Podcast

Dan Snow's History Hit

History! The most exciting and important things that have ever happened on the planet! Featuring reports from the weird and wonderful places around the world where history has been made and interviews with some of the best historians writing today. Dan also covers some of the major anniversaries as they pass by and explores the deep history behind today's headlines - giving you the context to understand what is going on today.

Episodes

  • Roe v. Wade: America's Landmark Ruling

    Jan 21 2022

    On January 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Texas law banning abortion, effectively legalising the procedure nationwide. The court held that a woman’s right to an abortion was implicit in the right to privacy protected by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.Roe v. Wade, involved the case of Norma McCorvey “Jane Roe”, who in 1969, wanted an abortion but lived in Texas, where abortion was illegal except when necessary to save the mother's life. Her attorneys, Sarah Weddington and ...more

  • Who Was Joan of Arc?

    Jan 20 2022

    Joan of Arc is a name that’s instantly recognisable to most. A controversial figure in her own day, she has remained so ever since, often being adopted as a talisman of French nationalism.But how much do we really know—or understand—about the young woman who ignited France’s fightback against England during the Hundred Years’ War, but who paid the ultimate price at the age of just 19? To get to the heart of the real ‘Maid of Orléans’, Matt Lewis from the Gone Medieval podcast is joined in this e...more

  • The Child Soldiers of WWI

    Jan 19 2022

    After the outbreak of the First World War, boys as young as twelve were caught up in a national wave of patriotism and, in huge numbers, volunteered to serve. The press, recruiting offices and the Government all contributed to the enlistment of hundreds of thousands of underage soldiers in both Britain and the Empire. Having falsified their ages upon joining up, many broke down under the strain and were returned home, while others fought on and were even awarded medals for gallantry.Richard van ...more

  • 28 Years on Death Row

    Jan 18 2022

    Anthony Ray Hinton is an Alabama was held on death row after being wrongly convicted of the murders of two restaurant managers, John Davidson and Thomas Wayne Vasona, in Birmingham, Alabama on February 25 and July 2, 1985. In 2014 he was released after winning a new trial which demonstrated that the forensic evidence used against him during his original conviction was totally flawed. Since his exoneration and release Anthony has become an activist, writer, and author. In this episode, Anthony ta...more

  • Korean War: The Veterans Of Imjin River

    Jan 17 2022

    Fought between the 22nd-25th of April 1951, the battle of Imjin River was part of a Chinese counter-offensive after United Nations forces had recaptured Seoul in March 1951. The assault on ‘Gloster Hill’ was led by General Peng Dehuai who commanded a force of 300,000 troops attacking over a 40-mile sector. The 29th Independent Infantry Brigade Group, under the command of Brigadier Tom Brodie, of the 1st Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment, was responsible for defending a 15-kilometre section of t...more

  • Eugenics with Adam Rutherford

    Jan 16 2022

    Eugenics has been used in attempts throughout history, and across continents, to gain power and assert control.In this episode, we trace Eugenics from its intellectual origins in Victorian Britain to the actual policies put into action to control populations birthrates in Nazi Germany and 20th Century America.Dan is joined by broadcaster and geneticist Adam Rutherford who helps him understand this complicated legacy as well as what the troubling future of gene editing has to hold.If you'd like t...more

  • Tudor True Crime

    Jan 14 2022

    The true-crime genre - stories of actual murders and other crimes that are then fictionalised - is not a new phenomenon. More than four centuries ago, a series of plays based on real life cases appeared on the London stage. It was a short-lived craze generated by the insatiable early modern appetite for the "three Ms" - melodrama, moralizing and misogyny. In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb talks to author Charles Nicholl about the little known phenomenon of ...more

  • George Washington: The First President

    Jan 13 2022

    George. Where did it all go wrong? George Washington could have had a comfortable career as a loyal member of His Majesty's Virginia militia and colonial grandee. But no, he had to go and roll the dice. In this episode, Dan speaks to historian Alexis Coe about her biography of Washington. She has a fresh take on the first President, but no less scholarly for that. Young George Washington was raised by a struggling single mother, demanded military promotions, caused an international incident, and...more

  • The Rule of Laws

    Jan 12 2022

    The laws now enforced throughout the world are almost all modelled on systems developed in Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. During two hundred years of colonial rule, Europeans exported their laws everywhere they could. But not quite as revolutionary as we may think, they weren't filling a void: in many places, they displaced traditions that were already ancient when Vasco Da Gama first arrived in India. Even the Romans were inspired by earlier precedents.Fernanda Pirie, Profes...more

  • Digging for Britain with Professor Alice Roberts

    Jan 11 2022

    2021 was a bumper year for archaeological discoveries across Britain. In this episode, we go on a whistlestop tour of some of the most notable finds — from an immaculately preserved Roman mosaic found on a working farm, to the puzzling ruin of a Norman church discovered by HS2 engineers.Dan is joined by author and broadcaster Professor Alice Roberts, who got to see many of these discoveries first hand and meet the people who found them during the filming of the latest series of Digging For Brita...more

  • Was the League of Nations Doomed to Fail?

    Jan 10 2022

    102 years ago on the 10th of January 1920, the League of Nations was formed out of the Treaty of Versailles. Its aim was to maintain peace after the First World War. With 58 member states by the 1930s, it had successes e against drug traffickers and slave traders, settling border disputes and returning prisoners of war. But much of the treaty was designed to punish Germany after WWI, creating an environment of disillusionment that enabled Nazi ideology to thrive. Across the rest of Europe, it wa...more

  • Obama and Merkel: The Extraordinary Partnership

    Jan 09 2022

    U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are two of the world’s most influential leaders, together at the centre of some of the biggest controversies and most impressive advancements of our time. Taking office at the height of the 2008 global recession, Obama was keenly aware of the fractured relationship between the US and Europe, while Merkel was initially sceptical of the charismatic newcomer who had captivated her country. Despite their partnership having been the subj...more

  • 1921 Census: Revealed

    Jan 07 2022

    For the first time, the 1921 Census of England & Wales is now publicly available, only online at the family history website, Findmypast. More detailed than any previous British census taken up to that point, it provides us with a remarkable, once-in-a-generation snapshot of a country that had been transformed after the First World War. In this episode, we are joined by guests Audrey Collins, from The National Archives, and Myko Clelland, from Findmypast. They explain what the records show ab...more

  • Democratic Decline

    Jan 06 2022

    The 6th of January marks one year since the United States Capitol attack of 2021, whereby a mob of supporters of Republican President Donald J. Trump stormed the Capitol Building. On today’s anniversary, what can we learn from prehistory to the present, about democratic decay, corruption and cronyism?Dr. Brian Klaas, UCL Associate Professor in Global Politics, Washington Post Columnist, and author of ‘Corruptible: Who Gets Power and How it Changes Us’ is today’s guest on the podcast. So, are tyr...more

  • Sitting Bull: the Life and Death of a Native American Chief

    Jan 05 2022

    Sitting Bull, best known for his initiative and victory at the Battle of Little Bighorn, is a greatly revered Native American Chief. But he was more than a fierce leader of his people. Bestowed the name ‘Sitting Bull’ at only 14 by his father, he showed characteristics of courage, perseverance, and intelligence beyond his years - traits that would come to define him, and the relationship between Native Americans and the US government for generations. In this episode, James from the Warfare Podca...more

  • Treasures of Ancient Egypt

    Jan 04 2022

    Ramesses the Great, ego in the ancient world and Tutankhamun's sacred underwear. These are all covered in today's episode with Dr Campbell Price about the treasures that will be housed in the new Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza, set to open later this year. Dr Campbell Price is the Chair of Trustees for the Egypt Exploration Society, the UK’s leading charity supporting archaeological fieldwork and research in Egypt. He's also the curator of Ancient Egypt and Sudan at the Manchester Museu...more

  • Tutankhamun: Life, Legacy and Discovery

    Jan 03 2022

    Tutankhamun's tomb was discovered by Howard Carter almost 100 years ago, and two years later they opened up the stone sarcophagus that held the golden coffin containing the mummy of Tutankhamun. In this archive episode from 2019, Dan gets Dr Tarek Al Awady to take him around the exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery which examined some of the treasures taken from his tomb, many of which were on tour for the first time. Dan and Dr Al Awady discuss Tutankhamun's life and his legacy.If you'd like to le...more

  • Climate Catastrophe in the 17th century

    Jan 02 2022

    Revolutions, droughts, famines, invasions, wars, regicides - the calamities of the mid-seventeenth century were both unprecedented and widespread. A global crisis extended from England to Japan, and from the Russian Empire to sub-Saharan Africa. North and South America, too, suffered turbulence. Changes in the prevailing weather patterns, longer and harsher winters, and cooler and wetter summers - disrupted growing seasons, causing dearth, malnutrition, and disease, along with more deaths and fe...more

  • Sex in the Middle Ages

    Dec 31 2021

    Please note that this episode contains conversation about sex that you might not want to listen to in the presence of children.What did medieval people really think about sex, and were those thoughts all that different from ours today? The medieval humoral system of medicine suggested that it was possible to die from having too much-or too little-sex, while the Roman Catholic Church taught that virginity was the ideal state. Holy men and women committed themselves to lifelong abstinence in ...more

  • Inside The Great Cathedrals of Europe

    Dec 30 2021

    A trip to Paris wouldn't be the same without taking a moment to gaze up at the great looming towers of the Gothic Notre Dame Cathedral with its watchful gargoyles on every corner. Today, celebrated journalist Simon Jenkins joins Dan to discuss 'humankind's greatest creation'; the cathedral. Simon has travelled across Europe - from Chartres to York, Cologne to Florence, Toledo to Moscow and Stockholm to Seville - to illuminate old stalwarts and highlight new discoveries. They compare favourites a...more

  • The Origins Of Scotland

    Dec 29 2021

    The Medieval period saw the advancement of many countries, evolving to the provinces in Europe that we know today; Scotland is no different. In this episode, Cat Jarman from the Gone Medieval podcast is joined by Dr. Adrian Maldonado, an Archeologist and Glenmorangie Research Fellow at National Museums Scotland. With the birth of kingdoms such as Alba, Strathclyde, Galloway, and the Norse Earldom of Orkney, what can the artefacts and materials tell us about the emergence of Scotland? Adrian Mald...more

  • The 1914 Christmas Truce (Part 2)

    Dec 28 2021

    Part Two of our episodes on the famous Christmas Truce. On Christmas Eve 1914 many sectors of the Western Front in France and Belgium fell silent. Troops from all sides put down their weapons and sang carols, exchanged gifts and buried their dead in No Man's Land. The following day the truce continued in many, but not all areas, and troops gathered in crowds between the lines. there may even have been a bit of a kick about. In this episode, three distinguished historians, Peter Hart, Taff Gillin...more

  • The 1914 Christmas Truce (Part 1)

    Dec 27 2021

    On Christmas Eve 1914 many sectors of the Western Front in France and Belgium fell silent. Troops from all sides put down their weapons and sang carols, exchanged gifts and buried their dead in No Man's Land. The following day the truce continued in many, but not all areas, and troops gathered in crowds between the lines. there may even have been a bit of a kick about. This is part 1 of a two-part Christmas podcast that explores the truce with three distinguished historians, Peter Hart, Taff Gil...more

  • Storytime with the Snows: Boudica

    Dec 25 2021

    In a special episode of the podcast, Dan's children join him for a lively retelling of Boudica and the violent uprising that tore Roman Britain apart- a classic bedtime story in the Snow household. Merry Christmas from Dan and his family! Please vote for us! Dan Snow's History Hit has been nominated for a Podbible award in the 'informative' category: https://bit.ly/3pykkdsIf you'd like to learn more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad-free podcasts and audiobooks a...more

  • Christmas Carols: A Musical History

    Dec 24 2021

    Traditionally sung at Christmas itself or during the surrounding Christmas holiday season, it is thought that carols existed to keep up people’s spirits, along with dances, plays and feasts since before the fourteenth century. Whether religious or not, the singing of Christmas carols is a tradition enjoyed by many every year, but do we know why?Author of ‘Christmas Carols: From Village Green to Church Choir,’ composer and choirmaster Andrew Gant joins Dan for this carol-filled episode of the pod...more

  • Dan Explores Dickensian London!

    Dec 23 2021

    Just as Scrooge wandered London's streets on a cold Christmas night, Dan Snow follows the ghosts of Charles Dickens' past to discover the city that inspired his greatest works. With London-born tour guide David Charnick, they slip down hidden alleyways to find the old debtor's prison that the Dicken's family once called home; a place that haunted a young Charles for the rest of his life. They overlook the Thames to tell the tales of Victorian scavengers who searched the murky waters for bodies t...more

  • King Herod

    Dec 22 2021

    Thanks largely to his feature in the Gospel of Matthew, King Herod ‘the Great’ of Judaea is one of the infamous figures from the whole of history. So what do we know about this ancient near eastern ruler, who in his lifetime had contacts with a series of ‘goliath’ figures from the ancient Mediterranean World: from Caesar to Cleopatra and from Marc Antony to Augustus. To talk about King Herod, with a particular focus on the material and meaning of his monumental tomb at Herodium, Tristan was re-j...more

  • The Parthenon Marbles

    Dec 21 2021

    The permanent home of the Parthenon Marbles, also known as the Elgin Marbles, has been the subject of a heated, decades-long debate. Currently housed in the British Museum, Greece has been proactively campaigning for their return since the 1980s. But, how did this controversy start and why did the marbles end up in London, to begin with?In this episode, we find out with the help of Nick Malkoutzis and Georgia Nakou, two Greek journalists and contributors to Macropolis (www.macropolis.gr). You ca...more

  • God's Changing Body Through History

    Dec 20 2021

    While many traditions regard God to be incorporeal, some three thousand years ago in the Southwest Asian lands, a group of people worshipped a complex pantheon of deities, led by a father god called El. El had seventy children, who were gods in their own right. One of them was a deity, known as Yahweh. Yahweh had a body, a wife, offspring and colleagues. He fought monsters and mortals. He gorged on food and wine, wrote books, and took walks and naps. But he would become something far larger and ...more

  • The Battle of Agincourt Explained

    Dec 19 2021

    The Battle of Agincourt looms large in the English historical and cultural imagination, this explainer wades through the mythology to help listeners really understand this infamous battle.From almost the moment the battle finished the myth of Agincourt was being spun. Henry V milked the victory for all its worth to secure his reign and it has continued to play a prominent role in the British psyche ever since inspiring both Shakespeare and Churchill amongst others. It was however a crushing Engl...more

  • The Unlikely Fate of the Wright Brothers

    Dec 17 2021

    On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two unknown brothers from Ohio changed history. The Wright Brothers took the world's first engine-powered flight. It didn't take long for countries around the world to realise that the Wright flying machine had the potential to revolutionise warfare and soon everybody wanted flying machines of their own. But the US didn't have the advantage; Historian and TV Consultant Gavin Mortimer tells Dan that after that first flight, the W...more

  • Black Tudors: England's Other Countrymen

    Dec 16 2021

    Our image of the Tudor era remains overwhelmingly white. But the black presence in England was much greater than has previously been recognised, and Tudor conceptions of race were far more complex than we have been led to believe. In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb talks to Dr. Onyeka Nubia whose original research shows that Tudors from many walks of life regularly interacted with people of African descent, both at home and abroad - findings that cast a new light...more

  • Uncovered: South America's Biggest Slave Uprising

    Dec 15 2021

    On February 27 1763, thousands of enslaved people in the Dutch colony of Berbice—in present-day Guyana—launched a huge uprising against their oppressors. Surrounded by jungle and savannah, the revolutionaries—many of them African-born—effectively controlled the colony for a year as they resisted European attempts to overthrow them. In the end, the Dutch prevailed because of one unique advantage—their ability to call upon soldiers and supplies from neighbouring colonies as well as from Europe. Th...more

  • Inside Downing Street with Gavin Barwell

    Dec 14 2021

    British politician Gavin Barwell served as Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Theresa May from June 2017 to July 2019, one of the most turbulent periods in recent British political history.As the Prime Minister’s senior political adviser, Barwell was at May's side as she navigated tumultuous Brexit negotiations, met Donald Trump, learnt about the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury, met Jeremy Corbyn and Keir Starmer to broker a cross-party Brexit agreement - and ultimately made the...more

  • Hitler's American Gamble

    Dec 13 2021

    The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7 1941 remains etched in public memory as the turning point of WW2. But in fact, it was Hitler’s declaration of war on the United States – four days later on December 11, 1941 – that changed everything. In this episode, Professor of International Relations at Cambridge University Brendan Simms tells Dan the story of those five unsettling days. Churchill did not sleep “the sleep of the saved and thankful” after the attack, as he later claimed. ...more

  • The Secrets of WW2's Women Soldiers

    Dec 12 2021

    The Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) was the women's branch of the British Army during the Second World War. Formed in 1938 it saw many thousands of women take on a huge range of vital roles in the war effort which had never before been open to them. This included manning anti-aircraft stations, searchlights, plotting rooms and many more. This could be dangerous work and over 700 women were killed during the conflict. Some women also faced dangers closer to home including the behaviour of som...more

  • Battle of Austerlitz: Napoleon's Greatest Victory

    Dec 10 2021

    2 December is a special date for those fascinated by Napoleon Bonaparte. Not only is this the date he crowned himself Emperor of France in 1804, but also the date of his greatest victory a year later, the Battle of Austerlitz. James Rogers from the Warfare podcast is joined by world-leading historian Andrew Roberts to dissect the conditions, tactics and aftermath of Napoleon's greatest battle. If you’re enjoying this podcast and looking for more fascinating Warfare content then subscribe to our ...more

  • Moscow 1941: Hitler's Nemesis with Jonathan Dimbleby

    Dec 09 2021

    While the allies reeled from the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour and Hitler's declaration of war on the United States, a ferocious battle was also raging across the icy steppes of Russia in early December 1941. Hitler had launched his invasion of the Soviet Union in June of that year - Operation Barbarossa- the largest and deadliest in modern history. The German army was no match for the sheer number of soldiers sent by Stalin or the brutal conditions of a Russian winter. By the time Hitle...more

  • Inside North Korea

    Dec 08 2021

    With closed borders, a totalitarian regime, electricity blackouts and widespread poverty, North Korea is a brutal place to survive; even looking at a foreign media outlet can get a North Korean citizen sent to a concentration camp. So why, in 2011 did leader Kim Jong Il allow Jean Lee, a celebrated American journalist to set up a news bureau in Pyongyang?In today's episode, Jean is Dan's guide to North Korea. She tells him about her extraordinary experiences living and working in North Kore...more

  • Pearl Harbor: 80th Anniversary

    Dec 07 2021

    On December 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service launched a surprise military strike upon the United States against the naval base at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii. Just before 8 a.m., the base was attacked by 353 Imperial Japanese aircraft as fighters, level, dive bombers, and torpedo bombers descended on the base in two waves. More than 2,400 Americans died in the attack, including civilians, and another 1,000 people were wounded. The following day, President Frankli...more

  • Barbados: The World's Newest Republic

    Dec 06 2021

    November 30 2021, Bridgetown, fifty-five years since Barbados’ 1966 Independence, the Royal Standard flag representing the Queen was lowered and Dame Sandra Mason was sworn in as the president of Barbados. The handover ceremony marked the birth of the world’s newest republic.The most easterly of the Caribbean Islands, Barbados was inhabited by its indigenous peoples prior to the European colonisation of the Americas in the 16th century. Under the command of Captain John Powell, the first English...more

  • Band of Brothers

    Dec 05 2021

    HBO's Band of Brothers remains one of the greatest mini-series ever made. 20 years after the award-winning series debuted, Dan speaks to Robin Laing who played Edward 'Babe' Heffron about life on set, how they created an entire frozen forest inside an air hanger during a sweltering August and his close relationship with the real Babe Heffron. They're joined by writer John Orloff who tells them about being approached by Tom Hanks and writing two of the most crucial episodes in the serie...more

  • The Hundred Years' War

    Dec 03 2021

    Over 100 years of conflict, two warring nations, five monarchs on either side and countless casualties in a dispute over claims to the throne: in this episode, Gone Medieval's Matt Lewis unravels the numbers. He takes us through the biggest turning points of the Hundred Years’ War chronologically and gives us some insight into the personalities involved on the English and French sides.    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Discovered! Rare Celtic Coins in the New Forest

    Dec 02 2021

    In a special episode of the podcast, Dan and his team hit the road after receiving a call about the discovery of a hoard of rare Iron Age coins, at a secret location in the New Forest. At the St Barbe Museum in Lymington, Dan speaks to the detectorists who made the discovery of a lifetime and to Professor Emeritus Tony King about what these coins and their unusual imagery tell us about Britain's Celtic ancestors and civilization before the Romans arrived. It's important for the local commun...more

  • Ridley Scott on Gucci, Gladiator and the Blitz

    Dec 01 2021

    Please note that this episode contains the use of explicit language right from the very beginning.  Ridley Scott, a prolific director and producer, is responsible for some of the most critically acclaimed films of all time. While "Alien" (1979) and "Blade Runner" (1982), are regarded as significantly influential sci-fi films, "Gladiator" (2000) and "Black Hawk Down" (2001), to name just a few, highlight his dedication to epic historical dramas.Drawing from more recent history upon the ...more

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger on Churchill's Birthday

    Nov 30 2021

    Actor and former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger joins Dan in conversation on today's podcast about Winston Churchill, who was born on this day in 1874. They talk about Arnie's admiration for the former British Prime Minister as a leader and a thinker, how he modelled his own governorship on Churchill while in office from 2003-2011, and how he ended up in California in the first place.   See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Winston Churchill

    Nov 29 2021

    Winston Churchill was many things a writer, politician, journalist, painter but the defining aspect of his career was as a war leader. Warfare infused his life from its very beginning due to his relation to the Duke of Marlborough and a childhood re-enacting the Battle of Waterloo in the ground of Blenheim Palace. As a young man, he saw conflict at first hand both as a soldier and a reporter in Cuba, India, Sudan and South Africa. In the political wilderness following the disaster of Gallipoli d...more

  • The Complicated Legacy of F W de Klerk

    Nov 28 2021

    The result of his complicated legacy, the death of South Africa's last apartheid president, F W de Klerk, on November 11 2021 generated a flood of differing assessments. De Klerk wrote himself into the history of South Africa on February 2 1990, when he announced the unbanning of the African National Party (ANC) and other liberation movements, as well as the release of Nelson Mandela from prison. While this set South Africa on the path of reform, De Klerk’s failure to break free of apartheid thi...more

  • The Rise of the Praetorian Guard

    Nov 26 2021

    From Gladiator to Rome Total War to Star Wars, today the Praetorians are one of the most distinctive military units of Imperial Rome. It was their job to protect the Roman Emperor and his household, a task for which they hold a somewhat ‘chequered’ record (especially when we focus in on the Praetorian Prefects). But what do we know about this unit’s origins? How did this powerful force become protectors of the Emperor and his household? What other functions did they serve? And how did they diffe...more

  • The British Spy who Saved Jews from Hitler

    Nov 25 2021

    Thomas Kendrick was at the very centre of British Intelligence operations throughout the first half of the twentieth century. He combined a public face of an English gentleman whilst privately masterminding MI6's spy networks throughout Europe. Perhaps his finest hour came in the run-up to the Second World War when stationed in Vienna as a British passport officer he issued thousands of visas and passports to Austrian Jews enabling an estimated 10,000 people to escape the coming Holocaust. Betra...more

  • From the Punjab to the Western Front

    Nov 24 2021

    Over a million Indian soldiers served during the First World War, but many of the records of the soldiers who fought valiantly for the Allied cause had been lost - hiding their stories from history. Until now. Discovered in a basement of a museum in Lahore, Pakistan, where they had been left unread for 97 years, these newly recovered documents have allowed historians to put the men of the Indian Army back into the story of the allied war effort.To explain the significance of the records that hav...more

  • The British Monarchy

    Nov 23 2021

    The British Monarchy is a thread that has run throughout the history of Britain but over the centuries it has been a constantly evolving institution. From the warrior kings of early England steeped in violence to the largely symbolic constitutional monarch of today, Tracy Borman helps Dan chart how the monarchy has changed and what roles it continues to play. They discuss the best and worst of British Monarchs, why women seem to be better suited for this gargantuan job, her personal favourite ru...more

  • The Assassination of JFK: Explained

    Nov 22 2021

    Everyone who was alive at the time remembers the day President John F. Kennedy was shot dead in Dallas, Texas on the 22 November 1963. On this anniversary Dan gives a moment-by-moment account of the day that shocked the world and speaks to Jefferson Morley, a former Washington Post journalist and leading authority on the subject. They discuss the aftermath of the assassination and what the public was never told by the White House and the CIA. To this day, Jefferson is still fighting for the rele...more

  • Greg Jenner: Ask a Historian

    Nov 21 2021

    When and why did we start keeping hamsters as pets? When was sign language first used in the UK? If you were planning a bank heist, which historical figures would you call on? These are just some of the burning historical questions that public historian and podcaster, Greg Jenner, is tackling in his new book, Ask A Historian: 50 Surprising Answers to Things You Always Wanted to Know.In this episode, Greg joins Dan to explain the motivations behind the book, how he sees the role of public hi...more

  • Searching for the Lost of World War One

    Nov 19 2021

    At the end of the World War One, around one million citizens of the British Empire had been lost, and the whereabouts of about half of these was unknown. Families could be waiting weeks, months or years to hear whether their loved ones were imprisoned, wounded, missing or dead, if they heard at all. This was the task of the searchers. In the years following the war, these volunteer investigators conducted 5 million interviews, finding answers for around 400 thousand families. Robert Sackville-We...more

  • The Magic Circle & Hoaxes in History

    Nov 18 2021

    Hoaxes and magic were widespread in 18th century Britain. From a woman who claimed to birth rabbits, to a man who said he’d climb into a bottle in front of a live audience, many of the claims sound laughably unbelievable to us today. But at the time, these sorts of hoaxes were widely influential, even drawing in celebrities of the day such as Benjamin Franklin and Jonathan Swift. This episode, Dan is joined by joined by historian and magician, Ian Keable, who details some of the most bamboozling...more

  • When the World's Armies Came to Salisbury Plain

    Nov 17 2021

    During World War One, Britain and its empire mobilised soldiers on a hitherto unprecedented scale. That required a huge logistical effort to feed, equip, house and train them. No place reflects these efforts better than Salisbury Plains. Now mainly sleepy villages and farmland, these plains were once home to tens of thousands of men and women who descended on the camps to prepare for war. In this episode historian Margaret McKenzie, who spent the last 30 years studying the camps, takes Dan on a ...more

  • We Didn't Start the Fire: Dien Bien Phu

    Nov 16 2021

    This episode of the podcast comes from a show called ‘We Didn’t Start The Fire’ which is a modern history podcast inspired by the lyrics of the legend that is Billy Joel. In this episode, Dan chats with the wonderful Katie Puckrik and Tom Fordyce about the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, which took place in 1954 in Vietnam. If any place on Earth symbolises the end of the European Empire, it’s here.If you want more of those episodes, go and look up the rest of the series right now. They’ve got loads of ...more

  • Our Love Affair with History

    Nov 15 2021

    From the great battles such as Dunkirk, historical titans such Alexander the Great and historical oddities such as Henry VIII's enemas Dan speaks to author and historian Dominic Sandbrook about what it is that sparks a passion for history. They also discuss the challenges of writing and podcasting about history and Dominic's new series of books Adventures in Time which aim to bring the past alive for twenty-first century children, allowing them to discover the thrills and spills of history withi...more

  • Stories of War with Max Hastings

    Nov 14 2021

    As the country remembers the sacrifice made by those men and women who have given their lives and health in serving the nation Dan is joined by Sir Max Hastings to examine the ever-changing face of warfare. His new book Soldiers: Great Stories of War and Peace examines not just the heroism of those who have fought wars over the centuries but also the suffering and squalor that conflict brings. Sir Max also reflects on his own experiences as a battlefield reporter in Vietnam and the Falklands, th...more

  • How Catherine of Aragon Learnt to be Queen

    Nov 12 2021

    The Spanish infanta Catalina of Aragon was raised to be a Queen, betrothed at the age of three to the heir apparent of the English throne, Arthur Prince of Wales. Eight years after Arthur's death, she became the first of Henry VIII's six wives. Catalina's mother - Queen Isabella I of Castile - was the most influential person in her life. Witness at an early age the expulsion of Jews, the defeat of the Moors in Spain, and the triumphal return of Christopher Columbus, Catherine grew up to be an in...more

  • WW1 and its Aftermath with Sebastian Faulks

    Nov 11 2021

    Sebastian Faulks is a novelist who really needs no introduction, perhaps most famous for his novel Birdsong, he has written powerfully and poignantly about the impact of war on the human spirit. In this episode of the podcast, he joins Dan to talk about his newest novel Snow Country. Set in Austria in the aftermath of the First World War the novel serves as a perfect starting place to discuss how wars are remembered by those who took part and those whose lives were shaped by them. They explore h...more

  • Did Immigration Really Cause the Fall of Rome?

    Nov 10 2021

    Boris Johnson recently stated that the fall of Rome was caused by 'uncontrolled migration' and the image of a mighty empire bought to its knees by hordes of barbarians from the east is certainly a powerful one. It is, however, not true and for many historians, even the idea of the "fall" of the empire is considered dubious. In the west, the empire dissolved into successor states that continued many elements of Roman bureaucracy and societal order. In the east, the empire became the Byzantine Emp...more

  • The Rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall

    Nov 09 2021

    The Berlin Wall was an icon of the Cold War and a physical embodiment of the divide between East and West. Its rise and fall was a microcosm of the conflict and its fall marked the beginning of a new post-Cold War world.Today on the podcast Dan is joined by two eyewitnesses to the wall to hear first-hand its physical and psychological impact. First Dan speaks to Sir Robert Corbett. His military career was book-ended by the wall as his first command as a young officer in the Irish Guards was in B...more

  • Colonel Gaddafi and Libya

    Nov 08 2021

    Even after his overthrow and bloody death in 2011, Colonel Gaddafi still looms large over Libya but there is much more to the history of this important and often misunderstood country. It is the 16th largest country on Earth, its capital Tripoli is closer to London than Athens is and Britain's relationship with the country goes back to the 17th century and beyond. Over the centuries Libya has been an important trading partner and has been a battlefield across which Commonwealth forces battled du...more

  • Bar Kokhba: Hadrian's Worst Nightmare

    Nov 07 2021

    In AD132 began the bloody struggle over who would rule a nation. The clash of two ancient cultures was fought between two strong-willed leaders, Hadrian, the cosmopolitan ruler of the vast Roman Empire, and Shim’on, a Jewish military leader who some believed to be the ‘King Messiah’.During the ‘Second Jewish War’ – the highly motivated Jewish militia sorely tested the highly trained professional Roman army. The rebels withstood the Roman onslaught for three-and-a-half years (AD132–136) and estab...more

  • The Gunpowder Plot

    Nov 05 2021

    On 5 November 1605, an audacious plan to decapitate the British state was foiled when Guy Fawkes and nearly a ton of gunpowder were discovered in an undercroft beneath the House of Lords. The plan was to blow up King James I and the majority of the nation's religious and political leadership during the State Opening of Parliament and incite a Catholic uprising across the country. It was hatched by a group of disillusioned Catholics, led by Robert Catesby, in a bid to end Catholic persecution and...more

  • The Vikings Who Beat Columbus to America

    Nov 04 2021

    Five centuries before Christopher Columbus set foot in America, the Vikings had already crossed the Atlantic. Using new dating techniques, scientists studying timber buildings at L’Anse aux Meadows on the northern tip of Canada’s Newfoundland, have established the Norse settled in AD 1021, 471 years before Columbus’s first voyage. While it’s already known the Vikings landed in North America, exactly when they settled has remained an estimate, until now. Cat Jarman, world-leading Vikings expert a...more

  • WWII's Battle for London

    Nov 03 2021

    At the start of the Second World War London was one of the largest and most important cities in the world, a centre of industry, finance and the heart of Britain's empire. It was also an irresistible target for the Luftwaffe and between 1940 and 1945 London would be mercilessly attacked by German aircraft and V-weapons. Thousands were killed and wounded and many parts of the city were left devastated by the bombing but ultimately the Nazi attempt to cut the head off the imperial snake failed. To...more

  • The History of Money

    Nov 02 2021

    It is said that money makes the world goes round and has done for millennia, but what exactly is money and where does it come from? To find out Dan is joined by Jacob Goldstein, American journalist, writer, podcast host and author of: Money: The True Story of a Made-Up Thing. They explore the concept and form of money from the first coins in the ancient world through the many booms and busts to the invention of stock exchanges, central banks and into the digitised world of today. Through this, w...more

  • Why We're Wrong About George III

    Nov 01 2021

    George III ruled through an extraordinary period of revolutionary change, political upheaval, gigantic war and scientific, industrial and technological revolution. However, he is now most famous for being the king who lost America and for his mental illness. These two events are undoubtedly important parts of his reign but is George III perhaps the most underrated monarch in British History? To find out Dan spoke to historian Andrew Roberts biographer of Churchill, Napoleon and now George III. T...more

  • Ghost Stories: The History

    Oct 30 2021

    Ghosts have inspired, fascinated and frightened us for centuries. The belief in the existence of an afterlife, as well as manifestations of the spirits of the dead, is widespread, dating all the way back to pre-literate cultures. Whether we personally ‘believe’ in them or not, we have an awareness of ghosts and the mythologies surrounding them.Dr Irving Finkel, a curator at the British Museum, has embarked on an ancient ghost hunt, scouring to unlock the secrets of the Sumerians, Babylonians and...more

  • The Lost Tomb of Alexander the Great

    Oct 28 2021

    In his lifetime King Alexander III of Macedon, better known as Alexander the Great, forged one of the largest empires in ancient history. But it was what happened to Alexander following his demise – his ‘life after death’ - which resulted in one of the great archaeological mysteries of the ancient Mediterranean. Following his death, aged just 32, his corpse became of prime importance for his former subordinates – a talismanic symbol of legitimacy during the tumultuous period that was the Wars of...more

  • The Truth About Hollywood Cowboys

    Oct 27 2021

    At the end of the American Civil War, thousands of African Americans ventured west to the frontier in a bid to achieve freedom and escape the prejudice they faced. Many of these frontiersmen became cowboys with up to 25 per cent of cowboys were in fact black. Whilst Westerns became big business in Hollywood this fact was largely been ignored by major film studios. Why is this? To find out Dan is joined for today's podcast by Tony Warner, a historian who runs Black History Walks in London and an ...more

  • Tank Standoff at Checkpoint Charlie

    Oct 26 2021

    For 16 hours between the 27 to 28 October 1961, the world held its breath as Soviet and US tanks faced each other down at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin and came very close to turning the Cold War hot. However, one of the most dramatic and dangerous showdowns of the cold war has been largely overshadowed by the Cuban Missile Crisis a year later which saw the two superpowers go head to head once more. To discuss how it was that tanks came to be deployed ready for battle at one of the most sensitive...more

  • Richard III vs Henry VII

    Oct 25 2021

    We all think we know the story of Richard III and Henry VII, or do we? Richard III is often portrayed as a child-murdering usurper whose reign was brought to a bloody end by Henry VII at the Battle of Bosworth. It was a grudge match to decide who would become King of England, but how true is this story really? In this episode, we'll find out as we ask the big questions about Richard III and Henry VII. Did Richard kill the princes in the tower? Were the motives of Henry's supporters' honest ones?...more

  • Sharpe is Back! Bernard Cornwell

    Oct 24 2021

    Watch out loyal servants of Napoleon, Sharpe is back! In this episode, Dan sits down with legendary author Bernard Cornwell to discuss the return of his most famous and loved character. Dan asks Bernard all the big questions and discovers how Sharpe originated from adversity, where his love of the Napoleonic period came from, what he thought of the TV adaptation and what else lies in store for his venerable hero.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Tuskegee Airmen: A WW2 Pilot's Story

    Oct 23 2021

    The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African-American military aviators in American military history. They faced discrimination and segregation at home but in the skies of Europe, they became one of the most successful and feared fighter units as they escorted bombers on raids in Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Poland and Germany.As Dan discovers in this episode just becoming a Tuskegee Airmen was a dangerous business and several pilots were killed on training exercises in the USA. Two pilots we...more

  • Britain's Overlooked Hero: From the Trenches to the Blitz

    Oct 21 2021

    Serving on the front lines of the First World War, the homefront of the Second World War and as a community leader throughout his life, George Arthur Roberts was a truly inspirational figure. Yet, his amazing story is little known. After the outbreak of the First World War broke out he travelled from Trinidad to the UK and eventually joined the Middlesex Regiment. He saw considerable action at the Battle of Loos, the Dardanelles campaign and the Somme where his wounds forced him out of the war. ...more

  • The Battle of Trafalgar

    Oct 20 2021

    On 21 October 1805, A British fleet commanded by Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson met the combined might of the French and Spanish fleets off the coast of Spain. Outnumbered, Nelson used innovative tactics to break up the allied fleet and ensure success but at great cost to his men and of course himself. It was a truly crushing defeat for the Franco-Spanish forces though. With the majority of their ships destroyed or captured it confirmed Britain's naval supremacy for decades to come. In this dramati...more

  • How Brutish Were Our Ancestors?

    Oct 19 2021

    Was life for our ancient ancestors brutish and short or did they exist as noble savages free and living in harmony with nature and each other? Many of our assumptions about ancient societies stem from renaissance theories about how society should be organized and what civilisation is. Dan is joined by David Wengrow, Professor of Comparative Archaeology at University College London and co-author of The Dawn of Everything to challenge some of these assumptions and show that they were founded on cr...more

  • How Alcohol Built the British Empire

    Oct 18 2021

    During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as the British Empire expanded across the globe an almost ubiquitous but often underappreciated commodity went with it; alcohol. The distillation, sale and drinking of booze played an essential role in trade, seafaring and colonial societies. But for many indigenous communities this came at a terrible price as, previously unfamiliar, distilled spirits wreaked havoc on their communities and reinforced the racial ideologies that legitimised imperialis...more

  • Dresden Survivor: Remembering Victor Gregg

    Oct 17 2021

    On 12 October 2021 World War Two veteran Victor Gregg passed away peacefully in his sleep just before his 102 birthday. He was part of a unique generation that with the passing of the years is sadly disappearing all too fast. Victor joined the army in 1937 and served and India and Palestine before the war. During the Second World War, he fought in the Western Desert before joining the Parachute Regiment. He was taken prisoner as the Allies retreated during the Battle of Arnhem, and was taken as ...more

  • Operation Barbarossa: The Lost Diaries

    Oct 16 2021

    Operation Barbarossa saw a clash of arms between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union of unprecedented scale and savagery, but what was it really like to serve on the front lines of the Eastern Front? The historian Rob Schäfer has given History Hit exclusive access to the diaries of Lt. Friedrich Sander, a Panzer officer and one of the 3 million German troops involved in Operation Barbarossa. The diaries are brutal in their honesty openly describing the atrocities Sander was involved in and his opi...more

  • The Haitian Revolution

    Oct 14 2021

    In 1791 the slaves of the French colony of Sant-Domingue rose up against their colonial masters and after a long and bloody struggle, defeated them to found the state of Haiti. Led by charismatic leaders such as Toussaint Louverture it was the only example of a successful slave revolution and the state that was founded was one free of slavery. It was a conflict that sucked in several competing empires and was defining moment in the history of the Atlantic World. Marlene Daut, Professor of Africa...more

  • The Battle of Hastings

    Oct 13 2021

    On 14 October 1066 the armies of William, the Duke of Normandy, and the Anglo-Saxon King Harold Godwinson clashed near Hastings in one of the most famous battles in history and one that would decide the fate of the English throne. We all know the outcome but how and why did the battle take place? To answer this question Dan returns with another explainer episode to put the battle in its proper context and explain how William was able to defeat Harold on that bloody day in 1066 to become King. Yo...more

  • Lady Jane Grey

    Oct 12 2021

    On a cold February morning in 1554, Lady Jane Grey was beheaded for high treason. Named as King Edward VI as his successor, Queen Jane had reigned for just 13 tumultuous days before being imprisoned in the Tower, condemned and executed. In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb talks to author and historian Nicola Tallis who reveals the moving, human story of an intelligent, independent and courageous young woman, forced onto the English throne by the great power player...more

  • Maurice Hilleman: Vaccine Creator

    Oct 11 2021

    Dr Maurice Hilleman was a leading American microbiologist who specialised in vaccinology and immunology. He discovered nine vaccines that are routinely recommended for children today, rendering formerly devastating diseases practically forgotten. Considered by many to be the father of modern vaccines, Hilleman was directly involved in the development of most of the vaccines available today, including those for measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, influenza, Japanese encephalitis, p...more

  • Jack the Ripper Retold

    Oct 10 2021

    In 1888 a series of brutal killings took place in Whitechapel, London which might be the most famous unsolved murders of all time. The case and the killer attracted a worldwide media frenzy like never before and the perpetrator nicknamed Jack the Ripper has gone down in infamy. But an obsession to identify the killer both then and now has meant that the victims of these terrible crimes have been largely forgotten. Polly Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, and Mary Jane K...more

  • Operation Jubilee: Disaster at Dieppe

    Oct 09 2021

    In August 1942 the Allies launched a daring raid across the Channel to capture the port town of Dieppe and hold it for 24 hours. It ended in disaster and death with nearly two-thirds of the attackers killed, wounded or captured. In the aftermath, commanders were quick to try and justify the carnage claiming that the raid was necessary to learn lessons in advance of future large scale amphibious operations in Europe and to show the Soviets that the Western Allies were serious about opening a seco...more

  • Gangsters, Pimps & Prostitutes: London's West End

    Oct 07 2021

    London's West End attracts people from across the world to its many theatres, restaurants and famous nightlife but how did this centre of pleasure come to be? Originally on the fringe of London from its very inception, it was the playground of the rich seeking to let their hair down. Many of these entertainments were far from wholesome though with freakshows, drink, drugs and sex rife amongst its theatres, music halls and clubs. There have been many attempts to control this hedonism most of whic...more

  • Al Qaeda

    Oct 06 2021

    Their attacks of 11 September 2001 sparked a War on Terror which echoes loudly to this day, but where did Al Qaeda come from, how did their ideologies form and what role do they play in the world today? For this episode of the Warfare podcast, James spoke to Dr Afzal Ashraf, an expert in Al Qaeda's ideology and violent religious extremism. Dr Ashraf spent over 30 years in the UK Armed Forces as a senior officer and is a Senior Government Advisor.   See acast.com/privacy for privac...more

  • Britain and the Slave Trade

    Oct 05 2021

    Between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, Britain was a key player in the transportation of millions of enslaved Africans to the colonies. Their labour in often brutal conditions was a vital component in enriching Britain and turning it into a global superpower. The business of slavery did not just make plantation owners and other elites wealthy though, in fact, its reach touched every aspect and stratum of British society. From the money to found schools, to welsh cloth makers, publicans,...more

  • The Winter of Discontent

    Oct 04 2021

    In the bitter winter of 1978-1979 petrol ran short, panic buying was rife, rubbish piled up in the streets and bodies went unburied as a wave of industrial action swept the UK; but what lessons might be learned as we face our own shortages of food and fuel? The disruption was in fact relatively short-lived but the Winter of Discontent has left a deep imprint on British social and political culture which we can still feel today. Historian Alwyn Turner joins the podcast to explain what caused this...more

  • William Wallace

    Oct 03 2021

    William Wallace is a legendary figure in Scottish history as one of the leaders of the First War of Scottish Independence. He led the Scots to a famous victory at the Battle of Stirling Bridge before being defeated at the Battle of Falkirk and was eventually betrayed meeting a gruesome end in London in 1305. Dan is joined by Professor Tony Pollard for this episode to talk about one of the most famous and mythologised characters in Scottish history. They discuss the truth behind William Wallace, ...more

  • James Holland on The Sherwood Rangers: Legendary Tank Regiment

    Oct 02 2021

    Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry was one of the best tank regiments of the Second World War and was at the speartip of the British Army from the North Africa campaign to Northern Europe right up to the fall of the Third Reich in 1945. They saw an incredible amount of action as one of the first British units ashore on D-Day and were also the first British unit to fight on German soil in 1944. The regiment's story is also one of remarkable transformation reflecting the rapidly changing face of war. They ...more

  • Æthelred the Unready

    Sep 30 2021

    His 38 years as king make him one of the longest-ruling monarchs in English history, and yet he is remembered as unsuccessful, naive and overly harsh on his opponents. In this episode from our sibling podcast Gone Medieval, Levi Roach discusses the rule of Æthelred the Unready. Was he as much of a failure as his nickname suggests? And what does that nickname actually mean? Levi, from the University of Exeter, is the author of 'Æthelred the Unready'.    See acast.com/privacy f...more

  • Bond, The Secret Service & Exporting Britain's Influence

    Sep 29 2021

    James Bond is a character that has come to define a certain kind of Britishness but what, if any, role does 007 play in the real world of intelligence? Professor Christopher Andrew, the official historian of MI5, joins the podcast today and in his opinion, James Bond has been a surprisingly valuable asset to British intelligence over the last five decades. Indeed, the Bond brand has helped our security services to punch above their weight across the globe. Christopher and Dan also discuss the or...more

  • James Bond

    Sep 28 2021

    James Bond is one of the most successful films and book franchises of all time and with the arrival of a new addition to the canon it seemed the perfect time to explore the history of this iconic character. To do this Dan is joined Matt Gourley who is a James bond superfan and host of the brilliant James Bonding podcast. They explore the origins of the character, how the films offer a reflection of society during different periods, some of the more troubling aspects of the character, Dan's famil...more

  • The Last Witches of England

    Sep 27 2021

    In 1682 three women, Temperance Lloyd, Mary Trembles and Susannah Edwards, from the town of Bideford were tried and hanged as witches. They were convicted on flimsy evidence, including an incident where a magpie, supposedly a symbol of the devil, had spooked the wife of a local merchant. Indeed, the authorities at the time cynically allowed the trial to go ahead to avoid invoking the ire of the local population. The three women would be the last people to be executed for witchcraft in England an...more

  • Sir Ranulph Fiennes on Shackleton

    Sep 26 2021

    Sir Ranulph Fiennes is possibly the most famous living explorer but he believes that the greatest ever polar explorer is Sir Ernest Shackleton. Although Shackleton's expeditions largely ended in failure and disaster his inspirational leadership, bravery and temperament have all been a key source of inspiration for Sir Ranulph during his many adventures. In this episode, Sir Ranulph joins Dan to talk about the incredible journey Shackleton and his men made to save themselves after the loss of the...more

  • Duke of Windsor: The Nazi King?

    Sep 25 2021

    When Edward VIII abdicated the throne in December 1936 his desire to marry the American divorcee Wallis Simpson was cited as the main cause but did his sympathy with Nazi Germany also play its part? Today's guest on the podcast author Andrew Lownie believes so and he goes as far as to say that Edward was actively intriguing with the Nazis to engineer his return as king should Britain be defeated. The Duke and Duchess of Windsor had made a well-publicized trip to Nazi Germany in 1937 and even met...more

  • The Rise of Hannibal

    Sep 24 2021

    He was one of the greatest enemies the Romans ever faced. An excellent general and a larger-than-life figure, he led an army across the alps and dealt a series of crushing defeats upon the Romans on Italian soil. His achievements have become a thing of legend and his name has become immortalised. He was Hannibal Barca. Hannibal rests amongst antiquity's greatest generals, but how did he rise to become such a stellar commander, leading his men to incredible victories against the then dominant pow...more

  • Child Survivors of the Holocaust

    Sep 23 2021

    The Holocaust was perhaps the most infamous and traumatic event of the Twentieth century and it seared itself into the consciousness of the world but some survivors find themselves in the strange position of having no memory of the events which they lived through. As the years pass, our connection with the Holocaust fades with the passing of each survivor. Indeed many of the surviving witnesses to the Holocaust were children many of whom were too young to remember or understand what went on. Thi...more

  • A History of Sex for Sale

    Sep 22 2021

    Sometimes referred to as the world's oldest profession sex workers have been part of human society for as long as recorded history, but how have societies viewed them through the ages? In the episode, Dan is joined by Dr Kate Lister to find out how the treatment of sex workers has changed, whether the Victorians were really prudes, what you might find in a Roman brothel, fleshy thighs and how conditions for sex workers could be improved today.Dr Kate Lister is a lecturer in the School of Arts an...more

  • History of the Taliban

    Sep 21 2021

    In August 2021 the Taliban swept to power in Afghanistan for the second time capturing Kabul and ousting the American backed regime, but where do they come from and what does their return to power mean for the region? To find out more about the history of the Taliban and the impact of them re-conquering Afghanistan Dan is joined by Pakistani journalist and author Ahmed Rashid. Ahmed was the first journalist to meet the Taliban in 1994 and has spent much of his career writing about them and their...more

  • Twelve Caesars with Mary Beard

    Sep 20 2021

    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 classicist Mary Beard to explore the history of the first twelve Caesars. They discuss how these autocratic rulers have been portrayed throughout history, h...more

  • The Harlem Hellfighters of World War One

    Sep 19 2021

    During World War One the 369th Infantry Regiment of the US Army gained a fearsome reputation. One of the most effective fighting units they spent more time in the frontline and suffered more casualties than any other American regiment. Given the nickname Men of Bronze by the French and the Hell-fighters by the Germans they were feared and respected in equal measure. The men of the 369th preferred, at the time, to be called the Black Rattlers and what set them apart from other units was that they...more

  • The Frontiers of Science & History with A.C. Grayling

    Sep 18 2021

    A. C. Grayling is one of the foremost minds of his generation and his new book explores some of the biggest questions that face humanity. What do we know, how do we know it and what is left to find out? In this wide-ranging conversation, he and Dan attempt to tackle some of these important questions. They discuss the incredible progress humanity has made in the last century, how history informs and helps us understand our world and how much there is still to learn about our ancient past and beyo...more

  • Henry VIII's Break with Rome

    Sep 17 2021

    King Henry VIII was deeply religious and started out as a staunch supporter of the Pope and the Roman Catholic church. But everything changed when Henry's need to produce a male successor led to his wanting to divorce Catherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn. In this first of an occasional series of Explainer podcasts, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb offers everything you ever wanted to know about one of the most famous and far-reaching episodes in British history.  See acast.com/privacy ...more

  • Hunting Stolen Nazi Art

    Sep 16 2021

    As the Nazi war machine rampaged across Europe it did not just take territory and resources from its conquests but also many thousands of pieces of art and other antiquities. Stolen from both galleries and individual victims of Nazi crimes allied troops discovered hidden caches of priceless artworks throughout Europe. As the war had proceeded it had been recognised that these cultural treasures needed protection from the fighting and where necessary rescuing and returning to their rightful owner...more

  • The Battle of Britain

    Sep 15 2021

    15 September marks Battle of Britain Day when the Luftwaffe sought a final decisive final battle over the skies of Britain with the RAF. In a day of costly fighting, nearly 60 German aircraft were shot down and over 100 aircrew lost. From this point onwards the Luftwaffe, unable to sustain such heavy casualties, would only attack at night and it became clear to German High Command that air superiority over Britain was out of reach. Two days later Hitler indefinitely postponed Operation Sealion t...more

  • The Last Hanging in Cardiff Prison

    Sep 14 2021

    In September 1952 Mahmood Hussein Mattan became the last to be hanged at Cardiff Prison, but Mahmood had in fact been framed by the police and 45 years later his conviction was quashed. Mahmood had been a merchant seaman who had ended up settling in Cardiff and marrying a Welsh woman called Laura Williams. They lived in the Tiger Bay district of Cardiff and had three children but in 1950 had separated. Mahmood had had a number of encounters with the police and had committed some minor offences s...more

  • Viking Legend: Ragnar Lothbrok

    Sep 13 2021

    Ragnor Lothbrook is a legendary Viking figure who straddled the line between myth and reality. His adventures and deeds appear in the Viking sagas, but there is little hard evidence for his existence and according to the different sagas he dies on multiple different occasions and in a variety of grisly ways. His sons including Ivar the Boneless, Halfdan Ragnarsson, Björn Ironside, Ubbe and Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye are undoubtedly real historical figures and themselves lived extraordinary lives. W...more

  • 9/11: The Legacy

    Sep 12 2021

    The tragic events of 9/11 left thousands dead and injured and the impact of that loss is still being felt twenty years later by the families. It was also a day of extraordinary escapes as thousands more fled the twin towers after the planes hit. In this podcast, we both remember those people who died and also hear an extraordinary story of survival. Dan is first joined by Jonathan Egan who lost his father, Michael, and aunt, Christine, during the attacks on 9/11. Whilst Jonathan is a New Yo...more

  • 9/11: The Fire Commissioner at Ground Zero

    Sep 11 2021

    On the morning of September 11th, 2001 terrorists flew planes into both the World Trade Centre towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington with a further plane crashing in Pennsylvania as the passengers onboard attempted to wrest control of the aircraft from the hijackers. This atrocity utterly changed the world leaving thousands dead and injured and launched the War on Terror. Many people can remember where they were on that fateful day and for some, it was on the frontline of the at...more

  • The Blitz: An Alternative History

    Sep 10 2021

    Between September 1940 and May 1941, the German Luftwaffe relentlessly pounded British cities with bombs in an attempt to force the British to surrender. Ultimately whilst killing thousands and causing extensive damage the bombing offensive failed. The morale of the British public was largely undimmed and war production was never seriously impacted. The Blitz has become a key part of the British national psyche with many celebrating the 'Blitz spirit' with people coming together and helping one ...more

  • America's Secret President

    Sep 09 2021

    In October 1919 President Woodrow Wilson suffered a massive stroke leaving him paralyzed and partially blind. In the face of this crisis of leadership the First Lady, Edith Wilson stepped in to conceal the extent of his illness. Edith acted as his gatekeeper deciding whom Woodrow Wilson saw, what material he read and even taking decisions on his behalf and firing people. Her influence was so great that some people have described her as America’s secret first female President.To help tell Edith's...more

  • Trident: Does the Nuclear Deterrent Work?

    Sep 08 2021

    With the release of the nuclear submarine TV series, Vigil, Dr Nick Ritchie, Senior Lecturer at the University of York and the UK’s leading expert on Trident, joins James for this episode of our sibling podcast Warfare. Nick gives us a step-by-step history on the multilayered missile system, which is said to act as deterrence. Earlier this year, Boris Johnson’s government agreed to increase the amount of nuclear weapons in the UK by around 40%, and it’s still unknown where the warheads would be ...more

  • The Normans

    Sep 07 2021

    The Norman conquest of England in 1066 was one of the great milestones of English history but there were in fact many Norman invasions and their influence reached from Northern Europe through the Mediterranean and into the Middle East and North Africa. They were a phenomenon emerging in the tenth century but had disappeared by the middle of the thirteenth century. In the brief period though their influence was massive creating new kingdoms, re-shaping societies and leaving behind impressive arch...more

  • A New History of the Middle Ages with Dan Jones

    Sep 06 2021

    Do the 21st Century and the Middle Ages really share that much in common? Climate change, pandemics, technological disruption, interconnected global trade and networks may all seem like modern phenomena but according to historian and author Dan Jones, they were very part of the Middles Ages as well. Examining a millennium of history Dan Jones guides History Hit's Dan Snow through a re-examination of the Middle Ages challenging the Eurocentric view of the period and questioning whether historians...more

  • Winston Churchill: From Failures to Finest Hour

    Sep 05 2021

    Churchill is one of the great figures of history and this totemic figure is often cited as one of the greatest British figures of all time. However, whilst his achievement during the dark days of the Second World War is unquestionable, much of the rest of his career had much more to do with failure than success. Geoffrey Wheatcroft, journalist and author of Churchill's Shadow: An Astonishing Life and a Dangerous Legacy, joins Dan for this episode of the podcast. They discuss Geoffrey's radical r...more

  • The Unheard Tapes of Bomber Command

    Sep 04 2021

    Over 55,500 men died flying with Bomber Command during World War Two; more than the number who serve in the Royal Air Force today. Flying at night over occupied Europe and battling German night fighters, anti-aircraft fire and mid-air collisions, they showed astonishing courage and resilience in the face of what often seemed to be insurmountable odds. On 25 July 1943, Flight Lieutenant Stevens flew in one of the deadliest bombing raids on Essen. The moment he returned home, he made a recording o...more

  • The Start of WWII

    Sep 03 2021

    On September 1 1939 Nazi Germany invaded Poland followed two days later by France and the United Kingdom declaring war on Germany and beginning the Second World War. This was the opening act in what would be the most devastating clash in human history. By its end Europe and much of Asia lay in ruins, tens of millions of people had been killed, wounded or displaced and the world order had been irrevocably altered. But, how did it start? In this episode, Dan delivers one of his monologues on how a...more

  • Digging Medieval Battlefields

    Sep 02 2021

    How different is battlefield archaeology compared to other disciplines? Do local legends ever help track down evidence in a field? And why are potato fields in particular sometimes problematic for archaeologists? In this episode of History Hit's Gone Medieval podcast Sam Wilson, a specialist in battlefield and conflict archaeology, joins Matt Lewis to talk through his specialist work and explain more about some of his incredible discoveries.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-o...more

  • Are Mandatory Vaccines New?

    Sep 01 2021

    Vaccines have become a subject of great controversy in recent months but the requirement to have them is far from new. Almost since the earliest examples of inoculation and vaccination, they have been a requirement for different parts of society. Dan is joined by Dr Lindsay Chervinsky, a historian of Early America, the presidency, and the government to explore how vaccinations have been used throughout the history of the United States. From George Washington inoculating the Continental Army duri...more

  • John Simpson: Six Decades of Warzones

    Aug 31 2021

    Over six decades John Simpson has been on the frontline of reporting bringing news from some of the most dangerous places on the planet to the television screens of millions of people. His work has opened the public's eyes to the terrible cost of conflict across the globe. Along the way, John has been arrested, harassed, beaten up, threatened and nearly killed on a number of occasions. He joins Dan on this podcast to talk about his life, his career, the therapy of writing, why he keeps working a...more

  • The Secret History of the SBS

    Aug 30 2021

    The SBS was formed out of the Commandos during the Second World War to help counter Nazi domination of Europe. This small unit made up of regulars as well as maverick volunteers took on some of the most dangerous missions of the Second World War. Most famously Operation Frankton, where a small team who became known as the 'Cockleshell Heroes' attacked Axis shipping in Bordeaux harbour. But perhaps their biggest contribution to the war effort came in the run-up to D-Day where SBS reconnoitred the...more

  • Britain's Economy: How We Got Here

    Aug 29 2021

    The industrial revolution began in Britain and became one of the most extraordinary economic miracles in human history but the next two centuries have seen many booms and busts and have been more to do with improvisation than planning. But, how should we think about Britain's economy, how did we get to where we are today and is Britain an overachiever or underachiever economically? To help answer these questions and drill down into details of our economic history Dan is joined by Duncan Wel...more

  • Martin Luther King Jr

    Aug 28 2021

    On 28 August 1963 Martin Luther King Jr delivered his 'I have a dream' speech stood in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. to an audience of hundreds of thousands of people. The speech and King's life have been an inspiration to millions of people both in the United States and around the world in the fight for civil rights and equality. In this episode of the podcast, Dan is joined by Charles Woods, III, from the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. They discuss Martin Luther King's l...more

  • The Invasion of Poland in World War Two

    Aug 27 2021

    In this episode from the archive, Roger Moorhouse discusses the Polish campaign of 1939 comprehensively, separating the myths from reality and outlining the abject horrors that the Poles suffered under the twin occupation of the Nazis and the Soviets.   See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • The Shortest War in History

    Aug 26 2021

    On 27 August 1896, the British Empire went to war with the Zanzibar Sultanate for approximately 38 minutes! It is the shortest war in history. It came about after the death of the pro-British Sultan Hamad bin Thuwaini and his replacement by Sultan Khalid bin Barghash who favoured German interests in the region. With the commencement of hostilities, British warships bombarded the Sultan's palace cause extensive damage and over 500 casualties. Despite its brevity, the conflict is important as it m...more

  • WW2: The Great Imperial War

    Aug 25 2021

    Most consider the Second World War to have been fought between 1939-1945 but, as you'll hear in this podcast, Richard Overy believes that the conflict was much broader than this. The Second World War was in fact the last gasp of global imperialism with Italy, Germany and Japan all seeking to build new empires through violent military means and at a terrible cost to the world. The defeat of the Axis powers in 1945 left the world in ruins and saw the end of territorial empires and marked a new era...more

  • Ancient Afghanistan: The Land of a Thousand Cities

    Aug 24 2021

    Stretched along the north of the Hindu Kush mountain range and the south of the Oxus river, the history of the ancient region of Bactria envelops some of the most intriguing periods of the ancient world. The land, which now straddles parts of Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, can be tracked through the Bronze Ages, the Persian Empire and the rule of Alexander the Great, Greco-Bactrian rule and the rule of the Kushites. To guide us through this history, Tristan from our sibling podcast The ...more

  • The Fall of the Soviet Union

    Aug 23 2021

    In August 1991 there was an attempted coup in the Soviet Union as communist hard-liners sought to re-establish the dominance of Soviet rule in Russia and its satellite states. The coup attempt collapsed after three days and it eventually led to the collapse of communism. Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as General Secretary on 24 August and the Supreme Soviet of the USSR suspended the activities of the party on 29 August. Following this, later former soviet states declared their independence which has...more

  • National Security in Trump's White House

    Aug 22 2021

    H. R. McMaster is both a soldier and a scholar and has served at the highest level in government as National Security Advisor to President Trump. He served in the US Army for more than 30 years achieving the rank of lieutenant general, he saw combat during the first Gulf War and later was a counterinsurgency advisor to General David Petraeus. He has a PhD from the University of North Carolina and examining the failures of leadership during the Vietnam War and he is now a Senior Fellow at the Hoo...more

  • The Witches of Lorraine

    Aug 21 2021

    Between 1570 and 1630, there was intense persecution and thousands of executions of suspected witches in Lorraine, a small duchy on the borders of France and the Holy Roman Empire. In some cases, suspicious citizens waited decades to report their neighbours as witches. But why did they take so long to use the law to eliminate the supposedly dangerous figures who lived amongst them?Robin Briggs - Emeritus Fellow at All Souls College Oxford - has delved into perhaps the richest surviving archive o...more

  • 80th Anniversary of the First Arctic Convoy

    Aug 20 2021

    As the Soviet Union reeled from the shock of the German invasion in 1941 it asked for aid from Britain and its allies and the arctic convoys was a key part of the response. Desperate to keep the Soviets in the war and fighting the Nazi war machine Winston Churchill agreed to deliver massive amounts of material aid. Massive naval and merchant fleet operations carried material through the frigid waters north of Norway from Britain to Murmansk. This was an extremely perilous journey though and one ...more

  • What Went Wrong in Afghanistan?

    Aug 19 2021

    History is vital for contextualising current events but as Professor Paul Miller argues in today's episode of the podcast it cannot tell us all we need to know about the present especially in the case of Afghanistan. Professor Miller has dedicated much of his working life to Afghanistan. He is an Afghan veteran, he worked for the CIA as an intelligence analyst and served on the National Security Committee for both President Bush and President Obama. He is currently Professor of the Practice of I...more

  • Afghanistan: History Repeating Itself?

    Aug 18 2021

    The collapse of the Afghan army and government and takeover by the Taliban has evoked many historical comparisons, but how valid are they? To find out Dan is joined by author, historian and friend of the podcast William Dalrymple to delve into the deeper history of Afghanistan. In particular, William and Dan discuss the First Afghan War which ended in one of the great catastrophes of British imperial history. In early 1842 a British force was slaughtered or died of exposure as they attempted to ...more

  • The Rise of Oliver Cromwell

    Aug 17 2021

    Oliver Cromwell is the only English commoner to become head of state and is one of the most remarkable and controversial figures in history. Energised by his Puritan beliefs he came to dominate the movement to remove Charles I and would come to be Lord Protector ruling the British Isles from 1653 until his death in 1658. As a military commander, he was a natural leader but also absolutely ruthless. Without formal military training before the Civil War, became arguably the best cavalry commander ...more

  • Bonnie Prince Charlie

    Aug 16 2021

    In August 1745 Bonnie Prince Charlie led a rebellion that brought the Jacobite cause closer to seizing the throne than almost any other. He had landed with only a handful of his most trusted supporters but a mixture of gold, charisma and old loyalties soon brought a large number of followers to his side as they attempted to overthrow the British crown. The rebellion grew in momentum with early successes on the battlefield and marched south reaching as far as Derby before turning back north. Howe...more

  • The Jewish Commandos Who Helped Defeat the Nazis

    Aug 15 2021

    During the Second World War, a special commando unit was formed in Britain from Jewish refugees from Germany, Austria and other parts of occupied Europe. Many of the men who joined this unit had lost their families, their homes and, as you'll hear, had relatives imprisoned in concentration camps. Trained in advanced combat and counterintelligence they fought with a special zeal often volunteering for the most dangerous assignments. The risks these men took was enormous. If they were captured by ...more

  • The Fall of the Aztec Empire

    Aug 14 2021

    In August 1521 after a last stand on the steps of their temple buildings, the Aztec defenders of Tenochtitlan surrendered to the Spanish forces of Hernán Cortés and his Mesoamerican allies. In the aftermath of the battle, the Aztec capital city of Tenochtitlan was sacked. The Aztec empire was a large and sophisticated one stretching at its height from the Pacific coast to the Gulf of Mexico. To talk about the fall of the Aztec Empire Dan is joined by Matthew Restall Director of Latin American St...more

  • Escaping the Berlin Wall

    Aug 13 2021

    There were many attempts to escape over and under the Berlin Wall but Tunnel 29 was highly unusual for tunnelling into East Berlin rather than out to the West. Led by Joachim Rudolph, who had himself escaped to West Berlin in 1961, a group of students and refugees tunnelled into the eastern half of the city in an attempt to rescue friends and relatives. This was an extremely perilous mission with the risk of death ever present from the tunnel collapsing or the Stasi discovering their work. Even ...more

  • Gallipoli: What Led to Britain's WW1 Disaster?

    Aug 12 2021

    What does the price of wheat and global food supplies have to do with one of the greatest disasters in the history of warfare? Why was the decision made to send thousands of Allied troops in an attempt to free up the most heavily defended waterway in the world, the Dardanelles Straits? Historian and award-winning author Nicholas A Lambert joins James from our sibling podcast Warfare to talk us through the lead-up to Britain’s worst defeat in World War One, the catastrophic Gallipoli campaign in ...more

  • England's Great Viking Battle

    Aug 11 2021

    On 11 August 991 one of the most important anglo-Viking battles took place near Maldon in Essex. This clash was immortalised in one of the finest examples of early English poetry that tells the story of a heroic defeat in the face of the ferocious Viking invaders. To remember both the battle itself and the poem Dan is joined by Professor Levi Roach from the University of Exeter. They discuss what led to the battle, the tactics used by both sides, why the Vikings won, the consequences of the Engl...more

  • Royal Mistresses

    Aug 10 2021

    The role of the royal mistress may, on the face of it, seem a simple position but in reality, there was a lot more to being a royal mistress than it might seem. Throughout the courts of Europe, the role of the royal mistress was often a semi formalised one and gave these women extraordinary influence and power. Joining Dan to discuss the importance of the mistress is Dr Linda Kiernan Knowles Adjunct Assistant Professor in History at Trinity College Dublin. They look particularly at the courts of...more

  • The Bombing of Nagasaki

    Aug 09 2021

    The second atomic strike on the city of Nagasaki is less well known than the one a few days earlier on Hiroshima, but was it more influential in forcing the Japanese to surrender? To find out who exactly ordered it and why Dan talked to Harvard's Frederik Logevall. He discusses the debates that rage between historians as to whether Nagasaki was necessary and how much pressure there was for a third bomb. On the anniversary of the strike, it is a conversation with powerful contemporary echoes. ...more

  • The Ultimate Cold War Spy Story

    Aug 07 2021

    A Soviet double agent at the top of his game, a deadly game of cat and mouse with the KGB and one of the most daring escapes of the Cold War from the very heart of Moscow. In this archive episode, Dan talks to author Ben Macintyre about the life of Oleg Gordievsky and what might be the ultimate Cold War Spy story. Appalled by the brutality of the Soviet regime Gordievsky was recruited by MI6 whilst stationed in Copenhagen during the 1970s. For more than ten years he fed precious secrets to weste...more

  • The Origins of English

    Aug 07 2021

    Approximately 1.35 billion people use it, either as a first or second language, so English and the way that we speak it has a daily impact on huge numbers of people. But how did the English language develop? In this episode from our sibling podcast Gone Medieval, Cat Jarman spoke to Eleanor Rye, an Associate Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics at the University of York. Using the present-day language, place names and dialects as evidence, Ellie shows us how English was impacted by a ser...more

  • The Birth of the Internet

    Aug 06 2021

    In the last 30 years, the internet has utterly changed the world in which we live and is now as vital as electricity in our daily lives. August 6, 1991, is the date given when the first website went live. Published by Tim Berners Lee at CERN it was a moment that would change the world but, as you'll hear in this podcast, that date is in fact not true. To explain what really happened and explore the history of the world wide web, how it works and the vitally important geopolitical issues that sur...more

  • Canada Confronts Its Past

    Aug 05 2021

    The discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves at former Canadian residential schools have has led to a crisis of identity for the country as it comes to terms with the trauma of the past. For many, these discoveries fit into a pattern of discrimination and demographic replacement with the arrival of European settlers which could be described as genocide. In this episode, Dan speaks to Tracey Bear and Jim Miller about what happened to the indigenous people of Canada at the schools and what this me...more

  • How WWI Began

    Aug 04 2021

    On August 4, 1914, Britain declared war on Germany and entered the First World War. This was a conflict of unparalleled savagery with industrialized slaughter on a scale that the world had never seen before. To commemorate this important anniversary Dan guides us through what led Europe and the world to choose war in 1914. He explores some of the many different reasons for war from the miscalculations and misguided beliefs of European leaders to the structural causes such as the role of capitali...more

  • Britain's Forgotten Olympic Heroes

    Aug 03 2021

    The Olympics are a sporting event like no other and in this episode, we celebrate two great British Olympians of the past Anita Neil and Hugh 'Jumbo' Edwards. These are two very different athletes from completely different backgrounds, but each highlights the Olympic spirit at its finest. Firstly, Dan speaks to a British Olympic pioneer Anita Neil who was the first black woman to represent Great Britain at the games. Anita was an extraordinary sprinter who represented Great Britain at the 1...more

  • The Fall and Rise of India's Royal Families

    Aug 02 2021

    One aspect of India's independence that is often overlooked is the role of India's princely states; the Maharajas. During the Raj, these states had been semi-autonomous and not actually part of the British Empire. They did however rule with the permission of the British Government and were really puppet sovereign figures. However, when India got its independence after the Second World War these state's became a problem that had to be resolved for the new Indian state. John Zubrzycki, author...more

  • The Spanish Armada

    Aug 01 2021

    In 1588 the English Navy defeated one of the greatest fleets ever assembled; the Spanish Armada. A week of running battles in the English Channel culminated in a major clash off the coast of the town of Gravelines (now in France) where the English used fire ships to score a crushing naval victory against the Spanish fleet. This is one of the most famous naval clashes in history but how was the Armada beaten? Dan tells the story of this titanic naval clash where superior English seamanship, ...more

  • Decoding the Roman Dead

    Jul 31 2021

    Often known as ‘Britain’s first town’, Colchester is a city rich in ancient history and on 24 July 2021, a new exhibition will open at the Colchester Museum revealing more about some of its earliest Roman occupants. Called ‘Decoding the Roman Dead’, the exhibition focuses on cremations found in the area around Colchester dating to almost 2,000 years ago. Thanks to new scientific methods, the team have been able to analyse these burnt remains and find out some astonishing details about who these ...more

  • Liverpool's Historic Docks

    Jul 30 2021

    Just 17 years after Liverpool’s historic waterfront was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the city was stripped of its prestigious status.The UN's heritage body said it made the decision because of “irreversible” damage to the city’s cultural value after years of development, including a planned £500m stadium for Everton football club. Historian and Liverpool local, Mike Royden, joins Dan on the podcast to talk us through the history of the city and its iconic waterfront, with its collecti...more

  • England and Spain's Battle for Global Supremacy

    Jul 29 2021

    This week in 1588 the Spanish Armada fought running battles in the Channel with the English Navy. It was sent by King Phillip of Spain who ruled half the world to crush Elizabeth Tudor the woman who ruled half an Island but would end in defeat and disaster for the Spanish. The background to this conflict was the growing Anglo-Spanish rivalry that had sprung up ever since the discovery of the New World and the English desire to obtain a slice of the huge wealth, power and influence that could be ...more

  • The Real Thomas Cromwell

    Jul 28 2021

    On this day in 1540, Thomas Cromwell was executed. On the same day Henry VIII married his fifth wife, Catherine Howard. To mark the anniversary we've found an episode from the archives with author, historian and curator at Historic Royal Palaces, Tracy Borman.Cromwell was a man who rose to be the most powerful member of Henry VIII's court, his Lord Privy Seal, Principal Secretary and Chancellor. He was a driving force behind the English Reformation and constitutional changes that emphasised the ...more

  • The Fight to Save Archaeology

    Jul 27 2021

    Archaeology is not just about digging, it’s about understanding the human experience of existence. In the space of a few weeks there have been many sad developments in archaeology in the UK. Sheffield University announced the closure of its world-renowned archaeology department, shortly before Liverpool’s waterfront was stripped of its UNESCO World Heritage status, which preceded the news that Stonehenge is also at risk. In this episode, Dan is joining the fight to save archaeology. He chat...more

  • Pathfinders: Bomber Command's Elite

    Jul 26 2021

    The Pathfinders were ordinary men and women who transformed the efficiency of the Allies' air campaign over mainland Europe and helped deliver victory over Nazi Germany. Journalist and bestselling author Will Iredale joins Dan on the podcast to tell the incredible story of the team who transformed RAF Bomber Command. Find out how the air force was created, how bombing accuracy was improved, and how Pathfinders put their lives at risk to carry out the raids.Will’s book, The Pathfinders: The Elite...more

  • What is Going on With Democracy?

    Jul 25 2021

    Democracy is in crisis around the world. Dr Robert Saunders, from Queen Mary University of London, is back on the podcast to discuss why it is under threat. From the changing media landscape, to technological advances and questionable electoral systems, hear why we are facing this global shift and what the future may hold. Are authoritarian regimes dealing with the world’s problems better? How have politicians changed over the years? And how do we refresh our democracies? Robert is currently res...more

  • The Woman Who Flew Spitfires in WW2

    Jul 24 2021

    Mary Ellis was a pioneering and courageous aviator who flew hundreds of fighters and bombers to Britain’s frontline airfields. She was one of the first women to fly Spitfires, heavy bombers and jet aircraft, blazing a trail for female pilots with her passion and skill. Mary sadly passed away aged 101 on this day three years ago, a short time after this interview with Dan was recorded. Hear Mary reminisce on the incredible feats she undertook as a spitfire pilot during World War Two in this fasci...more

  • The Olympic Games

    Jul 23 2021

    The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are finally here, after being delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. From Ancient Greece to when it was reborn in 1896, the tournament has nearly 3,000 years of history. Sports historian, Professor Martin Polley from De Monfort University, joins Dan on the podcast to tell the, sometimes surprising, story of the competition. How did it become the international sporting event it is today? How have the games affected global politics and diplomacy? And how is Shakespe...more

  • Rival Queens: Elizabeth I and Catherine de' Medici

    Jul 22 2021

    The relationship between Elizabeth I and Catherine de' Medici - the two most powerful Queens of their time - is one of the most intriguing and captivating stories of the 16th century. In this edition of our sibling podcast Not Just the Tudors, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb talks to Dr. Estelle Paranque about her new book Blood, Fire and Gold, which explores how these two formidable women wielded and negotiated power, and were united only in their dislike of Mary, Queen of Scots.  Se...more

  • The Rise of Stalin

    Jul 21 2021

    How did a young boy from Georgia become a merciless politician who shaped the Soviet Empire in his own brutal image? Historian and bestselling author, Simon Sebag Montifiore, is back on the podcast to talk to Dan about the rise of Joseph Stalin, a man who caused the death and suffering of tens of millions under his regime of terror. Find out how Stalin climbed to the top of Soviet politics to emerge as Lenin’s heir, and hear how his extreme insecurity and paranoia shaped the way he ruled.  ...more

  • How Timekeeping Changed the World

    Jul 20 2021

    Accurate timekeeping is at the very root of all of the technological advances in the modern world, but how did it all begin? From Roman sundials to medieval water-clocks, people of all cultures have made and used clocks for thousands of years. Dan speaks to horologist, historian and former curator of timekeeping at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, David Rooney, about the importance of time, and what clocks can tell us about the history of human civilisation. David’s book, About Time: A History o...more

  • Dancing Mania

    Jul 19 2021

    In the summer of 1518, one of the most bizarre afflictions in history struck the city of Strasburg; dancing mania. This epidemic of dancing spread, almost like a plague, through the population with many hundreds of people dancing wildly and seemingly uncontrollably often to the point of collapse and even death. Perhaps, even stranger is that the outbreak in Strasbourg is far from the only recorded incidence of this phenomenon. But what caused it? To help delve into this fascinating subject Dan i...more

  • Robin Hood

    Jul 18 2021

    Robin Hood is one of the most famous legends of British history, but did he exist and if so who was he? Gareth Morgan, Learning Development Officer at Nottingham Castle, is just the man to help separate fact from fiction when it comes to this archetypal hero who robbed the rich to give to the poor. Gareth helps Dan discover some of the real-life figures which might have inspired Robin, what the story means both now and then and why it still remains so popular. They also talk about Robin's home S...more

  • Saladin and the Crusades

    Jul 17 2021

    Saladin was one of the greatest Sultans of the middle ages, and the first sultan of Egypt and Syria. He famously defeated the Crusader army at the Battle of Hattin, and recaptured Jerusalem. The Christian armies of the west never recaptured the Holy City. Saladin's legacy still holds resonance across the middle-east today. In 1917, a French General supposedly marched up to Saladin's tomb in Damascus, kicked it and announced, "We're back," a story that would shape Arabic perceptions of the west i...more

  • Why the Statues Are Coming Down

    Jul 16 2021

    Recent years have seen a spate of statue removals from the toppling of Confederate statues in the United States, the tearing down of the Edward Colston statue in Bristol and recently the removal of statues of Queen Victoria in Canada. Some have been taken down in an orderly manner and others torn down or defaced by activists. For some, the removal of statues is a powerful symbol of the desire for social justice and for remembering the wrongs of the past. For others, the removal of monuments is a...more

  • Mythbusting Medieval Buildings

    Jul 15 2021

    From spiral stairs to tunnels leading to pubs and brothels, to witch markings; join us as we find out the truth about medieval buildings. Matt Lewis, from our sibling podcast Gone Medieval, is accompanied by archaeologist and architectural historian James Wright to debunk the myths.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • The Peasants' Revolt

    Jul 14 2021

    In 1381 England was rocked by one of the most widespread popular uprisings of the medieval period; the Peasants' Revolt. Beginning in Essex in response to the overreaching demands of a local government official but unrest spread like wildfire across the south of England. Soon the rebels faced down the King, stormed the Tower of London, executed royal advisors, threatened the royal family and destroyed John of Gaunt's Palace. This was an uprising unprecedented in its scale and ferocity in England...more

  • World War Two Showdown in the Mediterranean

    Jul 13 2021

    By the summer of 1942 Malta had been under siege by Axis forces for over a year and the situation on the island was bleak with food and fuel almost exhausted. This vital allied foothold in the Mediterranean had to be held at all cost in order to prevent the collapse of the allied effort in North Africa where Rommel's forces were finding much success. In a desperate bid to prevent the loss of Malta, Winston Churchill ordered that a convoy like no other be dispatched to run the air and sea gauntle...more

  • Captain Cook 250 Years On

    Jul 12 2021

    250 years ago today Captain James arrived back from one of the most remarkable voyages of exploration in the history of the world. The expedition took Cook and his crew through the Pacific making contact with the numerous island communities of that ocean and perhaps most famously being the first Europeans to make landfall on Australia. Whilst undoubtedly an act of skilful seamanship, this expedition would begin a process of colonisation that would have devastating consequences for indigenous com...more

  • The Irish War of Independence

    Jul 11 2021

    11 July 1921 the truce that bought the Irish War of Independence came into effect. The negotiations that brought about the end of hostilities, between Irish representatives led by Éamon de Valera and Michael Collins and the British Government led by Prime Minister David Lloyd George, and would eventually lead to the breakaway of the 26 counties that make up the Republic of Ireland in early 1922. The peace was brought about as all sides in the conflict reached exhaustion but had they failed it co...more

  • A History of Tennis

    Jul 10 2021

    In this archive episode, David Berry joined Dan on the pod to discuss the history of tennis. From the birth of modern tennis in Victorian Britain to the present day, they talk about struggles around sexuality, gender, race and class that have transformed the nature of tennis and sport itself.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • How Coffee and Tobacco Captivated Britain

    Jul 09 2021

    When tobacco arrived in Britain in the 1560s, it was hailed as a "holy herb", a miracle cure to improve health and a catalyst for wit and creativity. The coming of coffee - "black as hell, strong as death, sweet as love" - in the mid-17th century, led to the establishment of coffee houses where debates flourished and innovations were born that helped to shape the modern world.In this episode from our sibling podcast Not Just the Tudors, Suzannah Lipscomb talks to Dr. Matthew Green - author ...more

  • England and Italy. The History.

    Jul 08 2021

    The history of Italy and England stretches back thousands of years well before Italy and England even existed as nations. As the two will meet in the European Championship final this Sunday it seemed like the perfect time to explore the shared history of these two people. From the Romans to the medieval period, the Renaissance, and through to the tumult of the 20th Century. Dan is joined by Francesco da Mosto and Valentina Caldari to explore what draws Italy and England together and to predict w...more

  • The Japanese Americans Who Fought in WWII

    Jul 07 2021

    After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour in December 1941, Japanese Americans were put in a terrible position in the USA. Many tens of thousands of Japanese Americans were interned in cruel conditions being classified as enemy aliens and held in suspicion of being agents for Japan. Despite this many thousands of young men, mostly second-generation Japanese Americans volunteered for service in the American Military. They served in all branches of the US military but the 442nd Infantry Regiment ...more

  • Assyria and the Birth of Writing

    Jul 06 2021

    It is often the case that it is assumed that it was in ancient Greece and the eastern Mediterranean that was host to the foundation of European politics, culture, economics and engineering. But in fact, the development of sophisticated civilisations, writing cultures, complex technologies and sciences occurred over millennia in the fertile crescent in the ancient civilisations of Assyria, Sumer, Babylon and the Akkadian Empire. These are the crucible of our world today to champion...more

  • Ethel Rosenberg: Super Spy or Innocent Victim?

    Jul 05 2021

    In June 1953 Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, an American married couple with two young sons, were executed having been found guilty of conspiracy to commit espionage for the Soviet Union. Julius was undoubtedly a spy but Ethel may well not have been. The evidence against her was shaky and was based on what has turned out to be a false statement given by her own brother. The trial was controversial at the time and remains so today and joining Dan to talk about the Rosenbergs is Anne Sebba. Anne is a ...more

  • D. H. Lawrence and the Lady Chatterley Trial

    Jul 04 2021

    D.H. Lawrence is best known for his work Lady Chatterley's Lover and the obscenity trial relating to the book's publication in the early 1960s. But Lawrence is in fact one of the most important British writers of the 20th century and there is much more to his work and story than Lady Chatterley. He was one of the first successful novelists from a working-class background, he wrote a number of other successful novels including The Rainbow and Women in Love as well as short stories, travelogues, p...more

  • The Truth About King Arthur

    Jul 03 2021

    The legend of King Arthur has been reworked many times, but is there any historical truth behind the tales? Dr Miles Russell believes there is and in this episode, from our sibling podcast The Ancients, he highlights how elements of King Arthur’s story is derived from five key ancient figures. From British warlords that opposed the arrival of Julius Caesar to Roman emperors of Later Antiquity, Miles explores these individuals in ‘Arthur and the Kings of Britain: The Historical Truth Behind the M...more

  • The Battle of the Somme

    Jul 02 2021

    105 years ago the battle of the Somme raged on into its second day. 60,000 British casualties we recorded on its first day and by its close in November 1916 over a million men had been killed or wounded. It is the bloodiest battle in British military history and in Germany, the battle was described as the bloody field grave of the German army. It has become a byword for futile slaughter; but is that reputation deserved?In this archive episode, Paul Reed a military historian, author and battlefie...more

  • 100 years of the Chinese Communist Party

    Jul 01 2021

    100 years ago the Chinese Communist Party was founded and across the span of that century has become one of the most powerful organisations on the planet. Today, it is an economic powerhouse and a superpower challenger to the United States. Its origins were humble though with just a few members at its foundation. Indeed, the official anniversary date of 1 July was chosen by Chairman Mao years later as the real date remains a mystery. China saw an epic struggle through the 20th century both with ...more

  • The Voyage That Changed the Way We Eat

    Jun 30 2021

    In February 1882 the SS Dunedin departed New Zealand on a voyage that would revolutionise the way we eat and kickstart the globalisation of the world's food supply chain. Aboard were thousands of mutton, lamb and pig carcasses as well as 250 kegs of butter, hare, pheasant, turkey, chicken and 2226 sheep tongues. This cargo would be kept fresh in the ship's hold using a Bell-Coleman compression refrigeration machine and would mark the first time fresh goods had ever been transported over such a d...more

  • Marginalised in the Middle Ages with Eleanor Janega

    Jun 29 2021

    Much of Medieval history focuses on the kings, queens, bishops, and the nobility of the period, but what do we know about those people on the margins of society? Like today the elite made up only a small percentage of the population and the vast majority of the population of medieval Europe were peasants or craftspeople. There were other groups who were forced to the very edge of society such as sex workers, leppers, jews and immigrants. But as Elena Janega, today's guest on the podcast, has dis...more

  • Sarajevo 1914: Assassination of the Archduke

    Jun 28 2021

    Europe in 1914 was a tinderbox of imperial tensions and the spark that would light the conflagration would be the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. But there is much more to this story than simply the murder of two royals on the street of Sarajevo. Archduke Franz Ferdinand was an often misunderstood figure seemingly hard and old fashioned. But in private he was a dedicated family man and husband who had married for love against the wishes of the Emporer and he and Sophie had endured snu...more

  • Berlin and the Dawn of the Cold War

    Jun 27 2021

    In the aftermath of World War II, amongst the shattered ruins of Berlin a new conflict was born, the Cold War. With the common purpose of defeating Nazi Germany gone the allied powers were soon no longer allies. Berlin had been divided before the end of the war at the Yalta Conference between the British, French, United States and Soviets. However, Berlin was deep in the Soviet-occupied zone of Germany and Stalin wished to wrest control of it from the other allied powers. The situation became so...more

  • From Airman to Attorney General: RAF Navigator Johnny Smythe

    Jun 26 2021

    Beginning with his birth in 1915 in Sierra Leone, the life of John Henry Smythe OBE MBE is almost unbelievable. From becoming a navigator in the RAF during the Second World War, to being held captive in a German POW camp, to being the Senior Officer making key decisions about the futures of the people aboard HMT Empire Windrush and becoming Attorney General for Sierra Leone; the twists and turns in this story are incredible. James from our sibling podcast Warfare was joined by John’s son, Eddy, ...more

  • Hunting the Viking Great Heathen Army

    Jun 25 2021

    In 865 AD Britain was invaded by the Great Heathen Army an alliance of Scandanavian warriors determined to conquer the kingdoms of East Anglia, Northumbria, Merica and Wessex. Over the next few years, all of those kingdoms would fall to the Viking forces with the exception of Wessex. In May 878 Alfred the Great defeated the Vikings at the Battle of Edington. However, despite this defeat, the Vikings did not leave, but rather reached an agreement with Alfred allowing them to retain control of muc...more

  • History of Freemasonry

    Jun 24 2021

    John Dickie joins Dan from the History Hit Archive to discuss the international story of an organisation that now has 6 million members across the globe. Tracing the origins from local fraternities of stonemasons at the turn of the fifteenth century, John takes Dan on the freemasons' journey from Britain to America, Australia, Italy and India. Find out exactly what the freemasons are, how they have been perceived, and why they seem to attract so many conspiracy theories.   See aca...more

  • The World According to Obama Official Ben Rhodes

    Jun 23 2021

    Ben Rhodes has served at the very pinnacle of politics in his role as deputy national security adviser in Barack Obama's Whitehouse and seen what it takes to run a democracy and take the tough decisions that are needed. But since leaving the Oval Office the world has seen a slide towards populism, nationalism and even authoritarianism. But how can this descent into dangerous political waters be stopped? After leaving politics Ben spent three years travelling the world speaking to leaders, activi...more

  • Operation Barbarossa

    Jun 22 2021

    On 22 June 1941 Hitler unleashed Operation Barbarossa the biggest military operation in human history. More than 3 million men of the Axis poured into the Soviet Union beginning a conflict, that even within the context of the Second World War, was unprecedented in both its scale and savagery. Operation Barbarossa began with unparalleled success for the Wehrmacht and its allies with millions of Soviet soldiers killed and captured in the opening months of this titanic struggle. But by the winter o...more

  • Tragedy at the Scottish Crannog Centre

    Jun 21 2021

    From the Neolithic period to the early 18th century Crannogs were a feature of Scottish, Welsh and Irish lakes and estuaries enabling a unique way of life. These unusual dwellings consisted of an artificial island constructed over and in the water. The Scottish Crannog Cente on Loch Tay had a wonderful reconstruction of a crannog however just over a week ago it was very sadly destroyed by fire in just a few minutes. Fran Houston, the curator at the Scottish Crannog Centre, is today's guest on th...more

  • Black American Struggle: Riot or Revolution?

    Jun 20 2021

    The 1960s and early 1970s saw civil unrest and violence in the United States on a scale not seen since the civil war between black residents and the police but was this simply rioting or a revolution? Dan is joined by Elizabeth Hinton associate professor of history, African American studies, and law at Yale University and Yale Law School. She ​argues in her new book America on Fire that rather than being a series of criminal acts, as it was often portrayed, this violence was more akin to an upri...more

  • Mary, Queen of Scots

    Jun 19 2021

    Mary, Queen of Scots, returned to the news headlines when the rosary she carried to her execution in 1587, was recently stolen from Arundel Castle. It's the latest chapter in the enduring story of this highly romanticised figure.Mary reigned over Scotland for just over 24 years between December 1542 until her forced abdication. Considered the legitimate sovereign of England by many Catholics, Mary was seen as a threat to Queen Elizabeth I. In this episode from our sibling podcast Not Just the Tu...more

  • Voices of Waterloo

    Jun 18 2021

    206 years ago today, 60,000 men were slaughtered in the Battle of Waterloo. Napoleon Bonaparte's French army was finally defeated by an almighty coalition of troops from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Hanover, Brunswick and Nassau, led by the Duke of Wellington, and the Prussian army under the command of Field Marshal von Blücher. In this archive episode Zack White, who set up Voices of the Battlefield, an oral history project featuring 41 readings of eyewitness testimony from the campaign...more

  • Churchill's Daughters: The Privilege and the Pain

    Jun 17 2021

    Winston Churchill's daughters Diana, Sarah, Marigold and Mary are often overshadowed by their father's extraordinary fame but they also lived fascinating lives and were often present at many of the seismic moments of history. Their lives were far from easy though. Marigold died at the age of two, Diana would suffer mental health problems and eventually committed suicide and Sarah wrestled with alcoholism. This is a story of a family at the very heart of political and social life and a story abou...more

  • The Curious History of Postcards

    Jun 16 2021

    For many people sending a postcard is an enjoyable part of any seaside trip but rather than just being a novelty they were once a vital form of communication and often the quickest way to contact your friends and relatives. Dan is joined by Chris Taft and Georgina Tomlinson from the postal museum where a new exhibition marking 151 years of the British postcard is being launched (it was meant to be the 150th exhibition last year!). Chris and Georgina talk us through the surprising history of post...more

  • Everything You Need to Know about the Anglo-Saxons

    Jun 15 2021

    The Anglo-Saxon period is vital for the formation of England and the UK as we know it but is a difficult era to fully understand. The departure of the Romans left a power vacuum that was filled by warlords with violence, foreign invasion, occupation and religious strife being endemic. But out of this turbulent period the foundation of what we now call England came into being. Dan is joined by Marc Morris one of the most distinguished medieval historians in the world and author of a new book call...more

  • The Heiress, the Kidnap, and the Making of London

    Jun 14 2021

    After the Great Plague of 1665 and the Great Fire of London in 1666 London was on its knees with its population decimated and the heart of the city burnt out, but from the ashes, it would rise phoenix-like to become one of the world's dominant economic and cultural centres. Dan is joined by author Leo Hollis for a walking tour of London and they visit the key locations in London's flourishing after the tragedies of the 17th century. Along the way, they discuss how London was rebuilt, where the m...more

  • Gordon Brown on How To Save the World

    Jun 13 2021

    Gordon Brown stood at the pinnacle of UK politics for 13 years first as Chancellor of the Exchequer and the as Prime Minister but it is as a private citizen that he now seeks to set out and help solve some of the world's most pressing problems. In this episode, Dan speaks to Gordon Brown about his time as prime minister; the power he wielded and the limitations of even the highest political office. They also, discuss the global issues that humanity needs to address and Gordon's firm belief in th...more

  • The Euros

    Jun 12 2021

    England holds the slightly unwanted title for the most appearances in the Euros without ever reaching a final, so why the excitement when it comes back around every four years?Football journalist and podcaster Tom Fordyce joins Dan to chat about the history of the Euros, memorable moments, and what the future might have in store for the competition, which first took place in 1960.They discuss World Cup comparisons, standout penalties throughout the years, underdogs and more.  See acast...more

  • Alexander the Great’s Corpse and the Greatest Heist in History

    Jun 11 2021

    Alexander the Great is one of the most famous generals and empire builders in history, but the story of his death is almost as remarkable as his life. Tristan Hughes host of the History Hit podcast The Ancients, and Alexander the Great superfan, joins Dan to tell the almost unbelievable tale of what happened after Alexander died. It is a titanic struggle for power and control over his empire that involves war, body snatching, extremely slow carriage chases and a thousand soldiers being eaten ali...more

  • The Mary Rose and Her Ethnically Diverse Crew

    Jun 10 2021

    The Mary Rose, a Tudor warship in Henry VIII's navy, sank in the Solent on 19 July 1545 with the loss of most of her 415 strong crew. Recent developments in marine archaeology have enabled researchers to bring to light fascinating new evidence about the diversity of the crew. Dr Alex Hildred, the head of research at the Mary Rose Trust, is back on the podcast to discuss the cutting edge technology used, and the implications of this new discovery.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and ...more

  • The Crusades with Dan Jones

    Jun 09 2021

    The two Dans are back. And this time, they're talking all things crusades. In this rerun episode, Dan Jones provides his namesake host with a thrilling background to the series of holy wars that have come to define Medieval Europe.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Stalin's War

    Jun 08 2021

    The Second World War is often depicted as a straight battle between good and evil but it was perhaps less straightforward than that. Whilst the Nazi regime was undoubtedly barbarous and deserved its fate the consequences of victory were not always the positive they are portrayed to be. Indeed for much of Eastern Europe and the Balkans, the end of the war leads to decades of military occupation and repression under the Soviet Regime. That regime was led by one man; Stalin. Dan is joined by Sean M...more

  • The History of Head Transplants

    Jun 07 2021

    The superpower rivalry of the Cold War had many different fronts, space, the rice paddy fields of south-east Asia and even the operating theatre. The desire to push the envelope of human ingenuity led Dr Robert J. White to conduct a series of successful head transplants on monkies during the 1970s with the eventual aim of performing the procedure on a human patient. Dr Brandy Schillace, the author of Mr Humble and Dr Butcher, is today's guest on the podcast and she tells the almost unbelievable ...more

  • New D-Day Shipwrecks Discovered

    Jun 06 2021

    D-Day on 6 June 1944 saw the largest amphibious landing in history take place as more than 150,000 allied troops stormed five assault beaches in Normandy, attempting to break through Hitler's Atlantic Wall. ⁠One of the unsung heroes of that operation were the landing craft and their crews. Without whom there could have been no initial landing and that beachhead that created could not have been maintained. Landing Craft Tank were the backbone of the operation to put the Allies back on continental...more

  • The Profumo Affair

    Jun 05 2021

    It was the scandal that shook the British political world to its core leading to ministerial resignations and helping to bring down a prime minister and cause the defeat of the Conservative party at the next general election. When John Profumo resigned as Minister for War after being exposed lying to parliament about his affair with the model Christine Keeler. The scandal sent shockwaves through the British press, people and establishment and was one of the defining scandals of the 1960s. Histor...more

  • The Beauty and Violence of the Renaissance

    Jun 04 2021

    The Renaissance was a time of radical change in Europe with an explosion in the production of art, new methods of waging war, Europeans discovering the new world, the printing press and religious strife with reformation. At the centre of all this tumult was Italy which was made up of competing princely states squabbling and fighting for cultural as well political supremacy. Ultimately it is this period that would come to shape what we know as the Western World. To help better understand this ent...more

  • Disaster Before D-Day: Exercise Tiger

    Jun 03 2021

    The D-Day landings of June 6 1944 were the largest amphibious landing in the history of warfare, and are famed as a major turning point towards Allied victory. But they weren’t without planning and practice. In late April 1944, the Allies launched one of their trial runs, Exercise Tiger, off Slapton Sands in Devon. The aim was a closely choreographed landing, the result was a disaster. In this episode from our sibling podcast Warfare hear Dr Harry Bennett from the University of Plymouth discussi...more

  • The Bank That Sacked Its Customers

    Jun 02 2021

    When we think of investment banking we think of high-risk trades, profit at any cost and big bonuses but there is an institution that sees it differently; Brown Brothers Harriman. Brown Brothers was founded in 1818 and is one of the oldest banks in the US. It has maintained its cautious ethos ever since and in a world of unforeseen but actually quite foreseen catastrophes it begs the question as to what do you want your banks and companies to be like. chasing 100x profits or slow and steady? Zac...more

  • Democracy

    Jun 01 2021

    In this episode taken from our back catalogue Professor Paul Cartledge the concept which is the foundation stone of our political culture: democracy. Paul Cartledge is Professor of Greek Culture Emeritus University of Cambridge and author of many books, including, Democracy: A Life.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Tulsa Race Massacre

    May 31 2021

    On May 31 1921 Tulsa, Oklahoma, was torn apart by one of the worst instances of racialised violence in American history. In a period of great racial tension, the white population in Tulsa went on a rampage through the black neighbourhoods in the city killing innocent people, looting African-American businesses and burning whole blocks to the ground. They had been stirred up by a fake news story that wrongly accused a local black man of assaulting a young white woman in a lift. This wave of viole...more

  • Joan of Arc

    May 30 2021

    On May 30, 1431, Joan of Arc was burned at the stake at the age of 19. It is safe to say that few teenagers have had as big an impact on Anglo-French history as Joan of Arc. Joining the podcast to talk about this remarkable figure is the author and historian Juliet Barker making her podcast debut! She guides Dan through Joan's rise from an ordinary peasant to the figurehead of the French army, her remarkable strength of character her faith, her military role and ultimately her capture, trial and...more

  • Israel and Palestine: An Israeli Perspective with Benny Morris

    May 29 2021

    The conflict between Israeli's and Palestinians is one that inflames strong emotions and opinions on all sides, but can a solution be found or is it an intractable one? In this episode of our series examing the Israel-Palestine struggle from different points of view, Dan is joined by historian Benny Morris for an Israeli perspective on the conflict that has wracked the region since the foundation of the Jewish state, the nature of Zionism, the demographics of the conflict and the many challenges...more

  • The Mystery of the Ninth Legion

    May 28 2021

    The legions of Rome were the nucleus of Rome’s military might for centuries. From campaigning in northern Scotland to the Persian Gulf, these devastating battalions extended and cemented Roman power. Yet of these legions there was one whose end is shrouded in mystery: the Ninth Legion. So what might have happened to this legion? Joining Tristan, from our sibling podcast The Ancients, is Dr Simon Elliott to talk through the theories surrounding the Ninth's disappearance. Simon has recently writte...more

  • Sinking the Bismarck

    May 27 2021

    In May 1941 Nazi Germany's most powerful warship and pride of the Kriegsmarine the Bismarck slipped out of harbour and made its way to hunt Allied merchant shipping in the Atlantic. Operation Rheinubung would be its first and last mission. Alerted to her presence and desperate to protect its Atlantic trade routes, the admiralty of the Royal Navy sent her best battleships, including the mighty HMS Hood to intercept the German sortie and sink Bismarck. This fateful encounter would lead to the obli...more

  • Mary Anning: Palaeontology's Forgotten Pioneer

    May 26 2021

    Born in Lyme Regis in 1799, Mary Anning was a pioneering palaeontologist and fossil collector whose story continues to inspire so many scientists to this day. The Jurassic Coast on the south coast of England is one of the richest locations for fossil hunting in the UK, if not in the world. During the early 19th century Mary Anning, and her brother Joseph, made a living discovering and selling fossils to tourists and scientists alike. Although uneducated and poor Mary's knowledge and skills becam...more

  • Hunting the Bismarck

    May 25 2021

    In May 1941, the Royal Navy pursued Nazi Germany's largest battleship, the Bismarck, in the greatest chase story in the history of naval warfare. Bismarck represented the single most important threat to the Royal Navy and the vital Atlantic convoys they sought to protect; her armoured protection had earned her the reputation of being unsinkable. Join Dan for this archive episode as the historian Angus Konstam takes him through a blow by blow account of Operation Rheinübung and the sinking of Bis...more

  • The UK’s Top Diplomat on the State of the World

    May 24 2021

    Sir Jeremy Greenstock served as a diplomat from the 1960s to the well into the 21st century and is someone who has been in the room when some of the most momentous events of recent history have occurred. He served in British embassies all over the world, he was UK ambassador to the United Nations between 1998 and 2003 and was pivotal in the negotiations leading up to the Iraq invasion in March 2003. In the aftermath of that invasion, he was to Iraq as Special Envoy helping to coordinate and shap...more

  • Martin Luther: Scourge of the Papacy

    May 23 2021

    Martin Luther is one of the most extraordinary and consequential men of the last 500 years but was also a man keenly aware of his image and went to considerable efforts to craft how the world saw him. This affected how he was viewed both in his own life and centuries later in ours. Dan is joined by Oxford University's Regius Professor of History Lyndal Roper; she is one of the world's foremost experts on Luther and has recently published Living I Was Your Plague: Martin Luther's World and Legacy...more

  • Eurovision

    May 22 2021

    Eurovision is an annual extravaganza of European music and culture but what is its history and what role does it play? To help explore this subject Dan is joined by two men steeped in Eurviosion; TV and podcast critic Scotty Byran and Radio 1 DJ and Eurovision commentator Scott Mills. They describe what Eurovision means to them, some of the history of the competition, how the rest of Europe treat it much more seriously than the UK, why it still stands out in the era of streaming and, most import...more

  • Israel and Palestine: A Jewish Perspective with Daniel Finkelstein

    May 21 2021

    As part of our season of programmes looking at the Arab-Israeli conflict Lord Daniel Finklestein joins the podcast to discuss his perspective as a member of the Jewish diaspora. Daniel is a journalist and member of the House of Lords and in this episode, he shares with Dan his family's history before, during and after the holocaust and why this dark period of history is so important in shaping the current situation in Israel.Listen to the previous episode in our series of programmes about the Is...more

  • The Amelia Earhart Mystery with Amelia Rose Earhart

    May 20 2021

    On the morning of May 20, 1932, 34-year-old Earhart set off from Newfoundland, Canada in her bid to become the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. 15 hours later she landed in terrible weather in Northern Ireland having completed this momentous feat. In this archive episode, Dan is joined by Amelia Rose Earhart to discuss the life, numerous flying achievements and mysterious disappearance of her namesake and inspiration.Amelia Rose Earhart is an American private pilot and reporter ...more

  • Anne Boleyn Special Part 1: Life and Afterlives

    May 19 2021

    In the first of two special podcasts, from our sibling podcast Not Just the Tudors, to mark the 485th anniversary of Anne Boleyn's death, Suzannah Lipscomb is joined by a panel of experts to discuss the enduring fascination with Anne's life and demise.Exploring the different perceptions of Anne and her re-creation through her many afterlives are authors Claire Ridgway and Natalie Grueninger, historian Dr. Stephanie Russo and art historian Roland Hui.The second part of this Anne Boleyn special wi...more

  • Gone Medieval

    May 18 2021

    Dan is joined by the wonderful Cat Jarman who, along with Matt Lewis, will be presenting History Hit's brand new podcast Gone Medieval. They discuss the medieval period, the new podcast, Dan and Cat's recent road trip and the exciting new Viking site that has been discovered. Plus there is a sample for the brilliant new podcast Gone Medieval.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • The Western Front

    May 17 2021

    The Western Front in the First World War is a story of aristocratic generals sending ordinary men over the top to their deaths in futile frontal attacks against entrenched positions. Or is it? In this episode, Dan interviews the brilliant historian Nick Lloyd, author of The Western Front who tells a much more nuanced account of the Western Front. They talk about the myths and legends of these campaigns, the great leaps forward in technology between 1914-1918; and how the men in command, and thos...more

  • Israel and Palestine: A Palestinian View with Yara Hawari

    May 16 2021

    History is essential to understanding the world around us and this couldn't be more true than in the case of the Israel-Palestine conflict. The recent flare-up of violence in Israel-Palestine has shown that without knowing the history stretching back thousands of years it is impossible to make sense of why these two peoples, the Jews and the Palestinian Arabs, claim this land as their own. In this first of a series of programmes exploring this struggle from both sides Dr Yara Hawari joins the po...more

  • Malcolm Gladwell

    May 15 2021

    Malcolm Gladwell has sold millions of books and more recently become a podcasting titan and he joins Dan to talk about his most recent project The Bomber Mafia. The Bomber Mafia is about a group of military officers who came up with and transformed the concept of strategic bombing during the Second World War and after. In this episode, Dan and Malcolm talk about one of the leading proponents of airpower General Curtis LeMay who implemented a devastating bombing campaign against Japan during the ...more

  • War Crimes and Innocence in Iraq

    May 14 2021

    Following the toppling of Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003 British troops in Basra were confronted with a chaotic situation as looting and rioting took hold of the city and society collapsed. As the British soldiers attempted to deal with this situation, for which they were neither trained nor equipped, a young Iraqi man drowned in one of the many canals found in southern Iraq. Joe McCleary and three other soldiers were accused of war crimes relating to the death of the young Iraqi man and s...more

  • Ian Fleming & The Birth of Bond

    May 13 2021

    A suave secret agent and fictional character turned household name and multi-billion dollar franchise: we all know James Bond. But what about the man behind him? In this episode, from. our sibling podcast Warfare hear about the people and places that inspired Ian Fleming as he wrote the stories of 007. Professor Klaus Dodds researches geopolitics and security, ice studies and the international governance of the Antarctic and the Arctic at Royal Holloway, but he is also an expert on Fleming and B...more

  • Motherhood, Working and Pandemics

    May 12 2021

    Being a working mother is now an entirely normal part of life but this was certainly not always the case and was often seen as a social ill in the past. Helen McCarthy, author of Double Lives: A History of Working Motherhood, joins Dan to help chart how the role of women in the workforce has changed over time and what impact the last year in lockdown has had on women, work, education and the structures of family's as a whole.   See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out informa...more

  • Ken Burns and Lynn Novick on Hemmingway

    May 11 2021

    Ken Burns and Lynn Novick are two of the most talented and inspiring history filmmakers on earth. Their works include the seminal The Civil War, Baseball and The Vietnam War all of which have been rightly celebrated around the world. Their latest project examines the life and work of Ernest Hemingway and gives an insight into the relationships and character of this complex and often difficult man. They discuss with Dan their film making process, what makes a good documentary series and what Hemi...more

  • Napoleon Bonaparte: Rise to Power

    May 10 2021

    In this archive episode, Dan talks to Adam Zamoyski, a historian who has written a biography of Napoleon, about the early life and rise to power of one of the most remarkable men in history.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Greatest Heist in History: The Crown Jewels and Thomas Blood

    May 09 2021

    On the 9 May 1671, Thomas Blood led his co-conspirators in a daring bid to steal the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London. Through a combination of trickery, guile and violence he was able to make off with Charles II's crown and some of the most important treasures in the kingdom. To help tell this astonishing tale, Sebastian Edwards, Deputy chief curator at Tower of London joins the podcast to explain how Blood nearly got away with the greatest heist of the 17th century.  See acast.c...more

  • Life at Bletchley Park with Betty Webb

    May 08 2021

    Betty Webb was heavily involved with the work going on at Bletchley Park. While she was not part of the code-breaking team, her work was invaluable to the success of Bletchley, and Dan talks to her about her life and wartime experiences.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • The Sinking of the Lusitania

    May 07 2021

    On 7 May 1915, the ocean liner RMS Lusitania was sunk by a German U-boat off the coast of Ireland with more than half the passengers and crew being killed. Some of those lost were Americans and the sinking hardened opinion in the United States against Germany and marked the beginning of the process which led to the USA entering the First World War on the side of the allies. To mark the anniversary of the sinking Stephen Payne joins the podcast. Stephen is a British naval architect and worked on ...more

  • Roman Prisoners of War

    May 06 2021

    We know all about the battles of the Roman Empire: the opposing sides, their weapons and incentives. But if history is written by the winners, what happened if you lost? In this episode, Dr Jo Ball, battlefield archaeologist at the University of Liverpool, helps to fill in this gap. Jo takes us through the options of the victorious army; to release, kill or capture; and then discusses the treatment of those who fell into this last category. Listen as in this episode from our sibling podcast The ...more

  • A Scandalous Duchess

    May 05 2021

    Elizabeth Chudleigh, Duchess of Kingston was a duchess who attracted scandal, a duchess who divided opinion, a duchess who refused to give up agency or accept her place in 18th century society and she was loathed and loved in equal measure. Maid of honour to Augusta, Princess of Wales, for over 20 years and an important figure in Hanoverian court and her exploits delighted and scandalised the press and the people. A first clandestine marriage to an Earl was followed by a second a second bigamous...more

  • Pre-historic Britain in Seven Burials with Alice Roberts

    May 04 2021

    How much can a burial really tell us about our ancient past? Professor Alice Roberts is today's guest and, as her new book Ancestors demonstrates, old bones can speak to us across the centuries. Using new ancient DNA analysis techniques archaeologists are now able to uncover an unprecedented level of detail about the lives of our ancestors. Where they came from, what they ate, how they lived, what killed them and what their burials really mean. This is the story of unlocking the past of ancient ...more

  • The Apollo Program with Kevin Fong

    May 03 2021

    Getting to the moon was no easy feat, no matter how confident Kennedy may have sounded in his famous 1961 speech. NASA built a team from the ground up, and there were plenty of moments where it seemed as if they weren't going to make it. Fong tells stories of just how close they came, and how risky it was. After all, it was hard to feel safe when a pen could go straight through the module. Kevin Fong is incredible. As Dan fawns in the podcast, he's part of the NHS emergency response team for maj...more

  • Amend: The Fight for America

    May 02 2021

    Take a deep dive into the remaking of the American Constitution and the 14th amendment created in the wake of the American Civil War. The 14th amendment formed a key part of addressing citizenship rights and equal protection under the law, particularly for former slaves. Comedian, writer and actor Larry Wilmore is executive producer and one of the stars of the six-part series Amend: The Fight For America which examines why the 14th amendment mattered at the time and continues to be of vital impo...more

  • The Death of Hitler

    May 01 2021

    Did Hitler shoot himself in the Führerbunker, or did he slip past the Soviets and escape to South America? There have been innumerable documentaries, newspaper articles and Twitter threads written by conspiracy theorists to back up the case for escape. Luke Daly Groves has made it his mission to take on the conspiracy theorists, and smash their arguments using the historical method. With the help of recently declassified MI5 files, previously unpublished sketches of Hitler's bunker and eyewitnes...more

  • Captain Cook: The Aboriginal Perspective

    Apr 30 2021

    Captain Cook has been celebrated, wrongly, as the first European to discover Australia but many now believe it is time to reappraise his legacy particularly in light of the devastating effect it had on the native Aboriginal people of Australia. Professor John Maynard is a Worimi man and Director of Aboriginal History at The Wollotuka Institute. He joins the podcast to explain what Cook's landing at Botany Bay meant for the Aboriginal people at the time and right through the generations to today ...more

  • Not Just the Tudors

    Apr 29 2021

    When thinking about the 16th century the Tudor dynasty often comes to the fore, but the was so much more to this extraordinary period to be explored. In celebration of the launch of her new History Hit podcast, Professor Suzannah Lipscombe joins Dan to discuss all things Not Just the Tudors. This new podcast will look right across the 16th century including the Renaissance, the Aztecs, Henry VIII's wardrobe, werewolves and much, much more.   See acast.com/privacy for privacy and o...more

  • The Battle of Okinawa

    Apr 28 2021

    The last major confrontation of the Second World War and the largest amphibious assault of the Pacific theatre, the Battle of Okinawa ended in Allied victory but with massive casualties on both sides. To take us through the battle James welcomed Saul David onto our sibling podcast Warfare. Saul is a professor of Military History at the University of Buckingham and author of Crucible of Hell. He and James explore the use of kamikaze pilots by the Japanese and of the Atomic bomb by the United Stat...more

  • Blood and Iron: The German Empire

    Apr 27 2021

    German unification in 1871 immediately altered the balance of power in Europe and across the world, but what did its existence and expansion in the 19th and early 20th-century really mean? Katja Hoyer joins Dan in this follow-up episode to The Second Reich which examined the formation of Germany. This time round Katja and Dan tackle the internal politics of the Second Reich, the role of the Kaiser, German expansionism and colonialism and how the legacy of the German Empire can still be felt toda...more

  • Chernobyl: Memories of a Survivor

    Apr 26 2021

    On April 26th 1986 reactor No. 4 at the Chernobyl nuclear plant exploded sending a vast plume of radioactive material into the atmosphere, but what was it like for ordinary people nearby? It was the worst nuclear accident to that point in history and the catastrophic response to that meltdown and the mishandling of the messages around the accident helped to hasten the end of the Soviet Union itself. In this episode, Dan is joined by Sophia Moskalenko who was ten at the time and living in Ky...more

  • The Last Nuremberg Prosecutor

    Apr 25 2021

    Ben Ferencz at 102 years old is the last surviving prosecutor from the Nuremberg trials and a direct witness to the horrors of the Nazi death camps. Ben was born in Transylvania before emigrating to the United States with his family as a child to escape antisemitic persecution. He trained at Harvard Law School graduating in 1943 and served in the US army in the campaign to liberate western Europe. In 1945 at the end of the war he was assigned to a team charged with collecting evidence of war cri...more

  • Cellini: Bad Boy of the Renaissance

    Apr 24 2021

    Benvenuto Cellini was the bad boy of the Renaissance! His life was a story of murders, violence, war, the sack of cities, sodomy, imprisonment, religious conversion, prodigious artistic talent and writing one of the greatest artistic autobiographies of all time. Jerry Brotton, Professor of Renaissance Studies at Queen Mary University of London, has recently made a superb series for the BBC called The Essay, Blood and Bronze which charts the sometimes mad life of Cellini. He joins Dan to discuss ...more

  • Football, Money and the European Super League

    Apr 23 2021

    The attempt to create a new European Super League might have been short-lived with the attempt to form a breakaway competition collapsing in the face of widespread protests and denunciations from fans, but what led to this point? In this episode, Dan is joined by Jonathan Wilson of the Guardian Football Weekly and author of Inverting the Pyramid. Jonathan takes us from the origins of the sport over a hundred years ago through to the big business of the modern game. This historical perspective he...more

  • Shakespeare's Shoreditch Theatre with Heather Knight

    Apr 22 2021

    In this archive episode, Dan visits the site of The Theatre, the 16th-century playhouse where some of Shakespeare's works were first performed, to investigate the archaeology with Heather Knight, Senior Archaeologist from the Museum of London Archaeology.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Lessons from the Antonine Plague

    Apr 21 2021

    A plague which affects people from across society, the mass exodus from city centres and numerous opinions on how best to stay well ... all familiar to people today, but also to the people of the 2nd century AD. In this fascinating chat with Dr Nick Summerton, from our sibling podcast The Ancients, we explore the causes and effects of the Antonine Plague, the guides to healthy living from Galen, Marcus Aurelius and Aristides, and whether there are overlaps with the current situation. Nick is a p...more

  • Lady Mary and the First Inoculation

    Apr 20 2021

    In the 18th century, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu was an aristocrat, courtier, brilliant beauty, intellectual, wife to the ambassador to the Ottoman Empire and a sufferer from smallpox. It was during her time in Constantinople that she witnessed a procedure that would alter the course of her life; inoculation. Having inoculated her children she brought the practice back to Britain where she inoculated the offspring of the high and mighty including the daughters of the royal family. Jo Willet, TV pr...more

  • Prisoners of Geography

    Apr 19 2021

    Five years ago Tim Marshall wrote the international best selling book Prisoners of Geography which examined how our politics, demographics, our economies and societies are determined by geography. Tim was diplomatic editor at Sky News and has also worked for the BBC and LBC/IRN radio. He has reported from 40 countries and covered conflicts in Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Israel. He used his expertise and understanding in international affairs to look ...more

  • 300 years of British Prime Ministers: Part 3

    Apr 18 2021

    In the third episode of our series chronicling the history of British Prime Ministers we travel from one of the Most famous occupants of the office, Winston Churchill, right through to the current incumbent Boris Johnson and everyone in-between. For that Dan is joined by Iain Dale a well known broadcaster, podcaster, author and editor of the recent book The Prime Ministers. They discuss, amongst other things, the Second World War, the creation of the NHS, the, economic reforms of the 1980's, Bre...more

  • Irish Independence

    Apr 16 2021

    On 18th April 1949, the Republic of Ireland Act came into effect which saw Ireland become a republic and leave the Commonwealth. 2021 also marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the Irish War of independence. To help mark these important dates Diarmaid Ferriter, one of Ireland’s best-known historians and Professor of Modern Irish History at University College Dublin, joins Dan on the podcast. They examine the importance of these big anniversaries for Ireland not just in the past, but also in ...more

  • JFK's Darkest Hour: The Cuban Missile Crisis

    Apr 16 2021

    In October 1962 the world came very close to annihilation during the Cuban Missile Crisis. During the autumn of 1962, a U2 reconnaissance aircraft produced clear evidence that the Soviet Union and the Cuban authorities were building medium-range ballistic missile facilities on the island of Cuba and only around 100 miles from the coast of Florida. The resulting confrontation between the USA under JFK and the Soviet Union led by Nikita Khrushchev lasted just over a month and it's often considered...more

  • Life and Death in Medieval England

    Apr 15 2021

    We often hear about the kings and queens of medieval England, but what was life like for the ordinary person? From knights to peasants to barbers, Dan Snow joins Dr Eleanor Janega to explore the many lives - and deaths - you could expect to find in Medieval England. This episode is taken from a youtube live event from our partner channel Timeline.If you want to watch Eleanor's brilliant programme Going Medieval: Those Who Work for History Hit then click here.  See acast.com/privacy for...more

  • British Seapower in the 1900s

    Apr 14 2021

    During the changes and troubles of the 20th century, officials in Britain faced a huge question: how could they maintain imperial power? Dr Louis Halewood has been researching the troubles faced by British policymakers, and the efforts to maintain dominance with their dominions and allies as Pax Britannica came to a close. In this episode from our sibling podcast Warfare he speaks to James from the University of Plymouth about the development of British naval power, and explores the role of the ...more

  • The End of Sex Disqualification?

    Apr 13 2021

    The First World War saw unprecedented numbers of women enter the workplace and help pave the way for women to be given greater rights and responsibilities in their careers, or did it? The Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act of 1919 was, on paper, a social revolution opening the doors to professions that previously women had been barred by law from entering. The reality was very different though and instead of being treated as equals they continued to experience discrimination and barriers to purs...more

  • Yuri Gagarin: The First Human to Leave Our Planet

    Apr 12 2021

    On April 12th 1961 the Soviet Union shocked the world by launching the first man into space; Yuri Gagarin. Strapped to the top of a gigantic ICBM Gagarin was blasted into space as the result of a highly secretive programme. This completely surprised those on the other side of the Iron Curtain and caused considerably fear in the West. However, this momentous achievement was in fact a stab in the dark for the Soviets. Lacking the funding and technology of their American adversaries it almost came ...more

  • 300 years of British Prime Ministers: Part 2

    Apr 11 2021

    Continuing our series looking at British Prime Ministers this episode tackles the period following the Battle of Waterloo all the way up to Winston Churchill. The brilliant Robert Saunders joins us to guide us through the nineteenth century and to discuss some of the most remarkable parliamentarians in history including Peel, Gladstone and Lloyd George. Robert is a Reader in Modern British History at Queen Mary University of London. He specialises in modern British history, from the early 19th c...more

  • Prince Philip

    Apr 09 2021

    Abandoned by his parents, exiled from his home, a veteran of Second World War battles, an author, the founder of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), this is the story of Prince Philip as you have never heard it before.He was the longest-serving consort to a reigning British Monarch in history and the oldest-ever male member of the British Royal Family. Born in Corfu, Greece, in 1921 his family escaped a revolution soon after his birth eventually settling in Paris. He was educated in Scotland a...more

  • The Xiongnu: History's First Nomadic Empire?

    Apr 09 2021

    Between the 3rd century BC and the 1st century AD, the Xiongnu inhabited the area surrounding Mongolia. They influenced the later Hun Empire, and had connections with Ancient China and Persia, but what do we know about them? Bryan Miller has been investigating the society, hierarchy and expansion of the Xiongnu, and in this episode from our sibling podcast The Ancients he shares his findings from the archaeology and historical documents with Tristan. You can listen to the full episode here. ...more

  • What Britain Did to Nigeria

    Apr 08 2021

    When we think of the British Empire we often think of India, Pakistan, Singapore, Burma or perhaps South Africa but an often underrepresented part of the colonial picture is that of west Africa and specifically Nigeria. Now the most populous country in Africa Nigeria was created out of a diverse set of peoples and territories to suit the needs of the colonial administration. Max Siollun, author of What Britain Did to Nigeria: A Short History of Conquest and Rule, joins Dan to discuss the history...more

  • Catherine the Great

    Apr 07 2021

    Catherine the Great came from minor German nobility to become Empress of Russia and one of the most extraordinary women of the eighteenth century. Dan is joined today on the podcast by Hilde Hoogenboom, translator of Catherine the Great’s Memoirs https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/25280/the-memoirs-of-catherine-the-great-by-catherine-the-great/. Hilde is a literary historian who has delved deep into the archive material about Catherine, much of it written by Catherine herself, which d...more

  • 30 Years since the Kurdish Uprising

    Apr 06 2021

    In the aftermath of the First Gulf War, groups rose up against Saddam Hussein's regime in a bid to win independence from Baghdad with devastating results for those involved and in particular for the Kurds of Northern Iraq. The Iraqi army responded with deadly force leading to the displacement of millions and the creation of an enormous refugee crisis in Northern Iraq. By April of 1991 and led by the British government a coalition had been put together and launched Operation Haven. This involved ...more

  • Will This Be the New Roaring 20s?

    Apr 05 2021

    Our impressions of the Roaring 20s are a time of economic growth, social change and in some cases wild debauchery, but were the Roaring 20s really a thing and what were they really like? As lockdown restriction ease are we due another similar period a hundred years later? Professor Sarah Churchwell joins Dan on the podcast with the exciting possibility that we might all be in store for another period of wild socialising, but only when it's safe to do so!  See acast.com/privacy for priv...more

  • 300 years of British Prime Ministers: Part 1

    Apr 04 2021

    We're heading back to the Eighteenth century as 300 years ago Sir Robert Walpole became the first prime minister. In this first episode of our Prime Minister's season, Dan is Joined by Dr Hannah Grieg for a whirlwind tour of the eighteenth century's many Prime Ministers. From Sir Robert Walpole through William Pitt the younger through to Lord Liverpool they discuss the creation of the office, prime ministerial control of the House of Commons, conflicts with the king and how politics has changed ...more

  • Violence Against Women in Victorian London

    Apr 03 2021

    In the 1880s and 1890s Whitechapel, in London, become notorious for its violence especially towards women but what lessons can be drawn from this period for today? In this thought-provoking episode, Dan is joined by Dr Julia Laite for a walk around Whitechapel to explore some of the locations where these terrible crimes took place and the stories of the women involved. Julia shares her thoughts on why women at the time were so vulnerable to violent crime and how things have changed since the lat...more

  • The Truth About Easter

    Apr 02 2021

    In one of the most popular episodes from our archive, Dan is joined by Francesca Stavrakopoulou to discuss the history and myths that surround Easter. Francesca Stavrakopoulou is Professor of Hebrew Bible & Ancient Religion at Exeter University. Her research is primarily focused on ancient Israelite and Judahite religions, and portrayals of the religious past in the Hebrew Bible. She is interested in biblical traditions and religious practices most at odds with Western cultural preferences. ...more

  • Hitler's Atlantic Wall

    Apr 01 2021

    The Atlantic Wall is one of the biggest construction projects in history a line of formidable defences stretching from the Pyrenees to the Norwegian Arctic but how effective was it? Dan speaks to James Rogers, host of our sibling podcast Warfare, about his recent History Hit documentary In Defence of the Reich: Hitler's Atlantic Wall. They discuss how and why the Atlantic Wall was built, Hitler's obsession with it, how effective it was and whether it could have ever been successful against an al...more

  • Music and Humans

    Mar 31 2021

    Today we take music for granted but humans have a unique relationship with the musical form which reaches back far into our ancient past. In this episode Dan is joined by Michael Spitzer, Professor of Music at the University of Liverpool and author of The Musical Human, to discuss the history of music. From the first ancient Greek melody we have been able to recreate; to the first scraps of music notations that are yet to be deciphered and what music has meant for our evolution as a species and ...more

  • Operation Jubilee: A Pinch Raid at Dieppe?

    Mar 30 2021

    On 19 August 1942, a six thousand strong combined Allied landing force took part in a raid on Dieppe, Northern France. Sixty-seven percent of these became casualties. The raid has gone down in history as a catastrophe conceived by Lord Mountbatten. With the help of 100,000 pages of classified British military files, however, David O’Keefe has uncovered a pinch mission undertaken at Dieppe, concealed by the raid, to steal one of the new German 4-rotor Enigma code machines. In this first of two ep...more

  • The Man Who Dropped the First Bomb on Iraq

    Mar 29 2021

    30 years ago Maj. Gen. Greg "the beast" Feest dropped a bomb from his F-117 stealth bomber destroying an Iraqi command bunker which began the air war that would lead to the allied victory in the First Gulf War. He talks to Dan about this sortie and other experiences from over 800 hours of combat flying hours and his illustrious career in the USAF which led him to be head of safety including taking charge of its nuclear arsenal. Now retired, he also airs his robust views on how military power sho...more

  • Boudica: Britain's Warrior Queen

    Mar 28 2021

    This episode from our sibling podcast The Ancients is all about that hero of British folklore; Boudica. Her leadership of the Iceni in an uprising against the forces of the Roman Empire in around 60 AD is echoed around school classrooms. But what evidence do we have for her actions, appearance and eventual defeat? Caitlin Gillespie is the author of ‘Boudica: Warrior Woman of Roman Britain.’ In this first of two episodes, she speaks to Tristan about the sources that have helped us to find out mor...more

  • Icelandic Volcanoes and Us

    Mar 27 2021

    This explosive episode is all about the effects of Icelandic volcanoes on us all. In 1783 a massive eruption of Lakagígar volcano nearly forced the abandonment of Iceland as 15 cubic kilometres of lava was blown into the air. The greatest single amount ever recorded. The effects of this eruption caused enormous death and destruction in Iceland but also led to the failure of crops across northern Europe causing the deaths of 25,000 Britains and helping to cause the French revolution. Whilst this ...more

  • The Suez Canal

    Mar 26 2021

    The creation of the Suez Canal was the culmination of a dream stretching back to the pharaohs of connecting the Mediterranean to the Red Sea, but why is it so important? Right now with the canal is blocked and more closely resembles a traffic jam rather than the vital trade artery connecting the trade and the Mediterranean basin with that of the Indian Ocean and Asia it is. The canal reduces the journey between the Arabian Sea and the North Atlantic by around 5000 miles saving the massive modern...more

  • Greek War of Independence

    Mar 25 2021

    200 years ago the banner was raised which marked the beginning of the Greek War of Independence that would lead to their freedom from the Ottoman Empire. It was also a globally significant war as it is one of the first examples of a people fired up with nationalist sentiment rising up against a big transnational empire. It would act as an inspiration for nationalist movements across the world leading eventually to the destruction of those empires around the world. The Greek cause was championed ...more

  • Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities with Bettany Hughes

    Mar 24 2021

    In this episode from the back catalogue, Dr Bettany Hughes joins Dan to talk about her history of Istanbul which sits at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. Dr. Bettany Hughes is an award-winning historian, author, and broadcaster, who has devoted the last 25 years to the vibrant communication of the past. Her speciality is ancient and medieval history and culture. A Scholar at Oxford University she has taught at Oxford and Cambridge Universities and lectured at Cornell, Bristol, UCL, Maastricht,...more

  • One Normal Family, 300 Years of History

    Mar 23 2021

    Every family has a history and delving into the history of one ordinary French family over three centuries provides a remarkable picture of deep social and economic changes. Accounts of the lives of the rich and powerful families of history are commonplace. We have all read about the Kennedy's, the Windsors or the Habsburgs but what about an ordinary family? Dan is joined by Emma Rothschild, Professor of History at Harvard University and herself a scion of the Rothschild family, who has set...more

  • French Resistance Super Spy

    Mar 22 2021

    Today's podcast is about French Resistance spies! Dan is joined by the author Roland Phillips who has uncovered the story of Mathilde Carré who was codenamed agent Victoire and nicknamed La Chatte & who spied for both the French Resistance & the Nazis. In this episode, Roland takes us through a fascinating tale of love, betrayal, espionage, patriotism and cynicism during the Second World War.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Napoleon: Captive on Saint Helena

    Mar 21 2021

    Saint Helena is one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world. Nearly a thousand mile from the nearest piece of land, this recently created volcanic effusion is a wonder of geography and biodiversity. But it's also got a remarkable history. Napoleon was sent there after Waterloo. It was the safest place the British government could think of to imprison the most dangerous man in the world. In this episode, Dan goes to Napoleon's house, meets the remarkable man who has restored it and find...more

  • The Census

    Mar 20 2021

    Here in the UK, it's census time! Today, I'm joined on the podcast by one of the nations favourite family historians Dr Michala Hulme who certainly knows her way around a historical census. The first census was back in 1801 so we now have over 200 years of census information. We discuss why the census was first created, how the census can give us a real insight into how people lived their lives and how the census has changed and evolved over time. Please fill out your census as it provides vital...more

  • The War in the East: Part 1 with Bill Frankland

    Mar 19 2021

    In this episode taken from our archive, I talk to Dr Bill Frankland (19 March 1912 – 2 April 2020), a veteran of World War Two who lived through a Japanese prisoner of war camp and who also made important contributions to our understanding of allergies.You can listen to part 2 of this podcast here.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Another History of Ideas with David Runciman

    Mar 18 2021

    Today, I am joined once again by Professor David Runciman to talk about the second series of his brilliant History of Ideas podcast. The series looks at some of the most important political thinkers of all time and tells us about their lives, their theories and why their thinking still matters. We discuss the series and look at the philosophies of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Jeremy Bentham, Frederick Douglass, Friedrich Nietzsche and Rosa Luxemburg amongst others. It seems that these giant minds we w...more

  • St Patrick's Day

    Mar 17 2021

    We all have a story about St Patrick's Day and our guest on the podcast today, Adrian Mulligan has a few. Adrian is an Associate Professor of Geography at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania. We had a fascinating talk about the origins of St Patrick's day, Irish Nationalism, how it has become a global phenomenon, the Irish American experience and how it's celebration has been influenced by the Irish diaspora. Enjoy this wonderful episode and happy St Patrick's Day!  See acast.com/priva...more

  • The My Lai Massacre

    Mar 16 2021

    On the 16th March 1968, the My Lai Massacre occurred in South Vietnam. 350-500 men, women, children and babies were brutally killed by US troops during a counterinsurgency operation. It was the worst war crime perpetrated by US forces during the Vietnam War. To try and find out what made those men snap and commit those terrible crimes I spoke to Erik Villard a Historian at the U.S. Army Center of Military History, Fort McNair, DC. He talks us through the events of that fateful day, why he b...more

  • The Ides of March

    Mar 15 2021

    Today's podcast is an episode taken from our sibling podcast The Ancients. In 4 BC, the Ides of March took on a new significance. Previously observed as the first full moon of the new year, the 15 March is today remembered as the anniversary of the assassination of Julius Caesar. In this episode, Dr Emma Southon talks Tristan through the events leading up to the Caesar’s assassination: was he forewarned with omens in the days preceding his death? Who was involved in the plot and why did they wan...more

  • Written Constitutions with Linda Colley

    Mar 14 2021

    On the podcast today we have the legendary Linda Colley to talk all about her new book examining the phenomenon of written constitutions. From Corsica in 1755 onwards via the United States and into the modern world constitutions represent an attempt by people to write down and codify the laws that govern a state. We discuss how these important documents are, and continue to be, a powerful symbol of statehood; how they represent the cultures and literature of the time and how their increasing imp...more

  • Vikings in America

    Mar 12 2021

    The Vikings were one of the great exploring peoples of the past. They travelled east along the rivers to the Silk Road, they explored west across the seas to the United Kingdom, they settled Iceland and Greenland and famously reached North America. L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, Canada has been identified as a Viking site, but it seems that this was only a staging post for longer journey's but where they were headed beyond this point we don't know. This leaves open the tantalising possibili...more

  • History of Homelessness

    Mar 11 2021

    Throughout history homelessness has been given many names vagrancy, vagabonding, tramping. Indeed, homeless people have been seen in different lights. Sometimes portrayed as romantic heroes maintaining their freedom to roam and refusing to accept the yoke of a capitalist, settled society but also as an existential threat to order and property. I spoke to Professor of Contemporary British History Nick Crowson in this episode of the podcast who has spent much of his career studying homelessness. W...more

  • When We Nearly Nuked the Moon

    Mar 10 2021

    Vince Houghton joins me on the podcast today to talk about some of the weirdest and craziest ideas put forward during the twentieth century. We're talking exploding bats, sonic cats, aircraft carriers made of icebergs and detonating a nuclear missile on the moon just to show that you could do it! This is a really fun episode and as you'll hear many of these ideas came closer to becoming reality than you might think. Vince Houghton is the historian and curator of the International Spy Museum...more

  • Michael Palin: Erebus and Terror

    Mar 09 2021

    In this archive episode, Dan Snow wrangles with a Python! He talks to comedy legend Michael Palin about his book, Erebus The Story of a Ship. The book tells the devastating true story of the Franklin expeditions to find the Northwest Passage, and how their history only slowly came to light.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • On This Day She

    Mar 08 2021

    To help celebrate International Women's Day I am joined on the podcast by Tania Hershman, Ailsa Holland and Jo Bell founders of On This Day She. Women have often been deliberately written out of history with their accomplishments been credited to men. On This Day She sets out to redress this imbalance and give voice to women, from all different backgrounds, that have been left out of history. It includes the good, the bad and everything in-between with both well-known women as well as those you ...more

  • Eddie the Eagle

    Mar 07 2021

    I am joined by an absolute legend on the podcast today; Eddie the Eagle. He became an overnight sensation during the 1988 Winter Olympics as the first person to represent Great Britain in ski jumping since 1928. Although he finished last in both the 70 metres and the 90 metres he became a worldwide phenomenon due to his positive attitude and the extraordinary story of how he reached the games. He is one of the most zen people I have had the pleasure of interviewing and is just as happy plasterin...more

  • The British Landscape: 12,000 years of history

    Mar 06 2021

    Nicholas Crane is a geographer, explorer, writer and broadcaster. He has written and presented four notable television series for BBC Two: Coast, Great British Journeys, Map Man and Town. The Making Of The British Landscape: From the Ice Age to the Present is out now.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • The Renaissance

    Mar 05 2021

    Today on the podcast we're going to talk all about the Renaissance. We have all heard of it as a reawakening, a rebirth of European culture but what truly was it and why was it so important and are we going through our own renaissance now? I wanted to really get under the skin of the Renaissance and find out what exactly happened in Italy in the 15th and 16th century. Joining me to do just that is Mary Hollingsworth who has written a book called Princes of the Renaissance about the people who be...more

  • What's Going on in Myanmar?

    Mar 04 2021

    Myanmar is currently experiencing one of its worst-ever periods of violence and civil unrest as the population protests against the recent military coup. Many protesters have been killed and injured and Aung San Suu Kyi is once again under house arrest. To help explain what is happening in Myanmar and put the events into context I am joined on the podcast by the filmmaker Alex Bescoby, who has spent much of his adult life working and living in Myanmar. We explore this complex issue and how the c...more

  • Cheddar Man: Science and the Skeleton

    Mar 03 2021

    Today's episode is from our brilliant sibling podcast The Ancients. Cheddar Man is the oldest almost complete skeleton of a Homo sapien ever found in Britain and, for this fantastic episode, Tristan spoke to the scientist who has drilled a (very small) hole in him. Dr Selina Brace is a biologist who works with ancient and degraded DNA. At the Natural History Museum in London, where Cheddar Man currently resides, Selina and her team have been able to examine this iconic skeleton’s genetic makeup ...more

  • French Resistance Heroine Heading to the Oscars?

    Mar 02 2021

    Joining me on the podcast today are Alice Doyard and Anthony Giacchino to discuss their film Colette: The french resistance fighter confronting fascism which has been shortlisted for the Oscars 2021 in the Documentary Short category. The documentary tells the story of Colette Marin-Catherine who was part of the French Resistance during the Nazi occupation of France in the Second World War. 90-year-old Colette Marin-Catherine confronts her past by visiting for the first time the German concentrat...more

  • Queens of Jerusalem

    Mar 01 2021

    In today's episode of the podcast, I am joined by Katherine Pangonis a historian specialising in the medieval world of the Mediterranean and Middle East. She has recently written a fantastic book about the powerful women who dared to rule in the Crusader States of Outremer following the First Crusade; something that was largely absent from other states of the period. We talk about how and why the phenomenon occurred, the rule of Queen Melisende and her granddaughter Queen Sibylla, the influ...more

  • The Gulf War: 30 Years On

    Feb 28 2021

    On this day thirty years ago a ceasefire was declared bringing ground operations in the first Gulf War to an end. An overwhelmingly powerful coalition force had stormed across the desert driving Saddam Hussein's forces out of Kuwait and concluding the ground campaign after only 100 hours of fighting. To commemorate this anniversary I am joined on the podcast by General Sir Rupert Smith who commanded the UK 1st Armoured Division during the conflict. We talk about his role during the war, the chal...more

  • Lockdown Learning: The 19th Century Medical Revolution

    Feb 26 2021

    The 19th century saw the world in the grip of the industrial revolution, a firepower revolution on the battlefield and a communications revolution with the telegram. But there was another revolution happening at the same time; the medical revolution. This led to giant strides forward being made in the fields of public health, surgery and pharmaceuticals. Monica Walker, Curator at Old Operating Theatre Museum in London, joins me for Lockdown Learning this week to talk me through jus what happened...more

  • The Doolittle Raid

    Feb 25 2021

    Today, we're talking about one of the great stories of American military history; The Doolittle Raid. In 1942 after the humiliation assault on Pearl Harbour and determined to show that America still had offensive capabilities the charismatic figure of James Doolittle came to President Rosevelt with the proposal to fly army bombers off aircraft carriers and attack Tokyo the capital of the Japanese Empire. Michel Paradis, the author of Last Mission to Tokyo, joins me not only to discuss the m...more

  • Anti-government Violence in America

    Feb 24 2021

    Leah Sottile joins me today to talk all about domestic terrorism and anti-government groups in the USA. In particular, we talk about the armed standoff between law enforcement and a group of ranchers led by Cliven Bundy in 2014 over the issue of grazing rights on public land. We examine what happened, why this case matters, how it is directly linked to the stoming of the Capitol and what it is about the history of the USA that motivates these groups.Leah Sottile is a freelance journalist and wri...more

  • Remembering the Alamo with W. F. Strong

    Feb 23 2021

    In this episode taken from our archive, I headed out to Texas in 2016 to discuss the Battle of the Alamo and what its legacy means for modern Texas. I met with W. F. Strong, a famed historian of Texas, to wander around the city of San Antonio and get a deeper understanding of one of America's most famous battles.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • John of Gaunt: THE Royal Ancestor

    Feb 22 2021

    Helen Carr joins me today to discuss John of Gaunt: son of Edward III, younger brother to the Black Prince, uncle of Richard II and father of Henry IV. Not only was he the key intersecting ancestor around which the Plantagenet family split, but his other children also give us the Tudor dynasty. He is THE royal ancestor and one that many of us can trace our family trees back to. In this fascinating episode, Helen discusses his royal aspirations, his attempted conquest of parts of Spain, his role ...more

  • In Conversation with David Baddiel

    Feb 21 2021

    In this episode taken from our archive, David Baddiel talks to Dan about the Second World War, Trump's Mussolini-isms, and why Jim Callaghan makes comedy difficult.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Brexit History Showdown with Robert Tombs

    Feb 20 2021

    Five years after the announcement of the Brexit referendum I am joined on the podcast by Robert Tombs, author of The Sovereign Isle: Britain In and Out of Europe, for a Brexit history showdown. In this thought-provoking conversation Robert, a fantastic historian absolutely steeped in European history sets out why he believes it was in the best interests of the UK to leave the European project.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Vikings: River Kings

    Feb 19 2021

    Today, I am joined by Cat Jarman bio-archaeologist and author of a new book all about how the Vikings spread east, often utilising the rivers of central and Eastern Europe, all the way into central Asia. These travels enabled them through trade, violence and settlement to plug themselves into that superhighway of the time, the Silk Road.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Frostquake

    Feb 18 2021

    In the winter of 1962-63, the UK experienced a different kind of lockdown as freezing temperatures and ten weeks of snow kept people trapped at home in one of the coldest winters on record. Today, I'm joined by Juliet Nicolson who was eight years old at the time and has written a book all about that bitterly cold winter. She argues that the big freeze not only reflected the threat of the cold war but also beneath the frozen surface new ideas were beginning to stir which would lead to the massive...more

  • Besieging Masada

    Feb 17 2021

    Dramatically placed on a plateau with drops of 400m to the east and 90m to the west, Masada translates from Hebrew as fortress. It became just that when Herod the Great built a magnificent palace complex upon it between 37 and 31 BC, the remains of which are in fantastic shape today. But the site isn’t only notable for its connection to the bible-famed King of Judaea. Masada was also the stronghold of some of the survivors of a Jewish revolt and, in response, the locus of a Roman siege in the ea...more

  • Love Lives: From Cinderella to Frozen

    Feb 16 2021

    We cover all the big topics on the podcast including weapons of mass destruction, climate change, great power rivalry and the struggle for democracy and many others, but today's podcast is all about the biggest subject of them all. Love.Carol Dyhouse, Professor (Emeritus) of History at the University of Sussex, joins me to talk all about how portrayals of love in popular culture and in particular Disney princesses have influenced how people view love, romance and marriage and how those views hav...more

  • Hitler and Stalin

    Feb 15 2021

    I am joined by Laurence Rees, the best selling author, who has met more people that had direct contact with both Hitler and Stalin than any other historian. In this episode, we delve into the differences and similarities of these two terrifying, brutal and ruthless megalomaniacs who did more than anyone else to shape the Twentieth Century and the world we live in today.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Living Through the Dresden Firebombing with Victor Gregg

    Feb 13 2021

    Victor Gregg is a veteran of World War Two and the Dresden Bombings, and travelled with Dan to visit Dresden a couple of years ago for a documentary. In this episode, taken from our archive, Victor talks about what it was like to be in Dresden during the bombings, and the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) he suffered as a result of his wartime experiences.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Lockdown Learning: The Rise of USA

    Feb 12 2021

    For Lockdown Learning this week I am joined by Dr Fabian Hilfrich, head of American History at Edinburgh University. He takes us through from the late 19th Century to the beginning of the 20th century when America rose to challenge the old European powers on the world stage. We cover subjects such as American imperialism, industrial development and wealth distribution, the impact of immigration, how America viewed itself on the world stage and the evolution of the constitution during this period...more

  • The 18th Century Precedent for Trump's Impeachment

    Feb 11 2021

    As the impeachment trial of Donald Trump got underway in the USA the 18th-century case of Warren Hastings, the former Governor-General of Bengal was cited as a precedent for someone being impeached after they had left office. But what happened to bring about Hastings' impeachment and why does this case matter now? I'm joined by best selling author, an expert on the East India Company and a rock star of 18th-century history William Dalrymple to find out.  See acast.com/privacy for priva...more

  • Empire with Sathnam Sanghera

    Feb 10 2021

    Journalist and author Sathnam Sanghera joins me on the podcast to talk about his latest book Empireland which examines how much of what we think of as Britain and British is owed to our imperial past. We compare notes on our own family's relationships to the British Empire imperial, me being British-Canadian and Sathnam being of Punjabi descent, and discuss how imperial history should be thought about and taught today.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Historical Novels with Ken Follett

    Feb 09 2021

    Today, I am joined by best-selling author Ken Follett to discuss his latest book The Evening and the Morning. We also talk about his love of history and the historical research involved with writing one of his novels, his method and how authors have to sometimes use creative license to fill in some of the underwear shaped gaps left in the historical record. This episode was recorded before the US election last year and Ken, a former journalist, also touches on his concerns for his previous occup...more

  • China 1949: Year of Revolution

    Feb 08 2021

    In 1949 Mao Zedong led the Chinese Communist Party to victory in the long and bloody Chinese Civil War. The impact of this victory was felt not just within China itself, but globally throughout the Cold War and into the modern era. Today, the legacy of 1949 still resonates shaping the political and ideological landscape of China and how it perceives itself on the world stage. Graham Hutchings joins me to discuss the fateful events of 1949 and their impact and the looming possibility of conflict ...more

  • Sutton Hoo

    Feb 07 2021

    The release of The Dig has brought the story of the Sutton Hoo dig to the forefront of people’s minds of late. The real hero of that story though is not the people involved but rather the stunning archaeology discovered in Suffolk as the Second World War loomed. Sue Brunning joins me on the podcast to talk all thing Sutton Hoo. The history of the excavation, who might have been buried at the heart of it and what it tells us about Early Medieval England. Sue is an archaeologist specialising ...more

  • Emily Davison with Kate Willoughby

    Feb 06 2021

    In this episode, originally released in 2018, Dan talks to actor, activist, and "part-time suffragette" Kate Willoughby about Emily Davison, the centenary of the Representation of the People Act, and what still needs to be done.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Lockdown Learning: Interwar Europe

    Feb 05 2021

    For this episode of Lockdown Learning Professor Richard Toye joined me on the podcast to talk about the interwar period and answer the key questions of what caused the Second World War. We spoke about why the Treaty of Versailles was so harsh on Germany, why the League of Nations failed and the impact of the Wall Street Crash on global politics and how all these combined to help bring about the World War Two. Many thanks again to Simon Beale for creating this downloadable wor...more

  • The History of Social Media with Kara Swisher

    Feb 04 2021

    Facebook was founded on the 4th of February 2004 and began as a tool to stay in touch with friends and family, but has ended up being a place where you can plan insurrectionist movements and anti-vax rallies. Today I am joined by American tech journalist Kara Swisher to talk about Facebook, social media and the history of tech and what the future holds for the industry.Kara has written for The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and is currently an opinion writer for The New York Times. She...more

  • The AIDS pandemic

    Feb 03 2021

    In this episode of the podcast, I’m joined by Tash Walker and Adam Zmith, hosts of The Log Books podcast, to discuss the Aids pandemic of the 1980s and 1990s and the lessons that might be drawn for dealing with COVID-19.We talk about the role of the media in creating negative press around HIV/AIDS and the direct impact that had on Thatcher's Government decision to bring in Section 28. We also discuss the role of many lesbians in supporting those with HIV and dying of AIDS - an area that is often...more

  • Edges of Empire: Rome's Northernmost Town

    Feb 02 2021

    Roughly two miles south of Hadrian’s Wall lie the remains of Roman Corbridge, the northernmost town of the Roman Empire. The site’s archaeology is unique. The remains highlight what was once a bustling town. As its centre was the high street. Covered walkways, street-side shops and an ornate fountain are just a few of the structures that we know were present along this central road, now known as the Stanegate. Metres away, however, you have the remains of very different structures surviving. Mil...more

  • How the Establishment Resisted the Abolition of Slavery

    Feb 01 2021

    Historian Michael Taylor joined me on the podcast to discuss the resistance of the British establishment to the ending of the slave trade.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Elvis: Destined to Die Young

    Jan 31 2021

    Sally Hoedel joined me on the podcast to talk about the turbulent life and career of Elvis Presley, King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Lockdown Learning: Russian Revolution

    Jan 29 2021

    Helen Rappaport, a specialist in Russian history, joined me on the podcast for the third episode of our lockdown learning series to talk about the Russian Revolution. We run through some key moments in the fall of the Romanovs.Many thanks to Simon Beale for creating this downloadable pdf worksheet for students:https://drive.google.com/file/d/1K9b4wZUKbagxobWBPlCOs3ZUuiLmzOj3/view  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Pirates

    Jan 28 2021

    Rebecca Simon joined me on the podcast to talk about the Golden Age of Piracy within the British-Atlantic world.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Survivors of Genocide

    Jan 27 2021

    For Holocaust Memorial Day Dan talks to people who have experienced and survived genocide. Four guests from four different parts of the world. Sophie Masereka, Ruth Barnett, Kemal Pervanic, Sokphal Din all share their traumatic experiences. All of them lost their loved ones. All of them are brave enough to speak out, driven by the belief that memorialisation and education may stop the next genocide.   See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • How the Irish Shaped Britain with Fergal Keane

    Jan 26 2021

    Fergal Keane joined me on the podcast to talk about the profound influence the Irish have had on Britain over many centuries.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Liberalism with Ian Dunt

    Jan 25 2021

    In this episode, I was joined by journalist Ian Dunt, a well known a commentator on politics and on Brexit. Ian is host of the 'Oh God What Now' podcast and editor of politics.co.uk. We discuss his recent book which makes an impassioned defence of liberalism and tells its story, from its birth in the fight against absolute monarchy to the modern-day resistance against the new populism.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Cold War Submarine Warrior

    Jan 24 2021

    Eric Thompson has had his finger literally on the nuclear button. He joined the Royal Navy submarine service in the early days of the Cold War. He served on WW2 era ships and submarine before ending his career as a senior officer on Britain's state of the art nuclear submarines. Each one armed with inter continental ballistic missiles with nuclear tips. He took Dan to the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Gosport to show him around one of the finest preserved submarines in the world, HMS Alliance. ...more

  • Lucy Worsley on Queen Victoria

    Jan 23 2021

    BAFTA winning historian and Joint Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces Lucy Worsley takes Dan on a tour of Kensington Palace, one of the principle royal residences since 1689, and the childhood home of Queen Victoria.   See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Lockdown Learning: The Middle Ages

    Jan 22 2021

    In this week's Lockdown Learning episode, I was delighted to be joined by medieval historian Marc Morris. We discuss broad themes relating to the Middle Ages - what were they and which periods did they come in between. We ask whether many of the clichés about the Middle Ages are accurate.Many thanks again to Simon Beale, who's put together a worksheet for students to fill out while listening to the episode. You can download it here:https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dwbcPc4qmHIfuIQImt4nfp1cPWfJSoF...more

  • Rediscovering Amazon Civilisations

    Jan 21 2021

    Ella Al-Shamahi, explorer, paleoanthropologist, evolutionary biologist and stand-up comic, joined me on the podcast to talk about Amazon Civilisations.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Marissa Roth, Photojournalist

    Jan 20 2021

    Marissa Roth, Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist, joins me on the podcast to talk about her pictures of the 1992 LA riots and lifetime of war photography, especially dealing with women in war.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Indonesian Cave Art: A Dramatic New Discovery

    Jan 19 2021

    It’s a paradox for the ages, breaking news about people who lived and died thousands of years ago. This discovery is no different, because Adam Brumm and his team in Sulawesi have released their discovery of the oldest known art. The paintings on the Indonesian island are over 45,500 years old, and feature three pigs alongside the stencilled outlines of the hands of their prehistoric painter. Listen as Adam tells Tristan about his research on this beautiful island, how the pigs were discovered a...more

  • The Second Reich

    Jan 18 2021

    On 18 January 1871 as the Siege of Paris raged a couple of miles away King Wilhelm I of Prussia was proclaimed Emperor of the German empire in the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles. It was the most dramatic possible beginning to a new imperial project in the heart of Europe. The German Empire was instantly a major power on the continent and quickly developed global ambitions. Dan talked to Katja Hoyer about the events leading up to its founding and what it meant for German and the worl...more

  • Impeaching the President

    Jan 17 2021

    He's made history. Donald Trump has become the only President in US history to be impeached not once but twice. Three years ago Dan talked to Joshua Matz, an attorney and constitutional scholar in Washington DC and author of "To End a Presidency." He explained to Dan the history of impeachment and discussed how it works in practice. Not long after we all got a practical demonstration of impeachment and Joshua Matz played a key role. He served among the counsel for the impeachment and trial of Pr...more

  • Lockdown Learning: The Tudors

    Jan 15 2021

    We're very pleased to bring you this special 'Lockdown Learning' episode of the podcast, featuring the brilliant Dr Anna Whitelock on the Tudor period. Anna is Director of the London Centre for Public History and Heritage and head of history at Royal Holloway, she's written extensively on the Tudors and in this episode she gives us a general view right across the period.Thank you also to Simon Beale, a history teacher in our community, who has put together the accompanying worksheet, you can dow...more

  • Treason in America

    Jan 14 2021

    Constitutional law and legal history scholar Carlton Larson talked to Dan during Christmas about treason in the American legal system. How is it defined in the US constitution and how has it been used by prosecutors over the centuries? The chat took place before the insurrection at the Capitol but we thought we would broadcast it anyway. We believe it has become even more relevant given the events of the last week.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • LGBTQ+ History: With the team from the Logbooks Podcast

    Jan 13 2021

    Tash Walker and Adam Zmith join me to talk about The Log Books Podcast, a history of LGBTQ+ life in the UK.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • When the Brits Burnt the Capitol, with Peter Snow

    Jan 12 2021

    In 1814 a British expeditionary force landed in Maryland, marched on Washington, brushed aside an American army and stormed into the US capital. The British looted and burnt the Capitol, then moved on to the White House, ate President Madison's dinner and then torched the White House. Even members of the British force described it as 'barbaric.' Two hundred years later Peter Snow, Dan's dad, wrote an account of the raid. He seemed like the obvious guy to talk to as The Capitol was once again att...more

  • Bitcoin and Crypto: A History

    Jan 11 2021

    Jamie Bartlett joined me on the podcast to talk about the history of the Bitcoin.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Goose Green: A Veteran Remembers

    Jan 10 2021

    John Geddes joined the Parachute Regiment as a teenager in the late 1970s. Within a couple of years he was plunged into the Falklands War and the bloodiest battle the British Army had fought since the Korean War. In this podcast John talks to Dan about his experience in the army, his memories of the Battle of Goose Green and subsequent Falklands actions. His recollections are remarkable and sometimes harrowing.   See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • 2008 Financial Crash with Adam Tooze

    Jan 09 2021

    Dan speaks to economic historian Adam Tooze for the tenth anniversary of Lehman Brothers' collapse in this special podcast.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate history package. Just go to historyhit.tv to su...more

  • Insurrection in America

    Jan 08 2021

    As an armed mob broke into the US Capitol, Dan talked long into the night to his friend and star blogger known only as the Angry Staff Officer. He is a serving officer in the US military and is unable to use his own name for broadcasting. During the course of a long conversation they talked about the American constitutional experiment, the history of insurrection in America, the battle of Gettysburg, the meaning of the word militia and, yes, Star Wars.  See acast.com/privacy for privac...more

  • How Ancient Egypt Stayed Egyptian

    Jan 07 2021

    The length of time between the rule of Cleopatra and the erection of the Pyramids is the same as that between now and the birth of Jesus Christ. With that in mind, it is perhaps no surprise that some periods of Ancient Egypt fall beneath the radar. The Late Period of Ancient Egypt, however, is not without drama. These final centuries are characterised by repeated invasions and leadership by foreign rulers. Chris Naunton is an Egyptologist, writer and broadcaster. He spoke to Tristan about the in...more

  • The Inquisition

    Jan 06 2021

    Jessica Dalton joined me on the podcast to talk about the history of the Inquisition. We discussed the Roman Inquisition, the Spanish Inquisition, and how religion and politics have clashed and intertwined in Europe since the fifteenth century.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • The Partition of Ireland

    Jan 05 2021

    Patricia Clavin, Niamh Gallagher and Caoimhe Nic Dháibhéid joined me on the pod to discuss the history of the partition of Ireland.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate history package. Just go to historyhit.tv&nb...more

  • The Tudor Crown Discovered in a Field?

    Jan 04 2021

    Metal detectorist Kevin Duckett made a remarkable discovery in a field in Northamptonshire. At first he thought it was a bit of squashed tin foil. In fact it was a two-and-a-half inch jewel which experts believe could once have sat atop the Tudor crown of England. To entangle this mystery Leanda de Lisle comes back on the podcast to explain to Dan how this jewel made its way from royal diadem to a muddy field.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as...more

  • History Legends: Mary Beard

    Jan 03 2021

    This episode is the third of our History Legends podcasts, featuring Mary Beard.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate history package. Just go to historyhit.tv to subscribe. Use code 'pod1' at checkout for yo...more

  • History of Gaming

    Jan 02 2021

    Tristan Donovan joined me on the podcast to talk about the history of gaming.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate history package. Just go to historyhit.tv to subscribe. Use code 'pod1' at checkout for your ...more

  • Andy McNab on the SAS

    Jan 01 2021

    From the day he was found in a carrier bag on the steps of Guy's Hospital in London, Andy McNab has led an extraordinary life. As a teenage delinquent, Andy McNab kicked against society. As a young soldier he waged war against the IRA in the streets and fields of South Armagh. As a member of 22 SAS he was at the centre of covert operations for nine years – on five continents. During the Gulf War he commanded Bravo Two Zero, a patrol that, in the words of his commanding officer, 'will remain in r...more

  • Best of 2020 Part Two

    Dec 31 2020

    Part Two: a compilation of the best podcasts of 2020.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate history package. Just go to historyhit.tv to subscribe. Use code 'pod1' at checkout for your first month free and the...more

  • St Paul's, the Blitz and THAT photo

    Dec 29 2020

    80 years ago today the Second Great Fire of London was unleashed by sustained German bombing during one of the fiercest nights of the Blitz. On this podcast Dan goes on a tour around the City of London with Clive Harris looking at how Luftwaffe bombs reshaped the city. Dan also talks to Dr Tom Allbeson, a Lecturer at Cardiff University, about how the iconic photo of St Paul's was taken and how it became a symbol of Britain's war effort.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds o...more

  • History Legends: Eric Foner

    Dec 28 2020

    Eric Foner joined me on the podcast to talk about Reconstruction, the attempt to reimagine the American Republic following the Civil War.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate history package. Just go to historyhit...more

  • Dan's Dickensian Christmas

    Dec 27 2020

    Dan Snow is treated to a range of Dickensian Christmas delights courtesy of historian Pen Vogler, from mince pies to Charles Dickens' favourite punch.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate history package. Just go to&nb...more

  • History Legends: Michael Wood

    Dec 26 2020

    Michael Wood joined me on the podcast to talk about his career as a historian.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate history package. Just go to historyhit.tv to subscribe. Use code 'pod1' at checkout for your...more

  • Best of 2020 Part One

    Dec 25 2020

    A compilation of the best podcasts of 2020. Part one highlights historians talking about history.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate history package. Just go to historyhit.tv to subscribe. Use code 'pod1' a...more

  • The 1914 Christmas Truce (part 2)

    Dec 24 2020

    Part Two of our special podcast mini series on the famous Christmas Truce. On Christmas Eve 1914 many sectors of the Western Front in France and Belgium fell silent. Troops from all sides put down their weapons and sang carols, exchanged gifts and buried their dead in No Man's Land. The following day the truce continued in many, but not all areas, and troops gathered in crowds between the lines. there may even have been a bit of a kick about. On this episode three distinguished historians, Peter...more

  • The 1914 Christmas Truce (part 1)

    Dec 23 2020

    On Christmas Eve 1914 many sectors of the Western Front in France and Belgium fell silent. Troops from all sides put down their weapons and sang carols, exchanged gifts and buried their dead in No Man's Land. The following day the truce continued in many, but not all areas, and troops gathered in crowds between the lines. there may even have been a bit of a kick about. This is part 1 of a two part Christmas podcast which explores the truce with three distinguished historians, Peter Hart, Taff Gi...more

  • When Parliament Cancelled Christmas

    Dec 22 2020

    On 19 December 1644 the English Parliament banned Christmas. EXACTLY 376 years later to the day, Boris Johnson announced that this year the celebration of Christmas would be radically curtailed due to the upsurge in Covid infections. This might be the only thing that Boris Johnson and the 17th Century Puritans have in common. On this podcast Dan meets Dr Rebecca Warren, an expert on the religious history of the 17th Century to find out about the banning of Christmas. Why it happened, and just ho...more

  • Hannibal: Crossing the Alps

    Dec 21 2020

    In 218 BCE, Hannibal Barca's Carthaginian army, accompanied by horses and elephants, completed one of the most audacious military marches of ancient Mediterranean history. Setting off from southeast Spain, on their way they overcame a number of hostile Celtic tribes and traversed two major mountain ranges: the Pyrenees and then, most famously, the Alps. Battered and bruised Hannibal and his men eventually descended from the Alpine passes and arrived in Northern Italy at the end of 218 BC, where ...more

  • Soviet Spy in the Cotswolds with Ben Macintyre

    Dec 20 2020

    Ben Macintyre joined me on the podcast to talk about Ursula Kuczynski, one of the greatest spies of the 20th Century.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate history package. Just go to historyhit.tv to subscrib...more

  • History Hit Presents 'The Christmas Truce'

    Dec 19 2020

    The Christmas Truce was one of the most miraculous episodes in the history of warfare, and History Hit have a major new podcast and film dropping next week. Watch this space…  Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ult...more

  • Britain's Black Power Movement

    Dec 19 2020

    Leila Hassan Howe and Amanda Kirton joined me on the podcast to talk about the history of the Black Power movement in Britain.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate history package. Just go to historyhit.tv to...more

  • The Violence of the Suffragettes

    Dec 18 2020

    Today we remember the suffragettes as a peaceful movement, but in the years before the First World War, the WSPU launched one of the most shocking terrorist campaigns the British mainland has ever seen. Dan talks to Fern Riddell about Kitty Marion, one of the most militant suffragettes, and her struggles.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Sicily '43

    Dec 17 2020

    James Holland joined me on the podcast to discuss the allied invasion of Sicily on the 10th July 1943.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate history package. Just go to historyhit.tv to subscribe. Use code 'po...more

  • Ethiopia: All You Need to Know

    Dec 16 2020

    Richard Reid joined me on the podcast to talk about the history of Ethiopia.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate history package. Just go to historyhit.tv to subscribe. Use code 'pod1' at checkout for your f...more

  • How Dogs Became Man's Best Friend

    Dec 14 2020

    Mike Loades joined me on the podcast to talk about the history of dogs, and they are intertwined with human history.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate history package. Just go to historyhit.tv to subscribe...more

  • Adolf Hitler: The War Years

    Dec 13 2020

    At the beginning of 1940 Germany was at the pinnacle of its power. By May 1945 Hitler was dead and Germany had suffered a disastrous defeat. Hitler had failed to achieve his aim of making Germany a super power and had left her people to cope with the endless shame of the Holocaust. In this episode, I'm joined by Professor Frank McDonough, internationally renowned expert on the Third Reich, as well as actor Paul McGann, to discuss this dramatic change of fortune. Subscribe to History Hit and you'...more

  • How Slavery Built Modern Britain

    Dec 12 2020

    Padraic Scanlan joined me on the podcast to talk about how Britain rose to global power on the backs of enslaved workers. Modern Britain has inherited the legacies and contradictions of a liberal empire built on slavery. Modern capitalism and liberalism emphasise 'freedom' - for individuals and for markets - but are built on human bondage.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 ex...more

  • Disinformation and the White Helmets in Syria

    Dec 11 2020

    Chloe Hadjimatheou joined me on the podcast to talk about the death of James Le Mesurier, the man who co-founded the White Helmets, a Syrian civil defence force who filmed themselves pulling survivors and bodies from the rubble of bombed out buildings.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you ca...more

  • Spartacus: Life or Legend?

    Dec 10 2020

    ‘I’m Spartacus!’ In the field of epic film making, the 1960 historical drama ‘Spartacus’, is legendary. Directed by Stanley Kibrick, adapted from the Howard Fast novel by Red Scare blacklisted screenwriter, Dalton Trumbo, and starring Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Peter Ustinov and Jean Simmons; it is a classic. But how much of the plot has emerged from the true story of a Thracian gladiator and slave who escaped his Roman captors and led an unsuccessful but impressive rebellion against their ...more

  • Big Data and History

    Dec 09 2020

    Dan Hoyer and Peter Turchin joined me on the podcast to talk about the new transdisciplinary field of Cliodynamics, which uses the tools of complexity science and cultural evolution to study the dynamics of historical empires and modern nation-states.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can...more

  • Mary Queen of Scots with Kate Williams

    Dec 08 2020

    Dan Snow and Kate Williams talk about the rise and fall of Mary Queen of Scots.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate history package. Just go to historyhit.tv to subscribe. Use code 'pod1' at checkout for you...more

  • Diary of an MP's Wife

    Dec 07 2020

    Sasha Swire joined me on the podcast to talk about her diary, written during the Cameron years. Her husband was an MP and junior minister at the time.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate history package. Just go to&nb...more

  • Charles Dickens

    Dec 06 2020

    In today's episode, I was joined by John Mullan, Lord Northcliffe Professor of Modern English Literature at University College London. He has published extensively on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature, and is a wealth of knowledge on all things Dickens. We discuss the man himself and his writings, and the unique Victorian context in which inspired the great novelist. Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode o...more

  • Ghost Hunter!

    Dec 04 2020

    Kate Summerscale has written one of the Sunday Time books of the year exploring the world of poltergeists and ghosts in the build up to the Second World War. She came on the podcast to tell us all about Nandor Fodor – a Jewish-Hungarian refugee and chief ghost hunter for the International Institute for Psychical research in London. From New York to Croydon he used all the gadgets of modern technology to record, X-ray, tape and photograph ghosts.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and o...more

  • Sylvia Pankhurst

    Dec 03 2020

    Rachel Holmes joined me on the podcast to discuss the life of British suffragette and socialist Sylvia Pankhurst. Sylvia found her voice fighting militantly for votes for women. The vote was just the beginning of her lifelong defence of human rights, from her early warnings of the rise of fascism in Europe, to her campaigning against racism and championing of the liberation struggles in Africa and India. Sylvia's adventures in America, Soviet Russia, Scandinavia, Europe and East Africa made her ...more

  • The Nuremberg Trials: 75th Anniversary

    Dec 02 2020

    Tom Bower joined me on the podcast to discuss the history and legacy of the Nuremberg Trials.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate history package. Just go to historyhit.tv to subscribe. Use code 'pod1' at ch...more

  • Rebel Anthropologists Who Challenged Everything

    Dec 01 2020

    Charles King joined me on the podcast to talk about a group of cultural anthropologist who fundamentally transformed conceptions of 'normality' in the early twentieth century. We talked in particular about the work of Margaret Mead.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and ex...more

  • Was Winston Churchill Racist?

    Nov 30 2020

    The former Prime Minister has faced a renewed controversy as people are calling for his statues to be removed due to his racist views. We are joined by Professor Richard Toye and Dr Warren Dockter to discuss where his personal views and political policies collide.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes ...more

  • The Gay Men Who Took on Hitler

    Nov 29 2020

    Chris Bryant joined me on the podcast to tell the story of the gay British politicians who were among the very first to warn Britain about the danger of Hitler’s rise to power and the most vocal in demanding an end to the government’s policy of appeasement.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where y...more

  • Pompeii and the Eruption of Mount Vesuvius

    Nov 28 2020

    Pompeii is back in the news. An extraordinary new, touching discovery, found during the Great Pompeii Project of Professor Massimo Osanna and his team. Roughly 700 metres northwest of Pompeii, in the remains of a suburban Roman villa, archaeologists have unearthed the incredibly-preserved remains of two men, victims of the infamous eruption of Mount Vesuvius that occurred almost 2,000 years ago in 79 AD.So what do we know about the eruption? What do we know about this terrible event that has lef...more

  • Elizabeth I with Helen Castor

    Nov 27 2020

    Dan talks to Helen Castor about her book on Elizabeth I and the way she governed.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate history package. Just go to historyhit.tv to subscribe. Use code 'pod1' at checkout for y...more

  • The First Thanksgiving

    Nov 26 2020

    Sarah Churchwell and Kathryn Gray joined me on the podcast to discuss the first Thanksgiving of 1621. They critique mythologies of Thanksgiving that have arisen from 19th century ideologues, to Reagan, to the present day, and reframe settler colonial narratives.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes wh...more

  • Rebel Women

    Nov 25 2020

    Sarah Lonsdale joined me on the podcast to tell the stories of radical women who challenged the status quo in the interwar years.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate history package. Just go to historyhit.tv ...more

  • Food, Class and Baking

    Nov 24 2020

    Pen Vogler joined me on the pod to discuss the origins of our eating habits and reveals how they are loaded with centuries of class prejudice.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate history package. Just go to histo...more

  • Vaccine Roll Outs: Tragedy and Triumph

    Nov 23 2020

    Paul Offit is on the US Food and Drug Administration's advisory panel on vaccines. He talked Dan through the history of massive public vaccination programmes in the US, starting with the unprecedented campaign against Polio in 1955. During that vaccination 200,000 children were a form of the vaccine in which the live polio virus had not been sufficiently inactivated and 40,000 of them got polio leading to 10 deaths and 200 cases of paralysis. That 'Cutter Incident' led to the birth of a modern v...more

  • In Conversation with Astronaut Al Worden

    Nov 22 2020

    Al Worden was an American astronaut and engineer who was the Command Module Pilot for the Apollo 15 lunar mission in 1971. He is one of only 24 people to have flown to the Moon.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate his...more

  • Bloody Sunday 100 Years On

    Nov 21 2020

    Diarmaid Ferriter joined me on the podcast to talk about the events of Bloody Sunday on 21st November 1920, which marked a decisive turning-point in Irish history.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate history package. ...more

  • Abraham Lincoln with Sidney Blumenthal

    Nov 19 2020

    Sidney Blumenthal joined me on the podcast to talk about the political life of Abraham Lincoln and what his legacy means today.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • The Pioneers of Egyptology

    Nov 18 2020

    Chris Naunton joined me on the podcast to talk about the work of the many people who contributed to our understanding of ancient Egypt.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate history package. Just go to historyhit.t...more

  • How Deep History Swung the US Election

    Nov 17 2020

    Lewis Dartnell joined me on the podcast to talk about a theory that links the outcome of the US election to geology.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate history package. Just go to historyhit.tv to subscribe...more

  • I’m a Celeb Special: Gwrych Castle

    Nov 16 2020

    Gwrych Castle dominates the road into North Wales. A sprawling Victorian ruin on land that belonged to the same family for over 500 years. It is now famous in the UK as the Covid convenient set for "I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here" which launched to huge audiences this weekend. But history fans will be more interested in the the remarkable story of the castle itself than the antics of the celebs in its shadow. From an illustrious stately home, and safe haven for dozens of child refugees it fe...more

  • SAS: Band of Brothers

    Nov 15 2020

    June 1944: the SAS parachute deep into occupied France, to wreak havoc and bloody mayhem. In a country crawling with the enemy, their mission is to prevent Hitler from rushing his Panzer divisions to the D-Day beaches and driving the Allies back into the sea. Damien Lewis joined me on the podcast to tell the story of the SAS Band of Brothers.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400...more

  • Coventry's Blitz

    Nov 14 2020

    David McGrory joined me on the podcast to discuss Coventry’s Blitz. On the night of 14 November 1940, a Luftwaffe air raid devastated the city of Coventry.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate history package. Just go ...more

  • The History of Beer with Pete Brown

    Nov 13 2020

    Pete Brown used to advertise lager for a living, until he realised that writing books about beer was even more fun, and entailed drinking even more beer. He appears regularly on television as a beer expert, writes on beer for a variety of publications and is the author of Man Walks into a Pub and the award-winning travel book Three Sheets to the Wind. In this fascinating episode, he discusses the extraordinary history of beer and its rise to become one of the most popular drinks in the world.Sub...more

  • One Family, 600 Years of Farming in England's Lake District

    Nov 12 2020

    James Rebanks joined me on the podcast to tell the history of his family farm in the Lake District hills. This was part of an ancient agricultural landscape: a patchwork of crops and meadows, of pastures grazed with livestock, and hedgerows teeming with wildlife. We talk about how it has transformed over time.If you want to get Christmas gifts for your history loving family, then we've got all sorts at historyhit.com/shop. King Tut face coverings, Lord Nelson hoodies, History Hit TV gift subscri...more

  • The Unknown Warrior

    Nov 11 2020

    100 years ago today, the Unknown Warrior, a common soldier and an unidentified casualty of war, was buried in Westminster Abbey with all the pomp and ceremony of an empire at its zenith. King George V looked on as 100 Victoria Cross bearers formed a guard of honour and the unknown solider was laid to rest. Joining me this Armistice Day is author and historian Juliet Nicolson. Her research has explored the repercussions of living in the shadow of the Great War and together we discuss the backstor...more

  • WW2's Special Ops Sisters

    Nov 10 2020

    Jean and Patricia Owtram were teenagers when the Second World War broke out. They both served in secret roles, one on the coast intercepting German naval signals, the other running intelligence agents from Cairo. Neither told the other what they had been up to until the 1970s! Now, in their late nineties they talked to me about their service and how they can still operate a Sten gun.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episo...more

  • Remembrance Sunday: In Search of My Father

    Nov 08 2020

    John Watts never knew his father. He was conceived days before his father, Wing Commander Joseph Watts, was killed on a bombing mission over occupied Europe. He never knew that a bomber from his father's squadron was recovered and is being restored by the RAF museum in Cosford. Dan accompanied John to the museum for the emotional visit which he hoped would bring closure after 80 years of pain.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every si...more

  • The US Cabinet

    Nov 07 2020

    Lindsay Chervinsky joined me on the podcast to discuss the history of the US Cabinet. We also discussed the electoral college system and the Constitution.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate history package. Just go t...more

  • The Forgotten Hero of Everest

    Nov 06 2020

    Ed Caesar joined me on the podcast to tell the story of World War I veteran Maurice Wilson, Britain's most mysterious mountaineering legend.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate history package. Just go to history...more

  • Philip and Alexander: Kings and Conquerors

    Nov 05 2020

    Alexander the Great. One of the most recognisable names in history. In his short lifetime he conquered the mighty Persian Empire and marched his army as far as the Indus River Valley. But it is important to remember that Alexander’s achievements were only possible because of his father Philip. It was Philip who transformed the Kingdom of Macedon from a backward domain into the dominant power in the Central Mediterranean. It was Philip who reformed the army and created the force that would serve ...more

  • The Electoral College

    Nov 04 2020

    Fabian Hilfrich joined me on the podcast to talk about the US electoral college.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate history package. Just go to historyhit.tv to subscribe. Use code 'pod1' at checkout for yo...more

  • Trump, Putin, Bolsanaro: The Return of The Strongman

    Nov 03 2020

    Ruth Ben-Ghiat joined me on the podcast to discuss what modern authoritarian leaders have in common and how they can be stopped. We discussed the strongman playbook from Mussolini to Putin, Johnson and Trump.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only ...more

  • Hong Kong Flu

    Nov 02 2020

    Professor George Dehner is a world environmental historian who examines the intersection of humans and disease in the modern era. We talked about the great flu pandemics of the later 20th Century, 1968 and 1976.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber on...more

  • America's Contested Election

    Nov 02 2020

    1876 was a great pivot in US history. In the presidential election that year a record turn out and chaotic vote counts, particularly in Florida (!), saw a contested result. Civil war, so recently concluded, seemed imminent until Democrat and Republican grandees made a bargain. It would save the republic but at terrible cost. Joining us on the podcast is Professor Gary Gerstle, the Paul Mellon Professor of American History at the University of Cambridge. We discussed the momen...more

  • WW2 Heroine Christian Lamb Turns 100

    Nov 01 2020

    Christian Lamb has had a remarkable life. The daughter of an admiral, she served in the navy during the war and went on to become an expert in horticultural history. Dan visited her the day after her 100th birthday to learn about her wartime experiences. Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes wher...more

  • Margaret Beaufort: Mother of the Tudors

    Oct 30 2020

    Nicola Tallis comes on the show to talk about the extraordinary Margaret Beaufort: 'Mother of the Tudors' and the ancestor of all subsequent royals.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Mutiny on the Spanish Main

    Oct 28 2020

    Angus Konstam joined me on the podcast to tell the dramatic story of HMS Hermione. In 1797, the British frigate was the site of the bloodiest mutiny in British naval history.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate histor...more

  • Time Travel to Regency Britain with Ian Mortimer

    Oct 27 2020

    Ian Mortimer joined me on the podcast to take us back in time to the Regency period. It was a time of exuberance, thrills, frills and unchecked bad behaviour.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution

    Oct 26 2020

    Sudhir Hazareesingh joined me to discuss the life of Toussaint Louverture, a revolutionary leader who confronted the forces of slavery, settler colonialism, imperialism and racial hierarchy. The Haitian Revolution began in the French Caribbean colony of Saint-Domingue with a slave revolt in August 1791, and culminated a dozen years later in the proclamation of the world's first independent black state.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Trump and Presidential History

    Oct 25 2020

    Two weeks before the 2020 U.S. presidential election, Richard Brookhiser joined me on the podcast to discuss Trump and presidential history.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • War Lord with Bernard Cornwell

    Oct 24 2020

    Bernard Cornwell joined me on the podcast to discuss his final book in the Last Kingdom series. War Lord is the epic story of how England was made.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • The Battle of Philippi: Death of the Roman Republic

    Oct 23 2020

    In October 42 BC the Roman Republic committed suicide. Near the town of Philippi in northern Greece the forces of Brutus and Cassius, the famous assassins of Julius Caesar and the last surviving cheerleaders of the Roman Republic, faced off against the armies of Marc Antony and young Octavian. Two separate battles were fought, the results of which decided the future direction of Rome. In this Ancients podcast, Tristan was joined by Steele Brand (@steele_brand) to talk through these all-important...more

  • Britain's Oldest Laws

    Oct 22 2020

    Joanna McCunn joined me on the podcast to discuss the history of some of Britain's oldest and strangest laws. From shooting Welshmen with longbows, to Oliver Cromwell banning mince pies, we also discussed 19th century policing and vagrancy acts.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win p...more

  • Time's Monster with Priya Satia

    Oct 21 2020

    Priya Satia joined me on the podcast to discuss the dramatic consequences of writing history today as much as in the past. Against the backdrop of enduring global inequalities and debates about reparations and the legacy of empire, Satia offers us a hugely important and urgent moral voice.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom,...more

  • Nelson and the Slave Trade

    Oct 20 2020

    Vice Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson died at Trafalgar on 21 October 1805. Recently there has been considerable interest in Nelson's views on the slave trade and the plantation economy of the West Indies. A letter of Nelson's written months before his death in 1805 to the infamous Jamaican slave owner Simon Taylor, was published years after his death in attempt to stop the abolition of the slave trade as the matter was before Parliament. Martyn Downer joined me on the podcast to discuss key phrases ...more

  • The Conquistadores

    Oct 19 2020

    Fernando Cervantes joined me on the podcast to reframe the story of the Spanish conquest of the New World, set against the political and intellectual landscape from which its main actors emerged.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • The Expulsion of Native Americans

    Oct 18 2020

    Claudio Saunt joined me on the podcast to discuss the United States' expulsion of Native Americans from the East to territories west of the Mississippi River. Justified as a humanitarian enterprise, the undertaking was to be systematic and rational, overseen by Washington’s small but growing bureaucracy. But as the policy unfolded over the next decade, thousands of Native Americans died under the federal government’s auspices, and thousands of others lost their possessions and homelands in an or...more

  • Saving Bletchley Park with Sue Black

    Oct 17 2020

    Dr Sue Black is a British computer scientist, academic and social entrepreneur. She has been instrumental in saving Bletchley Park, the World War II codebreaking site. Her book documenting this vital task is 'Saving Bletchley Park: How #SocialMedia Saved the Home of the WWII Codebreakers'.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • African Europeans with Olivette Otele

    Oct 16 2020

    Olivette Otele joined me on the podcast to discuss the long African European heritage through the lives of individuals.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate history package. Just go to historyhit.tv to subscr...more

  • Nero

    Oct 15 2020

    Shusma Malik joined me on the podcast to discuss the infamous Emperor Nero. He ruled nearly 2000 years ago, after taking over from his stepfather Claudius. Nero was a despotic ruler, enamoured in his own talents. His reign was characterised by tyranny and debauchery. To what extent is the commonly-held perception that Nero should be understood as the Antichrist figure in the Bible accurate? Join us to learn more about Nero's rise and his eventual expulsion from office, leading up to hi...more

  • 1066: Year of Invasions

    Oct 13 2020

    Emily Ward and Pragya Vohra talk about the history of the Viking invasion of 1066.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • On the Battlefield of Hastings with Marc Morris

    Oct 13 2020

    Marc Morris shows me around the Battlefield of Hastings.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Queer History

    Oct 12 2020

    Sacha Coward joined me on the podcast to discuss queer history. We talked about Luisa Casati, Queen Anne, the Gay Liberation Front, and other stories of non-heteronormative relationships.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ul...more

  • History's Greatest Speeches with Simon Sebag Montefiore

    Oct 11 2020

    Simon Sebag Montefiore joined me on the podcast to talk about history's greatest speeches. From Martin Luther King Jr. to John Boyega, from Churchill to Trump, we also discuss British institutions and their link to Empire.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive su...more

  • Underland with Robert Macfarlane

    Oct 10 2020

    Robert Macfarlane joined me on the podcast to talk about his new book, Underland. We talked about cave communities in Cappadocia, underground bunkerism, the catacombs in Paris, and the worlds beneath our feet.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only...more

  • How and Why History: King David

    Oct 08 2020

    One of the Old Testament’s most compelling figures, King David was anointed as king of a united Israel, conquering Jerusalem and bringing the Ark of the Covenant into the city. First renowned for his musicianship and killing Goliath, David was feted by King Saul who then turned against him. But how did David rise to power and importance? Why was the capture of Jerusalem so significant? And how sure can we be that David actually existed? Rob Weinberg asks the big questions about this important bu...more

  • In Conversation with Sir David Attenborough

    Oct 08 2020

    Sir David Attenborough is an English veteran broadcaster and naturalist. He is best known for writing and presenting the nine Life series, in conjunction with the BBC Natural History Unit, which collectively form a comprehensive survey of animal and plant life on the planet. He is also a former senior manager at the BBC, having served as controller of BBC Two and director of programming for BBC Television in the 1960s and 1970s. He is the only person to have won BAFTAs for programmes in each of ...more

  • Ireland's Great Famine: Counterpoint

    Oct 07 2020

    Christine Kinealy joined me on this podcast to discuss the British government’s adverse policies during the Great Famine, and the effects these had on the Irish people.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate history pack...more

  • A President Incapacitated: Woodrow Wilson's Stroke

    Oct 06 2020

    101 years ago this week, President Woodrow Wilson suffered a serious stroke which left him prone to "disorders of emotion, impaired impulse control, and defective judgment." As President Trump confronts his own health crisis, I talked to John Milton Cooper, Jr., Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison about President Wilson.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400...more

  • Asylum on Saint Helena

    Oct 05 2020

    Annina Van Neel showed me around Saint Helena, a small scrap of land in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. This island is the most significant physical trace of the Transatlantic slave trade middle passage.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • War with Margaret MacMillan

    Oct 04 2020

    Margaret MacMillan joined me on the podcast to discuss the ways in which war has influenced human society. We discussed how, in turn, changes in political organisation, technology, or ideologies have affected how and why we fight.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and excl...more

  • MI9: The Secret Service for Escape and Evasion

    Oct 03 2020

    Helen Fry joined me on the podcast to talk about the thrilling history of MI9. The WWII organisation engineered the escape of Allied forces from behind enemy lines.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • How Steam Power Remade the World

    Oct 02 2020

    John Darwin joined me on the podcast to discuss how steam power reshaped our cities and our seas, and forged a new world order.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate history package. Just go to historyhit.tv t...more

  • The Hunt For The Killers Of Julius Caesar

    Oct 01 2020

    Peter Stothard joined me on the podcast to discuss the assassination of Julius Caesar. Many men killed Julius Caesar. Only one man was determined to kill the killers. From the spring of 44 BC through one of the most dramatic and influential periods in history, Caesar's adopted son, Octavian, the future Emperor Augustus, exacted vengeance on the assassins of the Ides of March, not only on Brutus and Cassius, immortalised by Shakespeare, but all the others too, each with his own individual story.S...more

  • History of China with Michael Wood

    Sep 30 2020

    Michael Wood joined me on the podcast to talk about his new history of China. He takes a fresh look at Chinese history in the light of the current massive changes inside the country, and how its people and leaders see their place in the world, and its place on the world stage.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got we...more

  • How and Why History: Rome and the Mediterranean

    Sep 29 2020

    By the first century BC, the nuisance of piracy had become a plague in the Mediterranean. The Romans dispatched Pompey who freed the way for the expansion of commerce and the Empire. But why was the Mediterranean so important to Rome? How did they go about ruling its waves? And how did they rid the sea of pirates? Rob Weinberg asks the big questions about this important stretch of water to Dr. James Corke-Webster at Kings College London.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds ...more

  • Joking About Stalin

    Sep 28 2020

    Jonathan Waterlow joined me on the podcast to explore how ordinary people used political jokes to cope with and make sense of their lives under Stalinism in the 1930s.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate history packa...more

  • The Simulmatics Corporation

    Sep 27 2020

    Jill Lepore joined me on the podcast to discuss The Simulmatics Corporation. Founded in 1959, it mined data, targeted voters, accelerated news, manipulated consumers, destabilized politics, and disordered knowledge—decades before Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Cambridge Analytica.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got...more

  • Greek Myths

    Sep 26 2020

    Natalie Haynes joined me on the podcast to retell the stories of remarkable women at the heart of Greek myths, from Medusa, Penelope, and Pandora, to the Amazons.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate history package. J...more

  • The Great Famine

    Sep 25 2020

    Charles Read joined me on the podcast to discuss the economic and political causes of the Great Famine. We discuss the British government’s economic policies that transferred responsibility onto Irish taxpayers. Within four years, 25% of Irish people died or emigrated.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly qui...more

  • The Viking History of the Lofoten Archipelago

    Sep 24 2020

    Dan Snow explores the Viking history of Lofoten, an archipelago and a traditional district in the county of Nordland, Norway. Lofoten is known for a distinctive scenery with dramatic mountains and peaks, open sea and sheltered bays, beaches and untouched lands.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes whe...more

  • Krystyna Skarbek

    Sep 23 2020

    Clare Mulley joined me on the podcast to talk about the extraordinary story of Krystyna Skarbek, who worked as a spy for the British Special Operations Executive during the Second World War.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the...more

  • How and Why History: Alfred the Great

    Sep 22 2020

    Ever since his reign in the 9th century, Alfred the Great has been celebrated as one of the most accomplished of our kings. A learned and religious man who encouraged education, Alfred defended his lands against Viking invaders. But how did Alfred, King of Wessex become Alfred the Great? How effective was he in fighting the Vikings? And why did he burn those cakes? Rob Weinberg asks the big questions about this unforgettable king to historian Justin Pollard, author of Alfred the Great:...more

  • V2 with Robert Harris

    Sep 21 2020

    Robert Harris joined me on the podcast to talk about Nazi Germany and the story of the V2 rocket.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate history package. Just go to historyhit.tv to subscribe. Use code 'pod1' a...more

  • The Light Ages

    Sep 20 2020

    Seb Falk joined me to discuss the science in the Middle Ages, or, according to his new book, 'The Light Ages'. They gave us the first universities, the first eyeglasses and the first mechanical clocks as medieval thinkers sought to understand the world around them, from the passing of the seasons to the stars in the sky.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We'r...more

  • Battle of Britain: What Were the Germans Thinking?

    Sep 19 2020

    Victoria Taylor is an aviation historian who is just completing her PhD in the Luftwaffe and its politicisation under the Nazis. She talked to me about how the Germans approached the Battle of Britain. Were they the mighty Goliath to Britain's David or were they in fact more evenly matched? And what on earth was the Luftwaffe's strategy for knocking Britain out of the war.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this ...more

  • The History of Unbelief

    Sep 18 2020

    Dan delves into the history of unbelief - or rather, past people who didn't believe in God(s). He talks to Professor Tim Whitmarsh about Greek atheists (and indeed, about the creation of the term 'atheist'), and to Professor John Arnold about those who eschewed religious doctrine in the medieval era.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcas...more

  • Arnhem, Satire, Bartending and Drums

    Sep 17 2020

    Comedian, historian, broadcaster Al Murray joins me on the podcast to discuss Arnhem. The British-Polish allied defeat at Arnhem took place in autumn 1944, 76 years ago this week.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • How and Why History: The United Nations at 75

    Sep 16 2020

    In the aftermath of the Second World War, 850 delegates from 50 nations gathered in San Fransisco, determined to establish an organisation which would preserve peace and help build a better world. Over the last 75 years, the UN has committed itself to maintaining international peace and security, and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights. But how did the UN come about? How effective has it been in maintaining peace in the world? And where might it have fai...more

  • Battle of Britain: Why the RAF Won

    Sep 15 2020

    80 years ago, in 15 September 1940, the Luftwaffe made a gigantic aerial assault on London in the belief that the Royal Air Force was down to its last few fighters. This, they hoped, would be the decisive clash that finished the RAF, and force Britain to the negotiating table or even pave the way for invasion. To mark this anniversary I went to Bentley Priory, the HQ of RAF Fighter Command, with historian Stephen Bungay. He more than anyone I know is able to describe exactly why the RAF won. A t...more

  • Mayflower 400

    Sep 14 2020

    I am joined on the podcast by a series of historians, writers and storytellers, to talk about the 400th anniversary of the journey of the Mayflower. Travelling from Southern England to North America in September 1620, we discuss why the settlers left, and we examine the contested legacy of the Mayflower for the descendants of North American communities.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beg...more

  • A Medieval Education

    Sep 13 2020

    Eleanor Janega joined me on the pod to discuss the educational institutions of the medieval period. We talk about student riots in Paris, the role of the clergy in universities, and the spaces of education designated for women.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusi...more

  • The Sikh Empire

    Sep 12 2020

    Priya Atwal joined me on the pod to discuss the Sikh Empire, which stretched throughout northwestern India into Afghanistan and Tibet. We discuss the story of this empire’s spectacular rise and fall.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles....more

  • The Forgotten Ally: Canada

    Sep 11 2020

    Tim Cook joined me on the pod to discuss how Canadian contributions are frequently overlooked or diminished in discussions of the War. Most major war histories are written by British or American authors, who give little credit to the Canadians as a separate fighting force.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly...more

  • Castillo de San Marcos

    Sep 10 2020

    Allen Arnold joined me on the pod to discuss the Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States. Located on the western shore of Matanzas Bay in the city of St. Augustine, Florida, the fort was designed by the Spanish engineer Ignacio Daza. Construction began in 1672, 107 years after the city's founding by Spanish Admiral and conquistador Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, when Florida was part of the Spanish Empire. The fort's construction was ordered by Governor Franci...more

  • When Fidel came to Harlem

    Sep 09 2020

    Simon Hall joined me on the pod to talk about Fidel Castro’s trip to New York in September 1960. Based at Harlem’s Theresa Hotel, Castro met with a succession of political and cultural luminaries, including Malcolm X, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Nikita Khrushchev, Amiri Baraka, and Allen Ginsberg. We discuss the coming together of revolutionaries embracing the politics of anti-imperialism, racial equality, and leftist revolution.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history docum...more

  • How and Why History: Genghis Khan

    Sep 08 2020

    Genghis Khan was one of the most feared and most famous warrior kings in history. But how did he rise to power to become the Emperor of the Mongol Empire? How did he unite many of the nomadic tributes of North-East Asia, and then conquer most of Eurasia? Why is he considered a hero in modern-day post-Communist Mongolia? Rob Weinberg asks the big questions about this notorious figure to military historian Major Gordon Corrigan.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history ...more

  • John F. Kennedy

    Sep 07 2020

    Fredrik Logevall joined me on the pod to discuss the life and legacy of John F. Kennedy. By the time of his assassination in 1963, John F. Kennedy stood at the helm of the greatest power the world had ever seen. Born in 1917 to a striving Irish-American family that had ascended the ranks of Boston's political machine, Kennedy was bred for public service and he rose meteorically to become America's youngest president.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentar...more

  • The Fens

    Sep 06 2020

    James Boyce joins me on the pod to discuss the indigenous population of the Fens of eastern England. Between the English Civil Wars and the mid-Victorian period, the Fens fought to preserve their homeland against an expanding empire. After centuries of resistance, their culture and community were destroyed, along with their wetland home – England’s last lowland wilderness. But this was no simple triumph of technology over nature – it was the consequence of a newly centralised and militarised sta...more

  • The White Ship

    Sep 05 2020

    Charles Spencer joined me on the pod to discuss the sinking of the White Ship on the 25th November 1120. It is one of the greatest disasters that England has ever suffered. Its repercussions changed English and European history for ever.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, a...more

  • Selma Van De Perre

    Sep 04 2020

    Selma Van De Perre joined me on the pod to talk about her life as a Dutch Jewish Resistance fighter during the Second World War. She joined the resistance under the pseudonym Margareta van der Kuit, and she forged documents and delivered them throughout the entire country. She escaped the Nazis on multiple occasions, but in July of 1944 she was betrayed and transported via Camp Vught to Ravensbrück. Unlike her sister and parents, she survived the horrors of the camp. During that time no one...more

  • The Real Great Escape with Commander Steve Foster

    Sep 03 2020

    Commander Steve Foster relates the extraordinary story of one of the most audacious escape attempts of the Second World War.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate history package. Just go to historyhit.tv to s...more

  • A People's History of Tennis

    Sep 02 2020

    David Berry joined me on the pod to discuss a people’s history of tennis. From the birth of modern tennis in Victorian Britain to the present day, we talked about struggles around sexuality, gender, race and class that have transformed the nature of tennis and sport itself.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekl...more

  • The Gunpowder Plot

    Sep 01 2020

    On 5 November 1605, a planned assassination attempt on King James I was thwarted. While a group of English Catholics planned to blow up the House of Lords during the State Opening of Parliament, the name of the man caught guarding the gunpowder became legendary – Guy Fawkes. But how and why did the gunpower plot come about? And why did Guy Fawkes become the most famous of the plotters? Rob Weinberg puts the big questions about this most famous of failed assassination attempts to Dr. Leonie James...more

  • The Restaurant

    Aug 31 2020

    William Sitwell joined me on the pod to discuss the history of the restaurant. Tracing its earliest incarnations in the city of Pompeii, we discuss the events that shape the way we eat today.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's th...more

  • The Bible

    Aug 30 2020

    John Barton joined me on the pod to discuss the history of the Bible. Tracing its dissemination, translation and interpretation in Judaism and Christianity from Antiquity to the rise of modern biblical scholarship, Barton elucidates how meaning has both been drawn from the Bible and imposed upon it.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcast...more

  • Pirates of the Chesapeake Bay

    Aug 29 2020

    Jamie L.H. Goodall joined me on the pod to discuss pirates of the Chesapeake Bay. The story of Chesapeake pirates and patriots begins with a land dispute and ends with the untimely death of an oyster dredger at the hands of the Maryland Oyster Navy.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can w...more

  • The Civil Rights Movement

    Aug 28 2020

    In this episode Dan Snow is joined by Chris Wilson, Director of Experience Design at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Chris specialises in the Civil Rights Movement and has written about the intersection of non-violence with the self defence mentality of that time.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we...more

  • The Soviets at Nuremberg

    Aug 27 2020

    Francine Hirsch joined me on the pod to discuss the full story of the Nuremberg Trials, one in which the Soviet Union was a defining player.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate history package. Just go to history...more

  • Cecil Rhodes

    Aug 26 2020

    Duncan Clarke joined me on the pod to discuss Cecil Rhodes and the historiography of Zambesia from the San forward to the establishment of the Rhodesian state.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate history package. Just...more

  • How and Why History: The Philosophers of Ancient Greece

    Aug 25 2020

    From the 6th century BCE, philosophy was used to make sense of the world – including astronomy, mathematics, politics, ethics, metaphysics and aesthetics. But why did philosophy flourish in Greek culture? How were the great philosophers received in their own time? And how did it influence Islam, communism and even the theories of Sigmund Freud? Rob Weinberg puts the big questions about history’s biggest thinkers to Professor Angie Hobbs at the University of Sheffield.Subscrib...more

  • The Neanderthals

    Aug 25 2020

    Rebecca Wragg Sykes joined me on the pod to discuss our perception of the Neanderthals, which has undergone a metamorphosis since their discovery 150 years ago, from the losers of the human family tree to A-list hominins.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive sub...more

  • Assassination and Coverups in The Cold War Congo

    Aug 23 2020

    I was joined by an award-winning investigative journalist, Ravi Somaiya, to discuss the mysterious death in 1961 of UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld. Although Dag Hammarskjöld was called ‘the greatest statesman of our century’ by John F. Kennedy, his plane was shot down as he flew over The Congo. He was found dead with an Ace of Spades placed on the body. Ravi took me into the depths of this event and the remarkable consequences across the globe. Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get...more

  • Magic and Witchcraft

    Aug 22 2020

    Suzannah Lipscomb joined me on the pod to discuss the history of magic, witchcraft and the occult. Examining the beliefs and suspicions from the ancient era to the modern world, we discussed everything from Japanese folklore to Indian witchcraft, looking at tarot cards, Norse magic and modern Wicca rituals. Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're runnin...more

  • Charles I Reconsidered

    Aug 21 2020

    On 22nd August 1642, Charles I raised his standard at Nottingham marking the start of the English Civil War. It was the result of years of ongoing tensions which could no longer be resolved with diplomacy and negotiation. But what was Charles' role in this disastrous turn of events - tyrant or victim of bad timing? Lianda de Lisle joined me on the pod to review Charles' reign, discussing why and how various reputations have emerged.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of hi...more

  • The Spartans

    Aug 20 2020

    I was thrilled to be joined by Andrew Bayliss, a Senior Lecturer in Greek History at the University of Birmingham. He's an expert on Sparta and Ancient Greece, and he joined me on the pod to mark the 2,500th anniversary of the battle of Themopylae, when 300 Spartans battled the Persian army. We discussed whether the Spartans deserved the reputations they've developed, and dissected the plethora of myths with have emererged, of musclebound soldiers with long hair and red cloaks. Subscribe to...more

  • Freemasonry

    Aug 19 2020

    John Dickie joined me on the pod to discuss the international story of an organisation which now has 6 million members across the globe. Tracing the origins from local fraternities of stonemasons at the turn of the fifteenth century, John took me on the freemasons' journey from Britain to America, Australia, Italy and India. We discussed exactly what the freemasons are, how they have been perceived, and why they seem to attract so many conspiracy theories. Subscribe to History Hit and you'l...more

  • How and Why History: Pilgrimage in the Middle Ages

    Aug 18 2020

    In the Middle Ages, the Holy Land, as well as sites in Europe and around Britain became popular sites for pilgrimage. It was believed that praying at shrines or in front of holy relics could absolve you of your sins, cure your illnesses, or help you on the way to heaven. Why was pilgrimage so important in the Middle Ages? To find out, Rob Weinberg went to Canterbury Christ Church University to speak to Dr. Sheila Sweetinburgh.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history ...more

  • Stealing from the Saracens: Islam and European Architecture

    Aug 17 2020

    From Notre-Dame Cathedral to the Houses of Parliament, European architecture is indebted to the Muslim world. Diana Darke joined me on the pod to discuss how medieval crusaders, pilgrims and merchants encountered Arab Muslim culture on their way to the Holy Land. This early artistic interaction continued a long history of arrchitectural 'borrowing' and cultural exchange, including Sir Christopher Wren’s inspirations in the ‘Saracen’ style of Gothic architecture.Subscribe to History Hit and you'l...more

  • Britain in The Great War

    Aug 16 2020

    I was thrilled to be joined by Simon Heffer, author of biographies on the historian and essayist Thomas Carlyle, the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams and of the British politician Enoch Powell. He's also written a series of books on the social history of Great Britain from the mid nineteenth century until the end of the First World War. Using this wealth of knowledge, Simon took me through the reality and impact off Britain in the First World War, one of the most terrible conflicts the world has ...more

  • VJ Day: 75 Years

    Aug 15 2020

    75 years ago today, on 15 August 1945, Victory over Japan Day marked the end of one of the most devastating episodes in British military history, and the final end of the Second World War. It's estimated there were 71,000 British and Commonwealth casualties of the war against Japan, and the deaths of more than 2.5 million Japanese civilians and military personnel. After a press conference at the White House on 14 August, where President Truman confirmed the rumours of an Allied victory over Japa...more

  • Chinese Philosophy

    Aug 14 2020

    Michael Puett is Professor of Chinese History at Harvard and has lectured widely at the world's leading universities. His course in Chinese philosophy is among the most popular at Harvard and in 2013 he was awarded a Harvard College Professorship for excellence in undergraduate teaching. In this pod we explored the remarkable challenges and achievements of Chinese philosophy.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of th...more

  • The Korean War: An American Perspective

    Aug 13 2020

    I was thrilled to be joined by H. W. Brands. He's authored 30 books on American history and his works have twice been selected as finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. On the 70 year anniversary since the start of the Korean War, he took me through the remarkable course of events which saw an immense civilian death toll and the destruction of virtually all of Korea's major cities. Why has the commemorations of this bloodbath been somewhat overlooked, and how did it lay the groundwork for the politic...more

  • Vindolanda

    Aug 12 2020

    Dan finds out what's going on with recent excavations at Vindolanda, one of the largest Roman forts near Hadrian's Wall. All manner of discoveries have been made, including the largest collection of Roman footwear found anywhere in the world.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win priz...more

  • How and Why History: Europe's Witch Craze

    Aug 11 2020

    In 1597, King James VI of Scotland published a compendium on witchcraft called Daemonologie that laid down the kind of trial and punishment these practices merited.  But why was there a witch craze in Europe?  How were witch hunts triggered?  Who were the victims?  And why did witch trials spread to America?  Rob Weinberg asks the big questions on this dark but fascinating period to Professor Miri Rubin of Queen Mary Universit...more

  • History's Documents

    Aug 10 2020

    In this pod I was joined by two people who have played quite an important part in my life: my mum and dad (known to the rest of the world as Peter Snow and Ann MacMillan). Their latest book is a bold examination of world history, told through 50 of our most important documents. They have been sourced from collections of national archives, museums, libraries, and private collections across the globe. From this selection of 50, I asked for a selection of six to discuss in this episode, telling a s...more

  • Nagasaki

    Aug 09 2020

    The second atomic strike on the city of Nagasaki is less well known than the one a few days earlier on Hiroshima, but was it more influential in forcing the Japanese to surrender? To find out who exactly ordered it and why I talked to Harvard's Frederik Logevall. He discusses the debates that rage between historians as to whether Nagasaki was necessary and how much pressure there was for a third bomb. On the 75th anniversary of the strike it is a conversation with powerful contemporary echoes.&n...more

  • Refugees, Sexual Violence and the Fall of the Third Reich

    Aug 08 2020

    In this episode, Dan speaks to award-winning political correspondent and commentator, Svenja O'Donnell, about her remarkable grandmother's personal story of migration, sexual violence and murder during the fall of the Third Reich. Svenja's beautiful, aloof grandmother Inge never spoke about the past. All her family knew was that she had grown up in a city that no longer exists on any map: Königsberg in East Prussia, a footnote in history, a place that almost no one has heard of today. But when S...more

  • Pertinax. Son of a Slave to Emperor of Rome.

    Aug 07 2020

    The son of a former slave, Pertinax was the Roman Emperor who proved that no matter how lowly your birth, you could rise to the very top through hard work, grit and determination.This previously untold story brings a fascinating and important figure out of the shadows. A self made everyman, a man of principle and ambition, a role model respected by his contemporaries who styled himself on his philosophizing predecessor and sometime champion Marcus Aurelius, Pertinax's remarkable story offers a u...more

  • How and Why History: America, Japan and the Atomic Bomb

    Aug 06 2020

    On 6 August 1945, an American B29 bomber dropped the world's first deployed atomic bomb over Hiroshima. Three days later, Nagasaki was at the receiving end of a second American A-bomb. Why did America decide to hit Japan with two atomic bombs? Why were these two cities the targets? What were the implications for ending World War II and starting the Cold War? History Hit’s Rob Weinberg puts the big questions about this seminal event to Kevin Ruane, Professor of Modern History at Canterbury Christ...more

  • Rum, Sodomy and the Lash?

    Aug 05 2020

    The common sailor was a crucial engine of British prosperity and expansion up until the Industrial Revolution. From exploring the South Seas with Cook to establishing the East India Company as a global corporation; from the sea battles that made Britain a superpower to the crisis of the 1797 mutinies; these "sons of the waves" affected the nation's prosperity with their calloused hand. Yet, while British maritime history in the age of sail is full of the deeds of officers like Nelson, little att...more

  • The Road to 1914: Myths of Nationalism

    Aug 04 2020

    This week in 1914 saw the outbreak of the First World War. In this special episode from the archive, Margaret MacMillan talks to her nephew Dan about her seminal book 'The War That Ended Peace: The Road To 1914'. They discuss the importance of Storytelling to the historian's process, the ways in which political actors at the time viewed the relation between fate and choice, the role that masculine insecurity played in the build up to the war and also examine the construct of and myths surroundin...more

  • Gallipoli: the Endgame

    Aug 03 2020

    In December 1915, some 135,000 allied troops, nearly 400 guns and 15,000 horses were collectively trapped in the bridgeheads at Anzac, Suvla and Helles. It was clear that the operation to seize control of Dardanelles and the Bosporus straits and capture Constantinople (now Istanbul) from the Turks, and thereby open a Black Sea supply route to Russia, had failed. With every day that passed the Turks moved up more guns, threatening to blast to pieces the flimsy piers, breakwaters and blockshi...more

  • Conan Doyle, Kipling and Kingsley in the Boer War

    Aug 02 2020

    In early 1900, Rudyard Kipling, Mary Kingsley and Arthur Conan Doyle crossed paths in South Africa during the Anglo-Boer War. Motivated in various ways by notions of duty, service, patriotism and jingoism, they were each shaped by the theatre of war. Sarah LeFanu joined me on the podcast to explore the cultural legacies, controversial reputations and influence on colonial policy of these three British writers. Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentari...more

  • Leading Germany's Resistance against The Nazis

    Aug 01 2020

    Norman Ohler joined me on the pod to discuss two remarkable lovers who led Germany's resistance against the Nazis. Harro Schulze-Boysen and Libertas Haas-Heye led a complex network of antifascists, which operated across Berlin's bohemian underworld. They infiltrated German intelligence leaked Nazi battle plans to the Allies, including the details of Hitler's surprise attack on the Soviet Union. But in a world where friend could be indistinguishable from foe, nothing could prepare Libertas and Ha...more

  • The Tudors

    Jul 31 2020

    Jessie Childs is an award-winning author, historian and expert on the Tudors. She joined me on the podcast to discuss this notorious family. What did people think of them at the time? Do they deserve their reputation - both good and bad? All in all, why are we so obsessed?  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • The Tragedy of USS Indianapolis

    Jul 30 2020

    Just after midnight on 30th 1945, the USS Indianapolis was sailing alone in the Philippine Sea when she was struck by two Japanese torpedoes, almost three hundred miles from land. She sank in 12 minutes. For the next five nights, nearly nine hundred men struggled with battle injuries, shark attacks, dehydration, insanity, and eventually each other. Sara Vladic is one of the world's leading experts on the USS Indianapolis, having met and interviewed 108 of the ship’s survivors. She joined me on t...more

  • Rape as a Weapon of War

    Jul 29 2020

    Christina Lamb is Chief Foreign Correspondent at The Sunday Times and one of Britain’s leading foreign journalists. As well as working in combat zones for over thirty years, Christina's also a best selling author, a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, an honorary fellow of University College, Oxford and was awarded an OBE by the Queen in 2013. So I was thrilled that she could find time to join me on the pod to discuss the topic of her latest book: rape as a weapon of war. Although there is...more

  • How and Why History: Charlemagne

    Jul 28 2020

    Charlemagne was one of history’s most ruthless and ambitious warriors – King of the Franks, then King of the Lombards, conqueror of the Saxons, leading to the Pope crowning him Roman Emperor. But plenty of blood was spilled along the way. So how did Charlemagne manage to unite much of Europe? Why did the Pope crown him emperor? How did his legacy inspire Adolf Hitler? History Hit’s Rob Weinberg asks the big questions about this hugely influential figure to Dr. Sinead O’Sullivan of Queens Univers...more

  • Churchill's Speeches

    Jul 27 2020

    "Their finest hour", "we shall fight on the beaches", "never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few". These words of Winston Churchill are synonymous with our idea of the British war effort during the darkest days of WWII. Richard Toye joined me on the podcast to take a closer look at these speeches. How many civilians would have actually heard Churchill's brilliant rhetoric, and what did they think of them? Why were they so compelling, both then and now? And perhap...more

  • Saudi Arabia and Iran

    Jul 26 2020

    Kim Ghattas joined me on the podcast to explore how Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran - who were once allies and the twin pillars of US strategy in the area - became mortal enemies after the revolution of 1979. In a war of cultural supremacy, we discussed the nature of various groups using and distorting religion, suppressing cultural expression and encouragning sectarian violence. And how did events like Iran’s fatwa against author Salman Rushdie lay the groundwork for more recent troubles, incl...more

  • Monarchy

    Jul 25 2020

    For hundreds of years, monarchy has reigned as the dominant political model in Europe. But how has this system - where political life was shaped by the births, marriages and deaths of the ruling family - maintained such a strong grip for so long? How did these dynasties cope with female rule, child monarchs, mistresses or pretenders to the throne? How were names, numbering and the visual display of heraldry express an identity and cement loyalty? Robert Bartlett is Professor Emeritus at the Univ...more

  • SS Great Britain

    Jul 24 2020

    SS Great Britain was the longest passenger ship in the world from 1845 to 1854, and now resides in Bristol as a museum. She was the brainchild of Isambard Kingdom Brunel for the Great Western Steamship Company's transatlantic service between Bristol and New York City. In this pod, I was taken on a tour around this remarkable feat of Victorian engineering to hear how Brunel's ingenuity transformed the world. Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries,...more

  • How Did Hitler Seize Supreme Power?

    Jul 23 2020

    I was delighted to be joined by Nicholas O'Shaughnessy, who took me through the remarkable rise of Adolf Hitler. Starting with his experience of the First World War, Nicholas took me through the events and turning points which turned a failed art student into one of the most powerful men in history. We discussed how the Beer Hall Putsch, the Wall Street Crash, the Article 48 Decree, the Reichstag Fire and the death of Hindenburg acting as stepping stones to Hitler's success. This podcast complim...more

  • Transforming Our Understanding of The Battle of Kursk

    Jul 22 2020

    The Battle of Prokhorovka was one of the largest tank battles in military history. Taking place on the Eastern Front, it was fought on 12 July 1943 as part of the wider Battle of Kursk. Two elite SS divisions were obliterated, and about 300 panzers were destroyed as the Red Army began to turn the tide for Hitler. Prokhorovka has always been notorious, but British historian Ben Wheatley has challenged the traditional myths surrounding the battle by fine-combing through the evidence. He joined me ...more

  • How and Why History: The Genius of Shakespeare

    Jul 21 2020

    Arguably the world’s greatest ever dramatist, after five and a half centuries William Shakespeare remains as popular as ever. But how did he became so famous? How did later authors boost his reputation? And why has Shakespeare stayed supreme above all other writers? Rob Weinberg asks the big questions to Jerry Brotton, Professor of Renaissance Studies at Queen Mary University of London.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single ep...more

  • How Democracy Dies

    Jul 20 2020

    I was thrilled to be joined on the podcast by the Pulitzer Prize–winning historian, Anne Applebaum. Anne's written extensively on Marxism–Leninism, the development of civil society in Central and Eastern Europe, and was one of the first American journalists to raise an alarm about antidemocratic trends in the West. In this podcast we asked big questions about democracy - does it still appeal to us, and where does it stand in the modern world?Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hund...more

  • Soldiers and Military History

    Jul 19 2020

    I am very excited to be joined by Colonel Kevin W. Farrell, who spent over 30 years in uniform and commanded at the platoon, company, and battalion levels. He finished up in the army as the Chief of the Military History Division at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. I am fascinated to hear about how the modern army chooses to teach history to its future leaders. He acted as an advisor to the Afghan National Army and the commander of a 1,000-soldier combined arms battalion conducting extend...more

  • The Road to American Politics

    Jul 18 2020

    10 years after the expulsion of the British, leading US figures including Washington, Hamilton and Jefferson came together to draw up plans for governing the world's newest country. But what should the role of a President be and how should American politics function? I was thrilled to be joined by Joanne B. Freeman, a professor of History and American studies at Yale University, to discuss this turning point of American politics. Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of...more

  • The Apollo Program

    Jul 17 2020

    Getting to the moon was no easy feat, no matter how confident Kennedy may have sounded in his famous 1961 speech. NASA built a team from the ground up, and there were plenty of moments where it seemed as if they weren't going to make it. After all, it was hard to feel safe when a pen could go straight through the module. Kevin Fong is part of the NHS emergency response team for major fatality incidents like terror attacks. He's also an anaesthetist, a lecturer in physiology at UCL and an expert ...more

  • The Yalta Conference

    Jul 16 2020

    In the February 1945, the U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin met at an old Romanov palace in Crimea, which had once been enjoyed by Tsar Nicholas II and his family. Over eight days the 'Big Three' discussed and debated issues of vast international importance - such as the endgame of the war against Nazi Germany, the constitution of the United Nations, the price of Soviet entry into the war against Japan and the new border...more

  • A History of Assassinations

    Jul 15 2020

    Kenneth Baker is a British politician and a former Conservative MP who served in the cabinets of Margaret Thatcher and John Major as Environment Secretary, Education Secretary, and Home Secretary. He joined me on the pod to examine the history of assassinations. From Julius Caesar to John F. Kennedy, and even the raid of Osama bin Laden's compound, Kenneth has used them to build up a clearer picture of assassination as a political tool. Is this an effective weapon which has changed the course of...more

  • How and Why History: The Spread of Christianity

    Jul 14 2020

    In the first century after his crucifixion, the teachings of Jesus quickly spread throughout the Greco-Roman world and his early followers often faced severe persecution. But how did people around the Mediterranean learn of Christ’s message? Why did it appeal to them? And how did Christianity change once it was adopted by the Roman Empire? Rob Weinberg puts the big questions about the growth and spread of Christianity to Miri Rubin, Professor of Medieval and Early Modern History at Queen Mary Un...more

  • Britain's First All Women Military Hospital

    Jul 13 2020

    When the First World War broke out, the suffragettes suspended their campaigning and joined the war effort. Flora Murray and Louisa Garrett Anderson headed out to France, setting up two small military hospitals - whilst battling fierce opposition on account of being women. But Flora and Louisa proved so effective that the War Ministry requested they returned to London and establish a hospital in a vast and derelict old workhouse in Covent Garden's Endell Street. The medical marvel which sprung u...more

  • Henry III: The Pacific King

    Jul 12 2020

    David Carpenter joined me on the podcast to examine one of England's most remarkable monarchs. Just nine years old when he came to the throne in 1216, David explains how Henry was pacific, conciliatory, and deeply religious. His rule was constrained by limits set by the Magna Carta and the emergence of parliament. We discussed the 'soft power' which maintained a steady peace, Henry's patron saint Edward the Confessor, and his building of the magnificent Westminster Abbey. Subscribe to Histo...more

  • Anne Glenconner: Princess Margaret's Confidante

    Jul 11 2020

    Anne Glenconner has been at the centre of the royal circle from childhood, when she met and befriended the future Queen Elizabeth II and her sister, the Princess Margaret. Anne spoke to me from the resplendent saloon at Holkham Hall to discuss her truly remarkable life - a story of drama, tragedy and royal secrets. A story she reflects on with a charming sense of humour and true British spirit. Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as e...more

  • A New Discovery at Stonehenge

    Jul 10 2020

    I was delighted to be joined by one of the most important people in the history world at the moment: Professor Vincent Gaffney. He is the leading archaeologist behind the recent discovery of a vast neolithic circle of deep shafts in Durrington, near Stonehenge. Vince took me through the thrills and surprises of his epic discovery and how it transforms our understanding of the stones themselves. Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as e...more

  • The Roman Navy in Britain

    Jul 09 2020

    I was thrilled to be joined on the podcast by the wonderful Simon Elliott. In this episode, Simon and I got to grips with the epic Roman Navy, and what it was doing on the shores of Britain. Enjoy! Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only artic...more

  • Mata Hari: The Truth Behind The Legend

    Jul 08 2020

    More than 70 years after her death, Mata Hari is still a household name throughout the Western world. So who was this daughter of a Dutch hat-maker, who was executed for espionage after a secret trial during the darkest days of World War One? Julie Wheelwright joined me on the pod to guide me through the world of female espionage, the forces behind patriotic hysteria and the perpetuation of the idea of the seductive and dangerous temptress. Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to ...more

  • How and Why History: The Birth of Scotland

    Jul 07 2020

    The recorded story of Scotland begins with the arrival of the Romans in the 1st century, when the province of Britannia reached as far north as the Antonine Wall. But how much further back can the history of Scotland be traced? Who were the Picts and the Gaels? And how did the Viking invasion unite them? Rob Weinberg asks the big how and why questions about the birth of Scotland to Dr. Alex Woolf, senior lecturer at the University of St Andrews.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to h...more

  • Statues, History and How We Use The Past

    Jul 06 2020

    I was joinded by Dr Charlotte Riley, a feminist historian of 20th century Britain. Whilst lecturing on the Labour Party, decolonization, and overseas aid and development programmes, Charlotte has been an important voice in the debate surrounding the role of public statues. How do statues enhance or subvert our understanding of the past? Can we ever produce statues which don't jar with some ideas? In short, are they more trouble than they're worth? Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get acc...more

  • Assassination, Fascism and The Abdication Crisis

    Jul 05 2020

    Alex Larman has struck gold. He discovered one of the rarest and most precious things in the history world: an unknown source which shines a bright new light on its subject. He uncovered brand new documents relating to an assassination attempt on Edward VIII in July 1936, by George McMahon. Alex took me through the documents he found and the story they tell. We also discussed the Edward's challenging upbringing, his possible Nazi sympathies, the tumult of the Abdication crisis and his famous rel...more

  • Myths of the Titanic

    Jul 04 2020

    If you want to know anything about RMS Titanic, Tim Maltin's your man. He is one of the world’s leading experts on the Titanic and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of every nut and bolt secured in place in Belfast, and every moment of its terrifying submersion in the freezing waters of the Atlantic. Tim has recently chatted to me for our latest History Hit TV documentary, and his way of speaking was just so gripping that I had to invited him back to record a podcast. In this episode, Tim took me t...more

  • Machiavelli

    Jul 03 2020

    Since the release of Alexander Lee's masterly new work on Niccolò Machiavelli, I just had to get him on the pod to hear about this infamous man directly from the expert. Alex revealed the man behind the myth - his father’s penury, abuse he suffered at a teacher’s hands, his chaotic love life, political triumphs and an eventual fall from grace. By delving into the Renaissance world swirling through the courts of Borgia popes and the dungeons of the Stinche prison, Alex has taken time tot review M...more

  • Hitler's Titanic

    Jul 02 2020

    Roger Moorhouse is an historian of the Third Reich and WW2, author of The Devils' Alliance, Killing Hitler & Berlin at War. He joined me on the podcast to discuss the worst maritime disaster in history: the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff in January 1945.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where...more

  • History's Deadliest Influenza Pandemic

    Jul 01 2020

    Germans soldiers called it Blitzkatarrh, British soldiers called it Flanders Grippe, but the 1918 pandemic was most commonly known as 'Spanish Flu'. Catherine Arnold is the author of 'Pandemic 1918', and she joined me on the pod to discuss this terrible disease. A disease where victims suffered haemorrhages from the lungs and nose, skin turning blue from lack of oxygen and choking to death from 'air hunger' as the lungs filled with blood and pus. As Catherine explains, communities across the wor...more

  • How and Why History: William the Conqueror

    Jun 30 2020

    On 14 October 1066, Norman invaders led by Duke William of Normandy won a decisive victory over the Anglo-Saxon King Harold Godwinson. But why did William have a claim on the English throne? How did the Battle of Hastings unfold? And how did William the Conqueror change England forever? To answer the big questions about this decisive battle, Rob Weinberg talks to Professor Virginia Davis, of Queen Mary University of London.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Disease and the Victorians

    Jun 29 2020

    Dr Emma Liggins is an expert on Victorian Gothic literature. She joined me on the pod to examine how great female writers of the 19th century - such as Elizabeth Gaskell and the Brontes - responded to the impact of fatal diseases on their home lives. How did their literary perspective influence their views on contagion and quarantining? We also discussed Emma's work on haunted houses, and how the nightmarish terrors of a deadly fever distorted the domestic space.Subscribe to History Hit and you'...more

  • Western Europe’s Age of Democracy

    Jun 28 2020

    In the second half of the twentieth century, western Europe was shaped by a revolutionary political force: democracy. Or at least that's what Professor Martin Conway has argued in his major new history. On this podcast, Martin - a teacher from my university days - interrogated the years following the Second World War. What provoked democratic revolution in the western half of Europe? How did this stable, durable, and remarkably uniform model of parliamentary democracy change society? And why did...more

  • 28 Years on Death Row

    Jun 27 2020

    Anthony Ray Hinton was held on death row for 28 years. He was incorrectly convicted of the murders of two restaurant managers, John Davidson and Thomas Wayne Vasona, in 1985. He was released in 2015 after winning a new trial. In this podcast, Anthony and I walked and talked our way through the streets of Birmingham, Alambama. I was overwhelmed by his generosity of spirit, lack of animosity and determination to live a good life despite the fact that so many years were taken away from him.Subscrib...more

  • Forgotten Women of the Civil Rights Movement

    Jun 26 2020

    I was delighted to be joined by Keisha Blain, an Associate Professor at the University of Pittsburgh. She took me far into the past - years before Martin Luther King or Rosa Parks - to the roots of North America's long tradition of Civil Rights activism. We discussed how African American women played a central - albeit overlooked - role in leading this struggle, and what their legacy looks like today. Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as we...more

  • Veterans of the Korean War

    Jun 25 2020

    70 years ago today, on 25th June 1950, North Korean forces invaded South Korea. The three-year conflict which followed took the lives of four million people including nearly 100,000 British troops. For many veterans, it is widely considered 'The Forgotten War'. So I was delighted to be joined by Arthur Teasdale, George Reed, Trevor John and Gerry Farmer, who shared their remarkable experiences in Korea, one of Britain's most deadly conflicts.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hund...more

  • Politics of the Potato

    Jun 24 2020

    Rebecca Earle joined me on the pod to talk about spuds. She took me through the story of this starchy tuber's dramatic career, which has been at the heart of the development of the world we live in today. Jumping from an Enlightenment super-food, to symbol of the British Home Front and even a coercive tool in modern China, this unassuming root vegetable - rich in carbohydrates - has been quite the hot potato. Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentarie...more

  • How and Why History: Operation Barbarossa

    Jun 23 2020

    In June 1941, Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa, opening up the Eastern Front in World War II – a campaign to which more forces were committed than in any other theatre of war in history. But why did Germany invade the Soviet Union? What did Stalin and Hitler think of each other? And how did the invasion impact on Germany’s eventual defeat? To find out the answers about this escalation in the Second World War, Charlie Mills spoke to Dr. Mario Draper at the University of Kent.Subscribe to Hist...more

  • Family History

    Jun 22 2020

    Simon Pearce, a genealogist from Ancestry.com, joined me on the podcast to reveal the secrets of uncovering family history. Delving into the records of my own grandfather, Simon explained the methods, challenges and excitements he faces on a day to day basis. We also discussed how technology might open up a wealth of information - changing the face of genealogy forever. Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of th...more

  • A New History of the Aztecs

    Jun 21 2020

    In November 1519, Hernando Cortés approached the capital of the Aztec kingdom and came face to face with its ruler, Moctezuma. The story which follows has been told countless times following a Spanish narrative. A key part of the story has been overlooked - until now. After being taught the Roman alphabet, the Native Americans used it to write detailed histories in their own language of Nahuatl. Camilla Townsend is a Professor of History at Rutgers University. For the first time, she h...more

  • The Lancaster Bomber

    Jun 20 2020

    I was thrilled to be joined again by one of our most popular guests, John Nichol. John shot to international prominence when he served in the first Gulf War. When his Tornado was shot down in 1991 he was captured, tortured and paraded on television provoking worldwide condemnation and leaving one of the enduring images of that war. Since then, John has become one of our most successful aviation historians, writing bestsellers such as 'Spitfire – A Very British Love Story'. His latest book explor...more

  • Why is Jerusalem so Important?

    Jun 19 2020

    Simon Sebag Montefiore joined me on the pod to discuss one of the most important cities in history. For the last 3000 years, its been hitting the headlines, and this pod was recorded just after Donald Trump announced that the USA would recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Simon is the author of the incredible book 'Jerusalem: the biography'. He explained why the city is sacred to three religions and why it has so often found itself on the front line of the great conflicts that have shap...more

  • Voices of Waterloo

    Jun 18 2020

    205 years ago today, 60,000 men were slaughtered in the Battle of Waterloo. Napoleon Bonaparte's French army was finally defeated by an almighty coalition of troops from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Hanover, Brunswick and Nassau, led by the Duke of Wellington, and the Prussian army under the command of Field Marshal von Blücher. I was joined on the pod by Zack White, who has set up Voices of the Battlefield, an oral history project featuring 41 readings of eyewitness testimony from the c...more

  • How and Why History: The Battle of Waterloo

    Jun 18 2020

    The Battle of Waterloo brought a generation of terrible warfare to a close, decisively ending the career of Napoleon Bonaparte. How did the Duke of Wellington defeat Napoleon? Why did Napoleon make a fatal blunder? And how did Waterloo shape convictions about Britain’s future role in the world? Rob Weinberg asks the big questions about this momentous battle to Dr Michael Rowe of Kings College London.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as e...more

  • Women of the Trojan War

    Jun 17 2020

    I was thrilled to be joined by Natalie Haynes. Natalie is the is the author of 'A Thousand Ships', a retelling of the Trojan War from an all-female perspective. In this podcast we discussed the classical accounts which have contributed to our modern understanding of that legendary war and its terrible aftermath. This was produced from one of our Zoom discussions, where History Hit TV subscribers joined the chat and were able to ask Natalie their burning questions. Subscribe to History Hit a...more

  • The Government and the Military in Times of Crisis

    Jun 15 2020

    The Covid crisis has seen a huge deployment of UK armed forces personnel to assist the civilian government. Named Operation RESCRIPT it has seen soldiers, sailors and aviators fulfil a wide range of tasks. I wanted to get a sense of the different challenges that the forces face when operating on home soil, and whether their conventional training prepares them for these. As I was working on this podcast President Trump announced that he was considering ordering the army into action against protes...more

  • Nazi Generals in Britain

    Jun 14 2020

    When captured Nazi generals found themselves in Britain in the Second World War, they were probably surprised to be brought to a beautiful country house where they were wined and dined by a senior British aristocrat. But it was all a charade. For the skirting boards, the swings seats and the flower pots of this house were riddled with recording equipment. Unbeknown to the generals, every single conversation they had was bugged and an army of translators and transcribers worked away in the baseme...more

  • Putin's Rise to Power

    Jun 13 2020

    Catherine Belton joined me on the pod to discuss the remarkable story of Vladimir Putin's rise to power. After working from 2007-2013 as the Moscow correspondent for the Financial Times, Catherine's career has offered an exclusive insight into workings of Putin's Kremlin. Her new book 'Putin's People' is packed with interviews from key inside players, uncovering fascinating details about how Putin subverted Russia’s economy and legal system and extended the Kremlin's reach into the United States...more

  • Sex in Pandemics

    Jun 12 2020

    I invited Kate Lister to join me after the enormous popularity of her last appearance on the pod. But this time we talked about how our sexual habits are both dulled and invigorated in unprecedented times - wars, plagues, pandemics. We discussed licentious widows who let loose during plagues, the separate brothels for British officers and soldiers, and how the lives of sex workers have been compromised in times of hardship. She also told me about sex in the coronavirus lockdown and the modern da...more

  • Nelson's Statue

    Jun 11 2020

    Afua Hirsch is a writer, broadcaster, barrister and human rights development worker. She has previously worked as Social Affairs and Education Editor for Sky News and was also a correspondent for The Guardian. In this podcast we discussed Nelson's famous statue in Trafalgar Square and what place it has in central London. Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We'...more

  • Why Study History?

    Jun 10 2020

    My guests this week were Marcus Collins and Peter Stearns. They've just released a wonderful new book, 'Why Study History?' - a guide for prospective students and parents to enthuse the reader and answer the crucial questions that a college prospectus might conveniently miss out. They joined me on the pod to examine the intellectual, economic and societal benefits of studying history. We discussed the humanities in relation to STEM subjects, the typical career trajectory of a history graduate an...more

  • How and Why History: Attila the Hun

    Jun 09 2020

    Known as the Scourge of God, Attila the Hun was one of the greatest Barbarian rulers in history. Renowned for his brutality, sacking and pillaging the lands and cities he conquered, Attila became one of the most feared enemies of the Western and Eastern Roman Empires. But how did Attila rally his people to take on the might of Rome and why was he so successful? As part of our new 'How and Why History' series, Rob Weinberg asks the big questions about this notorious figure to Professor Peter Heat...more

  • The Field of the Cloth of Gold

    Jun 08 2020

    500 years ago this week marked the start of one of the most extraordinary diplomatic gatherings in history: The Field of the Cloth of Gold. In 1520, England and France - traditionally bitter rivals - sought to bring conflict to an end in a magnificent show of opulence and pageantry. Henry VIII of England and Francis I of France agreed to meet in a show of conviviality, to reinforce the European-wide 'Universal Peace.' Of course, they didn't pack light. Both kings brought a hefty entourage of alm...more

  • Political Thinkers in the Modern World

    Jun 07 2020

    I was thrilled to be joined by David Runciman, Professor of Politics at Cambridge University and host of the widely acclaimed 'Talking Politics' podcast. Together we discussed how the great political thinkers of the past 400 years impacted the worlds they lived in, and whether they are still relevant today. David spoke about the the relationship between democracy and technology, the nature of political leadership and the trade-off between liberty and security. We also acknowledged how many ideas...more

  • What Really Happened on D-Day

    Jun 06 2020

    I was joined by Giles Milton to learn about D-Day and find out what his research has uncovered about the untold stories of this landmark event.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate history package. Just go to historyhi...more

  • Untold Stories of War

    Jun 05 2020

    I was delighted to be joined by James Rogers - a war historian, fellow of the London School of Economics, and presenter of History Hit's Untold History series. One of James' films explores HM Factory Gretna, a munitions factory built by the Ministry of Munitions in response to the Shell Crisis of 1915. He told me about the fate of these factory workers - predominantly women - who laboured to produce cordite, an explosive described by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as 'Devil's Porridge'. We also discusse...more

  • Racial Injustice in America

    Jun 04 2020

    The protests on the streets of America are a product of 400 years of violence, slavery, coercion and injustice. I took a crash course with Harvard's Professor Khalil Gibran Muhammad on the history that has led to this moment. He stripped me of my illusions about America but also explained why he is essentially optimistic. Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes...more

  • A Story of Slavery and Restitution

    Jun 03 2020

    I was delighted to be joined by Caleb McDaniel, History professor and author of the Pulitzer prizewinning book, “Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America”. He told me the remarkable story of Henrietta Wood. Born into slavery in Kentucky, she was freed as an adult and worked as domestic worker. In 1853, her employers conspired to trick her into crossing the Kentucky side of the Ohio River, where she was recaptured and taken to work in the harrowing condition...more

  • Sex and Scandal at the Court of Charles II

    Jun 01 2020

    According to John Evelyn, the great diarist, Charles II was ‘addicted to women’. Charles' court is infamous for tales of licentiousness and promiscuity, and I was thrilled to be joined by Linda Porter who introduced me to Charles' impressive list of mistresses. There was Frances Teresa Stuart, ‘the prettiest girl in the world’, Barbara Villiers, an ill-tempered courtier, ‘pretty, witty’ Nell Gwynn, Moll Davis, who bore the last of the king’s fifteen illegitimate children and Louise de Kéroualle,...more

  • Fighting Nazism at the Grand Prix

    May 31 2020

    Neal Bascomb joined me on the podcast to tell a remarkable story of the fight against Hitler - on the Grand Prix racetrack. We delved into the high-speed world of the American heiress Lucy Schell, a motorsport obsessive and the top American driver in the Monte Carlo Rally. With the help of Rene Dreyfus, a brilliant racing driver who was banned from competing due to his Jewish heritage, Schell became the first woman to own and run a Grand Prix team. She brought Delahaye automobiles back from the ...more

  • A History of Building Britain

    May 30 2020

    I was thrilled to be joined by Andrew Ziminski, a stonemason living and working in Somerset. He's just released his first book documenting the fascinating stories from three decades of hands-on experience working with the very building blocks of British history. In this episode, I heard about his work on a Stonehenge megalith, the restoration of Roman ruins in Bath, the stories of engine houses, mills and aqueducts of the Industrial Revolution, the problems facing Notre Dame, how St Paul's Cathe...more

  • Dunkirk Veterans

    May 29 2020

    Dan meets some of the surviving Dunkirk veterans on the famous Little Ships which helped to rescue them from the beaches. The Little Ships of Dunkirk were 700 private boats that sailed from Ramsgate in England to Dunkirk in France between 26 May and 4 June 1940 as part of Operation Dynamo, helping to rescue more than 338,000 British and French soldiers who were trapped on the beaches at Dunkirk during the Second World War.Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history docu...more

  • The Fall of France

    May 28 2020

    80 years ago this week, one of the most extraordinary evacuations in military history was under way: 'The Miracle of Dunkirk'. But how, and why, did the Allies find themselves in such a dire position? On this podcast, I was joined by one of the great historians of the Second World War, Peter Caddick-Adams, who took me through The Fall of France and the Low Countries - one of the most catastrophic defeats in military history. In just a couple of weeks, the German army achieved what it had failed ...more

  • Muslim Soldiers of Dunkirk

    May 27 2020

    May 28, 1940: Major Akbar Khan of the Royal Indian Army Service Corps marches at the head of 299 soldiers along the beach at Dunkirk - the only Indians in the BEF in France and the only ones at Dunkirk. These men of the Indian Army, carrying their disabled imam, find their way to the East Mole and embark for England in the dead of night. On reaching Dover, they borrowed brass trays and started playing Punjabi folk music, upon which even "many British spectators joined in the dance." Where had th...more

  • Coronavirus: Intelligence Failure

    May 26 2020

    The greatest threats we face are climate breakdown and pandemic disease. This was the assessment of security advisers before the Covid outbreak and the last few months have seen the stunning reality of this as the world lurches into a giant economic and political crisis. I am joined by Calder Walton, Director of Research of Harvard Kennedy School's Intelligence Project, to talk about whether there was a huge intelligence failure around the outbreak of the pandemic, but also whether our intellige...more

  • The Miracle of Dunkirk

    May 25 2020

    80 years ago, ships were gathering in Kent to begin the rescue of the British Expeditionary Force. Britain faced the prospect of the worst defeat in British military history and the loss of her entire military forces in Western Europe. Churchill called it "a colossal military disaster", admitting "the whole root and core and brain of the British Army" seemed to perish. The subsequent evacuation is one of the most famous stories to emerge from the Second World War. Joshua Levine worked as the His...more

  • Getting Inside the Mind of Hitler

    May 24 2020

    No man knew Adolf Hitler as intimately as his trusted physician, Theodoor Morell. As part of Hitler's inner social circle, he assisted the leader in virtually everything for the entire war years. His unconventional treatments were famed in Germany, and Hitler so trusted the 'miracle' prescriptions that trains were stopped to allow the doctor to deliver injections with a steady hand. I was joined by Professor Frank McDonough, an internationally acclaimed expert on the Third Reich, who revealed th...more

  • Akbar the Great

    May 23 2020

    One of the greatest rulers of the 16th century was Akbar the Great, a man whose power and influence extended over much of the Indian subcontinent after he unified the vast Mughal state. But recently, Akbar's reputation has plummeted as modern India has examined the controversial aspects of his rule. Manimugdha S. Sharma is a Delhi-based journalist who joined me on the podcast to pick apart Akbar and the Mughal Empire. We discussed who Akbar was, how he rose to power and how there are still some ...more

  • The Shadow King: Henry VI

    May 21 2020

    Henry VI came to the throne in exceptionally difficult circumstances. The untimely death of his warlike father, Henry V, placed the crown upon his head aged just 9 months. While England was in the ascendant in the Hundred Years' War in 1422, by the time he came of age his father's French conquests were disintegrating and the English nobility were locked in a dangerous struggle for power. In 1453, Henry suffered a complete mental collapse from which he never fully recovered, and then was used as ...more

  • Celebrity

    May 20 2020

    Greg Jenner has given my children so many hours of happiness as the historical brains behind the Horrible History tv shows and movie, not to mention the Homeschool History podcast that it would have been grotesquely unfair not to have him on the show and talk about his new book on the history of celebrity. Greg has tried to define exactly what we mean by this title and suggests that it all began in the early 18th Century with the rise of a literate mass audience and the magazines and papers that...more

  • History and Human Nature

    May 19 2020

    It's a belief which has dictated the writings of Machiavelli and Hobbes, Freud and Dawkins - that humans are fundamentally selfish and governed by self-interest. But Rutger Bregman has made a convincing case that this simply isn't true. Starting off with a real version of The Lord of the Flies - where humans stranded on a desert island were driven by kindness and common responsibility - we took a deeper look at human beings through the lens of the past. Subscribe to History Hit and you'll g...more

  • The Brontës and War

    May 19 2020

    In this podcast I was joined by Emma Butcher, a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in English Literature at the University of Leicester. Emma took me on a fascinating journey through the Brontë siblings' reactions and interactions with the tumult of the early 19th century. We discussed the trauma experienced by soldiers returning from Napoleonic wars, contemporary ideas surrounding British Imperial ambitions, the rise of the military memoir as a literary genre, the landscape of Yorkshire as a source...more

  • The Habsburgs

    May 17 2020

    It was an honour to be joined by Martyn Rady to discuss one of history's most thrilling families, the Habsburgs. Ruling for almost a millennium, their imperial vision was perhaps best realised in Emperor Frederick III's AEIOU motto: Austriae est imperare orbi universe, "Austria is destined to rule the world." Indeed, Frederick's descendants would extend their power into the Holy Roman Empire, Italy, Spain, the New World, and the Pacific, a dominion that Charles V called "the empire on which the ...more

  • Winston Churchill

    May 14 2020

    80 years ago this week, Winston Churchill became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom following the resignation of Neville Chamberlain and his calamitous handling of the Norway campaign. On the same day, Adolf Hitler launched a monumental assault on Western Europe. It was the toughest first week in office a Prime Minister has ever faced. We're marking this historic event with a podcast from our archive - the entirety of which is available exclusively to History Hit subscribers. In this podcast, ...more

  • Pandemics: Science and History

    May 12 2020

    I was thrilled to be joined by the legendary Peter Frankopan, Professor of Global History at Oxford University and bestselling author of 'The Silk Roads: A New History of the World'. In this podcast we discussed the current crisis in a wider historical context, and Peter gave some fascinating insights. This podcast was the first of our live Zoom discussions between Dan, Peter and History Hit subscribers, who were invited to join the discussion at the end. Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get ...more

  • Migration in Medieval Europe

    May 11 2020

    I was delighted to be joined by Miri Rubin of Queen Mary University, London. In a terrific new book, Miri has scooped up a seemingly modern topic - migration - and settled it into the bustling town centres of medieval Europe. We discussed how these cities accommodated a plethora of languages, religions and occupations, and how some urban institutions took great care with the settlement of newcomers, working them into societal fabric to encourage economic growth. And of course, we chatted about h...more

  • Europe's Tragedy: The Thirty Years War

    May 10 2020

    The Thirty Years War devastated seventeenth-century Europe. It killed nearly a quarter of all Germans and transformed the map of the modern world. Professor Peter Wilson of Oxford University took me on a whistle stop tour through these tumultuous years - from defenestrations in Prague, Westphalian sovereignty and how the soldiers of WWI remembered these events three centuries later. Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single ...more

  • Coffee

    May 09 2020

    Coffee. Most of us are addicted. We need it on Monday mornings, post nights out, during nights out, in fact every morning. And afternoons. Augustine Sedgewick teaches history at the City University of New York. He has a new book out on how coffee reshaped the world as it became one of the most valuable commodities in history and our 'most popular drug.' He talked to me about the journey of coffee from its obscure beginnings in the Arabian peninsula and explained just how it has transfo...more

  • VE Day: 75 Years

    May 08 2020

    For most of us, VE Day conjures up black and white images of carefree servicemen and women dancing and beaming in Trafalgar Square, of Churchill greeted by jubilant crowds in Whitehall, and of course, lots and lots of bunting. But was it really like this? In this podcast, you'll hear the speech given by Churchill from the Ministry of Health, cheered on by the boisterous crowd, an account by veteran Edward Toms about the drinking habits of the Soviets, and thoughts from two brilliant historians, ...more

  • How should we remember WW2?

    May 07 2020

    The question of wars and how we remember them has always fascinated me. With WW1 we seem to remember the enormous, tragic loss of life - captured so beautifully by the likes of Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon. But WW2 seems to be more about stoicism, Spitfires and speeches. Lucy Noakes came on the podcast to discuss how our collective memory of WW2 and Churchill has changed through films, political campaigns, historians and present day agendas. We also chatted about what exactly we could lear...more

  • Pandemics through History

    May 05 2020

    I have hooked up with the Timeline Channel on youtube to do History Hit Live three times a week. Sometimes I'll share the audio as a podcast on this feed. My chat with Clifford Williamson, lecturer at Bath Spa University and specialising in the History of Public Health, was fascinating. We talked about the widespread pandemics of the last 150 years and what we can learn from them when we look at the current COVID-19 outbreak. He also had some suggestions about what may change as a result of the ...more

  • Mudlarking

    May 04 2020

    Lara Maiklem has scoured banks of the Thames for over 15 years in pursuit of the objects that the fast moving river water unearths. The Thames is one of the longest and most varied archaeological site in the world. Previous generations have been dumping rubbish and losing valuables for thousands of years. Lara took me Mudlarking on a beautiful, bright, winter day and we found objects dating back as far as the Romans. The undoubted highlight for me was finding a coin from the 1750s. That helped t...more

  • One Family: 200 Years of Continuous Military Service

    May 03 2020

    Paul John Darran joined the army 1980. He was ninth generation of his family to do so. The story begins with his ancestor John Carberry joined the Tyrone militia in Ireland in 1795. He later transferred to the regular army and fought in the Peninsula with Wellington. he was killed during the notorious siege of Badajoz in 1812. Since then the family has served in every major British imperial conflict. One of them has been in uniform in nearly every single decade for 200 years. They have served fr...more

  • Moscow's Communist Dorm

    Apr 29 2020

    In 1931, an enormous apartment building was completed in Moscow. Challenging the Kremlin for architectural supremacy on the Moskva River, it was the largest residential building in Europe, combining 505 furnished apartments with every modern luxury - a cinema, library, tennis court and shooting range. But the residents of this monstrous tower block were no ordinary Russians. They were the top Communist officials - many of whom were taken from this building and destroyed in Stalin’s pur...more

  • Globalisation in 1000 AD

    Apr 27 2020

    Globalisation. It's a word we often associate with the politics, society and economics of our own lifetimes. But Valerie Hansen, an esteemed professor of History at Yale, has argued that globalisation is embedded deep in the past. Whilst traditionally, historians have cited Columbus' 1492 voyage to America as a kick off point, Valerie pulls us way back to the year 1000. In this podcast, she reveals how international trade routes already linked the globe, with evidence such as the frozen textiles...more

  • Florence Nightingale

    Apr 26 2020

    For soldiers of the Crimean War, perhaps the greatest adversary they faced was the Selimiye Barracks in Scutari, a makeshift hospital for wounded men. A lack of hygiene, medicine and compassion made this a living nightmare - if you didn't perish from your wounds, you would probably succumb to one of the mass infections which plagued the barracks. But one nurse changed all that, Florence Nightingale, who is commonly considered the founder of modern nursing. Professor Lynn McDonald took me through...more

  • Australia, Anzac and History

    Apr 25 2020

    I was thrilled to have Mat McLachlan on the pod, one of Australia's foremost history presenters and writers. Using his encyclopaedic knowledge of Australian battlefields, Mat and I chatted about Australia's complex relationship with its past, and how this history is perceived and commemorated today. For ad free versions of our entire podcast archive and hundreds of hours of history documentaries, interviews and films, including our new in depth documentary about some of the greatest speeche...more

  • The Death of Hitler

    Apr 24 2020

    Did Hitler shoot himself in the Führerbunker, or did he slip past the Soviets and escape to South America? There have been innumerable documentaries, newspaper articles and twitter threads written by conspiracy theorists to back up the case for escape. Luke Daly Groves has made it his mission to take on the conspiracy theorists, and smash their arguments using historical method. With the help of recently declassified MI5 files, previously unpublished sketches of Hitler's bunker and eyewitness ac...more

  • The Black Death

    Apr 22 2020

    In this podcast, Dan Snow is joined by Professor Mark Bailey, High Master of St Paul's School, London and Professor of Later Medieval History at the University of East Anglia to delve into the topic of The Black Death. They discuss how it emerged and spread throughout the world, what impact it had on society and how it would return every few decades over the 400 years that followed.For ad free versions of our entire podcast archive and hundreds of hours of history documentaries, interviews and f...more

  • A Curious History of Sex

    Apr 21 2020

    Sex. There's a lot of it about. We talk about war, chaos and atrocities on this podcast a lot although, thankfully, few of us have first hand experience of them. Yet we rarely talk sex. Which is odd. Sex is what got us here in the first place and nearly all of us will experience it in some form through our lives. I talked to Dr Kate Lister about the ways in which society dictates how sex is culturally understood and performed have varied significantly through the ages. Dr Lister runs the brillia...more

  • Criminal Subculture in the Gulag

    Apr 19 2020

    I was thrilled to be joined by Mark Vincent, an expert in criminal subculture and prisoner society in Stalinist Labour camps. Mark has looked at thousands of journals, song collections, tattoo drawings and slang dictionaries to reveal a hidden side of Gulag daily life. In this podcast, he also explained how these criminal habits laid the foundations for the Russian mafia.For ad free versions of our entire podcast archive and hundreds of hours of history documentaries, interviews and films, inclu...more

  • Working Motherhood

    Apr 16 2020

    Dr Helen McCarthy, lecturer in modern British history at the University of Cambridge, joins Dan to discuss the complicated past of working motherhood. They consider how women have been excluded from the world of work as well as attempts to break into it, and how these developments have informed our views on gender, work and equality in Britain today.For ad free versions of our entire podcast archive and hundreds of hours of history documentaries, interviews and films, including our new in depth ...more

  • The Aftermath of WW1

    Apr 15 2020

    In this podcast I was joined by Margaret MacMillan, professor at St Antony's College, Oxford University and author of 'Peacemakers: The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and Its Attempt to End War'. We discussed the effects WWI had on the world, and how Europe began to rebuild in the years that followed.For ad free versions of our entire podcast archive and hundreds of hours of history documentaries, interviews and films, including our new in depth documentary about some of the greatest speeches ev...more

  • British Ship Building

    Apr 14 2020

    In this episode, Dan chats to British naval historian and maritime artist, Richard Endsor, about seventeenth century ship building. It was the developments of this period that would enable Britain to extend it's maritime reach across the oceans, eventually encompassing territory on every continent.For ad free versions of our entire podcast archive and hundreds of hours of history documentaries, interviews and films, including our new in depth documentary about some of the greatest speeches ever ...more

  • Apollo 13

    Apr 13 2020

    I was joined by Kevin Fong, who took me through one of the most extraordinary stories in the history of exploration. Apollo 13 was the seventh crewed mission on the Apollo space programme, and their third attempt to land on the moon. But after an oxygen tank in the command module ignited early on in the mission, the three astronauts got much more than they bargained for. As each of the systems in the space craft began to shut down one after another over a course of four excruciating days, it see...more

  • The House of Byron

    Apr 12 2020

    Emily Brand has written a brilliant book about the Byrons. Not just the great romantic, poet and adventurer, George Gordon Byron, but his parents and grandparents who are equally as deserving of our attention. I loved this opportunity to delve into 18th Century British life. There are admirals, villains, heroines and lovers all over the place. One family give us an entree into a world different to ours yet tantalisingly similar. For ad free versions of our entire podcast archive and hundred...more

  • The Prime Minister Hospitalised: Lloyd George's Influenza

    Apr 10 2020

    In September 1918 David Lloyd George, the charismatic wartime Prime Minister, visited the city of Manchester, attended a vast public gathering and then collapsed. He spent the next week and a half confined to the Manchester Town Hall in a hastily assembled private hospital ward. He needed assistance breathing. His valet said it was touch and go as to whether he would survive. He did pull through but a vast number of his fellow Brits did not. The country was in the grip of an influenza pandemic, ...more

  • How Pandemics Made the Modern World

    Apr 09 2020

    Professor Frank Snowden is currently on lockdown in Rome, experiencing at first hand life in a pandemic. For years he has written about the great waves of disease that swept across the world in the past. Now he is experiencing one. I talked to him about what pandemics have done to us. How they have changed our societies, nudged us towards the present and whether this outbreak might refocus us to give previous pandemics the attention they deserve. For ad free versions of our entire podcast a...more

  • Loot? Spoils? Artefacts? What to Do with Our Museums

    Apr 08 2020

    Our museums are full of stuff taken, bought, stolen and gifted from foreign countries. It feels like we face a reckoning. What shall we do with it?I talked to two authors of new books that wrestle with this. Christopher Joll is a former soldier who deals specifically with the spoils of war, while Alice Proctor thinks more generally about all objects and where they are best placed and how best to interpret them. For ad free versions of our entire podcast archive and hundreds of hours of hist...more

  • Death by Shakespeare

    Apr 06 2020

    Poison, swordplay and bloodshed. Shakespeare’s characters met their ends in a plethora of gruesome ways. But how realistic were they? And did they even shock audiences who lived in a time of plague, pestilence and public executions, a time when seeing a dead or dying body on the way home from the theatre were high. I was joined by the wonderful Dr Kathryn Harkup, a chemist and author, on a tumultuous journey through the most dramatic and memorable parts of Shakespeare’s work. For ad free ve...more

  • The Battle of Okinawa

    Apr 03 2020

    The last great battle of the Second World War was fought on the island of Okinawa. After 83 blood-soaked days, almost a quarter of a million people lost their lives. The death toll included thousands of civilians lost to mass suicide - convinced to do so by Japanese propaganda. I invited Saul David on the podcast to tell me about this shocking - often overlooked - chapter of the Second World War. A chapter which was central to Truman’s decision to use the atomic bombs in August 1945. For ad...more

  • Origins of the Spanish Flu

    Apr 02 2020

    This episode features military historian Douglas Gill who has extensively researched the origins of the Spanish Influenza as it emerged in 1915 and 1916 in northern France. Douglas has worked alongside leading virologist, and previous guest on Dan's podcast, John Oxford, to track the initial cases of this particularly violent strain of influenza which would go on to kill millions of people across the globe. For ad free versions of our entire podcast archive and hundreds of hours of history ...more

  • Valkyrie: The Warrior Women of the Viking World

    Apr 01 2020

    I was thrilled to have Jóhanna Katrín Friðriksdóttir on the pod. We talked about Viking women, old Norse-Icelandic sagas, mythology and poetry. Who were these Viking women who were champions on the battlefield, did they really exist, and is there much historic evidence? Jóhanna answered all these questions drawing upon the latest archaeological evidence. It seems the lives of Viking women were far more dynamic than we might imagine. Enjoy!For ad free versions of our entire podcast archive and hu...more

  • Battle of Britain 'What Ifs'

    Mar 30 2020

    Dr. Jamie Wood and Professor Niall Mackay at the University of York are mathematicians who love history. Sensible dudes. They released a paper which sent the rest of the history world into a meltdown when they tried to use the statistics of airframe losses from the Battle of Britain to test just how close Germany might have come to victory in the battle. Essentially (I think but then again I am totally innumerate) they tested what would happen if the loss ration on certain days had been replicat...more

  • A Strange Bit of History

    Mar 29 2020

    We were delighted to have comedy royalty on the podcast. Omid Djalili talked to me about one of his earliest stage creations, first performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1993. Over the next four years it was performed 109 times in 10 different countries. The backdrop of this epic storytelling piece was the tumultuous expectation for a Promised One in Persia in 1844. The claims made by a young merchant of Shiraz - who became known as the Bab - caused a revolution, and laid the foundations...more

  • How AI is Safeguarding Maritime Heritage

    Mar 26 2020

    There are more historic artefacts on our ocean floor than there are in every museum in the world put together. Over thousands of years ships carrying every conceivable cargo have sunk in the rivers and oceans of the world. Protecting them is an enormous challenge. Thankfully there are heroes out there who are taking on that challenge. In this episode I was lucky enough to talk to maritime archaeologist Jessica Berry, CEO of MAST (Maritime Archaeological Sea Trust) and her colleague Nick Wis...more

  • The Real Thomas Cromwell

    Mar 25 2020

    Everyone is Thomas Cromwell obsessed at the moment. The man who rose to be the most powerful member of Henry VIII's court, his Lord Privy Seal, Principal Secretary and Chancellor. He was a driving force behind the English Reformation and constitutional changes that emphasised the centrality of Parliament, but his current mighty reputation depends on the fictional trilogy of the genius novelist Hilary Mantel. On this podcast I talk to another genius, Tracy Borman, historian and curator of Histori...more

  • Britain's Fightback

    Mar 23 2020

    Daniel Todman is a Professor of Modern History at Queen Mary. He has just published his epic study of how during the Second World War Britain fought back from near disaster to triumph. It opens with the fall fall of Singapore Feb 1942 and ends with Britain’s post war experiment in social democracy well underway. Speaking to him amidst the Covid crisis was particularly fascinating. I was able to ask just why states are able to do and pay for in moments of extreme drama. Dan always encourages...more

  • How the Earth Shaped Human History

    Mar 22 2020

    Great leaders? Industrial change? Revolutions? If you thought these were the things that shaped history, think again. Back by popular demand, I was thrilled to be joined by bestselling author Lewis Dartnell. He explained how modern political and economic patterns correlate with events which happened not decades or centuries ago, but hundreds of millions of years before human civilisations existed. Pretty mind-blowing stuff. Perhaps more relevant than ever in these uncertain and weird t...more

  • Mystery of the Alexander the Great Coin Hoard

    Mar 19 2020

    Off the coast of the Gaza Strip fishermen have been discovering coins of extreme rarity and importance. They date from the brief reign of Alexander the Great in the Third Century BC.Strangely, months later, a collection of very very similar coins were sold in a London auction house. What's the story here? Were they illegally trafficked? And what does that tell us about the antiquities found in some of the world's most troubled regions?I talked to Sarah Saey a lead producer for the BBC who broke ...more

  • Small Men on the Wrong Side of History

    Mar 17 2020

    Dan chats with journalist and author Ed West about Ed's conservative views, which make him an anomaly among his peers. They explore why conservatives have lost almost every political argument since 1945, and why Ed worships on the altar of Edmund Burke.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • How to Fight anti-Semitism

    Mar 16 2020

    In this episode, Dan meets New York Times journalist and writer Bari Weiss, who grew up near and attended the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsberg, Pensylvania. In 2018 this synagogue was the site of the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in American history. Dan and Bari delve into the long history of anti-Semitism, from 2nd century BCE to our modern era.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Jan Stangreciuk: Veteran. Hero. Guinea Pig.

    Mar 15 2020

    Of all the clubs in the world, perhaps the most extraordinary is the Guinea Pig Club, a group of Second World War veterans that suffered terrible injuries and were then treated by pioneering surgeon Archibald McIndoe. Today there are only a handful left. Dan visits Jan Stangreciuk, one of the few surviving members, to hear his remarkable life story.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Division. Corruption. Incompetence: A History of Spain

    Mar 13 2020

    Professor Paul Preston doesn’t pull his punches. His magisterial new history of modern Spain is called 'A People Betrayed'. He is the greatest living authority on Spain and he is not a fan of how that country had been governed. In this podcast he tells me a sorry story of corruption, war and brutality. And that's before the 20th Century even kicks off. This podcast, unusually, made me feel profoundly sad. For ad free versions of our entire podcast archive and hundreds of hours of history do...more

  • The Human Tide

    Mar 10 2020

    I was thrilled to chat to Paul Morland, a historian who uses population to explain almost all the major global shifts and events of the last two centuries. Using the power of sheer numbers, Paul has the answer to all the big questions - why China is going to get old long before it gets rich, why Russia is heading for disaster and the future is African, and why fertility rates are plunging where we would least expect it.For ad free versions of our entire podcast archive and hundreds of hours of h...more

  • Coronavirus - Lessons from History

    Mar 09 2020

    Professor John Oxford is a virologist. He is one of the world's leading experts on influenza.He is a leader in the study of the great Influenza outbreak of 100 years ago that killed upwards of 50 million people around the world.I talked to him today to ask him, what are the key lessons that we can learn from past outbreaks.The best way to support the History Hit team who produce this podcast is to subscribe to History Hit TV. The whole podcast archive is exclusively on there, along with hundreds...more

  • Britain in the 1980s

    Mar 08 2020

    Dominic Sandbrook is one of Britain’s most prolific historians, working his way through a series on Britain since the Second World War. His most recent book examines the pivotal early years of Margaret Thatcher’s premiership. In this podcast, Dominic and I discuss the social change of the tumultuous 1980s, a decade of the personal computer, snooker, Spandau Ballet, the Falklands War, and of course, The Iron Lady. For ad free versions of our entire podcast archive and hundreds of hours of hi...more

  • Coronavirus is NOT the plague

    Mar 05 2020

    It came from Asia via the Middle East and Italy. But, says 17th Century historian, Rebecca Rideal, the parallels with the Black Death, The Plague, are not helpful.It was great to catch up with Rebecca again on the podcast. She tells me what effect plague had on British people and society when it struck throughout the 17th Century. Her ultimate conclusion seems to be: be very very grateful that youre not living three hundred years ago.Catch Rebecca and other wonderful historians on my new history