The 5 Best Podcasts for Learning History

5 podcasters who are changing the way we learn history

On the internet, even in education, competition for attention is fierce. Big on info, small on attention is the name of the game. Subjects like history, lovingly preserved by delicate hands, find themselves buried under a circus sideshow media-savvy world of memes, genres and sub-genres. With the next factoid just a click away, reading a block of text on history can be a challenge, even when the reader is genuinely interested.

The world ain’t what it used to be. Kids don’t read anymore. Its all the parents fault. Maybe. But while history is still full of great stories, they are all trapped in dusty old books. That is about to change. Podcasting has given birth to the genre-bending works of a few intrepid historians. A new generation of storytellers trying to make the way we handle history a thing of the past. These free downloadable audio shows turn history back into stories:

The Story Engine Podcast

The darkest moments in history told as legend. This podcast explores the obsession behind great battles through the familiar format of radio reports, confession tapes and dramatic storytelling. In this world Hitler is seduced by black magic, Spartacus is a boxer, and Julius Caesar has embedded journalists. You never know where you will go next.

Story Engine

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History

When Dan Carlin tells a story, there is going to be blood. He knows his stuff. And tells it like it is. His extraordinary, and seemingly endless knowledge of mankind’s darkest moments of depravity will have you losing sleep. A four-hour show is four hours of eye-witness accounts of war in all its hell. There is never a dull moment.


Twilight Histories

In these beautifully produced episodes, history is altered just enough to show its true nature. A series of engaging what-if scenarios involving time-travel, murder and detailed accounts of an alternate reality. Episodes include eye-witness accounts of the Black Death, The Ice Age, and Aztec sacrifices.


Ancient Rome Refocused

Storytelling at its finest. With beautiful pacing and production our narrator takes us through glimpses of the ancient world. As a listener we materialize and dematerialize through a compelling sound-scape in the capable and knowledgeable hands of a great raconteur.


The Memory Palace

Nate DiMeo is arguably the most capable storyteller of them all. In a matter of a few minutes, his soothing voice takes you slowly through tightly wound story that will affect you emotionally and spiritually. These history sound bites will leave you in a state of blissful inspiration.

The Memory Palace

The Memory Palace with Nick DiMeo