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Apr 14, 2018

Historian Ed Ayers is the guest on this week's edition of The Chauncey DeVega Show. Ed Ayers has written and edited twelve books, including In the Presence of Mine Enemies: Civil War in the Heart of America, winner of the Bancroft Prize and the Beveridge Prize; and The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction, a finalist for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. His new book is The Thin Light of Freedom: The Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America

Ayers has been named National Professor of the Year, received the National Humanities Medal at the White House, and been elected President of the Organization of American Historians. 

During this episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show, Professor Ayers and Chauncey discuss popular myths about the American civil war and slavery, the Charlottesville white supremacist riot, public memory and monuments to the Confederacy, and why Donald Trump's presidency may ironically have helped to renew American democracy by spurring on a new progressive movement.

In this week's episode Chauncey DeVega tries to make sense of an especially tumultuous week where Donald Trump raged, his "pee pee" sex video seems more likely to exist, Syria was attacked, and Trump basically admitted that he obstructed justice to stop any investigation into his collusion with Russia to steal the 2016 election.  

And in this week's episode of the podcast Chauncey shares some letters written by African-American soldiers during the Civil War as well as newspaper ads where formerly enslaved black Americans desperately search for their families and friends after Emancipation. 

Chauncey also honors Art Bell, the radio legend and pioneer who passed away on Friday

Skip Acuff
over six years ago

I am spending this fine Saturday afternoon binging and loving me some Chauncey. I just finished episode 184, and I feel profoundly enriched by your conversation with Ed Ayers about contemporary mythology of the Civi War and slavery. I look forward to learning more from Ed, and I am grateful to you for giving me the opportunity to “discover” him as vital resource of enlightenment. Your discourse was remarkably positive and forward thinking despite the grim subject matter. A key point for me was your characterization of white male supremacism as collective narcissism, which I find accurate based on my personal experience in litigation with several males who suffered with Malignant Narcissistic Personality Disorder, as well as your podcast 182 with Dr. Mika on how collective narcissism explains Donald Trump. So it occurred to me that you might be interested in reading a short article that appeared in Psychology Today titled “The Catch-22 of Dealing with a Narcissist” by Leon F. Seltzer, Ph.D. This may be the most compact explication of this human behavior available and should have you nodding your head as you recall observing in acquaintances the traits Seltzer describes and analyzes. See
In closing I wish to thank you for the excellent work you do preparing and presenting your podcasts. In the interest of maintaining the momentum of your upbeat vibe that helps your audience avoid slipping into fatalistic depression over the state of our society, I want to contribute to your happiness my go-to resource for mood elevation. it’s old school, the picture is far from HD, but the sound is fairly hi fi, and the fun being had by the beautiful participants will infect you with bliss. Cheers, Skip, semiretired lawyer in Phoenix.