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Before last year's D1Pocalpyse, I had created a thread where people could post their favorite podcasts for others to explore. Because podcasts have quickly become a very important form of 21st century media, I figured it was time to recreate the thread for D1P Version 3.0 or whatever the hell version this site is on now! Without further ado, here is what I listen to: Historical Podcasts The History of Rome (Mike Duncan) If you've even been remotely aware of podcasts -- historical or otherwise -- then you've heard of Mike Duncan's The History of Rome series which essentially kicked off the historical narrative podcasting genre way back in 2007/2008 (which might as well be ancient history by internet standards). This is the ur-text of historical podcasts by which all others have been judged, are currently judged, and forever will be judged. From Rome's mythical origins to the end of the Western Empire in 476 CE, this long entertaining journey is well worth your time! If you're so inclined, be sure to read Mike's book about the beginning of the end of the Roman Republic and prepare for some uncomfortable parallels to our own place in history. Revolutions (Mike Duncan) After taking a couple of years off, Mike came storming back with a podcast series that focused on the political revolutions that have shaken the world, beginning with the English Revolution of the mid-1600s. Currently, Mike has just started the preliminary events leading the Russian Revolution of 1917, but it's DEFINITELY worth starting from the very beginning and working your way forward as you can definitely see how each revolution built on those that came before it. My favorite series so far has focused on the sadly neglected tale of the Haitian Revolution. You can tell that relating the story of the Haitian Revolution did have an actual emotional impact on Mike because of the sheer horrific nature of the depictions of the treatment of the black slaves on Saint-Domingue (Haiti's colonial name). As an aside, I get the sense that doing this series has resulted in a "leftward drift" in Mike's political views as evidenced by his Twitter postings and I can say that listening to this series and thinking about it has also resulted in my own politics moving decidedly in a leftward direction. Quite simply, I consider this podcast to be the best thing going in ALL of media -- movies, television, books, video games, etc. -- and I highly encourage you to give it a listen. The History of Byzantium (Robin Pierson) A common misconception is that when the Western Roman Empire ended in 476 CE that it was the end of the story of Rome. But that not the case at all -- the Eastern Roman Empire -- commonly known as the Byzantine Empire -- continued for another 1,000 years before finally falling to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. Robin's podcast picks up more or less where The History of Rome ends and continues in the chronological historical narrative framework set by Mike Duncan's series. This is a fascinating look at a civilization that is little known and little understood in the Latin/Germanic and Catholic/Protestant West as it is very much a Greek and Orthodox society that found itself on the front lines against the encroachments of the various Islamic civilizations. The series just covered the Battle of Manzikert in 1071 CE where the Byzantines were decisively defeated by the Ottomans and which marks the beginning of the empire's end. The full story of the Roman Empire simply cannot be told without Byzantium and this podcast is no better way to hear it. The History of China (Chris Stewart) Far too often, those of us in the West overlook the historical significance of the once (and possibly future) greatest civilization on Earth: China. For over 5,000 years, this oldest continuous civilization has shaped events in Asia and beyond during eras where Europeans were essentially an afterthought. Following a similar pattern to the History of the Rome, Chris (who is an AP World History teacher at an American school in Shanghai) relates a chronological narrative staring with China's mythical origins, interspersed with "thematic" episodes that focus on Chinese cultural traditions such as holidays or currently topical events (the recent 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, for example). Currently, Chris is up to the Song Dyansty and the Mongol Empire (late 1200s), so we've got a looooooong way to go before we're done! The History of Japan (Isaac Meyer) Issac -- a Former PhD student at the University of Washington, specializing in (surprise!) modern Japan (with sub-specializations in modern China, modern Europe, and international relations) -- takes a slightly different approach to Japanese history than the strictly chronological narrative approach that has been mentioned for the podcasts listed above. While he does start the podcast within this framework, this lasts for only for first 22 or so episodes. After that point, Isaac switches to a more "thematic" approach where a particular historical political, social, economic, etc. topic is examined in greater detail. These topics can range from the role of the samurai warrior class to the coming of Christianity to how the hell did anime ever happen. This is a pretty cool approach to relaying a historical narrative, so definitely check this out! The Fall of Rome (Patrick Wyman) Patrick -- a History PhD from USC who also covered MMA early in his career -- takes an in-depth look at the political, economic, social, climactic etc. causes that led to the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 CE. This podcast is a more focused analysis of the dynamics that led to the Western Empire's collapse than the overview approach of The History of Rome. Patrick's training as an academic historian is definitely evident in the series but he's also an entertaining, relatable storyteller. The Tides of HIstory (Patrick Wyman) For his next series, Patrick has chosen to explore the time period from 1300 CE to 1600 CE during which events such as the Reformation, the Renaissance, and the Age of Exploration significantly impacted what would be considered the "modern world". Just like his Fall of Rome series, Patrick approaches subject matter thematically rather than chronologically so expect him to skip around from the War of the Roses to the Protestant Reformation. Our Fake History - Historical Myths Relished and Ruined! (Sebastian Major) This pretty light-hearted series from Sebastian -- a teacher and musician from Toronto -- is easily one of my favorites to listen to. The premise of the series involves delving into the real, factual basis behind what have come to be known as "historical myths" (the lost continent of Atlantis, for example) and how those myths came about in the first place. Sebastian's enthusiasm for his subject matter absolutely shines forth in every episode -- you can tell that he really enjoys this a lot! I'd same my favorite series was his three part examination of the origins of rock n' roll music. I promise that this is a series that you'll enjoy as it's a great "palette cleanser" from the more serious content I've listed. Hardcore History (Dan Carlin) No list of podcasts -- especially historical podcasts -- would be valid without Dan Carlin's groundbreaking, trendsetting Hardcore History podcast. Dan is the "godfather" of history podcasting, going beyond merely relating facts and bringing it to life in vivid detail with his journalistic background. Hardcore HIstory's multipart epics about the Fall of the Roman Republic, the Eastern Front of World War II, the Rise of the Mongol Empire, and the carnage of the First World War are simply must-listens for anyone even remotely interested in this medium. Now, in full disclosure, I personally feel that the quality of Dan's work has declined somewhat in the last couple of years -- I've found that he's become somewhat "rambly", but this is perhaps a matter of personal preference in that I've been ambivalent about the subjects he's covered. History on Fire (Daniele Bolelli) Daniele -- a university history professor and martial arts practitioner of several styles who speaks with an outrageous Italian accent -- was inspired by Dan Carlin's Hardcore History podcast to start his own history podcasting series focusing on "some of the most emotionally intense moments in human experience". The style of this podcast is virtually identical to that of Hardcore History (for better or for worse) so if you like Dan Carlin, chances are that you'll really dig Daniele Bolelli (Daniele and Dan actually became friends and have appeared on each other's shows). I'd say my favorite series so far has been the three part one that covered the life and times of the first African-American heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson. As an aside, Daniele recently joined the Luminary subscription-based podcasting network in April 2019 starting with Episode 48 - this means that all of his podcasts prior to then are available for free, but all subsequent episodes are only available for paid subscription download from Luminary. The Ancient World (Scott Chesworth) If podcasts about the Roman Republic/Roman Empire are a little "too recent" for your tastes, boy - do I have a podcast for you! Scott's podcast takes us way, way back to the dawn of human civilization in the Fertile Crescent. We're talking about Babylon, Akaad, Sumeria, Assyria, and their kings with utterly unpronouncable names who enjoyed making pillars of the skulls of their defeated enemies. For its first few years (36 episodes), the podcast follows the same chronological narrative format as The History of Rome before making a transition to a thematic/story-based one to cover events in greater depth by exploring subjects such as the archaeology of the ancient world and the bloodlines of important ruling families. MartyrMade (Darryl Cooper) I learned about Darryl's MartyrMade podcast from the History of Fire podcast as he's a buddy of Daniele. Darryl's first series of the podcast -- Fear and Loathing in the New Jerusalem -- is a six-part series that addresses one of the most pivotal issues of our time: the history of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. I am not overstating the case when I say that this could very well be one of the most important and utterly heartbreaking pieces of media that I have ever consumed and I wouldn't be surprised if you felt the same way at its conclusion. As expected, Darryl arrives at the conclusion that there are no easy answers and that there is plenty of blame to go around (some for the Palestinians, more for the Zionists), but that the overwhelming lion's share belongs to the British, who promised everything to everyone and just didn't seem to really give a damn about the consequences. The current series (God's Socialist) examines Jim Jones and his People's Temple movement from the perspective of its emphasis on economic/social justice in light of the transition of the civil rights movement from the accommodation of Martin Luther King, Jr. to the confrontationalism/separatism of Malcolm X and the Black Panthers. OK, that's all for tonight -- I'll add the non-history podcasts that I listen to (and probably a couple of history ones that I forgot) tomorrow night, but feel free to post the ones that you listen to as well! I apologize for not getting this thread started sooner, but it just kinda kept slipping my mind!
The usual suspects of Critical Role and The Adventure Zone are there, of course.