Ed Ayers

Ed Ayers is Bunk's founder. He is the author of many prize-winning books, president emeritus at the University of Richmond, and former co-host of BackStory.


Related Excerpts

Still Worrying about The Civil War

John Kelly's statement about the Civil War is not surprising, but they are a reminder that we should still be worrying about the Civil War.

Civil War Life in all its Day-to-Day Contrasts

In his latest work of history, Edward Ayers captures daily life along with the military and political moves.

The Day White Virginia Stopped Admiring Gen. Robert E. Lee and Started Worshiping Him

Stripping Virginia of its Lee tributes is far harder than it is in other places.

Straight Shot

The History Guys look at who has had access to guns in the U.S., and what those guns have meant to the people who have owned them.
Women looting a bakery during the Richmond Bread Riot.

What Happened at the Richmond Bread Riot?

The Richmond Bread Riot broke out during the Civil War when working-class women in the South became fed up with food shortages.
Artistic collage of black leaders surrounded by images associated with prohibition.

The Forgotten History of Black Prohibitionism

We often think of the temperance movement as driven by white evangelicals set out to discipline Black Americans and immigrants. That history is wrong.

The Power of Empty Pedestals

After Governor Northam announced its removal, two Richmond historians reflect on the legacy of the Lee Monument.


Ed Ayers visits the site where the transcontinental railroad was completed. He considers the project's human costs, and discovers how the environment and photography played key roles on the rails.

The Revolutions

Ed Ayers visits public historians in Boston and Philadelphia and explores what “freedom” meant to those outside the halls of power in the Revolutionary era.

An Unfinished Revolution

A new three-part PBS documentary explores the failure of Reconstruction and the Redemption of the South.

You Have Died of Dysentery

A conversation with the lead designer of the 1985 version of the Oregon Trail video game.
Ripped Puerto Rican flag painted with the words "Together as One"

No More Annexation: Assassination!

The extremes to which Puerto Rican national Pedro Albizu Campos and his followers fought for independence.
Tommie Smith and John Carlos protesting as they receive medals at the 1968 Summer Olympics.

Black Power Salute

The founder of the Olympic Project for Human Rights talks about the iconic protest by Tommie Smith and John Carlos on the winners’ podium in 1968.
Robert E. Lee statue

The Fight Over Virginia’s Confederate Monuments

How the state’s past spurred a racial reckoning.
Agronomist George Tynes, flanked by Soviet army cadets, was among several hundred African Americans who traveled to the Soviet Union to work in the 1930s (Tynes-Mensah/ LA Times)

Brave New World

In the 1930s, 16 African-American families from the South rejected the American experiment and looked to Communist Uzbekistan for a chance to build a new world.
New York City (New York, USA), Brooklyn Bridge.

Over Troubled Waters

Looking for an easy buck, con artists in the early 1900s infamously "sold" the Brooklyn Bridge to immigrants fresh of the boat.

Reefer Madness in Mexico City

Historian Isaac Campos traces the origins of the idea that marijuana causes violent madness…and finds the trail leads south, to Mexico.
European fur traders trading rum to Native Americans

Liquid Poison

American Indians and the tumult in their cultures precipitated by the arrival of alcohol.
Soldiers in Continental Army

Rumming with the Devil

A perusal of Benjamin Franklin’s "Drinker’s Dictionary," and a chat about how the drink of choice in revolutionary America switched from cider to rum.
Migrant women and children

Never Never Land

The legacy of Operation Pedro Pan, a plan to save Cuban children from communist indoctrination by leaving their families and resettling in the United States.