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If there’s one thing I’ve learned since I started writing this blog, it’s that there are LOT more fans of history podcasts than I realized.
You know how sometimes you stumble upon something and you think, “Wow, I thought I was the only one so into [insert thing/topic]”? That’s how I feel about history podcasts.
I knew that there were hundreds (thousands?) out there to choose from, but I didn’t realize that the demand was as high as the supply.
I discovered this because my first post with history podcast recommendations (I put a link to it at the bottom of this post) was wildly popular. I posted it the night before going on vacation, and it took on a life of its own.
I was thrilled (and definitely surprised) by how many people shared the post and liked it on social media (Thank You, if you were one of those people!)
With this in mind, I spent the last 6 weeks discovering and listening to more history podcasts. Now, I’ve got a new batch of recommendations that I’m hoping will keep the ravenous history fans happy while I go on a mini vacay (deja vu).
As always, feel free to comment with YOUR recommendations for great history pods.
7 History Podcasts Worth A Listen
A History of the World in 100 Objects
The Concept: BBC Radio’s program (or, programme) in which each episode focuses on one of 100 objects, and the history behind that object.
Why It’s Good: First, the concept is super cool. The objects are really on a list that comes from the British History Museum. Second, the host describes each object in detail (you can see photos of them online, too), and the audio effects make the stories fun to listen to.
Try This Episode: Harem Wall Painting Fragments
The Renaissance English History Podcast
The Concept: A breakdown and explanation of the many people and events from English history during the 16th Century. Because the 1500s were confusing times! Which religion was allowed at any given time? Who was Henry VIII married to that year? Which Thomas is which? This podcast keeps you right-side-up.
Why It’s Good: The host has been podcasting about the Renaissance since 2009, so she’s done her fair share of historical research. She also breaks down the many people and details into individual episodes, which helps you keep things straight.
Try This Episode: Episode Forty Seven: Tudor Times talks to us about Catherine of Aragon
The Concept: A podcast about meals that have made history. Because “food is just history on a plate”. The podcast does more than just answer the question What did the Romans eat? It explains why they ate it, what made it important, and how it affected people then and now.
Why It’s Good: Although the host is even-toned throughout most of the episodes, she works in plenty of puns and tongue-in-cheek jokes. Music and background audio help set the stage for the story. Also: it’s about food!
Try This Episode: A Battle of the Chicken Pot Pie: A History of Department Store Dining
The Memory Palace
The Concept: Host Nate DiMeo tells stories about the past. He’s released a new episode every month since 2008. They’re short, ranging from 3-12 minutes.
Why It’s Good: The episodes might be short, but they pack a punch. DiMeo is a natural storyteller. There’s no chit-chat; he gets straight to the meat of it. And the people, places, and events that he covers aren’t predictable.
Try This Episode: Episode 44 (Distance) (It’s only 3 minutes long, but it’s SO good!)
The Concept: This is a podcast about the history of NASCAR. You’ll learn how NASCAR began in 1939, when it “took off”, and who helped to get it there. Stories and interviews are told by the host, by historians, and by real-life race car drivers.
Why It’s Good: NASCAR fans will no doubt love this podcast. But I’m not a NASCAR fan. I like the podcast because I’m able to step into a world that I’m not part of. The production quality of the show is great; sometimes I feel like I’m track-side listening to an interview.
Episode to Try: 1 | Humble Beginnings
10 American Presidents
The Concept: This show tells the stories of a select 10 US presidents and the events that surrounded their presidencies (you can go to their website to quickly identify which 10). Each episode is a mix of straight-up story telling, interviews, and historical recordings.
Why It’s Good: The audio mixing keeps the show fast-paced and interesting, so you don’t get exhausted by the details. It’s truly like watching a documentary on TV.
Try This Episode: Ep:1-Nixon
Myths and Legends
The Concept: The host tells stories from mythology and folklore. These are the types of stories steeped in a country or culture’s history, which tell you a little something about the people who believe them.
Why It’s Good: I consider this podcast part comedy/part history. You’ll find yourself laughing out loud at how the host re-tells these stories. Also, I’ve never heard of most of these legends, myths, or folktales, so I always learn something new from the show.
Try This Episode: 72-Kelpie: Party Horse
Don’t forget to check out my first history podcast post: 7 Cool History Podcasts (That Aren’t Stuff You Missed in History Class)
Leave a comment below to recommend your favorite history podcast!