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The American Tapestry Project
2nd Sunday of every month, 4pm - 5pm

In the “American Tapestry: We Tell Ourselves Stories”, Andrew Roth explores the post-1968 shattering of the American story by asking “What is the ‘story of America’? Is there such a thing? Is there only one story, or are there many stories? If there are many stories, how are they woven, can they be woven, together to tell the story of America?”

Beginning with 1968’s – the worst year in modern American history -- shattering of the American story, the series explores the post-1968 culture wars, which are really competing stories about what America was, what America is and what America might become. Roth begins with the story of American Freedom: the many ways it has been defined, who it included and who it excluded; and how it came to be that American’s thought (think?) it their moral duty to make the world safe for democracy. The American Tapestry Project then proceeds to investigating “Freedom’s Faultlines”: stories of race and gender; to investigating “The American Dream”: success stories, how-to stories, Horatio Alger & a nation of ‘hustlers’; to investigating “The Immigrant’s Tale”: America’s continuing experiment in building a diverse society; and concludes with the “Fusion Story”: America’s fusing of Freedom’s Story, the story of self-government and the ongoing struggle between exclusion and inclusion, between ‘the few and the many’ with the Immigrant’s Tale into a rich tapestry of American stories describing the contentious but ever-expanding understanding of America’s founding documents; “We the People…”

  • In this episode we chat with St. Bonaventure University historian Phil Payne about how he became a historian, what’s the difference between commemoration and history, how and why the President of the United States became the avatar of all of American cultures; hopes and fears!
  • In this episode The American Tapestry Project we chat with Chris Magoc about his book A Progressive History of American Democracy Since 1945: American Dreams, Hard Realities. We’ll discover the Freedom Train, hear Sam Cooke sing “A Change is Gonna Come” and learn what Jackson Browne thought about ‘60s rebels become ‘80s Yuppies. That’s this week on The American Tapestry Project Episode #26
  • In this episode of The American Tapestry Project asks “Who owns history?” Building on the work of Eric Foner, this episode explores the current hullabaloo about what constitutes “accurate” American history and who gets to decide and why. Who owns history -- on The American Tapestry Project Episode #26.
  • In this episode The American Tapestry Project examines patriotic American poetry. We ask who is a patriot, what does patriotism mean, what have America’s poets said about an open-eyed American patriotism? We’ll hear what Whitman, Howe, McKay, Longfellow, Sandburg and many others past and present understood about patriotism American style. One if by land, two if by sea said Paul Revere! Whether by land or sea, that’s on The American Tapestry Project Episode #24.
  • What are the American Tapestry meta-threads – stories of exclusion and inclusion. Who was Antonin Dvorak? Who was Harry Burleigh? Burleigh was Dvorak’s student. Dvorak wrote the American Tapestry theme – String Quartet #12 in F major – the “American”. Burleigh was his student, collated most of the great African American spirituals and made them a key component of American culture. This episode shares it all and like they say on the late night infomercials, ‘all this and more’ as we explore the American Story on The American Tapestry Project.
  • Celebrating Freedom This episode, which first aired in July, 2021, asks “Who was Francis Scott Key and why did he write ‘The Defence of Fort McHenry’ and how did that become ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’”? Which child of immigrants wrote “Stars and Stripes Forever” and “The Washington Post March”? Which other immigrant wrote “God Bless America”? And who was “the Yankee Doodle Dandy” who wrote “It’s a Grand Old Flag”? And who was Katharine Lee Bates, the poet Boston.com called “a gay, feminist badass from Massachusetts” who wrote “America the Beautiful”? Like they say on the late night infomercials, ‘all this and more’ as we explore American patriotic music and the freedom of which it sings – American freedom holidays on The American Tapestry Project.
  • This episode of The American Tapestry Project explores that uniquely American art form – baseball music. From 1858’s “The Baseball Polka” to the Dropkick Murphy’s 21st century punk rock recreation of the Boston Red Sox’s “Tessie”, we’ll hear the music and learn the backstory behind some classic American tunes celebrating America’s grand old game – baseball. “All this and more”, as they say on late night TV, on Episode 22 of The American Tapestry Project.
  • This episode of The American Tapestry Project explores the story of Benjamin Franklin – Hiding in Plain Sight. We’ll explore and ask “who was this man whose name you probably know as well as your own but about whom you probably know very little at all? We’ll ask and answer “who was this son of an immigrant candle maker and his wife, who, born into obscurity, upon his death was one of the most famous men in the world? “All this and more”, as they say on late night TV, on Episode 20 of The American Tapestry Project.
  • This episode of The American Tapestry Project celebrates Women’s History Month by telling the stories of four 19th century women who changed America. Tune in and meet Margaret Fuller, Sarah Josepha Hale and Lydia Maria Child. Never heard of them? All the more reason to hear their stories and how they prepared the way for the modern American woman. Fuller, Hale, Stone and Child – four names you need to know! “All this and more”, as they say on late night TV, on Episode 20 of The American Tapestry Project.
  • This episode of The American Tapestry Project continues exploring those things Americans love in common – holidays! In this episode we look at the history of New Year’s celebrations, ask why champagne, where did New Year’s resolutions begin, are there any great New Year’s tunes, who was Robert Burns and what does Auld Lang Syne mean, where did it originate and what is its definitive version? All this and more” on Episode 18 of The American Tapestry Project.