History Nerd Radio

The Best History Podcasts (2019)

History is a fascinating topic that can tell us a great deal about where we came from, how we got where we are, and what might happen next. Listen to the best radio shows and podcasts ranging from the fall of the Roman Empire to the story of McDonald's french fries. Just listen to "History Nerd Radio" in Scout FM or ask Alexa to "open History Nerd Radio."

Curated by Cara Meverden

Fan of podcasts, movies, TV, and random pieces of trivia. Dog lover and software maker.

1. Throughline

The past is never past. Every headline has a history. Join us every week as we go back in time to understand the present. These are stories you can feel and sounds you can see from the moments that shaped our world.

Oct 17, 2019
A Borrowed Time
Over the past six months, demonstrations in Hong Kong have increasingly become more violent and more determined.
2. Retropod

Retropod is a show for history lovers, featuring stories about the past, rediscovered. Host Mike Rosenwald introduces you to history’s most colorful characters - forgotten heroes, overlooked villains, dreamers, explorers, world changers.

Oct 16, 2019
America and warfare were never the same after World War I
The "Great War" generated memorable literature, geopolitical upheaval, disillusion, the Russian Revolution and the seeds of World War II.
3. 1619

In August of 1619, a ship carrying more than 20 enslaved Africans arrived in the British colony of Virginia. America was not yet America, but this was the moment it began.

Oct 5, 2019
The Land of Our Fathers, Part 1
A century and a half after the promise of 40 acres and a mule, the story of black land ownership remains one of loss and dispossession.
4. Sidedoor

More than 154 million treasures fill the Smithsonian’s vaults, but where public view ends, Sidedoor begins. With the help of biologists, artists, historians, archaeologists, zookeepers and astrophysicists, hear stories that can’t be found anywhere else.

Oct 16, 2019
This Episode Smells
Smell connects us to memories of the people and the places of our lives.
5. Revisionist History

Revisionist History is Malcolm Gladwell's journey through the overlooked and the misunderstood. Every episode re-examines something from the past—an event, a person, an idea, even a song—and asks whether we got it right the first time.

Sep 19, 2019
Malcolm Gladwell on Oprah's SuperSoul Conversations
Malcolm Gladwell speaks with Oprah Winfrey about his new book Talking to Strangers.
6. American History Tellers

The Cold War, Prohibition, the Gold Rush, the Space Race. Every part of your life -the words you speak, the ideas you share- can be traced to our history, but how well do you really know the stories that made America?

Oct 16, 2019
Dutch Manhattan, Part 7: The Dutch Influence Today
New York City was founded on the Dutch principles of tolerance and capitalism, both of which were new ideas at the time.

Have you ever spent hours looking for something you simply lost? How about a hundred years? How about looking for a missing airplane? Or a vanished civilization? Every other Monday, Gone searches for everything lost.

Oct 7, 2019
The Missing Prime Minister: Harold Holt
Australia’s Prime Minister disappeared while swimming in the sea near Portsea, Victoria.
8. American Innovations

DNA science. Artificial intelligence. Smartphones and 3D printers. Science and technology have transformed the world we live in. But how did we get here? It wasn’t by accident. Well, sometimes it was.

Oct 17, 2019
Electric Chair, Part 1: War of the Currents
On August 6, 1890, a prisoner named William Kemmler became the first man executed in the electric chair.
9. Stuff You Missed in History Class

Join Holly and Tracy as they bring you the greatest and strangest Stuff You Missed In History Class in this podcast by HowStuffWorks.

Oct 16, 2019
Mysteries of the Color Blue
Blue is the most popular color in many parts of the world, and it can seem like it's everywhere.
10. The Way I Heard It with Mike Rowe

All good stories have a twist, and all great storytellers are just a little twisted. Join Mike Rowe for a different take on the people and events that you thought you knew -- from pop-culture to politics from Hollywood to History.

Oct 15, 2019
On Average 15 Times a Day
On average, fifteen times a day. But for this woman... maybe a bit more.
11. Disgraceland

Murder, infidelity, suicide, arson, overdose, religious cults, drug trafficking; this podcast explores the alleged true crime antics and criminal connections of musicians we love like Jerry Lee Lewis, Beck, The Rolling Stones, and many more.

Oct 15, 2019
Mad Artistry, Mental Wards, and Gaping Chest Wounds
Iggy Pop pushed rock further than anyone before him, committing to live acts of sex, sickness, and rumored suicide on stage.
12. Dan Carlin's Hardcore History

In "Hardcore History" journalist and broadcaster Dan Carlin takes his "Martian", unorthodox way of thinking and applies it to the past.

Jan 12, 2019
Supernova in the East II
Japanese war crimes and atrocities in China, lead to questions about how the world should respond. Then, December 7, 1941 came.
13. Mobituaries with Mo Rocca

Mo Rocca has always loved obituaries. With Mobituaries he introduces listeners to the people who have long intrigued him, from the 20th century's greatest entertainer to the Civil Rights pioneer who is completely forgotten.

Mar 8, 2019
Death of a Tree: Roots of a Rivalry
The legendary rivalry between college football powerhouses Auburn and University of Alabama, and the line between fandom and fanaticism.
14. Witness History

History as told by the people who were there.

Oct 17, 2019
Britain's worst nuclear accident
Things started to go wrong at the Windscale nuclear plant in October 1957.
15. In Our Time: History

Historical themes, events and key individuals from Akhenaten to Xenophon.

Sep 19, 2019
Napoleon's Retreat from Moscow
In September 1812, Napoleon captured Moscow and waited a month for the Russians to meet him, to surrender. To his dismay, no-one came.
16. BackStory

There’s the history you had to learn, and the history you want to learn - that’s where BackStory comes in. Each week BackStory takes a topic that people are talking about and explores it through the lens of American history.

Oct 16, 2019
The Schizophrenic Sixties
A look at the DSM and how the language we use to talk about mental health and mental illness can actually impact who gets diagnosed.
17. Noble Blood

Author Dana Schwartz explores the stories of some of history’s most fascinating royals: the tyrants and the tragic, the murderers and the murdered, and everyone in between.

Oct 15, 2019
The Butler, in the Bedroom, with a Sabre
In the middle of the night, Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, was attacked in his bedchamber by an assailant wielding a sword.
18. Tides of History

Everywhere around us are echoes of the past. Those echoes define the boundaries of states and countries, how we pray and how we fight. They determine what money we spend and how we earn it at work, what language we speak and how we raise our children.

Oct 17, 2019
The Commercial Revolution
The roots of the modern economy, based on markets, money, and exchange, lie deep in the Middle Ages.
19. the memory palace

From public radio producer, Nate DiMeo, comes The Memory Palace, a finalist for the 2016 Peabody Award and one of iTunes Best Podcast of 2015. Short, surprising stories of the past, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes hysterical, often a little bit of both.

20. Constitutional

With the writing of the Constitution in 1787, the framers set out a young nation’s highest ideals. And ever since, we’ve been fighting over it — what is in it and what was left out. At the heart of these arguments is the story of America.

21. More Perfect

Radiolab’s More Perfect is a series about the Supreme Court. More Perfect explores how cases inside the rarefied world of the Supreme Court affect our lives far away from the bench.

Dec 4, 2018
The Most Perfect Album: Episode 9
At this moment, we have 27 Amendments to our Constitution. What will be the 28th?
22. Uncivil

America is divided, and it always has been. We're going back to the moment when that split turned into war.

Nov 9, 2018
The Fugitive
A young woman, held by one of America’s founding slaveowners, bolts one day for a life of freedom that keeps her on the lam.
23. The Thread With OZY

Explore history’s interlocking lives and events. Turn back the clock, one story at a time.

Jul 25, 2019
The Forgotten Giant of Women’s Basketball
Nera White dominated her sport for 15 years, and even beat the Soviets at the height of the Cold War.
24. Historical Figures

Big Lives. Little-known Facts. Great, unknown stories hide inside history—every other Wednesday, we dig up what you don't know about the icons you do know.

Oct 16, 2019
Toussaint L'Ouverture
In the 1790s, Toussaint L’Ouverture emerges as a leading member of the most successful slave revolt in the Americas.
25. History Unplugged

For history lovers who listen to podcasts, History Unplugged is the most comprehensive show of its kind. It's the only show that dedicates episodes to both interviewing experts and answering questions from its audience.

26. Case Notes

Case Notes is a brand-new crime podcast, investigating some of the darkest mysteries from the history of music.

27. What Really Happened?

“History is a version of past events that people have decided to agree upon," Napoleon Bonaparte once famously said. In other words, there are many sides to every story. Even the ones we think we know.

28. The History Hour

An hour of historical reporting told by the people who were there.

29. Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating.

30. You're Wrong About...

Mike and Sarah are journalists obsessed with the past. Every week they reconsider an event, person or phenomenon that's been miscast in the public imagination.

Oct 3, 2019
Nicole Brown Simpson, Part 1
You think you know about Nicole Brown Simpson. But you're so wrong.
31. History Extra

The latest news from the team behind BBC History Magazine - a popular History magazine. To find out more, visit www.historyextra.com

32. Ephemeral

The best source on our cultural identity is not the official, historical record — ask any anthropologist, it’s the town dump. Ephemera — those things that were just barely saved, and in some cases not saved at all.

Sep 30, 2019
Handmade Records
Why put music on plastic in 2019?
33. Worst Foot Forward

An encyclopaedia of heroic failure Join Ben Van der Velde, Barry McStay and their guests as they brandish their wooden spoons of destiny and celebrate the losers, heroic failures and spectacular mis-steps that pockmark human endeavour.

34. The AskHistorians Podcast

A podcast by history nerds for history nerds (and everyone else too).

35. Kings and Generals: History for our Future

Mongol Invasions, Napoleonic Wars, Diadochi Wars, Rome and the Cold War. Every part of your life -the words you speak, the ideas you share- can be traced to our history, but how well do you really know the stories?

36. The History of India Podcast

A light weekly podcast covering the history of India, from 6th century B.C. onwards. Enjoying the Podcast? Please consider donating to the Snehal Sidhu-Patrick Memorial Fund (http://tinyurl.com/prkvwll)

37. Espionage

Not all spies look like James Bond and Ethan Hunt. Most of them look like ordinary people, which makes them all the more dangerous... So what does it really take to be a spy?

38. The History of China

A journey through the 5000 years of history documented by one of the world's oldest continuous civilizations.

39. History That Doesn't Suck

History That Doesn’t Suck is a bi-weekly podcast, delivering a legit, seriously researched, hard-hitting survey of American history through entertaining stories.

40. Dan Snow's History Hit

History! The most exciting and important things that have ever happened on the planet!

41. Mythology

Myths endure for a reason. This episodic audio drama brings ancient myths to life for the modern audience. Each episode presents exciting stories and analysis of each myth's history and origins, giving insight into how our ancestors saw the universe.

42. Reflecting History

Reflecting History is an educational history podcast that explores significant historical events and themes without losing track of the ordinary people involved.

43. History of Japan

This podcast, assembled by a former PhD student in History at the University of Washington, covers the entire span of Japanese history. Each week we'll tackle a new topic, ranging from prehistoric Japan to the modern day.

44. History Of The Great War

History of the Great War is a weekly podcast that will cover the First World War that occurred from 1914 and 1918.

45. Unobscured

History is full of stories we think we know. They are old and dark, but time has robbed us of perspective and clarity. They've become obscured and misunderstood. It's time to unobscure them.

46. Friendly Fire

A history podcast with a twist: Friendly Fire uses war movies as a point of entry on not only the history of war, but the history of how societies think about war.

47. Haunted History Podcast

Haunted History explores fascinating historical places with reported paranormal activity from historic haunts to strange disturbances, and brings them all together with engaging hosts who share both the believable and the unbelievable.

48. The History of Rome

A weekly podcast tracing the rise, decline and fall of the Roman Empire.

49. History Scotland

The History Scotland - Hidden Histories podcast sheds light on hidden historical gems around the country. Join Neil McLennan as he explores lesser-known visitor attractions across Scotland.

50. Ridiculous History

History is beautiful, brutal and, often, ridiculous. Join Ben Bowlin and Noel Brown as they dive into some of the weirdest stories from across the span of human civilization in Ridiculous History.

51. My History Can Beat Up Your Politics

Since 2006, this podcast has been using history to elevate today's political debates. Bruce Carlson applies as much historical context as possible to politics and while he's at it, tells a few stories.

52. The History of Egypt

The History of Egypt, as the ancients described it. A tale of pyramids, pharaohs, gods and mysteries, told through the eyes of the ancients themselves. A member of the Agora Podcast Network

53. The Secret History Of Hollywood

An ongoing series of specially produced histories, bringing to life the stories and secrets that shaped cinema.

54. The Past and The Curious

History can be amazing, inspiring and relevant to anyone. We love to share the stories of Spies, funny foods, George Washington's foibles, early advancements in cartooning and ballooning and much more.

55. Unpopular

At times when people accepted the status quo without question, some rebels have dared to resist. When a cause is noble, it often pays to be unpopular.

56. Moonrise

“Truer, but also darker.” This is the real origin story behind America’s decision to go to the moon.

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