Skip to main content

Behind the Blue: Exploring the Paradox of History with Tracy Campbell

By Jay Blanton, Kody Kiser

Tracy Campbell views history as a way to explore the paradoxes of humanity and the human condition.
“We’re human beings. We are complex. We are not perfect,” said Campbell, a University of Kentucky professor of history. “Why do we like Shakespeare? Because it’s not devils versus angels. It’s about how the two can usually be in the same head … and that’s a lot more interesting, but it’s also a lot more human … the paradox of American history is what I really enjoy trying to understand.”
Campbell discusses the exploration of those paradoxes in his work at UK and in how he teaches students in this week’s edition of “Behind the Blue,” the podcast produced by UK Public Relations and Marketing that explores the people and events that make UK the university for Kentucky.

Campbell — a native Kentuckian and UK graduate — has been teaching and writing at the University of Kentucky since 1999. Known for his skills as a writer and scholar as well as captivating teacher, Campbell has written books about Kentucky political wunderkind Ed Prichard, explored the political dealings behind the creation of the St. Louis Arch, and delved into the history of election fraud in America. He has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and was named one of UK’s Great Teachers.
Now, he is researching and writing about what he calls a seminal and pivotal moment in American history — the year, 1942, when the country entered World War II and made critical decisions that have shaped the development of the United States. You can read more about Campbell and his work here —
The link to all Behind the Blue podcasts via iTunes is
UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue