Past Present Podcast: Refugees, Uber, and Dystopian Novels


In this week’s episode, Neil, Natalia, and Niki debate American policy toward refugees, the politics of Uber, and the rising sales of dystopian novels.


We discussed Donald Trump’s executive order that severely restricts immigration from seven Muslim countries.


The ride sharing app Uber fell into controversy when it dropped surge pricing from rides leaving JFK airport during the recent protests over Trump’s executive orders. We discussed Uber and the history of ride sharing apps and taxi cabs. Natalia recommended Graham Hodges’s work on the history of the taxi industry.

Dystopian Novels

Sales of dystopian novels including 1984Brave New WorldThe Handmaid’s Tale, and It Can’t Happen Here have surged in the first weeks of the Trump administration. Natalia recommended E.D. Hirsch’s book on American Cultural Literacy and Andrew Hartman’s history of the culture wars, A War for the Soul of America. Niki noted recent films like Wall-E and Idiocracy have played with themes about America as anti-intellectual and consumerist.

What’s Making History

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