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My History Can Beat Up Your Politics

By Bruce Carlson

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Description

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

Customer Reviews

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.

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