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Conflicted: A History Podcast

History Podcasts

Untangling history’s greatest controversies. Every month, we take a hard look at the historical conflicts that raise difficult questions, stoke controversy, and send our moral compasses spinning.

Untangling history’s greatest controversies. Every month, we take a hard look at the historical conflicts that raise difficult questions, stoke controversy, and send our moral compasses spinning.


United States


Untangling history’s greatest controversies. Every month, we take a hard look at the historical conflicts that raise difficult questions, stoke controversy, and send our moral compasses spinning.




The Partition of India – Part 1: End of Empire

In the summer of 1947, the British Raj relinquished its hold over the Indian subcontinent. In its wake, two new nations were created: India and Pakistan. The hastily-drawn border between the countries slashed through communities and bisected entire provinces, triggering one of the largest forced migrations in human history. In the first episode of a multi-part series, we examine the twilight years of the British in India, as well as the forceful personalities who helped loosen its colonial...


Human Error: The Destruction of KAL Flight 007

On September 1st, 1983, a South Korean commercial airliner inexplicably drifted 200 miles off course into restricted Soviet airspace. In response, a Soviet fighter plane intercepted the aircraft, fired two missiles, and shot it down, killing all 269 people on board. In this standalone episode, we examine one of the most enduring outrages of the Cold War, a mystery that baffled investigators and inflamed political animus for more than a decade. SOURCES: Degani, Asaf. Taming HAL: Designing...


The Stock Market Crash of 1929 – Part 3: The Music Stops

After weeks of uncertainty and fear, the Great Crash finally arrives on October 24th, 1929. While America’s financial infrastructure burns, Jesse Livermore makes $100 million in a single week. Wall Street’s great cheerleader, Sunshine Charlie Mitchell, schemes and maneuvers to puff up the bull market and preserve his legacy. Amidst the wreckage of the Great Depression, a scrappy immigrant lawyer named Ferdinand Pecora leads a Federal investigation into Sunshine Charlie and National City Bank...


History Daily (Special Featured Podcast): “The Start of the Cuban Revolution”

In this special featured episode of History Daily, host Lindsay Graham gives an atmospheric retelling of the events of December 2nd, 1956. On that day, the communist revolutionary Fidel Castro launched the Cuban Revolution. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


The Stock Market Crash of 1929 – Part 2: Age of Illusion

As economic disaster looms in the Fall of ‘29, the American public is blissfully unaware, entranced by stratospheric share prices and the sunny proclamations of Wall Street cheerleaders. Jesse Livermore, the infamous “Boy Trader”, follows his hunches and prepares for the coming catastrophe. The Federal Reserve, rudderless and impotent after the untimely death of its leader Ben Strong, sits on its hands. “Sunshine” Charlie Mitchell, chief executive of the country’s largest bank, injects fresh...


The Stock Market Crash of 1929 – Part 1: To The Moon!

One of the worst financial disasters in history unfolded on Wall Street in late October of 1929. Within a week, 30 billion dollars had disappeared into thin air, leaving the global economy in tatters and heralding the beginning of a worldwide Depression. But what exactly happened? And why? In Part 1 of this 3-Part series on the Wall Street Crash of 1929, we discover how the American public became fatally infatuated with the stock market during the “Roaring 20’s”; and how one debauched day...


Gore: The Brutal History of Bullfighting

Some revere it as an art form, others revile it as a blood sport, but no matter where you stand, few traditions stir up strong emotions quite like the centuries-old ritual of bullfighting. Born in the villages of rural Spain, refined in the crowded arenas of Seville, and fetishized by wandering aficionados like Ernest Hemingway, the “corrida de toros” holds a special place not only in Spanish cultural life but in human history. Beneath the pomp and pageantry, will we find senseless animal...


Ghosts in the Mountains: The Mujahideen Civil War (Part 4)

It’s 1992. The 40th Army is long gone and the Soviet Union has collapsed, but war still rages across Afghanistan. As the Afghan communist regime crumbles, Ahmed Shah Massoud and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s forces clash in Kabul. While America turns its back and the Mujahideen turn on each other, new threats arise and threaten to sweep the old generation of freedom fighters away – The Taliban and Osama bin Laden. (Part 4 of Ghosts in the Mountains) SOURCES: Ahmadi-Miller, Enjeela. The Broken...


Ghosts in the Mountains: The Soviet-Afghan War – Part 3

As the CIA wages a covert proxy war against the Soviet 40th Army, the Mujahideen are showered with billions of dollars and cutting-edge weaponry. An old animosity between two prominent Mujahideen commanders – Ahmed Shah Massoud and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar - turns into a bitter, deadly rivalry. Meanwhile, Soviet reformers led by Mikhail Gorbachev attempt to extricate the USSR from Afghanistan with a shred of dignity intact. After the Soviet withdrawal, the world turns it back on Afghanistan as a...


Ghosts in the Mountains: The Soviet-Afghan War – Part 2

The Soviet 40th Army invaded Afghanistan in the closing days of 1979. They would not leave for another nine years. Exhausted and frustrated by their inability to decisively crush the elusive freedom fighters in the mountains – the Mujahideen – the Soviets turn to atrocity and criminal violence to achieve their objectives. Meanwhile, adrenaline-seeking journalists and idealistic Western reporters illegally sneak into the war zone to uncover the truth behind the war. SOURCES: Ahmadi-Miller,...


Ghosts in the Mountains: The Soviet-Afghan War – Part 1

When Soviet Russia invaded Afghanistan in December of 1979, few could have imagined what a seismic impact it would have on the modern world. In an attempt to prop up a wobbly client regime, the Soviets sparked a transnational jihad, inflamed Cold War tensions, and hastened the downfall of their own empire. Often referred to as “Russia’s Vietnam”, the Soviet-Afghan War is an overlooked, deeply misunderstood, and immensely important conflict. In this first installment of a multi-part series,...


Curse of the Koh-I-Noor Diamond

The infamous Koh-I-Noor diamond currently sits in the Tower of London among the crown jewels of the British monarchy, but its bloody, eon-spanning journey began in the riverbeds of ancient India. Cut, coveted, and stolen multiple times over, this is the story of the world’s most controversial gem. Told through a series of five chapters, we will look at some of the diamond’s most consequential owners, and how it shaped (or destroyed) their lives. SOURCES: Dalrymple, William; Anand, Anita....


Kill Yamamoto: The Mission to Avenge Pearl Harbor - Part 2

After the Battle of Midway, the Japanese Navy is in tatters and Yamamoto’s hopes of a quick victory against the United States have evaporated. He has no choice but to fight a war he knows Japan will lose. Tom Lanphier, Rex Barber, and the pilots of the 70th earn their stripes at Guadalcanal. The U.S. codebreakers at Hypo Station uncover the secret to intercepting the hated Yamamoto. John “Mitch” Mitchell plans and executes a borderline miraculous operation. Tom and Rex learn that victory...


Kill Yamamoto: The Mission To Avenge Pearl Harbor - Part 1

In 1941, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was the most hated man in America. As the architect of Japan’s December 7th surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States military decided Yamamoto had to die by any means necessary. Two years later, over the jungles of Southeast Asia, a daring aerial ambush gave the American people the closure they craved. But who was Yamamoto really? Did his death have any impact on the outcome of the war? And who actually landed the killing blow? After the success of...


Prophet's Dilemma: The Sunni Shia Split Part 3

Civil war has torn the Caliphate apart. In 656 AD, Aisha marches with an army at her back. Ali, newly crowned as Caliph, has no choice but to oppose her. Muawiya sees an opportunity to grab power and start a dynasty of his own. Hussein begins his inevitable path towards Karbala…and martyrdom. THE CAST: Aisha – The Prophet’s widow. “Mother of the Faithful”. Brave, jealous, and calculating. Muawiya – Governor of Syria “Son of the Liver Eater”. Master politician, ruthless and cunning. Ali – The...


Prophet's Dilemma: The Sunni Shia Split Part 2

The Prophet is dead. In 632 AD, the armies of Islam explode out of Arabia, led by a series of aggressive new Caliphs. The Prophet’s young widow Aisha struggles to understand her new role as “Mother of the Faithful”. Meanwhile, Ali, snubbed for the title of Caliph, grapples with his conflicting feelings of bitterness and commitment to the stability of the Muslim community. All the while, an ambitious new rival, Muawiya, schemes and cajoles his way to absolute control over the new Islamic...


Prophet's Dilemma: The Sunni Shia Split Part 1

When the Prophet Muhammed died in 632 AD, it triggered a succession crisis amongst his followers. After the dust settled, two divergent branches of the faith remained – Sunni and Shi’a. It is a deeply misunderstood story that has been unearthed and repackaged in the 21st century to inflame political animus and give superficial labels to complex tensions. In this episode, we will examine the very human, very relatable drama that unfolded against the backdrop of the rise of the Islamic Empire...


The Kitchen Cartel: Pure Food & Drug Act 1906

Fake coffee. Rotten meat. Poison milk. This is the story of a few good men and their bitter fight to make America’s food supply safe. Hounded by enemies and discredited at every turn, a handful of scientists and activists challenged the titans of the 19th century food industry – and won. SOURCES: Blum, Deborah. The Poison Squad: One Chemists Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Twentieth Century. 2018. Morris, Edmund. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. 1979 Sinclair, Upton....


The Third Temple: Yom Kippur War Part 2

Tank battles, Cold War politics, and nuclear alerts. This is the epic conclusion of a two-part series on the Yom Kippur War. On October 6th, 1973, Egypt and Syria launch a brilliant surprise attack on the nation of Israel. Golda Meir struggles to restrain her generals from unleashing doomsday weapons, and Dr. Henry Kissinger navigates the perilous world of Cold War diplomacy in hopes of bringing the conflict to a swift end. Even Nixon makes an appearance. SOURCES: Morse, David R. Kissinger...


The Third Temple: Yom Kippur War Part 1

The Yom Kippur War of 1973 has been described as the greatest military intelligence failure since Pearl Harbor. This is the story of how a vengeful surprise attack almost destroyed the nation of Israel. Told through the eyes of titanic personalities like Anwar Sadat, Golda Meir, and Moshe Dayan. (Part 1 of 2). SOURCES: Boyne, Walter J. The Two O’clock War. 2002. Blum, Howard. The Eve of Destruction. 2003. Klagsbrun, Francine. Lioness: Golda Meir and the Nation of Israel. 2017. Herzog, Chaim....