Get Connected

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Infant Damnation (Or Were Afraid to Ask)

[]We are on NPR! It turns out that Peggy Bendroth, our executive director, is a resident expert on the eternal fate of newborn children — don't ask how this happened. She participated in a recent discussion with The American History Guys about childbirth past and present, and the ways in which early American religion influenced the ways we approach it today. You can listen to the podcast episode or extended interviews with the participants on their website.


About the episode -- Born in the USA

To mark the rebirth of BackStory as a weekly program, the History Guys set out to explore the earliest stages of life in America. They begin with a few of the basic assumptions we have about birth in America today, and spend the hour exploring how those assumptions came into being. How is it that hospital doctors moved in on what had been midwife's exclusive territory? Why did Puritans think their newborns were damned from the outset? When did courts start ruling that fetuses had legal rights? Why have generations of Americans resisted the notion of birthright citizenship?


About the Show

BackStory is a public radio program and podcast produced by Virginia Public Radio that brings historical perspective to the events happening around us today. On each show, renowned U.S. historians Ed Ayers, Peter Onuf, and Brian Balogh tear a topic from the headlines and plumb its historical depths. Over the course of the hour, they are joined by fellow historians, people in the news, and callers interested in exploring the roots of what's going on today. Together, they drill down to colonial times and earlier, revealing the connections (and disconnections) between past and present. With its passionate, intelligent, and irreverent approach, BackStory is fun and essential listening no matter who you are.

You can also check out BackStory on Facebook, and subscribe to their podcast through iTunes.

Beacon Street Blog