“History is a set of lies agreed upon”
– Napoleon Bonaparte
Being that this is my first post here, and that I wanted to write about Podcasts more than anything else, Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History seemed the most obvious place to start. To put a summary line in my introduction, Hardcore History is the best free entertainment on the internet.
I hated History at school. It wasn’t that I found it boring, or uninteresting, I actually hated it. Learning about it just made me angry, and I’d usually do whatever I could to kicked out of class when the dense, uninspired history text books would come out. “Why are we learning about the past?” I would ask my teacher. “Wouldn’t it be more beneficial for us to be studying the future?” Because that’s how I viewed learning back then. If it wasn’t going to directly influence my job choices, why would I bother with it?
It took me until my early 30’s before I really understood the benefits to learning about our past, and the benefit that has really stood out for me, is that it’s really, really interesting and enjoyable. I stumbled upon Dan Carlin by hearing him interviewed on another podcast. He told a few interesting yarns about the Romans, and dropped a few stories from his his now legendary Wrath of the Khan series, and it got me thinking that I should give this podcast a listen.
He had me at Episode 1.
Wrath of the Khan is a five part series that follows the rise and conquests of the ferocious conqueror from the Eurasian Steppe, Ghengis Khan. His story is incredible and the bare basics about him are widely known, but what really got me about this series, is the depth of detail Carlin goes into about the Great Khan’s sons and grandsons.
These podcasts are more like audio books than anything else, and they have the run-time to back it up. In fact, episode 6 of Death of the Republic ran for a staggering 6 hours. And I listened to every single second of it. So you do need to invest some time in this if you really want to get the full experience, but trust me and just about anybody else you know who listens to podcasts… this is worth it.
Due to the long running time, and the extensive amount of research that goes into these productions – and that’s what they are, full scale audio productions – Dan only drops four or five podcasts a year. Instead of this leaving you feel like he’s absent, you welcome him back each time with the same exuberance that you would when your favorite band releases a new album.
I could talk about Dan Carlin all day, so I should probably leave it there, other than to say, check him out for yourself.