“Trial and error” seems to be the general theme of this blog. I loved the idea of offering a selection of “best podcasts” in a different category every month, but a month is nowhere near long enough to dig into a whole genre of podcasting. It’s hardly enough to get to know even a single podcast! Podcasting is a genre with very few limits, and a podcast that’s been going for a year or so can be pretty daunting to sink your teeth into when you’re coming in as a beginner. So instead of advertising this post as a definitive list of “best” podcasts in a certain genre, as if I’ve listened to every podcast in this genre, and have no more to explore, this list is a mix of old favorites and promising new encounters that I found in the “history” section of the iTunes library. I hope they’ll pique your interest as much as they did mine. At the same time, I leave it open that this list will be added to. In fact, I hope it will! Happy listening!
Also, if you have any recommendations for great history podcasts, let me know in the comments or on Twitter https://twitter.com/sydneyonair. I’d love to hear from you!
1). Hardcore History – Dan Carlin
I’m kind of cheating here—this is an old favorite, rather than a new favorite. Without any exaggeration, this is probably one of my favorite podcasts out there. Carlin tears into his topics, usually daunting, broad-focus questions about people and events that shaped the world’s past, like he’s writing a thesis and doesn’t let up until every nuance has been explored, bringing a dose of cutting wit and a modern, relevant perspective. If you have a long road trip, a boring project, or a lot of down time coming up in the near future, do yourself a favor and check out an episode of Hardcore History.
2). Nerdonomy : Nerds on History – Bryan Moriarty, Eric Bricmont, Sarah Ashley
Hearing Moriarty, Bricmont, and Ashley talk about history is a delight. They choose topics outside the box, and their knowledge seems fairly near encyclopedic. They’ve also got a bit of a humorist streak—look for the impression of Isaac Newton inventing the beer funnel (not actually true). Nerdonomy: Nerds on History is the best conversation with a group of nerdy friends you’ve ever had.
Nerdonomy Twitter: https://twitter.com/nerdonomy?ref_src=twsrc^google|twcamp^serp|twgr^author.
3). the memory palace – Nate DiMeo
Instead of dates and Big Events, the focus here seems to be, first and foremost, on telling a good story. These are stories that just happen to have really taken place in the past. And yes, sometimes they really are stranger, and more interesting, than fiction.
Nate DiMeo on Twitter: https://twitter.com/thememorypalace.
4). Romance of the Three Kingdoms Podcast – John Zhu
I love world literature, the more epic the story, the better. The Romance of the Three Kingdoms was always something I wanted to try to learn more about, but never got around to. Zhu’s modern retelling does a great job at making the work accessible, and Zhu himself is a great, insightful and excellently humorous host.
“About”. (n.d.). The Memory Palace. Retrieved from The Memory Palace: http://thememorypalace.us/about/.
Moriarty, B. (Host), Bricmont, A. (Host), Ashley, S. (Host). (2016, April 4). Figs and Cake: The Isaac Newton Story [Audio Podcast]. Retrieved from: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nerdonomy-nerds-on-history/id562583296?mt=2.
Zhu, J. (n.d.). About the Podcast. Retrieved from: http://www.3kingdomspodcast.com/about-the-podcast/.