21 episodes

A thrilling podcast about the History of the Modern World. Humanity has been hard at work for centuries to empower itself with better tools and insights, from science and surgery to electricity and the Internet, and this series celebrates the history of those triumphs. Compared to our ancestors, we live like superheroes and sorcerers, endowed with powers they could never have imagined. But how did we achieve all this? Historian Brad Harris tackles that question head on, revealing how the most important scientific, technological, and cultural advancements in history began, and inspiring us to keep reaching for new historical triumphs along the way.

How It Began: A History of the Modern World Brad Harris, Historian of Science & Technology

    • History
    • 4.8, 401 Ratings

A thrilling podcast about the History of the Modern World. Humanity has been hard at work for centuries to empower itself with better tools and insights, from science and surgery to electricity and the Internet, and this series celebrates the history of those triumphs. Compared to our ancestors, we live like superheroes and sorcerers, endowed with powers they could never have imagined. But how did we achieve all this? Historian Brad Harris tackles that question head on, revealing how the most important scientific, technological, and cultural advancements in history began, and inspiring us to keep reaching for new historical triumphs along the way.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
401 Ratings

401 Ratings

solarholmes ,

Where did you go Ben?

One of my favorite podcasts! Hope we can enjoy some new episodes soon. Hope all is well!

Music Lover 555 ,

A fresh look at historical themes

I was lucky enough to have a good history education and am still a fan of history books. So I was surprised and delighted to find that Brad Harris had a new perspective on themes I thought I understood. Especially, satisfying is his disdain for political correctness in the pursuit of truth. This is not some nutcase who reinterprets events to fit a political agenda. This is a genuinely smart guy who studied the facts and came up with explanations that make one reexamine one’s beliefs. My favorite example is the episode on the history of coffee!

I have one criticism. In fact, Brad has already recognized and replied to it: I would have preferred more detail to justify some of the arguments. Take my favorite episode mentioned above. He skips over a towering figure (Shakespeare) that seems to counter his argument.

tjanicentirish ,

More Cowbell, I mean more Context!!

I enjoyed Context immensely! After each episode I would engage with my children and discuss whatever the topic du jour was and I would sound like the smartest guy on earth to them! They looked at me funny cause they knew that wasn’t true...
Anyhoo this podcast however wasn’t up to that caliber. Context was in the same category as Dan Carlin and that is such a compliment. This was more like a mediocre National Geographic show, too much information and not enough distillation, and the background soundtrack was super gratuitous, annoying even. Your style with Context was like a perfect Socratic Seminar, this was like a 8th grade substitute teacher movie filler. Sorry if that’s harsh but the disparity between the two is chasmic. Please do more in the vein of Context. I promise to support you in every way I can(I left a 5 star review and will go back to listen to how to support you in others ways mentioned). You do rock and are so necessary for this moment in history. Thank you.

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