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Rank #84 in Society & Culture category

Society & Culture
History

History Unplugged Podcast

Updated 8 days ago

Rank #84 in Society & Culture category

Society & Culture
History
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For history lovers who listen to podcasts, History Unplugged is the most comprehensive show of its kind. It's the only show that dedicates episodes to both interviewing experts and answering questions from its audience. First, it features a call-in show where you can ask our resident historian (Scott Rank, PhD) absolutely anything (What was it like to be a Turkish sultan with four wives and twelve concubines? If you were sent back in time, how would you kill Hitler?). Second, it features long-form interviews with best-selling authors who have written about everything. Topics include gruff World War II generals who flew with airmen on bombing raids, a war horse who gained the rank of sergeant, and presidents who gave their best speeches while drunk.

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For history lovers who listen to podcasts, History Unplugged is the most comprehensive show of its kind. It's the only show that dedicates episodes to both interviewing experts and answering questions from its audience. First, it features a call-in show where you can ask our resident historian (Scott Rank, PhD) absolutely anything (What was it like to be a Turkish sultan with four wives and twelve concubines? If you were sent back in time, how would you kill Hitler?). Second, it features long-form interviews with best-selling authors who have written about everything. Topics include gruff World War II generals who flew with airmen on bombing raids, a war horse who gained the rank of sergeant, and presidents who gave their best speeches while drunk.

iTunes Ratings

1314 Ratings
Average Ratings
889
206
86
64
69

Knowlton’s Rangers?

By Bdtisti - Dec 31 2019
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Robert Rogers is considered The Godfather of the modern U S Ranger Regiments not Knowlton.

Excellent

By gamezach - Oct 22 2019
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Really enjoying the key battles series bravo!

iTunes Ratings

1314 Ratings
Average Ratings
889
206
86
64
69

Knowlton’s Rangers?

By Bdtisti - Dec 31 2019
Read more
Robert Rogers is considered The Godfather of the modern U S Ranger Regiments not Knowlton.

Excellent

By gamezach - Oct 22 2019
Read more
Really enjoying the key battles series bravo!
Cover image of History Unplugged Podcast

History Unplugged Podcast

Latest release on Jan 16, 2020

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For history lovers who listen to podcasts, History Unplugged is the most comprehensive show of its kind. It's the only show that dedicates episodes to both interviewing experts and answering questions from its audience. First, it features a call-in show where you can ask our resident historian (Scott Rank, PhD) absolutely anything (What was it like to be a Turkish sultan with four wives and twelve concubines? If you were sent back in time, how would you kill Hitler?). Second, it features long-form interviews with best-selling authors who have written about everything. Topics include gruff World War II generals who flew with airmen on bombing raids, a war horse who gained the rank of sergeant, and presidents who gave their best speeches while drunk.

Rank #1: Why Your Favorite Presidents (Lincoln, Washington) Actually Screwed Up America—Brion McClanahan

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Quick – name your favorite president. You probably said Washington or Lincoln, right? C'mon. You can be more original than that. Well, Brion McClanahan is original. He gladly tells people that the greatest president in American history was John Tyler. Confused looks then follow, usually with a question of "Who was that again?" On the other hand, we all have presidents whom we think were terrible. You can point to a Jimmy Carter, a Herbert Hoover, a Warren G. Harding, or (if you're an insufferable history nerd like me) Millard Fillmore. But Abraham Lincoln? Brion McClanahan—again, being original here—makes the argument that Lincoln, far from being America's savior, may have done her irreparable harm. But he is not making this argument for the sake of being a contrarian. Rather it's a position grounded in thorough research an consideration of what the real responsibility of a president is. After all, he wrote a book called 9 Presidents Who Screwed Up America: And Four Who Tried to Save Her. I can almost guarantee that you won't be able to guess who he names as the good and bad presidents. In this episode we discuss who they were, why they were so good or bad, and whether Brion has seen Hamilton on Broadway (he has a book on him coming out later this year). McClanahan argues that... Lincoln violated the Constitution because as commander in chief he believed he had to “subdue the enemy,” no matter the collateral damage. His violations created a blueprint for more executive abuse in the future. By the time Obama left office earlier this year, Americans suffered under twenty-eight consecutive years of unconstitutional executive usurpation of power. Over a two-year period, the Obama administration delayed the implementation of the Affordable Care Act twenty-eight times, ostensibly to give employers time to comply with the law. This was a blatantly unconstitutional power grab by the executive office. History has shown that presidents tend to abuse their power in their second term, and that the best presidents tend to serve less than eight years in office. MORE ABOUT BRION Brion McClanahan is the author or co-author of four books, The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Founding Fathers, (Regnery, 2009), The Founding Fathers Guide to the Constitution (Regnery History, 2012), Forgotten Conservatives in American History (Pelican, 2012), and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Real American Heroes, (Regnery, 2012). He has written for TheDailyCaller.com, LewRockwell.com, TheTenthAmendmentCenter.com, Townhall.com, and HumanEvents.com. McClanahan is a faculty member at Tom Woods’ Liberty Classroom, has appeared on dozens of radio talk shows, and has spoken across the Southeast on the Founding Fathers and the founding principles of the United States. If you would like to book Dr. McClanahan for a speaking appearance, please email him. RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE Brion's website Brion's podcast Tom Woods' Liberty Classroom Brion's Book: 9 Presidents Who Screwed Up America: And Four Who Tried to Save Her TO HELP OUT THE SHOW Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one. Subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher

May 19 2017

44mins

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Rank #2: The Causes of World War 1

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The reasons for the Great War go way beyond the assassination of Franz Ferdinand. Learn about the causes of one of humanity's most vicious wars.

Nov 30 2017

16mins

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Rank #3: Common Knowledge About The Middle Ages That Is Incorrect, Part 1: Why the Middle Ages, Not the Renaissance, Created the Modern World

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The popular view of the Middle Ages is a thousand-year period of superstition and ignorance, punctuated by witch burnings and belief in a flat earth. But the medieval period, more than any other time in history, laid the foundations for the modern world. The work of scholars, intellectuals, architects, statesmen and craftsmen led to rise of towns, the earliest bureaucratic states, the emergence of vernacular literatures, the recovery of Greek science and philosophy with its Arabic additions, and the beginnings of the first European universities.

This episode is the first in a five-part series to explore a revisionist history of the Middle Ages, starting with the Roman Empire’s collapse in the fifth century. We will march through the accounts of Charlemagne’s reign, the Black Plague, the fall of Constantinople, and everything in between. It explores social aspects of the Middle Ages that are still largely misunderstood (i.e., no educated person believed the earth was flat). There was also a surprisingly high level of medieval technology, the love of Aristotle in the Middle Ages, and the lack of witch burnings (those were not popularized until the Thirty Years War in the Renaissance Period).

The Middle Ages were not a period to suffer through until the Renaissance returned Europe to its intellectual and cultural birthright. Rather, they were the fire powering the forge out of which Western identity was forged. The modern world owes a permanent debt of gratitude to the medieval culture of Europe. It was the light that illuminated the darkness following the collapse of Rome and remained lit into the world we inhabit today.

Feb 19 2019

45mins

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Rank #4: Lost Civilizations: Ancient Societies that Vanished Without a Trace, Part 1

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A stock trope of literature is the king who believes that his kingdom will last forever, only to see it collapse under his own hubris (Exhibit A is Percy Bysshe Shelly's Ozymandias). But the trope is based on historical fact. Many great civilizations vanished without a trace, and why their disappearance still haunts us today.

This episode is the first in a three-part series that will look atf the greatest lost civilizations in history. Some were millenia ahead their neighbors, such as the Indus Valley Civilization, which had better city planning in 3,000 B.C. than any European capital in the 18th century. Others were completely myth-based, such as Plato's lost city of Atlantis, a technological advanced utopia that sank into the ocean "in a single day and night of misfortune"

Whatever the nature of their disappearance, these lost civilizations offer many lessons for us today -- even the greatest of societies can disappear, and that includes us.

Aug 30 2018

1hr 8mins

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Rank #5: Genghis Khan, Attila the Hun, and the Barbarian Empires of the Steppe—Kenneth Harl

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Attila the Hun and Genghis Khan loom large in Western popular consciousness as two of history’s most fearsome warrior-leaders. Chroniclers referred to them as “The Scourge of God” and “Universal Lord” both fascinate and repel. But few people today are aware of their place in a succession of nomadic warriors who used campaigns of terror to sweep across the Eurasian steppes. They toppled empires and seizing control of civilizations. Today Professor Kenneth Harl joins us to talk about the effects of these steppe empires on world civilization. From antiquity through the Middle Ages, nomadic warriors repeatedly emerged from the steppes, exerting direct and indirect pressure on sedentary populations and causing a domino effect of displacement and cultural exchange. Dr. Harl and I discuss these turning points in history set into motion by steppe nomads: The fall of the Roman Empire can be blamed at least in part on the Huns. Christians of Asia Minor converted to Islam after the clergy fled the nomadic Turks. The Mongol sack of Baghdad destroyed the city and its role in the Muslim world. China’s modern-day Great Wall was constructed in response to the humiliation of Mongol rule. The spread of Buddhism and trade followed the Silk Road, which allowed cultural exchange between nomads and settled zones across Eurasia. Russia’s preemptive expansion into the northern regions was a reaction to the horror of being conquered by Mongols.   RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE Kenneth's course “The Barbarian Empires of the Steppes”   ABOUT KENNETH HARL Dr. Kenneth W. Harl is Professor of Classical and Byzantine History at Tulane University in New Orleans, where he teaches courses in Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Crusader history. He earned his B.A. from Trinity College and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University. An expert on classical Anatolia, he has taken students with him into the field on excursions and to assist in excavations of Hellenistic and Roman sites in Turkey. Professor Harl has also published a wide variety of articles and books, including his current work on coins unearthed in an excavation of Gordion, Turkey, and a new book on Rome and her Iranian foes. TO HELP OUT THE SHOW Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one. Subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher

Sep 04 2017

1hr 1min

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Rank #6: Has The Lost Colony of Roanoke Been Found?

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In 1587, 115 men, women, and children arrived at Roanoke Island on the coast ofNorth Carolina. Chartered by Queen Elizabeth I, their colony was to establish England's first foothold in the New World. But when the colony's leader, John White, returned to Roanoke from a resupply mission, his settlers were nowhere to be found. They left behind only a single clue—a "secret token" carved into a tree. Neither White nor any other European laid eyes on the colonists again.

What happened to the Lost Colony of Roanoke? For four hundred years, that question has consumed historians and amateur sleuths, leading only to dead ends and hoaxes. However, Andrew Lawler thinks he might have found the answer.

Lawler, author of the book “The Secret Token,” talked with an archeologist working on one of the supposed destinations of the colonists and discovered that solid answers to the mystery were within reach. He set out to unravel the enigma of the lost settlers, accompanying competing researchers, each hoping to be the first to solve its riddle. In the course of his journey, Lawler encountered a host of characters obsessed with the colonists and their fate, and tried to determine why the Lost Colony continues to haunt our national consciousness.

Jul 23 2019

35mins

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Rank #7: Why the Battle of Hastings in 1066 and the Norman Conquest of England Changed Everything—Jennifer Paxton

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If you were to ask a scholar about one critical moment after which the history of the English-speaking world would never be the same again, it would undoubtedly be the year 1066. I know that because I asked Prof. Jennifer Paxton of the Catholic University of America this very question. She chose that year because during this pivotal time an event occurred that would have untold ramifications for the European continent: the Norman Conquest of England. This year matters deeply for two key reasons. It turned England away from a former Scandinavian orientation toward an orientation with mainland Europe, making the island nation a major player in Europe's political, social, cultural, and religious events. It created a rich hybrid between English and French culture that had a profound impact on everything from language and literature to architecture and law. In our discussion we talk about a world of fierce Viking warriors, powerful noble families, politically charged marriages, tense succession crises, epic military invasions, and much more. But it was the Battle of Hastings in 1066 that forever enshrined in the pages of history the name of William the Conqueror, whose military and political prowess made the Norman Conquest a success. After that England was never the same.   RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE Jennifer Paxton's Great Courses history course:—1066: The Year That Changed Everything     ABOUT JENNIFER PAXTON, PHD Dr. Jennifer Paxton is Director of the University Honors Program and Clinical Assistant Professor of History at The Catholic University of America. The holder of a doctorate in history from Harvard University, Professor Paxton is both a widely published award-winning writer and a highly regarded scholar. Professor Paxton's research focuses on England from the reign of King Alfred to the late 12th century, particularly the intersection between the authority of church and state and the representation of the past in historical texts, especially those produced by religious communities.     TO HELP OUT THE SHOW Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one. Subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher

Sep 25 2017

1hr 15mins

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Rank #8: Key Battles of the Revolutionary War, Part 1: The World of the American Revolution

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Grab your musket and your portion of rum, Yankee, because we have a war to fight! James Early returns to the History Unplugged Podcast to kick off a massive series called Key Battles of the Revolutionary War. We get in-depth into the battles that determined the outcome of one of the most consequential wars in history. But we also go deep into the background of social, political, cultural, and theological aspects of the of the 18th century.

Scott and James kick off this episode by talking about the global-level changes in society that made the Revolutionary War possible in the 1770s, and almost impossible anytime earlier. They have to do with changes in warfare and weapons, government/society, political philosophy, British governing policy, and the American colonies themselves.

Sep 17 2019

42mins

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Rank #9: History of the Civil War in 10 Battles, Part 13: The Battle of Gettysburg

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The 1863 Battle of Gettysburg stopped Robert E. Lee's second invasion of the North. It was the deadliest battle of the Civil War, with over 50,000 casualties during the three day battle, a scale of suffering never seen before or since in America. The Union won victory and had new life injected into its war effort. The Confederacy saw its best chance at striking a deadly blow against the North and demoralizing them slip away.

Nov 08 2018

1hr 24mins

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Rank #10: The History of Slavery, Part 1: Shackled and Chained in the Ancient World

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When asked “what is slavery,” most Americans or Westerners would respond with a description of an African slave in the antebellum South, picking cotton and suffering under the whip of a cruel master. But if you asked an Irishman in 1650, he would have answered differently. He would recount the horrors of Barbary Muslim pirates invading the town of Baltimore, dragging his kinsmen off to the slave markets of Algeria. A medieval Arab would have still answered differently. He would talk about the African slave trade, albeit the one that went east to Arabia instead of the one that went west to the New World. A Roman would have described slavery as the Greek in his household that tutored his children.
Slavery goes back to the beginning of the agricultural revolution. It is universal yet localized to the particular conditions in the society that enslaves others. Some researchers think slavery is common across history in that it leads to the social death of a slave. Others think that slaves were treated rather well in the ancient world, and it was only the weaponized racism of recent centuries that turned the chattel slavery of Africans brought to the New World into such a cruel institution.
This episode is the beginning of a five-part series on slavery. We are looking at the origins of the practice, why it began, the work that slaves did, what was the “best” sort of work, and how they revolted. By looking into the past we will have a better understanding of this practice, and how much it resembles slaver in the modern world.

Jul 19 2018

1hr 16mins

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Rank #11: History of the Civil War in 10 Battles, Part 1: Background to the Civil War

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The origins of the Civil War go back decades, even before the United States became an independent nation The federal union had always been precarious, ever since the framing of the Constitution, with the institution of slavery led to two distinct cultures and societies. In this inagurual episode of the History of Civil War in 10 Battles, Scott and James discuss the main social and political issues that sparked the Civil War

Sep 18 2018

46mins

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Rank #12: Dan Carlin of Hardcore History on Why the German Military Was Better in WW1 Than WW2

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I was honored on this episode to interview Dan Carlin, whose podcast Hardcore History is the biggest history podcast in existence. It regularly features shows of 5-6 hours in length covering everything from the Mongol invasions to doomsday prophets of the Reformation. I met up with Dan at the Podcast Movement conference in August 2017. Since he had a six-part series on World War 1 (Blueprint for Armageddon), I wanted to ask Dan about a comment he made in the podcast, that Germany's army in World War 1 was superior to its army in World War 2. He elaborated in this episode, and as always, brings the goods.       TO HELP OUT THE SHOW Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one. Subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher

Sep 13 2017

7mins

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Rank #13: The Revolution Before the Revolution: How 1776 Happened

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In the 1760s, the American colonies were completely incapable of organized resistance. One's loyalty was to their state, as the idea of being an “American” was nearly empty. Few clamored for democracy, as Europe and the rest of the world believed that the highest form of government was monarchy. And most Americans considered themselves British – or at least part of the British Empire.

But in 1776 the United States formally declared itself as a new nation in which all men were equal. They formed a continental army. And within a few years they defeated the world's best military force.

How did so much change in 10 years? To discuss this topic is today's guest Michael Troy, host of the American Revolution Podcast. His show is a chronological history of the Revolutionary War, and he gets deep into details (at the time of this recording the show was 75 episodes in and only up to the year 1775).

Mar 14 2019

51mins

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Rank #14: The Real Oregon Trail: Beyond Dysentery and the Apple II Game

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If you were a middle schooler in the United States anytime after 1985 and had a study hall with an Apple II, there is a very high chance you played Oregon Trail. After setting out from Independence, Missouri, you led your pixelated wagon across the frontier, hunting bears, fording rivers, and more likely than not, dying of dysentery.

The real Oregon Trail sprang up in the 1830s, when America was going through the worst economic slump it would see until the Great Depression. A mixture of financial urgency and a sense of destiny--Manifest Destiny--convinced tens of thousands of Americans to trek over 2,000 miles from Missouri’s western edge to Oregon Country.

But how can families cross the desert? Or the Rocky Mountains? Or descend the Columbia River? And what about the British HBC’s hold on Oregon Country? Many tried this dangerous path, including fur traders, missionaries, explorers, and early wagon trains that dared to blaze this trail before its heyday of the 1840s-1860s.

Joined with us today to talk about the Oregon Trail is history professor and podcast Greg Jackson. He's the host of the show History That Doesn't Suck

Jun 27 2019

58mins

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Rank #15: Understanding the Rise of Islam Through Military History

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How did an initially small religious movement envelope such enormous areas of the world? That is precisely what the community of believers under Muhammed did, conquering the Persian Empire and crippling the Byzantine Empire in a matter of decades, two global powers who were unable to do this to each other despite their best efforts. This episode looks at the rise of Islam, the most historically significant event of the early Middle Ages, through the perspective of military and social history.

Jan 17 2019

50mins

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Rank #16: The Last Night on the Titanic: Overview of the 1,500 Passengers and Crew Who Lost Their Lives

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On the night of April 14, 1912, in the last hours before the Titanic struck
the iceberg, passengers in all classes were enjoying unprecedented luxuries. Innovations in food, drink, and decor made this voyage the apogee of Edwardian elegance.

This episode is the first in a series I'm doing with Titanic historian Veronica Hinke called "Last Night on the Titanic." In it we look at individual accounts of tragedy and survival from the figures that made up the passengers and crew of the ship. They include millionaires, artists, fashionistas, bakers, cookers, musicians, doctors, and con-men.

To recreate the experience of what it was like to be on the Titanic before disaster was on anyone's mind, Veronica also goes into detail of the food and drink consumer on the ship, from tripe soup eaten by a third-class passenger to the fancy dessert eaten by a Edwardian lady.

Apr 02 2019

25mins

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Rank #17: Everything You Need to Know About D-Day: H-Hour, Weapons Info, and First-Hand Accounts from Soldiers, Beachmasters, and the French Resistanc

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The D-Day landing of June 6, 1944, ranks as the boldest and most successful large-scale invasion in military history.
On June 6, as Operation Overlord went forward, roughly 160,000 Allied troops crossed the English Channel, supported by seven thousand ships and boats, and landed on the coast of Normandy.The seaborne invasion included nearly 5,000 landing and assault craft, 289 escort vessels, and 277 minesweepers. They established a beachhead from which the Germans were unable to dislodge them. Within ten days, there were half a million troops ashore, and within three weeks there were two million.
In this episode I take a comprehensive look at the largest amphibious assault in history

Jun 14 2018

1hr

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Rank #18: Hitler’s “Desert Fox”: The Military Career of Erwin Rommel

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Erwin Rommel, a German field marshal in World War Two, was probably more respected and feared than any other figure in the Wehrmacht. He issued early defeats against the British in North Africa against vastly superior forces using a mix of cutting-edge tactics with combined arms assaults and classic Napoleonic military strategy. But who was Erwin Rommel? War hero or war criminal? Hitler flunky? Military genius or just lucky?

In this episode I talk with Samuel W. Mitcham Jr. a military historian and author of the new book Desert Fox: The Storied Military Career of Erwin Rommel—offering a look at the Allies’ most well-respected opponent of WWII. He explores the complexities of the controversial Nazi leader through his improbable and spectacular military career, his epic battles in North Africa, and his fraught relationship with Hitler and the Nazi Party.

May 30 2019

50mins

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Rank #19: Ulysses S. Grant Was (Mostly) Responsible For Winning the Civil War. Robert E. Lee Was Responsible For Losing It.

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Ever since the end of the Civil War, a mythology of Robert E. Lee's military genius was developed by Confederate veterans as a way to support the idea that the South was defeated only because of the Union's overwhelming advantages in men and resources. Known as the “Lost Cause” interpretation of the Civil War, it provided a sense of relief to white Southerners who feared being dishonored by defeat.

In this episode, I explore the research of the late Civil War historian Edward Bonekemper, who wrote many books challenging this thesis. He argues that Grant—far from being a bloodthirsty drunk who won by brute force alone—was the most successful Union or Confederate general of the war. Grant won the war by excelling in three theaters. He fought six Confederate armies, defeated all of them, and captured three of them. He succeeded for two years in the West with amazingly minimal casualties—particularly when compared with those of his foes. He conquered the Mississippi Valley and chased the Confederates out of Chattanooga and Tennessee.

Lee, in contrast, has been praised for his offensives against the Union Army of the Potomac, he was carrying out an aggressive strategy with aggressive tactics that were inconsistent with what should have been a Confederate grand defensive strategy. The Union, not the Confederacy, had the burden of winning the war, and the South, outnumbered about four-to-one in white men of fighting age, had a severe manpower shortage. Nevertheless, Lee acted as though he were a Union general and attacked again and again as though his side had the burden of winning and also had an unlimited supply of soldiers.

Apr 12 2018

1hr 8mins

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Rank #20: How Texas Almost Became German

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Like much of the United States, Texas has a large popular whose ancestors originated in Germany. But Texas takes it a step further. In the 1840s a massive immigration of Germans arrived when the Adelsverein (The Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas) organized at Biebrich on the Rhine near Mainz. It assisted thousands in coming to Central Texas and establishing such settlements as New Braunfels and Fredericksburg. So many arrived that Texas practically became an outpost of Germany.   TO HELP OUT THE SHOW Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one. Subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher

Jul 28 2017

5mins

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The Crusades, From Both Arab and European Perspectives

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For more than one thousand years, Christians and Muslims lived side by side, sometimes at peace and sometimes at war. When Christian armies seized Jerusalem in 1099, they began the most notorious period of conflict between the two religions. Depending on who you ask, the fall of the holy city was either an inspiring legend or the greatest of horrors.
In this episode I’m speaking with Dan Jones, author of Crusaders: The Epic History of the Wars for the Holy Lands. In Crusaders, Dan Jones interrogates the many sides of the larger story, charting a deeply human and avowedly pluralist path through the crusading era.

Expanding the usual timeframe, Jones looks to the roots of Christian-Muslim relations in the eighth century and tracks the influence of crusading to present day. He widens the geographical focus to far-flung regions home to so-called enemies of the Church, including Spain, North Africa, southern France, and the Baltic states. By telling intimate stories of individual journeys, Jones illuminates these centuries of war not only from the perspective of popes and kings, but from Arab-Sicilian poets, Byzantine princesses, Sunni scholars, Shi'ite viziers, Mamluk slave soldiers, Mongol chieftains, and barefoot friar

Jan 16 2020

52mins

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How the Nazi Ministry of Propaganda Radicalized Germany

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Once the Nazi Party took power in Germany, they managed to end democracy and turned the nation into a one-party dictatorship, launching an endless propaganda campaign to mobilize the public for war. Joseph Goebbels, the Minister of Propaganda arranged book burnings, lists of banned literature, and the release of films that exalted Aryan values and demonized Jews.

Before the rise of the Nazis, Germany was the most educated society on Earth, producing the finest literature, film, and university programs of any advanced nation. How did it succumb to such a simplistic propaganda program? The answer has to do with the ancient story of propaganda and how the masses swallow almost any message if it's repeated enough and speaks to their deepest fears.

Jan 14 2020

40mins

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Star Spangled Scandal: The Antebellum Murder Trial that Changed America

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Two years before the Civil War, Congressman Daniel Sickles and his lovely wife Teresa were popular fixtures in Washington, D.C. society. Their house sat on Lafayette Square across from White House grounds, and the president himself was godfather to the Sickleses’ six-year-old daughter. Because Congressman Sickles is frequently out of town, he trusted his friend, U.S. Attorney Philip Barton Key—son of Francis Scott Key—to escort the beautiful Mrs. Sickles to parties in his absence. Revelers in D.C. were accustomed to the sight of the congressman’s wife with the tall, Apollo-like Philip Barton Key.

Then one day Daniel Sickles received an anonymous note suggesting his wife's infidelity. It sets into motion a tragic course of events that culminated in a shocking murder in broad daylight in Lafayette Square.

Today's guest is Chris DeRose, author of the book Star Spangled Scandal, about the biggest media sensation in Civil War America. The press couldn't get enough of the trial, which had a play based on the events hit the stage as the trial was in progress. The trial introduced the concepts of the insanity defense, challenged ideas of chivalry and masculinity, and ensconced ideas of an unwritten law, where “honor crimes” were tolerated by judges for nearly a century after the trial.

Jan 09 2020

48mins

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237 Years After the Revolutionary War, Some Say It Was a Mistake. Are They Right?

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There are few events that would shake the world order like the success of the American Revolution. Some changes would be felt immediately. English traditions such as land inheritance laws were swept away. Other changes took longer. Slavery would not be abolished for another hundred years. Americans began to feel that their fight for liberty was a global fight. Future democracies would model their governments on the United States'.

Jan 07 2020

45mins

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George Washington's Spies: The Culper Ring, Nathan Hale, and the Plot to Capture Benedict Arnold

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Spycraft was seen as a treacherous craft, but it was necessary to win a war. Washington knew this, as his early attempts to gather intelligence on British-occupied New York led to an execution of Nathan Hale, a young school teacher. More sophisticated networks developed, particularly the Culper Spy ring, which involved a farmer, a whaleboat captain, a tavern owner, and a slave.

Jan 02 2020

1hr 10mins

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The Revolutionary War Comes to an End

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After Yorktown, a truce was declared in America, although some skirmishes did break out until final peace was negotiated in Paris in 1783. In this episode, Scott and James looks at what happened to the British and American generals and politicians involved in the war.

Dec 31 2019

57mins

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The Battle of Yorktown: Britain's Surrender in the Revolutionary War

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On October 14, 1781, Washington and French General Comte de Rochambeau attacked on October 14th, capturing two British defense. British Gen. Cornwallis surrendered two days later.

Dec 26 2019

28mins

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The Siege of Yorktown: American and France Corner Britain

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The Battle of Yorktown sealed the fate of the Revolutionary War. In late 1781, American and French troops laid siege to the British Army at Yorktown, Virginia. First, a bit of backgroun. The partisan warfare that kept occurring in the upcountry of the Carolinas made it impossible for the British to obtain supplies from there. This in turn made it necessary for Cornwallis to keep his army relatively close to the coast. Greene kept his army far enough from Cornwallis to avoid a major pitched battle while constantly trying to lure Cornwallis away from the coast. Greene’s strategy was (in Allen Guelzo’s words) “dance like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” In this, he was assisted by a cavalry commander named Col. Henry (“Light Horse Harry”) Lee, as well as Francis Marion and Daniel Morgan. Skirmishers of the two armies occasionally fought each other, but the main armies never met.

Dec 24 2019

26mins

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King’s Mountain: The Revolutionary War's Largest 'All-American Fight'

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The Battles of King's Mountain and Cowpens were fought in 1781, between the Continental Army under Brigadier General Daniel Morgan and British forces under Lieutenant Colonel Sir Banastre Tarleton, as part of the campaign in the Carolinas. Daniel Morgan, who had been sent south by Washington, joined Nathanael Greene’s army. Greene decided to send Morgan with a force of militia and cavalry westward. This dividing of his army was risky, but Greene wrote “It makes the most of my inferior force for it compels my adversary to divide his.”

Dec 19 2019

29mins

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The Treason of Benedict Arnold

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In 1788, the battle lines of the Revolutionary War moved from New England to the southern colonies. Lord George Germain, the British secretary responsible for the war, wrote to Lieutenant General Sir Henry Clinton that capturing the southern colonies was "considered by the King as an object of great importance in the scale of the war" Germain and the king believed that the majority of southern colonists were loyalists and that if the British army could take key parts of the South, Loyalists would rise up to join the British and at the very least, the southern colonies could be brought back into the empire. In September 1778, the Continental Congress appointed Benjamin Lincoln as the commander of Continental forces in the South. In November of that year, British forces conducted several raids into Georgia. The next month, a force of about 3000 British regulars under Archibald Campbell arrived and captured Savannah on December 29. They took Augusta a month later but soon withdrew due to the presence of American forces nearby.

Plus, we look at Benedict Arnold's treason.

Dec 17 2019

41mins

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How France and America Cooperated During the Revolutionary War

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The Battle of Rhode Island (also known as the Battle of Quaker Hill and the Battle of Newport) took place on August 29, 1778. The battle was the first attempt at cooperation between French and American forces following France’s entry into the war as an American ally.

Dec 12 2019

58mins

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American Politicians Nearly Had George Washington Fired During the Revolutionary War

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After the setbacks of 1777 and 1778, other American officers angled to take Washington's position as leader of the Continental Army. A conspiracy called the Conway Cable tried but failed to force him out. Washington shored up his support after victory at the Battle of Monmouth.

Dec 10 2019

38mins

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The Philadelphia Campaign: When Britain Took Over Ben Franklin's House

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The Philadelphia Campaign of 1777-8 was a British attempt to capture Philadelphia, then capital of the United States and seat of the Continental Congress, led by Gen. William Howe. They did capture the city, but British disaster loomed north in the Saratoga campaign, threatening any British gains.

Dec 05 2019

44mins

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The Battle of Saratoga—Benedict Arnold, An American Hero

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The Battle of Saratoga was incredible turn of fortunes for the United States. British , Gen. John Burgoyne thought he would cut off New England from the rest of the colonies. Instead, he lost the battle and was forced to surrender 20,000 troops. Saratoga was also Benedict Arnold's finest hour. He loathed American commander Horatio Gates, who relieved Arnold of his command. Nonetheless, at the Battle of Bemis Heights on October 7, 1777, Arnold took command of American soldiers whom he led in an assault against the British. Arnold’s fierce attack disordered the enemy and led to American victory. The decisive Patriot victory compelled France to enter the war as an ally with the United States.

Dec 03 2019

47mins

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Rebroadcast: Turkey is Both a Bird and a Country. Which Came First?

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It's no coincidence that the bird we eat for Thanksgiving and a Middle Eastern country are both called Turkey. One was named after the other, and it all has to do with a 500-year-old story of emerging global trade, mistaken identity, foreign language confusion, and how the turkey took Europe by storm as a must-have status symbol for the ultra-wealthy.

Nov 28 2019

21mins

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The Saratoga Campaign: Turning Point of the Revolutionary War

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The Saratoga campaign gave a decisive victory to the Americans over the British during the American Revolutionary War. The battle also saw great heroics by Benedict Arnold.

Nov 27 2019

37mins

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The Battle of Princeton Proves George Washington Was So Lucky, It Was Almost Supernatural

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Washington and his men had their work cut out for them after crossing the Delaware River. Over the next ten days, they won two battles. First, the Patriots defeated a Hessian garrison on December 26th. They then returned to Trenton a week later to draw British force south, then launched a night attack to capture Princeton on January 3rd. With the victory, New Jersey fell into Patriot hands.

Nov 26 2019

30mins

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19th-Century American Radicals: Vegans, Abolitionists, and Free Love Advocates

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On July 4, 1826, as Americans lit firecrackers to celebrate the country’s fiftieth birthday, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were on their deathbeds. They would leave behind a groundbreaking political system and a growing economy—as well as the glaring inequalities that had undermined the American experiment from its beginning. The young nation had outlived the men who made it, but could it survive intensifying divisions over the very meaning of the land of the free?

In today's episode, I'm speaking with Holly Jackson about her new book American Radicals, which looks at this new network of dissent—connecting firebrands and agitators on pastoral communes, in urban mobs, and in genteel parlors across the nation—that vowed to finish the revolution they claimed the Founding Fathers had only begun. They were men and women, black and white, fiercely devoted to causes that pitted them against mainstream America even while they fought to preserve the nation’s founding ideals: the brilliant heiress Frances Wright, whose shocking critiques of religion and the institution of marriage led to calls for her arrest; the radical Bostonian William Lloyd Garrison, whose commitment to nonviolence would be tested as the conflict over slavery pushed the nation to its breaking point; the Philadelphia businessman James Forten, who presided over the first mass political protest of free African Americans; Marx Lazarus, a vegan from Alabama whose calls for sexual liberation masked a dark secret; black nationalist Martin Delany, the would-be founding father of a West African colony who secretly supported John Brown’s treasonous raid on Harpers Ferry—only to ally himself with Southern Confederates after the Civil War.

Though largely forgotten today, these figures were enormously influential in the pivotal period flanking the war, their lives and work entwined with reformers like Frederick Douglass, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Henry David Thoreau, as well as iconic leaders like Abraham Lincoln. Jackson writes them back into the story of the nation’s most formative and perilous era in all their heroism, outlandishness, and tragic shortcomings.

Nov 21 2019

39mins

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Benedict Arnold, Vidkun Quisling, and Other Historical Villains—When is Someone Misunderstood vs. Truly Bad?

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Do historical “villains” like Benedict Arnold, Vidkun Quisling, and Emperor Caligula deserve their terrible reputations, or are they victims of biased accounts? In this rebroadcast of a live event in the History Unplugged Facebook Page, Scott gets into what makes somebody a true bad guy in the past (unsurprisingly, Hitler makes this list), somebody best described as misunderstood, and somebody who deserves a rehabilitation.

Nov 19 2019

50mins

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When Does A Scorched-Earth Policy Work? A Look at the Civil War's Final Year

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Ulysses S. Grant arrives to take command of all Union armies in March 1864 to the surrender of Robert E. Lee at Appomattox a year later. Over 180,000 black soldiers in the Union army. And most of all, William Tecumseh Sherman launches his scorched-earth March to the Sea. Other events include the rise of Clara Barton; the election of 1864 (which Lincoln nearly lost); the wild and violent guerrilla war in Missouri; and the dramatic final events of the war, including the surrender at Appomattox and the murder of Abraham Lincoln.

Today I'm talking with S.C. Gwynne, author of Hymns of the Republic: The Story of the Final Year of the American Civil War. We discuss unexpected angles and insights on the war. Ulysses S. Grant is known for his prowess as a field commander, but in the final year of the war he largely fails at that. His most amazing accomplishments actually began the moment he stopped fighting. William Tecumseh Sherman was a lousy general, but probably the single most brilliant man in the war. We also meet a different Clara Barton, one of the greatest and most compelling characters, who redefined the idea of medical care in wartime. And proper attention is paid to the role played by large numbers of black union soldiers—most of them former slaves. They changed the war and forced the South to come up with a plan to use its own black soldiers.

Nov 14 2019

57mins

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Knowlton’s Rangers?

By Bdtisti - Dec 31 2019
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Robert Rogers is considered The Godfather of the modern U S Ranger Regiments not Knowlton.

Excellent

By gamezach - Oct 22 2019
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Really enjoying the key battles series bravo!