best history podcasts

Top 17 History Podcasts

For all history lovers out there.

Here are my top history podcasts.

1. Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History

dan carlin’s hardcore history

Carlin’s podcast is pretty different from the tedious lessons you might have received back in high school history class.

Just like the name suggests Carlin approaches historical narratives in a way that is incredibly foreign to most history teachers.

But it is just the type of podcast the majority of history lovers cannot wait to get ahold of.

Carlin approaches major topics through world history. He also likes to analyze the most dramatic events in history.

Carlin is bound to tell you things regarding these events that were left out of your high school history lesson.

New episodes come out every four to seven months. Hardcore history boasts millions of downloads per episode and has received multiple awards and nominations.

Slate Magazine even ranked Dan Carlin’s 2009 episode Ghosts of the Ostfront as the fifth best podcast of all time.

2. Stuff you missed in history class

stuff you missed in history class

Stuff you missed in History Class is a great podcast delivered by the HowStuffWorks team.

But do not let the fact that this podcast is an offshoot fool you.

Hosted by history enthusiasts Tracy and Holly, this podcast offers an unconventional standpoint of looking at things.

Using the lens of history, they see how it affects and influence today’s world issues. The stories they tell tend to be outrageous stories and anecdotes history lovers might not have noticed.

Thanks to Holly and Tracy and the HowStuffWorks team we are offered a second look at history in ways we did not even know existed.

3. New York Public Library Podcast

new york public library podcast

The New York Public Library Podcast makes it on the list because of its outstanding take on the cultural history of the United States along with the stories and the influences behind it.

Brought to you by the New York Public library the podcast engages listeners by calling in America’s most brilliant thinkers, writers, and artists.

With this podcast, you get to see cultural history in the making as it takes form in the present.

Commonly called the cultural capital of the world, this Library hosts 55,000 programs annually.

The discussions take the very much alive study of American cultural history and put into the common talk for you to hear.

4. History on Fire

history on fire

This podcast is connected to one that was mentioned earlier on this list. History on Fire was inspired by Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History.

History lovers tune into History on Fire because it has an unusual take on history uncommon in other podcasts; in fact, you do not even have to be a history lover to enjoy it!

It explores common and underlying values of great people in civilization over time. Things like bravery and passion are themes explored in History on Fire brought to you through historical figures such as Spartacus and Theodore Roosevelt.

What makes this podcast so enjoyable and different is that it pays due to some of the most intense moments ever experienced.

Created by the author and history professor Daniele Bolelli, History on Fire takes you through a journey of the underlying motivations and emotion of historical events.

5. Revisionist History

revisionist history

Created by Author of five New York Times bestsellers Malcolm Gladwell, Revisionist History goes back to interpret different things from the past in a brand new way.

The subject matter isn’t limited; sometimes it might be an idea, person or event. The selection of subject matter, however, is usually something we tend to overlook in history.

Fortunately for us, Gladwell is here to offer us a fresh perspective on how we look at the world.

Next to the five bestsellers- The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, What the Dog Saw and David and Goliath, Gladwell has also been noted as one of the 100 most influential people by Time magazine and one of Foreign Policy Top Global Thinkers.

In his podcast Gladwell explores the world through time, changing the way we look at the places around us.

After all, history is full of things that have been forgotten and ignored.

6. ArtCurious

artcurious

ArtCurious is a podcast that narrows down its subject matter too – yes, you guessed it, art!

This podcast explores the historical aspect of famous painters, works of art and styles.

Hosted by Jennifer Dassel, ArtCurious looks at the exciting and unexpected parts of art and its curious relationship with history.

Did Van Gogh commit Suicide? How did the rivalry between Michelangelo and Raphael change the course of art by creating one of the best works of the Renaissance?

Art History is all about stories that bring to light parts of art that you might not have noticed before.

This podcast works excellent for history lovers and art lovers alike.

7. Our Fake History

our fake history

One frequent issue with history is separating truth from lie, fact from fiction.

Thankfully Our Fake History host Sebastian Major does just that, addressing sides of history as they came along to reveal the truth behind them.

An important theme that reoccurs in Our Fake History has a lot to do with myth and its relation with history. Perhaps some parts we thought of as myth is, in fact, history and vice versa.

The line is blurry and Sebastian Major assists us in fixing our eyesight.

The podcast has a somewhat humorous approach along with storytelling making a fantastic choice for both history lovers and anyone who likes a good story.

Intertwining myth and history, exploring its edges Our Fake History draw in readers with episodes such as “Did Robert Johnson sell his soul to the devil.”

8. Lore

lore

Lore takes on a critical but often overlooked part of history.

It is all about the things that go bump in the night.

Lore turns its intentions to the elements of history that are buried deep within the folklore of countries throughout the globe.

Folklore is an exciting part of history, and how we as humans react to it is no less compelling. This is what Lore explores, combining storytelling with folklore and traditional history.

Aaron Mahnke is the creator of Lore and the podcast has gained an enormous amount of recognition and popularity.

Lore has been produced as a television show that you can find on Amazon Prime. From Vlad the Impaler and the history of Vampires, the Viking notion of vampires in culture, Lore is here to shed some light on parts of history a lot of us had no clue ever existed.

9. The Memory Palace

the memory palace

Nate DiMeo, the Artist in Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for 2016/2017, is the creator of the Memory palace.

He has many exciting things to say on history and how he sees it.

Nominated as a finalist for a Peabody Award in 2016, the Memory Palace fuses the old-fashioned art of storytelling with history.

It brings to life many aspects of history we might have missed. Every episode tackles something new and they do not fall into any particular order.

Nate Dimeo is also known for being the co-author of Pawnee: the Greatest Town in America and was a finalist for the 2012 Thurber Prize for American Humor.

10. You must remember this

you must remember this

Despite being about recent history, this podcast explores a specific part of American culture and history that has secret stories often forgotten.

Here to shed light on the secrets of Hollywood’s first century is Karina Longworth. She narrates, writes and edits all the episodes from home.

It often appears in the top 100 of all podcasts on iTunes.

To help bring recent history to life Longworth frequently brings some actors and comedians on her show.

They work together to uncover parts of Hollywood most people did not even know existed. Mark Olsen, Anne Helen, John Mulaney, Fred Savage and many others have all been guests on the show.

Conflicting reports and mythologizing goes on throughout the podcast.

Though accuracy and uncovering the truth are essential factors of the podcast more often than never, the truth comes out nowhere near as believable and straightforward as most might imagine.

11. Letters from War

letters_from_war

Letters from War is another podcast that tackles a particular part of history.

If you’re a history lover, you’re bound to love the compelling story and appreciate the creative but authentic method of how Letters from War sheds light on the Second World War.

The podcast is told through letters exchanged by the Eyde brothers. These three brothers wrote over hundreds of letters during the war.

This type of podcast offers much more of a personal take on history and how it combines the events of the war.

The podcast is relatively new, just showing up in late 2017.

The merging of human emotion and authentic communication all make the podcast even more worth watching.

12. History Extra

history extra

History Extra is one of the greatest and ambitious podcasts out there.

It tends to focus more on British history regarding topics anywhere from the crusades, to D-Day landings.

It comes from the BBC History Magazine team.

One of the best things about the podcast is that is continuously updated. Twice a week History Extra podcast brings you interviews with important historians.

Another important factor is its relationship with the present day facts and discoveries that also have an important role in the History Extra podcast.

History Extra seems to acknowledge the thread that connects history with the present day and how we can use it to build a better, more informed society.

13. Historical Blindness

historical blindness

This Podcast is another one that takes an alternative route when it comes to dealing with history.

Some stories we accept as true and for granted.

The host of this podcast, Nathaniel Lloyd is here to uncover the things we have been used to taking true.

Lloyd likes to explore some of the most fantastic parts of history, things that hover just outside the realm of reality. Things like UFO battles all the way to the Voynich Manuscript.

Historical blindness has a focus on digging up long forgotten questions of history and its untrustworthiness, continually raising the issue of have we learned anything from history?

14. 1,001 Heroes, Legends, Histories & Mysteries

1,001 heroes, legends, histories & mysteries

A well-researched podcast that mixes its historical tone with entertainment helping the listener engage.

This weekly podcast is well-researched and fast-paced to make history come alive.

It covers a wide variety of historical people, places, events, legends, and mysteries.

Host Jon Hagadorn covers a wide range of topics and other aspects such as political systems and literature.

This broadens our view on what history is and how to better understand it.

15. The History Chicks

the history chicks

The History Chicks focuses primarily about women and their positions through history.

The podcast dives deep into the motivation, success, and failure that define some of the most prominent women throughout history.

Through a well-planned out podcast, The History Chicks cover biographies and overviews of women throughout history and even offers the listener pointers for more research.

This pushes you to take a more active approach to the podcast and history itself.

16. Sidedoor

sidedoor

Specializing in historical artifacts, Sidedoor offers the most extensive collection in the world.

Brought to you by the Smithsonian, the host Tony Cohn discusses our shared past with some historians, artists, and scientist in 30-minute episodes.

This podcast is easy to binge and explores themes such as the world’s oldest winery.

Sidedoor opens up the listener to a part of history through artifacts often skipped by even most history lovers.

17. The Way I heard it

the way i heard it

Mike Rowe means business when it comes to this podcast and his brief but direct approach to storytelling.

His podcast covers the historical working class adventures of America.

Each episode only lasts ten minutes making it much shorter than most podcasts might be. As you might have guessed this makes it incredibly easy to listen to.

The Way I heard it fuses history in much more of a personal way with its conversational tone and approachability for anyone who loves history or maybe even just a good story.

Laura Baxendale
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Laura Baxendale

I am Laura, a mid-twenty-something woman with a mild obsession with listening to podcasts. When I don't have my headphones glued to my ears I enjoy running, fashion and spending time with my friends.

Oh! Almost forgot, I am also addicted to green tea and Harry Potter.
Laura Baxendale
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