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The 15 Best History Podcasts for 2022

Explore the past in exciting new ways

Without understanding the historical context of any topic, you can’t make informed decisions about it. This list contains the top history podcasts that will help you add historical nonfiction to your media mix.

01of 15

Revolutions: Best History Podcast for Revolutionaries

What We Like

  • Each season is dedicated only to one revolution. You learn so much about that subject.

What we don’t like

  • Although not much has been done so far, it’s a ongoing series and there’s still plenty of time for more.

It is rare for major social changes to occur without violence. Mike Duncan tells the story of the dramatic events that led to the English Civil War and the French Revolution. The Revolutions podcast may also be enjoyed by fans of Duncan’s History of Rome podcast. Both podcasts are free to download from iTunes.

Revolutions are on the Radio 02of 15

Hardcore History Podcast: Hardcore History

What We Like

  • Carlin’s commentary is both entertaining and thought-provoking. His ability to invoke the past to address current-day problems is a strength.

What we don’t like

  • The podcast covers a variety of topics, but it is not intended to be a textbook.

Dan Carlin, host of the podcast, engages in speculative historical research and seeks new ways to view ancient figures and events. Is Alexander the Great a genocidal maniac comparable to Hitler? Hardcore History is available for free download. However, older podcasts have to be purchased.

Hardcore History – Listen Now 03of 15

The Best Short History Podcast: Watch

What We Like

  • Each episode is unique because it features first-person perspectives.
  • These topics can be lighthearted or heavy.

What we don’t like

  • This series isn’t the best choice if you want something to listen to on long commutes, as it has very few episodes.

This BBC series provides a 10-minute overview of historical events in a first-person account. It is told through the words and experiences of those who were there. The topics covered include Gaddafi’s life and the invention of Instant Noodles. You can watch more than 2200 episodes for free on BBC’s website.

Hear the testimony of Witness 04of 15

The History Chicks is the Best History Podcast for Feminists

What We Like

  • Some episodes feature profiles of historical figures. Others focus on the origins fairy tale characters such as Cinderella or Red Riding Hood.

What we don’t like

  • Many episodes feature authors and queens. History buffs might already be familiar with many of these artists.

Beckett Graham, Susan Vollenweider and Susan Vollenweider discuss the lives of women today. They include monarchs such as Queen Elizabeth I and entertainers like Lucille ball. Episodes are arranged in historically-chronological order on the website for easy browsing.

Listen to The History Chicks 05of 15

The Best American History Podcast: Ben Franklin’s World

What We Like

  • Each episode features an interview by an expert historian. The information is carefully researched.

What we don’t like

  • Although the show covers many topics, it all relates to one topic, so it might not be for everyone.

Listen to historians discuss the beginning days of America’s experiment. The discussion covers more than Ben Franklin’s exploits. Liz Covart, host, discusses colonial rule, the relationships between Europeans and natives, as well as the founding of the republic. You can listen for free through iTunes and the Google Play app.

Listen to Ben Franklin’s World 06of 15

The Scariest History Podcast: Lore

What We Like

  • Fans of mystery, conspiracy theories and speculative fiction will find this show particularly entertaining.

What we don’t like

  • Many of the stories are dark and will leave you feeling numb for days. This is not a show that’s meant to be viewed by the faint-hearted.

This podcast is for horror lovers who love nonfiction. Lore is a popular show that explores urban legends, unsolved crimes, and mysterious locations. Listeners can listen to the show for free. Amazon Prime members can also watch the podcast.

Lore 07of 15

The Best Podcast for James Bond Enthusiasts – SpyCast

What We Like

  • Hosts and guests are experts in their respective fields.
  • Spy stories can be action-packed and entertaining to listen to on the move.

What we don’t like

  • Talks can often drift into current politics. This is not necessarily a bad thing but may be annoying to some listeners.

The International Spy Museum, Washington, D.C. broadcasts interviews of former spies and experts in espionage to shed light on a profession that works in the shadows. You will learn about historical aspects you didn’t know existed.

SpyCast is available to listen to 08of 15

World History Podcast: 15 Minute History

What We Like

  • If you find an episode particularly fascinating, the website will usually offer suggestions for further reading.

What we don’t like

  • The episodes are only released occasionally, but there is enough content to keep history buffs busy.

Broadcast by students from the University of Texas at Austin 15 minute History is a student-produced program. Each episode is devoted to a single topic in a different area of the world. Guests include historians and authors from many disciplines.

Listen to 15 Minutes of History 09of 15

Best Art History Podcast: Art Curious

What We Like

  • Jennifer Dassel, host, is an expert in her field. She brings new perspectives to centuries-old arguments.

What we don’t like

  • The majority of episodes are about European artists and art. You may need to look elsewhere if you want a wider perspective.

Both art historians and casual listeners can learn about the lives and times of famous painters like Picasso, Van Gogh, and the Ninja Turtles’ founders. The guests will explore the rivalries among contemporary artists as well as the historical contexts that shaped the work.

Art Curious: Listen! 10of 15

Best History Podcast For Foodies: The Burnt Toast

What We Like

  • Burnt Toast is great for lighthearted listening.
  • If all of the food talk makes it hard to eat, you can find recipes on the website.

What we don’t like

  • Episode titles and summary are vague. So, it’s like trying to find a mystery-flavored jellybean by starting an episode.

What we eat is what shapes us. Michael Harlan Turkell, host, explores the spicy world through the lense of food culture. He also interviews culinary experts to get a fascinating insight into why we eat what is available.

Burnt Toast – Listen! 11of 15

The Best History Podcast for Intellectuals: Think This!

What We Like

  • Episodes are in historically-chronological order, so you can listen to them sequentially.

What we don’t like

  • Because the subject matter is so complex, it may not be appealing to casual listeners.

Stephen West, host of em>Philosophize This! has covered over 2,500 years worth of philosophical theory in more than 100 episodes. Philosophize It! examines the history and philosophy of human thought in order to apply old ideas to modern life.

You can listen to Philosophize It! 12of 15

The Best Myth-Busting History Podcasts : Our Fake History

What We Like

  • This podcast is enjoyable to listen to because of its humorous host.

What we don’t like

  • Sometimes, single topics can be covered in multiple episodes.

Fake news isn’t a new problem. Urban legends have long blurred lines between factual and fictional information. Sebastian Major dispels many of the most common historical myths and trace their roots in Our False History. You can download the most recent episodes for free. Older episodes can be purchased on the website.

Listen to our Fake History 13of 15

Funniest History Podcast – The Dollop

What We Like

  • You will have fun learning, something that isn’t possible with most history podcasts.

What we don’t like

  • Some people may not enjoy the humor. You’ll find out if you like the show after listening to just one episode.

Gareth Reynolds and Dave Anthony, comedians, look at the lighter side American history in The Dollop. The duo offer a funny take on people or events in every episode. You can watch more than 300 episodes for free. You might also be able catch the Dollop on a live tour.

Listen to The Dollop 14of 15

The Best Obscure History Podcast: What You Missed in History Class

What We Like

  • You can find episodes by topic or time period on the website, making it easy to find one you like.

What we don’t like

  • The show’s focus on less-known history won’t help with A.P. However, you may find inspiration for a research essay.

This podcast is produced by HowStuffWorks.com to fill in the gaps left by history textbooks. Bessie Coleman was the first African American pilot. Hedy Lamarr, the wireless technology inventor, is another example. Holly Frey and Tracy Wilson will share their stories about these unsung heroes.

Listen to History Class: What You Missed 15of 15

My History Can Beat Your Politics

What We Like

  • The host and their guests provide far more historical background when discussing political topics than any cable news network.

What we don’t like

  • This podcast is not the right show for you if you are looking for an escape from the current political news.

Are you fed up with political commentary that lacks historical context? This program provides historical context for today’s political landscape. Bruce Carlson interviews journalists and authors regularly to provide a balanced view of the present through the prism of the past.

 

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