Ira talks to historian Ted Widmer about two of the first pen pals in the New World. John Winthrop and Roger Williams were both Puritans in Massachusetts in the 1630s.
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Sarah Vowell tells the lost story behind a patriotic song, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." An early version of the song celebrated an American terrorist. She's accompanied by Jon Langford and the band.
Sarah Vowell tells the story about the first time the United States attacked a country that hadn't attacked us first. It was also the first time the U.S. went to a foreign country to force a regime change.
A few years back, a writer named Lee Sandlin wrote a story for the weekly paper The Chicago Reader about what makes wartime different—how a country's perceptions and logic during war are fundamentally different than during peace. It was a massive historical article, exhaustively researched.
The story of a preventive act of war committed 3200 years ago, in the land that's now Turkey, not too far from Iraq. Seneca's The Trojan Woman takes place at the end of the Trojan war.
For many years, Israeli citizens learned a sanitized version of what happened during their War of Independence in 1948. They learned that 700,000 Arabs fled the country on their own accord.