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Versus History Podcast

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Education
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History
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Versus History is the home of History. Bringing you the most recent and cutting edge historical scholarship and debate. Historians Patrick O'Shaughnessy (@historychappy), Conal Smith (@prohistoricman) and Elliott L. Watson (@thelibrarian6) thank you for your ears! We are dedicated to showcasing the architecture of historical argumentation, whilst drawing on the most recent and stimulating historiography and academia. Please visit www.versushistory.com or tweet us at @versushistory.

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Versus History is the home of History. Bringing you the most recent and cutting edge historical scholarship and debate. Historians Patrick O'Shaughnessy (@historychappy), Conal Smith (@prohistoricman) and Elliott L. Watson (@thelibrarian6) thank you for your ears! We are dedicated to showcasing the architecture of historical argumentation, whilst drawing on the most recent and stimulating historiography and academia. Please visit www.versushistory.com or tweet us at @versushistory.

iTunes Ratings

32 Ratings
Average Ratings
30
0
0
1
1

Very good

By maryam 7F - Jan 30 2018
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Very good podcast

Very very good show

By Adel hasan - Nov 15 2017
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Great podcast

iTunes Ratings

32 Ratings
Average Ratings
30
0
0
1
1

Very good

By maryam 7F - Jan 30 2018
Read more
Very good podcast

Very very good show

By Adel hasan - Nov 15 2017
Read more
Great podcast
Cover image of Versus History Podcast

Versus History Podcast

Latest release on Sep 25, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 7 days ago

Rank #1: Versus History #14 - Weimar Republic 1924-1929

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The Weimar Republic was born out of the German defeat in WW1 in 1918; the allies insisted that the Kaiser needed to be replaced by a democratic government as a necessary prerequisite of peace talks. The Treaty of Versailles in 1919 burdened Germany with 'War Guilt' and a huge reparations bill of GBP 6.6 billion; this was not a great start for democracy in Germany. The period 1919-1923 was a turbulent, revolutionary, violent and troublesome period for the Weimar Republic. Furthermore, the Wall Street Crash in October 1929 precipitated the Great Depression, which culminated in Hitler being elected as Chancellor in January 1933. However, the period 1924-1929 is often called the 'Golden Years', 'High-Water Mark' or 'Stresemann-era'. There were no major rebellions, a 'culture-boom' with artists such as Otto Dix and the Bauhaus Project and the Dawes Plan of 1924 boosted the German economy with much-needed American loans. However, to what extent can it really be considered a 'Golden-era'?

In this exciting episode, Patrick contends that the achievements of the Weimar Republic 1924-1929 were temporal, precarious and built on shaky foundations. On the contrary, Elliott argues that we should view the achievements of Weimar between 1924-1929 in a more positive light.

For terms of use, please visit www.versushistory.com

Feb 08 2018

37mins

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Rank #2: Versus History #53 - American Revolutionary War

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British control of the Thirteen Colonies of North America formally ended in 1783. Evacuation Day on 25 November 1783 marked the departure of British forces from New York, following the Declaration of Independence in 1776. However, the American Revolutionary War started in 1775, with the ‘shot that rang around the world’ on Lexington Green, when a contingent of British Redcoats exchanged fire with the colonial militia outisde of Boston. The hostilities quickly escalted and all out war followed. Bunker Hill, Long Island, Brandywine, Saratoga, Charleston, Yorktown are just some of the key battles in the American Revolutionary War. But how and why did the British - the superpower of the day - lose the war?

In this episode, Patrick (@historychappy) explains three key reasons for the defeat that everyone should be aware of, while Elliott (@thelibrarian6) asks the questions.

For terms of use, please visit www.versushistory.com

Nov 16 2018

14mins

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Rank #3: Versus History #80 - American Civil War

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Dr David Silkenat (@davidsilkenat) is a Senior Lecturer in American History from the University of Edinburgh and the co-host of The Whisky Rebellion Podcast. He joins the Versus History Podcast this week for a detailed interview about the causes, events, consequences and significance of the American Civil War. The Civil War itself raged from 1861 to 1865 and was fought between the North (Union) and the South (Confederacy). It ended in a victory for the North, but the scars and ramifications of the conflict can still be felt today. Dr Silkenat answers a range of questions on the conflict, providing an excellent overview that is of interest to all. For terms of use, please visit www.versushistory.com

Aug 18 2019

34mins

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Rank #4: Versus History #31 - Eleanor of Aquitaine

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Eleanor of Aquitaine was one of the most powerful women in the Middle Ages. Aside from being the mother of King Richard 'The Lionheart' and 'Bad' King John, she travelled to Jerusalem and Constantinople on the 'Second Crusade'. In 1190, she acted as regent in England when Richard went to join the Third Crusade and took a 'hands-on' approach to government.

In this '15 Minute Frenzy' episode, our resident medievalist Conal Smith (@prohistoricman) answers every question that Co-Editors Patrick (@historychappy) & Elliott (@thelibrarian6) can throw at him in that time.

For terms of use, please visit www.versushistory.com

Jun 08 2018

18mins

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Rank #5: Versus History #26 - Causes of the American Revolution 1775-1783

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The Thirteen Colonies of British North America declared their independence from Great Britain in 1776, by signing the Declaration of Independence drafted by Thomas Jefferson. The first shots of the war had already been fired at Lexington and Concord in 1775; war continued until 1783 and the Treaty of Paris, where Britain acknowledged that America was no longer part of the British Empire.

What caused this rupture between Britain and America? In this episode, Patrick (@historychappy) discusses the role played by the settlers themselves and enlightenment thinking in the 18th century, while Elliott (@thelibrarian6) discusses the role played by British legislation, the Patriots and the end of 'Salutary Neglect' in 1763. Contributor Conal (@prohistoricman) suggests that tea and taxation also had a significant part to play. After all, everyone has heard of the Boston Tea Party!

For terms of use, please visit www.versushistory.com

May 04 2018

30mins

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Rank #6: Versus History #78 - Mussolini & Fascist Italy in WW2

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WW2 ended disasterously for both Mussolini and Italy. In this second episode, Dr. Dave Brown takes us through the Italian invasion of Abyssinia in 1935, the pathway to global war for Italy in the late 1930s, the relationship between Mussolini and the other Fascist members of the Pact of Steel and much, much more. Dr Brown discusses Mussolini’s war aims, objectives actions and outcomes at length, including the the invasion of Greece, the Italian decision to join WW2, Mussolini’s qualities as a war leader (or lack thereof!) and his eventual downfall. In the second of a two part series of special episodes of the @VersusHistory Podcast, we are joined by Dr. Dave Brown (@DBrownF6History) for this overview of Benito Mussolini and the key features of the man and his time in office. For terms of use, please visit www.versushistory.com

Jun 15 2019

30mins

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Rank #7: Versus History #60 - King Richard III

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King Richard III was King of England and Lord of Ireland from 1483 until his defeat and death at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, to the forces of Henry Tudor (who became King Henry VII until his death in 1509). Richard III was the last king of the House of York and also the last of the Plantagenet dynasty. His defeat at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, was the decisive battle of the Wars of the Roses, which ended the Middle Ages and started the Tudor dynasty, which would reign until 1603. King Richard III was a controversial character and historical interpretations of him have not all been favourable. However, his body was discovered in the English City of Leicester in 2012, buried underneath a local authority car park, some 527 years after his defeat at Bosworth, precipitating a renewed interest and fascination in the ‘Car Park King’.

In this episode, Rachel Aryton from the King Richard III Visitor Centre in Leicester joins us for an interview on all things King Richard. Was Richard really a terrible King? Did Richard murder his nephews? What caused the Wars of the Roses? Why did the Battle of Bosworth happen? Why did Richard lose? Why should you visit the Richard III Museum in Leicester? Find out the answers to all of these key questions in this Podcast!

Please visit www.versushistory.com for terms of use.

Jan 18 2019

34mins

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Rank #8: Versus History #22 - Hitler's Nazi Party after the Munich Putsch, 1924-1929

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Hitler was released from Landsberg Jail in 1924 following the failed Munich Putsch in 1923. He immediately set about remodelling the Nazi Party, along with their strategy for gaining power and internal organisation. Historians largely concur that while the Nazis did not gain much traction at the ballot box in this period - gaining just 2.6% of the vote in 1928 - much work had been done to lay the platform for future success. In this period, the Nazis submitted to Hitler as the unchallenged Fuhrer, adopted Mein Kampf as the central political tract, grew the SA, established the SS, allowed energetic followers to lead at HQ and became a national Party as opposed to a provincial, Bavarian one. Moreover, the Bamberg Conference of 1926 saw the Nazis move away from the 'socialist' elements of the 25 Point Programme and by 1929, the Nazis had become the leading 'Volkish' Party of the political right. In addition, the Nazis were now committed to gaining power democratically.

Which of these changes was the most significant? In this episode, Patrick (@historychappy) and Elliott (@thelibrarian6) discuss each of them, offering insight and analysis.

For terms of use, please visit www.versushistory.com

Apr 07 2018

23mins

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Rank #9: Versus History #33 - Skateboarding

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Skateboarding has an interesting and varied history, beginning in the United States of America. A beloved pastime and sport of many, with an intricate and detailed history of its own!

In this episode, Elliott (@thelibrarian6) discusses the history of skateboarding in a '15 Minute Frenzy', with Patrick (@historychappy) asking the questions.

For terms of use, please visit www.versushistory.com

Jun 23 2018

23mins

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Rank #10: Versus History #77 - Rise of Benito Mussolini

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The Italian ‘Duce’ Benito Mussolini was the first fascist dictator to rise to power in Europe, inspiring others such as Adolf Hitler in Germany and Franco of Spain in the process. Mussolini became the 27th Prime Minister of Italy in October 1922, having undertaken the infamous ‘March on Rome’ that year. The ‘Duce’ of Fascism was a complex character, and his tenure in office was often turbulent. He was the architect of some highly controversial domestic and foreign policy objectives, such as the alliance with Hitler, the invasion of Abyssinia, the invasion of Greece and the decision to join WW2, to name but a few. In the first of a two part series of special episodes of the @VersusHistory Pocast, we are delighted to be joined by Dr. Dave Brown (@DBrownF6History) for an overview of Benito Mussolini and the key features of the man and his time in office. For terms of use, please visit www.versushistory.com

Jun 08 2019

37mins

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Rank #11: Versus History #50 - Superman

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Superhero characters are a key feature of many cinematic and cartoon productions. Perhaps none are more instantaneously recognisable than Superman, also known as Clark Kent and Kal-El. Originating from the planet Krypton, he first appeared in a comic back in 1938. Just as interestingly, Superman has a long and varied history, both as a character construct and in the ways that he has been depicted and portrayed over through time.

In this episode, Elliott (@thelibrarian6) answers a broad array of questions from Patrick (@historychappy) and Conal (@prohistoricman) on Superman.

For terms of use, please visit www.versushistory.com

Oct 26 2018

25mins

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Rank #12: Versus History #57 - Blowing Up The Nazis

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This special episode celebrates the launch of Co-Editor Elliott's (@thelibrarian6) new book, entitled 'Blowing Up The Nazis'. The book contains a treasure trove of historical information on the Nazis. Think you know everything there is to know about the Nazis? Think again. Do you know what a Beefsteak Nazi is? Were you aware that the Holocaust can be traced back to the murder of one German baby? Did you know that the Nazis were able to control Hollywood during the 1930's?

Our ever-expanding library of books and podcasts just welcomed another addition. Elliott (that’s L. Watson) has written an extraordinary book that explores elements of Nazi history that are so far from common knowledge as to render them astonishing. Throughout the chapters of Blowing up the Nazis, Elliott reveals remarkable histories that range from über violent SA leader, Ernst Röhm, being a gay rights activist, Coca Cola using the swastika in their marketing, and the ‘Hitler salute’ actually being part of the American ‘Pledge of Allegiance’ ceremony.

If you are in any way interested in discovering more than you ever knew about the Nazis, then this book is for you. Blowing up the Nazis: What you didn’t know will blow your mind. Available in paperback and ebook on Amazon.

Dec 14 2018

14mins

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Rank #13: Versus History #20 - Hitler, Nazi Germany & Unemployment 1933-1939

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When Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in January 1933, Germany was still suffering the impacts of the Great Depression and unemployment stood at approximately 6 million. However, by 1939, Nazi statistics indicated that unemployment had been defeated; indeed, by 1936 the Nazis were claiming victory in the battle against a lack of employment opportunities. However, to what extent did the Nazis really tackle the problem of unemployment? How effective were their solutions? Was the Nazi victory built on firm foundations or was this a case of selective statistics?

In this episode, we welcome back Patrick (@historychappy), who argues that the Nazis were not as successful as they claimed. Elliott (@thelibrarian6) argues that the Nazis were largely successful in providing employment. Conal (@prohistoricman) hosts the debate and chimes in with valuable insight.

For terms of use, please visit www.versushistory.com

Mar 23 2018

27mins

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Rank #14: Versus History #32 - British Rail 1948-1997

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Railways are a key part of Britain's national heritage and identity. After World War Two, the Labour government undertook a large programme of nationalisation as part of their quest to create a 'New Jerusalem'. Britain's railways were nationalised in 1948, becoming 'British Railways', and then 'British Rail', until it was privatisated by John Major's Conservative government, beginning with the 'Railways Act' of 1993. From this point onwards, the ownership of track and train was split.

In this '15 Minute Frenzy', Patrick (@historychappy) discusses why he has a passion for British Rail, while Elliott (@thelibrarian6) peppers him with questions.

For terms of use, please visit www.versushistory.com

Jun 16 2018

20mins

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Rank #15: Versus History #58 - Gallipoli Campaign 1915-1916

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The Gallipoli Campaign of 1915-1916 during World War One resulted in a defeat for Britain, France and the British Empire against the Ottoman Empire. The Allies sought to capture control of the Dardanelles, to weaken the Ottomans and ultimately open a supply route to Russia. The Allies launched a large naval attack, followed by an amphibious landing on the peninsula, which was ultimately rebuffed by the Ottomans at the cost of many casualties and a severe blow to Sir Winston Churchill’s military planning and personal prestige. The campaign is considered by some to be the beginning of Australian and New Zealand national consciousness, with 25 April, the anniversary of the landings, known as "ANZAC Day".

In this episode, Elliott (@thelibrarian6) summarises the reasons why Britain was beaten in this particular campaign during World War One, answering the questions posed by Patrick (@historychappy). For terms of use, please visit www.versushistory.com

Dec 21 2018

17mins

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Rank #16: Versus History #17 - Hitler's Journey from Chancellor to Fuhrer

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In January 1933 Hitler was given the Chancellorship legally and democratically. However, this did not mean that Hitler was able to rule as he wished from the outset. A number of barriers to unparalleled and unchecked power remained in place, such as opposition Parties, the President, the Constitution, the Law and not least the German Army. However, by mid-1934, Adolf Hitler had become the unrivalled 'Fuhrer' of Germany. What was the main causal factor that facilitated Hitler's journey from Chancellor to Fuhrer by 1934?

In this episode, Elliott (@thelibrarian) argues in favour of the Enabling Act of 1933, while Patrick (@historychappy) argues that it was the death of President Hindenburg in 1934 that allowed Hitler unchecked power. Special guest Conal (@prohistoricman) argues that it was the mechanisms of the Nazi 'Police State' which mainly enabled Hitler to become Fuhrer.

Please note, this episode was recorded live in a Cafe. As such, there may be some ambient noise - hopefully this adds a degree of organic flavour to proceedings!

For terms of use, please visit www.versushistory.com

Mar 02 2018

24mins

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Rank #17: Versus History #8 - Pearl Harbor

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America's isolationist stance in global affairs - which had prevailed since the conclusion of WW1 - was brutally shattered on the morning of 7 December 1941, when the US Naval base at Pearl Harbor in the Pacific Ocean was attacked by the Imperial Japanese Air Force. This resulted in over 2000 Americans killed, 4 battleships sunk and numerous others severely damaged. The very next day, President Roosevelt announced that the United states was officially at war with Japan. Shortly after, Hitler declared war on America, to which America reciprocated. America was now at war against the Axis forces.

World War Two resulted in seismic shifts in American foreign and domestic policy and helped to shape the future of not only America, but also the wider-world in which we all live today.

In this exciting episode of Versus History, Elliott (@thelibrarian6) argues that Pearl Harbor's most significant impact was on American foreign policy, while Patrick (@historychappy) argues that it had an even bigger impact on America's domestic destiny.

For terms of use, please visit www.versushistory.com

Dec 09 2017

28mins

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Rank #18: Versus History #82 - Victorian Freak Shows

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Dr. John Woolf (@drjohnwoolf) - the expert in things related to the Victorian Freak Shows and author of the oustanding new book 'The Wonders' - presents a radical new history of the Victorian age. In this episode, we discover the truth behind 'The Greatest Showman' and we meet the forgotten and extraordinary freak performers whose talents and disabilities helped define an era. Dr Woolf discusses John Merrick, known as the Elephant Man, plus a range of other interesting characters in this podcast. You can purchase his work from all good booksellers worldwide and visit his website at www.johnwoolf.co.uk.

Oct 17 2019

29mins

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Rank #19: Versus History #73 - Stalin's Five-Year Plans

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The Communist Revolution of 1917 was followed by a period of Civil War in Russia, which lasted until 1921. This further devastated the Russia economy, compounding the pre-existing problems caused by defeat in WW1 and the lack of an industrial revolution along the lines of many countries in western Europe. Between 1921 and 1928, the USSR adopted a largely capitalist economic model, until Stalin launched his ‘Great Break’ in 1928. This involved the forced collectivisation of agriculture and the centrally mandated targets of the ‘Five-Year Plans’. There were three such plans between 1928 and 1941, and 12 in total prior to the collapse of the USSR. The plans brought about a transformation in the industrial capacity of the USSR, but significant issues and problems remained and were inherent in the plans themselves. In this episode, the @VersusHistory Editors discuss the reasons behind the introduction of the plans, their key features, consequences and legacy. For terms of use, please visit www.versushistory.com

May 10 2019

34mins

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Rank #20: Versus History #16 - Hitler & The Great Depression

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In the 1928 elections, the Nazis polled just 2.6% of the parliamentary elections and won just 12 seats. In many respects, Hitler was as far away from power as ever. However, the Wall Street Crash in 1929 and subsequent Great Depression ended the 'golden-years' of the Weimar Republic and paved the way for political, economic and social instability. Into this 'post-crash' context, Hitler and the Nazi Party could gain political traction. The Nazis had a formidable propaganda machine, a network of Gauleiters, the SA and SS as well as the figure of Hitler as leader. Which causes - or hierarchy of causes - best explain Hitler's election as Chancellor in January 1933?

In this episode, Elliott argues that the Great Depression was the ultimate cause, while Patrick contends that other factors within the unique context of the Depression should be considered as paramount.

For terms of use, please visit www.versushistory.com

Feb 23 2018

25mins

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