Who doesn’t enjoy a good story? My favorite kind of story is an old, true one. And I am fascinated by the way the American tale is told by the “ordinary” people who lived it. These people don’t have streets and schools named after them, but they are a crucial part of the American story. Their lives were affected by Constitutional amendments that Congress passed, and didn’t pass. They fought in–and died in, were widowed and orphaned by–the wars that our leaders declared.
The American Epistles podcast tells their story, as recorded in their letters, diaries, and journals. Each episode focuses on a particular period or event in US history, and prominently features first-hand accounts by witnesses to and participants in that event. We will get a glimpse into what life was like for the immigrant who had just arrived at Ellis Island, or the WWII soldier writing to his sweetheart back home. We will hear the words of newly literate men and women who were educated in Freedmen Bureau schools after the Civil War. I’ll also rely on narratives, interviews, and oral histories, to account for the fact that many Americans, for various reasons, could not leave us their stories in writing. I’m excited about discovering the story of our country, one letter at a time.
Thank you for listening!
Susan Otchere Stevenson