My History Can Beat Up Your Politics
By Bruce Carlson
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Since 2006, bringing historical context to the politics of today. TV pundits discuss politics in a vacuum. Cable news tells you everything is 'breaking news' but in most cases, events have long roots in history. In this podcast, we smash and bash the politics of today with a healthy dose of history
||CleanThe Not-So Insignificant History of Vice Presidential Debates||Each time the debate among the vice presidential candidates has happened it has been written off. Sometimes with […]||9/26/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanAnnouncing the MHCBUYP Premium Podcast||It’s here… if you like My History Can Beat Up Your Politics, you’ll like more. For as […]||9/26/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanReformation – A Dozen Ronald Reagans, Part Seven||Reagan is not often seen as a reformer but in many cases, there were massive shifts on domestic […]||9/16/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanAll That Stuff That Happens Before the Debates||From podium placement to timing of the debates, everything is negotiated and candidates prepare, often to their benefit. […]||9/7/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Moped and the Maseratis: Third Parties in American Politics||In this cast, we look at the 1980 run of John Anderson and other third party efforts of note and […]||8/31/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean“Five Biggest Fibs in American Politics” – Book Now Available||From the newness of money in politics, to the myth of the Presidential Job Creation machine, to the […]||8/28/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Crazy and Influential Idea of No Electoral Majority||It has not happened since 1825, a Presidential thrown to the House. Yet this provision has been influencing […]||8/23/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanPhiladelphia||On the 10 year anniversary of My History Can Beat Up Your Politics podcast, Bruce finds himself in […]||8/11/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanHands Across America: A Dozen Ronald Reagans – Part Six||Homelessness, education, healthcare and other domestic issues under constant evaluation during the time of the Reagan Presidency. We look […]||7/31/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanChicago 1968||Few conventions could be as ineffective for the party as was the Democratic National Convention in 1968. From […]||7/27/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanStrange Moments at Past Conventions (from 2012) and Other Stories||The rise and fall of William Jennings Bryan at two different conventions. As a young man with no […]||7/21/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanTop 10 Worst VP Picks in American History||and the Top 10 best picks on this episode. One aspiring Veep brought in less electors than the top of […]||7/2/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Signers of the Declaration||A note that on this July 4th weekend, if you’d like to learn a bit more about the […]||7/2/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWhy the GOP Convention Goes First, Democrats Next, Brexit and More||Connection between British Whig towns supporting colonists in the 1770s and Brexit Remain votes. Very early Brexit thoughts. […]||6/26/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanHe Lost the Campaign and Won the Election: 1976||A quick story of the 1976 election. Two unknown candidates who fumble quite a bit. One candidate destroys […]||6/21/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanClowns and Much Tumbling – The 1840 Election||After the 1840 produced the most brazenly pop election in the United States, a commentator warned of elections […]||6/16/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanBruce Carlson Interviewed on DWATG Podcast, Part II. Clinton VP Choices, Unfavorability and More||Some unconventional VP suggestions for both Clinton and Trump are examined on the second installment of Bruce Carlson’s […]||6/5/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanBruce Carlson Interviewed on DWATG Cast – Trump VP, Conventions, If Biden Had Run, and More||Trump and William Jennings Bryan, VP choices, Sorrow over a Plain Old Normal Convention. With so much going […]||5/31/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanLearning to Love the Establishment||Naturally this year, the 1972 and 1964 elections are a focus. After all in each of those years […]||5/24/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
Interesting, balanced and well-spoken
A friend of mine who is -- let's say slightly right of center -- recommended this podcast to me, so I expected a fairly conservative bent to it. To my surprise, it appears to be that most rare of specimens: the intellectually sharp but politically neutral commentator. Add a pleasent speaking voice and some apparently well-prepared subject matter and you have an overall winner.
Stodgy Old-School History, In the Worst Way.
I used to subscribe to and love this podcast. Despite the sloppy presentation and poor editing, I felt Bruce was doing a great job. And then, in a recent podcast, he ended by saying that people should go out and read History books. As a PhD student in history, my heart rose. And then it plummeted when he went on to say that, essentially, if a history book wasn't written 30-50 year ago or more, it's not real history. Not only did I take this personally, as someone writing a history book myself, but it suddenly pointed to some real problems in the podcast-- Bruce's overstating the import of Political and Diplomatic History, his ignorance of a lot of the historical work of the last forty years-- Social History, Cultural History, Labor History, Black History, Women's History... This podcast, despite its self-styled liberalsim, is about rich white men making all the decisions and having all the power. And when he steps outside those bounds, he often gets stuff wrong. I used to forgive it, thinking that he has his own interests, like anyone else. Now that I know it's a willful ignorance, I'm personally unsubscribing.
This is a Great Podcast
From beginning to end. I learn something new with every episode. The grounding of modern day political situations in a historical context is great for anyone, whether a studen of history or a studen of politics. I've subscribed (and unsubscribed) from a number of historical podcasts, but I've never left (and will never leave) this one: Bruce Carlson knows his stuff. More importantly, he knows how to communicate what he knows. Anyone who is a fan of British documentarian James Burke's "The Day The Universe Change" style of linking one historical event to another across the decades and even the centuries, providing a context for those events you had never had before, will appreciate Bruce Carlson. He brings that sort of sensibility to American history, and can deftly explain how Thomas Jefferson's campaign against John Adams is playing out in campaigns even today, or how Harry Truman is connected to the war in Iraq. Carlson is brilliant. The episodes of the podcast would make for a great political history book, with each episode being a chapter. Yet, here it is, all for free: some of the best historical analysis of world politics I've ever encountered. If you haven't subscribed yet, do yourself a favor. There may be bigger names in political podcasts out there, but there is no better podcast out for giving you political history, in context, and showing the connections from one era to another.