When someone is looking to describe a huge achievement where expectations are greatly surpassed, they can describe it as "Ruthian." The fact that that adjective can be used in American lexicon proves just how massive of a pop culture icon Babe Ruth became, and still is.
On this week's supersize episode, we discuss the life and times of the Babe with Baseball Hall of Fame Senior Curator Tom Shieber, who spearheaded the creation of a permanent exhibit on Ruth. Utilizing a unique format to "History Personified," we walk through several displays from the Babe Ruth exhibit, using those artifacts to walk through the life of the "Sultan of Swat." From his formative years at St. Mary's in Baltimore, to his time with the Boston Red Sox, to his incredible years with the New York Yankees, to the close of his career, to his life after baseball, and finally to his death, we talk about the incredible life the Babe led. While he died at only 53, Ruth made a huge impact not just on sports, but on American and global culture as well.
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"I knew it was you"...it is one of the most famous lines in cinema history. Uttered by Al Pacino's Michael Corleone to his brother, Fredo, this line from "The Godfather" is also the title of a documentary made by Richard Shepard, who we interview on this week's episode about the actor behind Fredo, John Cazale. Cazale is not an actor remembered by many today, but he had a huge impact in his short career. In fact, he is the only actor to appear exclusively in feature films nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Labeled by Pacino as his acting partner, Cazale died at the age of 42 of bone cancer after making only five films, but his impact is still being felt today. Shepard discusses his film, the process it took to get people like Meryl Streep to sit down with him, and why making the film was so important.
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American historical figure Alexander Hamilton has experienced a recent surge in interest due to the massively popular Broadway musical bearing his name. But what was Hamilton really all about? On this week's episode, we dig deeper into the life of the father of American finance with Museum of Finance President & CEO David Cowen. We discuss Hamilton's early days, his rise to power, so to speak, and his feud with and subsequent death at the hands of Aaron Burr. Why did he have issues with James Madison and Thomas Jefferson? How did he feel about slavery? And where would he stand in today's political climate? We discuss it all.
Think that Alec Baldwin's portrayal of Donald Trump and Kate McKinnon's take on Hillary Clinton for "Saturday Night Live" are funny? Disrespectful? Satire is as much a part of the American political process as voting, and has been for centuries. Whether it was political cartoonists using their renderings to send a message, or Chevy Chase portraying Gerald Ford as a bumbling fool, the media has never shied away from poking fun at American politics. Yet, the question must be asked: truly, how influential are shows such as "The Daily Show" and "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" when it comes to swaying potential voters?
In this week's episode we talk with Professor Brian Rosenwald from the University of Pennsylvania about the modern history of political satire. Rosenwald is an expert on the history of conservative media, and reaches into his vast knowledge to help us understand the importance and influence of political satire. Download, enjoy, and share!