Category Archives: Podcasts 2020

I hear with my little ear: Podcasts 1-8 October 2020

Heather Cox Richardson. As a matter of course, HCR always asks for questions before her History and Politics Chat on Tuesdays. On 6th October she received over 2000 questions! She started off by talking about the importance of not letting Trump control the conversation, which he certainly has been doing since being diagnosed with COVID. She said that Trump is taking up where Joseph McCarthy left off- a politician can blatantly lie, knowing that the lie will be reported, and that newspapers will print the lie because it is news. She also talked about voter suppression and the history of the Secret Service.

In her History of the Republican Party podcast of September 10, she looks at the election of 2000 that brought us George W. Bush (along with its hanging chads) and September 11. Ah- the irony of the Republican Party claiming that only the Republican Party could keep America safe from terrorists, when September 11 occurred on their watch (not unlike Trump now claiming that he is the Law and Order President when violence is occurring under his administration.) It was here that the practice of governing by ideology began, and the use of signing statements and evocation of a world other than the reality-based world took root.

America If You’re Listening. How Trump widened racial divides for political gain looks at Trump’s long history of racism. He took after his father Fred in his racism, and don’t forget his active role with the Central Park Five. Then there’s the AltR, and Charlottesville, and Black Lives Matter….

Women and Evacuation in the Second World War. This podcast comes from the excellent History West Midland website, which looks to have some really interesting material. In the four-part episode I listened to, historian Maggie Andrews talks about her 2019 book Women and Evacuation in the Second World War. We all have the mental picture of the children standing with their little cases, waiting to be evacuated, but this book looks at the experience of the mothers who packed those little cases; those who accompanied their children and those women who acted as foster mothers. Episode 1 Introduction to Evacuation sets the scene. The evacuation program was set into train even before war was declared, with a great deal of upfront planning that all fell apart completely when it was actually implemented. Then came the ‘phoney war’ war, when nothing happened and by Christmas, many of the children had returned to their homes. Then when the bombing started in earnest, there was a rush of evacuation, much of it initiated and arranged privately. Once the war was over, some children arrived home fairly quickly, others took months if not years. Some never returned home. Episode 2 Mothers Who Waved Goodbye had me in tears while striding around the park. The idea of a mother whose six children were being sent to six different homes cutting up her only towel into six (useless) pieces just seemed too sad. Episode 3 The Mothers Who Accompanied Their Children looks at the women who, in the first wave, accompanied their children as part of the school evacuation, and then when the bombing started, fled with their children hoping to find private accommodation in the country. Episode 4 Foster Mothers takes the other perspective: that of women who had their lives turned upside down by children, sometimes accompanied by their mothers, who came into their family homes. This is a really interesting, emotionally affecting series of podcasts about another time when people were told “we’re all in this together”, even though they weren’t. [I was tempted to get the book until I saw the price. I’m always disappointed when a book is published by academic publishers, who obviously think that only university libraries are likely to purchase it. But – oh good- the State Library of Victoria has it as an ebook.]

I hear with my little ear: Podcasts 25-30 September

Heather Cox Richardson. In the relative tranquility before the Presidential debate shitstorm, on 29 September Heather answered questions about the Supreme Court which, interestingly, up to Susan Day O’Connor always had someone sitting who was not a judge. Amy Coney Barrett is an originalist- someone who believes that the constitution cannot be changed and who rejects judicial activism. There was also a question about the First Amendment and lying, and she finishes off with the question “How do we heal?” which she answers by looking at other times in America’s history when society was similarly riven.

Her History of the Republican Party of 3rd September Part 14 looks at the history of the Clinton years, from the perspective of the Republicans. She follows through with the Movement Conservatives, who were disappointed with George H. W. Bush and who were horrified by Bill Clinton. She does quite a bit of editorializing in this episodes, I guess because it’s coming into living history.

America If You’re Listening (ABC). The last two episodes of this analysis of Trump’s first (oh, please let it be his last) term of office credited him somewhat in at least standing up initially to the NRA and not starting any wars. But in How Saudi Arabia Found an Ally in the White House there’s nothing redeeming at all in Saudi Arabia’s cultivation of Jared Kushner and Trump himself.

Conversations (ABC) Tracking the trial of a Mississippi murder is an older episode from 2013 where John Safran talks about his book Murder in Mississippi which I reviewed here. Listening to the podcast is quicker than reading the book.

I hear with my little ear: 9th-16th September

Heather Cox Richardson Her History and Politics Chat of 8th September asked: why are the Republicans so good at breaking things down and explaining them simply and the Democrats so poor? She partially agreed. She then explored the question of “Is democracy good? Why is democracy good?”, coming to much the same conclusion as Churchill “No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…”. She also looked at campaign funding (which she has covered previously) and noted that Trump started his 2020 campaign almost as soon as he was sworn in. This means that for the past four years, he has been able to hold rallies with selected audience, and more importantly, have his legal bills paid.

Her History of the Republican Party of 20th August looked at Ronald Reagan, and the rise of ‘western’ tropes (e.g. RR dressing up as a cowboy, prairie dresses, even Star Wars as a modern version). The Movement Conservatives were still active. Reagan was all over the shop in terms of tax cuts and spending.

The Real Story. Each night, I am stunned by the number of new cases in India. The commentators in India’s COVID-19 Challenge all came from fairly entrenched positions e.g. the BJP commentator had nothing but praise for Modi’s government; one of the women brought everything back to Modi’s decision to lay the foundation stone for a new temple to Lord Ram on the site of the Babri mosque, destroyed by Hindu mobs in 1992. Still, all rather sobering.

America, Are You Listening? In this episode, The surprising story of how Donald Trump took on the NRA, Matt Bevan looks at Trump’s relationship with the NRA. Surprisingly (especially for a Republican President), Trump initially stood up to the NRA and for a moment it seemed that the stars were aligning to end the madness of America’s ‘sacred’ relationship with guns: an unconventional President, a willing House, public revulsion at mass shootings, and the NRA in internal disarray. But somehow, and for some reason, all that seems to have gone away.

Dan Snow’s History Hit Pilgrimage in the Middle Ages looks at the practice of making a pilgrimage within England – a rather flexible activity it seems, as you could pay someone to do it for you, just thinking about it counted as actually doing it and Saints Days could be shifted around to take advantage of better weather. The podcast features Dr. Sheila Sweetinberg.

And while we’re talking about religious things, Stealing from the Saracens: Islam and European Architecture looks at the Muslim (and particularly Syrian) architecture brought back by merchants, pilgrims and crusaders to the Holy City, and it was incorporated into what we see as the quintessentially European ‘gothic’. The interviewee, Diana Darke, comments on the expungement of Syrian influence in the mosque at Cordoba, something that I noticed too. Although I think that it is too strong, and that the Christian additions are mere excrescences.

Outlook (BBC) In Sewing to Protest in a Chilean Prison Camp, London-based Jimena Pardo visited a display of handcrafts created by Chilean prisoners in Pinochet’s prison camps. It gave her the courage to ask her mother, Cristina about her own prison experience- something that she had never spoken about before. This is Cristina’s story, when as a medical student and mother of a young baby, she and her husband were swept up in a raid and imprisoned. (There’s a really good video about the imprisonments and the exhibition here, in English)

Rough Translation (NPR) American Surrogate 30 months later picks up on a program from 2017 where an American woman agrees to act as a surrogate for a Chinese couple. The American woman, who hoped to have a friendship with the couple when they returned to China with their baby, was stunned when the Chinese woman said that she would not tell their child of the surrogacy arrangement. This catches up with them 3 years after the birth, which had been more difficult than they anticipated because of eclampsia .

I hear with my little ear: Podcasts 1-8 September 2020

99% Invisible. When I went to Spain quite recently, I was told and read that the Spanish Civil War was still a topic best avoided. This episode, Valley of the Fallen, talks about the memorial constructed by Franco, using prisoner labour, which he envisaged as a huge monument to honor the achievements of “our crusade,” and the “heroic sacrifices of our victory.”  It was only when Spain’s allies in the Cold War became uneasy about the size and divisiveness of the memorial that Franco announced that it would be for all the fallen. But once again, being Franco, ordered that bodies be exhumed from mass graves  and taken to The Valley of the Fallen for reburial. Many of these bodies were of his enemies, and they were disinterred and thrown together in a way that they could not be identified. When he was buried there, it became a site of pilgrimage for fascists. I had heard that he had been exhumed last year and shifted elsewhere. I hadn’t heard that many of the families of his victims are trying to get the other bodies exhumed and identified. Post-Franco Spain had agreed to forget about the crimes in a ‘Pacto del Olvido’ – a pact of forgetting- that silenced any memory of the past. But some things cannot, and should not, be forgotten.  The website has a transcript with videos (in fact, it’s probably better than the podcast).

Heather Cox Richardson. Her History and Politics Chat of 18th August started off by looking at De Joy and his removal of the sorting boxes. She then moved briefly to Trump’s convention trick of ‘pardoning’ Susan B. Anthony. The major part of her chat this week is about the republican-lead Senate report into Russian interference in the last election- something that made my eyes goggle, and which seemed to disappear completely afterwards (as no doubt the Republicans intended by releasing it during the Democratic convention). I think she must be tired because this was a bit disjointed, although I think that she was also being very careful about what she said.

Her chat of 25 August was interrupted by a storm! In the fifteen minutes that she recorded,  she responded to a question over whether it was unusual that the Republican National Convention had not released a policy platform but just recycled the 2016 one. Yes, it was unusual she said. She noted that there are three groups within the Republican party: Trump supporters, anti-Trumpers and a group with four letter names who oppose government action of any sort- Rand, Cruz and I can’t remember the others (and neither can she).  And then BANG! The power went off.

The following 1 September she talked about Social Security and Unemployment Insurance and whether Trump really would get rid of the payroll tax through which these programs are funded (as distinct from deferring it, which he has already done). Yes, he would,  because that would be consistent with the ideological position that many in the Republican party, if not Trump himself, endorse.  She was then asked why Donna Hylton, author, criminal justice activist and convicted for 25 years for second-degree murder and kidnapping, appeared at the Democratic Convention. Her answer- because she had done her time, and this is what rehabilitation looks like.

Her History of the Republican Party of 13 August is the one I have been waiting for: when the Republican party switched from the big-government, New Deal party to the individualistic, evangelical party that it is today.  This Southern Strategy took place between 1964 and the 1980s. She intended getting to Reagan, but instead ending up spending the whole session on Nixon. An interesting take on Watergate: Nixon had actively undermined LBJ’s peace talks in Vietnam, and Nixon was terrified that the Pentagon Papers would reveal this (they didn’t – they didn’t go up that far). And that was why he needed the ‘plumbers’ to find the dirt on Daniel Ellsberg and the Democrats in the Watergate building.

The Real Story (BBC) This program frightened the bejesus out of me. Why is QAnon going global looks at the the QAnon conspiracy theory that Mr Trump is leading a top-secret campaign to dismantle a global network of Satan worshipping cannibal paedophiles led by billionaires, celebrities and Democrats. It’s spreading in US, Europe and Latin America, right from President Trump through to evangelical churches. Really scary.

The Navalny ‘poisoning’ puts inverted commas around the word ‘poisoning ‘ as there is debate amongst these commentators about whether he was poisoned, and whether Putin was behind it. Yevgenia Albats (Russian investigative journalist), Sir Tony Brenton (former British Ambassador to Russia), Mary Dejevsky (former Times correspondent to Moscow), Vladimir Milov (opposition politian, Navalny adviser) and Sergei Markov (former member of the Duma from President Putin’s United Russia party) barely agree on a single proposition in this podcast.

America if You’re Listening (ABC) Russia If You’re Listening is back with a new name! This time Matt Bevan looks at the four year presidency of Donald Trump, starting off with What a hurricane taught Trump about being President. Trump handled hurricanes in Florida and Texas well but once it came to Puerto Rico….What did he learn? That when things are going badly, lie.

I hear with my little ear: Podcasts 25-31 August

History Hour (BBC) This magazine-like show has about four or five stories told by people who were this. In The Siege at Ruby Ridge, it tells of the 1992 anti-government siege that has become a touchstone for the Far Right in the US. Also, a woman who grew up as a ‘family friend’ of Saddam Hussein, the invention of the asthma puffer, the appalling story of forced syphilis experiments in Guatemala  and the exhumation and reburial of King Richard III.

Heather Cox Richardson Her History and Politics chat of 11 August answered several questions: why don’t they just STOP Trump? (her answer- they should have, using the impeachment mechanism but the Senate stopped it); the role of Vice President (to attract votes from segments other than those to which the President appeals); yes, the Democrats did start the KKK and yes, the Republicans did champion a 90% tax rate under Eisenhower – but neither of these policy positions are held by the parties today; and the big switch between the policies of the Republican and Democratic parties that started under Nixon – I mean, how perverse it is that the REPUBLICANS support Confederate statues?

Her History of the Republican Party (Part 10?) of 7 August looks at Joe Macarthy and his attack on Eisenhower, and later the army, and the rise of William F. Buckley and Movement Conservatism. At first it made little inroads until the passing of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, when particularly – but not exclusively – southern white Americans crystalized their resistance to their taxes going to poor, black people. She talks about Barry Goldwater’s unsuccessful contest of the US election of 1964, which was supported by the Dixicrat Strom Thurmond, Phyllis Schlafly and Ronald Reagan. How about Goldwater’s acceptance speech when nominated republican candidate in 1964: “ I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. ” Apparently LBJ heard it, and rang Bill Moyers (who then worked in the White House) and commented that this was a whole new ideology, and that nothing would be the same again.

Dan Snow’s History Hit. Anne Applebaum, who has recently released Twilight of Democracy is interviewed in the episode How Democracy Dies. Her book is about how intellectual and educated elites in Britain (think Boris, Corbyn), America (think Trump), Hungary, Poland and Turkey after ‘winning’ in a democracy, have then turned against it. Actually, the book sounds really good.

For something completely different, How and Why History: The Spread of Christianity features Miri Rubin, Professor of Medieval and Early Modern History at Queen Mary University of London. She covers from Paul up to approximately the 13th century. I knew, but it hadn’t sunk in that Christianity started in the Eastern Mediterranean, where the language was Greek. Or that the Visigoths ,the Ostrogoths and Vandals were Arian Christians (and not Trinitarians). Nor did I realize that Christianity spread from Ireland into Northern Europe. So much I don’t know.

The Documentary (BBC) Hugh Sykes: Reporting from the Frontlines is an interview with BBC radio journalist Hugh Sykes, talking about his long career. With a childhood in Iran (when it was still Persia), he has spent a lot of time in areas of conflict, but doesn’t see himself as a war journalist. He is not a believer in the put-the-journalist-in-the-story school of journalism, and allows the listener to do the emoting, instead of doing it for them. Very good.

August in Minsk is a compilation of pieces recorded by on-the-ground journalist Ilya Kuzniatsou during August as the people of Belarus challenge the spurious victory of Alexander Lukashenko in the last election. People are brave: I don’t think that I would have this much courage.  Interesting how music is playing a part in resistance: choirs, sax players etc.

I hear with my little ear: Podcasts 17-24 August 2020

Heather Cox Richardson In her History and Politics Chat of August 4, she returns to the question of the U.S. Postal Service, which she has dealt with earlier, and which has recently become a real issue facing the next election (in fact, she foreshadowed this quite some time ago). She then goes on to talk about why America doesn’t have a national childcare scheme (short answer- it’s ‘communism’ and Nixon rejected it). She encourages people to look at Jonathan Swan’s Axios interview with Trump and exhorts people to keep talking about the Russian Bounty scandal, because it’s important.

In the History of the Republican Party Part 9 video of 30 July, she talks about the liberal consensus that was formed when Eisenhower (Republican) took over from Harry Truman, who himself had taken over from FDR  and his New Deal. He challenged for the Republican nomination when the Republic party was in danger of being taken back to the big-business oligarchy direction under Robert Taft. Heather is obviously a bit of an Eisenhower fan (although she notes that she has been reminded that Eisenhower’s policies were not good for minorities).

Rough Translations I still really can’t believe, when I’m walking around my local shopping centre or in the park (which are the only two places I can walk) that we are all swathed in masks. In From Niquab to N95 two contradictory French laws are explored: the law that says you cannot cover your face, and the law that says you have to wear a mask. Interestingly, they couldn’t find a French woman who wore a niquab to interview, so they had to resort to Australian niquab-wearers instead.

Dan Snow’s History Hit. It’s strange to hear your own country’s history being told from the perspective of another country.  VJ Day: 75 years commemorates the end of hostilities against Japan. His first guest is a British historian (I wish that his show notes said who his guests were) who told this part of the war from very much a British/Empire perspective, where Australia is just one of a number of Far East and African countries fighting for Britain. He makes much of the Indian Ocean war – something Australia rarely focuses on- and Burma looms large. The second guest spoke about the Chinese war against Japan- something, again, which is not high in Australian historiography of WWII and the way that the Nationalists and Communists united to fight Japan- something that the rest of the world did not expect to happen.

Nothing on TV Robyn Annear has crept out of lockdown to talk about Mr Denning’s Umbrage. Mr Denning was a dance master, who ran Quadrille Assemblies in Melbourne in the mid-1850s, constantly battling to keep them ‘respectable’ and hounding his patrons through long advertisements in the Argus. I love this podcast. Narrated in her beautiful, slow Australian accent, there’s a chuckle in her voice and the pop of a champagne cork.

Rear Vision (ABC) How WWII changed Australia has three top-notch historians: Stuart Macintyre, Gwenda Tavan and David Lowe talking about the effect of WWII on Australian history in terms of the economy, immigration and foreign policy. Very good.


I hear with my little ear: Podcasts 1-8 August 2020

Heather Cox Richardson. In her History and Politics chat of 21 July, she addressed two questions. In the first, looking at the use of Homeland Security forces in Portland, she was asked why the Posse Comitatus Act did not apply. This act, and even moreso the military traditions attached to it, prevents the military being used against the American people. Her answer- the Department of Homeland Security (and she, too, bridles against that title, as do I) answers to the executive government and so it doesn’t apply to them. The second question was about the switch in Republican policy to be pro-Russian instead of steadfastly anti-Communist as it had been in the past. Her answer- it happened in 2016 when Paul Manafort took control.

Her History of the Republican Party of 17 July picks up with the election of 1912 and goes through to the election of 1928. With a four-way contest (including the Socialist Eugene V. Debs), Woodrow Wilson the Democrat came through, and many of his actions were not inconsistent with the Progressivist agenda of the Republicans at the time, although springing from a different philosophical base. He was painted as a Communist by the Republican party, and by the time Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge took over, the Republican party was once again championing big business.

Let’s Talk about Sects. The second in this monthly series, The Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God looks at a Nigerian sect which is similar to the Jonestown massacre in terms of deaths. Headed by Credonia Mwerinde, who claimed to be receiving messages from the Virgin Mary,  the usual tale of appropriation of resources and intimation ensues, but heightened further by the hundreds of deaths that the cult evoked.

Rough Translation  (NPR) El Hilo: Walking to Venezuela. We all know that millions of people fled Venezuela as a result of the appalling inflation and violence, but now that coronavirus has led neighbouring countries Colombia and Ecuador to make it impossible for them to gather a precarious livelihood with street selling and casual work, millions are now walking the 1300 miles back to Venezuela. This is really good.

Lectures in History. This series of podcasts are recordings of university history lectures, generally relating to American History. In Socialism in Early 20th Century America, historian Eric Foner talks about the importance of the Socialist Party in New York and Milwaukee in particular, and the presidential campaign of Eugene V. Debs in 1912.

Rear Vision (ABC) Heading into the US election, there is a lot of speculation of if and how Trump might ‘steal’ this election. Voter suppression in the United States of America looks at the right to vote in America, pointing out that the amendments to the Constitution (e.g. 15th) have just been to (supposedly) prevent the vote being denied but without actually saying that there IS a right to the vote. With the rise of the Civil Rights Act, southern states have found ways to deny the vote to the black population e.g. voting boundaries, requiring specified ID, strict ruling on discrepancies.

The History Listen (ABC) Manuscripts Don’t Burn: The Master and Margarita revisits Bulgakov’s famous book, which became a cult sensation when it was published in the 1960s, thirty years after Bulgakov wrote it in Stalin’s Russia. I read it in 2004, before I started this blog, and I think that I must have read it at a surface level, because I don’t remember finding the depths that the afficionados interviewed for this podcast discovered. Maybe I should re-read it some day. Or maybe not.

I hear with my little ear: Podcasts 24-31 July 2020

Heather Cox Richardson. In her Tuesday History & Politics Chat of 14 July, she discusses campaign funding- its introduction through the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act of 1883 which actually established a civil service (as distinct from one that depended on direct political patronage and hence changed with each president), the establishment of a Federal Electoral Commission after Watergate ( and which Trump is trying to strangle by not making appointments) and the effects of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission which allows unions – and more importantly – corporations to contribute to campaigns.  She then goes on to talk about the history of abortion as a political issue. Did you know that in 1972 the Southern Baptist Convention actually voted that abortion was a matter between a woman and her doctor, and for abortion to proceed for specified reasons (e.g. foetal abnormalities, the welfare of the mother, rape etc)??

In her History chat of 16 July, she talks about the switch in the Republican party where the progressives wrested control of the party and the idea of ‘liberalism’ changed from individualism to protecting the little man against big business.

The Thread This podcast series advertises itself as various strands.. woven together to create a historic figure, a big idea or an unthinkable tragedy. ” In recognition of Black Lives Matter, they are replaying a series about violent and non-violent protest. In Episode 1 The Pride and the Power, they look at the Montgomery Bus Protest and the early political life of Martin Luther King, who knew that non-violence had to attract media attention, or else it would be useless. He also relied on armed guards until he was convinced about non-violence by an older Quaker activist, Bayard Rustin, who is the focus of Episode 2 An Angelic Troublemaker. Barak Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously, because he stayed very much on the sidelines during the 1960s because he was gay.

BBC The Documentary  Embankment Baby. In wartime London in 1942, a baby was found abandoned on the Embankment. Named ‘Victor Banks’ because he was found on Victoria Embankment, he was adopted and renamed Tony May. Now in his 70s, he has decided to look into the circumstances that led to his abandonment. He enlists the help of a DNA detective genealogist , who uses Ancestry and other genetic testing databanks to track down his parent.

Let’s Talk About Sects. This first episode looks at The Family, the Melbourne-based sect headed by Anne Hamilton-Byrne, who at that stage was still alive (she died in June 2019). What a far-reaching sect that was, with psychologists and doctors embroiled with it.

I hear with my little ear: Podcasts 16-23 July 2020

Heather Cox Richardson. In her History and Politics Q&A of July 7, she spends quite a bit of time on the electoral college, and reasons that the system is broken. She comments on the letter about cancelling culture published in Harper’s magazine, which rather amazing triggers a cascade of trolling in her comments feed while she’s talking! She also discusses whether Trump will accept defeat, and reminds us that Biden is only the presumptive candidate, and that other Democrat candidates are still in the race in order to influence policy.

In the History of the Republican party broadcast Episode 5, she takes us from the 1870s to the end of the nineteenth century.  The Republican party has cemented itself as the party of big business, it ‘steals’ two elections where the candidate has lost the popular vote but won the electoral college (each time this has happened, it has been a Republican who comes out on top), and it all sounds pretty corrupt. She attributes (rather questionably, I reckon) the 1890s depression to Republican panic-mongering when the Democrats win both the Presidency and Congress (surely this was a worldwide depression- can American politics have that much influence?) – using the trope that the Democrats (read here in Australia- ALP) can’t handle money. This was all pretty detailed stuff.

The Jungle Prince (New York Times)My son recommended this three-part podcast. What an intriguing story- a family squatting on a Lucknow railway station platform for ten years, claiming to be the Royal Family of Oudh; a crumbling 14th century palace in the jungles surrounding New Delhi; a Miss Haversham-like existence inside the palace and a house in Bradford England with a garden full of garden gnomes. Really worth listening to. I listened to The Jungle Prince via Stitcher.

Rear Vision (ABC)  The U.S. election is drawing closer- coronavirus, Black Lives Matter, ‘law and order’ – it’s like watching a movie. The Religious Right- politics and God in the USA argues that Reagan and Trump both won their victories through a disguised racism (less so in Trump’s case) that dressed itself in concern about abortion.


I hear with my little ear: Podcasts 8-15 July 2020

History Chicks  I’m on a bit of a Helen Keller binge at the moment, so I downloaded the History Chicks episode on Helen Adams Keller– one of their earliest from 2011. I suspect that they have read Dorothy Hermann’s biography because it’s staying fairly close to that. But I like that they spend considerable time on her radical activities, although they don’t mention her spirituality.

Historical Figures also had a podcast on Helen Keller, but it focussed more on her childhood. They do mention her political activities, but most of the podcast repeats the water-pump story.

Heather Cox Richard’s History of the Republican Party Episode 4 looks at the rivalry between Ulysses Grant (ex-military rather than a career politician ) and Charles Sumner (the guy who got bashed up on the Senate floor in 1854) who felt as if he should have been President.   Heather Cox Richardson pushes back against the idea of Grant being corrupt. We see the rise of ‘liberal’ Republicans, as well as the rise of the KKK and the creation of the Dept of Justice. The party splits, and turns to big business, who switch their loyalty to the Republicans. We also get the fear of ‘communism’ and wealth distribution through coloured voters (something we still have today)