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09 May
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Podcast Review: Hank’s History Hour

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Hank’s History Hour is produced by Hank Nelson, who sounds like a high school student.  Don’t let that fool you though.  Hank has done a wonderful job with his podcast.  Although it doesn’t look like it has been updated in a few years.  Hopefully, Hank will pick it up again.  He is probably in college now and doesn’t have much time to do podcasts.  It seems like the podcast’s original purpose was to help his fellow students get thought their history book since he often refers to the chapters in a textbook.

At the time I found Hank’s podcast I was searching for material on the Thirty Years War my last podcast.  So I listened to the podcast episode entitled Chapter 15 Part 1: The Religious Wars, it was about 38 minutes long.  It was originally published on October, 2, 2007.  Hank’s voice comes across as a real surfer dude, although I don’t know where he is located.  The podcast production leaves something to be desired but I had no trouble hearing Hank.  I did hear some pops and breaths a lot.  There was some strong language in the podcast.  For those looking for more information on the Thirty Years war and want to listen you can skip forward to minute 25 where Hank starts talking about Ferdinand.

This was a good podcast and I hope Hank produces more of them in the future.  Hank’s podcast has 112 ratings and they are all 5 stars!  You can find it in iTunes here.  Even though Hank has not put up a podcast since 9/2009 his podcast is still in the top 100 history podcasts.

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17 February
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Podcast Review: History According to Bob

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Bob gets right into it. No, “This is Bob and the show name”, nothing. The show I listened to was called, Atlanta Campaign Part 1 of 4. It was published 2/11/11. The episode was ten minutes and 32 seconds long. This is Bob’s description of the podcast episode:

This show is about the Atlanta campaign in May 1864 Part 1 of 4 this one deals with early movements and Rocky Face Ridge.

This particular episode could have used some visuals. It was hard to visualize the battle scene and who was where.

Bob is hard-core old school. He has a very distinctive almost nasally voice. His podcast has no music, no sponsors, no picture associated with the mp3. I’m some what surprised he had the show description in the lyrics field of the mp3.

I thought this particular episode was very well done. Its pretty quick so I won’t summarize it here, just go check it out for yourself. At the end of the show he does quickly cover the name of his website and sources he used to put together this episode

Even though, what I have written above criticizes Bob’s podcast, ignore all that. It has been said that content is king and if you agree with that, you will be very hard pressed to find a better history podcast than History According to Bob [iTunes Link]. Bob’s was the first history podcast available that I know of. I would say that it was one of the first 300 podcast available in the beginning. It came before History Podcast, my own creation. I still think History According to Bob is a stellar show! No one knows their stuff better than Bob. His is the podcast that inspired me to podcast. His show is simply awesome. If you only subscribe to one podcast this should be it.

History According to Bob is number 58 in the Top 100 history podcast on iTunes. His show has 114 ratings with an average rating of 5 stars.

After listening to this episode I decided to listen to the episode entitled Questions 86 as well. These are episodes that Bob creates specifically to cover what is happening with him personally and to go over the emails that he receives.

I was sorry to hear while listening to Questions 86 that Bob’s wife has cancer.  I hope she has a full recovery and is healthy soon!  I’ve missed out on a lot since not keeping up with his episodes. He does so many that I have a hard time keeping up. Strangely enough he talks about the show Who Do You Think You Are?, something that we talked about briefly in another podcast review posting, BBC History Magazine. Bob goes on to talk about request for episodes he has received and his addiction to the video game Mass Effect 3 (gotta love a guy who is a gamer). In addition to Who do You Think You Are, he also discusses the HBO program Rome.

Below is a YouTube video that Bob did on the cold war:

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08 February
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Podcast Review: BBC History Magazine – February 2011

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Do you know the saying, “Those who can’t, teach.” Well, this is a little like that. Since I can’t find the time to do a podcast of my own, I thought I could bring a few cool podcast to your attention. While doing so I want to also learn what other podcast are doing in my genre so that I can improve History Podcast. To find some good history podcasts, I did what anyone would do. I went to iTunes and look at the top 10 podcast. BBC History Magazine is number 9. Their most recent podcast goes over the some of the articles from their February magazine. This episode of their podcast runs 41 and a half minutes. It was released on January 1, 2011. The show begins with some light classical music. While the music plays the 3 hosts do a summary of what they will be covering in this episode.

They used the description field in the mp3 tags to show the following description if you are listening on a iPod:

Mark Ormand discusses the black death, Mark Nicholls explores the life of Sir Walter Raleigh, Simon Sebag Montefiore explains the challenges involved in writing a history of Jerusalem.

The show begins with a plug for one of BBC’s programs, Who Do You Think You Are? The show is on in the US too on NBC. It is available on Hulu as well. On the show celebrites find out about their ancestory and viewers follow them on their journey. There is also a magazine, Who Do You Think You Are.

Next the podcast moved on to interview Mark Nicholls the co-author of the book Sir Walter Raleigh: In Life and Legend. The book will be published on April 7, 2011.  Sir Walter Raleigh was a aristocrat, writier, poet, soldier, coutier, spy and explorer.

After this interview they took a quick break to plug the magazine BBC History Magazine, website, twitter and facebook page.

Next, the interviewed Mark Ormrod about his new book  The Black Death in England, 1348-1500. The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350. Ormrod gave a some what vivid description of the sysmptoms of Black Death, so be prepared for that. This, I thought, was the best interview of the three.

Lastly, they interviewed Simon Sebag Montefiore about his book Jerusalem: The Biography which releases on October 25, 2011. This interview takes place in a very noisy cafe and is hard to listen to, but the host does warn you of that before it starts.

The podcast ends with more about the magazine and what is coming up next episode while the same classical music we heard in the beginning plays.  I would recommend this podcast and intend to stay subscribed myself.

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