What led to the rise of the modern world? How have we made so much progress, and what are its consequences? What are humanity's best ideas? Join award-winning historian Brad Harris as he engages these fundamental questions and interprets the biggest historical forces that shape their answers, from the rise of civilization and the development of modern science to the spread of disease and the growth of globalization.
Notes On Tribalism
"Notes on Nationalism" was an essay written by George Orwell in 1945, just as World War II was ending. It caused quite a stir at the time, but most people these days have never heard of it. Nonetheless, "Notes on Nationalism" remains one of the most powerful examples of Orwell's timeless insight into human nature; in this case, focused on our instinct to gang up on each other, our instinct for tribalism.
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The Fate of Universities
Like many others, I’ve begun to worry about the fate of higher education in American society.
Modern civilization relies on a significant number of us possessing hard-earned historical perspective on what is true and what is good, and hard-earned scientific perspective on the full reach of human potential.
Any threat to the university system should worry us. Today, there appear to be multiple.
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Explaining Postmodernism: A Conversation with Stephen Hicks
Postmodernism planted the seeds of the illiberalism that's erupting throughout our society today. The battle of ideas postmodern thinking provokes could very well determine the fate of liberal democracy our lifetime.
Learn more in today's episode, Explaining Postmodernism: A Conversation with Stephen Hicks.
Escaping the Cycle of History
"History does not repeat itself, but it often rhymes."
As Neil Howe and William Strauss wrote in their best-selling book The Fourth Turning, “The reward of the historian is to locate patterns that recur over time and to discover the natural rhythms of social experience.”
According to the pattern they predicted, we should be in the midst of a historical crisis. Are we? If so, what happens next?
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Reflections from A Distant Mirror
Plague, political chaos, the looming prospect of another civil war... what century are we in?
To retain historical perspective, and to find inspiration in how humanity has recovered from far greater upheavals in the past, we turn to Barbara Tuchman's book, A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century.
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I went slightly mad producing this episode. But then, the line between our reality and the fiction of 1984 has become far too blurry for my comfort.
George Orwell wrote 1984 in 1948 - a very different historical context with very different threats. And yet, the dark sides of human nature he explored through his novel are still very much with us today.
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Just discovered this podcast series a few days ago and I cannot stop listening. In this series of podcasts, Harris is using book synopses in a particular order to explain the transformation of our culture. It’s a unique approach. He’s succeeded in clarifying the angst so many of us feel about our present world. While he’s not apolitical, his position is fairly centrist and there is much that everyone can get from this series. Can’t say enough good things about it! My eyes are opened.
Top 10 podcasts. 🙌🏽
This is a must listen podcast!
If you are a history lover this podcast is a great way to supplement your reading list. I’d love to hear you have a discussion with historian Thaddeus Russell; not only would it be a great historical discussion, but he would be able to push back a little on the postmodernism front.