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The Backdrop podcast is a monthly interview program featuring conversations with UC Davis scholars and researchers working in the social sciences, humanities, arts and culture. Hosted by public radio veteran Soterios Johnson, the conversations feature new work and expertise on a trending topic in the news.

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Episode 2

Eric Rauchway on Contentious Presidential Transitions

historian Eric Rauchway
The transition of power from one U.S. president to the next typically goes off without a hitch. But the transition between President Donald Trump and President-Elect Joe Biden has been anything but typical. On this episode of The Backdrop, UC Davis Distinguished Professor of History Eric Rauchway discusses this tumultuous transfer of power and lessons we can learn from another contentious transition, from Herbert Hoover to Franklin Roosevelt.

More from Eric Rauchway
‘Nothing like this has ever happened before:’ Historians reflect on mob violence in Washington
‘I Have Never Heard Of Anything Like This Happening’: A Look At Past Contentious Elections

Episode 1

Kathryn Olmsted on Conspiracy Theories

historian Kathryn Olmsted
Conspiracy theories have circulated in the U.S. for centuries, but recently they have seeped into the mainstream consciousness like never before. On the first episode of The Backdrop, UC Davis historian Kathryn Olmsted discusses her work studying the history and impact of conspiracy theories on American society and politics. She also offers advice on how people can avoid falling prey to them.

More from Kathryn Olmsted
What Birthed Modern Conservatism?