Visitors ages 12 and older are required to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19. Learn more >

For the Ages: A History Podcast

Explore the rich and complex history of the United States and beyond with this podcast produced by the New-York Historical Society. Host David M. Rubenstein engages the nation’s foremost historians and creative thinkers on a wide range of topics, including presidential biography, the nation’s founding, and the people who have shaped the American story.

Episode 14: 
One Mighty and Irresistible Tide: The Epic Struggle Over American Immigration, 1924-1965

Featuring: Jia Lynn Yang, David M. Rubenstein (moderator) 


In 1924, Congress put in place strict quotas that impacted national immigration policy for decades. Interweaving her own family’s story, New York Times deputy national editor Jia Lynn Yang uncovers how presidents from Harry S. Truman through LBJ and a coalition of lawmakers and activists fought to transform the American immigration system. Recorded on September 11, 2020

Listen on: Apple | Spotify

Episode 13: 
Shakespeare in a Divided America

Featuring: James Shapiro, David M. Rubenstein (moderator)


James Shapiro, Shakespeare Scholar in Residence at the Public Theater in New York City, discusses his book Shakespeare in a Divided America, connecting the American story, from politics to pop culture, with those of history’s most famous playwright. Recorded on December 4, 2020 

Listen on: Apple | Spotify

Episode 12:
An Evening with Drew Gilpin Faust

Featuring: Drew Gilpin Faust, David M. Rubenstein (moderator)


Esteemed American historian Drew Gilpin Faust, 28th President of Harvard University, discusses her work as a Civil War historian and uncovers the pivotal role universities play in modeling cultural and political understanding and strengthening American society. Recorded March 20, 2018

Listen on: Apple | Spotify

Episode 11:
An Evening with Robert A. Caro: Working

Featuring: Robert A. Caro, David M. Rubenstein (moderator)


Robert A. Caro, who has twice won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award, and in 2010 was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama, discusses his experiences as a researcher and writer, offering a first-hand perspective on the process that produced his award-winning book The Power Broker and multi-volume series The Years of Lyndon Johnson
Recorded on April 22, 2019

Listen on: Apple | Spotify

Episode 10:
An Evening with Jill Lepore

Featuring: Jill Lepore, David M. Rubenstein (moderator)


Jill Lepore discusses her prolific career, her contribution to the study of American history, and her books: the New York Times bestseller These Truths: A History of the United States and This America: The Case for the Nation. Recorded on October 7, 2019

Listen on: Apple | Spotify | Stitcher

Episode 9:
A Conversation with Ron Chernow

Featuring: Ron Chernow, David M. Rubenstein (moderator)


Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Chernow discusses his work as a biographer, including how he came to be involved in the production of the hit musical Hamilton, based on his book Alexander Hamilton, and his sweeping biography of the often misunderstood Union general and American president Ulysses S. Grant. Recorded on December 18, 2018

Listen on: Apple | Spotify | Stitcher

Episode 8: 
Silver, Sword, and Stone: A History of Latin America

Featuring: Marie Arana, David M. Rubenstein (moderator)


Asylum-seeking refugees at the southern border often dominate national headlines and ignite contentious debates on how to address the crisis. But why and what are they fleeing? Award-winning author Marie Arana examines the critical forces—including exploitation, violence, and religion—that have shaped Latin America for the past millennium and continue to reverberate today. Recorded on July 23, 2020 

Listen on: Apple | Spotify | Stitcher

Episode 7:
The Zealot and the Emancipator: John Brown, Abraham Lincoln, and the Struggle for American Freedom

Featuring: H.W. Brands, David M. Rubenstein (host)


Two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist H.W. Brands discusses the early days of the American struggle to end slavery using the stories of two men who were at its forefront: Abraham Lincoln and John Brown. Recorded September 4, 2020 

Listen on: Apple | Spotify | Stitcher

Episode 6:
A Conversation with Joanne Freeman: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War

Featuring: Joanne Freeman, David M. Rubenstein (host)


Esteemed historian and Yale University professor Joanne B. Freeman illuminates the tensions and conflicts in U.S. Congress in the decades leading up to the Civil War, when legislative sessions were often punctuated by mortal threats and physical altercations. Recorded January 7, 2021 

Listen on: Apple | Spotify


Episode 5:
The Hardest Job in the World: The American Presidency

Featuring: John Dickerson, David M. Rubenstein (host)


60 Minutes correspondent John Dickerson delves into the history of presidential campaigns in the United States, focusing on some of the best stories of memorable moments from past election runs. Recorded November 13, 2020

Listen on: Apple | Spotify


Episode 4:
The Man Who Ran Washington: The Life and Times of James A. Baker III

Featuring: Peter Baker, Susan Glasser, David M. Rubenstein (host)


Peter Baker, chief White House correspondent for the New York Times, and Susan Glasser, a staff writer at the New Yorker, examine the life and lasting legacy of James A. Baker, one of the most influential political power brokers in American history. Recorded December 3, 2020

Listen on: AppleSpotify


Episode 3:
A Conversation with Philip Deloria: America’s First Inhabitants
Featuring: Philip J. Deloria, David M. Rubenstein (host)


Harvard University professor Philip Deloria discusses the social, cultural, and political histories of the relations among American Indian peoples and the United States and how these relationships impacted indigenous peoples throughout history. 

Listen on: AppleSpotify


Episode 2:
A Conversation with Cokie Roberts

Featuring: Cokie Roberts, David M. Rubenstein (host)


The late Cokie Roberts illuminates her family’s legacy in public service, her career as a journalist and political commentator, and the importance of highlighting the oft-forgotten stories of women and the integral role they played in the shaping of American history. Recorded December 18, 2018

Listen on: Apple | Spotify


Episode 1:
The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle

Featuring: Lillian Faderman, David M. Rubenstein (host)


The fight for LGBTQ civil rights is long and hard-fought—and it still continues today. Award-winning author and renowned scholar Lillian Faderman discusses the history of the movement, from the 1950s up through the fight for marriage equality and beyond. Recorded September 25, 2020

Listen on: Apple | Spotify

Photos: David M. Rubenstein by Don Pollard. New-York Historical Society by Jon Wallen.

Creative: Tronvig Group