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Listening to America with Clay Jenkinson

Listening to America aims to “light out for the territories,” traveling less visited byways and taking time to see this immense, extraordinary country with fresh eyes while listening to the many voices of America’s past, present, and future. Led by noted historian and humanities scholar Clay Jenkinson, Listening to America travels the country’s less visited byways, from national parks and forests to historic sites to countless under-recognized rural and urban places. Through this exploration, Clay and team find and tell the overlooked historical and contemporary stories that shape America’s people and places.
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Listening to America with Clay Jenkinson
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Now displaying: December, 2023
Dec 24, 2023

Clay checks in with a few of his favorite Listening to America guests to hear about their own holiday traditions and their New Year's resolutions. Guests include David Nicandri, Beau Wright, and Brad Crisler. 

Dec 18, 2023

This week on Listening to America, Clay Jenkinson interviews professional photographers John and Coleen Graybill of Buena Vista, Colorado, about the life and achievement of Edward S. Curtis. Curtis took 40,000 dry glass plate photographs of Native Americans between 1900 and 1935, and published 20 volumes of his portraits, landscape photographs, musical notations, and a gigantic amount of ethnographic prose. John is the great great grandson of Edward Curtis. The Graybills are traveling the West photographing descendants of individuals that Curtis photographed, and interviewing them on video about their lives and their heritage. They have released two books of previously unpublished Curtis photographs. It’s an amazing story of love, integrity, and perseverance.

Dec 11, 2023

This week, Clay Jenkinson’s conversation with occasional guest host David Horton about the origins of the Thomas Jefferson Hour and the purpose of changing the name and focus of the program to Listening to America. Clay sings the praises of two hosts, Bill Crystal, now of Virginia, and David Swenson of Makoche Recording Studios in Bismarck, North Dakota. Clay recalls incidents that have occurred in his long career in tights and buckled shoes, and particularly the way in which Jefferson’s hypocrisy on race and slavery has been addressed by members of Clay’s audiences. Plus, what we can expect from Listening to America over the next few years as the United States reaches its 250th birthday.  

Dec 5, 2023

This week on Listening to America, Clay Jenkinson’s conversation with regular guest Dr. Lindsay Chervinsky: Ten Things about the Louisiana Purchase. In the spring of 1803 Napoleon sold the entire Louisiana Territory to the United States for three cents per acre. At 525 million acres, or 828,000 square miles, it was the greatest land sale in human history. What was Jefferson’s role in all of this? Why did President Jefferson believe that the purchase might be technically unconstitutional? What about the Native peoples who already lived in that vast territory? Why did Napoleon sell? And why didn’t Jefferson attempt to stop the spread of slavery into the American southwest? 

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