38 episodes

We tell our children unsettling fairy tales to teach them valuable life lessons, but these Cautionary Tales are for the education of the grown ups – and they are all true. Tim Harford (Financial Times, BBC, author of “The Data Detective” and “The Undercover Economist”) brings you stories of awful human error, tragic catastrophes, daring heists and hilarious fiascos. They'll delight you, scare you, but also make you wiser. iHeartMedia is the exclusive podcast partner of Pushkin Industries. 

Cautionary Tales with Tim Harford Pushkin Industries

    • History
    • 4.7 • 3.2K Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

We tell our children unsettling fairy tales to teach them valuable life lessons, but these Cautionary Tales are for the education of the grown ups – and they are all true. Tim Harford (Financial Times, BBC, author of “The Data Detective” and “The Undercover Economist”) brings you stories of awful human error, tragic catastrophes, daring heists and hilarious fiascos. They'll delight you, scare you, but also make you wiser. iHeartMedia is the exclusive podcast partner of Pushkin Industries. 

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    A Cautionary Tale of Kubrick and the Pain of Rejection

    A Cautionary Tale of Kubrick and the Pain of Rejection

    Being shunned by a lover, a school or an employer hurts - but we're only just beginning to understand how real this pain is and how we can administer a bit of emotional first aid to stop the hurt.
    Dr. Laurie Santos of The Happiness Lab podcast talks to leading experts in the science of rejection... and to actor Tim Colceri about one of the most extreme real life stories of humiliation and dashed hopes you're ever likely to hear.
    You can hear more Happiness Lab episodes at http://podcasts.pushkin.fm/cautionaryhappinesslab,
    Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com

    • 40 min
    Malcolm Gladwell is All Riled Up

    Malcolm Gladwell is All Riled Up

    We’re excited to share with you the new season of Revisionist History, Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast that re-examines something from the past and asks whether we got it right the first time. We’ve got to warn you, the new season is completely unbound. Malcolm Gladwell is finally out of the house, and taking you into the streets, and even under the sea. All in the name of continuing his journey through the overlooked and misunderstood. He plays chicken with cars. An Oscar winner helps him remake fairy tale history. He dives into your dirty laundry. I haven’t quite decided who he riles up most. College elitists? Nine year old girls? You’ll have to hear it for yourself to find out. 
    Find the new season of Revisionist History at http://podcasts.pushkin.fm/rhcautionary.
    Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com

    • 3 min
    Cautionary Tales presents: I Spy

    Cautionary Tales presents: I Spy

    Here's a great podcast you might like. It’s called I Spy and it’s made by our friends over at Foreign Policy. On each episode they get a former spy to tell the story of one operation.
    The show we're bringing you is called The Cassandra. Frank Snepp, a CIA analyst based in Saigon, explains how he discovered that Communist forces were preparing to attack the city. His superiors refused to heed his warnings - resulting in a frenzied, bloody and humiliating evacuation as his predictions came true.
    If you like it, you can hear part two over at I Spy (https://foreignpolicy.com/podcasts/ispy/)
    Enjoy the show.
    Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com

    • 29 min
    Do NOT Pass GO!

    Do NOT Pass GO!

    Lizzie J. Magie (played by Helena Bonham Carter) should be celebrated as the inventor of what would become Monopoly - but her role in creating the smash hit board game was cynically ignored, even though she had a patent.
    Discrimination has marred the careers of many inventors and shut others out from the innovation economy entirely. Could crediting forgotten figures such as Lizzie Magie help address continuing disparities in the patenting of new inventions?
    Read more about Tim's work at http://timharford.com/
    Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com

    • 41 min
    Wrong Tools Cost Lives

    Wrong Tools Cost Lives

    The British Government promised to create a "world-beating" system to track deadly Covid 19 infections - but it included an outdated version of the off-the-shelf spreadsheet software Microsoft Excel. The result was disastrous.
    When under pressure or lacking in expertise we can all be tempted to use a tool unsuitable for the job in hand. But whether fitting shelves or trying to halt a pandemic, we need to accept that cutting corners comes at a cost.
    Read more about Tim's work at http://timharford.com/
    Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com

    • 40 min
    The Bomber Mafia by Malcolm Gladwell

    The Bomber Mafia by Malcolm Gladwell

    Malcolm Gladwell devoted four episodes of his podcast Revisionist History to the rise of air power during the Second World War. Listeners met Air Force general Curtis LeMay and heard about the birth of napalm and the firebombing of Tokyo. Malcolm couldn't get that story out of his mind, and so he built an entirely new audiobook around it, The Bomber Mafia.
    The Bomber Mafia features more archival footage, new writing, and enhanced scoring. It's a totally new experience. Purchase the audiobook at www.bombermafia.com, and you'll receive a free Listener's Guide featuring new commentary from Malcolm. Print and ebook editions available wherever books are sold.
    Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com

    • 11 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
3.2K Ratings

3.2K Ratings

GladPad ,

You said Pushnik instead of Pushkin

Mr Hartford, you mistakenly said Pushnik instead of Pushkin in your promo spiel. Maybe you could record again? Love your work though!

kaspar139 ,

Unique and interesting

One of my favorite podcasts. Intriguing stories, real history, and insightful lessons to be learned.

StarSharon ,

Great show

This is a great podcast and the narrator’s voice is soothing and is good to listen to before sleep. Great research and there’s always an interesting spin to the episodes.

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