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, 435 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.

    Context

    Context

    I’m thrilled to announce the launch of my new podcast: Context. If you’ve enjoyed engaging in history with me so far, I think you’ll continue to find value in the new show. Join me as we explore how other scholars have interpreted the rise of the modern world.

    Subscribe now on Apple Podcasts! For more information, visit the new website, bradharris.com.

    I'll see you there!

    • 6 min
    Money: From Barter to Blockchain

    Money: From Barter to Blockchain

    Money is a form of trust.  And credit, not coins, has been the heart of financial innovation.

    Communities that have figured this out have sustained the most progress, from the Medician money exchange networks that funded the Renaissance to the cryptography companies that are developing the blockchain-based internet of value today.

    But, how did money evolve as a system of trust?

    To support How It Began, https://howitbegan.com/support.

    For more information, https://howitbegan.com.

    • 52 min
    Measuring Time: The Hidden Mechanism of Modernity

    Measuring Time: The Hidden Mechanism of Modernity

    Our submergence in the flow of time makes it difficult to comprehend how fundamental timekeeping technology has been to the evolution of civilization. But, to wind up the mechanism of modernity, our mastery of clockwork was critical.

    Where did the authority of our clockwork come from? 

    I give you measuring time, and how it began.

    To support How It Began, https://howitbegan.com/support.

    For more information, https://howitbegan.com.

    • 1 hr 10 min
    The Enlightenment: From a Medieval to a Modern Mindset

    The Enlightenment: From a Medieval to a Modern Mindset

    The Enlightenment was an intellectual movement centered in Europe during the 1700s that established our modern convictions concerning the virtues of representative government, religious toleration, and human rights.  It inaugurated the idea that humanity could learn how to make the world a better a place, but why is its legacy so misunderstood? 

    To help support How It Began, go to https://howitbegan.com/support.

    For more information on this episode, go to https://howitbegan.com.

    • 47 min
    The Printed Book: Opening the Floodgates of Knowledge

    The Printed Book: Opening the Floodgates of Knowledge

    We've all heard about how the printing press revolutionized book production. But, the real revolution was in how printed books, as opposed to handwritten ones, obliterated the intellectual barriers between us, leading to the Scientific Revolution, The Enlightenment, and beyond.

    To help support How It Began, go to https://howitbegan.com/support.

    For more information on this episode, go to https://howitbegan.com.

    • 50 min
    Mastering Metals: From Sticks & Stones to Cars & Computers

    Mastering Metals: From Sticks & Stones to Cars & Computers

    The transition from the Stone Age to the age of metals marks the historical arrival of civilization. But, how was it that people first learned to see stone not as a tool in itself but as a reservoir of better tools? And how did we master that material revolution to forge cars & computers from sticks & stones?

    To help support How It Began, go to https://howitbegan.com/support.

    For more information on this episode, go to https://howitbegan.com.

    • 59 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
435 Ratings

435 Ratings

Chugo_01 ,

Excellent Content

Excellent content and captivating narration, enriched with the right amount of sound effects to really make you deep dive into the story. You’ll come out feeling like you just time travelled and you have first-hand knowledge on how things came to be.

solarholmes ,

Where did you go Ben?

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

eriksenlevi ,

Good information

The reading is too theatrical, I really like the information and it is well produced. The theatrical tone is hard to take for more than a few minutes. Movie preview voice.

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