranks from Second Lieutenant all the way to Major General
  • Smedley’s increasing disillusionment with the ulterior motives of American foreign policy and military interventionism
  • His retirement in 1931, and the last 9 years of his life, during which he became an ever-more radical, outspoken critic of American militarism and imperialism, right up until his death in June of 1940, including his exposure of an alleged Wall Street plot to overthrow the FDR administration, and his authorship of War is a Racket
  • A little bit about Smedley’s legacy and why CJ considers him a DHP Hero

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The Dangerous History Podcast is covered by a BipCot NoGov license; learn more at BipCot.org

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September 24

Ep. 0119: Party Systems in American History, Part II

Join CJ as he discusses:

  • The latter Third Party System during the Gilded Age (c. 1870s-1890s)
  • The 1896 election, which ended the Third Party System & ushered in the Fourth
  • The characteristics of the Fourth Party System (1896-1932)
  • The Fifth Party System (1932-1968?1980? The present?)
  • The controversial Sixth Party system (which we may be in now)
  • The possible implications of the current freakshow — I mean, “election”

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The Dangerous History Podcast is covered by a BipCot NoGov license; learn more at BipCot.org

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September 20

Ep. 0118: Party Systems in American History, Part I

In light of the currently ongoing freakshow — er, ‘campaign’ — I decided to talk a bit about the big-picture view of the history of American political party systems.  (BTW, audio quality gets better about 2/3 of the through — I did the first part of the episode when I was a bit hoarse & it was storming outside; last third was done the following morning.  These are the trials & travails of being a super-busy guerrilla podcaster with a day job & a family, who has to lay down the tracks whenever he has a chance, whether things are ideal or not.)

Join CJ as he discusses:

  • What “party systems” are in American political history
  • The First Party System (Federalists vs. Democratic-Republicans, ~1792-1820ish)
  • The Second Party System (Democrats vs. Whigs, ~1828-1854)
  • The Second Great Awakening, the differences between “Pietist” and “Liturgical” Christians, and the impact of this on political party preferences
  • The Third Party System (Democrats vs. Republicans, 1856-1896)

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The Dangerous History Podcast is covered by a BipCot NoGov license; learn more at BipCot.org

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September 11

Ep. 0117: Operation Underworld

Did you know that the US government, in the form of the Office of Naval Intelligence in World War II & the Central Intelligence Agency in the Cold War, frequently made common cause with La Cosa Nostra & other organized crime syndicates?

Join CJ as he discusses:

  • How the alliance between the US Office of Naval Intelligence & American mafia groups began in 1942
  • The involvement of top mobsters such as Charles “Lucky” Luciano, Meyer Lansky, and Vito Genevese with the Allied invasion & occupation of Italy, and Luciano’s early release from prison in 1946 as a reward
  • The continued collaboration of American intelligence with the mafia & other organized crime syndicates for various purposes related to the Cold War from the-late 1940s in places as diverse as Europe, Asia, Latin America & the Caribbean
  • Some of the darker results & side effects of these collaborations

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The Dangerous History Podcast is covered by a BipCot NoGov license; learn more at BipCot.org

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August 29

Ep. 0116: Abolitionism & Anarchism (CJ’s presentation from the Midwest Peace & Liberty Conference)

At high noon on Saturday August 27th 2016 I had the pleasure of speaking at the Midwest Peace & Liberty Fest. Here’s the audio of that presentation.

Join CJ as he discusses:

  • The different types of antislavery groups in Antebellum America
  • The most radical part of the abolitionist spectrum, including the New England Non-Resistance Society, who were Christian anarchists in all but name
  • How the anarchistic abolitionists simply took the antislavery arguments to their logical conclusions; and how some Southern defenders of slavery understood this
  • The contributions of the ‘extreme’ abolitionists to the success of the movement
  • Lessons and parallels for anarchists today
  • Some Q&A

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The Dangerous History Podcast is covered by a BipCot NoGov license; learn more at BipCot.org

The Dangerous History Podcast is a member of the Dark Myths Podcast Group & LRN.fm’s podcast roster.

 

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