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Unobscured

Unobscured

History is full of stories we think we know. They are old and dark, but time has robbed us of perspective and clarity. They've become obscured and misunderstood. Which is why this series exists: to dig deep and shed light on some of history?s darkest moments. To help us better understand where we?ve come from. To make it Unobscured. Each season pairs narrative storytelling from Aaron Mahnke, creator of the hit podcast Lore, with prominent historian interviews. Season Three: Jack the Ripper

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14 | INTERVIEW 4: Paul Begg

Our interview with writer Paul Begg. To wrap up our exploration of Whitechapel in 1888, we turn to the historian and researcher whose dedication to the original documents laid the foundation for deep and rigorous study of the murders.
2021-01-27
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13 | INTERVIEW 3: Drew Gray

Our interview with Dr. Drew Gray, historian of the 18th and 19th centuries, and Subject Lead in History at the University of Northampton. With Dr. Gray, we explore the history of police magistrate hearing, the development of Victorian model dwellings, and meditate on the power of the Ripper industry. 
2021-01-20
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12 | INTERVIEW 2: Louise Raw

Our interview with Dr. Louise Raw, whose book, "Striking a Light," became a new landmark in British labor history. We explore her journey into historical writing, the process of discovering the matchwomen, and hear the stories that brought them to life for Dr. Raw and for all of us as well.
2021-01-13
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11 | INTERVIEW 1: Adam Wood

Our interview with Adam Wood, publisher of Mango Books and executive editor of "Ripperologist Magazine." His book, "Donald Swanson: The Life and Times of a Victorian Detective," gave us a dramatic and on-the-ground perspective. Our conversation explores how it came to be and what the life of Donald Swanson offers to readers today.
2021-01-06
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10 | Never Done

Cases were closed and the files were sealed. Investigators went back to careers scattered across the British empire. It would be decades before their conclusions would shed light on London's dark Autumn of Terror. It would be almost one hundred years before what they knew offered answers.
2020-12-09
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9 | Making a Killing

Turmoil swept England, from Whitechapel's mean streets to the halls of power. Public servants savaged each other in person and in the press. Blame was thrown on all sides. None of it helped. Vulnerable women continued to die.
2020-12-02
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8 | Solitary

A terrorist bombing campaign left London crawling with spies. Paranoia and isolation afflicted everyone, from the clandestine service to the people they were sworn to protect. But even efforts of the government's Special Branch couldn't prevent one of the most horrifying moments in the history of English crime.
2020-11-25
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7 | House to House

Taunts in red ink sent a wave of fear through London. The Metropolitan police knew they had to respond. So the forces under Charles Warren mobilized like never before, and everything was on the line.
2020-11-18
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6 | Mismatch

The version of events all depends on where you stand. Eye witnesses and identifications are key to detective work, but even veteran investigators can struggle to see through the screen of their assumptions. Matching perception to reality can be the biggest challenge of all.
2020-11-11
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5 | Flaws

Chief Inspector Swanson inherited a complicated legacy. The history of the Metropolitan Police was full of twists and turns. No less the city they patrolled, that had never grown completely comfortable under a watchman's eye.
2020-11-04
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4 | Synthetical Turn

They said London was a den of vice and violence growing grimmer by the day. The police had their orders to put the pieces together. But there were plenty of visitors who had no trouble taking pleasure in a community falling apart.
2020-10-28
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3 | Stardom

Victorian journalists had learned the lesson well: true crime sells. They were investigators, but they were storytellers too. And the story they told was meant to shock middle class London, as much as it was meant to inform. Not a hard job when the news was this horrifying.
2020-10-21
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2 | Rome & Babylon

A city divided. It didn?t happen by accident. A century of destroying the old to bring in the new left many without homes. If glossy West London was the city?s pride, the poor pushed to the margins were shamed. All the more when the knives came out.
2020-10-14
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1 | Temple Mount

Victorian London was the world?s greatest city. But building an industrial empire of steel and treasure comes at a startling human cost. The ancient city?s cults of personality raised heroes and villains for a new era: the Scotland Yard Detective and the killer he hunted.
2020-10-07
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Trailer: Unobscured Season 3

The deep-dive historical documentary podcast, Unobscured, returns for a dark and bloody 3rd season. Follow along as we take a journey into what many consider to be the most infamous true crime story in history: Jack the Ripper. Season 3 premieres on October 7th.
2020-09-30
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20 | INTERVIEW 8: Molly McGarry

Our interview with Molly McGarry, Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Riverside. To wrap up our exploration of spiritualism, we follow her observations about the power and influence of spiritualism in American life, from past to present.
2020-02-26
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19 | INTERVIEW 7: Cathy Gutierrez

Our interview with Cathy Gutierrez, who has served as Professor of Religion at Sweet Briar College and Scholar in Residence at the New York Public Library. We discuss the nuances and historical development of spiritualist theology, as she explores it in her book Plato's Ghost: Spiritualism in the American Renaissance.
2020-02-19
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18 | INTERVIEW 6: John Buescher

Our interview with John Buescher, co-director of the International Association for the Preservation of Spiritualist and Occult Periodicals. His dedication to cataloging and preserving spiritualist newspapers give his books on mediums a remarkable command of the people and ideas driving the movement forward.
2020-02-12
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17 | INTERVIEW 5: Mary Gabriel

Our interview with Mary Gabriel, whose books have been finalists for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critic's Circle Award. Her biographies of Victoria Woodhull and Karl & Jenny Marx unveil the radical threads running through American spiritualism.
2020-02-05
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16 | INTERVIEW 4: Nancy Rubin Stuart

Our interview with Nancy Rubin Stuart, whose award winning biographies of American women include The Reluctant Spiritualist, our guide to the life of Maggie Fox for this season of Unobscured. 
2020-01-29
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15 | INTERVIEW 3: Emily Clark

Our interview with Emily Clark, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Gonzaga University. Her first book, A Luminous Brotherhood, explores spiritualism in New Orleans, giving us a perspective on spiritualism beyond the northeastern hubs of the movement. 
2020-01-22
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14 | INTERVIEW 2: Margaret Washington

Our interview with Margaret Washington, professor of History and American Studies at Cornell University. Her work on Sojourner Truth's life in the American landscape was invaluable for seeing spiritualism in a broad historical context.
2020-01-15
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13 | INTERVIEW 1: Ann Braude

Our interview with Ann Braude, Senior Lecturer on American Religious History at Harvard Divinity School. Her book, Radical Spirits, was a guiding light for our exploration of the role of spiritualism in American life. 
2020-01-08
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12 | There Is No Death

Blows fell. Times changed. New voices rose up with answers to the nation?s pressing questions. But through it all, spiritualists worked to create an enduring place for themselves where the spirits could go on speaking.
2019-12-18
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11 | The Sheep and the Ghosts

What power did the spirits wield? They had convinced millions of their presence. They had moved mediums into high places. They had crossed oceans and shaken slumbering nations. Now the movement's leading lights saw a world to win. 
2019-12-11
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10 | Invisible Hands

Seances circled a high stakes table. Spirits were still comforting families, but in cities like New Orleans and New York, they also held to a glowing vision. The future of the nation's laws, and the levers of its economy, were up for grabs. Now was the time to bring heaven down to earth.
2019-12-04
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09 | Wounds

The war was over but the fight to determine the future of the nation continued. And the spirits had much to say. Devastated families cried out for their lost loved ones. Sometimes, the beloved dead answered back.
2019-11-27
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08 | Open Graves

As shots rang out and armies crossed the nation, black spiritualists in New Orleans found themselves fighting for their homes against all comers. But most of the nation?s spirit believers were focused on the spirits clamoring around a different residence?Abraham Lincoln?s White House. Could they guide a generation of followers through the fires of conflict into the light of a new day?
2019-11-20
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07 | Preach the Word

The news was grim. Across the south, slave states were withdrawing from the nation. In the north, some spiritualists saw their chance to take their winnings and withdraw from conflict. But others kept their printing presses running. In their pages, the spirits raised their voices to a military march, singing songs of freedom?and war.
2019-11-13
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06 | Restless

The child stars of spiritualism were growing up. And facing a whole host of new realities about their world. Were the spirits up to helping their young vessels find love and fight for reform as the storm clouds gathered?
2019-11-06
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05 | Seek and Ye Shall Find

The movement continued to swell. It found friends in high places. But everywhere it went, it found entrenched beliefs threatened by this new source of revelation. Finding harmony around a table was one thing. But when mediums met ministers, the seance became a street fight. 
2019-10-30
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04 | The Way, The Truth, The Lie

Spiritualists weren't the only ones who believed the dead could still be heard. That belief came trailing many stories. And with many aims. Some found a nourishing home. Others found a hunting ground.
2019-10-23
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03 | A Spirit Globe

Who could have imagined how quickly their message would cross oceans? Even as they traveled from city to city, the first spiritualists were celebrated by seekers. But an anarchic new faith wasn't met kindly when it faced the authorities of the old world.
2019-10-16
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02 | Instruments

A Harmonial Philosophy was one thing. But Rochester, New York, was about to become the cradle for so much more. The city wanted more than just words. They wanted a demonstration of power.
2019-10-09
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01 | Seer

It was all wide open. Great awakenings shattered the old religions. Showmen made spectacles of cutting-edge science. Radicals campaigned for a social revolution. The nation waited with bated breath for a new kind of prophet to take the stage. 
2019-10-02
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Unobscured - Season 2 - Trailer

The critically acclaimed historical documentary series is back with a powerful new season. With insightful research, expert interviews, and Aaron Mahnke's trademark narrative style, the Unobscured team returns for a new season to delve deep into the world of Spiritualism. By tracing its bizarre trajectory from a scattered fad to a worldwide phenomenon, listeners will discover the truth about the movement?and how it still impacts our world today.
2019-09-25
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18 | INTERVIEW 6: Stacy Schiff

Our interview with the Pulitzer prize winning author Stacy Schiff whose 2015 book The Witches was a source for this series. 
2019-02-06
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17 | INTERVIEW 5: Jane Kamensky

Our interview with Jane Kamensky, professor of American history at Harvard University and author of Governing the Tongue: The Politics of Speech in Early New England. 
2019-01-30
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16 | INTERVIEW 4: Marilynne K. Roach

Our interview with Marilynne K. Roach, author of "Six Women of Salem" and "The Salem Witch Trials: A Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege."
2019-01-24
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15 | INTERVIEW 3: Richard Trask

Our interview with Richard B. Trask who has served as Archivist for the Town of Danvers, Massachusetts (old Salem Village) since 1972.
2019-01-16
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14 | INTERVIEW 2: Mary Beth Norton

Our interview with Mary Beth Norton, professor of American history at Cornell University and author of In the Devil?s Snare.
2019-01-09
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13 | INTERVIEW 1: Emerson Baker

Our interview with Emerson Baker, interim dean and history professor at Salem State University and author of A Storm of Witchcraft: The Salem Trials and the American Experience. 
2019-01-02
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12 | Making Amends

How does a community recover from a tragedy that claims over two dozen lives? How do they even begin to pick up the pieces and make things right again? And when it's all said and done, what can the rest of the world learn from the 300-year old mistakes of colonial New England village? The answers aren't as easy as they might appear.
2018-12-19
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11 | Floundering

With the Court of Oyer and Terminer officially disbanded, the fog of uncertainly rolled into Salem. What would happen to those still in jail? When would a new trial session begin? And most importantly, who would grab the wheel of power and steer Salem to victory over darkness?
2018-12-12
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10 | Pen and Paper

Between the examinations and the hangings, it was easy to see the witch trials as a battle fought inside the courtroom. But outside, word was spreading about the injustice of it all, and so the fight was taken to a brand new arena?one that would do far more to change minds than any hanging or spectral testimony.
2018-12-05
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09 | Fight or Flight

The witchcraft panic had been gathering victims for months by the time George Burroughs was hanged, and many of them were still in jail. With nothing but torture and certain death awaiting them at the end of their imprisonment, many of the accused in Salem began to plot a more hopeful conclusion to their story.
2018-11-28
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08 | King and Queen

As the trials continued to roll forward in Salem, crushing more and more lives beneath its wheels, the panic began to spread outside its borders. In the community of Andover, those old fears found a new home?and the results would defy all expectations.
2018-11-21
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07 | She Is One Of Us

It's easy for a community to turn on the outsiders among them. The Salem witch trials had become a textbook example of this over the first few months. But in July of 1692, all of that changed. As the Court of Oyer and Terminer rolled full speed ahead, it seems anyone could be a witch.
2018-11-14
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06 | Consequences

Until now, the daily flood of examinations had been a temporary fix while everyone waited for the new government to set up an official trial. For many, that trial would represent hope and conclusion. For some, however, it would extract a heavy, deadly price.
2018-11-07
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05 | A Higher Power

Some people saw the growing witch panic in Salem as a threat to their lives, and they tried to run and hide. Others saw an opportunity for profit and advancement. Through it all, though, the fire would continue to burn, and unlikely individuals would be caught up in the blaze.
2018-10-31
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En liten tjänst av I'm With Friends. Finns även på engelska.
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