On this week’s Past Present podcast, Nicole Hemmer, Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, and Neil Young discuss Bernie Sanders and the history of socialism in America, Fitbit, and why adults are now celebrating Halloween. 

Here are some links and references mentioned during this week’s show:



In our regular closing feature, What’s Making History:


  • Natalia recommended Michelle Miller’s The Underwriting as a page-turning thriller about a Silicon Valley dating website’s IPO. Natalia noted the novel had originally been published online in downloadable installments, harkening back the older publishing traditional of serializing literature.
  • Neil commented on the discovery that Mike Huckabee’s 1998 book Kids Who Kill was found to have contained numerous false and misattributed historical quotations from figures like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln. Neil presented this as another cautionary tale in how politicians use and misuse history for their political advantage.  
  • Niki discussed the Slate article, “French Tadpoles and Persian Pickles,” an excerpt from Jude Stewart’s book, Patternalia. The article presented a fascinating history of paisley, but Niki noted it also demonstrated how the history of a pattern was also a way of understanding the history of society and culture.


AuthorPast Present