Been trying to shake up my podcast list a bit the last few weeks, cutting back on the amount of American political content I mainline into my cortex, while seeking out some quirky undiscovered stuff that I can also justify as, er, work.
The Rest is History by Tom Holland and Dominic Sandbrook is about the most delightful example of the latter I've so far found.
A couple of chatty British historians with intimidatingly large brains and expansive personalities, they are well worth a go if you're looking for pandemic diversion. They sometimes have guests in for specialist topics, like culinary history or the French Revolution, but most eps they’re more than up to the task of winging it.
Most of the episodes run for about an hour and they range up and down the millennia, sometimes taking a thematic approach (Culture Wars through time), and sometimes dialling in on a particular subject such as, say, the Magna Carta or the fall of Troy.
One of the things I do love about it is being forced to realise, like Neo in the Matrix, that all of this has happened before and all of this will happen again. The Culture War episode and their discussion of media driven epistemic collapse in the 17th Century were particular faves for me.
Their personalities are well matched even if their views often diverge, leading to one of the other small joys of this series - listening to a couple of blokes disagree with each other in good faith and humour, without the usual race to the bottom which is so common online.
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