I hear with my little ear: Podcasts 17-24 August 2020

Heather Cox Richardson In her History and Politics Chat of August 4, she returns to the question of the U.S. Postal Service, which she has dealt with earlier, and which has recently become a real issue facing the next election (in fact, she foreshadowed this quite some time ago). She then goes on to talk about why America doesn’t have a national childcare scheme (short answer- it’s ‘communism’ and Nixon rejected it). She encourages people to look at Jonathan Swan’s Axios interview with Trump and exhorts people to keep talking about the Russian Bounty scandal, because it’s important.

In the History of the Republican Party Part 9 video of 30 July, she talks about the liberal consensus that was formed when Eisenhower (Republican) took over from Harry Truman, who himself had taken over from FDR  and his New Deal. He challenged for the Republican nomination when the Republic party was in danger of being taken back to the big-business oligarchy direction under Robert Taft. Heather is obviously a bit of an Eisenhower fan (although she notes that she has been reminded that Eisenhower’s policies were not good for minorities).

Rough Translations I still really can’t believe, when I’m walking around my local shopping centre or in the park (which are the only two places I can walk) that we are all swathed in masks. In From Niquab to N95 two contradictory French laws are explored: the law that says you cannot cover your face, and the law that says you have to wear a mask. Interestingly, they couldn’t find a French woman who wore a niquab to interview, so they had to resort to Australian niquab-wearers instead.

Dan Snow’s History Hit. It’s strange to hear your own country’s history being told from the perspective of another country.  VJ Day: 75 years commemorates the end of hostilities against Japan. His first guest is a British historian (I wish that his show notes said who his guests were) who told this part of the war from very much a British/Empire perspective, where Australia is just one of a number of Far East and African countries fighting for Britain. He makes much of the Indian Ocean war – something Australia rarely focuses on- and Burma looms large. The second guest spoke about the Chinese war against Japan- something, again, which is not high in Australian historiography of WWII and the way that the Nationalists and Communists united to fight Japan- something that the rest of the world did not expect to happen.

Nothing on TV Robyn Annear has crept out of lockdown to talk about Mr Denning’s Umbrage. Mr Denning was a dance master, who ran Quadrille Assemblies in Melbourne in the mid-1850s, constantly battling to keep them ‘respectable’ and hounding his patrons through long advertisements in the Argus. I love this podcast. Narrated in her beautiful, slow Australian accent, there’s a chuckle in her voice and the pop of a champagne cork.

Rear Vision (ABC) How WWII changed Australia has three top-notch historians: Stuart Macintyre, Gwenda Tavan and David Lowe talking about the effect of WWII on Australian history in terms of the economy, immigration and foreign policy. Very good.


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