From Boomers to Millennials: A Modern US History Podcast

Episode 0 - Introductory Episode: Justifying Our Existence

July 10, 2019 Logan Season 1 Episode 1
From Boomers to Millennials: A Modern US History Podcast
Episode 0 - Introductory Episode: Justifying Our Existence
Chapters
From Boomers to Millennials: A Modern US History Podcast
Episode 0 - Introductory Episode: Justifying Our Existence
Jul 10, 2019 Season 1 Episode 1
Logan

This introduction describes the vision behind this podcast and why we’re doing things the way we are. The purpose of the From Boomers To Millennials Podcast is not to bash or glorify Boomers, Gen-X, or Millennials, but to understand these generations by examining their history. You can make your own judgments about the individuals, movements, and generations described here. We hope to tell this story in a way that both entertains and educates. If you better understand what caused the features and problems of the United States in 2019, we will have done our job!

Show Notes Transcript

This introduction describes the vision behind this podcast and why we’re doing things the way we are. The purpose of the From Boomers To Millennials Podcast is not to bash or glorify Boomers, Gen-X, or Millennials, but to understand these generations by examining their history. You can make your own judgments about the individuals, movements, and generations described here. We hope to tell this story in a way that both entertains and educates. If you better understand what caused the features and problems of the United States in 2019, we will have done our job!

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/boomertomillennial/posts)

Speaker 1:

From boomers to millennials is a modern US history podcast, providing a fresh look at the historical events that shaped every American generation from the Cold War era to the present. Welcome to the introductory episode, Aka episode zero justifying our existence. Hello, I'm your host Logan Rogers. This intro describes what the vision is behind this podcast, where we're going and why we're doing things the way that we are. If this sounds boring to you, you can skip ahead to the 1946 episode to begin the story of US history in the aftermath of World War II. The title of this podcast refers to a generational divide that has been fodder for much discussion lately. There are interesting tensions and contrasts between millennials and boomers. We may get into, but for now, the point of from boomers to millennials podcast is not to bash boomers or glorify them, but to understand them by examining their history.

Speaker 1:

I'm a fairly ancient millennial by the way, born in the 1980s but I'm close enough to gen x that I'm able to understand multiple perspectives, or at least I like to think so. You can make your own judgements about the individuals, movements, and generations described here. I hope to tell this story in a way that entertained to makes you think and maybe even makes you laugh at times. Although I can make no guarantees about that last bit. All generations are welcome to tune in, but I'm telling the story with the millennial audience, especially in mind because in the second decade of the 21st century, we're living in a turbulent, polarized age and a lot of younger people are struggling to understand how we got here amid the social media noise and the constant blur of takes, tweets and outrages. I think it's helpful to put current events into a wider context and explain the origins of our current problems and controversies.

Speaker 1:

My generation and subsequent generations weren't around to experience the Cold War or Watergate or the civil rights movement in real time. It's important to understand those things among others. To learn how this country got to be in the state that it's in here and now. For better or worse, you could think of this podcast as a series of prequels to our modern political and cultural dramas, and don't worry, I promise not to let George Lucas anywhere near my scripts. Speaking of which, it struck me recently that many millennials are more well versed in the fictional star wars films that came out during the 1970s and eighties than they are with the real actual cold war events during those decades, and that's one of the unfortunate realities that this podcast is trying to fix. Not there's anything wrong with enjoying a fictional universe, but it can be helpful to understand the world in the timeline we're actually living in.

Speaker 1:

It is useful to understand how previous versions of American society had been different from the USA in 2019 in ways, both good and bad. As a British writer, LP Hartley wisely pointed out, quote, the past is a foreign country. They do things differently there. Close quote. We want to see how the United States has changed and evolved in the past. That helps us understand how it might change and evolve in the future. My professors taught me history is simply the study of change. Over time. Studying history won't make you able to predict those changes, but it does make you more aware of the various potential range of possibilities that might occur. Another reason why learning about history holds value for people is that we often seek a sense of where we came from. Maybe that's why all those genetic testing kits have become so popular these days. Everybody wants to know their origin story.

Speaker 1:

To borrow from comic book Lingo, we want to place ourselves and some story larger than the sometimes humdrum details of our daily lives for Americans. We want to know who we are, who we were, what we have in common, what has divided us, what challenges we have overcome, and what problems remain unsolved. The events described here aren't always going to be a patriotic and upbeat story. Every nation has a checkered past containing both shame and glory in the United States is certainly no exception. I think understanding both the good and the bad and our past however, leads us to a richer and deeper understanding of ourselves. Also, I don't want to imply that there's nothing here of interest to folks outside of the United States. Although Americans made this podcast with a mostly North American audience in mind, the post World War II era was a time when American history and world history became more deeply interconnected than ever before.

Speaker 1:

Events all around the world will end up playing significant roles in our story. By this point, you may be asking yourselves, who the hell do you think you are? Logan Rogers, where did you learn about this history? Do you have any real qualifications? Well, I would point out that a lack of qualifications has really stopped podcasters before, but in my case, I do have a master's degree in US history and I was once in a history phd program, so I have some fancy formal training in historical studies, I guess, but I've been out of the academic history business for several years now while doing this podcast. I don't claim to be acting as a professional historian. I'm not doing original primary source research for the podcast. Rather, I see myself as a storyteller bringing relevant facts together in an accessible and interesting way. Unlike some history podcasts, I'm telling a single story in chronological order.

Speaker 1:

I'm not going to be jumping around much. I'm taking this year by year starting in 1946 I'm doing that in part to communicate how historical actions caused particular reactions and to point out that at some historical moments things gone differently. Relatively random incidents can change the historical trajectory of the world, which is simultaneously exciting and inspiring and terrifying to consider. Most episodes will be around a half hour to 45 minutes in length. At least that's the plan. Each episode will cover one year, possibly going all the way up to the present if you out there in the adoring public demand it sometimes I've had to make difficult choices in selecting what to cover in order to avoid every episode being a boring laundry list of major events with no time for context or explanation. And as a result, the stories I tell in each episode will sometimes reach back a few years or for shadow the future in a particular topic area, but I will try to stick to chronological format as much as possible while still doing quality and coherent storytelling.

Speaker 1:

I will attempt to be as accurate as possible with my facts. I will occasionally mention relevant sources or books that may be of further interest to people who want to research deeper into the details of the events discussed here. However, I will avoid cluttering up the momentum of the storytelling with constant citations. I will give a balanced account that tries to understand multiple perspectives. However, total objectivity isn't realistic because I'm human and different people can come up with different plausible, rational interpretations of the same agreed upon facts. I will try to challenge some popular misconceptions about the second half of 20th century US history. I will also try to tell this story in terms millennials can understand with some references to current events and cultural phenomena, but I won't be obnoxious about it. I'll avoid a pandering to my youngest listeners by using slang. I don't really understand.

Speaker 1:

I won't be telling you that Adlai Stevenson was lit af, whatever that means. For example, that's more than enough introduction and enough talking about history in the abstract. Next time we'll travel back to the year 1946 when the United States has emerged triumphant through the ordeals of the Great Depression and World War II as one of the last superpowers standing strong its leaders ponder America's new role at the head of world leadership. Well, it's people are hoping that peace and prosperity have finally arrived. It was against this historical backdrop that American baby boomers, a generation that would rise up to change culture and society in various complicated ways were first conceived. Their story begins in our podcast all about the year 1946.

Speaker 2:

46.