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History Unplugged Podcast

History • Society-and-culture

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 historianRead more

Popular episodes

Why the 1619 Project is Dangerous and Should Be Totally Rejected

Nov 30 • 46:41
The biggest and most controversial historical debate in 2020 is the 1619 Project. Released last year in a special issue of the New York Times Magazine, it is a collection of articles which "aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of [the United States'] national narrative.” Mor...

Rebroadcast: Turkey is Both a Bird and a Country. Which Came First?

Nov 25 • 21:50

The 160-Minute Race to Save the Titanic

Nov 23 • 49:42
One hundred and sixty minutes. That is all the time rescuers would have before the largest ship in the world slipped beneath the icy Atlantic. There was amazing heroism and astounding incompetence against the backdrop of the most advanced ship in history sinking by inches with luminaries from all over the world. It is a story of a network of wireless operators on land and ...

Age of Discovery 2.0, Part 6: Will SpaceX Control Mars Like the British East India Company Controlled the Indian Subcontinent?

Nov 18 • 41:07
The British East India Company is perhaps the most powerful corporation in history. It was larger than several nations and acted as emperor of the Indian subcontinent, commanding a private army of 260,000 soldiers (twice the size of the British Army at the time). The East India Company controlled trade between Britian and India, China, and Persia, reaping enormous profits,...

Age of Discovery 2.0, Part 5: Death Has Always Been an Inevitable Part of Discovery, Whether on Magellan’s Voyage or a Trip to Mars

Nov 16 • 43:53
The history of exploration and establishment of new lands, science and technologies has always entailed risk to the health and lives of the explorers. Yet, when it comes to exploring and developing the high frontier of space, the harshest frontier ever, the highest value is apparently not the accomplishment of those goals, but of minimizing, if not eliminating, the possibi...

Age of Discovery 2.0, Part 4: How Lessons From U.S. History Will Help Space Colonies Be More Like Star Trek and Less Like Blade Runner

Nov 11 • 46:48
The human race is about to go to the stars. Big rockets are being built, and nations and private citizens worldwide are planning the first permanent settlements in space.

When we get there, will we know what to do to make those first colonies just and prosperous places for all humans? How do we keep future societies from becoming class segregated, neo-feudal dystopian night...

Age of Discovery 2.0, Part 3: Space Colonization Will Reinvigorate Humanity More Than the New World Discovery 500 Years Ago

Nov 9 • 45:42
The discovery of the New World irrevocably changed the economy of the Old World. Triangle trade, manufactured goods went from Britain to the Americas, which sent food staples to the Indies, which sent cash crops back to England. It also caused investment dollars to flood into exploration ventures. As far back as the 1500s, tracts of land were sold in Kentucky through Briti...

Age of Discovery 2.0, Part 2: America’s New Destiny in Space, With Glenn Reynolds

Nov 4 • 37:15
With private space companies launching rockets, satellites, and people at a record pace, and with the U.S. and other governments committing to a future in space, today’s guest Glenn Harlan Reynolds looks at how we got here, where we’re going, and why it matters for all of humanity. Reynolds is a law professor and former executive vice president of the National Space Societ...

Welcome to the Age of Discovery 2.0

Nov 2 • 19:50
No decade transformed Western Civilization like the 1490s. Before then, Europe was a gloomy continent split into factions, ripe for conquest by the Islamic world. It had made no significant advances in science or literature for a century. But after a Spanish caravel named Nina returned to the Old World with news of a startling discovery, the dying embers of the West were f...

American’s Political Polarization Traces Back to 18th-Century Enlightenment Factions That Never Resolved Their Differences

Oct 28 • 44:10
Pundits on both the left and right proclaim our democracy is in crisis. This can be characterized by an eroding of civil institutions or politicians completely ignoring democratic norms by doing whatever is necessary to seek power and asking “where are the nuclear launch codes?” However, these challenges may not be so new. And the fault lines in our society may be centurie...

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