20 of the Best History Podcasts for Bringing the Past to Life

A curated podcast list by

Creation Date July 21st, 2018
Updated Date Updated April 6th, 2021
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About This List

The very best - in my humble opinion - history podcasts on all things old and dusty. Categories include: Everyone, Everywhere (podcast that cover all the world's history at any time), A Bit More Specific (shows that cover some people or just some places), The American Ones (American history, clearly), Even More Specific History (the history of the things you like), and History at High Speed (short and sweet shows)
  1. Everyone, Everywhere

  2. In "Hardcore History" journalist and broadcaster Dan Carlin takes his "Martian", unorthodox way of thinking and applies it to the past. Was Alexander the Great as bad a person as Adolf Hitler? What would Apaches with modern weapons be like? Will our modern civilization ever fall like civilizations from past eras? This isn't academic history (and Carlin isn't a historian) but the podcast's unique blend of high drama, masterful narration and Twilight Zone-style twists has entertained millions of listeners.
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    Morgan DeLisle

  3. Where History Comes Alive! A fast-paced, well-researched weekly podcast covering a wide range of historical events, persons, places, legends, and mysteries, hosted by Jon Hagadorn. 1001 Heroes Podcast is a proud part of the 1001 Stories Podcast Network, which includes 1001 Classic Short Stories & Tales Podcast, 1001 Radio Days, and 1001 Stories For the Road Podcast. The network enjoyed over 5 million listens in the past year from a worldwide audience. SUPPORT OUR SHOW BY BECOMING A PATRON! www.patreon.com/1001storiesnetwork. Thank you!
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    Morgan DeLisle

  1. A Bit More Specific

  1. The American Ones

  2. 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? We’ll take you to the events, the times and the people that shaped our nation. And we’ll show you how our history affected them, their families and affects you today. Hosted by Lindsay Graham (not the Senator). From Wondery, the network behind Tides Of History, Fall Of Rome and Dirty John.
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    Morgan DeLisle

  3. In 2003, the United States invaded Iraq without provocation. Most Americans supported the war—as did most politicians and intellectuals, both liberal and conservative. Today, it’s universally considered a disaster. Hosted by award-winning reporter Noreen Malone, the fifth season of Slow Burn explores the people and ideas that propelled the country into the Iraq War, and the institutions that failed to stop it. How did the Iraq catastrophe happen? And what was it like to watch America make one of its most consequential mistakes?
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    Morgan DeLisle

  4. BackStory is a weekly public podcast hosted by U.S. historians Ed Ayers, Brian Balogh, Nathan Connolly and Joanne Freeman. We're based in Charlottesville, Va. at Virginia Humanities. 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. Through stories, interviews, and conversations with our listeners, BackStory makes history engaging and fun.
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    Morgan DeLisle

  1. Even More Specific History

  2. Food intersects with our lives in more ways than we think. Food52's Burnt Toast podcast chases those stories to give listeners the perfect pieces of snackable dinner-party fodder—all inside of a commute's time. In each episode, host Michael Harlan Turkell explores a different aspect of food culture and community, highlighting the often-surprising past informing what we eat every day, and meeting some of the people shaping food's present and future.
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    Morgan DeLisle

  3. Each week, SpyCast will feature ex-spies, intelligence officers, and authors talking about the world of international intelligence and espionage. SpyCast is hosted by Dr. Andrew Hammond (https://www.spymuseum.org/press/press-archive/2020-press-releases/spy-museum-names-andrew-hammon/) , the museum's Historian & Curator: @spyhistorian (https://twitter.com/spyhistorian) ). Follow us on Twitter @INTLSpyCast (https://twitter.com/INTLSpyCast) .   The International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. is home to the world's largest collection of intelligence and espionage related artifacts. Don't believe us? See Guinness World Records (https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/622445-largest-espionage-museum) !
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    Morgan DeLisle

  4. You Must Remember This is a storytelling podcast exploring the secret and/or forgotten histories of Hollywood’s first century. It’s the brainchild and passion project of Karina Longworth (founder of Cinematical.com, former film critic for LA Weekly), who writes, narrates, records and edits each episode. It is a heavily-researched work of creative nonfiction: navigating through conflicting reports, mythology, and institutionalized spin, Karina tries to sort out what really happened behind the films, stars and scandals of the 20th century.
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    Morgan DeLisle

  1. History at High Speed

  2. 15 Minute History is a history podcast designed for historians, enthusiasts, and newbies alike. This is a joint project of Hemispheres, the international outreach consortium at the University of Texas at Austin, and Not Even Past, a website with articles on a wide variety of historical issues, produced by the History Department at the University of Texas at Austin. This podcast series is devoted to short, accessible discussions of important topics in world history, United States history, and Texas history with the award winning faculty and graduate students at the University of Texas at Austin, and distinguished visitors to our campus. They are meant to be a resource for both teachers and students, and can be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in history. For more information and to hear our complete back catalog of episodes, visit our website! Texas Podcast Network is brought to you by The University of Texas at Austin. Podcasts are produced by faculty members and staffers at UT Austin who work with University Communications to craft content that adheres to journalistic best practices. The University of Texas at Austin offers these podcasts at no charge. Podcasts appearing on the network and this webpage represent the views of the hosts, not of The University of Texas at Austin.
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    Morgan DeLisle

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