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11 February

Podcast Review: Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History Show 37


I met Dan briefly at the Podcast Expo a few years ago. It was quick, but I’m glad I got to meet him. Dan is pretty famous. He has been a radio talk show host, a television news host, an author and a journalist. Dan is the son of Academy Award nominated actress Lynn Carlin and film producer Ed Carlin. He released his first episode, Alexander Versus Hitler on July 26, 2006.

Dan started after iTunes started carrying podcast (June 28, 2005). I would consider Dan an Indie podcast even though he has a lot of professional training, since he is not working for anyone else, only himself. Dan also has another podcast called Common Sense.

Enough of Dan though, let’s talk about his show. I listened to show number 37 of Hardcore History(iTunes link), which is the fourth part of a series Dan is doing on the fall of Rome. The show was about an hour and a half long. It was released on January 28, 2011. When the show started there was a very brief ad for Audible done by Dan himself. It was no longer than 10 seconds. There was a neat intro played and then Dan starts.

I had never listened to Dan’s podcast before and I have been missing out. He has a great voice for radio and therefore podcasting, which makes sense given that he was a talk radio host. Another key reason why Dan’s podcast is doing well is that he is a great storyteller. By creating a story out of historic events Dan weaves a story that is interesting. He is able to describe complicated historic events like the fall of Rome in common language, making it accessible for everyone.

Hardcore History has 2,564 ratings on iTunes, with an average rating of 5 out of 5 stars. Wow! As I write this, Hardcore History is the number 4 rated podcast in the history section of the podcast directory on iTunes.

Many podcasts like Dan’s are overlooked because they are not paid for by a huge company. They are Indie podcast. To me these are the best podcast out there. The only reason this person is doing the podcast is for themselves. It is too bad that most of the listeners on iTunes are looking first to the company owned podcast and not giving the Indie podcast the attention they deserve.

Dan’s fourth part of the fall of Rome is very well done. I won’t rehash it here, go listen to the podcast yourself, he does a better job covering it that I could here. At the end of the podcast there is a longer Audible ad, again done by Dan, where he talks about the service and then recommends a book to listen to on the service, How Wars End: Why We Always Fight the Last Battle. Dan then moves on to go over what he will cover in the next episode. The last thing, is a woman’s voice asking for donations to keep the podcast going. $1 per episode.

The below video looks like a fan of Dan’s show put it together.