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~*The Podcasts of D1P*~

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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!

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 So glad you remade this thread, it's long overdue for one of us to bring it back from the dead.


I found ever since Trump got elected my hobby of devouring history has taken a backseat to following daily news podcasts. I think I am going to make a concerted effort to tilt it back the other way. I have dozens of back episodes I need to catch up on things like Byzantium, WWII, and Revolutions.


I will make a list of my recommendations when I have a bit more free time.

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Some history podcasts that I forgot last night


How It Began: A History of the Modern World (Brad Harris)

Brad -- a PhD in the history of science and technology from Stanford -- created this podcast as a "celebration of progress" and the men and women who "dared to dream big and even die for the cause of progress".  Each episode examines one particular aspect of progress that we have largely come to take for granted in 2019, from the measurement of time to the development of refrigeration.  The series has an incredibly high production quality that reflects the grand scope of the subjects that Brad has chosen to cover.  My personal favorite episode: Wolves to Dogs: The Origins of Our Alliance which examines the 35,000 year-old partnership between humans and canines.


Context (Brad Harris)

For his follow-up series, Brad chose a similar theme -- the ideas that have shaped our world -- but is following a slightly different tack.  In "Context", Brad discusses and analyzes the work of other scholars who have written books on multiple subjects (sometimes with the authors themselves) to discover how their insights can be applied to our own thinking about history as well as that of future generations.


Philosophy Podcasts


Philosophize This! (Stephen West)

When I first decided to start learning more about philosophy (but had absolutely no desire to take an adult learning course or read a damned book about it!), Stephen's podcast was the first thing that I came across and am I ever glad that I did!  I cannot think of a better "introductory level" course into philosophy than Stephen's work which begins at the very beginning with the pre-Socratics and continues on through history.  Stephen's very amiable, plain-spoken style does a great job of distilling the more complex concepts of philosophy into very digestible lessons.  You get the sense that this podcast and his own reading for it have been a source of comfort for Stephen's life as he's quite open in the show about his bad relationship with his parents, etc. and that gives even more weight and meaning to the show.


History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps (Peter Adamson)

Peter -- Professor of Philosophy at the LMU in Munich and at King's College London -- has set about on an incredibly ambitious task:  to tell the entire history of philosophy "without any gaps", meaning from starting with the earliest pre-Socratics and to keep right on going until...well...the end  :p  I'd say that this is an "intermediate level" course in philosophy as Peter does tend to go a bit deeper into the concepts being discussed than Stephen's podcast, but it's by no means "inaccessible" in the least.  What's great about this show is that it covers not only traditional "Western" philosophy, but also delves into Islamic, African, and Indian philosophical traditions as well.  There's only one downside to this podcast:  Peter's voice is so very dulcet and soothing that it just relax you to the point of slumber!


The Partially Examined Life (A Bunch of Guys Who Thought They Wanted to Do Philosophy for a Living, But Then Thought Better of It)

OK, despite the hosts' protestations to the contrary, this is the "graduate level" philosophy podcast.  While not entirely necessary, it's probably a REALLY GOOD IDEA to do the readings that are covered in the episode before listening to it.  OK, I'm exaggerating a bit, but I can easily say that this podcast is the least accessible of the three that I'm listing in this section.  However, I don't mean that negatively at all!  On the contrary, I think there is great value in listening to a podcast like this that can be quite "challenging" on occasion if only to give those intellectual muscles a good workout!  The hosts are all pretty affable though there is one that can come off a bit condescending on occasion -- don't ask me his name, you'll know him when you hear him.  The breadth of philosophical subjects discussed on this show really is second to none - one week it will be discussing Stoicism, the next it will be debating the consciousness of AI.  Definitely don't be intimidated by this show - it's well worth the effort!


OK, I'll finish up tomorrow night with a bunch of "Miscellaneous" podcasts that don't fit into either of these categories.


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I decided to give Tides of History a shot because of your recommendation. I am enjoying the little I listened to.


It's variety of topics definately has more of a pick and choose feel according to your interest rather than a listen to every episode beggining to end like something like History of Rome.

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Cleared Hot, by ex-Seal Andy Stumpf 


he he has a lot of great podcasts about everything from war to wingsuit flying (he’s a world record holder), and archery. 


Houston we have a Podcast, which is a NASA podcast on all kinds of different topics. 



a podcasts about people who have survived crazy adventures and mishaps. 


And finally Espionage, which is about spies, obviously.

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Sociological/Investigative Journalism Podcasts


Slow Burn (Slate)

In its first two seasons, Slow Burn focused on two of the defining events in post-WWII American history: the Watergate scandal of Richard Milhous Nixon and the various scandals of William Jefferson Clinton.  Instead of a strictly chronological narrative of these events, the podcast wisely chose to focus on particular, lesser-known parts of the larger narratives in which these two Presidents found themselves embroiled.  If you think you knew everything about these events, think again - these podcasts will probably be as revelatory for you as they were for me.  As a side note, Leon Neyfakh -- the journalist behind the series -- left Slate in late 2018 to launch the "Fiasco" podcast series over at the paid subscription Luminary network.  The first season of that podcast will address the Bush-Gore Election Debacle of 2000 and the second will examine the Iran-Contra Affair.  For the third season of Slow Burn, the topic will be the murders of Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G.


Crimetown (Gimlet Media)

As a general rule of thumb, I'm not a fan of the "true crime" podcast genre -- there's something kinda "exploitative" about it that simply doesn't sit well with me.  The Crimetown series -- while it does address "crime" -- isn't actually a true crime series.  The premise of this series is the examination of crime to an American city from a political, cultural, economic, social, racial, etc. perspective which makes it more of a "sociology" podcast than a crime one.  The first season looked at the mob-related crime and corruption of Providence, RI while the second season examined the racially-charged atmosphere surrounding crime and justice in Detroit from the 1970s to today.  This is actually one of the most consistently entertaining series I've heard (especially the interviews with the "criminals") so I highly recommend it!


In the Dark (APM Reports)

Of all the podcasts that I listen to, this is probably the closest to "true crime" that I can stomach, and it probably is better classified as "investigative journalism".  The series is produced by American Public Media which is the second largest producer and distributor of public radio programs in the United States after NPR, so we're not talking about a purely commercial endeavor.  The first two seasons of this series have probably been the most harrowing and rage-inducing pieces of media that I've consumed in ages.  The first season examined the case of Jacob Wetterling, an 11-year-old boy from St. Joseph, Minnesota who was kidnapped and murdered in 1989 and whose case went unsolved for 27 years, largely due to police incompetence.  The second season is perhaps the most important podcast you will ever hear or even piece of media you will ever experience as it involves the case of Curtis Flowers, a black man from Mississippi who has been tried for the same crime (murder) six times by the same white District Attorney, Doug Evans.  On 21 June 2019, the United States Supreme Court -- by a 7-2 verdict -- overturned Flowers's most recent conviction and sent the case back to the lower courts.  Once again, the case is in the hands of Doug Evans as to whether Flowers will face a seventh trial.  This series effectively encapsulates the inequities of the American justice system when it comes to race in clear relief.


The City (USA Today)

The City is an investigative journalism podcast that "tells true stories of how power works in urban America".  The first season examined how a black, working-class neighborhood called North Lawndale on the West Side of Chicago became the dumping ground for the debris of the city's urban renewal projects of the 1990s.  All of the elements of contemporary American society are here: racial polarization, economic/class inequality, blatant political corruption, and investigatory incompetence/negligence.  The central premise of the show -- the fate of a six-story high pile of rubble -- in effect becomes a stark metaphor for the twilight of  the promise of  America.  The second season of the show will start this autumn and will look at the efforts of Reno, NV to close down its strip clubs in an effort to become a new technology-based Silicon Valley  rather than then one between a stripper's fake breasts.

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  • 1 year later...

Whenever a new Hardcore History drops I always debate on whether to make a thread about it, but decide not to.


So I dug this thread up instead. I think the podcast thread in general could use a little reviving.


Supernova in the East part 5 is up. I think I have only listened to the first 1 or 2 episodes of it as it did not hold my interest as other past topics did. But now that, I can only assume, Carlin is on the last or penultimate episode I think I am going to give it another try.

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For something more silly and fun, I highly recommend Blank Check with Griffin and David

Actor Griffin Newman and film critic David Sims take a director that at some point after a massive success got a "blank check" from Hollywood, and they go through their entire filmography week by week. Some choices are obvious (James Cameron, Christopher Nolan, M. Night Shyamalan, The Wachowskis, Tim Burton) some are less so (Nancy Meyers, Nora Ephron, Jonathan Demme). Right now they're about halfway through covering Robert Zemeckis. I think it's a great format for a movie podcast, because this way they can cover a wide variety of films in different genres and of varying qualities, while still having the hook of charting a career. They have a lot of fun covering both classics and movies that "don't exist" like Lucky Numbers, The Weight of Water, and A Master Builder. 



Now I will warn, that while each episode usually has plenty of good "smart" film discussion, this a deeply silly show at its heart. There are a ton of recurring bits (David never mentions it but he grew up in London, their producer has accumulated about 50 nicknames) and sometimes they'll go on a tangent that's so long and so separate from the main topic that you might forget what movie they're talking about. 

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  • 1 month later...

ALAB (all lawyers are bad) Series

An infrequent podcast series about the American legal system, brought to you by Andy, Michael, Tarik, Tim, and Nestor. ALAB aims to tell engaging stories about lawyers, legal cases, legal issues, or the legal profession more generally, with a focus on the outrageous, excessive, and/or absurd.



5-4 is a podcast about how much the Supreme Court sucks. It's a progressive and occasionally profane take on the ideological battles at the heart of the Court's most important landmark cases, and an irreverent tour of all the ways in which the law is shaped by politics. Listen each week as hosts Peter, Michael, and Rhiannon dismantle the Justices’ legal reasoning on hot-button issues like affirmative action, gun rights, and campaign finance, and use dark humor to reveal the high court's biases. Presented by Slow Burn co-creator Leon Neyfakh, 5-4 is a production of Prologue Projects

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  • 9 months later...

Twitch hypocrite cult leader and nobody youtube grifter start new podcast (I'm a sucker for this. So sorry to anyone out there who spent lots of time criticizing/venting about these dudes, never cared about their content, etc :(



Twitch star Hasan 'HasanAbi' Piker has joined H3H3's Ethan Klein for a new political podcast called “Leftovers.” The YouTuber surprised viewers after



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  • 10 months later...

Was thinking we should maybe have this pinned at the top alongside the "What are you watching?" & "What are you listening to?" threads perhaps? Considering how prevalent podcasts are now (I believe I recently heard something to the effect of there being over 4 MILLION podcasts available). That said, also just wanted to share this episode of the ReelBlend Podcast w/ Quentin & Roger Avery



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  • 5 months later...

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