144 episodes

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 www.versushistory.com, tweet us at @versushistory or tag us #VersusHistory.

Versus History Podcast www.versushistory.com

    • History
    • 4.9 • 61 Ratings

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 www.versushistory.com, tweet us at @versushistory or tag us #VersusHistory.

    The Flame of Resistance: Josephine Baker's Secret War

    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 Overnight she went from performer to Resistance hero and spy.Drawing on a plethora of new and unpublished historical material, first-hand interviews and rigorous research, including previously undisclosed letters and journals and newly-released government files,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 www.versushistory.com

    • 24 min
    Red Ball Radical - Cricket Past, Present & Future

    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.

    • 24 min
    Is Ranil Wickremesinghe Sri Lanka’s Winston Churchill?

    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.

    • 34 min
    Former Labour MP Peter Bradley on his book 'The Last Train'

    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 www.versushistory.com

    • 46 min
    Losing US Presidential Candidates through History

    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.

    • 18 min
    States of Liberation with Samuel Clowes Huneke

    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.

    • 38 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
61 Ratings

61 Ratings

Sim_Saini ,

Informative and easy

Versus History is a podcast I didn’t know I needed in my life. Patrick and the team have done a fantastic job of making complex topics easily digestible and fascinating, keeping the audience engaged and wanting more. @historychappy asks all the right questions to pique one’s interest, resulting in a teaching experience that actually leads to knowledge retention. Highly recommended!

CuriousYellowBird ,

Fascinating & varied histories

Love these - always something new and fresh. A great way of exploring the diversity of history.

ZenAdams ,

A great speaker.

Mr Kehinde Andrew Thank you for sharing your knowlegde and wisdom.

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