66 episodes

History That Doesn’t Suck is a bi-weekly podcast, delivering a legit, seriously researched, hard-hitting survey of American history through entertaining stories. To keep up with History That Doesn’t Suck news, check us out on Facebook and Instagram: @Historythatdoesntsuck; on Twitter: @HistThatDntSuck; or online at historythatdoesntsuck.com. Support the podcast at patreon.com/historythatdoesntsuck.

History That Doesn't Suck Prof. Greg Jackson

    • History

History That Doesn’t Suck is a bi-weekly podcast, delivering a legit, seriously researched, hard-hitting survey of American history through entertaining stories. To keep up with History That Doesn’t Suck news, check us out on Facebook and Instagram: @Historythatdoesntsuck; on Twitter: @HistThatDntSuck; or online at historythatdoesntsuck.com. Support the podcast at patreon.com/historythatdoesntsuck.

    56: The Battle of Fredericksburg and the First Campaign of Vicksburg

    56: The Battle of Fredericksburg and the First Campaign of Vicksburg

    “If the world had been searched by Burnside for a location in which his army could be best defeated ... he should have selected this very spot.”

    This is the story of leadership turnover in the Union and total war on the field. US President Abraham Lincoln has had his fill of George B. “Little Mac” McClellan. Little Mac is getting fired. He’s being replaced by the general with the best facial-hair game in the army: Ambrose Burnsides. 

    But Ambrose doesn’t want command. He doesn’t think he’s the man for the job. Still, he’s going to try to be the aggressive general he knows the President wants. Ambrose plans to charge at the Confederate capital with his 120,000-strong Army of the Potomac. But he’ll have to deal with Robert E. Lee first. They’re coming to blow up the little Virginia town George Washington’s mother once called home: Fredericksburg.

    Meanwhile, Ulysses S. Grant is facing challenges out west in the Mississippi Valley. Can he out navigate a politicking general and take the crucial rivertown of Vicksburg, Mississippi? We’ll find out.

    • 42 min
    55: The Road to The Emancipation Proclamation

    55: The Road to The Emancipation Proclamation

    “The Proclamation is the drawing of a sword that can never be sheathed again.”

    This is the story of the Emancipation Proclamation.

    Anti-slavery, moderate-Republican President Abraham Lincoln has never liked slavery. He wants to prevent it from expanding to new US territories. But he also never intended to go on the offensive against the “peculiar institution” within those states where it already exists. The Illinois Rail-Splitter knows the law; he’s aware that the constitution protects slavery at the state level.

    Then the Civil War came. As the South breaks away from the Union, the North breaks philosphically on slavery. The abolitionists say ending slavery must be a war aim. The Democrats and border-states say this war is only about preserving the Union. Moderate Republicans and still others are mixed. Meanwhile, enslaved Americans within the Confederacy are seeking refuge in Federal army camps. How should Union Generals respond? Can they give sanctuary without upsetting the border-states that may still join the Confederacy? And do seceded states still have constitutional rights? Or does war mean the president can use his constitutional war powers to end slavery among rebelling states by proclamation? And if he does … what will that outcome be?

    The questions are boundless. The answers are unknowable without taking the plunge. Your move, President Lincoln.

    • 53 min
    54: The Best Opening Scenes in HTDS History

    54: The Best Opening Scenes in HTDS History

    “Our top spot goes to …”

    This is the story of stories (yeah, super “meta”). You know regular HTDS episodes always start with a cold open. You probably have a favorite. So do we.

    Today, Greg and Cielle count down their top seven favorite openings, from George Washington’s loss at Fort Necessity to our current point in the Civil War. It’s a peak into the minds behind HTDS, a bit of nostalgia for long-time listeners, and the perfect HTDS introduction for the new initiated. Enjoy, and Happy New Year!

    • 55 min
    53: A Civil War Christmas with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    53: A Civil War Christmas with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    “Our dispatches state that Lieut. Longfellow of First Mass. Cavalry was severely wounded.”

    This is the story of a son nearly lost and a poet in a dark place. 

    Young, idealistic Charley Longfellow loves his country and is ready to fight and die for it. His father—the former Harvard College Professor of English and Literature, celebrated author, and grieving widower, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow—fears losing his son in the Civil War and doesn’t want him to enlist. But Charley does. A bullet rips through the youth soon thereafter.

    1863 has truly been a terrible year for Henry. Mourning the loss of his wife, praying for his son’s recovery, and anxious about the war-torn nation’s future, Christmas feels hollow as he listens to bells ring that day. But he believes better days are to come. He expresses his pain and hope for a future peace by penning a poem future generations of Americans will cherish as the Christmas Carol, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.”

    • 24 min
    52: From Second Bull Run, or Second Manassas to Antietam, or Sharpsburg

    52: From Second Bull Run, or Second Manassas to Antietam, or Sharpsburg

    “Come on God damn you.”

    This is the story of the Second Bull Run/Manassas Campaign and the Battle of Antietam.

    Robert “Bobby” E. Lee isn’t content to run George “Little Mac” McClellan down to the James River. With the help of Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, James Longstreet, J.E.B. Stuart, and others, Bobby’s ready to use his aggressive, divide and conquer tactics on the Union’s new Army of Virginia. The question is: can the bickering Union generals put their pettiness aside and work together? Or will the Confederates make short work of them at the Manassas railroad junction?

    Bobby Lee has another bold plan as well: time to take the fight to US soil. The Virginian Commander invades the US slave-state of Maryland, where he hopes to enlist Confederate sympathizers, demoralize Americans going to vote, and draw international recognition for the CSA. It’s an ambitious goal. And it means fighting the most deadly, violent battle in American history near Antietam Creek, right by Sharpsburg, Maryland.

    • 56 min
    51: A Change in Command: Seven Days Battles to the Battle of Cedar Mountain

    51: A Change in Command: Seven Days Battles to the Battle of Cedar Mountain

    “[Malvern Hill] was not war--it was murder.”

    This is the story of a Confederate comeback. 

    Union General George “Little Mac” McClellan has an army of 100,000 within a few mere miles of the Confederate Capital: Richmond, Virginia. The city’s defending force is significantly smaller. It’s his for the taking. But where “Little Mac” is cautious, the new Confederate Commander of the Army of Northern Virginia Robert E. “Bobby” Lee is ready to fight to the death. They’ll duke it out in the Seven Days Battles. 

    Meanwhile, US President Abraham Lincoln has a new General-in-Chief: Henry “Old Brains” Halleck. Can he get Generals “Little Mac” and John Pope to play nice and work together? We’ll find out.

    • 56 min

Customer Reviews

Fact Blaster ,

Great Historical analysis

Prof. Jackson provides exceptional stories regarding America, Americans, and influential individuals dating back to George Washington’s involvement in the Seven Years War. As a history student at Liberty University I use Jackson’s stories, substantiated by primary source information, as a tool to place myself in the times to better understand the stories behind impactful decision that affect us today.

Ajdjdnxhsjjsjsjss ,

Love the story, not so much the narration

I love history and really wanted to enjoy this podcast but the narration is so irksome. The way the story is laid out is excellent but in my opinion he does several things throughout that gets under my skin. The closed quote thing and the southern accents are like nails on a chalk board.

loafbro ,

Brilliant

If I’d had a teacher like the Prof I’d have a very different career right now. This is the best history podcast out there.

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