This podcast series is a journey through history, one guided by the lyrics of Billy Joel’s song “We Didn’t Start the Fire". Join us for an educational and fun exploration of the events, people, and inventions that helped to shape the modern world during the Cold War. These roughly half-hour episodes place a microscope on each of Billy Joel’s lyrics, discovering the rich detail that helps breathe life into the past. Narrated by Robin Harrison, each episode also features interviews with guest speakers, including experts in the field and friends and family of the people being discussed. Together, we’ll learn why Billy Joel wrote the lyrics he did and hopefully come to understand what he meant when he sang “We didn’t start the fire, it was always burning, since the world’s been turning.”
Episode 102 - Reagan
This episode we’re tossing on our cowboy hats and riding horseback all the way from Sunset Boulevard to the White House. The first celebrity U S president, Ronald Wilson Reagan, marked a turning point in world history. From the aggressive deregulation of Reaganomics, to the massive consequences of his aggressive foreign policy, Reagan’s influence on the world is undeniable. Working as a Military Filmmaker, Movie Star, Labour Organiser, Governor, and the President of the United States, Reagan’s career is an erratic one, full of all sorts of strange pivots and turns - including a walk across the aisle. A man of contradictions and controversy, revered and hated in equal measure - this is the story of Ronald Reagan.
Were joined by special guest Dr Ross Baker, distinguished professor of Political Science at Rutgers University New Jersey
Episode 101 - Begin
In this episode, we’re traveling back to the Middle East, and the birth of modern Israel. Key to the founding of the state of Israel in the 1940s was Menachem Begin – a soldier, a right-wing zealot and a Zionist.
Joining us to discuss the controversial figure who was Menachem Begin is special guest Avi Shilon. Avi is a historian who specializes in Israel studies. His published works include Menachem Begin: A Life, published by Yale University Press, and a biography of Begin’s fellow Israeli Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion.
Episode 100 - Punk Rock
While it struggled for radio play, Punk managed to take over the world anyway. Digging its teeth into the pillars holding up “respectable society”, it leaked its way out of the world’s cultural centres to disenfranchised, embittered youth and gave them the tools to fight back. This is music as war, music as identity, music as freedom. So, Cheers to our hundredth episode - let’s talk about Punk.
We have special guest Legs McNeil, co-author of the book Please Kill Me, which is inarguably the book on Punk Rock
Episode 99 - Watergate Part 1
This time we’re doing something a little unconventional for us.
The Watergate Scandal, even all these years on, is still a controversial issue; in the historical community, potentially more controversial than ever.
So, we’re making two separate episodes hearing from guests with two different perspectives on the issue. We are joined by very special guest Geoff Shepard who was the youngest lawyer for Nixons White house staff . He has written three books on the topic of Watergate and gives a different perspective to how the history remembers the scandal.
Episode 98 - Woodstock
In this episode, we’re heading to the world’s most famous music festival, Woodstock.
This pivotal moment in cultural history was held in the summer of 1969, and more than 50 years later it still has a mesmeric hold over our imaginations. At the time though, it was an unlikely success.
With the help of special guest Joel Makower, we go behind the scenes. Joel is a journalist by training and the author of Woodstock: The Oral History, which is available in paper form and on audiobook, through Audible.
Episode 97 - Moonshot
In this episode we look into the epic story of how man got to the moon.
Our guest is historian David Whitehouse, author of “Apollo 11: The Inside Story.” David is a former BBC science editor and Asteroid ‘4036 Whitehouse’ is named after him.
A history podcast combined with a Billy Joel classic is genius!
Being a Billy Joel fan and a history buff, I finally found a podcast that combines both. It makes it fun to learn more about history. The podcast is clear and well produced. A great addition to the New York City Podcast Network!