Combat and Classics Podcast
By Brian Wilson
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Combat and Classics is a series of podcasts and free online seminars for active duty, reserve, and veteran U.S. military members, sponsored by St. John’s College. The podcasts and seminars encourage deep thought and reflection by leaders in the company of their peers. In the discussion-based seminars devoted to what a leader must be and know, participants study historical and fictional leaders from the great books of the western canon. We examine techniques and examples of persuasion and fundamental questions on the nature of man. When participants take the time to reflect, with their peers, on the principles of leadership, they find that they return to their lives and professional positions energized and focused, with a deeper understanding of the context of their decisions, decision-making processes, and leadership roles.
||CleanEp. 20: Interview With Doug Lensing||Douglas Lensing joins the show to talk about his path from the Navy to St. John's College and his paper "Passion and Mind: Homer's Formula for Victory in the Iliad." Doug joined the Navy on a Naval Special Warfare contract, but after failing to...||7/1/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEp.19: Hemingway's "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place||Is human life "nada" - nothing? In their discussion of Hemingway's (very) short story, Brian, Lise, and Jeff examine the contrast between youth and old age and the states of being hurried versus unhurried. How are those distinctions related to the...||5/28/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEp. 18: Racine's Phedre||Can you simultaneously hate and love the same thing? What is the relationship between virtue and love? Lise, Jeff, and Brian tackle those questions and more in this episode on Jean Racine's play Phedre. Also, as promised, you can find Jeff's...||4/2/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEp. 17: Freud's On Transience||Jeff, Lise, and Brian discuss Freud’s On Transience, in which Freud ruminates on the transitory nature life and beautiful things in life. The piece prompts a conversation about a variety of topics Freud raises, from death to libido to war.||3/20/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEp. 16: Interview with Anne Kniggendorf||Brian interviews St. John's College alum and U.S. Navy veteran Anne Kniggendorf. They have an engaging discussion about the relationship between liberal arts and the military. Check out Anne's website (https://annekniggendorf.com/) and Anne's ...||3/14/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEp. 15: Shelley's Frankenstein||Ep. 16: Shelley's Frankenstein||1/29/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEp. 14: Chekhov's "Rothschild's Violin"||How should human life be valued? Is death something to suffer, or something that provides relief? Jeff, Lise and Brian discuss these questions and more in examining Anton Chekhov's short story "Rothschild's Violin" or "Rothschild's Fiddle."||12/17/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEp. 13: Plato's Phaedo||Should we fear death? Jeff, Lise, and Brian discuss Plato's Phaedo, in which Socrates is joined by his friends to discuss that and other questions while awaiting the time for Socrates' execution later the same day.||10/28/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEp. 12: Sophocles' Philoktetes||What role do lying and deception play in achieving strategic objectives? Jeff, Lise and Brian discuss that and other questions as raised by Sophocles in Philoktetes, in which a soldier (Philoktetes) is recovered from an island where he was left after...||9/27/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEp. 11: Rousseau's "First Discourse on the Arts and Sciences"||Jeff, Lise, and Brian are joined by the distinguished Dylan Casey and Wes Alwan for this crossover episode with the Partially Examined Life. They discuss the First Discourse on the Arts and Sciences, in which Rousseau argues that the arts and...||8/7/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEp. 10: Anton Chekhov's "The Student"||In this episode, Lise, Jeff and Brian discuss “The Student,” a (very) short story by Anton Chekhov. The central character is Ivan, a student, or disciple, whose depression is transformed into elation during the course of his conversation with a...||7/5/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEp. 9: Joseph Conrad's "Typhoon"||Lise, Jeff and Brian discuss another work by Joseph Conrad, a rip-roaring, seafaring tale! In his novella Typhoon, Conrad tells the story of Captain McWhirr, his crew, and his ship’s brawling passengers as they sail through a typhoon. The...||7/5/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEp. 8: Joseph Conrad's "The Secret Sharer"||In this episode, Lise, Jeff and Brian discuss Joseph Conrad’s short story “The Secret Sharer,” which features a psychological drama between an young, unnamed captain who is uncertain of his ability to lead his ship and a mysterious man named...||7/5/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEp. 7: Shakespeare's Coriolanus||How do military leaders relate to the civilians they protect? In this episode, Lise, Jeff and Brian discuss that and other questions raised by this Shakespearean tragedy. The story of Coriolanus, a Roman general, starts with a heroic victory for Rome,..||7/5/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEp. 6: Plato's Symposium||Join Lise, Jeff and Brian for another Platonic dialogue! Socrates and Alcibiades reappear at a party attended by several characters who decide to take turns praising Eros, who is often referred to in English as the “god of love.” As the dialogue...||7/5/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEp. 5: Aristophanes' "Birds"||What can we learn from a farce about banishment? Where do politics, nature and religion collide with the absurd? Check out our discussion on Aristophanes' "Birds."||6/19/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEp. 4: Plato's Alcibiades I||Let's do some more Plato! Alcibiades is one of the most famous figures in military history. An incredibly successful Athenian general who fled to Athens' enemy Sparta after being charged with with sacrilege. He and Socrates had a very "complicated"...||6/19/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEp. 3: Interview with Professor Martin L. Cook||Join us for a discussion with Martin L. Cook, Distinguished Visiting Professor at United States Air Force Academy. Prior to that, Professor Cook was Admiral James B. Stockdale Professor of Professional Military Ethics at the College of Operational and..||6/19/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEp. 2: Plato's Republic||Join Lise, Jeff and Brian for a conversation on Book I of the Republic. BUT FIRST! How to approach the "Great Books": How do you start from scratch with no background or without a group? We hope you like it!||6/19/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEp. 1: Sophocles' Ajax||Join Lise, Jeff and Brian as they discuss Sophocles' Ajax, the story of a great Greek warrior who takes his own life on the beach of Troy. Also, check out Stringfellow Barr's "Notes on Dialogue" as a follow-up to the discussion at the beginning...||6/12/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEp. 0: Introduction||Combat and Classics Ep. 0: Introduction||6/3/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
Well I'm biased
But I think it's pretty good :)
Great pod. No reading required.
This is a great podcast. An enjoyable listen even if you have not read these books. I have never read any of these books and the hosts do a great job of discussing in an inclusive way that will inspire thought with whatever foundation you have.
The Real Deal
Mr. Wilson, Ms. van Boxel and Mr. Black have successfully distilled the spirit of a real St. John’s classroom experience. Whether it is a podcast, book club or university, the educational challenge is to marry sincerity and intelligence. This podcast offers that rare combination. Great job and thank you.