History for the Future

Through interviews with historians and journalists, History for the Future explores the historical roots of contemporary social issues and policies, often revealing the hidden assumptions and political choices defining the present.

By Kevin C. Brown | Media, Women's rights
Susan J. Douglas, author of the book "Enlightened Sexism: The Seductive Message that Feminism’s Work is Done," discusses how media myths — from reality TV to the news — undermine continued importance of feminism in the 21st century. More
By Kevin C. Brown | History, Housing
Economist Richard D. Wolff, the author of "Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What To Do About It," discusses the origins and significance of the housing crisis facing the United States. More
By Kevin C. Brown | History, Race
This week on HFTF historian David R. Roediger discusses the history of race and “whiteness” in America. The author of several books on labor, race, and power, including The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class, and most recently, How Race Survived U.S. History: From Settlement and Slavery to the Obama Phenomenon, Roediger’s work explores how the idea of race — including “the white race” — has been made and re-made throughout American history. In the interview Roediger talks about this history, how President Obama has navigated the issue of race, and how current debates over Islam and Muslim immigration fit into America’s racial past. Listen to the interview, and check out Roediger’s website for his latest work. More
By Kevin C. Brown | History, Reproductive health services, Women's rights
On this new episode of HFTF my guest is Rickie Solinger, independent historian, curator and author of many books including Wake Up Little Susie: Single Pregnancy and Race Before Roe v. Wade, and more recently Pregnancy and Power: A Short History of Reproductive Politics in America. Currently, she is the curator of two new traveling exhibits on the New Deal. In our interview Solinger discusses how class and race shaped single pregnancy the United States, as well as the meaning of “reproductive politics.” Check out the show!! More
By Kevin C. Brown | Alternative models, History
Enjoy a brand new episode of HFTF featuring an interview with Charles C. Mann, correspondent for Science and The Atlantic Monthly, as well as the author of 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. He discusses how new research from anthropologists, historians, botanists, and archeologists has undermined many of the enduring “high school textbook” images and myths about Native American life before 1492. Mann challenges the way our culture often thinks about Native Americans’ relationship to the environment — a reinterpretation with implications for how we approach our own abounding environmental dilemmas. Check it out! More
By Kevin C. Brown | Alternative models, Environment, History
Paul Sabin (assistant professor of history at Yale University) discusses his book, "Crude Politics: the California Oil Market, 1900-1940," and a brand new article in Environmental History titled “‘The Ultimate Environmental Dilemma:’ Making a Place for Historians in the Climate Change and Energy Debates.” Sabin’s work calls into question how free the “free market” is, and demonstrates the importance of the state in shaping capitalism. More