48 episodes

A lot of history episodes and a lot of film episodes. A few other subjects in between!

Subject to Change Russell Hogg

    • History
    • 5.0 • 10 Ratings

A lot of history episodes and a lot of film episodes. A few other subjects in between!

    Gladiator - the movie, the history!

    Gladiator - the movie, the history!

    Really thrilled to have Bret Devereaux and Ed Watts on the podcast together. We looked at Gladiator as a film (two thumbs up!) and also unpicking some of the history. Ranging far and wide we covered the battle scenes, gladiators, the role of an emperor and lots, lots more. Ed argues that Commodus was doing okay until stabbed in the back by his sister and Bret gives a masterclass in how not to name a Roman. I lower the tone by bringing the nazis into it.

    Bret's superb blog is here. 

    Ed's latest book is here.

    And check out Ed's brilliant YouTube channel.

    • 1 hr 19 min
    A nuclear exchange

    A nuclear exchange

    I chatted to Battleship Bean and John Schilling about nuclear war. We discussed the wonderful Dr Strangleove and tried to unpick some of the realities of a nuclear war. How powerful are modern weapons?  Would they knock out electrical systems world wide?  Would such a war result in nuclear winter?

    A book I mentioned in the podcast and which I recommend (though Bean is not a fan) is Command and Control by John Schlosser. Bean himself has written several articles on the subject on his excellent blog:


    I'm uploading this on the anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing and am very much hoping that that and the bombing of Nagasaki on 9 August is the last we see of these things.

    • 1 hr 16 min
    The Last Emperor of Mexico - part 2

    The Last Emperor of Mexico - part 2

    In part 1 of the story Napoleon III persuaded Maximilian and Carlotta to accept the Mexican crown and become emperor and empress of that country. They are greeted with jubilation in Mexico City but there is trouble to come. Edward Shawcross tells the story brilliantly.

    • 53 min
    The Last Emperor of Mexico with Edward Shawcross

    The Last Emperor of Mexico with Edward Shawcross

    Karl Marx called it 'one of the most monstrous enterprises in the annals of international history'. This seems unfair to the young Hapsburg royals who travel to Mexico in 1864 to become its emperor and empress. Highly liberal by the standards of the day and with the best of intentions they will face a terrible struggle to rule and (ultimately) to try to survive.

    Edward Shawcross has written one of the best books I have read in years. It is simply a fantastic page turner. And Edward is also a hugely entertaining speaker as you will find out as you listen to the podcast. 

    This episode is part 1 and takes us up to the point the young couple arrive in Mexico. Enjoy!

    • 46 min
    Tulip mania - 1630's Holland goes wild

    Tulip mania - 1630's Holland goes wild

    In the Dutch Republic of the 1630's trading in tulips went mad with bulbs and even parts of a bulb changing hands for astronomical prices. Historian Mike Dash traces the extraordinary story from its beginnings centuries before up to and beyond the inevitable crash. I can't recommend Mike and his books enough. Hard core history and a fantastically accessible reading style. His book Tulipomania is an absolute pleasure.

    • 49 min
    A new world order - the Arab invasions of the 7th century

    A new world order - the Arab invasions of the 7th century

    James Howard - Johnston returns to talk about the astonishing upending of the world order that happened just a few years after the death of Muhammad. The Persian empire destroyed and the Roman Empire reduced to a Byzantine rump. It is a long episode and slightly scholarly but I honestly don't think you can understand the world we live in today without some understanding of these extraordinary times. So have at it!

    • 1 hr 27 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
10 Ratings

10 Ratings

Sean Abbott ,

Top History Podcast

Russel asks good questions without being intrusive or stepping on his guests, who are some of the top historians being published today.

Dee Tremens ,

History buffs - you want this

Russell chooses wonderful authors and they proceed to have a delightful conversation about their book, its time period, and the issues it raises. Not just a deep dive into dry historical events, the human elements of history are kept onstage throughout. After each episode, I feel better informed and just maybe a little wiser.

Mikhailway6 ,

First rate

This is a first rate show. If you like reading books on history and like reading reviews of such books then this is the podcast for you. It’s really wonderful to hear the authors tell the stories in their books first hand. Thank you!

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