It would be difficult to truly say, and suggest, what the best podcast for history is. The scope is quite large and “objectivity can be very subjective” if you know what I mean. There’s the arts, culture, religion and politics – each with their own intriguing stories to tell.
This is actually an interesting question for me, as those that indeed have this innate desire to educate themselves about the past prefer to do the research on their own.
And though I find no wrong in that, and even encourage it; sometimes those that are less tech savvy might get information that are not that accurate and revisionist even.
History podcasts in a way much “safer” as the credibility of its creators are placed on the line.
Compared to a random article from the search results, a hardcore history podcast listener first checks who the creator is and what his/her credentials are. And the better said credentials are – the more trustworthy the information for said podcast becomes.
Now to make things simpler, I decided to split the list into several sections that encompasses the arts, culture, society and anything in between.
If you wish to proceed to a specific section, then just click the one you’re most interested in below.
Best Podcast For History Nerds
Backstory was created by Joanne Freeman, Nathan Connolly, Brian Balogh and Ed Ayers, which are all seasoned U.S. historians.
The idea behind Backstory is to present interesting tidbits about US history; stories that we want to learn rather than what we were forced to hear about in school.
For example: do you know that Benjamin Franklin was an instigator of fake news to further his political agendas?
I’m not a huge american history podcast buff, so that came as a shock to me.
Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History
Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History on the other hand is either a shot of espresso, or a sudden flat tire while running your cafe racer ton up.
Carlin incorporates something that most history shows fail to do; and that is to add drama to his presentation.
As an adapter orator, Carlin talks about key moments in human history with such gusto. This makes your brain instantly responds to each word he utters by painting a vivid picture of the scenario he’s describing.
With his fascinations of great historical figures such as Hitler, Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan, Carlin carefully narrates and explains key moments in the lives of said individuals with the authority of a passionate history professor and the gusto of a Brazilian soccer commentator.
After listening to just a single episode, I can honestly say that I have never found history podcasts this entertaining and informative.
First released during the lead up to the 2016 presidential elections, Presidential is one of a handful of podcasts where its content has actually remained evergreen. And from my point of view, that is a testament to the quality of the talking points discussed within each episode.
Hosted by Lillian Cunningham, the podcast has played host to the likes of investigative journalist Bob Woodward and Pulitzer-winning historian David McCullough.
But if my writing is making it feel as if Presidential is one of those interesting, but boring, podcasts – then you’re mistaken.
In fact, the podcast has a long standing joke where Cunningham asks guests how they would react if they were to go on a bland date with one of our former presidents.
I admit, the questions may not be that humorous in comparison to most memes these days – but then again, memes are made for entertainment – history isn’t.
Do I consider it as one of the best podcast for history loving people out there, not really.
Do I enjoy it though? Immensely.
Our Art History Podcast List
As far as art related podcasts go, ArtHoles is somewhat refreshing as it is void of the typical scholarly discussions that are common when talking about fine art.
Instead, comedian host Michael Anthony digs deep into the psyche of the person behind the work; and talks about their quirks and behaviors in a fashion that would make you chuckle or release a sigh of disappointment.
To date, ArtHoles have discussed the personalities of Frida Kahlo, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, Jackson Pollock and Pablo Picasso.
If you’re the type of person that appreciates artistry without the idle worship, then you might want to check this podcast.
The Great Women Artists
The Great Women Artists podcast did not start though in the medium we are talking about now. In fact, it began as the @GreatWomenArtists Instagram account, which immediately garnered a loyal following.
Hessel is never fails to invite interesting guests. Her usual guests are either art historians, curators or artists – and the conversation is always lively, insightful, feminist but encompassing.
If you like your art with a hint of social politics involved, then look no further than The Great Women Artists podcast.
This is how I feel each time I listen to the PORTRAITS podcast.
As someone who’s absolutely aware of my artistic knowledge, I find joy in having having Kim Sajet explain things to me.
I mean, who better to give you an art appreciation class than the director of the museum herself, right?
On the podcast Sajet as well as other art aficionados talks about their personal favorites within the gallery.
They also skim about common misconceptions. From how Pocahontas is portrayed in popular culture to how some First Ladies are unfairly portrayed in their portraits are some of the topics they discuss.
Now on its second season, PORTRAITS is something that I look forward to listening to while sipping on my favorite tea blend.
I really dont consider myself a history buff. But I am a fan of history – if that makes sense.
Even as a kid, history for me was something that resonated with me.
The fact that what happened years or centuries before can have a huge impact things today always fascinated me.
And that’s why I guess up till now, I still try to make time to get my dose of history – even if its through podcast form.
Anyway, what do you think of the list?
Do you think it’s a good pick, or do you think I missed out on some good ones?
You know what, go and add your own picks on the comment section below. We at Podblade enjoy discovering new podcasts and are looking forward to hearing your suggestions.
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Who knows, your podcast might make it to our next best podcast for history loving people.
Rom is a podcasting specialist, ranking his show in the top 100 for all business podcasts in only his first 6 months since launching. He is also the co-founder of Podblade, creating an affordable yet professional editing solution for podcasters. When he isn’t working, you can find him watching his favorite soccer team (Tottenham Hotspur) in action.