17 episodes

Rudyard Lynch, creator of the enormously popular YouTube channel WhatifAltHist joins Erik Torenberg every week to offer a deeper understanding of critical moments in history. Together they identify patterns in order to predict the future and understand the dynamics that result in civilizations rising and falling.
On this season we'll cover WW1, WW2, Classical Greece, Medieval Islam, the rise of Communism, and more.
History 102 is a part of the Turpentine podcast network. Learn more: www.turpentine.co

"History 102" with WhatifAltHist's Rudyard Lynch and Erik Torenberg Turpentine

    • History
    • 4.3 • 41 Ratings

Rudyard Lynch, creator of the enormously popular YouTube channel WhatifAltHist joins Erik Torenberg every week to offer a deeper understanding of critical moments in history. Together they identify patterns in order to predict the future and understand the dynamics that result in civilizations rising and falling.
On this season we'll cover WW1, WW2, Classical Greece, Medieval Islam, the rise of Communism, and more.
History 102 is a part of the Turpentine podcast network. Learn more: www.turpentine.co

    Rise of Islam

    Rise of Islam

    This episode of History 102 explores the fascinating rise of Islam, its Golden Age, and its decline, unpacking the cultural, political, and economic factors that shaped this pivotal period in history.

    🔥 Apply to join over 400 founders and Execs in the Turpentine Network: https://hmplogxqz0y.typeform.com/to/JCkphVqj

    WhatifAltHist creator Rudyard Lynch and Erik Torenberg talk about the cultural and scientific achievements of the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliph - a period of unprecedented growth and innovation in the Islamic world. Then, uncover the reasons behind the decline of the Abbasid Caliphate, from internal conflicts and moral decay to the rise of the Turks and the shift from scientific progress to religious conservatism.

    Apply to join over 400 founders and Execs in the Turpentine Network: https://hmplogxqz0y.typeform.com/to/JCkphVqj

    SPONSOR: BEEHIIV
    Head to Beehiiv, the newsletter platform built for growth, to power your own. Connect with premium brands, scale your audience, and deliver a beautiful UX that stands out in an inbox. 🐝 to https://Beehiiv.com and use code “MOZ” for 20% off your first three months

    This show is produced by Turpentine: a network of podcasts, newsletters, and more, covering technology, business, and culture — all from the perspective of industry insiders and experts. We’re launching new shows every week, and we’re looking for industry-leading sponsors — if you think that might be you and your company, email us at erik@turpentine.co.

    Recommended Podcast: The Riff with Byrne Hobart
    Byrne Hobart, the writer of The Diff, is revered in Silicon Valley. You can get an hour with him each week. See for yourself how his thinking can upgrade yours.
    Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6rANlV54GCARLgMOtpkzKt
    Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-riff-with-byrne-hobart-and-erik-torenberg/id1716646486

    FOLLOW ON X:
    @whatifalthist (Rudyard)
    @eriktorenberg (Erik)
    @TurpentineMedia


    TIMESTAMPS:
    (00:00) Introduction
    (01:45) The Enigma of Muhammad
    (03:14) The World Before Islam
    (04:42) Internal Conflicts
    (07:30) Sponsor: beehiiv
    (08:00) The Umayyad Caliphate
    (32:12) The Abbasid Caliphate
    (33:56) Misconceptions About Islam
    (36:00) The Decline of the Abbasids
    (38:15) Internal Conflicts and Barbarian Mercenaries
    (41:00) The Rise of Al Ghazali and the End of Science
    (44:17) The Decline of Capitalism
    (45:41) The Loss of the Mediterranean
    (47:42) The First Crusade and Societal Choices
    (49:10) Wrap

    --
    Books mentioned:

    In the Shadow of the Sword: The Rise and Fall of Islam by Tom Holland

    Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes by Tamim Ansary

    The Venture of Islam: Conscience and History in a World Civilization by Marshall Hodgson (3-volume set)

    Islam and the Arab World

    The Myth of a Tolerant Muslim Spain

    • 53 min
    Medieval Europe

    Medieval Europe

    This episode of History 102 explores the European Middle Ages, its misunderstood aspects, technological and social advancements, and critical events. WhatifAltHist creator Rudyard Lynch and Erik Torenberg discover how the seemingly "dark" medieval era set the stage for the scientific revolution, the age of exploration, and the rise of modern Europe.

    🔥 Apply to join over 400 founders and Execs in the Turpentine Network: https://hmplogxqz0y.typeform.com/to/JCkphVqj

    SPONSOR: BEEHIIV
    Head to Beehiiv, the newsletter platform built for growth, to power your own. Connect with premium brands, scale your audience, and deliver a beautiful UX that stands out in an inbox. 🐝 to https://Beehiiv.com and use code “MOZ” for 20% off your first three months

    This show is produced by Turpentine: a network of podcasts, newsletters, and more, covering technology, business, and culture — all from the perspective of industry insiders and experts. We’re launching new shows every week, and we’re looking for industry-leading sponsors — if you think that might be you and your company, email us at erik@turpentine.co.

    Recommended Podcast: The Riff with Byrne Hobart
    Byrne Hobart, the writer of The Diff, is revered in Silicon Valley. You can get an hour with him each week. See for yourself how his thinking can upgrade yours.
    Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6rANlV54GCARLgMOtpkzKt
    Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-riff-with-byrne-hobart-and-erik-torenberg/id1716646486


    FOLLOW ON X:
    @whatifalthist (Rudyard)
    @eriktorenberg (Erik)
    @TurpentineMedia



    TIMESTAMPS:
    (00:00) Intro
    (00:23) Setting the Stage: The European Middle Ages
    (03:58) Misconceptions About the Middle Ages
    (05:29) The High Middle Ages: Society and Innovations
    (14:12) Feudalism and Social Structures
    (28:34) Sponsor: Beehiiv
    (29:17) Political Dynamics in Medieval Europe
    (40:10) The Decline of the Middle Ages
    (43:39) The Black Death and Its Aftermath
    (46:53) Legacy of the Middle Ages
    (1:01:29) Conclusion and Book Recommendations
    (1:02:51) Wrap

    --
    Recommended Books:
    The Rise of the West: A History of the Human Community by William H. McNeill
    A Short History of the Middle Ages by Barbara Rosenwein 
    The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century by Ian Mortimer
    A Secular Age by Charles Taylor
    Europe Emerges: Transition Toward an Industrial World-Wide Society, 600-1750 by Robert L. Reynolds

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Ancient China

    Ancient China

    This episode of History 102 delves deeply into the ancient history of China, from its foundation around 2000 BC to the fall of the Han Dynasty around 200 AD. WhatifAltHist creator Rudyard Lynch and Erik Torenberg also explore the rise and fall of the Shang, Zhou, Qin, and Han dynasties, uncovering the political and social forces that shaped ancient Chinese history.

    🔥 Apply to join over 400 founders and Execs in the Turpentine Network: https://hmplogxqz0y.typeform.com/to/JCkphVqj

    Discover how ancient China evolved in isolation, developing its own unique civilization, institutions, and beliefs, with surprising parallels to other world powers.

    --

    SPONSORS: BEEHIIV
    Head to Beehiiv, the newsletter platform built for growth, to power your own. Connect with premium brands, scale your audience, and deliver a beautiful UX that stands out in an inbox. 🐝 to https://Beehiiv.com and use code “MOZ” for 20% off your first three months

    Recommended Podcast: Company Breakdowns
    Each episode of Company Breakdowns dives into S-1s and series B-and-beyond companies, interviewing founders and investors to break down the companies. First episode is on Rubrik - which just IPO'd. Coming up this season: Databricks, Reddit + more,
    Spotify
    Apple

    This show is produced by Turpentine: a network of podcasts, newsletters, and more, covering technology, business, and culture — all from the perspective of industry insiders and experts. We’re launching new shows every week, and we’re looking for industry-leading sponsors — if you think that might be you and your company, email us at erik@turpentine.co.

    FOLLOW ON X:
    @whatifalthist (Rudyard)
    @eriktorenberg (Erik)
    @TurpentineMedia

    TIMESTAMPS:
    (00:00) Introduction to History 102
    (00:15) Casual Catch-Up and Initial Thoughts
    (00:36) Discussing Viewer Reactions
    (01:27) Introduction to Ancient China
    (02:14) China's Unique Historical Evolution
    (06:20) Geography and Early Civilizations
    (09:34) The Shang Dynasty and Early Theocracies
    (12:07) The Zhou Dynasty and the Mandate of Heaven
    (17:28) The Warring States Period and Philosophical Developments
    (20:02) Sponsor: Beehiiv
    (31:20) The Rise of the Qin Dynasty
    (39:16) The Han Dynasty: China's Golden Age
    (47:18) The Fall of the Han Dynasty and Its Aftermath
    (54:01) Wrap

    Recommended Books:
    The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu

    • 56 min
    Ancient India

    Ancient India

    This episode of History 102 dives into ancient India, exploring its rich civilizations, philosophical divergences from the West, and the profound influence of the caste system on its society. WhatifAltHist creator Rudyard Lynch and Erik Torenberg also debunk myths and explore the real impact of the caste system, Hindu nationalism, and the arrival of Islam on ancient Indian civilization.

    🔥 Apply to join over 400 founders and Execs in the Turpentine Network: https://hmplogxqz0y.typeform.com/to/JCkphVqj

    SPONSORS: BEEHIIV
    Head to Beehiiv, the newsletter platform built for growth, to power your own. Connect with premium brands, scale your audience, and deliver a beautiful UX that stands out in an inbox. 🐝 to https://Beehiiv.com and use code “MOZ” for 20% off your first three months

    Recommended Podcast: Company Breakdowns
    Each episode of Company Breakdowns dives into S-1s and series B-and-beyond companies, interviewing founders and investors to break down the companies. First episode is on Rubrik - which just IPO'd. Coming up this season: Databricks, Reddit + more,
    Spotify
    Apple

    This show is produced by Turpentine: a network of podcasts, newsletters, and more, covering technology, business, and culture — all from the perspective of industry insiders and experts. We’re launching new shows every week, and we’re looking for industry-leading sponsors — if you think that might be you and your company, email us at erik@turpentine.co.

    FOLLOW ON X:
    @whatifalthist (Rudyard)
    @eriktorenberg (Erik)
    @TurpentineMedia

    TIMESTAMPS:
    (00:00) Intro
    (00:43) A Deep Dive into Ancient India: Uncovering Hidden Histories
    (07:30) Exploring the Indus Valley Civilization: The Bronze Age's Forgotten Empire
    (10:07) The Aryans and the Birth of the Caste System
    (25:06) Sponsor: Beehiiv
    (25:10) Buddhism vs. Hinduism: A Battle for India's Soul
    (38:56) The Mauryan Empire: India's Golden Age
    (41:09) India's Dark Age and the Rise of Hindu Conservatism
    (52:44) Controversial Takes: The British Impact on India
    (57:51) Recommended Readings

    Recommended Books:
    The Soul of India by Amaury de Riencourt 
    The Rise of the West
    Our Oriental Heritage: The Story of Civilization, Volume I by Will Durant

    • 1 hr 1 min
    WW2 in the Pacific

    WW2 in the Pacific

    This episode of History 102 features a follow up analysis of World War II focused on Japan, China, and the events located in the Pacific. WhatifAltHist creator Rudyard Lynch and Erik Torenberg discuss the build-up to the Pacific War, the geopolitical backdrop of Japan's militaristic expansion, and the cultural psyche that fueled its aggressive actions.

    🔥 Apply to join over 400 founders and Execs in the Turpentine Network: https://hmplogxqz0y.typeform.com/to/JCkphVqj

    Key points include Japan's transition to authoritarianism in the 1920s, its strategic ambitions in China leading to the Sino-Japanese War, and the critical battles and dynamics with other global powers including the USSR and the USA. The episode also explores the nuanced causes and justifications behind the Pacific War, Japan's wartime atrocities, and the decisive moments that led to Japan's surrender, including discussions around the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Tourism content in the episode includes the broader implications of WWII, the downfall of colonial empires, and the socio-political changes in post-war Japan. 

    SPONSORS: BEEHIIV
    Head to Beehiiv, the newsletter platform built for growth, to power your own. Connect with premium brands, scale your audience, and deliver a beautiful UX that stands out in an inbox. 🐝 to https://Beehiiv.com and use code “MOZ” for 20% off your first three months

    Recommended Podcast: Company Breakdowns
    Each episode of Company Breakdowns dives into S-1s and series B-and-beyond companies, interviewing founders and investors to break down the companies. First episode is on Rubrik - which just IPO'd. Coming up this season: Databricks, Reddit + more,
    Spotify
    Apple

    This show is produced by Turpentine: a network of podcasts, newsletters, and more, covering technology, business, and culture — all from the perspective of industry insiders and experts. We’re launching new shows every week, and we’re looking for industry-leading sponsors — if you think that might be you and your company, email us at erik@turpentine.co.

    FOLLOW ON X:
    @whatifalthist (Rudyard)
    @eriktorenberg (Erik)
    @TurpentineMedia

    Recommended Books:

    Tragedy and Hope by Carroll Quigley

    Inside Asia by John Gunther

    Eagle Against the Sun by Ronald H. Spector

    Japan and the Shackles of the Past by R. Taggart Murphy

    Author Ian Cross

    • 1 hr 3 min
    WW2

    WW2

    This episode of History 102 features a comprehensive analysis of World War II. WhatifAltHist creator Rudyard Lynch and Erik Torenberg discuss the build-up to the war, including the aftermath of World War I and the conditions in Europe that led to the rise of Hitler. Recommendations for further reading on the subject are provided, enhancing understanding of the war's complex aspects and its lasting impact on global history.

    SPONSORS: BEEHIIV
    Head to Beehiiv, the newsletter platform built for growth, to power your own. Connect with premium brands, scale your audience, and deliver a beautiful UX that stands out in an inbox. 🐝 to https://Beehiiv.com and use code “MOZ” for 20% off your first three months

    Recommended Podcast: Company Breakdowns
    Each episode of Company Breakdowns dives into S-1s and series B-and-beyond companies, interviewing founders and investors to break down the companies. First episode is on Rubrik - which just IPO'd. Coming up this season: Databricks, Reddit + more,
    Spotify
    Apple

    This show is produced by Turpentine: a network of podcasts, newsletters, and more, covering technology, business, and culture — all from the perspective of industry insiders and experts. We’re launching new shows every week, and we’re looking for industry-leading sponsors — if you think that might be you and your company, email us at erik@turpentine.co.

    FOLLOW ON X:
    @whatifalthist (Rudyard)
    @eriktorenberg (Erik)
    @TurpentineMedia

    TIMESTAMPS:
    (00:00) Intro
    (05:49) Hitler's Goal: Conquering Eastern Europe
    (11:59) Blitzkrieg: Rapid Conquest
    (17:52) Sponsor: Beehiiv
    (25:50) Hitler's Strategic Miscalculations
    (34:53) Exploring the Eastern Front: The Turning Point of WWII
    (49:05) The Holocaust: A Horrific Atrocity
    (52:52) Recommendations for Further Reading
    (54:36) Wrap

    Recommended Books:


    The Second World War by John Keegan


    The Second World War: A Complete History by Martin Gilbert


    The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany by William Shirer


    Bloodlands by Timothy Snyder


    The Dictators: Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia by Richard Overy, Ph.D.


    Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time by Caroll Quigley

    • 56 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
41 Ratings

41 Ratings

RipCityRepp ,

Great content, gists getting used to each other

This pod is so good. Erik style is more relaxed, awe shucks, questioning (he is in the host role this makes sense); Rudyard is more direct, literal, dry-wit. Listening to them sort each other out is as endearing as the content is fascinating.

The topics are great, Rudyards command of the context and content of these eras is impressive, Erik nicely opens him up and the range of conversation is terrific. It seems (because he said so) that Rudyard has biases - like the degeneration of societal norms leads to the downfall of (Rome) society. I haven’t explored his other content to know whether he is making a current political statement or not. Either way I tend to agree with this, so not a problem for me but I’m sure there are other perspectives that would dispute. Rudyard’s love for history is infectious.

TheAdmiralAdama ,

Lynch is great and Erik is unprepared and uninterested

Lynch is great to listen to

Erik appears to be sleeping thru the podcast and wakes up to say idiotic things like “fascinating” and “let’s dive in” and “uh-huh let me read the next title chapter of this outline”

IKnowATon ,

Too diffuse

I’ve listened to 3 eppies, and for tech guys the main thing the hosts are disrupting is the flow of the show. If they do this for a year they may have something, but why force listeners to dogfood their awkward starts?

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