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History! The most exciting and important things that have ever happened on the planet. Powerful kings, warrior queens, nomads, empires and expeditions. Historian Dan Snow and his expert guests bring all these stories to life and more in a daily dose of history. Join Dan as he digs into the past to make sense of the headlines and get up close to the biggest discoveries being made around the world today, as they happen. If you want to get in touch with the podcast, you can email us at ds.hh@hi ...
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Join Don Wildman twice a week for your hit of American history, as he explores the past to help us understand the United States of today. We’ll hear how codebreakers uncovered secret Japanese plans for the Battle of Midway, visit Chief Powhatan as he prepares for war with the British, see Walt Disney accuse his former colleagues of being communists, and uncover the dark history that lies beneath Central Park. From pre-colonial America to independence, slavery to civil rights, the gold rush t ...
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What makes a song a smash? Talent? Luck? Timing? All that—and more. Chris Molanphy, pop-chart analyst and author of Slate’s “Why Is This Song No. 1?” series, tells tales from a half-century of chart history. Through storytelling, trivia and song snippets, Chris dissects how that song you love—or hate—dominated the airwaves, made its way to the top of the charts and shaped your memories forever. Want more Hit Parade? Join Slate Plus to unlock monthly early-access episodes. Plus, you’ll get ad ...
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Greetings and Welcome to History 101, A Podcast where we explore the story of mankind beginning from the first stirrings of abstract thought in our hominid ancestor to the first men to the moon, we try and cover it all in an interesting and bite sized podcast.
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Girl groups have long been underestimated—even by the producers and managers who created them. For women listeners, girl groups narrated profound emotions and expressed personal freedom—even when the singers were not so free themselves. For male listeners, girl groups provided inspiration, and a way to express matters of the heart. And for all list…
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Today we dive into the little-known true story of American castaways abandoned on the Falkland Islands during the War of 1812 ― a tale of treachery, shipwreck, isolation and a desperate struggle for survival. In this fascinating episode, best-selling author Eric Jay Dolan joins Don to explore this wild encounter between an American sealing vessel, …
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A mix of treacherous seas, navigation errors, and historical intrigue led to one of the Royal Navy's darkest nights. Dan travels to the Scilly Isles to tell the tragic tale of Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell and the 1707 naval disaster off the Isles of Scilly that caused a staggering loss of over 2000 men. Dan ventures out to the place where the shi…
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In the summer of 1941, Hitler invaded the Soviet Union. As the Germans drove towards Moscow, a catastrophic Soviet defeat seemed imminent - a defeat that would have made the Allied liberation of Europe virtually impossible. To keep the Allied victory in sight, Roosevelt and Churchill assembled a crack team of diplomats to secretly travel to wartime…
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The title of Caesar has echoed down the ages as the pinnacle of absolute power and perhaps even tyranny. A single man at the head of a nation or empire with untouchable power. But how powerful were they really and why are they seen as an example to follow when many of the men who became Caesar met a bloody end? Dan is joined by the legendary classi…
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When Alexander Hamilton took a bullet to the abdomen on the morning of the 11th July 1804, he joined a long list of people who had fallen foul of this very strange practice. So where did duelling come from? And how did these two revolutionary American politicians find themselves with pistols in their hands? Don is joined for this third episode of o…
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Marshal Pétain emerged from the First World War as a French national hero. His defence of Verdun had set him on course to become one of France's most venerated commanders. But by 1945 the Marshal was on trial for treason, having collaborated with Nazi Germany as the head of the Vichy regime. Dan is joined by Julian Jackson, author of the Pol Roger …
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Who was the real Merlin? Dr Francis Young says the closest is John Dee, Elizabeth I's occultist advisor who gave her the idea for a British Empire. Dee believed it was her destiny to rule the New World - from his supposed conversations with angels - and that she could trace her lineage back to King Arthur. His mystical and astrological calculations…
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This may have been the second shortest Presidency in the history of the United States, but the term of James Garfield is definitely not one to miss. From his dark horse nomination to his assassination by Charles Guiteau, Don is speaking with bestselling author of ‘An Assassin in Utopia,' Susan Wels. Produced by Sophie Gee. Edited by Aidan Lonergan.…
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From Hugh Capet to Eleanor of Aquitaine, the Capetian dynasty considered itself divinely chosen to fulfil a great destiny. From an insecure foothold around Paris, the Capetians built a nation that stretched from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean and from the Rhône to the Pyrenees, founding practices and institutions that endured until the French Re…
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Is liberal democracy facing an existential crisis? A 2023 poll conducted by the Open Society Barometer found that faith in democracy among young people is waning. But what does this mean? Why might young people become more 'strongman-curious'? To get to the bottom of this, Dan is joined by an all-star cast of experts. We have the renowned journalis…
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Founding Father, first Secretary of the Treasury and focus of one of the world's first political sex scandals - we couldn't do a series about Alexander Hamilton without touching on his personal life. Don is joined by Elizabeth Cobbs in this episode to explore the private lives of the Hamiltons. Who was Elizabeth Schuyler? Did her sister have an aff…
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We think of history as a neat chain of predictable events; but what if the truth is far wilder than that? Today, we're talking about the pivotal forces of randomness and chance, and how tiny moments can change the course of our human story. Dan is joined by Brian Klaas, associate professor in global politics at University College London and author …
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Theodore Roosevelt is arguably the most masculine president in American history. So how was he influenced by the women around him? And how was he impacted by the deaths of two of them on the same day? In this episode, Edward O'Keefe introduces us to Theodore Roosevelt's mother, two sisters, and two wives: Mittie, Bamie, Conie, Alice and Edith. Edwa…
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Please note, this episode contains discussion of suicide. On 1 April 1945, as the Second World War in Europe was reaching its end, one of the bloodiest battles in the whole conflict commenced on a small island south of mainland Japan. It was the Battle of Okinawa. Saul David comes on the show to provide a fascinating rundown of this truly horrific …
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At the height of the Mongol Empire, Kublai Khan set his sights on the island of Japan. He launched two enormous invasions of that nation in 1274 and 1281 - but both of them were defeated, aided by sudden and disastrous storms that tore his fleets apart. The story of these kamikaze, or 'Divine Winds', would become legend in Japan, and inspire the na…
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Please note, this episode contains discussion of suicide. In 1945, after lengthy delays, the Royal Navy sent a powerful fleet into the Pacific. After the disastrous Japanese invasions in Southeast Asia, Churchill was desperate to reassert British military might in the region. Aboard the carriers of these fleets were elite British and Commonwealth p…
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Please note, this episode contains discussion of suicide. By October 1944, the Japanese were in real trouble. The Allies had made great strides in their Pacific island-hopping campaign and were advancing on the Japanese home islands. In a desperate attempt to stem the tide, Japan created the 'Special Attack Units', which included the kamikaze - you…
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Who really was Alexander Hamilton, and what do we actually know about his life? A Founding Father, he fought in the Revolutionary War, founded the American financial system and was the first ever Secretary of the Treasury. But who really was Hamilton? How did his face come to be on our bank notes? Did he love his wife? And why would he go to duel e…
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When you hear “boy band,” what do you picture? Five guys with precision dance moves? Songs crafted by the Top 40 pop machine? Svengalis pulling the puppet strings? Hordes of screaming girls? As it turns out, not all boy bands fit these signifiers. (Well…except for the screaming girls—they are perennial.) There are boy bands that danced, and some th…
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Emerging victorious from an electoral quagmire in 1876, Rutherford B. Hayes became the 19th President of the United States. Professor Mark Zachary Taylor joins Don to explore the first great depression and how Hayes navigated the US towards recovery from it. From strike and unrest to growth and stability, how did Hayes lay the groundwork for econom…
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Warning: This episode contains some upsetting descriptions of human suffering. The Rwandan Genocide is a dark and pivotal moment in modern history; the catastrophic consequence of ethnic division and global inaction. Over 100 days in 1994, it's estimated around 800,000 predominantly Tutsi people were killed by the Hutu government and civilian milit…
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Pontius Pilate was the Roman Prefect of Judea during the reign of Emperor Tiberius and is most famous for condemning Jesus of Nazareth to death by crucifixion in the Four Gospels. But who really was he? And how much do we know about him? In this episode of The Ancients, Tristan speaks to Prof. Helen Bond to delve deeper into the life of Pontius Pil…
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The English won a decisive battlefield victory over the French in the first decade of the Hundred Years' War. At the Battle of Crécy, an outnumbered English army went up against thousands of French mounted knights, the finest cavalry in Western Europe at that time. Relying on their famed longbowmen, The English under Edward III weathered French cav…
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An iconic signature on the Declaration of Independence - that is what John Hancock is best known for. But how did he come to be the first signatory? What was his role in the American Revolution? Brooke Barbier joins Don in this episode to take us through the life and works of John Hancock, and to explain how he got the nickname, 'King Hancock'. Bro…
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On the 1st of April, 2024, a presumed Israeli airstrike destroyed the Iranian consulate in Damascus, killing 13 people. Amongst them was a Brigadier General of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Mohammad Reza Zahedi. In retaliation, Iran launched its first-ever direct attack on Israeli soil, firing some 300 missiles and drones at target…
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During the spring of 1921, eleven bodies were found in in rural Georgia. These men were victims of horrific murders, and also of a more widespread crime - peonage. Whilst enslavement had legally ended with the surrender at Appomattox and the 13th Amendment, black people across the south were still being entrapped into debt slavery half a century la…
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Fought in the second half of 1942, the Battles of El Alamein were a series of climactic confrontations in Egypt between British Imperial and Commonwealth forces and a combined German and Italian army. Intended as a last-ditch attempt by the British to halt Axis gains in North Africa, they resulted in a clear victory for the British and represented …
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As a foreign correspondent for ITN in the 70s, Peter Snow remembers handing tins of film to strangers on airport runways, hoping they would take it back to Britain to hand over to his colleagues on the other side. It was a tough and thrilling job as a travelling reporter before the internet, and Dan remembers hearing his dad's travel stories as a c…
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In the mid-17th century, King Charles I of England was put on trial for treason against the sovereign state. Such a process involved a singular determination by Parliament to find a way, through due legal process, to try the one they saw as a man of blood, to ensure that he paid the price for his faults and failings, but not through extrajudicial s…
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How does a heroic general of the Civil War become one of the lowest rated Presidents (at least until recently)? To discuss Grant's commitment to reconstruction, civil rights, and the crushing of the Ku Klux Klan, Don is joined by Professor Anne Marshall. Anne is a historian of the Nineteenth century U.S. South and the Civil War in historical memory…
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Dan delves into the complex history of Zionism, exploring its multifaceted origins and the various ideological strands that have shaped it over the years. From its early beginnings in the 19th century to its pivotal role in the establishment of the State of Israel. With expert insight and analysis from Peter Bergamin, lecturer at the University of …
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When you hear “boy band,” what do you picture? Five guys with precision dance moves? Songs crafted by the Top 40 pop machine? Svengalis pulling the puppet strings? Hordes of screaming girls? As it turns out, not all boy bands fit these signifiers. (Well…except for the screaming girls—they are perennial.) There are boy bands that danced, and some th…
  continue reading
 
Strategic brilliance? Relentless determination? Unbeatable leadership and cooperation with Lincoln? How did Ulysses S. Grant distinguish himself in the Civil War? Don speaks to Cecily Zander, a historian specializing in the Civil War era and the American West. Together, they discuss Grant's rise to General, his role in the war and why he has been k…
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From a plague in Athens during the Peloponnesian War in 430 BCE, to another in 540 that wiped out half the population of the Roman empire, down through the Black Death in the Middle Ages and on through the 1918 flu epidemic (which killed between 50 and 100 million people) and this century's deadly SARS outbreak, plagues have been a much more relent…
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Frederick Rutland was one of Britain's finest naval pilots and a celebrated hero of the First World War. And yet in the interwar period, he would become a turncoat, feeding information to Japanese intelligence whilst living undercover in the glitz and glamour of 1930s Hollywood. Joining Dan to discuss Rutland's life is Ronald Drabkin, author of 'Be…
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Join Dan as he narrates the harrowing story of the HMS Wager and its crew's descent into mutiny and survival against all odds. Set against the backdrop of the War of Jenkins' Ear, the Wager, a British warship, was part of a secret squadron sent to attack Spanish holdings in the Pacific but, tragedy struck as the ship was wrecked off the desolate co…
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Al Capone is one of the most notorious gangsters in US history. His story of rags to riches, set against the backdrop of the prohibition era, is worthy of the many movies that it has inspired. Violent mobster, genius businessman or semi-professional baseball player, who was the real Al Capone? To find out, Don speaks to Claire White, Director of Ed…
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This is the untold story of how Nazi experiments with psychedelics influenced CIA research and the War on Drugs. From covert mind control programs to experiments with 'truth serums', we trace the connection between the Third Reich's sinister scientific experiments and later US drug policy. To explain this wild post-war history, Dan is joined by the…
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It comprises more than half of the world's defence spending, but what is the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation? How has the United States influenced it from its inception to today? And how, during its 75 years, has it impacted the United States in return? Don is joined by Peter Apps, journalist and Reuters global defence commentator. From the sign…
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In 1872 the ghost ship Mary Celeste is found sailing across the Atlantic without a single crew member left onboard. Theories over what happened on the Mary Celeste range from insurance fraud to a violent mutiny... this week, Maddy and Anthony discuss what they think happened to the ship's crew. Edited by Tom Delargy. Produced by Freddy Chick. Senio…
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Kensington Palace was the centre of court life in 18th-century Britain. It was the principal London residence for the Royals, as well as a lavish venue for hosting monarchs and world leaders. But behind this very public world existed an entirely obscured one, made up of a small army of people who kept the royal show on the road. Dan is joined by Dr…
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As Commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, George Washington was a central feature of the American Revolutionary War. He was also the first President of the nascent United States, and his ethics permeated the nation's constitution. Dan is joined by Craig Bruce Smith, Associate Professor of History at the National Defense University specialising…
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A wealthy man in his early 30s. An army man. A German immigrant. A bootlegger. A lover. Who was Jay Gatsby? And if he was based on a real person, what do we know about them? To delve into one of the most famous fictional characters of the 20th century (from one of Don's favourite authors, F Scott Fitzgerald) Don speaks to Joe Nocera. Joe is the hos…
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What happened to the pioneering pilot, Amelia Earhart? In 1937, while attempting to circumnavigate the globe by aircraft, Earhart and her navigator went missing. Some 87 years later, new evidence has emerged - a grainy image of what looks like a plane, thousands of feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean. To talk about Earhart and this discover…
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Cover songs once had a simple playbook: Artists would faithfully rerecord a song—note for note and word for word. They might modernize the instrumentation. If they were feeling radical, they’d punch up the vocals a bit. Now it’s hard to say what a cover is anymore. If Ariana Grande turns “My Favorite Things” into “7 Rings,” does that qualify? When …
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