Monday, May 25, 2015


Part 1: New World Notes #377, 29:27 (May 26)
Broadcast quality MP3 (39 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

Part 2: New World Notes #378, 29:36 (June 2).
Broadcast quality MP3 (39 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

A 2-part broadcast of a fine talk by historian Thaddeus Russell. Russell is the author of the extremely interesting book, A Renegade History of the United States (Free Press, 2010)

Part 1 focuses on work and leiure. The leisure we enjoy today--weekends, vacations, etc--was not granted freely by employers. Rather, it was taken without permission by "renegade" workers of decades past. These included slaves, drunken craftsmen, unmotivated factory hands, etc. For instance, plantation slaves established the practice of "vacation"--much to the annoyance of their masters. (They'd agree to return in exchange for not being punished.)

Without the groundbreaking work by these renegades, we might still be working for 14-16 hours a day. (Maybe that should be "goldbricking" rather than "groundbreaking.")

Thaddeus Russell

Part 2 focuses on sex and on women's rights. Many rights and freedoms enjoyed today by U.S. women (and their male friends) were won for them--not by feminists--but by 19th & early-20th century prostitutes & madams. These include the right to own property; to acquire wealth; to dance, smoke, and drink in public; to wear attractive clothing; to give or receive oral sex; to have interracial intimacy; and to use contraceptives.

A rollicking good story, well-told by Thaddeus Russell.

These two installments of New World Notes were previously broadcast in April 2011.


Nikephoros said...

Hi Kenneth, I enjoy your podcast. Do you know where the full talk by Thaddeus Russell can be found?

Kenneth Dowst said...

Thanks for your note, Nikephoros. I have not seen a video of Russell's talk. A 57-minute audio recording is available (free) on Here's r4a's Program Information page for it: . Right-click on the white triangle to download.