History Unplugged Podcast-logo

History Unplugged Podcast

History Podcasts

For history lovers who listen to podcasts, History Unplugged is the most comprehensive show of its kind. It's the only show that dedicates episodes to both interviewing experts and answering questions from its audience. First, it features a call-in show where you can ask our resident historian (Scott Rank, PhD) absolutely anything (What was it like to be a Turkish sultan with four wives and twelve concubines? If you were sent back in time, how would you kill Hitler?). Second, it features long-form interviews with best-selling authors who have written about everything. Topics include gruff World War II generals who flew with airmen on bombing raids, a war horse who gained the rank of sergeant, and presidents who gave their best speeches while drunk.

For history lovers who listen to podcasts, History Unplugged is the most comprehensive show of its kind. It's the only show that dedicates episodes to both interviewing experts and answering questions from its audience. First, it features a call-in show where you can ask our resident historian (Scott Rank, PhD) absolutely anything (What was it like to be a Turkish sultan with four wives and twelve concubines? If you were sent back in time, how would you kill Hitler?). Second, it features long-form interviews with best-selling authors who have written about everything. Topics include gruff World War II generals who flew with airmen on bombing raids, a war horse who gained the rank of sergeant, and presidents who gave their best speeches while drunk.

Location:

United States

Description:

For history lovers who listen to podcasts, History Unplugged is the most comprehensive show of its kind. It's the only show that dedicates episodes to both interviewing experts and answering questions from its audience. First, it features a call-in show where you can ask our resident historian (Scott Rank, PhD) absolutely anything (What was it like to be a Turkish sultan with four wives and twelve concubines? If you were sent back in time, how would you kill Hitler?). Second, it features long-form interviews with best-selling authors who have written about everything. Topics include gruff World War II generals who flew with airmen on bombing raids, a war horse who gained the rank of sergeant, and presidents who gave their best speeches while drunk.

Language:

English


Episodes

Josie Underwood: The Civil War-Era Socialite Who Owned Slaves, Hated Lincoln, and Loved the Union

8/16/2022
A well-educated, outspoken member of a politically prominent family in Bowling Green, Kentucky, Josie Underwood (1840–1923) left behind one of the few intimate accounts of the Civil War written by a southern woman sympathetic to the Union. This vivid portrayal of the early years of the war begins several months before the first shots were fired on Fort Sumter in April 1861. "The Philistines are upon us," twenty-year-old Josie writes in her diary, leaving no question about the alarm she feels...

Duration:00:25:26

The American Revolution Would Have Been Lost Without a Ragtag Fleet of Thousands of Privateers

8/11/2022
Privateers were a cross between an enlisted sailor and an outright pirate. But they were crucial in winning the Revolutionary War. As John Lehman, former secretary of the navy under President Ronald Reagan, observed, “From the beginning of the American Revolution until the end of the War of 1812, America’s real naval advantage lay in its privateers. It has been said that the battles of the American Revolution were fought on land, and independence was won at sea. For this we have the enormous...

Duration:01:01:53

Gen. George Marshall and Henry Stimson Built America’s WW2 War Machine and Created the Postwar Global Order

8/9/2022
Five years after World War II ended, Winston Churchill said he was still amazed that the United States, which before WWII had a tiny military and was fully committed to isolationism, “were able not only to build up the armies and air force units, but also to find the leaders and vast staffs capable of handling enormous masses and of moving them faster and farther than masses have ever been moved in war before.” He was speaking in general about the United States, but much of the credit...

Duration:00:57:33

Bruce Lee Became a Global Celebrity by Embodying 400 Years of Western-Chinese Cultural Trade

8/4/2022
An Asian and Asian American icon of unimaginable stature and influence, Bruce Lee revolutionized the martial arts by combining influences drawn from around the world. Uncommonly determined, physically gifted, and artistically brilliant, Lee rose to fame as part of a wave of transpacific globalization that bridged the nearly seven thousand miles between Hong Kong and California. Today’s guest, Daryl Joji Maeda (author of the new Bruce Lee biography Like Water) unpacks Lee’s global impact,...

John McWhorter Describes Human Language's 20,000-Year Journey from Proto-Sumerian to Ebonics

8/2/2022
Language not only defines humans as a species, placing us head and shoulders above even the most proficient animal communicators, but it also beguiles us with its endless mysteries. How did different languages come to be? Why isn't there just a single language? How does a language change, and when it does, is that change indicative of decay or growth? How does a language become extinct? In today's rebroadcast, I speak with John McWhorter, a linguist from Columbia University. He addresses...

Duration:00:54:58

No Supply Chain Was More Complicated Than the Allies’ During WW2. How Did They Maintain It?

7/28/2022
World War 2 was won due to Allied bravery, superior strategy, better technology, and more supplies. But the true unsung hero of the war effort is the Allied logistics network. The U.S. alone fed and supplied soldiers through a planet-spanning supply chain. It waged two wars on different continents at the same time. They kept supplied 98 divisions on a supply line that was well over 10,000 miles long: 7,000 from San Fran to Manila, 4000 from NYC to Normandy. About 1.9 million tons of supplies...

Duration:00:54:10

New Yorkers Feared Jack the Ripper Invaded the City in 1891 After a Prostitute Was Found Brutally Murdered

7/26/2022
Jack the Ripper’s serial killing spree of 1888 shocked the world, triggering panic from Paris to South America that he could strike anywhere, anytime. New Yorkers in particular were on high alert when local prostitute Carrie Brown, a.k.a. “Old Shakespeare,” was found brutally murdered in a seedy Manhattan hotel on the waterfront. NYPD Chief of Detectives Thomas Byrnes accused an Algerian named Amir Ben Ali of the crime. He was convicted of second degree murder despite the evidence against...

Duration:00:45:58

When a Soldier’s Bravery is So Great His Comrades Fear Him: The Story of Band of Brothers’ Ronald “Killer “ Spiers

7/21/2022
No paratrooper in the legendary “Band of Brothers” – a WW2 parachute rifle company part of the 101st Airborne Division in the U.S. Army -- was more enigmatic than Ronald Speirs. Rumored to have gunned down enemy prisoners and even one of his own disobedient sergeants, he was one of World War II’s most storied soldiers, a controversial man whose ferocity and courage earned him the nickname “Killer.” But who was the real Ronald Speirs? Most accounts about him end in 1945, but today’s guest...

Duration:00:39:38

Did Pope Pius XII Collaborate With the Nazis? This Historian Viewed the Vatican Archives and Has the Answer

7/19/2022
One of the biggest unresolved World War 2 debates is the Vatican’s complicity in the Holocaust – did Pope Pius XII sit back and do nothing as Nazi Germany exterminate 6 million Jews? Critics accuse him of a weakness for dictatorships and a distaste for Jews, a pushover that Mussolini and Hitler could easily intimidate. Defenders say he was a virtuous man who stood up to Nazis and their Italian fascist allies despite being threatened with kidnapping and assassination. He worked tirelessly and...

Duration:00:46:09

Eating Roman Mouse-on-a-Stick, Shakespeare's Tavern Bread, and Other Forgotten Culinary "Treats" From the Past

7/14/2022
You and your ancestor from 1,000 years ago have almost nothing in common. Your clothes are different. Your worship rituals are different. Your thoughts about the opposite sex are definitely different. Almost the only similarity is that both of you are driven to obtain food. In fact, one could say that civilization itself began in the quest for food. In this episode, Professor Ken Albala of the University of the Pacific puts the subject of food and its importance in history on the table. Ken...

Duration:01:03:36

Beyond Camelot: What It Was Like to Live Through the JFK Era

7/12/2022
For those that have no living memory of JFK, it’s nearly impossible to think of his presidency as anything but a few preordained moments that move inevitably toward his tragic death: His 1961 inauguration marking a high point of the optimism of the post-war era in which Jackie Kennedy holds their infant son and JFK famously intones: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” This is quickly followed by the botched Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Cuban Missile...

Duration:00:32:50

After Custer’s Last Stand, Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse Fought an Impossible Battle To Preserve the Sioux Nation

7/7/2022
Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull were two Lakota chiefs born in the final generation of Plains Indians who grew up in the manner similar to their ancestors: hunting herds of buffalo so large they seemed to cover the earth and moving freely with their nomadic tribes. But they always had contact with white settlers, first a trickle of fur traders and pioneers, then a flood of fortune seekers in 1874 Black Hills Gold Rush. The conflict came to a head in the 1876 Battle of Little Big Horn, in which...

Duration:01:01:25

Introducing the Vlogging Through History Podcast

7/6/2022
Please enjoy this preview of the Vlogging Through History Podcast, hosted by Chris Mowery. In his show, Chris tells the story of the private soldier as much as it is the story of the great general. It is the story of the farmer in the field as much as it is the story of the man in the Oval office. Go to vloggingthroughhistory.com to enter a giveaway to mark the show's launch.

Duration:00:21:59

How a WW2 Soldier Persevered Through Concentration Camps, Death Marches, and Starvation

7/5/2022
One of the most widely read books of the 20th century is Viktor Frank’s “Man’s Search for Meaning.” In it, the author, a survivor of Nazi concentration camps during World War II, described his psychotherapeutic method to endure the most hellish experiences imaginable. One must hold onto a purpose in life and immersively imagine that outcome. Many have used Frankl’s method, one of which was Harold Frank, a WW2 rifleman who survived a Nazi POW camp, a multi-day death march, thousands of tons...

Duration:00:45:10

Did Thomas Edison Murder The Real Inventor of the Motion Picture Camera and Steal His Invention?

6/30/2022
In the late 1800s, there was an all-out sprint among inventors and tinkerers to create the first motion picture camera. The first across the finish line would get an incredibly valuable patent worth millions. The ultimate winner was an unassuming Frenchman named Louis Le Prince, who died before he could present his invention to the world, and some believe was murdered by Thomas Edison. n 1890, Louis Le Prince, before any of his competitors, was granted patents in four countries for his...

Duration:01:21:19

Cars Are the Id of the Countries that Built Them. What Do The Model T and Pontiac Aztek Tell Us About the US?

6/28/2022
The earliest cars were nothing more than horse buggies with motors (the first Oldsmobile was a horseless carriage with a one-cylinder engine plunked in). But once sturdier cars were invented and mass production made them cheap, the 20th century was forever defined by the automobile. It was the first industry to use the assembly line. People had unimaginable levels of freedom and mobility. Whole new industries and services sprang up, including motels, amusement parks, restaurant franchises,...

Duration:00:41:49

Making Sense of America’s Worst Moments: Jon Meacham on Understanding -- But Not Excusing -- Slavery and the Indian Removal Act

6/23/2022
John F. Kennedy once told a presidential biographer that rating presidents from best to worst that it was impossible without a deep appreciation of the office. Perhaps even first-hand experience was necessary: "No one has a right to grade a president - even poor James Buchanan - who has not sat in his chair, examined the mail and information that came across his desk, and learned why he made his decisions.” While JFK’s view will never stop historians from ranking U.S. presidents from best...

Duration:00:37:23

Parthenon Roundtable: Which Single Event Would You Eliminate From History

6/21/2022
All of us have terrible regrets. Accepting that job that became dead-end. Marry someone from high school who ended up being a kleptomaniac with halitosis. Emptying out our life savings to invest in Logan and Jake Paul’s NFT collections Don’t you wish you could take it all back? While we can’t help you with your personal problems, we are pleased to let you know that the hosts of the history programs that make up Parthenon Podcasts are here to get rid of some of the worst events in history...

Duration:01:04:59

The Worst Movie Ever Made Cast John Wayne as Genghis Khan and Exposed the Cast to Nuclear Radiation

6/16/2022
John Wayne’s 1956 film The Conqueror was a historical biopic about Genghis Khan far worse than you can imagine. The All-American legend was in full Fu Manchu make-up and depicted the Great Khan as a Mongol madman. He was given Shakespear-esque dialogue that was as grandiose as it was misapplied to the Duke loose way of speaking (one example: “I feel this Tartar woman is for me, and my blood says, take her.”) It was a film so embarrassing that it disappeared from print for over a quarter...

Duration:00:46:45

The Arsenal of Democracy: How the Revolver and Repeating Rifle Democratized Gun Ownership and Armed the United States

6/14/2022
The United States is the most heavily armed nation in the world, with an estimated 400 million guns in private hands. But few know that this legacy can be directly traced back to a handful of gunmakers who worked in the Springfield Armory of Massachusetts in the early 1800s. Their names became synonymous with American guns—Colt, Smith, Wesson, Winchester, and Remington among them – and they made firearms portable, powerful, rapid firing, and distinctly American. They also created the...

Duration:00:58:12