Recently a colleague posed this question to the library staff: What books are helping you understand the world right now? The results of this survey are compiled in a public book list, and you have the opportunity to contribute your own book ideas to this list.
In addition to books, podcasts can help provide context for contemporary events and help us make sense of the world. I’m a fan of Past Present podcast (tagline: where hindsight becomes foresight) in which three historians contextualize three news items from the last week. Recent episodes include “Nike’s Colin Kaepernick Ad, the Anonymous New York Times Op-Ed, and Robin Leach,” and “Democratic Socialists, Court Packing, and Audiobooks.”
I’ve also been listening to Back Story, a weekly podcast hosted by U.S. historians, to contextualize current events and generally learn more about American history. I mined their archives and recent episodes to compile a list of episodes and recommend quite a few that can help all of us better understand our country’s history and current events.
- Summer Reading List: 14 History Books You’ll Want to Read (you can read these through the fall, too!)
- A More Perfect Union? The Reconstruction Era
- Contested Landscape: The Battle Over Confederate Monuments
- The Melting Pot: Americans & Assimilation
- Color Lines: Racial Passing in America (featuring Princeton University’s Professor Martha Sandweiss, head of the Princeton & Slavery project)
- The Thin Light of Freedom
If you need assistance finding or downloading podcasts, stop by the Welcome Desk or the Information Desk at the library.
Back to the Blog