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Versus History Podcast Profile

Versus History Podcast

English, History, 1 season, 184 episodes, 3 days, 15 hours, 39 minutes
The future of History is right here! Historians Patrick O'Shaughnessy (@historychappy), Conal Smith (@prohistoricman) and Elliott L. Watson (@DrElliottWatson) are dedicated to making history happen, while showcasing the architecture of historical argumentation and historiography. Please visit, tweet us at @versushistory or tag us #VersusHistory.
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Episode 184: National Service! Rishi Sunak calls!

In this episode of the Versus History Podcast, the editors discuss the UK's forthcoming General Election, announced by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak for 4 July 2024. Sunak quickly announced that 'National Service' will be introduced for young people if the Conservative Party is returned to government by the British public. The last time this was part of British policy was 1948-1960. We discuss all ...For terms of use, please visit
5/29/202421 minutes, 33 seconds
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Episode 183: 'Freeman's Challenge: The Murder That Shook America’s Original Prison for Profit' by Harvard Professor Robin Bernstein

In 1821 Afro-Native William Freeman found himself convicted of horse theft he vehemently denied and sentenced to five years of hard labor in Auburn State Prison (New York) — without pay and in total silence. It was the first prison built for solitary confinement, and it was in this oppressive environment that Freeman dared to challenge the system. Driven to extremes, he murdered a white family, explaining that "someone must pay." Freeman's Challenge: The Murder That Shook America’s Original Prison for Profit, from distinguished Harvard Professor Robin Bernstein, unveils this gripping saga of defiance and its lasting effects on our penal system.The forthcoming release of Bernstein's newest book from The University of Chicago Press in May 2024 is highly anticipated, on the heels of her previous book, which received numerous awards, including the Lois P. Rudnick Book Prize from the New England American Studies Association. As Chair of Harvard's doctoral Program in American Studies, Bernstein brings to bear her expertise in U.S. racial formation from the nineteenth century to the present. Through meticulous research, she tells an explosive story about the tangled web of oppression and racism that still underpins our society's institutions.As civil rights icon Angela Davis aptly puts it, "Bernstein's compelling narrative provides insight not only into the institution of the prison in the United States but also into the lives of those whose newly experienced dreams of freedom were crushed by evolving intersections of punishment and racial capitalism. By disengaging the emergence of the prison from what has become its inevitable partner — 'rehabilitation'— Bernstein deftly reveals the deep connections between imprisonment, racism, and the development of the capitalist economy."Bernstein follows Freeman's ensuing trial, examining how narratives intertwined race with criminality, deflecting attention from the exploitative practices of Auburn. These narratives not only permeated the trial but also became entrenched in culture throughout the US, perpetuating harmful notions such as the myth of inherent Black criminality and providing justification for racialized mass incarceration.This timely and necessary story of Black resistance against the nexus of incarceration, racial capitalism, and slavery will further inspire the prison abolitionist movement. It's an essential read for anyone seeking to understand the complexities of our modern prison system from one of the most prominent experts on racism in America.
5/2/202427 minutes, 10 seconds
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Episode 182: Free Ports (Teeside), Singapore-on-Thames and Entrepots ...

In this episode of the Versus History Podcast, the Editors tackle the subject of free trade, Brexit and the Teeside 'Free Port' initiative, making (sometimes errant!) comparisons and contrasts to the British acquisitions of yesteryear, including Singapore in 1819 and Hong Kong / Shanghai in 1842. For terms of use, please visit
3/28/202419 minutes, 5 seconds
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Episode 181: History Teaching, Versus History & Scholarship ... Elliott tells all!

In this unique episode of the Versus History Podcast, we take something of a detour from the usual substantive history fest to indulge in some history teaching tales ...Co-Editior Elliott recounts tips, tales and home truths from over twenty years of teaching history worldwide. For terms of use, please visit
3/22/202422 minutes, 42 seconds
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Episode 180: Box Office Bombs - Flunking Films!

In this episode of the Versus History Editors discuss a range of films that have flunked at the Box Office through time. Which films have flunked and why? From Heaven's Gate to Mario to Mr Nanny and many more besides... Find out in this episode!For terms of use, please visit
2/28/202427 minutes, 11 seconds
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Episode 179: Has banning stuff worked through history?

In this exciting episode, the Versus History team discuss the recent proposed smoking ban for UK citizens born after 2008 as well as the prohibition of alcohol in America in the early twentieth century and much, much more besides.For terms of use, please visit www.versushistory.comPlease give us a good review if you enjoyed the podcast!
2/7/202421 minutes, 4 seconds
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Episode 178: Mr Bates v The Post Office

In this episode of the Versus History Podcast, we discuss a serious miscarriage of justice which, between 1999 and 2015, saw over 900 subpostmasters prosecuted for theft, false accounting, and fraud for shortfalls at their branches when these shortfalls were in fact due to errors of the Post Office's Horizon accounting software.The recent ITV drama has captured British imaginations' to such an extent that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak plans to pass legislation to exonerate the innocent.For terms of use, please visit
1/17/202418 minutes, 21 seconds
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Episode 177: Resistance: The Underground War in Europe, 1939-1945 with Halik Kochanski

In this episode of the Versus History Podcast, we were delighted to interview Halik Kochanski, the winner of the Wolfson History Prize for 2023. Resistance: 'The Underground War in Europe, 1939-1945′Across the whole of Nazi-ruled Europe the experience of occupation was sharply varied. Some countries – such as Denmark – were allowed to run themselves within tight limits. Others – such as France – were constrained not only by military occupation but by open collaboration. In a historical moment when Nazi victory seemed irreversible, the question ‘why resist?’ was therefore augmented by ‘who was the enemy?’.Resistance is an extraordinarily powerful, humane and haunting account of how and why all across Nazi-occupied Europe some people decided to resist the Third Reich. This could range from open partisan warfare in the occupied Soviet Union to dangerous acts of insurrection in the Netherlands or Norway. Some of these resistance movements were entirely home-grown, others supported by the Allies.Like no other book, Resistance shows the reader just how difficult such actions were. How could small bands of individuals undertake tasks which could lead not just to their own deaths but those of their families and their entire communities?Filled with powerful and often little-known stories, Kochanski’s book is a fascinating examination of the convoluted challenges faced by those prepared to resist the Germans, ordinary people who carried out exceptional acts of defiance.The Wolfson History Prize 2023 link is here.The book can be purchased here.Follow Versus History on X here.
1/8/202424 minutes, 49 seconds
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Episode 176: “Empathy in history is a noble but ultimately unobtainable endeavour.” With #VHEssayPrize Winner Anoushka Sood

“Empathy in history is a noble but ultimately unobtainable endeavour.” How far do you agree with this statement?This is the very question answered by one of the joint winners of the inaugural Versus History Essay Prize (#VHEssayPrize). In this episode of the Versus History Podcast, we enjoy an audio-long read from joint prize winner Anoushka Sood of St Albans High School For Girls. This is followed by analysis from the VH Editorial Team, who were blown away by the research, reflection and epistemological insight shown by Anoushka in her essay.The Versus History Editors - Conal, Elliott and Patrick - would like to acknowledge the quite sublime support given to Neave and other students by the History Department at St Albans High School For Girls led by the Head of History. We also celebrate the support that families, parents, carers and friends give to students of history, such as Neave.Bravo to Anoushka and all the other entrants to the Versus History Essay Prize 2023! Look out for the 2024 iteration!For terms of use, please visit 
12/16/202325 minutes, 47 seconds
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Episode 175: Cold Spell: A Human History of Ice with Max Leonard

In this episode, we interview author Max Leonard about his new book.A Cold Spell: A Human History of Ice by Max Leonard This book is the story of humanity through the lens of ice – our interactions with ice, our need for it, and what it means for us that it is rapidly disappearing from our planet. Max takes us from the beginning of our story to the modern day, tracing the ways ice has influenced our development, our economies, our social customs and our lives. Exposing the commonalities between an opulently frozen mummy, Winston Churchill’s plans for inventive aircraft carriers and mountaineering, it’s bound to change how you think about the world around you. ‘In a bracingly original book, Max Leonard makes something we all take for granted into an absorbing pathway into history, geography and science … A highly readable feast of insights and surprises- Michael Palin ‘A wonderful history of ingenuity, wanderlust, preservation and exploitation. Max Leonard has written an original chronicle of human nature, and you’ll skate through it with enduringinsight and pleasure.’ - Simon GarfieldFor terms of use, please visit
12/6/202322 minutes
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Episode 174: History Degrees: worth it? With #VHEssayPrize Winner Neave Rees

'A History degree isn't worth the paper it is printed on.' To what extent is this statement valid?This is the very question that provided the response for one of the joint winners of the inaugural Versus History Essay Prize (#VHEssayPrize). In this episode of the Versus History Podcast, we enjoy an audio-long read from joint prize winner Neave Rees of King Edward VI High School For Girls in Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK. This is followed by analysis from the VH Editorial Team, who were blown away by the research, reflection and epistemological insight shown by Neave in her essay.The Versus History Editors - Conal, Elliott and Patrick - would like to acknowledge the quite sublime support given to Neave and other students by the History Department at King Edward VI High School For Girls, led by the Head of History, N. Haines. We also celebrate the support that families, parents, carers and friends give to students of history, such as Neave.Bravo to Neave and all the other entrants to the Versus History Essay Prize 2023! Look out for the 2024 iteration!For terms of use, please visit 
11/27/202325 minutes, 27 seconds
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Episode 173: The Children of Athena: Greek Intellectuals in the Age of Rome with Charles Freeman

This week on the @Versus History Podcast, we welcome back historian Charles Freeman to discuss his new book 'Children of Athena'. Charles Freeman presents a compelling and fascinating portrait of the continuing intellectual tradition of Greek writers and thinkers in the Age of Rome. In 146 BC, Greece yielded to the military might of the Roman Republic; sixty years later, when Athens and other Greek city-states rebelled against Rome, the general Lucius Cornelius Sulla destroyed the city of Socrates and Plato, laying waste to the famous Academy where Aristotle had studied. However, the traditions of Greek cultural life would continue to flourish during the centuries of Roman rule that followed, in the lives and work of a distinguished array of philosophers, doctors, scientists, geographers, travellers and theologians. Charles Freeman's accounts of such luminaries as the physician Galen, the geographer Ptolemy and the philosopher Plotinus are interwoven with contextual 'interludes' that showcase a sequence of unjustly neglected and richly influential lives. Like the author's The Awakening, The Children of Athena is a cultural history on an epic scale: the story of a rich and vibrant tradition of Greek intellectual inquiry across a period of more than five hundred years, from the second century BC to the start of the fifth century AD.“Charles Freeman has done it again – amassed a vast body of knowledge on a major subject and infused it with historical understanding and humane wit” Paul Cartledge, University of Cambridge “The Awakening is a remarkable work of scholarship by esteemed historian Charles Freeman... The book is a fine production, adorned with coloured images of frescos and ancient manuscripts.” Irish Times “Freeman is a good host, a superb narrator and tells his story with aplomb... His elegant prose is a treat for the mind and the accompanying illuminations a treat for the eye.” International Times “A work of serious scholarship by an author who has clearly been everywhere, seen everything and read voraciously. But it is also a work written with great elan and, given its scope, undertaken with considerable courage.” Christopher Lloyd, Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures, 1988–2005For terms of use, please visit 
11/20/202320 minutes, 30 seconds
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Episode 172: Rebellion: Eagles of the Empire with Simon Scarrow

AD.60 and Brittania is in chaos. Boudica has had a taste of victory against the formidable veteransin Camulodunum and she won’t stop now. How will Roman heroes Macro and Cato fare againstthe notorious Queen of the Britons?A quick response to the rapidly advancing rebel forces, Governor Suetonius takes command leadinghis army to the besieged Londinium with prefect Cato and a mounted escort in tow.The grim reality of Britannia slipping deeper into chaos and hysteria becomes unmistakable as tribalwarriors continue to swell the ranks of Boudica’s forces. Both Cato and Suetonius confront thesobering truth that minimal preparations have been made to confront a full-scale insurrection.Meanwhile, in Londinium, a heart-wrenching revelation unfolds. Centurion Macro is among thosemissing following the Camulodunum massacre. Has Cato's loyal comrade, who has faced countlessbattles, met his ultimate challenge? As disaster looms, Cato readies himself for the next strategicmove. Can he dare to hope that Macro, marked by battle and unflinching courage, has managed toevade these bloodthirsty rebels?In this pivotal military campaign, Cato knows that only one man he trusts stands beside him, and thefate of the Empire in Britannia hangs in the balance.About the author of 'Rebellion': Born in Nigeria and educated in the UK, Scarrow's multicultural background has enriched his storytelling, allowing him to bring historical eras to life with a unique perspective.Simon Scarrow is a Sunday Times No.1 bestselling author who has spent his life travelling the worldand telling stories and he now lives in Mauritius with his wife. His books have sold over 5 millioncopies and include his Eagles of the Empire novels featuring Roman soldiers Macro and Cato, mostrecently DEATH TO THE EMPEROR, THE HONOUR OF ROME, THE EMPEROR'S EXILE and TRAITORS OFROME, as well as DEAD OF NIGHT and BLACKOUT, the first two novels in the Criminal InspectorSchenke thriller series, and many more. 12 of his Eagles of the Empire novels have been SundayTimes bestsellers and REBELLION marks no.22 of Simon’s Eagles of the Empire Novels.For terms of use, please visit
11/9/202322 minutes, 51 seconds
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Episode 171: Empires of the Steppe: The Nomadic Tribes Who Shaped Civilization

In this episode of the Versus History Podcast, we interview Historian Kenneth W. Harl, author of the brand new book Empires of the Steppes: The Nomadic Tribes Who Shaped Civilization. This book is an epic and enthralling narrative history of how Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan and the so-called 'barbarians of the steppes' shaped the modern world. The barbarian nomads of the Eurasian steppes have played a decisive role in world history, but their achievements have gone largely unnoticed. These nomadic tribes have produced some of the world’s greatest conquerors: Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan and Tamerlane, among others. And, as Kenneth Harl illustrates in this glorious work of narrative history, their deeds still resonate today. Indeed, these nomads built long-lasting empires, facilitated the first global trade of the Silk Road and disseminated religions, technology, knowledge and goods of every description that enriched and changed the lives of so many across Europe, China and the Middle East. From a single region emerged a great many peoples – the Huns, the Mongols, the Magyars, the Turks, the Xiongnu, the Scythians, the Goths – all of whom went on to profoundly and irrevocably shape the modern world. Professor Kenneth Harl draws on a lifetime of scholarship to vividly recreate the lives and world of these often-forgotten peoples from their beginnings to the early modern age. Their brutal struggle to survive on the steppes bred a resilient, pragmatic people ever ready to learn from their more advanced neighbours. In warfare, they dominated the battlefield for over fifteen hundred years. Under charismatic rulers, they could topple empires and win their own.For terms of use, please visit www.versushistory.comFor the Guardian review, please click here.For the book, please click here.For Kenneth’s professional profile, please click here.
10/16/202328 minutes, 28 seconds
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Episode 170: The Catholic Church in the Age of Revolution & Democracy

In this episode of the Versus History Podcast, we interview Dr. Ambrogio A. Caiani about his new book.Losing a Kingdom, Gaining the World is the untold story of the fascinating and complex history of the Roman Catholic Church in the modern age. In the first book of its kind, Dr. Ambrogio A. Caiani unravels the enthralling and horrifying history of one of the world’s most powerful, controversial, and defiantly archaic institutions. The ambitious and authoritative work sees Caiani masterfully narrate the Church's journey through an array of challenges posed by modernity in all its forms. From the emergence of representative democracy and the nation-state to the advancements of science, literature, and secular culture, the book offers a gripping account of the Church's struggle to adapt and endure. Covering a number of critical periods in the Church's history, Caiani begins with the aftermath of the French Revolution and the democratic rebellions of 1848 and follows the Church's unique evolution that sees three popes being forced out of Rome, the secular power of papacy being destroyed, a disastrous series of concordats with fascist states in the 1930s, and the Church’s retreat into a fortress of unreason. As Catholicism lost its temporal power it made huge spiritual strides expanding across the globe and gaining new converts in America, Africa and the Far East; losing a kingdom but gaining the world.For terms of use, please visit www.versushistory.comTo check out the book, please click here.
10/8/202325 minutes, 9 seconds
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Episode 169: Drag: A British History by Jacob Bloomfield

In this episode of the podcast, we interview historian and author Jacob Bloomfield. His new book Drag: A British History is a groundbreaking study of the sustained popularity and changing forms of male drag performance in modern Britain. With this book, Jacob Bloomfield provides fresh perspectives on drag and recovers previously neglected episodes in the history of the art form.Despite its transgressive associations, drag has persisted as an intrinsic, and common, part of British popular culture—drag artists have consistently asserted themselves as some of the most renowned and significant entertainers of their day. As Bloomfield demonstrates, drag was also at the center of public discussions around gender and sexuality in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, from Victorian sex scandals to the "permissive society" of the 1960s. This compelling new history demythologizes drag, stressing its ordinariness while affirming its important place in British cultural heritage.For terms of use, please visit
9/7/202321 minutes, 35 seconds
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Episode 168: Walking Hadrian's Wall with Elliott!

Our Co-Editor Elliott is currently walking Hadrain's Wall, from the west coast of England to the east! In this episode of the podcast, we catch up with him as he finds a spot with mobile signal to fill us in on his adventures thus far! #VersusHistory
8/9/202313 minutes, 8 seconds
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Episode 167: The Eagle and the Lion: Rome, Persia and an Unwinnable Conflict with Adrian Goldsworthy

The epic story of the imperial rivalry between two of the greatest empires of the ancient world – Parthian and Persian – and how they rose and eventually fell.The Roman empire shaped the culture of the western world against which all other great powers are compared. Stretching from the north of Britain to the Sahara, and from the Atlantic coast to the Euphrates, it imposed peace and prosperity on an unprecedented scale.However, the exception lay in the east, where the Parthian and then Persian empires ruled over great cities and the trade routes to mysterious lands beyond. This was the place Alexander the Great had swept through, creating a dream of glory and conquest which tantalised Greeks and Romans alike. Caesar, Mark Antony and a long succession of emperors longed to follow in Alexander's footsteps. All failed. Only here did the Roman empire slow down and eventually stop, unable to go any further.Following seven centuries of conflict that, ultimately, neither Rome nor Persia would win, The Eagle and the Lion delves into the clash, context and journeys of these entities of great power and the people caught in their wider struggle.Adrian Goldsworthy has a doctorate from Oxford University. His first book, THE ROMAN ARMY AT WAR was recognised by John Keegan as an exceptionally impressive work, original in treatment and impressive in style. He has gone on to write several other books, including THE FALL OF THE WEST, CAESAR, IN THE NAME OF ROME, CANNAE and ROMAN WARFARE, which have sold more than a quarter of a million copies and been translated into more than a dozen languages. A full-time author, he regularly contributes to TV documentaries on Roman themes.
6/22/202325 minutes, 31 seconds
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Episode 166: History of Modern Terrorism with Dr James Crossland.

In this epsiode, we discuss Dr James Crossland's new book 'The Rise of Devils: Fear and the Origins of Modern Terrorism' (Manchester University Press, 2023). We cover much ground relating to the history of terrorism, right up to the preset day and forecasts for the future. James is a Reader in International History, whose present research interests lie in the history of terrorism, societal fear, intelligence and propaganda. He is also a specialist in the history of international humanitarian law and the Red Cross movement, in particular during its formative years (1860s-1914). Beyond his research endeavours, he is Co-Director of LJMU's Centre for Modern and Contemporary History and Postgraduate Coordinator for the School of Humanities and Social Science.James has recently completed his third book, 'The Rise of Devils: Fear and the Origins of Modern Terrorism' (Manchester University Press, 2023), which examines the development of international terrorism across the transatlantic world during the late nineteenth century. This book is part of a wider project that focuses on the political and societal impacts of fear narratives and fake news during the period of 1850s-1914.  James is on Twitter.Check out James' new book here.Check out James' MUP wesbite for the book here.
6/6/202329 minutes, 43 seconds
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Episode 165: Siege of Paris 1870 with David Lawday

A Time in Paris is the new book by historical novelist David Lawday, the author of the critically-acclaimed book 'Danton'.As a correspondent for the Economist and U.S. News and World Report, David Lawday lived in France for many years, marrying a French woman and raising his two children there. His long experience of France, in the eyes of an Economist reviewer, made him "an ideal biographer" of Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord, a highly influential French statesman who held positions close to the top of a number of French regimes, notably that of Napoleon Bonaparte. Lawday's biography of the controversial Talleyrand, Napoleon's Master: A Life of Prince Talleyrand, was published in 2006.David's new book is a powerful historical novel which explores unlikely ties and how war changes hearts, set during one of the turning points in world history. The Siege of Paris – the impact of which is still felt today - has hitherto been under-explored by historians. David certainly helps to bring the subject to life in this fascinating novel. Check out David's Amazon book page here.  
5/29/202332 minutes, 22 seconds
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Episode 164: Bombing of Hiroshima & Nagasaki. 'Road to Surrender' with Evan Thomas.

In this episode, we interview Historian, Journalist & New York Times bestselling Author Evan Thomas about his brand new book, Road to Surrender: Three Men and the Countdown to the End of World War.Road to Surrender is a riveting, immersive account of the agonizing decision to use nuclear weapons against Japan. To bring these critical events to vivid life Evan Thomas draws on the diaries and correspondence of three key players - Stimson (American Secretary of War), Togo (Japanese Foreign Minister) and Spaatz (head of strategic bombing in the Pacific). He lays out the behind-the-scenes thoughts, feelings, motivations, and decision-making of three people who changed history. Through rare access to diaries and personal discussions we have insight into the moral dilemmas faced on both sides and how the key political decision makers grappled with these impossibly difficult decisions and contemplated the immense weight of their historic decision.“In this meticulously crafted and vivid account, Evan Thomas tells the gripping and terrifying story of the last days of the Second World War in the Pacific” - Margaret MacMillan, author of War: How Conflict Shaped Us.Check out the book here on Amazon. 
5/21/202322 minutes, 45 seconds
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Episode 163: Biden in Ireland 2023. Reflections & Review.

US President Biden has just finished his visit to Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. What are the historical connections? Can it be termed a success? If so, for who(m)? The Editorial team discuss ...For terms of use, please visit
4/17/202316 minutes, 27 seconds
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Episode 162: Versus History Essay Prize 2023 #VHEssayPrize

We are delighted to announce the launch of the Versus History Essay Prize 2023 (#VHEssayPrize). Full details can found via the links below. Please spread the word to anyone and everyone who may (or may not!) be interested! The webpage link for the #VHEssayPrize is here.The questions for the #VHEssayPrize are here. To contact Versus History via Twitter about the #VHEssayPrize, that link is here. 
4/13/20237 minutes, 3 seconds
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Episode 161: 'Kisses on a Postcard' with Dominic Frisby

In this episode, we interview actor, historian, podcaster and playwright Dominic Frisby about evacuation from London during WW2. Dominic is responsible for 'Kisses on a Postcard.' To set the scene, it is 1940. Two boys from London, Terry and Jack, aged seven and eleven, are being evacuated to escape German bombing. They end up in Cornwall, where they spend the next four years. The intensely moving musical by Terence Frisby tells the unforgettable story of those boys and their "second childhood". Full of surprising humour and memorable songs, this is a unique portrait of an extraordinary time in British history. "Enchanting, profoundly moving and delightful," Charles Spencer, the Telegraph. Starring John Owen-Jones, Katie Secombe, Rosie Cavaliero, Marcia Warren, Evie Hoskins, Ian Virgo, James Clyde, Peter Temple and others.Check out Kisses on a PostcardFollow Dominic Frisby on Twitter
3/30/202339 minutes, 33 seconds
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Episode 160: Britpop & Jungle. The sound of 90s Britain.

In this exciting episode of the Versus History Podcast, we have something a little different. We discuss the 1990s and the wonderfully eclectic and inventive sounds it spawned, from Britpop's Oasis, Blur and Pulp to Jungle / Drum and Bass and Shy FX, General Levy and UK Apachi.We conclude with a guest mix from Leicester's and UMC Management's very own DJ Juvenile / DJ Juvie, playing an hour of original 90s-inspired Jungle from vinyl. Enjoy!For terms of use, please visit
3/13/20231 hour, 9 minutes, 13 seconds
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Episode 159: The Dress Diary of Mrs Anne Sykes: Secrets from a Victorian Woman’s Wardrobe with Kate Strasdin

In this episode, we interview Kate Strasdin, who is a dress historian who has been fascinated by old clothes since she was a child.  Her new book, 'The Dress Diary of Mrs Anne Sykes: Secrets from a Victorian Woman’s Wardrobe' is a tour de force of History! Kate is a lecturer in Cultural Studies at Falmouth University and an Instagram sensation!In 2016 she was given an anonymous album full of annotated dress swatches that had been kept in a trunk for over fifty years, its original keeper unknown. She spent the next six years unlocking its secrets and wrote the following book ...The hidden fabric of a Victorian woman's life - from family and friends to industry and Empire - told through her unique textile scrapbook.In 1838, a young woman was given a diary on her wedding day. Collecting snippets of fabric from a range of garments she carefully annotated each one, creating a unique record of her life and times. Her name was Mrs Anne Sykes.Nearly two hundred years later, the diary fell into the hands of Kate Strasdin, a fashion historian and museum curator. Strasdin spent the next six years unravelling the secrets contained within the album's pages.Piece by piece, she charts Anne's journey from the mills of Lancashire to the port of Singapore before tracing her return to England in later years. Fragments of cloth become windows into Victorian life: pirates in Borneo, the complicated etiquette of mourning, poisonous dyes, the British Empire in full swing, rioting over working conditions and the terrible human cost of Britain's cotton industry.This is life writing that celebrates ordinary people: the hidden figures, the participants in everyday life. Through the evidence of waistcoats, ball gowns and mourning outfits, Strasdin lays bare the whole of human experience in the most intimate of mediums: the clothes we choose to wear.For terms of use, please visit
3/5/202318 minutes, 19 seconds
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Episode 158: The long view - the news today with hindsight ...

In this episode, the editorial team meets at the Future Learning Summit to discuss the news today (25/02/23). We look at AI, Presidents, railway strikes, nationalisation and much, much more besides ...For terms of use, please visit
2/25/202312 minutes, 29 seconds
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Episode 157: The Long View - This week's news in History ...

Join us for this episode where we check out the big news stories of the week and investigate the historical connections and correlations.For terms of use, please visit
2/24/202312 minutes, 59 seconds
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Episode 156: The War Pianist with Mandy Robotham

In this episode of the Versus History Podcast, we are joined by Mandy Robotham. She is a Globe and Mail, USA Today, and UK, Canadian, US and Australian Kindle Top 100 bestseller. She has been an aspiring author from the age of nine, but was waylaid by journalism and later enticed by birth. She’s now a former midwife who writes about birth, death, love and everything else in between. She graduated with an MA in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University. In this episode, Mandy discusses her new book, The War Pianist, as well as many other topics, such as approaches to writing historical fiction, techniques and how to go about the research. For terms of use, please visit
2/18/202317 minutes, 37 seconds
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Episode 155: Oh to be a Jungle MC! With the legendary MC Co-Gee from Kool LDN

Jungle. Drum & Bass. Its impressively long history goes back to the very early 1990s, synthesising elements of rave, house and techno, but also reggae and Soundsystem culture. MC Co-Gee is a musician and artist who needs no introduction to fans of Jungle, Drum & Bass and Reggae. He was the very first Jungle MC on London's premier Jungle Radio Station, Kool FM 94.5 / Kool LDN, which ran between 1991 and 2023, having served microphone duties on the station for its entire tenure. He started his musical career on a Soundsystem, before migrating towards Jungle in the early 1990's.In this interview, we discuss everything, from his work on Kool FM to his career as an MC to the allure of UK Garage to the decline of the soundsystems and the rise of Jungle.For terms of use, please visit
1/30/202341 minutes, 30 seconds
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Episode 154: Chat GPT & tech change in history!

Chat GPT has been causing quite a stir on social media and in the news. But how revolutionary is it? Does all technological change have this much impact? What other changes have caused consternation through history? Find out in this episode, where the entire editorial team of Versus History gather round to discuss!For terms of use, please visit
1/18/202331 minutes, 19 seconds
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Episode 153: 'SAS Brothers in Arms' with Damien Lewis

In this episode of the Versus History Podcast, we welcome back Historian Damien Lewis to discuss his new book 'SAS Brothers in Arms'.Damien Lewis' new bestseller tells the action-packed, riveting story of the band of mavericks and visionaries who made the SAS. Using hitherto untold stories and new archival sources, Damien Lewis follows one close-knit band of warriors from the SAS foundation through to the Italian landings - chronicling the extraordinary part they played as the tide of the Second World War truly turned in the Allied's favour. This is a narrative of wall-to-wall do-or-die action and daring, chronicling the exploits of some of the most highly-decorated soldiers of the twentieth-century.For terms of use, please visit
11/11/202222 minutes, 29 seconds
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Episode 152: Medusa with Natalie Haynes

Natalie Haynes is a writer and broadcaster. She is the author of The Amber Fury, The Children of Jocasta, and A Thousand Ships, which was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2020. Her non-fiction book about women in Greek Myth, Pandora’s Jar, was a New York Times Bestseller in 2022. She has written and performed eight series of her BBC Radio 4 show, Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics. In 2015 she was awarded the Classical Association Prize for her work in bringing Classics to a wider audience. Stone Blind is her fourth novel.So to mortal men, we are monsters. Because of our flight, our strength. They fear us, so they call us monsters.’Medusa is the sole mortal in a family of gods. Growing up with her Gorgon sisters, she begins to realize that she is the only one who experiences change, the only one who can be hurt. And her mortal lifespan gives her an urgency that her family will never know.When the sea god Poseidon commits an unforgivable act in the temple of Athene, the goddess takes her revenge where she can – and Medusa is changed forever. Writhing snakes replace her hair, and her gaze now turns any living creature to stone. The power cannot be controlled: Medusa can look at nothing without destroying it. She is condemned to a life of shadows and darkness.Until Perseus embarks upon a quest to fetch the head of a Gorgon . . .In Stone Blind, Natalie Haynes – the Women’s Prize-shortlisted author of A Thousand Ships – brings the infamous Medusa to life as you have never seen her before . . .
9/15/202220 minutes, 22 seconds
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Episode 151: Versus History Editors Talk History!

In this episode, the editorial team got together to talk about a small slice of the history that they encountered during their summer travels and also to announce the winner of the amazing Wolfson History Prize 2022 book bonanza!
8/20/202216 minutes, 27 seconds
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Episode 150: The resistance fighter who survived three concentration camps

In the 150th episode of the Versus History Podcast, we interview author Eva Taylor about her new book, 'Sabine's War'. The book notes are below: Sabine’s War is the previously untold story of a remarkable resistance fighter and her incredible story of survival against the odds. When Germany invaded Holland in May 1940, Sabine Zuur joined the resistance movement without a moment’s hesitation aged just 22. Helping to hide those avoiding the German authorities, she was soon betrayed and subjected to repeated violent interrogations. Many of her friends were executed but Sabine was instead sent to the Mauthausen concentration camp, via the Amersfoort andRavensbrück camps. Enduring gruelling conditions and backbreaking forced manual labour, she survived through a combination of guile and good fortune. But it was only after Sabine’s death that her daughter Eva discovered an archive of letters detailing her extraordinary life, revealing a rich inner world and a past she had discussed little. Amongst them were declarations of love from pilot Taro, shot down in his Spitfire over northern France aged just 26; letters to her mother smuggled out in her prison laundry; and passionate, creepy missives from a German professional criminal named Gebele who would ultimately save Sabine’s life. She emerges from this correspondence as a woman with an indefinable aura, somehow in control of her own destiny even when to all intents and purposes she was not. A transfixing story of survival, Sabine’s War captures a remarkable life in the words of the young woman who lived it.For terms of use, please visit
7/31/202214 minutes, 19 seconds
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Episode 149: Devil-Land: England Under Siege, 1588-1688 with Clare Jackson

An interview with Dr Clare Jackson, the winner of Wolfson History Prize 2022 about her book, ‘Devil-Land:England Under Siege, 1588-1688′. Clare is the Senior tutor of Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge. The description for the book:Among foreign observers, seventeenth-century England was known as ‘Devil-Land’: a diabolical country of fallen angels, torn apart by rebellion, religious extremism and royal collapse. Clare Jackson’s dazzling account of English history’s most radical era tells the story of a nation in a state of near continual crisis.As an unmarried, childless heretic, Elizabeth I was regarded with horror by Catholic Europe, while her Stuart successors, James I and Charles I, were seen as impecunious and incompetent, unable to manage their three kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland. The traumatic civil wars, regicide and a republican Commonwealth were followed by the floundering rule of Charles II and James II, before William of Orange invaded and a new order was imposed.Devil-Land reveals England as, in many ways, a ‘failed state’: endemically unstable and rocked by devastating events from the Gunpowder Plot to the Great Fire of London. Catastrophe nevertheless bred creativity, and Jackson makes brilliant use of eyewitness accounts – many penned by stupefied foreigners – to dramatize her great story. Starting on the eve of the Spanish Armada in 1588 and concluding with a not-so ‘Glorious Revolution’ a hundred years later, Devil-Land is a spectacular reinterpretation of England’s vexed and enthralling past.To check the book out, visit the link here.For more on the Wolfson History Prize, here is the link. For Clare's website, visit here.
7/3/202226 minutes, 56 seconds
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Episode 148: ‘God: An Anatomy’ with Francesca Stavrakopoulou

This is a Wolfson History Prize 2022 Special! In this special interview we chat with Professor Frances Stavrakopoulou (@ProfFrancesca) about her new book 'God: An Anatomy'. This was a nominee for the 2022 Wolfson History Prize. The description of the book is here:Three thousand years ago, in the Southwest Asian lands we now call Israel and Palestine, a group of people worshipped a complex pantheon of deities, led by a father god called El. El had seventy children, who were gods in their own right. One of them, a minor storm deity known as Yahweh, had a body, a wife, offspring and colleagues. He fought monsters and mortals, gorged on food and wine, wrote books, and took walks and naps. He would become something far larger and far more abstract: the God of the great monotheistic religions.The Bible has shaped our ideas about God and religion, but also our cultural preferences about human existence and experience; our concept of life and death; our attitude to sex and gender; our habits of eating and drinking; our understanding of history. Examining God’s body, from his head to his hands, feet and genitals, Francesca Stavrakopoulou shows how the Western idea of God developed. She explores the places and artefacts that shaped our view of this singular God and the ancient religions and societies of the biblical world. She analyses not only the origins of our oldest religions, but also the origins of Western culture.For terms of use, please visit
6/23/202214 minutes, 29 seconds
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Episode 147: Japanese Print Art - A Short History!

Mr. Barry Cooper’s educational career spans 20 years, 3 continents, and 4 prestigious schools in London, Edinburgh, Shanghai and Dubai. Most recently, he shaped the academic curriculum for the newly launched Brighton College Dubai, while also finding time to create and curate a new Arts festival. Previously he championed the IB Diploma programme for History at Wellington College Shanghai, after 8 years on the leadership team at leading Scottish boarding school Loretto just outside Edinburgh. He started his career at Epsom College, as teacher of History and a residential Assistant Housemaster.Barry read History at St Andrews and then took his master’s degree at Stirling with a focus on the historiography of The Crusades. He also has the UK National Professional Qualification for Headship.As well as being a keen student of history Barry also has an interest in Japanese Print Art, which he collects (a habit picked up from three years in Asia). 
6/15/202228 minutes, 21 seconds
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Episode 146: Alice's Book: How the Nazis Stole My Grandmother's Cookbook

In this episode, we interview Karina Urbach, a Senior Research Fellow at the University of London about her brand new book. So what happened to the books that were too valuable for the Nazis to burn?Alice Urbach had her own cooking school in Vienna, but in 1938 she was forced to flee to England, like so many others. Her younger son was imprisoned in Dachau, and her older son, having emigrated to the United States, became an intelligence officer in the struggle against the Nazis. Returning to the ruins of Vienna in the late 1940s, she discovers that her bestselling cookbook has been published under someone else's name. Now, eighty years later, the historian Karina Urbach - Alice's granddaughter - sets out to uncover the truth behind the stolen cookbook, and tells the story of a family torn apart by the Nazi regime, of a woman who, with her unwavering passion for cooking, survived the horror and losses of the Holocaust to begin a new life in America.Impeccably researched and incredibly moving, Alice's Book sheds light on an untold chapter in the history of Nazi crimes against Jewish authors.
6/8/202215 minutes, 3 seconds
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Episode 145: The US President and midterm elections

In this podcast, Conal, Patrick, and Elliott gather around the microphone to discuss the upcoming November midterm elections in the United States and put them in historical context for the listener. Will the party of the president lose seats in Congress and what might this mean for the man in the White House? Is there historical precedent for a president losing control of either the House of Representatives or the Senate (there is) and what effect has this had in the past on the administration of the incumbent president? Listen and find out answers to these questions.
6/3/202227 minutes, 22 seconds
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Episode 144: The Flame of Resistance: Josephine Baker's Secret War

In this episode, we catch up with WW2 author and historian Damien Lewis, discussing his brand new book ‘The Flame of Resistance: American Beauty. French Hero. British Spy’.  In December 2021 Josephine Baker, music hall and movie star, and civil rights activist, entered the French Panthéon – the nation’s highest honour. Now Damien Lewis reveals her gripping wartime story.It was during WW2 that Josephine Baker, the world's richest and most glamorous Black female entertainer, became an Allied spy. This is the extraordinary story of her heroic personal resistance to Nazi Germany. Prior to the war, Josephine Baker was a music hall diva renowned for her risque song and dance routines, her movie roles and her beauty; she was one of the most photographed female performers in the world. But when Nazi Germany seized her adopted home, Paris, she was banned from the stage, along with all 'negroes and Jews'.  Yet, instead of returning to America, she vowed to stay and to fight. Overnight she went from performer to Resistance hero and spy.Drawing on a plethora of new and unpublished historical material, first-hand interviews and rigorous research, including previously undisclosed letters and journals and newly-released government files, Lewis upends the conventional story of Josephine Baker’s war, revealing that her mark on history went far beyond the confines of what she is universally known for – her stardom. For terms of use, please visit
5/25/202224 minutes, 56 seconds
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Episode 143: Red Ball Radical - Cricket Past, Present & Future

In this episode, cricket expert and the Head of History at Felsted School, Rakesh Pathak, returns to the Versus History Podcast. Having been our guest in episode #111, Rakesh is back to discuss a range of cricketing questions and themes, including how historians should view Joe Root’s captaincy of the England team, the future of red-ball cricket, the IPL, women’s cricket, The Hundred and the streaming of the LV County Championship on Youtube. For more from Rakesh, please check out his excellent cricketing blog 'Red Ball Radical' here. Rakesh has also written a short book about cricket, entitled Nudges, Nicks and Nonconformists, which is here.
5/18/202224 minutes, 44 seconds
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Episode 142: Is Ranil Wickremesinghe Sri Lanka’s Winston Churchill?

Sri Lanka is currently in the midst of an economic and political crisis the likes of which the island nation has not witnessed in the years since gaining independence in 1948. Under pressure from protesting Sri Lankans across the country, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse recently resigned and went into hiding. His brother the President - Gotabaya Rajapakse  - just appointed career politician Ranil Wickremesinghe as the new Prime Minister who was immediately questioned as to whether he has the moral and political mandate to help run a country that didn’t elect him. His response - some would say justification - was to invoke Churchill having experienced the same fate when he became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in 1940.The Versus History team discuss the legitimacy of this parallel and whether it has any historical merit. Meanwhile, we at Versus History wish the people of Sri Lanka the very best in the most awful of circumstances.
5/15/202234 minutes, 17 seconds
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Episode 141: Former Labour MP Peter Bradley on his book 'The Last Train'

In this episode, we interview Peter Bradley, who was the Labour MP for The Wrekin between 1997 and 2005, about his book ‘The Last Train - A Family History of the Final Solution’. Peter has written, usually on politics, for a wide range of publications, including The Times, The Guardian, The Independent, The New Statesman and The New European, but in this interview, he talks at length about his book. It is the profoundly moving and deeply intimate story of one Jewish family’s fate in theHolocaust, following the thread from Germany to Latvia and to Britain. It was by accident that Peter as a child discovered that his father, Fred Bradley, was in fact born Fritz Brandes. But it was only after his father’s death in 2004 that Peter was able to begin to piece together the family’s story and set out on the journey – literally and figuratively – that forms the basis of his book. For terms of use, please visit
5/11/202246 minutes, 1 second
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Episode 140: Losing US Presidential Candidates through History

In this episode, we explore the losing US presidential candidates with Peter Shea. His book, which he co-authored with Tom Maday, entitled In the Arena profiles 34 American leaders who captured their party’s nomination for the presidency, but never reached the Oval Office. Author Peter Shea chronicles the rise, early careers, campaigns, and later achievements of historical giants like Aaron Burr and Henry Clay, up through modern candidates Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton. A foreword by 1988 candidate Michael Dukakis gives readers more personal insight into what it’s like to run for one of the most powerful positions in the world – and come up short. Photos of monuments and other memorials accompany each subject, along with campaign memorabilia, illustrating the legacy many of these candidates left behind after relinquishing their dreams of serving as President of the United States. In a speech that gave the book its name, President Theodore Roosevelt gave ultimate credit “to the man who is actually in the arena…who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” In the Arena honors, in words and pictures, their courage and sacrifices.
5/4/202218 minutes, 16 seconds
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Episode 139: States of Liberation with Samuel Clowes Huneke

In this episode, we talk with Samuel Clowes Huneke an assistant professor of history at George Mason University about his new book, States of Liberation. The book traces the paths of gay men in East and West Germany from the violent aftermath of the Second World War to the thundering nightclubs of present-day Berlin. Following a captivating cast of characters, from gay spies and Nazi scientists to queer politicians and secret police bureaucrats, States of Liberation tells the remarkable story of how the two German states persecuted gay men – and how those men slowly, over the course of decades, won new rights and created new opportunities for themselves in the heart of Cold War Europe. Relying on untapped archives in Germany and the United States as well as oral histories with witnesses and survivors, Huneke reveals that communist East Germany was in many ways far more progressive on queer issues than democratic West Germany.
4/13/202238 minutes, 21 seconds
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Episode 138: Berlin during the Cold War - 'Capital of Spies'

For this episode of the Versus History Podcast, we are fortunate enough to be joined by Historian Bernd von Kostka, discussing Berlin during the Cold War and the book that he has co-authored, entitled ‘Capital of Spies: Intelligence Agencies in Berlin During the Cold War’. We cover lots of ground during the discussion, including legacies of the Cold War, Berlin’s geostrategic position during the conflict and the little-known ‘spy tunnel’ and lots more besides. The description of the fascinating book ‘Capital of Spies’ is as follows:‘For almost half a century, the hottest front in the Cold War was right across Berlin. From summer 1945 until 1990, the secret services of NATO and the Warsaw Pact fought an ongoing duel in the dark. Throughout the Cold War, espionage was part of everyday life in both East and West Berlin, with German spies playing a crucial part of operations on both sides: Erich Mielke's Stasi and Reinhard Gehlen's Federal Intelligence Service, for example.The construction of the wall in 1961 changed the political situation and the environment for espionage—the invisible front was now concreted and unmistakable. But the fundamentals had not changed: Berlin was and would remain the capital of spies until the fall of the Berlin Wall, a fact which makes it all the more surprising that there are hardly any books about the work of the secret services in Berlin during the Cold War. Journalist Sven Felix Kellerhoff and historian Bernd von Kostka describe the spectacular successes and failures of the various secret services based in the city.’For terms of use, please visit
4/3/202228 minutes, 10 seconds
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Episode 137: Agatha Christie: The Christie Affair with Nina de Gramont

In this intriguing episode of the Versus History Podcast, we interviewed historical novelist Nina de Gramont about her truly captivating new book ‘The Christie Affair’. Agatha Christie needs little introduction as a figure of historical significance. The book itself was an Amazon Best Book of February 2022 and has been acclaimed around the world. Amazon Editor Seira Wilson de Gramont’s new novel as: ‘Blending fact and fiction, The Christie Affair is a wonderfully clever take on Agatha Christie’s mysterious real-life disappearance in 1926. The novel’s narrator is Nan O’Dea—Agatha’s husband’s mistress—and over the course of 11 days, Nan and Agatha become entwined in each other’s lives in ways neither expected. The story unfolds as if it were one of Christie’s mysteries, rewarding the reader with the thrill of discovery over and over as de Gramont adds one silken thread at a time to her intricate web of love and revenge, agency and betrayal, murder and justice. And in true Agatha Christie fashion, when all is finally revealed and the full picture comes into focus, the result is unexpected, exhilarating, and enormously satisfying.’
3/21/202216 minutes, 56 seconds
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Episode 136: The 1990s & 'Harry's Kebab House'

This week we were delighted to be joined by DJ Dribbler (@dribbler23), the former tour DJ for Orbital, who has written the acclaimed novel, 'Harry's Kebab House'. Harry`s Kebabs follows five people who are all inter-connected through the 90s rave scene and its peripheral subcultures. A pool hustler, a photographic memory, a beggar by choice and a psychopathic erstwhile seaman are brought together by a former pirate radio mastermind to teach the Maltese a lesson in how to be a Londoner.To follow DJ Dribbler, please click here.To check out the book, please click here.To read a fascinating interview with DJ Dribbler, please click here.
3/8/202252 minutes, 45 seconds
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Episode 135: The English Civil War from a Marxist perspective

In this energetic and enlightening episode, we were delighted to interview Michael Sturza, who is a life-long socialist political activist and Marxist historian of the English Civil War. He is the author of the brand new book ‘The London Revolution 1640-1643’, published 30 March 2022. A native New Yorker (he still lives there!) who grew up in Brooklyn, he learned about radical politics from his father and in 1966, at the age of 14, he attended his first mass anti-Vietnam War rally with other students from his high school. In college, while actively involved in working-class struggles, he studied Marxism, and, in 1974, graduated cum laude from the State University of New York at Buffalo. The description of ‘The London Revolution 1640-1643’ can be found here. It has received positive reviews from, amongst others, Penelope J. Corfield, emeritus Prof. London University; Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (UK); and President of the International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, who states:  Feisty, fearless and fascinating: this book spotlights London’s revolutionary upheavals at the start of Britain’s seventeenth-century Civil War; it shows how London’s revolutionary role has been too often downplayed; and it explains its long-term significance for later generations. Michael Sturza will provoke many debates – and a good thing too! To learn more, please follow on Twitter here. The website is here. The book is here. 
2/28/202227 minutes, 15 seconds
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Episode 134: Pirate Radio in Brooklyn, NYC

In this exciting episode, we talk all about the history of Pirate Radio in Brooklyn, NYC with David Goren (@shortwaveology). His newest release on Bandcamp via ‘Death is Not the End’ captures a flavour of pirate radio in Brooklyn over the last ten years. David has created programming for the BBC, Studio 360, NPR's Lost and Found Sound series, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Afropop and On the Media as well as audio-based installations for Proteus Gowanus, the Ethnographic Terminalia Collective and Radio Cona and many others. David’s Brooklyn Pirate Radio Map project has been featured in the New Yorker and is a partner archive of the Library of Congress’ Radio Preservation Task Force. A Brooklyn based writer, post-production mixer and field recordist for over 30 years, David has recorded everyone from the Dalai Lama to the Dancing Chicken of Chinatown. He is also one half of the shortwave radio jam band, The Propagations with Ned Sublette.The Brooklyn Pirate Radio Map is here.The New Yorker article is here.His catalogue of select shows is here. His newest release ‘Brooklyn Pirates’ is here.David’s lecture at Yale University is here.David’s ‘Shortwaveology’ site is here. 
2/10/202245 minutes, 47 seconds
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Episode 133: 'Our Common Ground' with Professor John Leshy

In this episode, we are delighted to be joined by John Leshy, Emeritus Professor at the University of California Hastings College of Law, San Francisco. John became deeply involved with America's public lands soon after his graduation from Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He was solicitor for the U.S. Department of Interior from 1993 to 2001, is co-author of the standard textbook on public land and resources law (Federal Public Land and Resources Law), and has written and lectured widely on public lands.The description for his book 'Our Common Ground' is as follows:The little-known story of how the U.S. government came to hold nearly one-third of the nation’s land and manage it primarily for recreation, education and conservation. “A much-needed chronicle of how the American people decided––wisely and democratically––that nearly a third of the nation’s land surface should remain in our collective ownership and be managed for our common good.”—Dayton Duncan, author of The National Parks: America’s Best Idea America’s public lands include more than 600 million acres of forests, plains, mountains, wetlands, deserts, and shorelines. In this book, John Leshy, a leading expert in public lands policy, discusses the key political decisions that led to this, beginning at the very founding of the nation. He traces the emergence of a bipartisan political consensus in favor of the national government holding these vast land areas primarily for recreation, education, and conservation of biodiversity and cultural resources. That consensus remains strong and continues to shape American identity. Such a success story of the political system is a bright spot in an era of cynicism about government. This book is essential reading for anyone who cares about public lands, and it is particularly timely as the world grapples with the challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss.
1/31/202231 minutes, 20 seconds
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Episode 132: The Beatles in Chicago, USA

This episode sees us discuss the UK music phenomenon that was The Beatles, in Chicago, USA, with John F. Lyons. John was born in London, England, and now lives in Chicago. He earned a PhD in history from the University of Illinois at Chicago and works as a Professor of History at Joliet Junior College in Illinois where he teaches U.S. History and British History. He has published five books, his most recent is Joy and Fear: The Beatles, Chicago and the 1960s (New York: Permuted Press, 2021). This is all about the Beatles and their reception in Chicago, which underwent some strange and exciting changes as the 1960s progressed!For terms of use, please visit
1/16/202253 minutes, 58 seconds
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Episode 131: This Day in Irish History with Padraic Coffey

In this episode, we interview Padraic Coffey, the author of 'This Day in Irish History'. Padraic was born in Sligo and grew up in Tubbercurry. He attended University College Dublin, where he received a BA in 2008 and an MA in 2010. After graduating from college, he worked in a freelance capacity for the Sunday Independent. This is his first book, which was inspired by his social media account of the same name. He currently resides in Vancouver, Canada, with his wife.You may know all about the Easter Rising and the Good Friday Agreement, but did you know that the hypodermic needle was invented in Tallaght? Or that Dublin was the first city in the world to have a woman stockbroker, decades before London or New York? Or that the formula used to create the video game Tomb Raider was sketched on a bridge in Cabra in the nineteenth century? This book reveals all and serves as a brilliant entry point for Irish history. With one entry for every day of the year, this book marks the anniversaries of momentous events in Irish history: in politics, medicine, music, sport and innovation.You can follow Padraic on Twitter @ThisDayIrishCheck out the book here. 
1/10/202237 minutes, 50 seconds
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Episode 130: Florence - with Marian Jones from the 'City Breaks Podcast'

In this exciting episode, we offer hope for travel planners in 2022 who want to jet set once again! We interview Marian Jones from the City Breaks Podcast, who tells us all about Florence in Italy, its culture and its hidden (and some not so hidden!) travel gems. Ideally, before a city break, you’d read up lots of history and cultural information to help you get the most out of your stay. But time is short, and that’s where the 'City Breaks' podcast come in. Marian has done the reading and research to find out what you need to know and put it all together into a series of podcasts for each city that they cover. Each episode gives you the background information you need to really appreciate what you’re seeing, well-researched, but with a slant towards the quirky and amusing.LinksVisit the City Breaks website here: out the City Breaks Podcast on Apple:'s accompanying article on Florence right here.Follow Marian and City Breaks on Twitter
1/1/202235 minutes, 3 seconds
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Episode 129: The Beautiful History - Football Club Badges Tell the Story of Great Britain

In this episode of the @VersusHistory Podcast, we interview the co-author of The Beautiful History, Martyn Routledge (@BeautifulBadge). This excellent new book charts the fascinating history of Britain through its football badges. From Premier League to non-league, it covers more than 100 clubs, revealing stories that are often surprising, quirky or funny. An engaging, informative and fun book for fans of all ages, it includes activities, places to visit, a football timeline and quiz! Published by @PitchPublishing, this book is captivating readers young, old and everything in between! Check it out here. To enter the Versus History Competition to win a copy, check out the entry form here. For terms of use, please visit
11/13/202133 minutes, 33 seconds
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Episode 128: 'SAS Bravo Three Zero' with Gulf War veteran Des Powell.

2021 marks the 80th Anniversary of the SAS and 30 years since the first Gulf War and deployment of 'Bravo Three Zero' behind enemy lines in the Iraqi desert. SAS Bravo Three Zero is the new book from Sunday Times bestseller, Damien Lewis, with SAS Gulf War veteran Des Powell. In this episode of the Versus History Podcast, we are joined by SAS veteran and author of this very book, Des Powell, for an in-depth interview about his experiences in the Gulf War. For terms of use, please visit
10/30/202131 minutes, 16 seconds
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Episode 127: Ghosts of the West - An interview with Alec Marsh

In this episode of the Versus History Podcast, we interview Alec Marsh about his brilliant new book, 'Ghosts of the West'. It is a fascinating tale and our interview covers so much interesting content about the historical basis for the story, both British and American ...When daring journalist Sir Percival Harris gets wind of a curious crime in a sleepy English town, he ropes in his old friend Professor Ernest Drabble to help him investigate. The crime is a grave robbery, and as Drabble and Harris pry deeper, events take a mysterious turn when a theft at the British Museum is soon followed by a murder. The friends are soon involved in a tumultuous quest that takes them from the genteel streets of London to the wide plains of the United States. What exactly is at stake is not altogether clear – but if they don’t act soon, the outcome could be a bloody conflict, one that will cross borders, continents and oceans… Meanwhile, can Drabble and Harris’s friendship – which has endured near-death experiences on several continents, not to mention a boarding school duel – survive a crisis in the shape of the beautiful and enigmatic Dr Charlotte Moore?For terms of use, please visit
9/27/202118 minutes, 39 seconds
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Episode 126: Breaking The Maafa Chain: an interview with Anni Domingo

In this episode of the Versus History Podcast, we interviewed Anni Domingo, an Actress, Director and Writer, working in Radio, TV, Films and Theatre after training at Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama. She appeared in Inua Ellam’s Three Sisters, a play set in Nigeria during the Biafran War, at the National Theatre (UK) and toured Robert Icke’s The Doctor to Australia early in 2020. She currently lectures Drama and Directing at St. Mary’s University in Twickenham, Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama, Students and at RADA. Anni’s poems and short stories are published in various anthologies and her plays are produced in the UK.Breaking The Maafa Chain by debut author Anni Domingo tells the true story of Sarah Forbes Bonetta, a young African princess who was sold into slavery and almost executed, before being saved by a British naval captain. On her arrival in Britain, she became the goddaughter of Queen Victoria and a prominent abolitionist. The novel compares Sarah’s life in Victorian England’s high society with that of her sister, who is sent to America as a slave, and explores how their experiences change their sense of identity and belonging.For terms of use, please visit
9/20/202130 minutes, 40 seconds
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Episode 125: How did Humans come to Talk? With Dr Sverker Johansson

In this episode, we are joined by Dr Sverker Johansson to discuss his brand new book 'The Dawn of Language: How We Came to Talk' published by MacLehose Press. We discuss the broadest range of questions related to language and its development. When did humans first speak? Do environmental factors influence language? Has globalisation impacted language development? Find out in this podcast episode as we discuss a range of topics covered in the book. For terms of use, please visit
9/9/202134 minutes, 20 seconds
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Episode 124: The Garfield Conspiracy with Owen Dwyer

In this episode we interviewed Owen Dwyer, the author of the fantastic new book 'The Garfield Conspiracy'. The description of this fascinating new book reads: 'Richard Todd, an award-winning writer, is outwardly successful but inwardly plagued by uncertainties. Worst of all, he can’t seem to write any more. When a bright young editor, Jenny Lambe, arrives on his doorstep to work with him on his latest book, about the assassination of US president James Garfield, his life is sent spinning off in a new direction.President Garfield was killed by Charles Guiteau, who was tried and hanged for the murder. But was he acting along, or was there a more sinister force at work? Richard hears Guiteau’s voice in his head, and as his relationship with Jenny deepens, he is visited by other characters in the drama. Are they helping Richard solve the mystery surrounding Garfield’s murder – or pushing him further towards the edge?A remarkable, disturbing portrait of a middle-aged man torn between his carefully constructed life and new adventures which may beckon, in the present and the past, from one of Ireland’s most exciting emerging authors.'The author Owen Dwyer is a prize-winning short-story writer who has won the Hennessy Emerging Fiction Prize, the Silver Quill (twice), the Smiling Politely Very Very Short Story competition, the South Tipperary County Council Short Story competition and the Biscuit Fiction Prize, and has had stories published in Whispers and Shouts magazine. His previous novel, Number Games, was published to glowing reviews by Liberties Press in 2019, and follows The Cherry-picker (2012) and The Agitator (2004). Owen lives in Dublin with his wife and their three children.
8/23/202125 minutes, 17 seconds
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Episode 123: ‘Ravenna: Capital of Empire, Crucible of Europe’ with Judith Herrin

This is our second WOLFSON HISTORY PRIZE SPECIAL! In this episode, we are joined by Judith Herrin, the Constantine Leventis Visiting Senior Research Fellow at King’s College London, to discuss her book 'Ravenna: Capital of Empire, Crucible of Europe' which was shortlisted for the 2021 Wolfson History Prize. In 402 AD, after invading tribes broke through the Alpine frontiers of Italy and threatened the imperial government in Milan, the young Emperor Honorius made the momentous decision to move his capital to a small, easy defendable city in the Po estuary – Ravenna. From then until 751 AD, Ravenna was first the capital of the Western Roman Empire, then that of the immense kingdom of Theoderic the Goth and finally the centre of Byzantine power in Italy. In this engrossing account, Judith Herrin explains how scholars, lawyers, doctors, craftsmen, cosmologists and religious luminaries were drawn to Ravenna where they created a cultural and political capital that dominated northern Italy and the Adriatic. As she traces the lives of Ravenna’s rulers, chroniclers and inhabitants, Herrin shows how the city became the pivot between East and West; and the meeting place of different cultures. The book offers a fresh account of the waning of Rome, the Gothic and Lombard invasions, the rise of Islam and the devastating divisions within Christianity. It argues that the fifth to eighth centuries should not be perceived as a time of decline from antiquity but rather, thanks to Byzantium, as one of great creativity – the period of ‘Early Christendom’. These were the formative centuries of Europe.For terms of use, please visit
8/16/202140 minutes, 29 seconds
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Episode 122: Tsarina & The Tsarina's Daughter with Ellen Alpsten

In episode 122 of the Versus History Podcast, we are joined by historical novelist Ellen Alpsten, who is the author of Tsarina and The Tsarina’s Daughter. Ellen's first book 'Tsarina' is the story of Peter the Great’s wife, who started out as a serf named Marta and ended up a Tsarina named Catherine – and ruler of Russia. It was out in hardback in 2020, and paperback in the summer of 2021 and is the ultimate Cinderella story – a powerful woman fighting against the odds. Ellen's second book, The Tsarina’s Daughter is published in hardback in July 2021. It is the story of Elizabeth, Russian Empress, who though born as a princess, free to pursue her passions, ends up having everything snatched away from her when her mother dies. She becomes penniless and powerless – living her mother’s story in reverse, from riches to rags. But what those who took everything from her don’t know is that she will fight to get it back – though isolated and impoverished, a woman in a man’s Russia, Elizabeth doesn’t give up, and so this is a story of fighting against the odds. For terms of use, please visit
7/9/202125 minutes, 43 seconds
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Episode 121: 121. America in Afghanistan with Professor David Vine

In this episode, we interview David Vine, who is a Professor of Anthropology at American University.  His new book is entitled: The United States of War: A Global History of America's Endless Conflicts, from Columbus to the Islamic State  (UC Press). It is a provocative examination of how the U.S. military has shaped our entire world, from today’s multi-trillion-dollar decades-long wars to the prominence of violence and militarism in everyday American life. He examines the global matrix of U.S. foreign military bases, the existence of which, Vine argues, makes offensive interventionist wars more likely, creating a self-perpetuating system of permanent conflict. Vine draws on almost two decades of first-hand research in fourteen countries and territories, as well as on military bases, to expose the political interests, profit motivation, racism, and toxic masculinity underlying the country’s relationship to war and empire, and to examine the infrastructure that has made war a tempting first resort for resolving conflicts and exerting power. As President Biden begins the process of withdrawal from Afghanistan after 20 years at war, please consider speaking to Professor Vine about the long history of the US’s military conflicts.
7/2/202142 minutes, 37 seconds
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Episode 120: Wolfson History Prize 2021 Special!

In this episode we are joined by Wolfson History Prize 2021 nominee Professor Geoffrey Plank from the University of East Anglia, to discuss his new book 'Atlantic Wars: From the Fifteenth Century to the Age of Revolution' published by Oxford University Press. The Wolfson History Prize 2021 Judges stated that this book was: “A sobering and compelling study of Atlantic warfare which take pains to incorporate indigenous perspectives.” Join us for this lively interview which includes a broad range of questions and answers on this fascinating new book.For terms of use, please visit
6/26/202131 minutes, 54 seconds
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Episode 119: Versus History #119 - 'Disruption: Why Things Change' with Professor David Potter

This episode is an absolute scorcher! The most significant events of the last 2,000 years of Western History, the ones that changed everything, took hold on the outskirts of mainstream thought and led to seismic upheaval. In his new book, DISRUPTION: WHY THINGS CHANGE (Oxford University Press; June 3, 2021), University of Michigan professor David Potter asks what it is that makes society-transforming change possible. How did the teachings of a shepherd become the official religion of the Roman Empire hundreds of years after his death? How did scandalous ideas born in Europe regarding the social contract between rulers and their subjects lead to the birth of America an ocean away and more than a century later? What ties together the rise of Muhammad, Martin Luther, and Marx? And more importantly for our future, what needs to exist for history-shifting change to occur, and are we at one of those crossroads right now?David Potter is Francis W. Kelsey Collegiate Professor of Greek and Roman History and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor at the University of Michigan. His previous books include The Origin of Empire: Rome from the Republic to Hadrian, Constantine the Emperor, The Victor's Crown: A History of Ancient Sport from Homer to Byzantium, and Theodora: Actress, Empress, Saint.For terms of use, please visit
6/17/202131 minutes, 39 seconds
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Episode 118: Versus History #118 - De Underground Records in History & Crate Digging!

We hope that you enjoy this interview with Katherine Green (@Kathgreenphoto) of Rendezvous Projects. She has been a key player in Newham Heritage Month 2021 and IN the 'Crate Digging: The Influence of De Underground Records' project. De Underground Records was both a record shop and studio based in Newham, East London which was pivotal in the development of British underground dance music and culture in the early to mid-1990s. The record shop was hugely influential and significant for a generation of local musicians and music lovers. 'Crate Digging' seeks to showcase and celebrate this rich and vibrant aspect of London's history. In this podcast, Kath outlines how and why they have given a platform to this iconic shop in such an innovative way.Check out the Newham Heritage Month website: Newham Heritage Month: Rendezvous Project CIC:
6/3/202134 minutes, 45 seconds
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Episode 117: Versus History #117 - SAS Great Escapes with Damien Lewis

This week on the Versus History Podcast, we welcome Historian Damien Lewis (@authordlewis) back to the show! His brand new book ‘SAS Great Escapes’ is published in May 2021 and we discussed the book in depth. The book tells the story of seven of the most dramatic and daring escapes of WWII executed by the world's most famous fighting force – the SAS. Ranging from the very first missions to the end of the war, these tales include some key household names, along with untold and undiscovered stories. SAS Great Escapes includes gripping accounts of unbelievable endurance, of breath-taking nerve, of the use of audacious disguise and the wreaking of total mayhem, as our seven dare all to win all. In crossing the sun-blasted wastes of the Sahara hounded by the enemy, in cutting the wire of an ‘escape-proof’ POW camp and bicycling away, in busting out of the depths of a Gestapo torture chamber, and more, each story is a nail-biting, rollercoaster ride.For terms of use, please visit
5/21/202126 minutes, 47 seconds
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Episode 116: Versus History #116 - DJ Harold Heath & his new book 'Long Relationships'

In this episode, we are delighted to be joined by DJ Harold Heath (@haroldheathDJ) for an interview about his brand new book 'Long Relationships: My Incredible Journey from Unknown DJ to Smalltime DJ', published by Velocity Press. This fascinating book is a biographical account of a DJ career defined by a deep love of music and a shallow amount of success. It’s the first book to detail exactly what DJing is like for the 99% of DJs who never make it big. Covering electro, hip hop, rare groove, acid house, rave and the UK underground club scene, it’s a 30-odd year tale of a life lived in dance music. Long Relationships is full of tales of clubs, raves, warehouses, DJing, music, record production, record deals, low-level international travel, shady promoters, dodgy club security, magical dance floor moments and much more. Harold's exclusive Italo House mix for @VersusHistory: out the book: terms of use, please visit
5/8/202133 minutes, 22 seconds
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Episode 115: Versus History #115 - The History of Kindness with Éamonn Toland

Éamonn Toland is our special guest on the @Versus History podcast this week, discussing his new book, 'The History of Kindness', published by @LibertiesPress. Éamonn Toland read Modern History and Economics at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, where he received a Lawlor Foundation Scholarship. After graduation he worked as a management consultant, an entrepreneur and business executive. In addition to being a media spokesman for Accenture, he has written articles for The Times and Daily Telegraph, appeared regularly on TV and been a key speaker at numerous conferences. Together with his wife and son, he divides his time between Dublin, London and New York. The Pursuit of Kindness is his first book. His ground-breaking book argues that, although it is often thought that competition is the key to human development, humans are naturally collaborative. To check the book out, here is the link: terms of use, please visit
5/2/202150 minutes, 34 seconds
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Episode 114: Versus History #114 - History of Jungle / Drum & Bass

In this episode we interview Dr Caspar Melville (@CasparMelville) about the genesis, impact, mechanics and significance of Jungle / Drum & Bass music. Formerly a music journalist and editor of New Humanist magazine, Caspar Melville is a lecturer at SOAS, University of London, where he convenes the MA in Global Creative and Cultural Industries.His book 'It's a London Thing' is a record of the Black music culture that emerged in post-colonial London at the end of the twentieth century; the people who made it, the racial and spatial politics of its development and change, and the part it played in founding London’s precious, embattled multiculture.It tells the story of the linked Black musical scenes of the city, from ska, reggae and soul in the 1970s, to rare groove and rave in the 1980s and jungle and its offshoots in the 1990s, to dubstep and grime of the 2000s. Melville argues that these demonstrate enough common features to be thought of as one musical culture, an Afro-diasporic continuum. Core to this idea is that this dance culture has been ignored in history and cultural theory and that it should be thought of as a powerful and internationally significant form of popular art.For terms of use, please visit
4/13/202157 minutes, 41 seconds
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Episode 113: Versus History #113 - Interview with Author Emanuel Rosen

In this fascinating episode of the Versus History podcast, we interview author Emanuel Rosen about his brand new book 'If Anyone Calls, Tell Them I Died'. The Holocaust and its aftermath were not often discussed in families of second-generation survivors. In Tel Aviv of the 1960s, Emanuel Rosen grew up hearing the staccato of his mother’s typewriter, but had no idea about the battle she was fighting. This changed years later, when he found a box with letters that his grandparents had sent from a tragic 1956-trip to Germany and he decided to retrace their journey. This book braids the stories of three generations—grandparents, daughter, and grandson. The grandparents, the lawyer Dr. Hugo Mendel and his wife Lucie, who were respected German citizens until the Nazis took away their livelihood and their dignity. Their daughter, Mirjam, who had fought for years to prove that those who forced her father out of his profession were responsible for his death. And their grandson, Emanuel, who discovered a shocking truth.This true story demonstrates the devastating consequences of Nazi persecution, even for survivors who fled Europe before WWII and did not experience the horrors of the Holocaust. It is also a stark reminder of the heavy psychological toll of uprooting, still experienced by refugees and exiles today. Written in a personal style brimming with love and wit, 'If Anyone Calls, Tell Them I Died' is a story of loss, strength, and triumph. For terms of use, please visit
3/31/202129 minutes, 38 seconds
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Episode 112: Versus History #112 - Interview with Historical Novelist Jennifer Anton

Jennifer Anton is an American/Italian dual citizen born in Joliet, Illinois now living between London and Lake Como, Italy. An advocate for women’s rights and equality, she hopes to rescue women's stories from history, starting with her Italian family. In 2006, after the birth of her daughter, Jennifer suffered a life-threatening post-partum cardiomyopathy, and soon after, her Italian grandmother died. This tumultuous year began a 14-year journey to capture the stories of her female Italian ancestors and develop them into a historical/biographical fiction novel. In 2012, she moved with her family to Milan, Italy. Later, she moved to London. Under the Light of the Italian Moon is her first novel, based on the lives of her Italian grandmother and great grandmothers during the rise of fascism and World War II.The inspiration behind ‘Under the Light of the Italian Moon’ in Jennifer Anton’s own words:“My grandmother grew up under Mussolini’s fascist rule and then lived through Nazi occupation in her small northern Italian town, yet she never talked about it, and the reality of what she lived through went unknown. She died two weeks after my daughter was born, never getting to meet my baby, and I wondered what of hers I could share with my daughter. The unanswered questions I never was able to ask became a map for my journey to understand her life and brought me to Italy again and again. She never returned to the country she loved. I did that for her.”For terms of use, please visit
3/7/202125 minutes, 49 seconds
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Episode 111: Versus History #111 - History of Cricket with Rakesh Pathak

Cricket as a game has a long, diverse and very interesting history. Infact, the history of the game continues to shape and sculpt it. However, developments such as the shorter format T20 game are becoming ever more popular. In this episode, cricket historian Rakesh Pathak (@RPathak1975) answers some of these key questions and many more! How did the British Empire spread and shape cricket? How has cricket caused and reacted to social change? Why do countries care so much about beating England? Should historians care about cricket? Why isn't cricket as big in Canada as it is in the other former dominions and former members of the British Empire? For terms of use, please visit
2/20/202135 minutes, 40 seconds
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Episode 110: Versus History #110 - Interview with Liz Kessler about her new book, 'WHEN THE WORLD WAS OURS'

INTERVIEW WITH LIZ KESSLER ABOUT HER NEW HISTORICAL FICTION BOOK, WHEN THE WORLD WAS OURSBestselling author Liz Kessler talks to co-editor Elliott about her fantastic new historical fiction book, When The World Was Ours. Inspired by the true story of her father’s escape from Nazi-occupied Europe, When The World Was Ours, takes the reader through the increasingly tragic course of Nazi anti-Semitism from 1936 to 1945, via the lives of three childhood friends.In the interview Liz answers Elliott’s questions about such topics as the role of history in art, the responsibilities of fiction writers when using history, and the necessity of keeping the lessons of history alive in the collective memory. Enjoy our latest Versus History podcast. For terms of use, please visit
1/30/202123 minutes, 56 seconds
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Episode 109: Versus History #109 - The Special Duties Branch & Auxiliary Units in WW2.

In this episode, we interview historian Andrew Chatterton, who is a volunteer at the Coleshill Auxiliary Research Team (CART). CART (@staybehinds) researches the Auxiliary Units and Special Duties Branch in Britain during the Second World War. Both groups, made up of civilian volunteers, were trained to hold up any German invasion of the British Isles. Researchers from CART look into their activities, training, weapons, underground bunkers and more. The results of this research can be found at information about terms of use, please visit
1/19/202141 minutes, 56 seconds
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Episode 108: Versus History #108 - The Germans and Europe

In this episode, we interview Peter Millar, who is an award-winning journalist, author and translator. Born in Co.Down. Ireland, Peter read French and Russian at Oxford, lived in Paris and then Brussels as a reporter for Reuters. In early 1981, at the age of 26, he was sent as correspondent to East Berlin and then to Moscow, where he lived three years, from the death of Brezhnev to the rise of Gorbachev. Peter’s career, including the Sunday Times, Sunday Telegraph and European, took him to Warsaw, Prague, Budapest, Bucharest and Belgrade, as well as Germany, which is the subject of his most recent book. Peter was named Foreign Correspondent of the Year in 1989 for his reporting on the dying stages of the Cold War, his account of which – 1989: The Berlin Wall, My Part in its Downfall ( 2009, 2014) – was named ‘best read’ by The Economist. Peter’s books span both fiction and non-fiction including Stealing Thunder (1999) All Gone to Look for America (2009), The Shameful Suicide of Winston Churchill (2010), and Slow Train to Guantanamo (2013). He speaks, German, French, Russian and Spanish, as well as English.For terms of use, please visit
12/25/202031 minutes, 48 seconds
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Versus History #107 - The Trump Presidency and the 2020 Election

Emeritus Professor in American Studies, Jon Roper, puts Donald Trump’s presidency in historical perspective and offers his expert insights into the 2020 presidential election. Professor Roper covers comparisons to previous presidents, explains his interpretation of what Trump calls ‘21st century presidential’, offers his views on the Electoral College, and much more.
11/14/202021 minutes, 32 seconds
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Versus History #106 - The SAS in WW2: Interview with Damien Lewis

In this interview with Damien Lewis - Sunday Times No.1 bestselling author - we discuss the fascinating role of the SAS in WW2. For twenty years Damien worked as a war and conflict reporter for the world’s major broadcasters, reporting across Africa, South America, the Middle East and Far East winning numerous awards. Several of his books are being made into feature films and his books have been translated into forty languages worldwide. SAS Band Of Brothers continues Damien’s iconic WWII elite forces series: Churchill’s Secret Warriors, The Nazi Hunters, Hunting The Nazi Bomb, SAS Ghost Patrol, SAS Italian Job and SAS Shadow Raiders. This podcast is captivating from start to finish and a real 'must listen'.For terms of use, please visit
11/5/202057 minutes, 5 seconds
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Versus History Chronicles #105 - Vice President Nixon's forgotten trip to Ceylon

In October 1953, Vice President Richard Nixon embarked on a precedent-setting tour of the countries of South and South East Asia. The newly elected republican President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, reinvented the office of the Vice Presidency by elevating it from a nominal and ceremonial position to one of unprecedented responsibility in US foreign policy. Nixon’s core remit was to reinforce, consolidate and expand where possible, the American Cold War sphere of influence in Asia. As part of this tour the Vice President spent three days in Ceylon, an Indian Ocean island state, recently independent from Great Britain. In 1951 Ceylon became the only non communist Asian state to begin shipping strategic materials to the newly communist China. Nixon’s visit to Ceylon, in order to address this (and other issues) personally, would become something of a blueprint for US diplomatic operations in South Asia.
10/31/202057 minutes, 9 seconds
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Versus History #104 - Treason in History with Professor Carlton F.W. Larson

This week we interview Professor Carlton F.W. Larson on the History of Treason in America and his brand new book, 'On Treason: A Citizen's Guide to the Law'. Treason — the only crime specifically defined in the United States Constitution — is routinely described by judges as more heinous than murder. Today, the term is regularly tossed around by politicians and pundits on both sides of the aisle. But, as accusations of treason flood the news cycle, it is not always clear what the crime truly is, or when it should be prosecuted.In this interview, we discuss a broad range of questions and topics including the origins of American treason law, the American Revolution and Benedict Arnold. Robert E. Grant, WW2 and Donald Trump ... Carlton F.W. Larson is a Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Law at the University of California, Davis, School of Law, where he teaches American constitutional law and English and American legal history. A graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School, Larson is one of the nation’s leading authorities on the law of treason and is the author of the book The Trials of Allegiance: Treason, Juries, and the American Revolution (Oxford University Press). Professor Larson’s scholarship has been cited by numerous federal and state courts and has been profiled in The New York Times, The Economist, TIME, and many other publications. He is a frequent commentator for the national media on constitutional law issues.
10/23/202031 minutes, 8 seconds
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Versus History #103 - Thirteen Ways of Looking at Lawrence of Arabia

In this episode of @VersusHistory podcast, we interview Kevin Jackson, the author of the new Audible book 'LEGION: Thirteen Ways Of Looking At Lawrence Of Arabia'. The book is a captivating and revealing novel, that explores the unknown life of Lawrence of Arabia in a quest to understand his genius. Kevin Jackson has previously worked as a teacher, director, broadcaster on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4 and journalist, with his work appearing in The New Yorker, The Sunday Times and The Guardian. Kevin is the author of 35 books - including Constellation of Genius, Invisible Forms, Humphrey Jennings, The Worlds of John Ruskin, Greta and the Labrador, and the Kindle best-seller Single Mayflower, which will be published as a paperback in September 2020. Kevin Jackson is a frequent broadcaster on the radio, particularly BBC Radio Three and BBC Radio 4. For terms of use, please visit
9/25/202022 minutes, 28 seconds
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Versus History #102 - David Gessner & 'LEAVE IT AS IT IS'.

In this episode, we interview Historian David Gessner (@DavidGessner), the author of the new book ‘LEAVE IT AS IT IS: A Journey Through Theodore Roosevelt’s American Wilderness’, published by Simon & Schuster. David is the author of eleven books that blend a love of nature, humor, memoir, and environmentalism, including the New York Times-bestselling 'All the Wild That Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner and the American West' and the prize-winning 'The Tarball Chronicles'. In 2003 Gessner taught Environmental Writing as a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer at Harvard, and he now serves as Chair of the Creative Writing Department at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where he is also the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the literary magazine, Ecotone. His own prizes include a Pushcart Prize, the John Burroughs Award for Best Nature Essay, the Association for Study of Literature and the Environment’s award for best book of creative writing, and the Reed Award for Best Book on the Southern Environment. In 2017 he hosted the National Geographic Explorer show, "The Call of the Wild." Gessner lives in Wilmington, North Carolina with his wife, the novelist Nina de Gramont, and their daughter Hadley. The book ‘LEAVE IT AS IT IS’ is many things. It’s a biography of Theodore Roosevelt and his relationship to nature—the real Roosevelt, one filled with grief, depression, and a supernatural work ethic, not a mustachioed caricature charging up San Juan Hill. It’s a travelogue winding its way through America’s national parks and wild places, an ode to the restorative power of nature, lyrically conveying the simple importance of watching elk in a field, or a lightning storm roll in. But most importantly, it is a call to action. In this age of political illiberalism and environmental degradation, LEAVE IT AS IT IS is a devastating look at what we have to lose and what is worth fighting for. Through Roosevelt, his own gleeful wonderment at nature, and the heart-rending contemporary saga of the fight for Bears Ears National Monument, we see our own world: how beautiful it can be, yet also how much damage we have inflicted upon it; how precarious its future is, and how many in power couldn’t care less. This book is simultaneously a page-turning work of history you want to finish in one sitting, and one that makes you want to put it—and everything else—down and head out to experience the solace of nature. For terms of use, please visit
9/21/202043 minutes, 20 seconds
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Versus History #101 - Tom Levenson & 'Money for Nothing' - The South Sea Bubble of 1720

In this episode of the @VersusHistory Podcast, we are delighted to interview Thomas Levenson, Professor of Science Writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His new book ‘Money for Nothing' is the remarkable tale of the world’s first-ever financial crash, which took place 300 years ago, in the year 1720. It tells the captivating stories of a host of entertaining characters who became caught up in the world’s first financial bubble; with luminaries such as Daniel Defoe, Alexander Pope and even Isaac Newton losing out in a scheme that was ‘too good to be true’. ‘Money for Nothing’ explores how the scientific revolution extended to matters far beyond the flight of a cannonball or the dynamics of the tides, extending into the idea that empiricism and maths could make sense of everyday life; and how the invention of modern ideas about money both made the world rich and expose us to predictable hazards that we have, to date, three centuries on, failed to fully prepare for. The South Sea Company was formed to monopolize trade with Spain’s American colonies. But it had almost no ships and did precious little trade. So it turned its hand to playing money games, until, in 1720, it launched the first great stock market boom, fraud and bust, in what is now remembered as the South Sea Bubble. The financial engineering pioneered in the Bubble didn’t go away. Instead, it evolved into the same kinds of market manipulation that brought the world’s economy crashing down in 2008. In the moment, though, it all seemed to work brilliantly. Exactly 300 years ago, in June 1720, South Sea shares hit their peak, a ten-fold gain. Britain’s punters—up to and including the King’s mistresses—had grown incredibly, impossibly rich—on paper. And then the carousel stopped and thousands lost their shirts. Isaac Newton, the Duke of Portland (England’s richest man) and others lost heavily. Tom Levenson's superb account of the South Sea bubble dissects that huge scam—but that tale isn’t just a disaster story. It is also the story of the birth of modern financial capitalism: the idea that you can invest in future prosperity and that governments can borrow money to make things happen, like funding the rise of British naval and mercantile power. These dreamers and fraudsters may have ruined Britons, but they made the world rich. For terms of use, please visit
9/11/202051 minutes, 49 seconds
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Versus History #100 - Interview with Richard Kreitner, author of 'BREAK IT UP'.

In the 100th episode of the @VersusHistory Podcast, we are joined by author Richard Kreitner to discuss his brand new book 'BREAK IT UP: Secession, Division, and the Secret History of America’s Imperfect Union' published by Little, Brown and Company. We discuss a range of issues in the podcast, including the origins of political union in America, the threats that the union has faced throughout history and its future. The book has received outstanding reviews, including this: "If you thought disunion was an invention of the slave South and is long dead and buried, think again. In Break It Up, Richard Kreitner offers a powerful revisionist account of the troubled history of the American nation, showing how secessionist movements have made their appearance at numerous times, and in numerous parts of the country. They are again proliferating today - a reflection of our polarized politics and culture and our failure to make the existing Union benefit all Americans." — Eric Foner, Columbia University, author of The Fiery Trial. Richard studied philosophy at McGill University in Montreal. Since 2012, he has been affiliated with The Nation as intern, editor, and writer and has published essays, reviews, and articles in Slate, Raritan, The Baffler, The Boston Globe, The New York Review of Books, and The New York Times. His previous book was 'BOOKED: A Traveler’s Guide to Literary Locations Around the World (2019)'. For terms of use, please visit
9/4/202037 minutes, 26 seconds
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Versus History #99 - Professor Victoria De Grazia & The Perfect Fascist

In this exciting episode, we interview Professor Victoria de Grazia, who is the Moore Collegiate Professor of History at the Ivy League's Columbia University and a founding editor of Radical History Review. Her widely translated, prizewinning books include Irresistible Empire: America’s Advance through Twentieth-Century Europe and How Fascism Ruled Women. She has received the Woodrow Wilson, Jean Monnet, and Guggenheim fellowships and the Rome Prize Fellowship from the American Academy in Rome.Professor De Grazia's brand new book is out now, entitled THE PERFECT FASCIST: A STORY OF LOVE, POWER, AND MORALITY IN MUSSOLINI’S ITALY (Harvard University Press; August 11, 2020). it has already received glowing praise from Azar Nafisi, Robert. O. Paxton and Margaret Macmillan. Below is the description / overview of the book:'THE PERFECT FASCIST is at once an intimate story of a marriage—retold through family letters, fascist spy reports, and court records—and a riveting account of Mussolini’s rise and fall. Attilio Teruzzi embodies fascism’s flawed moral compass. He is a handsome war hero,impetuous, vain, lecherous, and self-serving—his mediocrity and loyalty help him rise to the top. So why did he want to marry the talented American “New Woman”? And why would she forfeit her career as prima donna to wed a fascist enforcer? What qualities made Teruzzi perfect for Mussolini’s purposes? And why, as antisemitism swept Europe, did this “perfect fascist” come to have a child with a second Jewish woman? Through de Grazia’s relentless research, storytelling skills, and deep understanding of the political and psychological dynamics of the times, we see fascism’s allure as well as the reasons for its eventual rout. We see men on a mission in the name of national glory trampling on family, honor, and the law. We see them seduced by their own astounding lies. We see them betray their own people to keep faith with the Nazi-Fascist war for a New World Order. We also, unfortunately, see the clear outline of many of the men that govern us today.'For terms of use, please visit
8/28/202045 minutes, 22 seconds
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Versus History #98 - Charles Freeman - Author of 'The Awakening - A History of the Western Mind AD500 – 1700 '

In this episode of the @VersusHistory Podcast, we interview Charles Freeman, who is a specialist on the ancient world and its legacy. He has worked on archaeological digs on the continents surrounding the Mediterranean and develops study tour programs in Italy, Greece, and Turkey. Freeman is Historical Consultant to the Blue Guides series and the author of numerous books, including the bestseller The Closing of the Western Mind and, most recently, Holy Bones, Holy Dust. In this brand new book published by Zeus, Charles Freeman takes the reader on a monumental and exhilarating history of European thought, from the fall of Rome in the fifth century AD to the Scientific Revolution thirteen centuries later.The process of preservation of surviving texts was strengthened under the Christian empire founded by Charlemagne in the eighth century; later, during the High Middle Ages, universities were founded, and the study of philosophy was revived.Renewed interest in ancient Greek and Roman thought provided the intellectual impetus for the Renaissance of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, whose ideas - aesthetic, political and scientific - were disseminated across Europe by the invention of the printing press. Equally momentous was Europe's encounter with the New World, and the resulting maritime supremacy which conferred global reach on Europe's merchants and colonists.Vivid in detail and informed by the latest scholarship, The Awakening is powered not by the fate of kings or the clash of arms but by deeper currents of thought, inquiry and discovery, which first recover and then surpass the achievements of classical antiquity, and lead the West to the threshold of the Age of Reason.For terms of use, please visit
8/15/202053 minutes, 38 seconds
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Versus History #97 - Dr Miranda Malins - Author of 'The Puritan Princess'.

Dr Miranda Malins (@MirandaMalins) is a writer and historian specialising in the history of Oliver Cromwell, his family and the politics of the Interregnum period following the Civil Wars. She studied at Cambridge University, leaving with a PhD, and continues to speak at conferences and publish journal articles and book reviews, as well as being a Trustee of the Cromwell Association. Her brand new book, 'The Puritan Princess', is out now, published by Orion Fiction. It focuses on the life of Frances Cromwell, the youngest daughter of Oliver Cromwell, offering a compelling and fascinating account of her life and times. The Times reviewer Antonia Senior chose the Miranda's book as the best new historical fiction offering in April 2020. In this podcast episode, Miranda discusses a broad range of topics, including interpretations of the Interregnum and Oliver Cromwell, attitudes towards women and their role during this time, the challenges of writing historical fiction and much, much more. For terms of use, please visit
7/28/202037 minutes, 11 seconds
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Versus History #96 - Oliver Cromwell & The Solemn League and Covenant, 1643-1663

In this exciting episode of the @VersusHistory Podcast, we are joined by Dr Kirsteen MacKenzie (@kirsteenMM) for an interview on the focus of her book, The Solemn League and Covenant of the Three Kingdoms and the Cromwellian Union 1643-1663 (Routledge: London, 2017). In the interview, Kirsteen discusses a range of issues in depth related to Cromwell's tenure as Lord Protector, the English Civil War, Scotland, Presbyterians and much, much more. If you want to broaden your knowledge of this frenetic and highly charged period of history, then this podcast is for you.For terms of use, please visit
6/24/20201 hour, 3 minutes, 56 seconds
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Versus History #95 - Asian Flu Pandemic of 1957-1958 & COVID-19

The Asian Flu pandemic of 1957–1958 was a global pandemic of influenza A virus subtype H2N2 which originated in Guizhou, China and killed over 1 million people worldwide. It had a significant impact on Britain, the United States of America and many other countries around the world. Given the current Covid-19 context, this topic is particularly pertinent and important. In this episode, Dr Dave Brown answers a broad range of questions on the Asian Flu pandemic, offers a detailed analysis of the responses and actions of various countries worldwide and evaluates the impact of the illness on communities and economies worldwide. Moreover, Dr Dave Brown offers some insight into what we can learn - if anything - about the response to Covid-19 from this previous pandemic. For our terms of use, please visit
5/31/202027 minutes, 19 seconds
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Versus History #94 - Is Netflix good for History?

Netflix has emerged as a premier provider of streaming televisual content in recent years. From its base on the creative West Coast on the USA, millions of subscribers regularly enjoy its content, from films to dramas to documentaries. The question posed by the @VersusHistory Editors today is 'Netflix: is it good for History?' The team offer and cite a range of diverse examples, from 'WW2 in Colour' to 'Who killed Malcolm X?' to 'When They See Us' and debate the key question.For terms of use, please visit
3/29/202032 minutes
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Versus History #93 - Scott Allsop - Author of '366 Days'

In this exciting episode, the @VersusHistory team were delighted to welcome Historian and pioneering History Teacher Scott Allsop (@MrAllsopHistory) to the podcast to discuss his work with @History_Pod, the daily History podcast series and his two fascinating books, '366 Days' and 'Another 366 Days'. In this episode, Scott discusses a range of factors that are of critical interest to anyone with a passion for the past, including how to gauge historical significance, what inspired him to publish and podcast as well as some very important days from history that can be found in his books. For terms of use, please visit
3/1/202030 minutes, 10 seconds
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Versus History #92 - Battle of George Square 1919.

In this episode the @versushistory team spoke to Donny O'Rourke about the events of the Battle of George Square. This violent confrontation between police officers and Glaswegian workers striking in support of a 40-hour working week, took place on January 31st 1919 and the UK government would send 10,000 troops and 6 tanks to Glasgow as a result. The events of the day were the inspiration for Donny O'Rourke's short story 'Bright Red', part of the compilation 'Resist: Stories of Uprising' released by @commapress.For terms of use, please visit
2/15/202019 minutes, 11 seconds
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Versus History #91 - Resist: Stories of Uprising

In this episode, the @VersusHistory team interviewed Ra Page, the Editor of a new book entitled 'Resist: Stories of Uprising', published by @commapress. The book is a very interesting one, inasmuch as it fuses the realm of non-fiction and fiction while evaluating a range of uprisings and rebellions in Britain, ranging from Boudica's Uprising to the Battle of Cable Street to the Tottenham Riot to Grenfell, plus many more. The overview from the publisher is as follows: At a time that feels unprecedented in British politics – with unlawful prorogations of parliament, casual race-baiting by senior politicians, and a climate crisis that continues to be ignored – it’s easy to think these are uncharted waters for us, as a democracy.But Britain has seen political crises and far-right extremism before, just as it has witnessed regressive, heavy-handed governments. Much worse has been done, or allowed to be done, in the name of the people and eventually, those same people have called it out, stood up, resisted.In this new collection of fictions and essays, spanning two millennia of British protest, authors, historians and activists re-imagine twenty acts of defiance: campaigns to change unjust laws, protests against unlawful acts, uprisings successful and unsuccessful – from Boudica to Blair Peach, from the Battle of Cable Street to the tragedy of Grenfell Tower. Britain might not be famous for its revolutionary spirit, but its people know when to draw the line, and say very clearly, ‘¡No pasarán!’.For terms of use, please visit
2/5/202031 minutes, 2 seconds
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Versus History #90 - History of Beer

Beer has a very, very long history. It is amongst the oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic tipples in the world today. Find out how the first canning of this drink in 1935 has changed world history, as well as the high street. Moreover, find out how 'real ale' and craft beer has changed the habits of drinkers in recent years.For terms of use, please visit
1/29/202043 minutes, 25 seconds
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Versus History #89 - Montgomery Bus Boycott

During the Montgomery Bus Boycott, African Americans in refused to ride city buses in a protest against segregated seating. The boycott took place from December 5, 1955, to December 20, 1956 in Montgomery, Alabama and was precipitated by the actions of Rosa Parks, when she refused to vacate her seat to a white passenger. The Boycott launched a figure to the centre of public consciousness - Dr. Martin Luther King - who coordinated the action along with the Montgomery Improvement Association. The boycott was ultimately successful in as much as it resulted in the desegregation of City buses.In this episode, the @VersusHistory team discuss the causes, events and consequences of the Boycott. For terms of use, please visit
1/10/202027 minutes
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Versus History #88 - Xmas No. 1s & 'Must Have' Toys

Happy Holidays from all here @VersusHistory! Can you remember the Xmas Number 1 Chart Hits from years gone by? Do you know what toys, gadgets and gifts were the 'must have' from the festive periods of yesteryear? In this special holiday episode, the @VersusHistory team explore the song and toy ghosts from Christmas past. For terms of use, please visit
12/22/201937 minutes, 10 seconds
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Versus History #87 - Die Hard

In this podcast, co-editor Elliott gives us a brief history of the genre-defining piece of action cinema that is Die Hard. He looks at the historical origin of the term ‘die hard’, through to the impact the film had on cinema, as well as a weighing-up of the key question: Is Die Hard a Christmas movie? All via a seminal piece of music by Run DMC. “Ho, ho, I have a machine gun”. For terms of use, please visit
12/19/201917 minutes, 14 seconds
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Versus History #86 - 2019 General Election Results

The results of the 2019 General Election have just been announced. The Conservative Party - led by Boris Johnson - has just secured a large Parliamentary majority. The Editorial Team offer some early analysis of the 2019 election, linking it to the General Elections of 1945 and 1997.For terms of use, please visit
12/13/201948 minutes, 41 seconds
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Versus History #85 - The British Army

In episode #85, our special guest Don N. Hagist - Managing Editor of The Journal of the American Revolution - discusses a range of themes related to the life and times of the British Redcoats in the 1770s and 1780s. Did British soldiers really get thrashed to within an inch of their lives as punishment? Were they forced to serve in the British Army against their will? Were soldiers often drunk when they committed to serve? Why did they enlist for service overseas? Why were the British Army unable to overcome the American rebels by 1783? What were the options for a soldier as he neared retirement? In this exciting episode, all of these questions are answered by Don N. Hagist. For terms of use, please visit
11/27/201952 minutes, 28 seconds
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Versus History #84 - Empress Matilda

In this episode of the Versus History Podcast, the team explore all things 'Matilda'. Who she was and the things that she did during her exciting, yet turbulent, existence ... all is explored here. She was Empress Matilda - but referred to herself as a female King - during the 12th century. She was undoubtedly a strong female figure during the Middle Ages. Let @VersusHistory guide you through!For terms of use, please visit
11/15/201918 minutes, 49 seconds
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Versus History #83 - Weimar Republic & its Constitution

The Weimar Republic might have been 'borne out of Germany's defeat in WW1', but it had a relatively enlightened, democratic, inclusive and forward-thinking codified constitution. To what extent was this a strength or a weakness? What were its most important terms in the 1920s and early 1930s? Is talk of the constitution being central to the demise of the Weimar Republic overstated?In this Podcast, the @VersusHistory Editorial Team discuss the Constitution of the Weimar Republic in Germany, 1919-1933.
11/4/201917 minutes, 48 seconds
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Versus History #82 - Victorian Freak Shows

Dr. John Woolf (@drjohnwoolf) - the expert in things related to the Victorian Freak Shows and author of the oustanding new book 'The Wonders' - presents a radical new history of the Victorian age. In this episode, we discover the truth behind 'The Greatest Showman' and we meet the forgotten and extraordinary freak performers whose talents and disabilities helped define an era. Dr Woolf discusses John Merrick, known as the Elephant Man, plus a range of other interesting characters in this podcast. You can purchase his work from all good booksellers worldwide and visit his website at
10/17/201929 minutes, 5 seconds
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Versus History #81 - Boris, Trump, Brexit, Parliament & the Weather

Versus History Editors discuss the beginning of a new academic year and their news, views and observations from summer 2019. Welcome back to the Versus History Podcast! Topics include Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, Brexit, The Queen, Weather, Soccer and sunken wrecks off the coast of Canada.For terms of use, please visit
9/2/201938 minutes, 7 seconds
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Versus History #80 - American Civil War

Dr David Silkenat (@davidsilkenat) is a Senior Lecturer in American History from the University of Edinburgh and the co-host of The Whisky Rebellion Podcast. He joins the Versus History Podcast this week for a detailed interview about the causes, events, consequences and significance of the American Civil War. The Civil War itself raged from 1861 to 1865 and was fought between the North (Union) and the South (Confederacy). It ended in a victory for the North, but the scars and ramifications of the conflict can still be felt today. Dr Silkenat answers a range of questions on the conflict, providing an excellent overview that is of interest to all.For terms of use, please visit
8/18/201934 minutes, 56 seconds
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Versus History #79 - Did Hats cause the Revolution in America?

Before the United States of America declared its independence on 4 July 1776, the British Government controlled America's trade with the world. In 1773, the Colonists destroyed a quantity of tea owned by the British East India Company, leading to Britain closing off the Port of Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Tea Party is often cited as being one of the key triggers for the American Revolution. However, did the little-known '1732 Hat Act' - which aimed to stifle the Colonial trade in hats and force them to buy from Britain - serve to damage the relationship between Britain and America some 40 years previously?In this episode, @VersusHistory discuss the 1732 Hat Act and its impact on the relationship between Britain and America.For terms of use, please visit
6/23/201912 minutes, 8 seconds
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Versus History #78 - Mussolini & Fascist Italy in WW2

WW2 ended disasterously for both Mussolini and Italy. In this second episode, Dr. Dave Brown takes us through the Italian invasion of Abyssinia in 1935, the pathway to global war for Italy in the late 1930s, the relationship between Mussolini and the other Fascist members of the Pact of Steel and much, much more. Dr Brown discusses Mussolini’s war aims, objectives actions and outcomes at length, including the the invasion of Greece, the Italian decision to join WW2, Mussolini’s qualities as a war leader (or lack thereof!) and his eventual downfall.In the second of a two part series of special episodes of the @VersusHistory Podcast, we are joined by Dr. Dave Brown (@DBrownF6History) for this overview of Benito Mussolini and the key features of the man and his time in office. For terms of use, please visit
6/15/201930 minutes, 24 seconds
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Versus History #77 - Rise of Benito Mussolini

The Italian ‘Duce’ Benito Mussolini was the first fascist dictator to rise to power in Europe, inspiring others such as Adolf Hitler in Germany and Franco of Spain in the process. Mussolini became the 27th Prime Minister of Italy in October 1922, having undertaken the infamous ‘March on Rome’ that year. The ‘Duce’ of Fascism was a complex character, and his tenure in office was often turbulent. He was the architect of some highly controversial domestic and foreign policy objectives, such as the alliance with Hitler, the invasion of Abyssinia, the invasion of Greece and the decision to join WW2, to name but a few.In the first of a two part series of special episodes of the @VersusHistory Pocast, we are delighted to be joined by Dr. Dave Brown (@DBrownF6History) for an overview of Benito Mussolini and the key features of the man and his time in office. For terms of use, please visit
6/8/201937 minutes, 11 seconds
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Versus History #76 - Cleopatra

Born in 69BC, Cleopatra VII ruled ancient Egypt for nearly 30 years, before dying in 30BC. Her romantic links and military alliances with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, as well as her acclaimed beauty, have helped to ensure that she has not been lost to history. Learn all about her romantic liaisons and ability to speak a variety of different languages!In this episode, Conal (@prohistoricman) fields a range of questions on Cleopatra from Patrick (@historychappy) and Elliott (@thelibrarian6) in a '15 Minute Frenzy'. For terms of use, please visit
6/1/201921 minutes, 39 seconds
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Versus History #75 - More History Q & A

This week concludes the two part 'Question and Answer' session, where the @VersusHistory Editors respond to the questions of the listeners. Check it out! For terms of use, please visit​
5/24/201927 minutes, 26 seconds
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Versus History #74 - Question & Answer Session

This week, the @VersusHistory Editorial team asked for the listeners to submit questions about History, which they would happily answer. In this Podcast, they answer as many of those questions as they can! From the Munich Putsch 1923 to the National Railway Museum in York to Counterfactual History, it's all there. For terms of use, please visit
5/17/201929 minutes, 31 seconds
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Versus History #73 - Stalin's Five-Year Plans

The Communist Revolution of 1917 was followed by a period of Civil War in Russia, which lasted until 1921. This further devastated the Russia economy, compounding the pre-existing problems caused by defeat in WW1 and the lack of an industrial revolution along the lines of many countries in western Europe. Between 1921 and 1928, the USSR adopted a largely capitalist economic model, until Stalin launched his ‘Great Break’ in 1928. This involved the forced collectivisation of agriculture and the centrally mandated targets of the ‘Five-Year Plans’. There were three such plans between 1928 and 1941, and 12 in total prior to the collapse of the USSR. The plans brought about a transformation in the industrial capacity of the USSR, but significant issues and problems remained and were inherent in the plans themselves. In this episode, the @VersusHistory Editors discuss the reasons behind the introduction of the plans, their key features, consequences and legacy. For terms of use, please visit
5/10/201934 minutes, 7 seconds
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Versus History #72 - History of the iphone

On January 9th 2007, an announcement was made that would revolutionise the technology industry and arguably the way humans interact with one another and the world. In San Francisco California, the CEO of Apple Steve Jobs announced the release of the first iphone which sought to combine 3 functions. It was a mobile phone, an ipod and an internet communication device rolled into one. 146,000 iphones were activated in the US alone on the first weekend of its release in June 2007 and from there took the world by storm, with well over a billion iphones sold in the last 12 years. From this one device and its technological innovation has also come the new breed of smartphones that are ubiquitous today.
5/3/201935 minutes, 30 seconds
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Versus History #71 - History of Boston, Massachusetts

Boston is located in Massachusetts, on the East Coast of the United States of America. It has a rich, diverse and varied history. As well as being the most heavily populated City in Massachusetts, it is also one of the oldest, having been founded by Puritans from England in 1630 and named after Boston in Lincolnshire, England. Today, Boston is a hub of higher education and big business. However, looking into Boston's past, it has a rich history. Migration, Revolution, Religion, Sports, Gentrification and Trade have all played a role. The City of Boston hosts a plethora of sites of historical interest, including the Freedom Trail, the site of the Battle of Bunker Hill 1775, the house of Patriot Paul Revere, the Black Heritage Trail, the Charles River, USS Constitution, Fenway Park and numerous others.In this episode, Michele Steinberg from the tour company 'Boston By Foot' ( / @bostonbyfoot) gives the most comprehensive and insightful overview of Boston's history that one could hope for in a Podcast. If and when you visit Boston, you need to take a tour with these guys, as they are the bona fide experts!For terms of use, please visit
4/26/201943 minutes, 45 seconds
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Versus History #70 - Chernobyl: 33 Year Anniversary of the Disaster

On the night of the 25th going into the 26th of April 1986, a chain of events began that would destroy thousands of lives, ruin millions of acres of land and would, in many respects, help catalyst the re-shaping of a world that had been in the grip of the Cold War since 1945. That chain of events would culminate in the nuclear disaster that decimated Reactor 4 at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, near the town of Pripyat, in northern Soviet Ukraine. This April sees the 33rd anniversary of the disaster. Dr. Paul Goldsmith joins Versus History to talk about his research and experiences at Chernobyl.
4/20/201928 minutes, 35 seconds
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Versus History #69 - Professor Kehinde Andrews

Kehinde Andrews (@kehinde_andrews) is the Professor of Black Studies at Birmingham City University. In addition, he is the founder of the Organisation of Black Unity (@OBU_BlackUnity) and co-chair of the Black Studies Association. As well as appearing frequently on national television and radio, his most recent book 'Back to Black: Retelling Black Radicalism for 21st Century' is out now. Professor Kehinde Andrews discussed a wide range of issues with the @versushistory team. During our discussion, we touched on black radicalism, civil rights issues in the UK and US, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, W.E.B. Du Bois, the Nation of Islam, Ella Baker, the Black Panthers, Rastafari, kneeling during national anthems, migration, the British Empire, colonialism, black radicalism and much more.For terms of use, please visit
4/12/201930 minutes, 56 seconds
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Versus History #68 - Dissolution of the Monasteries

Monasteries would have been a key feature of the English landscape until the late 1530s. They were situated across the length and breadth of England, performing religious as well as social and cultural functions. However, by 1534, King Henry VIII had declared himself Head of the English Church via the Act of Supremacy. In 1536, the Dissolution of the smaller Catholic monasteries begun. By 1541, all of England’s monasteries had been dissolved. This has been described by some as an act of cultural vandalism, while for Protestant reformers this was a welcome move towards destroying the power of the Papacy in England. The leaders of the Pilgrimage of Grace - the largest rebellion in Tudor England - cited the dissolution as one of its drivers. With the dissolution of the monasteries, English history changed forever. In this episode, the @versushistory team debate the key causes and effects of Henry VIII's dissolution of the Catholic monasteries. For terms of use, please visit
4/5/201940 minutes, 4 seconds
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Versus History #67 - Dr. Carrie Gibson, El Norte & Latin North America

Dr Carrie Gibson has recently released her new book in hardback in February 2019. These are the words of the New York Times book review: "'El Norte: The Epic and Forgotten Story of Hispanic North America' is the book that Americans, Anglo and Hispanic, should read as an education on their own American place or role ... Gibson takes on the task of accounting for the relevant and telling cases of our modern process of national formation and regional negotiations. This is a serious book of history but also an engaging project of reading the future in the past." The Guardian in the UK gave equally as positive a review. In this exciting episode of the @versushistory Podcast, Dr Carrie Gibson answers a wide range of questions about 'El Norte' and the complex relationships between Latin and North America through time. It is truly fascinating.For terms of use, please visit
3/28/201929 minutes, 2 seconds
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Versus History #66 - Mao's 'Great Leap Forward' in China

The 'Great Leap Forward' was an initiative of Chairman Mao in China, which took place between 1958 to 1962. In short, Mao and the Chinese Communist Party aimed to rapidly transform China from an agricultural and agrarian economy into an industrial powerhouse, fit to compete with the Western world. This was to be done through a process of rapid industrialisation and the collectivisation of agriculture, with a special emphasis on steel production.In this episode, Conal (@prohistoricman) and Elliott (@thelibrarian6) answer the key questions posed by Patrick (@historychappy).For terms of use, please visit
3/23/201940 minutes, 44 seconds
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Versus History #65 - Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher a.k.a the ‘Iron Lady’ was the Conservative Party Prime Minister of Britain between 1979 and 1990. She was the first woman to lead a major political party in the western world and the first female Prime Minister of Britain. Moreover, she is one of the few British politicians to have an ‘ism’ named after her: ‘Thatcherism’. During her tenure, she ushered in a period of privatisation, rolling back the frontiers of the state, a reduction in the role of trade unions, Britain won the Falklands War and she also led the Conservative Party to victory in three general elections. She was loved by some and loathed by others. Either way, Britain changed significantly during her time as Prime Minister.In this episode, the @VersusHistory Editorial Team discuss Margaret Thatcher. Patrick O’Shaughnessy (@historychappy) fields a range of questions from Conal Smith (@prohistoricman) and Elliott Watson (@thelibrarian6).For terms of use, please visit
3/8/201949 minutes, 53 seconds
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Versus History #64 - History of Nottingham

The City of Nottingham is situated in the East Midlands of England. Approximately an hour and twenty minutes north of London by train, the City has much to offer and a rich and vibrant history. With two professional football teams and a cricket team within a short walk of the railway station, it has much to offer on the sporting front. However, what about Robin Hood? Sherwood Forest? The Castle? Rock City Nightclub? The Lace Market? The University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University? Brian Clough? Trent Bridge? In this episode of the @versushistory podcast, the Editors warmly welcomed Nottingham 'born and bred' Jamie O'Dowd (@odowdspace) for his whistle-stop overview of Nottingham's history. For terms of use, please visit
2/16/201926 minutes, 15 seconds
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Versus History #63 - Weimar Republic 1918-1923

The period 1918 to 1923 was highly turbulent for the Weimar Republic. Following the armistice at the end of World War One, Germany was forced to sign the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. With the Kaiser in exile, Germany experienced democracy for the first time. The new Weimar Government had a reparations bill of 6.6 billion GBP, carried the blame for having signed both the armistice and the Treaty of Versailles, suffered extreme hyperinflation, in addition to numerous rebellions from the extreme political right and left. While Germany did survive, this was a very testing period.In this episode, the @VersusHistory team evaluate the problems faced by Germany 1918-1923, considering political, economic and social issues. For terms of use, please visit
2/8/201928 minutes, 32 seconds
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Versus History #62 - Warfare. Longbows, Rifles & Nuclear Bombs

Warfare has been a feature of society for thousands of years. Human beings have been surprisingly adept at inventing new weapons and strategies to help gain an advantage in war throughout the course of history. Since WW1, the landscape of the battlefield has changed dramatically. Tanks, aeroplanes, missiles and drones are just some of the new inventions that have changed warfare in the recent past. However, significant inventions in warfare weaponry predate this conflict.In this episode, the Editors of @VersusHistory discus a range of weapons that changed the nature of warfare through time. The discussion pivots on three weapons: the Longbow, the Rifle and the Nuclear Bomb. For terms of use, please visit
2/2/201938 minutes, 12 seconds
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Versus History #61 - Queen Elizabeth I

Queen Elizabeth I - daughter of Henry VIII and Ann Boleyn - reigned from 1558 to 1603 as Queen of England. Elizabeth was not the first woman to rule as Queen in her own right, but she is perhaps one of the most historically significant English sovereigns of all time. Elizabeth never married, preferring instead to rule alone under the moniker ‘The Virgin Queen’, but she was linked to many potential suitors, both domestic and foreign. Elizabeth - a Protestant - reversed the Catholic religious policies imposed by her sister, initially opting for a ‘Middle Way’ but taking a more hardline approach to Catholics after the Pope excommunicated her in 1570. Clearly, there were a number of potential threats to Elizabeth, the Spanish Armada in 1588 being one of them. However, other challenges such as the arrival of Mary Queen of Scots in England, the domestic rise of Puritanism and a number of Catholic lead plots to topple her present challenges, too. In this Podcast, the @VersusHistory Editorial Team analyse these threats to Queen Elizabeth in light of their historical context and offer a range of analysis, insight and supporting historiography to support the discussion. For terms of use, please visit
1/26/201928 minutes, 47 seconds
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Versus History #60 - King Richard III

King Richard III was King of England and Lord of Ireland from 1483 until his defeat and death at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, to the forces of Henry Tudor (who became King Henry VII until his death in 1509). Richard III was the last king of the House of York and also the last of the Plantagenet dynasty. His defeat at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, was the decisive battle of the Wars of the Roses, which ended the Middle Ages and started the Tudor dynasty, which would reign until 1603. King Richard III was a controversial character and historical interpretations of him have not all been favourable. However, his body was discovered in the English City of Leicester in 2012, buried underneath a local authority car park, some 527 years after his defeat at Bosworth, precipitating a renewed interest and fascination in the ‘Car Park King’.In this episode, Rachel Aryton from the King Richard III Visitor Centre in Leicester joins us for an interview on all things King Richard. Was Richard really a terrible King? Did Richard murder his nephews? What caused the Wars of the Roses? Why did the Battle of Bosworth happen? Why did Richard lose? Why should you visit the Richard III Museum in Leicester? Find out the answers to all of these key questions in this Podcast! Please visit for terms of use.
1/18/201934 minutes, 55 seconds
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Versus History #59 - End of Year 2018 Summary

The Versus History Editors and Guests discuss the key achievements of 2018 and their favourite episodes and blog posts. A few jokes are thrown in along the way, along with the vision for 2019. Happy Holidays and all the best for 2019! Please visit for terms of use.
12/29/201821 minutes, 14 seconds
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Versus History #58 - Gallipoli Campaign 1915-1916

The Gallipoli Campaign of 1915-1916 during World War One resulted in a defeat for Britain, France and the British Empire against the Ottoman Empire. The Allies sought to capture control of the Dardanelles, to weaken the Ottomans and ultimately open a supply route to Russia. The Allies launched a large naval attack, followed by an amphibious landing on the peninsula, which was ultimately rebuffed by the Ottomans at the cost of many casualties and a severe blow to Sir Winston Churchill’s military planning and personal prestige. The campaign is considered by some to be the beginning of Australian and New Zealand national consciousness, with 25 April, the anniversary of the landings, known as "ANZAC Day". In this episode, Elliott (@thelibrarian6) summarises the reasons why Britain was beaten in this particular campaign during World War One, answering the questions posed by Patrick (@historychappy). For terms of use, please visit
12/21/201817 minutes, 34 seconds
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Versus History #57 - Blowing Up The Nazis

This special episode celebrates the launch of Co-Editor Elliott's (@thelibrarian6) new book, entitled 'Blowing Up The Nazis'. The book contains a treasure trove of historical information on the Nazis. Think you know everything there is to know about the Nazis? Think again. Do you know what a Beefsteak Nazi is? Were you aware that the Holocaust can be traced back to the murder of one German baby? Did you know that the Nazis were able to control Hollywood during the 1930's?Our ever-expanding library of books and podcasts just welcomed another addition. Elliott (that’s L. Watson) has written an extraordinary book that explores elements of Nazi history that are so far from common knowledge as to render them astonishing. Throughout the chapters of Blowing up the Nazis, Elliott reveals remarkable histories that range from über violent SA leader, Ernst Röhm, being a gay rights activist, Coca Cola using the swastika in their marketing, and the ‘Hitler salute’ actually being part of the American ‘Pledge of Allegiance’ ceremony.If you are in any way interested in discovering more than you ever knew about the Nazis, then this book is for you. Blowing up the Nazis: What you didn’t know will blow your mind. Available in paperback and ebook on Amazon.
12/14/201814 minutes, 38 seconds
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Versus History #56 - Mary Rose

The Mary Rose is probably the best-known ship of the Tudor navy of King Henry VIII. She served for 33 years, performing a wide variety of roles, before sinking in battle in the English Solent in 1545. The Mary Rose was rediscovered in 1971 and was raised in 1982. She is currently on display in Portsmouth. As well as being a relic of the Tudor period, she has also provided an invaluable insight into the life of the sailors on board.In this episode, Conal (@prohistoricman) answers a wide variety of questions on the Mary Rose. For terms of use, please visit
12/7/201822 minutes, 10 seconds
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Versus History #55 - Gossip Girl, New York and History

The TV series Gossip Girl is one of the most popular offerings on the Netflix platform. Set in Manhattan’s exclusive Upper East Side, Gossip Girl features characters such as the young, wealthy socialite Serena van der Woodsen and her similarly wealthy friend, Blair Waldorf. While many people will be familiar with the various trials and tribulations of the main protagonists in the show, perhaps fewer will be aware of the ways in which the rich and varied history of America and New York has been harnessed in the show. For instance, the ‘van der’ element of Serena’s name harks back to the often overlooked and forgotten era of pre-1664 New York, when the City was actually New Amsterdam under the colonial domination of the Netherlands.In this exciting episode, Patrick (@historychappy) answers a range of questions from Elliot (@thelibrarian6) on the ways in which Gossip Girl has proactively harnessed the history of New York in particular and America more generally, in order to enrich its appeal and allure.For terms of use, please visit
12/1/201813 minutes, 16 seconds
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Versus History #54 - Gaelic Games & the Gaelic Athletic Association

The history of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) dates back to 1884, as the organisation that codified the various Gaelic Games, including Gaelic Football and Hurling. However, the origins and roots of the various games go back much, much further and could not be more historically significant to the history of Ireland and its people. Today, Gaelic Football is widely popular in Ireland and is played around the world; wherever one finds Ireland’s ‘Wild Geese’, one can find Gaelic Football.In this episode, Versus History gives a warm welcome to two very special guests: Gaelic Football players from Mayo in the Republic of Ireland, who represent the 'Bahrain Celts' in the Middle East. They are Orla Reilly and John Doherty, who in this episode discuss all aspects of the history of the GAA and the Gaelic Games, with Co-Editors Patrick (@historychappy) and Elliott (@thelibrarian6) asking the key questions. For terms of use please visit
11/23/201836 minutes, 23 seconds
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Versus History #53 - American Revolutionary War

British control of the Thirteen Colonies of North America formally ended in 1783. Evacuation Day on 25 November 1783 marked the departure of British forces from New York, following the Declaration of Independence in 1776. However, the American Revolutionary War started in 1775, with the ‘shot that rang around the world’ on Lexington Green, when a contingent of British Redcoats exchanged fire with the colonial militia outisde of Boston. The hostilities quickly escalted and all out war followed. Bunker Hill, Long Island, Brandywine, Saratoga, Charleston, Yorktown are just some of the key battles in the American Revolutionary War. But how and why did the British - the superpower of the day - lose the war?In this episode, Patrick (@historychappy) explains three key reasons for the defeat that everyone should be aware of, while Elliott (@thelibrarian6) asks the questions. For terms of use, please visit
11/16/201814 minutes, 21 seconds
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Versus History #52 - UK Garage History

The UK Garage scene is well known for its most famous stars. Craig David, So Solid Crew, Artful Dodger, DJ Spoony, Misteeq, DJ EZ, MJ Cole, DJ Luck and MC Neat can all be counted amongst those who became household names during the apex of UK Garage's popularity between 1998-2002. With its origins as a 'Sunday Scene' and as the soundtrack of pirate radio in the mid-late 1990s, UK Garage came a long way in a very short space of time. Indeed, it faded away from the musical limelight in the early 2000s equally as fast, spawning sub-genres such as Grime.In this podcast, Patrick (@historychappy) answers a range of questions on UK Garage from Elliott (@thelibrarian6) in what is a fascinating verbal tour of the scenes exciting and varied history.For terms of use, please visit
11/9/201821 minutes, 41 seconds
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Versus History #51 - Henry VIII's break from Rome.

Henry VIII reigned from 1509 to 1547. He is well known for having six wives, breaking with the Roman Catholic Church in Rome and for dissolving the Catholic monasteries. Indeed, the passage of the 1534 Act of Supremacy meant that the incumbent English monarch - rather than the Pope in Rome - was now the Head of the English Church. However, what combination of factors ultimately resulted in Henry VIII's split from the Catholic Church? After all, Henry had been born, raised and largely continued to practice his faith in a conservatively Catholic manner, even after the split from Rome. The complexity of the issue is not difficult to appreciate; hopefully, this @VersusHistory podcast will help bring about some answers!In this episode, Patrick (@historychappy) supports the idea that the split was religiously motivated. Elliott (@thelibrarian6) contends that the Pope’s refusal to grant him a divorce from Katherine of Aragon was the primary cause. Conal (@prohistoricman) argues that the break from Rome was triggered by politics. For terms of use, please visit
11/2/201820 minutes, 26 seconds
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Versus History #50 - Superman

Superhero characters are a key feature of many cinematic and cartoon productions. Perhaps none are more instantaneously recognisable than Superman, also known as Clark Kent and Kal-El. Originating from the planet Krypton, he first appeared in a comic back in 1938. Just as interestingly, Superman has a long and varied history, both as a character construct and in the ways that he has been depicted and portrayed over through time.In this episode, Elliott (@thelibrarian6) answers a broad array of questions from Patrick (@historychappy) and Conal (@prohistoricman) on Superman.For terms of use, please visit
10/26/201825 minutes, 11 seconds
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Versus History #49 - History of Australia - Part 2

Part Two! Australia's history as an outpost of the British Empire formally began in 1788 with the arrival at Botany Bay of the First Fleet. Australia was initially a British penal colony. With the loss of the Thirteen Colonies in North America, Britain needed a new location to transport its convicts. Australia was to be that place. Australia and her white settler population developed politically, economically and socially under the stewardship of a number of Governors in the late 18th and 19th centuries, some 9500 miles away from the metropole. Within 50 years of British colonisation, Austrailia had experienced many, many seismic changes. The Aboriginal population, undoubtedly, suffered greatly and deeply. Sheep were introduced to help move the colony towards self-sufficiency. Transportation to Australia eventually ceased, with 'free settlers' taking the place of criminals. In the second of two special episodes, Australian academic and Curriculum Manager Dr Dave Brown (@DBrownF6History) shares his expertise and research into Australian colonial history, answering a wide array of questions about the period. For terms of use, please visit
10/20/201818 minutes, 6 seconds
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Versus History #48 - History of Australia - Part One

Australia's history as an outpost of the British Empire formally began in 1788 with the arrival at Botany Bay of the First Fleet. Australia was initially a British penal colony. With the loss of the Thirteen Colonies in North America, Britain needed a new location to transport its convicts. Australia was to be that place. Australia and her white settler population developed politically, economically and socially under the stewardship of a number of Governors in the late 18th and 19th centuries, some 9500 miles away from the metropole. Within 50 years of British colonisation, Austrailia had experienced many, many seismic changes. The Aboriginal population, undoubtedly, suffered greatly and deeply. Sheep were introduced to help move the colony towards self-sufficiency. Transportation to Australia eventually ceased, with 'free settlers' taking the place of criminals. In the first of two special episodes, Australian academic and Curriculum Manager Dr Dave Brown (@DBrownF6History) shares his expertise and research into Australian colonial history, answering a wide array of questions about the period.For terms of use, please visit
10/13/201826 minutes, 50 seconds
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Versus History #47 - Was the Treaty of Versailles too harsh on Germany?

Following the armistice that ended WW1 on 11 November 1918, the victorious allies came together at the Palace of Versailles to discuss how Germany should be treated. The Paris Peace Conference was quickly dominated by the leaders of the USA, Great Britain and France: Woodrow Wilson, David Lloyd George, and Georges Clemenceau - aka the ‘Big Three’. They had very different views as to what they wanted from Germany and to what degree the country should be punished. Once the Treaty of Versailles was finally published and the terms made public, a debate immediately sprang up centring on whether it dealt too leniently with Germany, or too harshly. Of course, this argument might depend upon your viewpoint (as most arguments do), but can we find evidence for both sides?In this episode, Elliott (@thelibrarian6) argues that the settlement was fair, whilst Patrick (@historychappy) argues that it was indeed overly harsh. For terms of use, please visit
10/6/201816 minutes, 59 seconds
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Versus History #46 - Empire Windrush 1948

HMT Empire Windrush is one of the most significant vessels in British history. In 1948, the Empire Windrush safely navigated the Atlantic Ocean, having started its journey in the Caribbean and concluding its voyage at Tilbury Docks in South-East England. The passengers were from the Caribbean; they were looking to find homes and work in Britain, as the whole of the UK underwent a rebuilding process following WW2. The ‘Windrush Generation’ takes its name from the ship that began the post-WW2 migratory process, but actually includes all Caribbean migrants who arrived in Britain between 1948 and 1962. This Podcast tells the fascinating story of the boat itself, the migrants and their contribution to British economic, social, cultural and political history. For terms of use, please visit
9/28/201820 minutes, 13 seconds
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Versus History #45 - Voyage of the Mayflower 1620

Jamestown in the 'New World' was settled by the English in 1607. However, the episode that has gone down as the most significant in early British North America is the voyage of the Mayflower in 1620, from England to America. Some of its passengers were intent on establishing a 'New World' along religious lines in America, to live in a 'godly' fashion, away from the corruptions of the 'old world'. Other events linked to the voyage included the signing of the Mayflower Compact and the very first 'Thanksgiving'. What were the causes, events, consequences of the journey of the Mayflower? This Podcast covers the essentials, with Elliott (@thelibrarian6) giving an overview, whilst Patrick (@historychappy) poses the questions. For terms of use, please visit
9/22/201830 minutes, 48 seconds
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Versus History #44 - Dr Carrie Gibson - History of the Caribbean

Dr Carrie Gibson (@carrieegibson) is a leading scholar & esteemed expert on the history of the Caribbean. Carrie has served as a journalist for the Guardian and the Observer; her work has also featured in the New York Times, in addition to BBC Radio 4. Dr Carrie Gibson's book 'Empire's Crossroads' is an academic - yet entirely accessible and captivating - tour de force on the varied history of the Caribbean from Columbus to the present day. In this podcast, Dr Carrie Gibson gives a summary of her work on the Caribbean and Latin America, whilst focusing on the topics of slavery, empire, global power politics and independence, amongst others. For more information on Dr Carrie Gibson and her work, please visit terms of use, please visit
9/14/201835 minutes, 38 seconds
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Versus History #43 - Gertrude Bell

Gertrude Bell, CBE (1868 – 1926) is a woman that many people have never heard of. Many people, however, have heard of her colleague T.E Lawrence, a.k.a 'Lawrence of Arabia'. However, Gertrude's life and work deserve recognition. Gertrude was a writer, explorer and archaeologist; she spent a significant proportion of her life establishing and cultivating links and with the populations of the Arabic-speaking world. To this end, she was invited by Winston Churchill to the 1921 Cairo Conference to advise on the boundaries of the British Mandate of Iraq. Indeed, her work and travels in the Middle East meant that she became "one of the few representatives of His Majesty's Government remembered by the Arabs with anything resembling affection". In this episode, Elliott (@thelibrarian6) discusses the life and work of Gertrude Bell. For terms of use, please visit
9/8/201817 minutes, 37 seconds
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Versus History #42 - Age of Revolution 1775-1848

1775-1848 was a turbulent period in global history. Revolution took place in - but was not limited to - the United States of America, with the Declaration of Independence in 1776. In addition, the island of Haiti was able to rebel successfully against its French colonial overlord. France itself witnessed the execution of its monarchy in this period. The Peterloo Massacre in England perhaps indicates that the potential threat of revolution to the established order was never far away - even in Great Britain. Revolution, then, was a key feature of history this period.In this episode, Historical Consultant Anna Husband from discusses the launch of the project's new and exciting website, which is a treasure trove of resources on the topic for Teachers and Learners. Anna Husband discusses a broad range of topics in this episode, such as the benefits of the website for Teachers, the causal factors which catalysed the 'age of revolution', the chronology of the period and its enduring legacy and historical significance. For terms of use, please visit
8/31/201831 minutes, 24 seconds
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Versus History #41 - Jack the Ripper 1888

The moniker 'Jack the Ripper' is familiar across the world. History students from all continents have studied the Whitechapel Murders of 1888, highlighting the sustained historical significance of the killings which occurred during the reign of Queen Victoria. The murder of five prostitutes from East London caused mass hysteria and terror, put the spotlight on the socio-economic conditions of London slums, highlighted the acute tensions between the Police and the local community and resulted in many people being labelled as 'persons of interest'. Nobody was ever brought to justice for the crimes. In this episode, former Murder Squad Detective Trevor Marriott (@trevor_marriott) shares his insights on the 'Jack the Ripper' case from the investigation and research he has undertaken. Trevor Marriott has conducted tours, lectures and written extensively on the case and is an acclaimed 'Ripper' expert and authority on the case. Should you wish to learn more about Trevor's work on the Whitechapel Murders of 1888, please visit For terms of use, please visit
8/17/201821 minutes, 53 seconds
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Versus History #40 - The Football Association

Soccer / Football has deep roots in English society, dating back to the Tudor times when people used the bladder of a pig filled with sawdust, in a game played between different villages. The more recent English Football Association was formed in 1863, which aimed to unite and codify the different variants of the game being played in England. Since then, the English Football Association has evolved and developed considerably, along with the game of football itself. In this episode, join our special guest and expert on the Football Association Sam Leigh, as he shares his insight into the history of this interesting organisation. For terms of use, please visit
8/10/201818 minutes, 25 seconds
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Versus History #39 - Athenian Democracy

Democracy has a long and varied history as a political concept. The history of democracy in ancient Athens in Greece is a fascinating subject which has enticed scholars of Politics, History and Classical Civilizations for many centuries. The concept of (some!) people participating in the process of political decision making and sharing the levers of power is one that we return to again and again. However, the democratic system in ancient Athens has some startling idiosyncrasies, differences consistencies when compared with systems across the the world today, notably the United States of America, Great Britain, France and Australia, amongst others.In this episode, our expert Conal Smith (@prohistoricman) answers a range of questions on the topic of Athenian Democracy posed by Patrick (@historychappy).For terms of use, please visit
8/3/201819 minutes, 53 seconds
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Versus History #38 - The RAF Iraq 2003

In 2003, Saddam Hussein's Iraq was invaded by allied forces, including Great Britain. The British RAF played a significant role in undertaking that invasion, including preparing the way for British ground troops.In this episode, former Squadron Leader of the RAF Ian Davies discusses his experiences in Iraq in 2003.For terms of use, please visit
7/27/201824 minutes, 41 seconds
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Versus History #37 - President Roosevelt's New Deal

The Great Depression caused significant economic and social hardship across the world in the 1930s. The Wall Street Crash of 1929 had triggered a deep and protracted economic downturn that lasted well into the 1930s. America was particularly hard hit during this time. In the United States of America, President Roosevelt launched a vast and unprecedented programme of federal government intervention to tackle the effects of the Great Depression. This included - but was not limited to - huge public works programmes and specific schemes for those out of work. Some criticised Roosevelt and the New Deal for overstepping the remit of the Federal government and/or being ineffective. Others criticised Roosevelt for doing too little. The topic has been a major focus of historians ever since.In this episode, Elliott (@thelibrarian6) explains the key points about the New Deal while answering as many questions as he can in 15 minutes from Patrick (@historychappy).For terms of use, please visit
7/19/201819 minutes, 20 seconds
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Versus History #36 - Monks & Monasticism in Medieval History

Monks, Nuns and Monasteries played a pivotal role in England during the Medieval period. They offered spiritual support and guidance, in addition to providing social functions such as providing charity, education, welfare and hospitality to travellers. Prior to 1541 and the Dissolution of the Monasteries under King Henry VIII, there were some 800 monasteries in England, which hints at their contemporary importance. The questions remain; what did Monks do? Why did they do it? What role did they play in their local communities? In this episode, the Versus History Medieval expert Conal Smith (@prohistoricman) fields as many questions as he can from Patrick (@historychappy) in 15 minutes.For terms of use, please visit
7/13/201818 minutes, 51 seconds
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Versus History #35 - Shakespeare, King James I & 1604

William Shakespeare is widely considered to be one of the greatest playwrights of all time. Indeed, his works include King Lear, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Julius Ceasar and Richard III. Shakespeare's works form the spine of English Literature syllabi across the world and have been translated into numerous languages. In this episode, Shakespeare's works are considered in their historical context, including links to King James I, the Stuart-era and the focus on witches which was prevalent in the early 17th century.In this episode, Co-Editor Elliott (@thelibrarian6) interviews our special guest Ben Davies, who is an English Teacher and an enthusiast of all things William Shakespeare.For terms of use, please visit
7/6/201821 minutes, 21 seconds
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Versus History #34 - The War of 1812.

In 1812, President Madison of the USA declared war on Great Britain and staged an attempted invasion of Upper Canada. This resulted in a War that lasted until the end of 1814 and the Treaty of Ghent. The result was a draw - neither side had been able to make significant or lasting gains. However, the War of 1812 is significant for a number of reasons. The White House in Washington D.C was burnt to the ground. The American anthem 'The Star Spangled Banner' is about the British bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore. American westward expansionism and heightened conflict with Native Americans was accelerated after the conclusion of the War of 1812.In this '15 minute frenzy', Patrick (@historychappy) fields as many questions as he can from Elliott (@thelibrarian6) in 15 minutes.For terms of use, please visit
6/30/201823 minutes, 21 seconds
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Versus History #33 - Skateboarding

Skateboarding has an interesting and varied history, beginning in the United States of America. A beloved pastime and sport of many, with an intricate and detailed history of its own!In this episode, Elliott (@thelibrarian6) discusses the history of skateboarding in a '15 Minute Frenzy', with Patrick (@historychappy) asking the questions.For terms of use, please visit
6/23/201823 minutes, 4 seconds
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Versus History #32 - British Rail 1948-1997

Railways are a key part of Britain's national heritage and identity. After World War Two, the Labour government undertook a large programme of nationalisation as part of their quest to create a 'New Jerusalem'. Britain's railways were nationalised in 1948, becoming 'British Railways', and then 'British Rail', until it was privatisated by John Major's Conservative government, beginning with the 'Railways Act' of 1993. From this point onwards, the ownership of track and train was split. In this '15 Minute Frenzy', Patrick (@historychappy) discusses why he has a passion for British Rail, while Elliott (@thelibrarian6) peppers him with questions.For terms of use, please visit
6/16/201820 minutes, 33 seconds
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Versus History #31 - Eleanor of Aquitaine

Eleanor of Aquitaine was one of the most powerful women in the Middle Ages. Aside from being the mother of King Richard 'The Lionheart' and 'Bad' King John, she travelled to Jerusalem and Constantinople on the 'Second Crusade'. In 1190, she acted as regent in England when Richard went to join the Third Crusade and took a 'hands-on' approach to government. In this '15 Minute Frenzy' episode, our resident medievalist Conal Smith (@prohistoricman) answers every question that Co-Editors Patrick (@historychappy) & Elliott (@thelibrarian6) can throw at him in that time.For terms of use, please visit
6/8/201818 minutes, 52 seconds
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Versus History #30 - American Revolution interview with Author Lars D.H. Hebdor.

The American Revolution changed the course of the British Empire and the world. Beginning in 1775 with the 'first shots' at Lexington and Concord between British Redcoats and Patriot Colonists, the war raged in earnest until the Battle of Yorktown in 1781, when General Cornwallis surrendered his force to the sound of 'The World Turned Upside Down'. The British presence in New York lingered until 1783, following the Treaty of Paris and the formal British recognition of American Independence.In this insightful episode, American author Lars D.H. Hebdor (@LarsDHHebdor) analyses the American Revolution and its prelude in an exclusive interview. Lars is undoubtedly an authority on the matter; he has published numerous works on the Revolution and aims to publish a novel on the conflict for each of the American States. Lars' new novel, 'The Freedman', has just been released via Amazon and all good digital formats, as well as print. Check out his website at In addition, you can consider the full range of his publications at terms of use, please visit
6/1/201822 minutes, 44 seconds
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Versus History #29 - Vietnam War

The Vietnam War was a highly significant conflict in the twentieth century. It caused immeasurable damage to Vietnam itself, resulting in a defeat for the Capitalist South and a victory for the Communist North. Indeed, Vietnam remains a Communist country to this very day. How did a global Superpower - the USA - fail to win? How did the guerilla warfare strategies of the Vietcong play out against America and her allies? Elliott (@thelibrarian6) has a particular interest in this topic and seeks to explain the causes, events and consequences of the conflict in just 15 minutes! In that time, Patrick (@historychappy) will throw as many questions as he can at Elliott. For terms of use, please visit
5/25/201816 minutes, 49 seconds
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Versus History #28 - King George III

In the first of a series of special episodes, where the Versus History team will discuss a favourite historical figure or event, Co-Editor Patrick (@historychappy) steps up to discuss King George III. George III reigned from 1760 to 1820. The Industrial Revolution really kicked off in Britain during this period, enclosure of land took hold and Britain won the Seven Years War, ensuring that the future of North America would be an English speaking one. In addition, America won its independence from Britain by 1783 and the Declaration of Independence lambasted George for his supposedly tyrannical actions. Why should we learn more about George III? Patrick tells us his thoughts.For terms of use, please visit
5/18/201814 minutes, 28 seconds
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Versus History #27 - Spanish Armada 1588

KS3 Special! In 1588, King Philip II of Spain launched an naval armada against England, hoping to invade and return it to the Catholic fold. The armada included approximately 130 galleons, hoping to collect more Spanish troops from Flanders under the control of the Duke of Parma. Unfortunately for Philip, the expected troops from the Netherlands never arrived; they were bogged down fighting Dutch Protestant rebels. The Battle of Gravelines spelt the end for the Armada; the Spanish crescent formation was shattered and their chances of launching a successful invasion were well and truly over. However, what was the main cause of the failure of the Spanish Armada?In this KS3 special, Patrick (@historychappy) argues that it was the failings of the Spanish that was ultimately responsible, while Elliott (@thelibrarian6) argues that the strengths of the English should be considered the main factor.For terms of use, please visit
5/11/201819 minutes, 26 seconds
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Versus History #26 - Causes of the American Revolution 1775-1783

The Thirteen Colonies of British North America declared their independence from Great Britain in 1776, by signing the Declaration of Independence drafted by Thomas Jefferson. The first shots of the war had already been fired at Lexington and Concord in 1775; war continued until 1783 and the Treaty of Paris, where Britain acknowledged that America was no longer part of the British Empire. What caused this rupture between Britain and America? In this episode, Patrick (@historychappy) discusses the role played by the settlers themselves and enlightenment thinking in the 18th century, while Elliott (@thelibrarian6) discusses the role played by British legislation, the Patriots and the end of 'Salutary Neglect' in 1763. Contributor Conal (@prohistoricman) suggests that tea and taxation also had a significant part to play. After all, everyone has heard of the Boston Tea Party!For terms of use, please visit
5/4/201830 minutes, 41 seconds
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Versus History #25 - Tips for the Body of History Essays

The first Versus History publication is now out via Kindle - 33 Easy Ways to Improve Your History Essays. We hope that you find it useful! In this episode, Elliott (@thelibrarian6) and Patrick (@historychappy) discuss two of their favourite strategies for helping students write great essays in examination scenarios. These can be found in the book, along with more!For terms of use, please visit
4/28/20188 minutes, 36 seconds
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Versus History #24 - Introductions to History Essays

The launch of our book '33 Easy Ways to Improve Your History Essays' is almost upon us. It really is on the cusp of publication! These are exciting times for Versus History, so get set to grab it from the Kindle Store / Application when it is released.As a prelude to the launch, Co-Editors Patrick (@historychappy) and Elliott (@thelibrarian6) discuss their favourite tips for 'Introductions to History Essays' from the book itself. Check this podcast out for some great advice ahead of our examination season!For terms of use, please visit
4/20/20188 minutes, 32 seconds
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Versus History #23 - Book Launch! 33 Tips to Write Better History Essays

Special edition this week! The Editors are very proud and excited to announce the launch of the first 'Versus History' publication - '33 Tips for Writing Better History Essays'. This publication will be available via the Kindle eBook store for all students and teachers in advance of the Summer 2018 examination season. Given the complexities of undertaking a Post-16 History essay, the Editors wanted to offer something that made a genuine and positive difference to the quality of our readers own examination responses and written work.Patrick (@historychappy) and Elliott (@thelibrarian6) discuss the inspiration behind the book, the key concepts that have driven the project and their aim to help young Historians develop a deep passion and aptitude for History.'33 Tips for Writing Better History Essays' will be available via Amazon very soon. Stay tuned for more details! For more details, check out
4/13/201814 minutes, 10 seconds
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Versus History #22 - Hitler's Nazi Party after the Munich Putsch, 1924-1929

Hitler was released from Landsberg Jail in 1924 following the failed Munich Putsch in 1923. He immediately set about remodelling the Nazi Party, along with their strategy for gaining power and internal organisation. Historians largely concur that while the Nazis did not gain much traction at the ballot box in this period - gaining just 2.6% of the vote in 1928 - much work had been done to lay the platform for future success. In this period, the Nazis submitted to Hitler as the unchallenged Fuhrer, adopted Mein Kampf as the central political tract, grew the SA, established the SS, allowed energetic followers to lead at HQ and became a national Party as opposed to a provincial, Bavarian one. Moreover, the Bamberg Conference of 1926 saw the Nazis move away from the 'socialist' elements of the 25 Point Programme and by 1929, the Nazis had become the leading 'Volkish' Party of the political right. In addition, the Nazis were now committed to gaining power democratically.Which of these changes was the most significant? In this episode, Patrick (@historychappy) and Elliott (@thelibrarian6) discuss each of them, offering insight and analysis.For terms of use, please visit
4/7/201823 minutes, 39 seconds
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Versus History #21 - Germany 1933-1939; Standard of Living

When the Nazi Party came to power in January 1933 under Adolf Hitler, they aimed to create a dictatorship - this they had achieved by the Summer of 1934. However, they also spoke of the mass rearmament of the military forces, becoming economically self-sufficient and also of creating jobs for the German people. The Nazi Party made significant propaganda gains out of a supposedly improved standard of living for ‘racially pure’ German citizens. Wages for German workers supposedly grew, new organisations such as ‘Strength Through Joy’ were established to cater for the needs of workers and the Nazis even had a scheme whereby German’s could save for a ‘Volkswagen Beetle’ or, the ‘People’s Car’. However, Goering himself said that the the focus of Germany should be on the purchase of military hardware rather than foodstuffs; “Guns make us strong, Butter only makes us fat!” This leads us to the important question; did the standard of living fundamentally improve in Germany between 1933-1939?In this episode, Patrick argues that the standard of living for German people did demonstrate improvements between 1933-1939, while Elliott (@thelibrarian6) contends that the standard of living did not fundamentally improve.For terms of use, please visit
3/31/201832 minutes, 13 seconds
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Versus History #20 - Hitler, Nazi Germany & Unemployment 1933-1939

When Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in January 1933, Germany was still suffering the impacts of the Great Depression and unemployment stood at approximately 6 million. However, by 1939, Nazi statistics indicated that unemployment had been defeated; indeed, by 1936 the Nazis were claiming victory in the battle against a lack of employment opportunities. However, to what extent did the Nazis really tackle the problem of unemployment? How effective were their solutions? Was the Nazi victory built on firm foundations or was this a case of selective statistics?In this episode, we welcome back Patrick (@historychappy), who argues that the Nazis were not as successful as they claimed. Elliott (@thelibrarian6) argues that the Nazis were largely successful in providing employment. Conal (@prohistoricman) hosts the debate and chimes in with valuable insight.For terms of use, please visit
3/23/201827 minutes
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Versus History #19 - Czechoslovakia 1968

Czechoslovakia was a Soviet satellite state and a member of the Warsaw Pact in 1968. Alexander Dubcek - the Czech Premier - spoke of reinvigorating Communism within Czech borders, by relaxing state censorship, introducing multi-candidate elections and permitting a greater degree of free speech. Collectively, his suggestions were known as 'The Prague Spring Reforms'. Dubcek envisaged the reforms as a way of making Communism more palatable to the populace - 'Socialism with a Human Face'. However, hundreds of thousands of Warsaw Pact troops entered Czechoslovakia to put an end to the reforms, with Dubcek sidelined. He was replaced by Husak, a pro-Soviet candidate. The package of reforms were halted. In the wake of the invasion, Leonid Brezhnev announced the 'Brezhnev Doctrine' in Pravda; this was a tacit threat to any member of the Warsaw Pact who threatened the stability of the union. In this episode, we debate the impact / consequences of the invasion.For terms of use, please visit
3/17/201828 minutes, 52 seconds
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Versus History #18 - Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan 1979

In December 1979, the Soviet Union (USSR) decided to intervene in the internal affairs of Afghanistan by sending troops to prop up the ailing and fractious Communist Party, based in Kabul. Afghanistan was of key geo-strategic significance in the Cold War to both the USSR and the USA; the USSR invaded on the pretence of an invitation by the domestic Afghan Communist Party, but the USA viewed this as an unprecedented expansion beyond Warsaw Pact borders by Soviet military forces. The period of Detente (relaxed relations) between the Superpowers which had characterised the 1970s was definitely over after this point, giving way to heightened tensions in the 1980s. But what was the primary consequence / significance of the invasion? Where was its impact felt most?In this episode, Co-Editor Elliott (@thelibrarian6) argues that the main ramifications were felt in the arena of international relations, while our Special Guest Conal (@prohistoricman) contends that the main impact was felt by the USSR domestically. Patrick (@historychappy) is on paternity leave this week. For terms of use, please visit
3/9/201832 minutes, 49 seconds
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Versus History #17 - Hitler's Journey from Chancellor to Fuhrer

In January 1933 Hitler was given the Chancellorship legally and democratically. However, this did not mean that Hitler was able to rule as he wished from the outset. A number of barriers to unparalleled and unchecked power remained in place, such as opposition Parties, the President, the Constitution, the Law and not least the German Army. However, by mid-1934, Adolf Hitler had become the unrivalled 'Fuhrer' of Germany. What was the main causal factor that facilitated Hitler's journey from Chancellor to Fuhrer by 1934? In this episode, Elliott (@thelibrarian) argues in favour of the Enabling Act of 1933, while Patrick (@historychappy) argues that it was the death of President Hindenburg in 1934 that allowed Hitler unchecked power. Special guest Conal (@prohistoricman) argues that it was the mechanisms of the Nazi 'Police State' which mainly enabled Hitler to become Fuhrer.Please note, this episode was recorded live in a Cafe. As such, there may be some ambient noise - hopefully this adds a degree of organic flavour to proceedings!For terms of use, please visit
3/2/201824 minutes, 52 seconds
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Versus History #16 - Hitler & The Great Depression

In the 1928 elections, the Nazis polled just 2.6% of the parliamentary elections and won just 12 seats. In many respects, Hitler was as far away from power as ever. However, the Wall Street Crash in 1929 and subsequent Great Depression ended the 'golden-years' of the Weimar Republic and paved the way for political, economic and social instability. Into this 'post-crash' context, Hitler and the Nazi Party could gain political traction. The Nazis had a formidable propaganda machine, a network of Gauleiters, the SA and SS as well as the figure of Hitler as leader. Which causes - or hierarchy of causes - best explain Hitler's election as Chancellor in January 1933?In this episode, Elliott argues that the Great Depression was the ultimate cause, while Patrick contends that other factors within the unique context of the Depression should be considered as paramount.For terms of use, please visit
2/23/201825 minutes, 38 seconds
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Versus History #15 - 1920s America

America in the 1920s is often described as being a period of optimism and prosperity for the American economy - hence the moniker 'Roaring 20s'. Following the devastation suffered in Europe during WW1, America was advantageously placed to become the leading global economy. The advent of mass production, credit, the laissez-faire attitude of the Federal Government towards big business and consumer goods all helped to fuel an economic boom. Indeed, by the mid-1920s, the American economy was growing at 7% per annum on average. However, to what extent can the American economy in the 1920s be classified as 'Roaring'? Did all sections of American society benefit from this boom? In this context, 'Roaring' can be defined as a period characterised by optimism and prosperity. In this episode, Patrick argues that 'roaring' is an apt description for the American economy in the 1920s, while Elliott argues to the contrary. For terms of use, please visit
2/16/201828 minutes, 17 seconds
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Versus History #14 - Weimar Republic 1924-1929

The Weimar Republic was born out of the German defeat in WW1 in 1918; the allies insisted that the Kaiser needed to be replaced by a democratic government as a necessary prerequisite of peace talks. The Treaty of Versailles in 1919 burdened Germany with 'War Guilt' and a huge reparations bill of GBP 6.6 billion; this was not a great start for democracy in Germany. The period 1919-1923 was a turbulent, revolutionary, violent and troublesome period for the Weimar Republic. Furthermore, the Wall Street Crash in October 1929 precipitated the Great Depression, which culminated in Hitler being elected as Chancellor in January 1933. However, the period 1924-1929 is often called the 'Golden Years', 'High-Water Mark' or 'Stresemann-era'. There were no major rebellions, a 'culture-boom' with artists such as Otto Dix and the Bauhaus Project and the Dawes Plan of 1924 boosted the German economy with much-needed American loans. However, to what extent can it really be considered a 'Golden-era'?In this exciting episode, Patrick contends that the achievements of the Weimar Republic 1924-1929 were temporal, precarious and built on shaky foundations. On the contrary, Elliott argues that we should view the achievements of Weimar between 1924-1929 in a more positive light.For terms of use, please visit
2/8/201837 minutes, 26 seconds
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Versus History #13 - Norman Conquest

KS3 History Special this week! Following the death of the English King 'Edward the Confessor' in 1066, there was a succession crisis. William of Normandy, from modern day France, won the Battle of Hastings against Harold Godwineson and became King. William then became known as 'William the Conqueror', as he established his control across England. He used a variety of different methods, such as Castles, the Feudal System, the Domesday Book, the system of Sheriffs and the 'Harrying of the North'. The question remains, however; Was the Norman Conquest 'good' for England and the English?Co-Editor Patrick (@historychappy) hosts the debate between fellow Co-Editor Elliot (@thelibrarian6) and our very special guest and Medieval Expert Conal (@prohistoricman). Elliot argues that the Norman Conquest was a 'good' thing for England, while Conal argues that it was generally negative. For terms of use, please visit
2/2/201826 minutes, 19 seconds
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Versus History #12 - Suffragists & Suffragettes

Women in the UK were granted the vote in national parliamentary elections on the same terms as men in 1928 – it has remained that way ever since. Going further back in time, some women (those over 30 who met the relevant property qualifications) were given the vote following the conclusion of WW1 in 1918. However, before the outbreak of WW1, two groups campaigned for the right for women to vote. The Suffragists (NUWSS) were formed in 1897 and Suffragettes (WSPU) were formed in 1903; both groups aimed to secure women the vote in parliamentary elections. However, they differed markedly in their strategies. The Suffragists, led by Millicent Fawcett, campaigned using only legal means. Contrastingly, the Suffragettes, led by Emmeline Pankhurst, were prepared to break the law in order to secure the right to vote. Which group had the biggest impact pre-1914?In this episode, Patrick supports the contributions of the Suffragists and Elliot supports the Suffragettes. It is worth noting, however, that both editors are of the opinion that it was actually the advent of WW1 that provided the context for the biggest shift towards women gaining the vote.For terms of use, please visit
1/26/201830 minutes, 39 seconds
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Versus History #11 - Malcolm X

Malcolm Little was born in 1925, the son of a Baptist Minister influenced by the ‘Back to Africa’ teachings of Marcus Garvey. Following a turbulent childhood, Malcolm fell into criminality and was imprisoned in 1946. While in prison, Malcolm was exposed to the Black Muslim faith and joined the separatist religious group, the ‘Nation of Islam’, led by Elijah Muhammad. Malcolm X was a passionate and articulate speaker for the NOI, as well as a talented and tireless evangelical for the movement. He established numerous NOI temples and made countless fiery speeches across the USA. Eventually, Malcolm fell out with the NOI and Elijah Muhammad in 1964 and set up his own religious group – the MMI – as well as his own secular group – the OAAU. Prior to his assassination in 1965 by NOI members, Malcolm had started to move towards the Civil Rights ‘mainstream’ and temper his racial views. He spent moths travelling across Arabia and Africa, ‘internationalising’ the struggle of black Americans. Malcolm is often credited with inspiring the ‘Black Power’ movement and Afro-American inspired media. In this episode, Elliot supports the achievements of Malcolm X, while Patrick offers a critical appraisal of the iconic Afro-American leader.For terms of use, please visit
1/19/201837 minutes, 20 seconds
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Versus History #10 - Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King was born in 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. He was raised as a Baptist in the segregated South and gained a Doctorate from Boston University in 1955. King dedicated his adult life to issues relating to Civil Rights and equality for Americans, becoming a national figure during the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955-56. King co-ordinated and spearheaded the refusal by many black people to use the public buses until segregation on public transport was overturned – which it eventually was. King subsequently led the Southern Christian Leadership Conference from 1957 and became an internationally recognised figure during his ‘I have a Dream’ speech in Washington D.C during 1963. King’s actions are often credited with being a key factor in the passing of the Civil Rights Act 1964 and Voting Rights Act 1965. However, historians debate the ultimate significance of Martin Luther King to the movement.In this episode of Versus History, Patrick defends the position that Martin Luther King was vital to the Civil Rights Movement in the USA, while Elliott contends that King deserves a more critical appraisal.For terms of use, please visit
1/1/201841 minutes, 56 seconds
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Versus History #9 - Dunkirk

As Hitler’s forces advanced rapidly through Western Europe after the end of the so-called ‘Phoney War’ which began in 1939, they pushed Allied troops ever closer towards the coast. The British Expeditionary Force (B.E.F.), alongside allied troops from France, faced the threat of encirclement and destruction at Dunkirk – a coastal town in northern France, 10 kilometres from the Belgian border. This was very early in World War Two and only weeks after the Wehrmacht had turned its attention to the countries of Western Europe. Consequently, the British government had to act quickly to avoid a debilitating, not to mention humiliating, defeat in 1940. This they did with Operation Dynamo – the plan to evacuate Allied troops from the beaches of Dunkirk, and return them to Britain. Almost 340,000 troops were successfully evacuated during the months of May and June 1940, yet there is still much debate about whether this evacuation represented a defeat so early in the war, or a triumph – allowing Britain to ‘fight another day’. In this episode, Elliott (@thelibrarian6) argues that Dunkirk was a military defeat for the British, while Patrick (@historychappy) argues that it was actually a very lucky escape for the British.For terms of use, please visit
12/14/201723 minutes, 54 seconds
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Versus History #8 - Pearl Harbor

America's isolationist stance in global affairs - which had prevailed since the conclusion of WW1 - was brutally shattered on the morning of 7 December 1941, when the US Naval base at Pearl Harbor in the Pacific Ocean was attacked by the Imperial Japanese Air Force. This resulted in over 2000 Americans killed, 4 battleships sunk and numerous others severely damaged. The very next day, President Roosevelt announced that the United states was officially at war with Japan. Shortly after, Hitler declared war on America, to which America reciprocated. America was now at war against the Axis forces.World War Two resulted in seismic shifts in American foreign and domestic policy and helped to shape the future of not only America, but also the wider-world in which we all live today.In this exciting episode of Versus History, Elliott (@thelibrarian6) argues that Pearl Harbor's most significant impact was on American foreign policy, while Patrick (@historychappy) argues that it had an even bigger impact on America's domestic destiny. For terms of use, please visit
12/9/201728 minutes, 28 seconds
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Versus History #7 - Was King John a 'Bad' King?

Does King John deserve his terrible reputation and 'Bad' nickname? King John was the fourth son of the popular King Henry II and became monarch in 1199 after the death of his brother Richard ‘The Lionheart’. During his reign, which lasted until his death on 19 October 1216, he famously lost Normandy at the Battle of Bouvines in 1214 and was forced to sign ‘Magna Carta’ at Runnymede in 1215 by a group of discontented Barons. This document put explicit limits on the power of the King. Contemporary Chroniclers harmed John’s reputation, accusing him of wickedness, a lust for money and of murdering his nephew. Furthermore, his negative portrayal in numerous productions of Robin Hood has served to tarnish his standing in popular perception.Was he really a ‘bad’ King? Versus History residents Elliott and Patrick argue that he was indeed a terrible King, while special guest Conal Smith (@prohistoricman) argues that he was a better King than history has given him credit for. For terms of use, please visit
12/2/201731 minutes, 27 seconds
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Versus History #6 - Who started the Cold War?

The Cold War was a period of tension between the capitalist United States of America and the communist Union of Soviet Socialist Republics - and their respective allies - between the period 1945 and 1991. Whilst the conflict never resulted in direct armed conflict between the two Superpowers, it did result in numerous proxy wars and a global struggle for dominance across the face of the globe. Given that both Superpowers had access to large stockpiles of nuclear weaponry, any conflict between them could have resulted in the destruction of the planet, as we know it. Fortunately, that catastrophic eventuality never occurred.In this episode of Versus History, Elliott contends that responsibility for starting the conflict lies with America, whilst Patrick argues that the USSR should shoulder the blame.For terms of use, please visit
11/25/201731 minutes, 9 seconds
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Versus History #5 - Field Marshal Douglas Haig

Does Field Marshal Douglas Haig deserve his reputation? His performance as a wartime leader has been attacked in the 100 years since WW1; the 1960s book 'The Donkeys' and the film 'Oh! What a Lovely War' certainly did him no favours; before 'Blackadder' in the 1980s further scorned his abilities. More recently, Professor Gary Sheffield has labelled him 'controversial', but has defended Haig's performance. In this edition of the 'Versus History' Podcast, Elliott critiques Haig, while Patrick defends him; both draw on the very latest historiography and academic insight to formulate their arguments.On 1 July 1916, Haig ordered the Somme offensive in an attempt relieve the pressure on the French at Verdun and break the stalemate of the Western Front. The British army suffered 60,000 casualties on the first day, including 20,000 killed. This was the highest loss in British Army history. It should be noted, however, that the French line held at Verdun and after five months of fighting, the British made advances at the Somme. In July 1917, a new offensive - the Third Battle of Ypres (also known as Passchendaele) resulted in further heavy casualties, but did succeed in weakening the German army and laid the platform for its defeat in 1918. Listen to Elliott and Patrick go 'head-to-head' over this highly emotive and controversial topic, hoping to offer some clarity and perspective to the debate. Please visit for our terms of use.
11/18/201730 minutes, 34 seconds
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Versus History #4 - Cuban Missile Crisis 1962

The Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962 is widely acknowledged as being the most significant 'flashpoint' of the entire Cold War between the USSR and the USA. The stationing of Missile Delivery Mechanisms on the small Caribbean island just 90 miles from the USA by the USSR caused consternation in the highest echelons of the American government. In the 'Thirteen Days' that followed tense, secretive negotiations took place between the advisors of Khrushchev and Kennedy. This resulted in a series of agreements between the two Superpowers, including the Soviet removal of the missiles from Cuba, but also America agreeing never to invade Cuba and also to remove missiles from Turkey - albeit secretly.In this lively episode, Elliott defends the claim that Khrushchev was the ultimate winner of this episode, while Patrick defends Kennedy. Please tweet us at @versushistory to let us know which leader you think 'won'. Thanks for downloading. For our terms of use, please visit
11/11/201724 minutes, 14 seconds
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Versus History #3 - Patrick critiques Lord Durham

Lord Durham was a 'larger than life' character of the early 19th century who wholeheartedly supported the passing of the 1832 Great Reform Act in Britain. Six years later in 1838, he was sent to Upper and Lower Canada to find a solution to the political turmoil that had resulted in two separate rebellions against British rule.While Lord Durham's tenure was just 6 months in duration, he compiled a report in 1839 known as the 'Report on the Affairs of British North America', which advocated the extension of 'responsible self-government' to the Canada's. Did Lord Durham really 'save' the white settler Empire for the Crown with the contents of his Report? In this episode, Patrick O'Shaughnessy (@historychappy) explains the rationale behind his critique of Lord Durham's role in the forthcoming book 'Versus Empire', as well as the disciplinary and research processes behind his work, while Elliott L. Watson (@thelibrarian6) poses the questions.
11/4/201716 minutes, 12 seconds
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Versus History #2 - Elliott defends Lord Durham

The flamboyant and colourful Lord Durham played a significant role in the passing of the 1832 Great Reform Act in Britain; some 6 years later in 1838, he was sent to Upper and Lower Canada to find a solution to the political turmoil that had resulted in two separate rebellions. While Lord Durham's tenure was short, he penned a report in 1839 known as the 'Report on the Affairs of British North America', which advocated the extension of 'responsible self-government' to the Canada's. Did Lord Durham really 'save' the white settler Empire for the Crown with the contents of his Report? In this episode, Elliott L. Watson (@thelibrarian6) explains the rationale behind his defence of Lord Durham's role in the forthcoming book 'Versus Empire', as well as the disciplinary and research processes behind his work, while Patrick O'Shaughnessy (@historychappy) poses the questions. For more information and for terms of use, please visit
10/28/201718 minutes, 10 seconds
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Versus History - Introduction

Versus History welcome you to the very first Podcast Episode from Senior School History Teachers Elliott L. Watson and Patrick O'Shaughnessy. In this introductory episode, the pair discuss the launch of and their forthcoming book, 'Versus Empire' - the first from the 'Versus' series, due for publication in 2018. Elliott (@thelibrarian6) and Patrick (@historychappy) are both experienced History Teachers and are dedicated to delivering highly academic and articulate historical debate, with students of A-Level, I.B and U.S History courses as the target focus. In episode one, both Teachers lay the platform for their debate on the historical significance of Lord Durham during his stint in the Canada's during the late 1830's. In the turbulent context of rebellion in both Upper and Lower Canada, did Lord Durham 'save' the white settler Empire for the Crown with his recommendations for 'responsible self-government'?For terms of use, please visit
10/23/201710 minutes, 30 seconds