History Does You
By Riley Callahan
History Does YouMay 16, 2021
The Italian Renaissance featuring Dr. Catherine Fletcher
The period between 1492--resonant for a number of reasons--and 1571, when the Ottoman navy was defeated in the Battle of Lepanto, embraces what we know as the Renaissance, one of the most dynamic and creatively explosive epochs in world history. Here is the period that gave rise to so many great artists and figures, and which by its connection to its classical heritage enabled a redefinition, even reinvention, of human potential. It was a moment both of violent struggle and great achievement, of Michelangelo and da Vinci as well as the Borgias and Machiavelli. At the hub of this cultural and intellectual ferment was Italy. To explore this period, we interview Dr. Catherine Fletcher who is a historian of Renaissance and early modern Europe. She has written numerous books including The Beauty and the Terror, The Black Prince of Florence, and Our Man in Rome/The Divorce of Henry VIII. She has also lectured at Durham University, the University of Sheffield, and Swansea University. In January 2020 she became Professor of History at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Road to the American Revolution featuring Dr. Mary Beth Norton
1774 was the critical, and often overlooked, period when colonists traditionally loyal to King George III began their discordant “discussions” that led them to their acceptance of the inevitability of war against the British Empire. Late in the year, conservatives mounted a vigorous campaign criticizing the First Continental Congress. But by then it was too late. In early 1775, colonial governors informed officials in London that they were unable to thwart the increasing power of local committees and their allied provincial congresses. Although the Declaration of Independence would not be formally adopted until July 1776, Americans had in effect “declared independence ” even before the outbreak of war in April 1775 .To help explain we interview Dr. Mary Beth Norton who is an American historian, specializing in American colonial history and well known for her work on women's history and the Salem witch trials. She is the Mary Donlon Professor Emeritus of American History at Cornell University. She was elected as president-elect of the American Historical Association in summer 2016. She served as president-elect during calendar 2017 and as president in 2018. Her book Founding Mothers and Fathers was a finalist for the 1997 Pulitzer Prize. She recently wrote 1774: The Long Year of Revolution, which was A WALL STREET JOURNAL BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
The Battle of Aachen
The Battle of Aachen was a major combat action of World War II, fought by American and German forces in and around Aachen, Germany, between 2–21 October 1944. The city had been incorporated into the Siegfried Line, the main defensive network on Germany's western border; the Allies had hoped to capture it quickly and advance into the industrialized Ruhr Basin. Although most of Aachen's civilian population was evacuated before the battle began, much of the city was destroyed and both sides suffered heavy losses. It was one of the largest urban battles fought by U.S. forces in World War II, and the first city on German soil to be captured by the Allies. The battle ended with a German surrender, but their tenacious defense significantly disrupted Allied plans for the advance into Germany. Incorporating after action reports and first hand accounts, we retell the story of Aachen from the generals to the regular soldiers of the First Infantry Division
The U.S.-China Relationship: Chinese Grand Strategy featuring Dr. Dan Bluementhal
Once the darling of U.S. statesmen, corporate elites, and academics, the People's Republic of China has evolved into America's most challenging strategic competitor. Its future appears increasingly dystopian. To wrap up our series and explain some of the basics of Chinese Grand Strategy, we interview Dr. Dan Blumenthal is a resident fellow and the director of Asian studies at the American Enterprise Institute, where he focuses on East Asian security issues and Sino-American relations. He has served in and advised the US government on China issues for more than a decade. Before joining AEI, he served as senior director for China, Taiwan, and Mongolia at the US Department of Defense. He served as a commissioner on the congressionally mandated US-China Economic and Security Review Commission from 2006 to 2012, and he was vice chairman of the commission in 2007. He also served on the Academic Advisory Board of the congressional US-China Working Group. He is the author of “The China Nightmare: The Grand Ambitions of a Decaying State” and coauthor of An Awkward Embrace: The United States and China in the 21st Century. Link to book below!
The U.S.-China Relationship: Xi Jinping featuring Dr. Elizabeth Economy
Chinese leader Xi Jinping has unleashed a powerful set of political and economic reforms: the centralization of power under Xi, himself, the expansion of the Communist Party's role in Chinese political, social, and economic life, and the construction of a virtual wall of regulations to control more closely the exchange of ideas and capital between China and the outside world. Beyond its borders, Beijing has recast itself as a great power, seeking to reclaim its past glory and to create a system of international norms that better serves its more ambitious geostrategic objectives. We also explore some of the most current issues including COVID, Hong Kong, and the upcoming Olympics. To help explain all of this, we interview Dr. Elizabeth Economy who is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and Hoover Institute. She has written numerous books on China including The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State. She is also author of By All Means Necessary: How China's Resource Quest is Changing the World with Michael Levi and The River Runs Black: The Environmental Challenge to China's Future. She has published articles and scholarly journals in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and the Harvard Business Review, and op-eds in the New York Times and Washington Post, among others. In June 2018, she was named one of the “10 Names That Matter on China Policy” by Politico Magazine.
The U.S.-China Relationship: Lessons of Thucydides featuring Dr. Andrew Novo
Few books have had a wider sustained impact than Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War. More than 2,500 years after it was written, Thucydides is still read by academics, students, and policymakers looking for enduring lessons into everything from grand strategy to domestic politics and human nature. We apply those same lessons to the US-China relationship and what they might tell us about the future. To further explore, we interview Dr. Andrew Novo who is an Associate Professor of Strategic Studies at the National Defense University, Washington, D.C. An expert in ancient and modern European history and strategic studies, He also teaches for the Johns Hopkins University program in Global Security Studies and the Georgetown School of Foreign Service. He recently cowrote Restoring Thucydides: Testing familiar lessons and deriving new ones (2020) with Dr. Jay Parker. A regular contributor to the D.C. think tank circuit, presenting at the Brookings Institute, the Atlantic Council, and the European Institute of the Mediterranean. In addition, he also lectures widely in Europe and the United States, including at the University of Oxford, NATO Defense College (Rome), the University of Torino (Turin), the University of Macedonia (Thessaloniki), the United States Military Academy, and the United States Naval Academy.
The U.S.-China Relationship: Civil War, Korean War and the Nixon Opening featuring Daniel Kurtz-Phelan
At the end of World War II, General George Marshall took on what he thought was a final mission―this time not to win a war, but to stop one. In China, conflict between Communists and Nationalists threatened to suck in the United States and escalate into revolution. Marshall’s charge was to cross the Pacific, broker a peace, and prevent a Communist takeover, all while staving off World War III. At first, the results seemed miraculous. But as they started to come apart, Marshall was faced with a wrenching choice―one that would alter the course of the Cold War, define the US-China relationship, and spark one of the darkest-ever turns in American politics. To help explain this aspect of the U.S. China relationship we interview Daniel Kurtz-Phelan is Editor of Foreign Affairs. He previously spent three years as Executive Editor of the magazine and served in the U.S. State Department, including as a member of the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff. His book on George Marshall’s post–World War II mission to China, The China Mission, was published in 2018 and named a best book of the year by The Economist and an editor’s pick by The New York Times Book Review. His writing has also appeared in publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Atlantic. We also explore the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Nixon opening, all of which had a large impact on shaping modern U.S.-China relations.
The U.S.-China relationship: The Basics of U.S. Foreign Policy in Asia featuring Dr. Zack Cooper
Road to Vietnam featuring Dr. Brian VanDeMark
The Road to the Vietnam War has been scrutinized by historians for decades offering a variety of explanations on how the U.S. became involved a war that most concluded was unwinnable by 1966, only a year after combat troops had been deployed. We explore the cataclysmic decisions of those in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations to explain why the "Best and the Brightest" became trapped in situations that suffocated their thinking and willingness to dissent, why they found change so hard, and why they were so blind to their own errors. To explain we interview Dr. Brian VanDeMark who is a professor of history at the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis where he has been a member of its History Department since 1990. He is the author of several books on American history, he co-authored Robert McNamara's #1 best-selling Vietnam memoir, In Retrospect, which became the basis of Errol Morris's Academy Award-winning documentary film, "The Fog of War." He also wrote Pandora's Keepers: Nine Men and the Atomic Bomb and Into the Quagmire: Lyndon Johnson and the Escalation of the Vietnam War. His most recent book is Road to Disaster: A New History of America's Descent into Vietnam which was a Financial Times Best Book of the year in 2018
Germany and Austria-Hungary in World War I featuring Dr. Alexander Watson
There is the saying that, "History is written by the victors". For the Central Powers, the First World War started with high hopes for an easy victory. But those hopes soon deteriorated as Germany's attack on France failed, Austria-Hungary's armies suffered catastrophic losses, and Britain's ruthless blockade brought both nations to the brink of starvation. We examine the war from the perspective of the losers, how scholarship looks at their role in the leadup to the war, their participation, and the subsequent aftermath. The war shattered their societies, destroyed their states, and imparted a poisonous legacy of bitterness and violence that sowed the seeds for an even deadlier conflict that would follow only two decades later. To help explain, We interview Dr. Alexander Watson who is a Professor of History at the University of London specializing in conflict and identity in East-Central Europe. His latest book is The Fortress: The Great Siege of Przemysl. He is also the author of the widely acclaimed Ring of Steel: Germany and Austria-Hungary at War, 1914-1918. The book won the 2014 Wolfson History Prize, the 2014 Gilder Lehrman Prize in Military History, the Society for Military History’s 2015 Distinguished Book Award and the 2015 British Army Military Book of the Year.
Joseph McCarthy featuring Larry Tye
In the long history of American demagogues, from Huey Long to Donald Trump, never has one man caused so much damage in such a short time as Senator Joseph McCarthy. We still use “McCarthyism” to stand for outrageous charges of guilt by association, a weapon of polarizing slander. From 1950 to 1954, McCarthy destroyed many careers and even entire lives, whipping the nation into a frenzy of paranoia, accusation, loyalty oaths, and terror. When the public finally turned on him, he came crashing down, dying of alcoholism in 1957. To help explain his complicated life we interview Larry Tye who is a New York Times bestselling author who has written numerous books including Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon, Rising from the Rails, and recently wrote DEMAGOGUE: The Life and Long Shadow of Senator Joseph McCarthy. Previously, he was an award-winning reporter at The Boston Globe, where his primary beat was medicine. He also served as the Globe’s environmental reporter, roving national writer, investigative reporter, and sportswriter. Before that, he was the environmental reporter at The Courier-Journal in Louisville, and covered government and business at The Anniston Star in Alabama.
The German Campaign of 1813 featuring Dr. Michael Leggiere
Nuclear Weapons and Grand Strategy featuring Dr. Francis Gavin
Nuclear Weapons are the most destructive invention ever created in human society but they only have been used twice in armed conflict. The global threat of these weapons has only deepened in the following decades as more advanced weapons, aggressive strategies, and new nuclear powers emerged. We explore how the Cold War initially shaped the policies regarding Nuclear Weapons as well as the Nuclear era after the Cold War. To help explain we interview Dr. Francis Gavin who is the Giovanni Agnelli Distinguished Professor and the inaugural director of the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. In 2013, he was appointed the first Frank Stanton Chair in Nuclear Security Policy Studies and Professor of Political Science at MIT. Before joining MIT, he was the Tom Slick Professor of International Affairs and the Director of the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the University of Texas. He has written numerous books including Nuclear Statecraft: History and Strategy in America’s Atomic Age and Nuclear Weapons and American Grand Strategy.
The American Civil War in the West featuring Dr. Megan Kate Nelson
As the United States steadily expanded west acquiring new territory by buying it and war, the overarching question regarding slavery in these territories sowed the seeds of the civil war. When the south seceded and war broke out, fighting was not limited to the Eastern and Western theatres, but even in the territories of present day Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. Native American tribes that had been steadily pushed westward tried to navigate the messy politics of North and South in order to preserve their lands. To help explain this complicated theatre of the war, we interview Dr. Megan Kate Nelson, she received her BA in History and Literature from Harvard University and her PhD in American Studies from the University of Iowa. She has taught U.S. history and American Studies at Texas Tech University, Cal State Fullerton, Harvard, and Brown before leaving academia to write full-time in 2014. She has written several articles and books including The Three-Cornered War: The Union, the Confederacy, and Native Peoples in the Fight for the West and is currently writing This Strange Country: Yellowstone and the Reconstruction of America which will be published in 2022.
How Rome went from Republic to Empire featuring Dr. Edward Watts
As Rome headed into the 1st Century BC, its power continued to expand, they had destroyed its rival in the Mediterranean, the Carthaginian Empire and various Greek Warlords who attempted to keep their independence. But with tremendous success came costs as a series of civil wars and unrest transformed the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire. But Rome had a well functioning representative democracy for centuries, so how did it all come to an end? To help explain we interview Dr. Edward Watts; he is a professor of History at UC San Diego focusing on the intellectual and religious history of the Roman Empire and the early Byzantine Empire. He has written several books including City and School in Late Antique Athens and Alexandria, Riot in Alexandria: Historical Debate in Pagan and Christian Communities which was a 2010 PROSE Award Honorable Mention. He also wrote The Final Pagan Generation which was awarded the 2015 Phi Alpha Theta Best Subsequent Book Prize and Mortal Republic: How Rome Fell into Tyranny. We also explore how the Roman government function and how Roman society was transformed as a result of this transition.
The Cuban Missile Crisis featuring Dr. Martin Sherwin
In October of 1962, US spy planes discovered evidence of Soviet Missiles on the Island of Cuba. What came next was a thirteen days of confusion, backchannel diplomacy, and the threat of Nuclear War. But to understand the leadup to the crisis, one must look back at the making of the Atomic Bombs and the decision to use them against Nagasaki and Hiroshima which brought World War II to an end. It set the Soviet Union and the United States on a collision course over who could use the weapon most effectively. To help explain the crisis and the policies that led to it, we interview Dr. Martin Sherwin who is an author and historian specializing in the development of atomic weapons and nuclear policy. Along with Kai Bird, he co-wrote American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of Robert Oppenheimer, which won the Pulitzer Prize for biography in 2006. In addition, Sherwin has advised a number of documentaries and television series relating to the Manhattan Project, including The Day after Trinity: A History of Nuclear Strategy, and War and Peace in the Nuclear Age. He also recently wrote, Gambling with Armageddon: Nuclear Roulette from Hiroshima to the Cuban Missile Crisis
World War I in the Middle East featuring Dr. Eugene Rogan
By 1914 the great powers of Europe were sliding inexorably toward war, and they pulled the Middle East along with them into one of the most destructive conflicts in human history. No region experienced more change as a result of the war than the Middle East. The Ottoman empire ceased to exist after dominating the region for more than four centuries and borders were redrawn piecemeal by the victorious allies. This set the stage for the modern Middle East and all of the conflict that will follow, much of which continues to this day. To help explain we interview Dr. Eugen Rogan who is a Professor of Modern Middle Eastern History at Oxford and a Fellow of St Antony's College. He is the author of several books on the Middle East including The Fall of the Ottomans: The Great War in the Middle East, which was An International Bestseller and Economist Best Book of the Year. His other work includes The Arabs: A History and Outside In: On the Margins of the Modern Middle East
The Battle of Manila featuring James Scott
The Battle of Manila was fought by forces from both the United States and the Philippines against Japanese troops in Manila, the capital city of the Philippines. The month-long battle, which resulted in the death of over 100,000 civilians and the complete devastation of the city, was the scene of the worst urban fighting in the Pacific Theater. Japanese forces committed mass murderer against Filipino civilians during the battle. Along with massive loss of life, the battle also destroyed architectural and cultural heritage dating back to the city's founding, and Manila became one of the most devastated capital cities during the entire war. To explain we interview James Scott, a former Nieman Fellow at Harvard, is the author of Rampage, which was named one of the Best Books of 2018 by the editors at Amazon, Kirkus and Military Times and was chosen as a finalist for the prestigious Gilder Lehrman Prize for Military History by the New York Historical Society. His other works include Target Tokyo, a 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist in history, he also write the The War Below and The Attack on the Liberty, which won the Rear Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison Award.
Isolationism Featuring Dr. Charles Kupchan
The War in Italy 1943-1944: Monte Cassino
The War in Italy 1943-1944: Anzio
The four-month-long 1944 battle on Italy's coast, south of Rome, was one of World War II's longest and bloodiest battles. Surrounded by Nazi Germany's most fanatical troops, American and British amphibious forces endured relentless mortar and artillery barrages, aerial bombardments, and human-wave attacks by infantry with panzers. Through it all, despite tremendous casualties, Allied soldiers held their ground, fighting with, as Winston Churchill said, "desperate valour." So intense and heroic was the fighting that British soldiers were awarded two Victoria Crosses, while American soldiers received twenty-six Medals of Honor--ten of them awarded posthumously. On todays episode we welcome on Flint Whitlock, he is the editor of the WWII Quarterly magazine. He is the author of several books including “Desperate Valor” which was part of the Military Book Club’s Featured Selection. He has also written several books including “The Rock of Anzio”, “The Fighting First”, and “Given Up for Dead”. He is a resident of Denver, CO and graduated from the University of Illinois.
The War in Italy 1943-1944: Husky, Salerno, and Ortona
By May of 1943, the Allies had thrown out the German and Italian forces in North Africa, but what to do next. The Soviet Union was facing the bulk of the German army on the Eastern front and the political pressure to open up led to the decision to invade Sicily and mainland Italy. After fierce landings at Sicily and at Salerno, the Allies became bogged down along several German defensive lines. To break the stalemate, General Bernard Montgomery directed the 1st Canadian Infantry Division to take the island resort town of Ortona. What followed was some of the fiercest urban fighting of the war, eventually, the battle would earn the nickname, "mini-Stalingrad". To help explain the course of the battle and the previous events we interview Dr. Mark Zuehlke. He is an award-winning author generally considered to be Canada’s foremost military historian. His Canadian Battle Series is the most exhaustive recounting of the battles and campaigns fought by any nation during World War II to have been written by a single author. In recognition of his contribution to Canadian history, he was awarded the 2014 Governor General’s History Award for Popular Media: The Pierre Berton Award. In 2007, his book, For Honour’s Sake: The War of 1812 and the Brokering of an Uneasy Peace won the Canadian Author’s Association Lela Common Award for Canadian History. The Canadian Battle Series book, Holding Juno captured the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize in 2006.
The 1980 Democratic Primary Featuring Jon Ward
British to American Hegemony Featuring Dr. Kori Schake
Hegemonic States have been at the center of International Systems for centuries. They dictate politics, economics, and military policy. But what happens when another state rises to challenge the status quo? Usually, it ends in war, rarely do we see peaceful transitions between hegemonic systems. Today, we examine the transition between Great Britain and the United States which experienced a peaceful transition in the late 19th century and one of the few cases where this occurred. To help explain this unique relationship, we interview Dr. Kori Schake who the director of foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Before joining AEI, Dr. Schake was the deputy director-general of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. She has had a distinguished career in government, working at the US State Department, the US Department of Defense, and the National Security Council at the White House under the Bush Administration. She has also taught at Stanford, West Point, Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, National Defense University, and the University of Maryland. She has been widely published in policy journals and the popular press, including in CNN, Foreign Affairs, Politico, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. She is also a contributing writer at The Atlantic and War on the Rocks. An interesting episode about a critical time in American History and Foreign Policy.
Emperor Augustus Featuring Dr. Adrian Goldsworthy
Augustus was the first Roman emperor, reigning from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. He was the first ruler of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. His status as the founder of the Roman Principate has consolidated an enduring legacy as one of the most effective and controversial leaders in human history. He rose out of the ashes of prolonged periods of civil war and set the groundwork for the Roman Empire that is well known today. To explain his life and achievements we interviewed Dr. Adrian Goldsworthy who is a leading historian of the ancient world and author of acclaimed biographies of Julius Caesar, Augustus, and Cleopatra. Some of his other work includes In the Name of Rome, Pax Romana, and Philip and Alexander: Kings and Conquerors. A great interview about one of the most interesting figures and leaders in the ancient world.
The Battle of Khe Sanh Featuring Gregg Jones
The 1971 Mayday Protests Featuring Lawrence Roberts
Teddy Roosevelt and the Spanish American War Featuring Clay Risen
Limited Warfare featuring Dr. Donald Stoker
Limited Warfare is defined as, "one in which the belligerents do not expend all of the resources at their disposal, whether human, industrial, agricultural, military, natural, technological, or otherwise in a specific conflict". This doctrine developed during the Korean War has influenced American Foreign Policy in many ways with tragic consequences. To help us understand the origin of this we interview Dr. Donald Stoker who is a senior fellow at the Atlas Organization. Before that he was Professor of Strategy and Policy for the US Naval War College’s Monterey Program at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, from 1999 until 2017. In 2016, he was a Fellow of the Changing Character of War Programme at the University of Oxford’s Pembroke College. In 2017-2018, he was a Visiting Fellow and Distinguished Diplomatic Academy Fulbright Professor of Political Science at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna, Austria. The author or editor of 11 books, including a biography of Carl von Clausewitz: His Life and Work (Oxford University Press, 2014), which is on the British Army professional reading list. His The Grand Design: Strategy and the US Civil War, 1861-1865 (Oxford University Press, 2010), won the prestigious Fletcher Pratt Award, was a Main Selection of the History Book Club, and is on the US Army Chief of Staff’s reading list. Understanding the root of term and its usage is critical to understanding the way the United States has waged war for the last 70 years.
Russian Election Interference featuring Michael Isikoff
Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia has been attempting to revive its power and influence throughout the world. After U.S.-Russia relations soured under the Bush and Obama Administrations, President Vladimir Putin moved to reassert Russian strength on the global stage, Moscow trained its best hackers and trolls on U.S. political targets and exploited WikiLeaks to disseminate damaging information that could affect the 2016 election. To understand this we interview Michael Isikoff who is the chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo News, where he is also editor at large for reporting and investigations. He digs into national security, money in politics,. Previously, he was an investigative correspondent for NBC as well as a staff writer for Newsweek and the Washington Post. Isikoff has written three New York Times best-sellers, "Uncovering Clinton" and (with David Corn) "Hubris," about the selling of the Iraq War and “Russian Roulette” which documents the inside story of Russian interference into the 2016 election.
Origin of ISIS featuring Joby Warrick
ISIS shocked many when it rose to prominence in 2014 announcing a caliphate in Syria and Iraq. It took years to defeat them but understanding the rise of the organization goes many years back. To help us understand the origins of ISIS, we interview Joby Warrick who is a National security reporter for the Washington Post covering terrorism, rogue states, weapons proliferation. He is the author of two books, including 2015’s “Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS,” which was awarded a 2016 Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction. His first book, “The Triple Agent,” recounts the 2009 suicide attack by an al-Qaeda informant on a CIA base at Khost, Afghanistan, that killed seven U.S. intelligence operatives. Before joining The Post, he covered the fall of communism in Eastern Europe as a UPI correspondent and worked as a reporter at the Delaware County (Pa.) Daily Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C. We examine the organizations origin, its leaders, and how it rose to prominence and shocked many across the world.
The Pacific 1944-45 featuring Dr. Marc Gallicchio
Omaha Beach featuring Dr. John McManus
On June 6, 1944, thousands of Allied soldiers waded ashore on the beaches of Normandy to begin the liberation of Western Europe. On Omaha Beach, the 29th Infantry division and 1st Infantry division came ashore and encountered some of the fiercest resistance of the war. We interviewed Dr. John C. McManus is Curators’ Distinguished Professor of U.S. military history at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. In addition to dozens of local and national radio programs, he has appeared on CNN, Fox News, C-Span, the Military Channel, the Discovery Channel, the National Geographic Channel, Netflix, the Smithsonian Network, the History Channel and PBS, among others. He also served as a historical advisor for the bestselling book and documentary Salinger, the latter of which appeared nationwide in theaters and on PBS's American Masters Series. Some of his work includes Grunts: The American Infantry Combat Experience, World War through Iraq, U.S. Military History for Dummies, and The Dead and Those About to Die, D-Day: The Big Red One at Omaha Beach. We explore the battle, the challenges, and experiences of the young men who came ashore as well as its impact on the wider conflict
Seapower States featuring Dr. Andrew Lambert
The Marshall Plan featuring Dr. Benn Steil
In the aftermath of World War II, Europe had been wrecked by six years of war as plans over the fate of Europe became conflicted between the two world superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union. The United States undertook a bold economic aid program to help Western European countries get back on their feet economically and secure the security of these nations from the Soviet Union. However, this started the Cold War as the two superpowers could not agree on the plan or the division of Germany which began almost 40 years of hostilities. We interviewed Dr. Benn Steil who is a senior fellow and director of international economics, as well as the official historian in residence, at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He is also the founding editor of International Finance, a scholarly economics journal, lead writer of the Council’s Geo-Graphics economics blog. His work includes, “The Battle of Bretton Woods” and the “Marshall Plan” which was the winner of the American Academy of Diplomacy Douglas Dillon award.
Geopolitics of the Arctic featuring Michael Young
In the Season 2 premiere, we explore the geopolitics of the Arctic. As climate change continues to open up maritime routes across the Arctic, it will be critical for countries to work together to avoid conflict especially as China becomes more involved in the region. The United States faces unique challenges in the region and will need to collaborate with other Arctic nations to ensure peace and mitigate the effects of climate change especially as the region becomes more militarized. We interviewed Michael Young who retired as a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State in 2019. His most recent tour was as the Foreign Policy Advisor to the Commander of Special Operations Command North in Colorado Springs, with a focus on Arctic security. He earlier served as the Arctic Affairs Officer in the Office of Oceans and Polar Affairs, where he worked for the U.S. Senior Arctic Official. In this role he also served as the U.S. Head of Delegation for the Sustainable Development Working Group on the Arctic Council. He was one of the key architects of the Arctic Council program during the U.S. Chairmanship from 2015-17. Other assignments as a Foreign Service Officer included tours in Kabul, Mexico City, and Toronto. Before joining the Foreign Service, Mike was an officer in the U.S. Navy for 15 years, where he Shipboard tours USS TRUXTUN (CGN-35) and USS CHANDLER (DDG-996). A native of Golden, Colorado, Michael graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with a BSc in Engineering Physics and an MBA from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Update on Season 2, other news
We are just recording this episode to let you know what is going on for Season 2. We are focusing on improving audio quality, production, and marketing to give you a better listenership . Look out on social media for polls to give us direct feedback about what can be done better. Lots of great things happening with History Does You! Season 2 should start around June 14 or June 21.
The Battle of Passchendaele featuring Dr. Nick Lloyd
The Road to Iraq featuring Dr. Michael Mazarr
On today's episode, we cover the timeline of the decision making process that went into the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Understanding the decision making process is super important for anyone that want to get into the field of foreign policy or government because Iraq is a case study of what not to do. But the timeline starts long before in the 1980's when we decided to support Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War. This spurred decades of policy that culminated in the invasion of Iraq and one of the most tragic foreign policy disasters in American History. We interview Michael J. Mazarr who is a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation. Previously he worked at the U.S. National War College, where he was professor and associate dean of academics; senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; senior defense aide on Capitol Hill; and as a special assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. His work includes, “Leap of Faith, Hubris, Negligence, and Americas Greatest Foreign Policy Tragedy.”, “Rethinking Risk in National Security” and “North Korea and the Bomb”.
The September 11 Attacks featuring Robbyn Swan
September 11, 2001 was the defining event for a generation of Americans. The attacks on New York and Washington DC changed the trajectory of U.S. foreign policy at the start of the 21st century. But the attacks go beyond the single day as the story started long before the hijackers ever boarded the planes. But there was intelligent failures across the globe as the sign were missed by many. We had an the opportunity to interview Robbyn Swan who is a award winning journalist and author of two bestselling books: Sinatra: The Life (2005) and The Arrogance of Power: The Secret World of Richard Nixon (2000). She also wrote with her husband, A Matter of Honor: Pearl Harbor: Betrayal, Blame, and a Family's Quest for Justice and The Eleventh Day which was a Pulitzer prize finalist in history in 2012.
France and Spain in the Revolutionary War featuring Dr. Larrie Ferreiro
For many Americans, the Revolutionary War was a solo effort against the most powerful country in the world at the time. There is little mention of the role that France and Spain played in helping the United States achieve its Independence and this episode will shed light on their effort. The Revolutionary War was part of a larger global conflict between powerful nations in Europe. Spain and France made a tremendous effort to support the revolution with supplies, money, and expeditionary forces along with the French Navy. We talked with Dr. Louis Ferreiro who is a professor of History and Engineering at George Mason University. His book, "Brothers at Arms: American Independence and the Men of France and Spain Who Saved It" which was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in History in 2017 and has done other research in naval history. This reveals that the United States needed a lot of help to achieve Independence that is often overlooked and left out in America history.
The Arab Spring featuring Dr. Ahmed Abd Rabou
The Arab Spring was an important event for the Middle East and was the start of important change throughout the Middle East. However, many of these efforts failed with Egypt and Saudi Arabia keeping Authoritarian leaders in place while other Arab States such as Yemen, Libya, and Syria have descended into ongoing Civil Wars. I had the opportunity to talk to Dr. Ahmed Abd Rabou who is a professor at the University of Denver and is from Cairo, Egypt and is also known among Egyptian scholars for his specialization in civil-military relations, political Islam and democratization in the Middle East. He gives us an overarching view of the Arab Spring as well as what happened in specific countries as well as explaining some of the complexities that many people overlook in reading about the Middle East. A super cool interview about one of the most critical events in one of the most important regions in the world.
The Mexican-American War featuring Dr. Peter Guardino
The Mexican-American War was a critical event in the mid 1800's as it helped add a large swathe of what is now the Western United States. It helped fulfill the idea surrounding Manifest Destiny and the expansionism of territorial claims for the United States. It had social, economic, and political consequences for both Mexico and the United States. I had a conversation with Dr. Peter Guardino who is a professor of History at Indiana University. His work includes includes "Peasants, Politics, and the Formation of Mexico’s National State: Guerrero, 1800-1857", and "The Dead March: A History of the Mexican-American War" which won the Distinguished Book Award for non-United States History from the Society for Military History and Bolton-Johnson Prize from the Conference on Latin American History. The Mexican-American War is an overlooked event in the history of the United States and had long lasting impacts throughout the 1800's
The Napoleonic Wars featuring Dr. Alexander Mikaberidze
Grand Strategy featuring Dr. John Gaddis
A bit of a different episode today, I had a conversation with Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times bestselling author Dr. John Gaddis about his book, "On Grand Strategy". Drawing on different leaders from Octavian to Abraham Lincoln, we talked about how different leaders were able to balance their ambition with their capabilities. Drawing on both triumphs and failures, we can see how history seems to repeat itself and how leaders with certain qualities tend to succeed while others fail. I would highly encourage you to read his book or listen to the whole episode because it is a great insight into historical leaders on how they succeed and fail in different times!
The Ottoman-Hapsburg Wars featuring Roger Crowley
Operation Varsity featuring James Fenelon
Today marks the 75th Anniversary of the Operation Varsity, which was the largest single day Airborne operation of World War II. The 17th Airborne Division and 6th British Airborne Division dropped behind the Rhine River in order to better secure crossings for British soldiers on the other side of the river. The operation was highly successful and ensured that the Allies could safely cross the river and helped bring a faster end to the war. I had the chance to interview James Fenelon who wrote the book, "Fours Hours of Fury" which documents the 17th Airborne's role during Operation Varsity. He is a former Army paratrooper and graduate of the University of Texas-Austin. A great episode about one of the most overlooked battles of World War II.
Alexander the Great featuring Dr. Philip Freeman
Alexander the Great was one of worlds most successful military commanders never losing a battle and creating an empire that stretched from Greece to Modern day India. He also played an important role in spreading Greek Culture and values in areas that had never come into contact with the Greeks. He named over 20 cities after himself including the great city of Alexandria in Egypt which became an importance center for intellect, trade, and philosophy in the ancient world. I also had the opportunity to interview Dr. Philip Freeman who is a professor of History at Pepperdine University and is the author on several biographies of ancient figures including Alexander the Great, St. Patrick, and Julius Caesar. A great interview and episode about one of the most important leaders in the ancient world!
The Space Race featuring Dr. John Logsdon
On today's episode, we talk about one of my favorite periods of history, the Space Race. The Space Race occupied the scientific communities of the United States and Soviet Union as the two superpowers dueled for supremacy in Space. I had the opportunity to talk to Dr. John Logsdon who is the award winning author of John F. Kennedy and the Race to the Moon (2010) and After Apollo? Richard Nixon and the American Space Program (2015). We talked about the timeline of the race, the various space programs, and the men and women who led the charge to the moon culminating in the Apollo 11 landing on July 20, 1969. A great episode about one of the most interesting periods in American history.
The United States in the Post Cold War Era featuring Dr. Andrew Bacevich
The Cold War ended in 1991 marking the end of a bipolar world pitting the U.S. and its allies against the Soviet Union and its Allies. The United States pursued a global liberal economic policy in order to reflect its own system. However, over the last 30 years various mistakes in those policy goals has led the United States to squander that Cold War victory and left its political system polarized to the point of no return, deficit spending that will impact the economy, and interventionist wars that have cost thousands of lives. I had the opportunity to talk to New York Times Bestselling Author Dr. Andrew Bacevich who has written, The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism (2008) Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War(2010) include and his most recent book is The Age of Illusions: How America Squandered Its Cold War Victory. (2019). A very interesting conversation about the failures of the past and how it is going to effect American policies going forward!
U.S.-Mexico Relations from the Cold War to now featuring Dr. Ana Covarrubias
The United States and Mexico's relationship has often been overlooked in history despite the fact that the two countries have been as closely tied as any in the world. In today's episode we focus on the relations between the Cold War to now which has changed drastically from than to now. I has the opportunity to sit down and talk to Dr. Ana Covarrubias who is a professor in the Center for International Studies at El Colegio de México and is considered to be one of the leading scholars on U.S.-Mexico relations. We had a in depth conversation about economics, immigration, and foreign policy within Mexico and in relation to the United States. Overall, a great episode from a perspective that is overlooked by many Americans and informative about the roots and what has led to where U.S.-Mexico relations now.
The Battle of Iwo Jima featuring James Bradley
In today's episode we talk about the Battle of Iwo Jima whose 75th Anniversary was this past Wednesday. The battle produced arguably the most iconic image of the war with 6 US Marines raising the American Flag on Mount Suribachi. I had the honor of interviewing James Bradley who wrote the #1 New York Times Bestseller Flags of our Fathers , based off the raising of the flag. His father John Bradley was apart of the event and served with the 5th Marine Division during the battle. His other work includes Bestsellers, Flyboys: A True Story of Courage, The Imperial Cruise, and The China Mirage: The Hidden History of American Disaster in Asia. A Great Interview about one of the most important and costliest battles of World War II.
Congress for Cultural Freedom Featuring Dylan Fox
The Congress for Cultural Freedom was anti-communist advocacy group started in 1950 to project western Democratic values in philosophy, art, and culture. Contrary to popular belief, the Cold War was not limited to economic and military supremacy between the U.S. and Soviet Union, but also in values and the systems that were polar opposites in every way. In today's interview with fellow DU student Dylan Fox, we cover the Congress for Cultural Freedom and its impact on the Cold War. Super cool interview and episode about a topic in the Cold War that often gets overlooked.
The Fall of the Roman Empire featuring Dr. Frank Russell
The Empire and the Pax Romana
Under the Reign of Augustus, the Roman empire shifts from a republic to an empire with a more centralized government under the leadership of an Emperor. Its from this period of about 27 BC to 200 AD that the empire reaches its greatest extent stretching from Britannia all the way to the Persian Gulf. This is more of an overview of the era and the emperors who led the empire. None the less, a super interesting period in history and one of the greatest empires in history!
Rise of the Rome to Julius Caesar
In this first part of a three part series. We look at the rise of the Roman Republic which began in its earliest days to expand beyond its borders. However, Rome was not built overnight and faced extensive campaigns against regional foes. These led to wars against Regional powers such as Carthage and the Greek Kingdoms. After years of War, Rome ascended as the premier power in the Mediterranean and began to expand rapidly, however with this came much change and the first civil war. It was after this that Strongmen such as Pompey the Great and Julius Caesar emerged where military victories translated directly to political influence. The destruction of the alliances between these men led to more civil war and the Assassination of Julius Caesar marking the end of the Republic and transition to Empire. This episode goes very heavily into the timeline of expansion, not so much into culture, religion, or economics, I hope to eventually do another episode on that in the future. Regardless it is interesting to learn how Rome was built and how the die was cast. Next week well dive into the Empire and the Pax Romana.
30:00: Rise of the Roman Republic and the Punic Wars
47:00: The Macedonian wars and expansion into Greece
1:00:00: Social Unrest and the First Civil Wars
1:11:00: Pompey the Great
1:18:00: Julius Caesar and the end of the Republic
1:32:00: Summary and Conclusion