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The Nostalgia Trap podcast features weekly conversations about history and politics with some of the left’s most incisive thinkers, writers, and extremely online personalities, exploring how individual lives intersect with the big events and debates of our era.


The Nostalgia Trap is hosted by historian David Parsons and produced by Peter Sabatino. Find more episodes and subscribe to the show here.

Recent Episodes

 

EPISODE 100

Heather Ann Thompson is a historian and writer whose 2016 book Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy won the Pulitzer Prize in 2017. In this conversation, she discusses how her upbringing in Detroit shaped her views on American politics and ignited her interest in tracking the history of mass incarceration. Thompson also talks about the 13-year process behind writing a book like Blood in the Water, a project that included intense research, wrenching oral histories, and a narrative that’s been intentionally distorted and covered up for decades. By putting Attica’s history in context, Thompson’s work considers the larger moral dimensions of America’s obsession with crime and punishment. LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE.

EPISODE 99

Bruce Schulman's 2001 book The Seventies: The Great Shift in American Culture, Society, and Politics is a fascinating take on a critical era, and helps put the Trump era into an understandable historical context. In this conversation, Schulman discusses how popular culture came to be such a central element of his methodology, helping him chart a course through the political and social history of late 20th century America.

EPISODE 98

Megan Kate Nelson's interdisciplinary approach to environmental history puts towering events like the Civil War into wholly new contexts. Her book Ruin Nation: Destruction and the American Civil War investigates the human, biological, and infrastructural devastation of the era, and asks critical questions about American memory. In this conversation she explains the development of her methodology and the direction of the historical discipline.