History on Air

History Podcast and Blog Blog RSS Feed Follow us on Twitter Friend us on Facebook Watch Us on YouTube

Archive for April, 2011

28 April

The Thirty Years War the Video


So here is the promised video.  All I did was create some slides to go along with the audio from the podcast.  I hope this is okay.  I’m looking for better ways to do this in the future, if you have any suggestions I would like to hear them in the comments.  I had some trouble viewing the video in Safari (try play in pop-up), but it works fine in Chome.  Let me know if there are issues with other browsers.  Thanks!


26 April

Book Recommendations


I received an email from listener Stephen lately. He is looking for book recommendations on the topic of Kent State Shootings. While I don’t have any recommendations for that specific topic I do have some of my favorite US history books that I thought I would share in this post. If you have a recommendation for Stephen please put it in the comments below, both Stephen and I would appreciate it!

When I am looking for good history books on a subject, I usually look to my local library. Stephen can’t do this as easily as he mentions in his email, he is in the UK and finds it difficult to find US history books. I would try and look at the star ratings and reviews, but even better than that try out I’m on that site every day. There readers just like you are reading, rating and reviewing thousands of books every minute of the day. It is a great site to discover new books. There are many different books groups on the site. One I found today is called “The History Book Club”.  It has over a thousand members and is very active. You can join the group for free.

As for my favorite US history books in general, my all time favorite is A People’s History of the United States: 1492-Present by Howard Zinn who sadly passed away this year.

Another great book, that discusses history as well as the difficult of even American’s getting a good education in history is called Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James Lowen.

These two books will form a very good basic knowledge of American history. These are my two favorite and I will continue to do book reviews on the website as I have time.

18 April

History Guide of the Thirty Years War


I’ve put together a PDF that you can download for free to refer to the last podcast. It has links to many of the topics we talked about but did not go into detail about. Plus, it has pictures of the people discussed in the podcast. It has the full text of the last podcast. If you find any errors, please email me so I can update the file. Thanks!

17 April

History Podcast 119 – The Thirty Years War


Prague - Wallenstein Palace


History of the Thirty Years War

We finally have another podcast out!  You voted for it!  We finally have a winner.  17 of you voted 4 of those votes were for the Thirty Years War.  So here it is.  I hope you all enjoy it.  One of Eric K.’s request can finally been crossed out.  I hope you all enjoy this podcast and more importantly learn something from it.  Above is a picture of Wallenstein’s Palace.

I’ll be posting up the PDF soon as well. Might take longer for the video. Please let me know what you think in the comments.

Below are some of the related links:

Nathan Barber’s website –

The Thirty Years War: Europe’s Tragedy

Eyewitness Accounts of the Thirty Years War 1618-48

Read more…

14 April

Podcast Reviews


While you guys are still fighting over what podcast topic to cover next, 30 years war and Japan’s aspirations leading to WWII are still tied, you might want to take a look at some of these podcasts. I’ve already reviewed a few to help you choose. Also, I’m going to start working on something for the 30 years war this weekend. But you can still vote on the poll below:

Choose the next podcast episode

  • The 30 Years War (24%, 4 Votes)
  • Japanese aspirations to Empire, leading up to WWII (18%, 3 Votes)
  • Alexander the Great (12%, 2 Votes)
  • Spanish New World Empire (12%, 2 Votes)
  • Josephus and the Jewish War (12%, 2 Votes)
  • The Mongol Empire (12%, 2 Votes)
  • Rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire (6%, 1 Votes)
  • I don't like any of those do something else! (6%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 17

Loading ... Loading ...

  1. Stuff You Missed in History Class – Read my review.
  2. A History of the World in 100 Objects – no review yet, but stay tuned.
  3. BackStory with the American History Guys – no review yet, but stay tuned.
  4. Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know – not yet, but this is by the same folks as number 1 on this list, howstuffworks.
  5. The Stuff of Genius – not yet, but I will do one soon.
  6. Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History – Read my review.
  7. The History of Rome – Read my review.
  8. In Our Time – This is an oldie but a goodie, I’ll have to do a review soon on this one too.
  9. Laughing Historically – No review yet.
  10. BBC History Magazine – Read my review.
12 April

Everyone is talking about: Yuri Gagarin


Today marks the 50th anniversary that humankind put a man in space. Everyone is writing about this online. I mean everyone. This is your one stop shop for everything online that is Gagarin. Jalopnik, a car blog, even has an extensive feature on their blog. National Geographic has a huge slideshow with really fantastic photos you need to check out. Boing Boing posted the below video with a link to NASA’s website where there is a feature on Gagarin too. Gizmodo did a great job with their article online too, maybe the best one I read today. Wired did a post about the photos that were altered of some of the soviet astronauts. Google of course jumped in and created a custom image for Gagarin.

Yuri Gagarin carried two personal items with him on his historic first spaceflight. First, cognac. Second, shark repellant. The shark repellant was in case he landed in the sea. Mary Roach via Twitter

Then there is the movie. Metafilter mentions it on their site. We touched on it briefly a few posts ago. The best site to learn about the movie is GeekDad. I’ll post the movie below.

Other articles found online:
C|Net Photo Slideshow

Also, Starman: The Truth Behind the Legend of Yuri Gagarin the book came out today. I want to read this really bad, but for now I think I will just watch the movie. Enjoy everyone!

12 April

Book Review: The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood


I read The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood mostly because it was on the non-fiction bestseller’s list and I thought it might be interesting to read about the history of information. But this book is not just the history of information but also the communication of that information. Actually, I think the book might be miss named. Maybe it should be named the History of Communication. After all, the author first starts out with discussing the use of drums to convey messages, then he moves on to smoke signals and this theme is returned to throughout the book. He even covers (quite extensively) the history of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), which I had just read a full history of and will have to post a seperate review here later.

After the OED, he covers the interesting history behind the telephone, computers, Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), wikipedia, domain names, photography, printing press, email, microfilm, twitter, and google. During all this discussion he also takes time to discuss information theory, information overload, and too much information (TMI) e.g. noise.

All these topics and more are covered extensively in the book. I found that in places he was a bit over verbose, but that may be because I had just read all about the OED and was really bored through this section, because I already knew the history of this monumental work.

07 April

Rwandan Holocaust


Back in 2006, I did a podcast episode on the Rwandan Holocaust.  You can play the episode below:

The Rwandan Holocaust began on this day in 1994.  You can read more about it at the links below:

Wikipedia Article

United Human Rights Council

Books on the subject:

Left To Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust – I read this back when I did the podcast on the subject. It is a very graphic and disturbing book, but true to the event.

The Order of Genocide: Race, Power, and War in Rwanda

We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories From Rwanda (Bestselling Backlist)

Watch the rest of this documentary after the jump…
Read more…

06 April

Top 5 topics last month


Time for a short re-cap of last months top topics:

Texas City Disaster – A 1947 harbor explosion in Texas City.

Congress of Vienna – A 1815 congress that divided up the different areas of Europe.

London Bridge sold to an American – in 1968 a oil tycoon bought the London bridge.

Vladimir Komarov & Yuri Gagarin – The mystery of what really happened to these two astronauts may soon be revealed.

Cleopatra – Learn about one of the most famous women in history.

04 April

Khan Academy


Every once and a while I try to stop by TED because they have really cool presentations there and you can watch them for free. One day a few weeks ago I did that and I stumbled upon this:

I thought this was very cool. He has some great videos up on youtube here are just some of them. Never mind, I can’t embed it here so you will have to use the link above to check it out.