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Here's Where It Gets Interesting

Sharon McMahon

History, Education, Government, Storytelling

4.9 • 14.7K Ratings

Overview

Here’s Where It Gets Interesting finds the stories of America you probably haven’t heard. Host Sharon McMahon, a longtime teacher and one of today’s most influential voices, will ignite your curiosity about the fascinating stuff that wasn’t in history textbooks. She’s joined by notable thought leaders who share insights about history, culture, and politics, and inspire us to grow into more thoughtful, well-informed citizens.

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

535 Episodes

A Country of Unrest with Erik Larson

Following January 6th and the current political climate, some Americans fear there will be a “new Civil War.”  But what does that truly mean? If you are a lover of history, this conversation is one you won’t want to miss. Author Erik Larson joins us to discuss his new book, The Demon of Unrest, which is set shortly before the outbreak of the Civil War. Dive into the mindsets and captivating portrayals of leaders on the brink of a war that eventually killed 750,000 Americans, and injured millions more. Special thanks to our guest, Erik Larson, for joining us today. Host: Sharon McMahonAudio Producer: Jenny SnyderProduction Assistant: Andrea Champoux  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 20 May 2024

Say More with Jen Psaki

In a world of social media fights, keyboard warriors, and misinformation, it’s easy to feel disconnected, even among close friends and family. What if we rethink how we’re communicating to build better relationships and maintain connection? Former White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki, joins us to share lessons she’s learned about how to be an effective communicator with any audience, and growing through giving and receiving feedback. Join us for a peek behind the scenes, and practice listening to learn from one another – mistakes and all.  Special thanks to our guest, Jen Psaki, for joining us today. Host: Sharon McMahonAudio Producer: Jenny SnyderProduction Assistant: Andrea Champoux Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 13 May 2024

An Unfinished Love Story with Doris Kearns Goodwin

Imagine being a Pulitzer Prize winning presidential historian, knowing you had extraordinarily rare primary source material and Presidential memorabilia tucked away in the cellar of your own home… and not opening it for decades? Doris Kearns Goodwin joins us today to share her journey of exploring more than 300 boxes, alongside her husband of 42 years, Richard (Dick) Goodwin, that served as a time capsule of his service in the 1960s. In the relay race of democracy, you never know who will pick up the baton, and continue your work. Together, they have one last great adventure, a chance to reassess key historical figures, and a fresh perspective of the role young people play in the arc of history. Special thanks to our guest, Doris Kearns Goodwin, for joining us today. Host: Sharon McMahonAudio Producer: Jenny SnyderProduction Assistant: Andrea Champoux Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 6 May 2024

The Vigilantes, Episode 7

Life in prison wasn’t enough for the Knights of Mary Phagan. They wanted Leo Frank to pay with his life, and they were going to make sure it happened. In Georgia, vigilante justice wasn’t new, but this time was different. This time, it would change the nation. Would the vigilantes actually get away with it?  Join us for the final episode in this seven-episode series, The Vigilantes. Special thanks to former Georgia Governor Roy Barnes for his time and contribution to this episode.  Host/ Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonSupervising Producer: Melanie Buck ParksAudio Producer: Jenny Snyder Writers: Amy Watkin, Sharon McMahonResearched by: Kari Anton, Sharon McMahon, Amy Watkin, Mandy Reid, Melanie Buck Parks  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 29 April 2024

The Vigilantes, Episode 6

Georgia’s Governor knew his life was in danger when he made his ruling. Would he commute Leo’s sentence, or let him die by execution?. And just how far would the angry mob go to seek revenge for Mary’s death? The planning had already begun… and it wouldn’t take long for a deal to be made with the prison warden. Join us for part six of this seven-episode series, The Vigilantes. Host/ Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonSupervising Producer: Melanie Buck ParksAudio Producer: Jenny Snyder Writers: Amy Watkin, Sharon McMahonResearched by: Kari Anton, Sharon McMahon, Amy Watkin, Mandy Reid, Melanie Buck Parks  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 22 April 2024

The Vigilantes, Episode 5

Appeal after appeal, Leo Frank was running out of options. With a new lawyer joining his defense team – the same lawyer who earlier represented the man who testified against Leo – the tide began to turn. Witnesses were coming forward, a new explanation for the murder note comes to light, and the story is making national news. With only days remaining before the scheduled execution, would time be on his side? Join us for part five of this seven-episode series, The Vigilantes. Special Thank You to the American Jewish Archives in Cincinnati and the Kenan Research Center in Atlanta for their generous assistance in finding and sharing letters sent to Leo and Lucille Frank, his family, and to the Governors of Georgia, as well as the state legislature. Host/ Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonSupervising Producer: Melanie Buck ParksAudio Producer: Jenny Snyder Writers: Amy Watkin, Sharon McMahonResearched by: Kari Anton, Sharon McMahon, Amy Watkin, Mandy Reid, Melanie Buck Parks  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 15 April 2024

The Vigilantes, Episode 4

The heat in the Atlanta courtroom was sweltering and unbearable, as the trial against Leo Frank began. A Black man was testifying against a white man, which was nearly unheard of in the Jim Crow south. And the evidence against this man was mounting… A suspect who was at the murder scene, and continued to lie to the police. Join us for part four of this seven-episode series, The Vigilantes. Host/ Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonSupervising Producer: Melanie Buck ParksAudio Producer: Jenny Snyder Writers: Amy Watkin, Sharon McMahonResearched by: Kari Anton, Sharon McMahon, Amy Watkin, Mandy Reid, Melanie Buck Parks  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 8 April 2024

The Vigilantes, Episode 3

It’s been 48 hours since Mary Phagan was last seen alive. It’s a media frenzy, and police are feeling the pressure to find the killer.  There’s a new, sudden interest in the murder notes. Did the killer write them to throw off investigators?  By the end of this episode, three men would become suspects. And despite dubious evidence and changing stories, one would soon be indicted for Mary’s murder. With a mob looking for vengeance, and sensational newspaper coverage, chances of a fair trial in Atlanta, Georgia were slim. The trial would begin July 28th, 1913, but this story is far from over. Join us for part three of this seven-episode series, The Vigilantes. Host/ Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonSupervising Producer: Melanie Buck ParksAudio Producer: Jenny Snyder Writers: Amy Watkin, Sharon McMahonResearched by: Kari Anton, Sharon McMahon, Amy Watkin, Mandy Reid, Melanie Buck Parks  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 1 April 2024

The Vigilantes, Episode 2

It should have been a leisurely Saturday off work for 13-year-old Mary Phagan, who was looking forward to celebrating the Confederate Memorial Day holiday. It should have been an easy day for Leo Frank, too, who hoped to leave his job at the factory early to go to the local baseball game with his wife. It should have been a carefree day for 16-year old Grace Hicks, who was enjoying a rare day off, and waiting for her friend to join her at the parade. It was anything but a beautiful, joyful, restful day.  Mary Phagan would never make it to the parade. Grace would soon be faced with an unimaginable task. And Leo Frank? Why couldn't the police get in touch with him? What happened in the basement of the pencil factory at that grisly crime scene? And who wrote that strange note? Join us for part two of this seven-episode series, The Vigilantes. Host/ Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonSupervising Producer: Melanie Buck ParksAudio Producer: Jenny Snyder Writers: Amy Watkin, Sharon McMahonResearched by: Kari Anton, Sharon McMahon, Amy Watkin, Mandy Reid, Melanie Buck Parks Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 25 March 2024

A Conversation with Kamala Harris

What is at stake in the upcoming presidential election? From the wars in Gaza and Ukraine, to women’s healthcare, and the economy, many voters aren't excited about a presidential rematch. Some have voiced their opinion by voting “Uncommitted” in the primary, instead of for President Biden. Our guest today views this election as a choice between stability, and the potential destruction of Democracy.  She is the first female Vice President of the United States, and today Kamala Harris joins Sharon to give direct answers to some of the tough questions, while on her Reproductive Freedoms Tour.  Special thanks to our guest, Vice President Kamala Harris, for joining us today.  Host: Sharon McMahonExecutive Producer: Melanie Buck ParksAudio Producer: Jenny Snyder Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 20 March 2024

The Vigilantes, Episode 1

A shocking murder. A scene so brutal that the first people to find the victim couldn’t even tell what their skin color was. And a case that forever changed both the city, and the state’s legal system.  It was April 1913, in Atlanta, Georgia, and the city would never be the same. You may wonder why this imperative and dramatic case is not taught in history class, or how the world could have forgotten such a horrific crime that continues to have an impact more than 100 years later.  Join us for part one of this seven-episode series, and experience just how powerful of a motivator fear can be.  Host/ Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonSupervising Producer: Melanie Buck ParksAudio Producer: Jenny Snyder Writers: Amy Watkin, Sharon McMahonResearched by: Kari Anton, Sharon McMahon, Amy Watkin, Mandy Reid, Melanie Buck Parks  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 18 March 2024

Infectious Generosity with Chris Anderson

It’s the ultimate idea worth spreading: Generosity of spirit. Sharon is joined by Chris Anderson, whom you may know as the “head of TED.” As the leader and curator of TED, Chris shares why he chose this moment in time to write his book, Infectious Generosity, referring to the sea of anger that we’re living in, and the role the Internet can play – for better or for worse. Chris suggests that we all ask ourselves this question: Am I a net giver, or a net taker? What does it mean to live with the virtue of generosity? And how does mindset impact our ability to live a more generous life? Special thanks to our guest, Chris Anderson, for joining us today.  Host/ Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonAudio Producer: Jenny Snyder Production Coordinator: Andrea Champoux   Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 11 March 2024

Reimagining Democracy with Max Stearns

Do you ever wonder what Democracy could look like in America? Many voters are familiar with this scene: You walk into a voting booth, review the options, and feel as though you’re voting between “the lesser of two evils.” You might worry that voting third-party is wasting a vote, but you don’t feel represented by the main candidates. Sound familiar? If you’re like the majority of Americans, you probably find yourself frustrated with the two-party system and a historically unproductive Congress. What if it didn’t have to be that way? Sharon is joined by law professor and author Max Stearns, to hear about another option: a Parliamentary Democracy. What would this look like, and how might Americans benefit by reimagining Democracy?  Special thanks to our guest, Max Stearns, for joining us today.  Host/ Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonAudio Producer: Jenny Snyder Production Coordinator: Andrea Champoux   Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 4 March 2024

Who’s Your Founding Father? with David Fleming

Are you ready to question what you know about America’s founding? Today’s guest, David Fleming, shares all about a delicious slice of history in his new book, “Who’s Your Founding Father?” We dive into the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, a conspiracy theory, and possible plagiarism surrounding one of the most important documents in U.S. history. How do the ultimate frenemies, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, tie into this? Join us to find out.  Special thanks to our guest, David Fleming, for joining us today.  Host/ Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonAudio Producer: Jenny Snyder Production Coordinator: Andrea Champoux  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 26 February 2024

Talking 2024 with Nikki Haley

Term limits, mental competency evaluations, and the looming 2024 presidential election. Join us for one of the most requested episodes yet, as Sharon sits down with presidential candidate, former governor and former U.S. ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley. The majority of Americans do not want a matchup of Biden Vs. Trump in the General Election. What kind of strategies will Nikki Haley bring to the table, to help bridge the divide between Democrats and Republicans, if she’s elected President? With such a low Congressional approval rating, Haley shares what she’d do to help legislators do their jobs, preserve Democracy, and shares how a Haley presidency would look different than a Trump presidency. Special thanks to our guest, Nikki Haley, for joining us today.  Host/ Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonAudio Producer: Jenny Snyder Production Assistant: Andrea Champoux   Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 19 February 2024

Be a Revolution with Ijeoma Oluo

In a time when people are working to better understand systems of oppression and address issues that can seem daunting, folks are left asking the question: What can I do to make an impact? Sharon is joined by speaker and #1 New York Times bestselling author, Ijeoma Oluo, for a conversation to set listeners on a path of how to do important work, right where you are. There is work that is accessible to all of us, and her new book, Be a Revolution, highlights practical and tangible ways to work for intersectional racial equity. Join us for both practical tools, and an encouraging call for action.  Special thanks to our guest, Ijeoma Oluo, for joining us today.  Host/ Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonAudio Producer: Jenny Snyder Production Coordinator: Andrea Champoux Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 12 February 2024

Awakening Wonder with Katherine May

We’ve all gotten trapped in the social media & news loop: Checks Twitter, scrolls on Instagram, reads comments, watches the news, checks Twitter, reads comments, checks the news again… and the cycle continues. Today’s guest, international best-setting author Katherine May, invites us to join her on a journey or reawakening in her newest book, Enchantment. Explore the art of reconnecting with the world around you, and learn to see the humanity of others. Whether it’s a gorgeous sunset, a mossy rock, or your sourdough starter, wonder is all around us if we can practice mindfulness, engage our curiosity, and look for it. Special thanks to our guest, Katherine May, for joining us today.  Host/ Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonAudio Producer: Jenny Snyder Production Coordinator: Andrea Champoux Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 5 February 2024

Life After Power with Jared Cohen

What is it like to transition from one of the most powerful positions in the world, to that of an ordinary citizen? Sharon is joined by presidential historian and New York Times bestselling author, Jared Cohen, to share about what happens when presidents – at the pinnacle of their prestige and influence – leave office. What can we learn about human nature and building a legacy from these past political figures? Join us as we explore Jared’s new book, Life After Power, that confronts the ambiguous question of “what’s next” through the lenses of seven presidents, and how they found meaning in life beyond the White House. Special thanks to our guest, Jared Cohen, for joining us today.  Host/ Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonAudio Producer: Jenny Snyder Production Coordinator: Andrea Champoux   Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 29 January 2024

The Pursuit of Happiness with Jeffrey Rosen

We’ve heard it before: Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But what did the nation’s Founders mean when they identified “the pursuit of happiness” as an unalienable right? And what role does moral philosophy play in understanding the virtues that accompany the pursuit of happiness? Today we’re joined by Jeffrey Rosen, President and CEO of the National Constitution Center, to explore these questions, as well as to dive deeper into the history and meaning of the pursuit of life-long virtue. Learn how six of the Framers and Founders – flaws and all – embody different virtues, and consider the importance of electing leaders who will be virtuous and uphold the principles of Democracy. Special thanks to our guest, Jeffrey Rosen, for joining us today.  Host/ Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonAudio Producer: Jenny Snyder Production Coordinator: Andrea Champoux   Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 22 January 2024

Ordinary People Change the World with Brad Meltzer

What makes a real hero? From Amelia Earhart, to Abraham Lincoln, to Jane Goodall, there are some names we all know – and with good reason. When today’s guest, author Brad Meltzer, became a father, his writing career took a turn. In a world of TikTok stars and YouTube influencers, he wanted a book series for children that set apart the character of true heroes, from those who are out for fame. Join us as we step inside the creative process of how Brad begins to write a children’s book, the collaboration with gifted illustrator, Christopher Eliopoulos, and how they choose the heroes they will bring to life next. Special thanks to our guest, Brad Meltzer, for joining us today.  Host/ Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonAudio Producer: Jenny Snyder Production Coordinator: Andrea Champoux   Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 15 January 2024

Mayhem: The 1970s You Never Knew, Episode 12

It was supposed to be a picturesque and luxurious sightseeing tour over Antarctica. One filled with wonder and awe, in a tour that had cultivated a reputation for giving passengers the “trip of a lifetime.” But what began as an adventurous flight near Mt. Erebus, the southernmost active volcano in the world, became one of New Zealand’s most catastrophic accidents. What really happened? And who was ultimately responsible? Meanwhile, President Carter had just lost the election to Ronald Regan, who announced the release of the hostages in Iran the same day he was inaugurated. Was this timing a coincidence, or did President Carter get a bad deal? Join us for the final episode of the series, Mayhem: The 1970s You Never Knew. Writer, Host, and Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonAudio Producer: Jenny SnyderWriters and Researchers: Amy Watkin, Mandy Reid, and Kari AntonProduction Coordinator: Andrea Champoux  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 8 January 2024

Mayhem: The 1970s You Never Knew, Episode 11

“You are now leaving Iranian air space!” It was a moment that dozens of hostages and their loved ones longed for with bated breath, for 444 days. Freedom. To be released, and returned home. The Iranian hostage crisis captured the attention of the world, but how did we get there? President Jimmy Carter was in Iran for a New Year’s celebration in 1978, and his infamous toast would have become a viral clip had it taken place today. Little did he know that days later, an Iranian newspaper article would set off months of cyclical rioting, protests, and ultimately the invasion of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, with 66 Americans being taken hostage. Writer, Host, and Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonAudio Producer: Jenny SnyderWriters and Researchers: Amy Watkin, Mandy Reid, and Kari AntonProduction Coordinator: Andrea Champoux Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 18 December 2023

Mayhem: The 1970s You Never Knew, Episode 10

A religious leader with a raging drug addiction who led his following to a tragic end. A President with the hope of finding peace between Israel and Egypt. And a politician who was pivotal to the early LGBTQ+ rights movement, and lost his life in the process. Join us as we explore the stories of three men in 1978 who all had specific visions of the world, and the reality of those visions coming to fruition. If you’ve ever wondered where the term “Don’t drink the Kool-Aid” came from, or you want some context for what is happening in the Middle East, you’re in the right place.  Content Warning: This episode contains subject matter that is not suitable for children. Writer, Host, and Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonAudio Producer: Jenny SnyderWriters and Researchers: Amy Watkin, Mandy Reid, and Kari AntonProduction Coordinator: Andrea Champoux  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 11 December 2023

Mayhem: The 1970s You Never Knew, Episode 9

Did you know that Star Wars almost started a war in real life, over a sandcrawler model? Would the film have been so wildly successful if someone else had been cast in the role of Han Solo, such as – let’s say – Christopher Walken? How would a band today be received if their drug use was so integral to their music, that they considered thanking their dealer in the liner notes? And let’s take that iPhone from your pocket, and compare it to the speed of an Apple II computer in 1977, which was 3,000 times slower. Join us as we explore revolutionary cultural shifts in the late 70s, and how these phenomena have evolved in the last four decades. Writer, Host, and Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonAudio Producer: Jenny SnyderWriters and Researchers: Amy Watkin, Mandy Reid, and Kari AntonProduction Coordinator: Andrea Champoux Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 4 December 2023

Mayhem: The 1970s You Never Knew, Episode 8

A happenstance introduction to Charles Manson. Assassination attempts against President Ford– a man who was never elected to the vice presidency or presidency. And the kidnapping of college student and newspaper heiress, 19-year-old Patty Hearst, that rocked the nation. Following Nixon’s resignation and the end of the Vietnam war, the country was in freefall. When, and how, did the U.S. begin to mend its wounds from political scandal and years of a grueling war? And what role did an unconventional campaign and powerful grassroots efforts have, regarding a certain peanut farmer who would later become president? Writer, Host, and Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonAudio Producer: Jenny SnyderWriters and Researchers: Amy Watkin, Mandy Reid, and Kari AntonProduction Coordinator: Andrea Champoux Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 27 November 2023

Mayhem: The 1970s You Never Knew, Episode 7

Draft dodging. When did the draft lottery begin for the war in Vietnam, and who among America’s youth was hit the hardest? It was an unwinnable war, and thousands of high school graduates and college students refused to comply. What sparked these explosive protests nationwide? What role was marijuana and heroin playing back in Vietnam? And how did two decades of the costly, divisive conflict finally come to an end? Writer, Host, and Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonAudio Producer: Jenny SnyderWriters and Researchers: Amy Watkin, Mandy Reid, and Kari AntonProduction Coordinator: Andrea Champoux Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 20 November 2023

Enough with Cassidy Hutchinson

It was the worst attack on the US Capitol in modern American history. What was it like to be on Capitol Hill and be in the White House through that tumultuous time? Sharon is joined by Cassidy Hutchinson, former special assistant to President Donald Trump and his chief of staff, Mark Meadow, who was an integral witness in the January 6th hearings. Cassidy shares her personal experience in her book, Enough, and gives an insider perspective. When democracy is in jeopardy, and character is put to the test, our highest allegiance is to each other, to the country, and choosing principles over party.  Special thanks to our guest, Cassidy Hutchinson, for joining us today.  Host/ Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonGuest: Cassidy HutchinsonAudio Producer: Jenny Snyder Production Coordinator: Andrea Champoux   Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 16 November 2023

Mayhem: The 1970s You Never Knew, Episode 6

A cover up that cost Nixon's presidency, a pardon that cost Gerald R. Ford his election, and a friendship dating back to the 1940s. It was the first time a President had been impeached, and the only time in U.S. history that a President resigned from office. The betrayal of the public’s trust reverberated well beyond Nixon’s presidency in a time of economic turmoil, but what happened following Nixon’s departure from office? How did the new Ford administration attempt to gain control over the rising unemployment and double-digit inflation? Join us as we learn about how this confluence of events created economic instability, unhappiness, and impacted the mood of the country in 1974. Writer, Host, and Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonAudio Producer: Jenny SnyderWriters and Researchers: Amy Watkin, Mandy Reid, and Kari AntonProduction Coordinator: Andrea Champoux  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 13 November 2023

Mayhem: The 1970s You Never Knew, Episode 5

The right to privacy, a 22-year-old who went by the pseudonym “Jane Roe,” and one of the most famous court cases in United States history. Join us as we learn what happened leading up to Roe v. Wade, the fate of Norma McCorvey following the Supreme Court’s ruling, and how this piece of history echoes in the present day. That is not the only ghost of 1973 history that is still relevant, though. If you’re curious about how an oil embargo in the 70s impacts today’s gas prices and oil reserves, and you’d like to better understand a piece of Israel's history and how it ties into present-day events, you’re in the right place. Writer, Host, and Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonAudio Producer: Jenny SnyderWriters and Researchers: Amy Watkin, Mandy Reid, and Kari AntonProduction Coordinator: Andrea Champoux Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 6 November 2023

Defending Democracy with Adam Kinzinger

What does it mean to be on the right side of history? That was a question today’s guest, Adam Kinzinger, asked himself when he chose to serve on the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th attack on the United States Capitol. Kinzinger joins Sharon to discuss his experience serving on the committee to defend democracy, and the personal sacrifice tied to prioritizing principals over party. If members of Congress are willing to send men and women to war to sacrifice their lives for our country, why are so few willing to sacrifice their political careers to do what is right?  Special thanks to our guest, Adam Kinzinger, for joining us today. Host/Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonGuest: Adam KinzingerAudio Producer: Jenny Snyder Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 2 November 2023

Mayhem: The 1970s You Never Knew, Episode 4

Deep Throat, Operation Gemstone, two valiant reporters, and a secret 30 years in the making. Watergate was not a single scandal, but rather an avalanche of events and co-conspirators, all engaged in corruption to keep President Nixon in office. The stakes were so high that Nixon’s Special Security Advisor, G. Gordon Liddy, lived under fear of being assassinated, and the wife of Nixon’s Campaign Director & Attorney General was drugged and held captive in a hotel room to keep her silent. What was the “smoking gun” that led to the toppling of this enterprise? Was it the tapes Nixon secretly recorded, and the 18-minute gap, that ultimately pushed Nixon to be the first and only President to resign? Writer, Host, and Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonAudio Producer: Jenny SnyderWriters and Researchers: Amy Watkin, Mandy Reid, and Kari AntonProduction Coordinator: Andrea Champoux Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 30 October 2023

Mayhem: The 1970s You Never Knew, Episode 3

“The week that changed the world.” Was it a chance encounter at the World Tennis Championship in 1971, “Panda diplomacy” between the U.S. and Communist China, or a break-in at the Democratic National Headquarters by a team of 5 burglars, that drastically altered the trajectory of world history? It was around this time that the Women’s Equity Action League also filed one of the farthest reaching Class Action lawsuits, leading to President Nixon signing the Education Act into law. Join us as we talk about the origins of the Watergate scandal, the landslide victory that kept Nixon in office, and the establishment of Title IX.  Writer, Host, and Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonAudio Producer: Jenny SnyderWriters and Researchers: Amy Watkin, Mandy Reid, and Kari AntonProduction Coordinator: Andrea Champoux Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 23 October 2023

Mayhem: The 1970s You Never Knew, Episode 2

Secret Police, CIA operatives, The Pentagon Papers, and The Most Dangerous Man in America. There was a time in the not-so-distant past, when the nightly news changed the game in how Americans felt about the war in Vietnam, the first “television war.” What was more of a shock to some though, was the realization that the American public had been lied to for decades by the U.S. government, spanning four presidential administrations. How did this influence the Watergate scandal? And how did the lavish “gathering of the Century” in Iran, attended by Vice President Agnew, tie into future allegations of broad political corruption? Writer, Host, and Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonAudio Producer: Jenny SnyderWriters and Researchers: Amy Watkin, Mandy Reid, and Kari AntonProduction Coordinator: Andrea Champoux Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 16 October 2023

Mayhem: The 1970s You Never Knew, Episode 1

Welcome to our new series, Mayhem: The 1970s You Never Knew. Over the next few weeks we’ll take a journey through the Decade of Defiance, with all its scandals and secrets.  As the decade devolved into war at home and abroad, Apollo 13 flew high above earth with the hope of landing safely on the surface of the moon. But then: disaster struck, and time was on no one’s side. Meanwhile, thousands of miles below the Apollo 13 spacecraft, a nationwide uprising among college students ended in disaster at Kent State and Jackson State Universities. With special guest Apollo 13 astronaut, Fred Haise. Writer, Host, and Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonAudio Producer: Jenny SnyderWriters and Researchers: Amy Watkin, Mandy Reid, and Kari AntonProduction Coordinator: Andrea Champoux  Thank you to the Kent State Shootings Oral History Project. Kent State University Libraries. Special Collections and Archives. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 9 October 2023

Nothing Is Missing with Nicole Walters

Today on Here’s Where It Gets Interesting, Sharon welcomes back close friend and CEO, Nicole Walters, to share all about her captivating memoir, Nothing Is Missing. The daughter of Ghanaian immigrants, Nicole writes about her experience growing up in America through the lens of a different kind of American dream, both in how she was raised, and by forging her own path as a TV personality, motivational speaker, and entrepreneur building a multi-million-dollar business. Nicole talks with humility about not having all the answers, granting grace to ourselves and others, and the learned skill of saying “I don’t know,” when you haven’t learned something yet. Through struggles, obstacles, and falling down only to get back up again, this conversation demonstrates how to show up for ourselves, and mindfully create our lives with confidence and boldness. Special thanks to our guest, Nicole Walters, for joining us today. Host/Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonGuest: Nicole WaltersAudio Producer: Jenny Snyder Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 6 October 2023

Jewish Space Lasers, QAnon, and Two Centuries of Conspiracy Theories with Mike Rothschild

Joining Sharon today is Mike Rothschild: journalist, author, and conspiracy theorist expert who dives deep into the history of conspiracy theories over the last two centuries. In his new book, Jewish Space Lasers: The Rothschilds and 200 Years of Conspiracy Theories, Mike Rothschild – who is of no relation to the Rothschilds family referred to in the book – shows how many conspiracy theories today are directly connected to the same antisemitic rhetoric, myths, and accusations reaching back decades. So how did these conspiracy theories originate? What do modern QAnon beliefs have to do with this? And why do the same tropes reemerge again and again? Special thanks to our guest, Mike Rothschild, for joining us today. Host/Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonGuest: Mike RothschildAudio Producer: Jenny Snyder Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 4 October 2023

Differ We Must with Steve Inskeep

On today’s episode, Sharon welcomes NPR’s Steve Inskeep, who has written a number of books about history including his newest release, Differ We Must: How Lincoln Succeeded in a Divided America. In a time when it’s common to cancel or cut ties with those we disagree with, what can we learn from Abraham Lincoln about how to disagree fundamentally, while maintaining the relationship? Even when at odds with a dear friend over the issue of slavery,  Lincoln wrote, “If for this you and I must differ, differ we must.” Does Democracy require us to agree to disagree? How can this be applied to the very divided America we see today, to hold the country together? Special thanks to our guest, Steve Inskeep, for joining us today. Host/Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonGuest: Steve InskeepAudio Producer: Jenny Snyder Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 2 October 2023

The Evolution of Social Media with Taylor Lorenz

Joining Sharon on the podcast today is well-known reporter Taylor Lorenz, who has written for The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Atlantic, covering technology from the user perspective as an authority on Internet culture. In her new book, Extremely Online: The Untold Story of Fame, Influence, and Power on the Internet, Taylor takes a nostalgic trip down memory lane beginning with the rise of blogger culture, and weaving through the roads of social media and how the usage of technology has evolved. From home decor and mommy blogs, to the wild west of Friendster and MySpace, to the rise of YouTube and the uncurated aesthetic of TikTok, we see how the internet has evolved over the past decades, and how it is shaping culture today.  Special thanks to our guest, Taylor Lorenz, for joining us today. Host/Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonGuest: Taylor LorenzAudio Producer: Jenny Snyder Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 29 September 2023

Sure, I'll Join Your Cult with Maria Bamford

Joining Sharon today is comedian and author Maria Bamford, who shares the hometown of Duluth, Minnesota. Together, they discuss how Maria began her career as a comedian, and dive into her book: Sure, I'll Join Your Cult: A Memoir of Mental Illness and the Quest to Belong Anywhere. In this delightful conversation, they playfully banter about the irony of fundraising benefits, what makes one susceptible to cult-like mentality, and explore the cultural shift that has allowed society to speak more openly about mental health. Maria’s quirky and personal comedy style gives room to breathe, and to not be offended if something is not your style. Special thanks to our guest, Maria Bamford, for joining us today. Host/Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonGuest: Maria BamfordAudio Producer: Jenny Snyder Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 27 September 2023

Democracy Awakening with Heather Cox Richardson

Sharon welcomes back political historian, author, and professor Heather Cox Richardson, one of our most popular podcast guests of all time, who has a new book out: Democracy Awakening. Taking a different approach to this book from her previous work, Heather answers some of the big picture questions – once and for all – that readers have asked for years, relating directly to America’s current standing as a Democracy. When did the political parties change sides? Is America a Democracy, or a Constitutional Republic? How has America always managed to preserve Democracy as a global symbol, and how can we reclaim some of those Democratic principles?  Special thanks to our guest, Heather Cox Richardson, for joining us today. Host/Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonGuest: Heather Cox RichardsonAudio Producer: Jenny Snyder Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 25 September 2023

Before the Movement with Dylan Penningroth

In today’s episode, Sharon’s guest is Dylan Penningroth, whose new book, Before the Movement: The Hidden History of Black Civil Rights, brings to light a new narrative of Black life in America. It’s a fascinating history of how African American communities used law, talked about law, and thought about law for almost two centuries, in ways that enabled the Civil Rights Movement before it even began. Pulling back the curtain, it explores how race actually works in American law, and does so by looking at local court cases that are not directly about race. When we zoom out, a new more complex story emerges of how law impacted Black Americans in ways that stretched far beyond segregation and race relations.  Special thanks to our guest, Dylan Penningroth, for joining us today.  Host/Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonGuest: Dylan PenningrothAudio Producer: Jenny Snyder Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 22 September 2023

What an Owl Knows with Jennifer Ackerman

Joining Sharon today is Jennifer Ackerman who has written a new book titled, What an Owl Knows, to discuss some new, rich scientific discoveries about these captivating and intriguing birds. Owls have often been a symbol of knowledge and wisdom, but what does an owl truly know? In a conversation both kids and adults can enjoy, Jennifer shines a light on the 260+ species of owls, to understand the depth and complexities of these enchanting creatures. Scientists are still discovering owl species due to their eerily quiet flight and camouflaged nature, but if you have ever wondered about their uniquely sophisticated communication sounds and family dynamics, or questioned how their brains work, this episode is for you.  Special thanks to our guest, Jennifer Ackerman, for joining us today.  Host/Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonGuest: Jennifer AckermanAudio Producer: Jenny Snyder Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 20 September 2023

Secret Societies and American Democracy with Colin Dickey

Sharon is joined today by cultural historian and author Colin Dickey, to discuss America’s fascination with conspiracies, and fear of secret societies. In his new book, Under the Eye of Power, Colin walks through the history of how paranoia is woven into the very fabric of The United States from its inception, and how conspiratorial thinking and even the most irrational beliefs reach the mainstream. From the Salem Witch Trials to Freemasonry to the Satanic Panic, the Illuminati, and QAnon, Colin breaks down this cycle in history and explains why people of all walks of life subscribe to conspiracy theories, and what can be done to break the cycle. Special thanks to our guest, Colin Dickey, for joining us today. Host/Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonGuest: Colin DickeyAudio Producer: Jenny Snyder Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 18 September 2023

Coming of Age in a Digital World with Devorah Heitner

On today’s episode of Here’s Where It Gets Interesting, Sharon sits down with Dr. Devorah Heitner, author of Growing Up in Public: Coming of Age in a Digital World and Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World. At a time where every minor detail, fleeting thought, and potential misstep can be publicly documented and scrutinized online, how are parents, teenagers, and mentors expected to navigate growing up in the digital age? We all want the “right” answers, and have valid questions such as, when is it ok for a kid to have their own phone? How does one safely help their child navigate texting and social media? And where is the line between allowing someone to make mistakes, learn from them, and move forward, versus having controversial posts haunt them the rest of their lives? Let’s dive in together, with radical empathy, for kids who are growing up in a digital world. Special thanks to our guest, Devorah Heitner, for joining us today. Host/Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonGuest: Devorah HeitnerAudio Producer: Jenny Snyder Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 15 September 2023

The Rough Rider and the Professor with Laurence Jurdem

On today’s episode, Sharon is joined by author and professor Laurence Jurdem to discuss his book, The Rough Rider and the Professor, about the unusual thirty-five-year political friendship between President Theodore Roosevelt and Senator Henry Cabot Lodge. While Roosevelt famously “rose like a rocket,” in the political spotlight with his larger-than-life personality, it was arguably his machiavellian friend Cabot who lit the fuse, and used his vast social network to boost Roosevelt. In his research, Laurence Jurdem immersed himself in 2,500 letters of archives from the Massachusetts Historical Society to write the story of this unique Presidential friendship, and to remind us that close, meaningful friendships do not always have to perfectly align politically. We can disagree without being disagreeable.  Special thanks to our guest, Laurence Jurdem, for joining us today. Host/Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonGuest: Laurence JurdemAudio Producer: Jenny Snyder Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 13 September 2023

Oppenheimer with Kai Bird

Sharon’s guest today is Kai Bird, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and author of American Prometheus, which is the biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer that the blockbuster Christopher Nolan film was based on. Join us while Kai shares his experience of what it was like to have his work turned into a historically accurate major motion picture, and how he conducted the research required to capture the life of Oppenheimer. If you are interested in learning more about the mid-Century, World War II, his wife Kitty, or what happened to them immediately after the war, you will not want to miss this episode.  Special thanks to our guest, Kai Bird, for joining us today. Host/Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonGuest: Kai BirdAudio Producer: Jenny Snyder Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 11 September 2023

Tyranny of the Minority with Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt

American Democracy has faced some challenging times, living through a modern day political crisis. Today, Sharon is joined by Harvard professors of government, Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt to dig into all things Democracy. In their new book, Tyranny of the Minority, they explore how democracies break down throughout history and find the striking pattern that political minorities often govern over political majorities. Factor in the unsettling truth that the Constitution – even with its brilliance and reverence – has flaws, which limit the power of majorities, and we’re left wondering: Why have we stopped working to reform and improve the Constitution over the last half century? What are other Democracies doing to fight Authoritarianism? And what is a “Constitutional Republic” in relation to a Democracy?  Special thanks to our guests, Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, for joining us today. Host/Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonGuests: Steven Levitsky and Daniel ZiblattAudio Producer: Jenny Snyder Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 8 September 2023

The Myth of Educational Reform with Dr. Bettina Love

On today’s episode of Here’s Where It Gets Interesting, we’re discussing all things public schools: The good, the bad, and the controversial. Joining Sharon is Dr. Bettina Love, Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University who has a new book out: Punished for Dreaming. Between chronic school underfunding, pressure placed on standardized testing, the devaluing of educators, teacher burnout, and a list of ongoing systemic challenges, many agree that something needs to change in the school system. The word “reform” is bandied about, but what does “reform” actually mean? And how do school segregation issues – past and present – show up, and impact education for generations to come? Special thanks to our guest, Dr. Bettina L. Love, for joining us today. Host/Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonGuest: Dr. Bettina L. LoveAudio Producer: Jenny Snyder Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 6 September 2023

Proclaiming the Truth of Black Dignity with Jasmine Holmes

We’re joined today by returning guest, Jasmine Holmes, to dive into the state of Black history education in America, and to discuss her new book, Crowned with Glory: How Proclaiming the Truth of Black Dignity Has Shaped American History. Jasmine shares about Black abolitionists who fought for the dignity of their fellow mankind based on the principle that because people are created in God’s image, they have inherent dignity, worth, and human rights. When pockets of resistance throughout history are glossed over and forgotten about, and curricula are revised to be more palatable, how is one to broaden their perception of American history in a way that does not do it a disservice? Special thanks to our guest, Jasmine Holmes, for joining us today. Host/Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonGuest: Jasmine Holmes Audio Producer: Jenny Snyder Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 4 September 2023

How Far to the Promised Land with Esau McCaulley

In today’s episode, Sharon is joined by Esau McCaulley for a powerful conversation about his new book, How Far to the Promised Land. In his memoir, he took the story of his family and showed the struggles of Black people in America intergenerationally. Esau shares how it’s vital to understand how the stories of our ancestors – though they might seem insignificant – impact and shape generations to come. In a country that highly values “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps,” and the underdog, Esau questions the narrative that we achieve entirely on our own, and asks why our society requires exceptionalism from Black people.  Special thanks to our guest, Esau McCaulley, for joining us today. Host/Executive Producer: Sharon McMahonGuest: Esau McCaulleyAudio Producer: Jenny Snyder Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Transcribed - Published: 1 September 2023

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