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
||CleanNew Hampshire History and Iowa Results||A look at the history of New Hampshire as a picker of Presidential talent, along with discussion of the 2016 Iowa Caucus Results. The New Hampshire part was from my 2011 podcast, which I believe largely still applies, and some added discussion on Monda||2/3/2016||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanA Dozen Ronald Reagans: Part Two – A Taxing Second Year||1982 turns out to be a bit more troubling for the administration with a recession, a tax hike, a confrontation with the Soviets and continued inflation.||1/23/2016||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanA Dozen Ronald Reagans: Part One – ‘Rawhide is OK’||The Presidency we’ll discuss almost didn’t happen. But it did happen, and created the politics of today. First of a series on Ronald Reagan.||1/9/2016||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanHow Primary Became A Verb (2010)||Primaries go from the way to bring in more of the People’s voice to candidate selection to a way to enforce ideology in parties. How they’ve changed over the years. A recast from 2010; it still works I think.||12/27/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanKingfish: Special Fundraiser Cast||Bruce gives his best imitation of a PBS telethon and reveals a special offer for donors. Also Huey Long visits the show (well you know, not really) a discussion of vetoes and the naming of wars…and because not even MHCBUYP can avoid it, we talk a||12/15/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanSmall Money, Big Hope||Back and forth on the significance of small money in politics. Plus – Can Bush pick Rubio? How did James Earl Carter, or JEC as we like to call him…go from peanut farmer to President.||11/11/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanAge and The Presidency (2013)||A bit on age and the Presidency from a 2013 cast we did, that seems relevant today. Also a little bit about what might have happened in FDR declined to run in 1940.||10/24/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanLincoln Goes to China||a look at China policy from a President not often thought about in that context, a look at America’s imperialism and progressiveness, and immigration and the 14th.||10/4/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanOf Vice and Men||Everything about Vice Presidents running for President, why the office was almost eliminated after an election, a little about me, more about Nixon and Kissinger and a What If about the 1976 election.||9/19/2015||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.