Revisionist History

Revisionist History
Because sometimes the past deserves a second chance

Goodbye, Farewell and Amen
Jul 30 • 44 min
How do we remember one of the deadliest nights in human history? We don’t. Part four. Get Revisionist History updates first by signing up for our newsletter at Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Revisionist History Presents: Deep Cover
Jul 27 • 44 min
Revisionist History Presents: Deep Cover, the true story of an FBI agent in Detroit who goes undercover in an outlaw motorcycle gang and makes a series of bizarre discoveries that inadvertently lead to the US invasion of a foreign country. In the first…
Bombs-Away LeMay
Jul 23 • 45 min
The arguments, accidents, cold-blooded logic and sheer serendipity that led to the longest night of the Second World War. Part three. Get Revisionist History updates first by signing up for our newsletter at Learn more about your ad choices.…
May the Best Firebomb Win
Jul 16 • 42 min
Basement laboratories. Mad scientists. Sticky gels, and a bake-off in the desert. The strange story behind Curtis LeMay’s weapon of choice. Part two. Get Revisionist History updates first by signing up for our newsletter at Learn more about…
The Bomber Mafia
Jul 9 • 37 min
On the eve of the Second World War, a band of visionaries at Maxwell Air Force Base tried to reimagine modern warfare. They failed. Part one on the extraordinary life of the Air Force General Curtis LeMay. Get Revisionist History updates first by signing…
The Powerball Revolution
Jul 2 • 46 min
In Bolivia, a political activist radically reforms the voting process for… student council elections. Who else does he convince? Revisionist History. And maybe a fancy private school in New Jersey. Get Revisionist History updates first by signing up for…
Hedwig’s Lost Van Gogh
Jun 25 • 45 min
An escape from war-torn Germany. Lavish dinners with Hollywood royalty. A Swedish baron and a dime-store heiress: we explore the long journey of a Van Gogh still life — and what it says about the real value of the things we treasure. Get Revisionist…
Revisionist History Presents: Axios Today
Jun 23 • 11 min
Pushkin Industries and Axios are joining forces to produce a daily news podcast that gets audiences smarter, faster on the most pressing topics of the day. Start your morning with news that matters in just 10 minutes. Host Niala Boodhoo and a team of…
Dragon Psychology 101
Jun 18 • 46 min
Dragons hoard treasure, deep in their lairs. They don’t show it off to their neighbors. Revisionist History applies dragon psychology to the strange world of art museums, with help from Andy Warhol, J.R.R. Tolkien, a handful of accountants and the world’s…
Revisionist Revisited: The King of Tears
Jun 16 • 59 min
In our last listener favorite, we revisit The King of Tears from Season 2 where Revisionist History goes to Nashville to talk with Bobby Braddock, who has written more sad songs than almost anyone else. What is it about music that makes us cry? And what…
Introducing Revisionist History Season 5
Jun 4 • 2 min
Andy Warhol. War. Smaug the Dragon. And, as always, digressions of great importance. Launching June 18 from Pushkin Industries. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Revisionist History Presents: The Limits of Power
Jun 2 • 44 min
Malcolm has been writing about race and policing for a very long time, going back to the killing of Amadou Diallo in 1999. Sometimes, it is useful to take a step back and consider policing in a broader context. Here we present a chapter from Malcolm’s…
Revisionist History Presents: The Last Archive
May 21 • 50 min
This week we’re featuring the second episode of The Last Archive, a new podcast hosted by Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore. When a young black man is charged with murder under unusual circumstances in 1922, he trusts his fate to a…
Revisionist Revisited: Free Brian Williams
May 14 • 45 min
Brian Williams made a mistake and Malcolm vouched for him. So why hasn’t Brian Williams reached out to Malcolm in response? “Free Brian Williams” came in second place from our “Revisionist Revisited” survey. Stay tuned in the coming weeks to hear our last…
Revisionist Revisited: A Good Walk Spoiled
May 7 • 40 min
Golfers everywhere love to hate this episode. Since its debut in Season 2, the subject of golf ignites Malcolm’s Twitter feed like no other. A Good Walk Spoiled came in third in our “Revisionist Revisited” survey. Stay tuned in the coming weeks to hear…
Revisionist Revisited: Analysis, Parapraxis, Elvis
Apr 2 • 58 min
We’re gearing up to launch Season 5 of Revisionist History soon. In celebration, we are revisiting some of our favorite episodes from past seasons. Malcolm is kicking this off with his favorite Revisionist History episode: Analysis, Parapraxis, Elvis from…
Revisionist History Presents: Go and See
Mar 5 • 21 min
Malcolm, a serious car nut, is invited to Toyota City in Japan to meet test-track drivers and obsessive engineers. The result is a six-part series called “Go and See.” The first episode explores the Japanese concept of hospitality called “omotenashi” as…
Revisionist History Presents: Deep Background with Noah Feldman
Feb 12 • 29 min
Could we really fix gridlock in the Senate by creating new states? Malcolm revisits the “Divide and Conquer” episode from Season 3 in an interview on Deep Background with Noah Feldman, the newest podcast from Pushkin Industries. “Divide and Conquer”…
Revisionist History Presents: The Pushkin Industries Holiday Variety Show
Dec 2, 2019 • 37 min
Malcolm Gladwell debuts his first fireside chat, answering burning questions from Revisionist History listeners in this bonus episode. He lets us listen in on a conversation with Conan O’Brien and supplies tasty tidbits of new shows on the Pushkin…
Revisionist History Presents: The Happiness Lab
Oct 1, 2019 • 41 min
Malcolm Gladwell presents the newest podcast from Pushkin Industries: The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos. To listen to all episodes of The Happiness Lab, visit or Learn more about your ad…
Bonus: Malcolm Gladwell on Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations
Sep 19, 2019 • 39 min
Malcolm Gladwell speaks with Oprah Winfrey about his new book Talking to Strangers, the one mystery he hopes might be resolved in our lifetimes, and the ways we could all benefit from a little more patience and humility when judging people we don’t know.…
The Queen of Cuba
Aug 29, 2019 • 63 min
On February 24, 1996, Cuban fighter jets shot down two small planes operated by Brothers to the Rescue, an organization in Florida that tried to spot refugees fleeing Cuba in boats. A strange chain of events preceded the shoot-down, and people in the…
The Obscure Virus Club
Aug 22, 2019 • 39 min
Throughout the 1960s, a biologist named Howard Temin became convinced that something wasn’t right in science’s understanding of viruses. His colleagues dismissed him as a heretic. He turned out to be right — and you’re alive today as a result. Season Four…
Chutzpah vs. Chutzpah
Aug 15, 2019 • 41 min
You thought that there was only one kind of chutzpah. Wrong. There’s two. Revisionist History tells the story of the Mafia’s showdown with a legendary Hollywood producer, in a battle of competing chutzpahs. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit…
In a Metal Mood
Aug 8, 2019 • 42 min
Two seasons after its investigation of the decline of McDonalds french fries, Revisionist History returns to fast-food’s high-tech test kitchens. This time the subject is cultural appropriation. The case study is Taco Bell. Oh, and Pat Boone is involved.…
Descend into the Particular
Aug 1, 2019 • 44 min
An unarmed man is shot to death by police. How does the Jesuitical idea of “disordered attachments” help us make sense of what happened? Part three of three. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dr. Rock’s Taxonomy
Jul 25, 2019 • 40 min
John Rock was the co-inventor of the birth control pill — and a committed Catholic. He wanted his church to approve of his invention. What happens when a layman takes on the Vatican? Part two of three. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit…
The Standard Case
Jul 18, 2019 • 40 min
Revisionist History tries to make sense of the conundrum of PED use in baseball, using the 500-year-old philosophical techniques of St. Ignatius. Part one of a three-part series on the moral reasoning of the Jesuit order. Learn more about your ad choices.…
Good Old Boys
Jul 11, 2019 • 42 min
If you disagree with someone — if you find what they think appalling — is there any value in talking to them? In the early 1970s, the talk show host Dick Cavett, the governor of Georgia Lester Maddox, and the singer Randy Newman tried to answer this…
Tempest in a Teacup
Jul 4, 2019 • 38 min
Bohea, the aroma of tire fire, Mob Wives, smugglers, “bro” tea, and what it all means to the backstory of the American Revolution. Malcolm tells the real story on what happened in Boston on the night of December 16, 1773. Learn more about your ad choices.…
The Tortoise and the Hare
Jun 27, 2019 • 42 min
A weird speech by Antonin Scalia, a visit with some serious legal tortoises, and a testy exchange with the experts at the Law School Admissions Council prompts Malcolm to formulate his Grand Unified Theory for fixing higher education. Learn more about…
Puzzle Rush
Jun 20, 2019 • 38 min
Malcolm challenges his assistant Camille to the Law School Admissions Test. He gets halfway through, panics, runs out of time, and wonders: why does the legal world want him to rush? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Introducing Revisionist History Season Four
Jun 13, 2019 • 2 min
Jesuits. Chess masters. Mafiosi. Lawyers. And a little bit of tire fire. Launching June 20th from Pushkin Industries. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Revisionist History Presents: Solvable
Jun 5, 2019 • 30 min
Revisionist History presents Solvable, a new show from Pushkin Industries and the Rockefeller Foundation that showcases the world’s most innovative thinkers and their ideas about how to solve the world’s most daunting problems. The interviews, conducted…
Revisionist History Presents: Against the Rules with Michael Lewis
Apr 9, 2019 • 41 min
Malcolm Gladwell presents Ref, You Suck!, the first episode of the newest podcast from Pushkin Industries: Against the Rules with Michael Lewis. Rage at referees is all the rage in professional sports. Michael Lewis visits a replay center that’s trying to…
Revisionist History Presents: Rick Rubin
Nov 13, 2018 • 48 min
Revisionist History presents the first episode of a new podcast, Broken Record. It’s a conversation between Rick Rubin and Revisionist History host Malcolm Gladwell, covering everything from Rick’s role in the very beginning of hip-hop to his role in…
Revisionist History Presents: Broken Record
Nov 6, 2018 • 3 min
From Revisionist History host Malcolm Gladwell, Rick Rubin, and Bruce Headlam: Conversations. Arguments. Stories. Remembering old music. Discovering new music. Broken Record: Liner notes for the digital age. Revisionist History will be airing the first…
Analysis, Parapraxis, Elvis
Jul 19, 2018 • 55 min
The one song The King couldn’t sing. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Strong Verbs, Short Sentences
Jul 12, 2018 • 43 min
“She was Joan of Arc, Madame Curie, and Florence Nightingale—all wrapped up in one.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The Imaginary Crimes of Margit Hamosh
Jul 5, 2018 • 37 min
Epidemics of fear repeat themselves. The first time as tragedy. The second time as farce. Margit Hamosh? Definitely farce. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Malcolm Gladwell’s 12 Rules for Life
Jun 28, 2018 • 46 min
Crucial life lessons from the end of hockey games, Idris Elba, and some Wall Street guys with a lot of time on their hands. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The Hug Heard Round the World
Jun 21, 2018 • 41 min
Q: Was there a period where you felt you had something to prove? A: The first 45 years of my life. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
General Chapman’s Last Stand
Jun 14, 2018 • 37 min
Good fences make good neighbors. Or maybe not. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Free Brian Williams
Jun 7, 2018 • 39 min
“Sorry dude, I don’t remember you being on my aircraft.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
A Polite Word for Liar
May 31, 2018 • 39 min
An early morning raid, a house-full of Nazis, the world’s greatest harmonica player, and a dashingly handsome undercover spy. What could possibly go wrong? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Burden of Proof
May 24, 2018 • 37 min
“He called to wish me ‘Happy Birthday.’ Then he said, ‘I’m failing everything.’” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Divide and Conquer
May 17, 2018 • 42 min
The complete, unabridged history of the world’s most controversial semicolon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Bonus: Malcolm Gladwell debates Adam Grant
May 10, 2018 • 54 min
In a special live taping at the 92nd Street Y in New York, Malcolm talks with WorkLife’s Adam Grant about how to avoid doing highly undesirable tasks, what makes an idea interesting, and why Malcolm thinks we shouldn’t root for the underdog. Learn more…
Introducing Revisionist History Season Three
May 3, 2018 • 2 min
Malcolm Gladwell is back with season three of Revisionist History: harmonica players, mass delusion, semicolons, and a constitutional crisis. Launching May 17th on Panoply. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The Basement Tapes
Aug 17, 2017 • 33 min
What is a son’s obligation to his father? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
McDonald’s Broke My Heart
Aug 10, 2017 • 38 min
They made the world’s greatest French Fry. Then they threw it away. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mr. Hollowell Didn’t Like That
Aug 3, 2017 • 39 min
Arrested, arraigned, indicted, tried, convicted, and sentenced to die in the electric chair in 24 hours. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
State v Johnson
Jul 27, 2017 • 35 min
“Nobody was interested in justice.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The King of Tears
Jul 20, 2017 • 45 min
Why country music makes you cry, and rock and roll doesn’t: A musical interpretation of divided America. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The Prime Minister and the Prof
Jul 13, 2017 • 38 min
The friendship that changed the course of World War II. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The Foot Soldier of Birmingham
Jul 6, 2017 • 38 min
“Oh, Mac. What did you do?” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Miss Buchanan’s Period of Adjustment
Jun 29, 2017 • 34 min
A landmark Supreme Court case. A civil rights revolution. Why has everyone forgotten what happened next? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The Road to Damascus
Jun 22, 2017 • 44 min
What happens when a terrorist has a change of heart? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
A Good Walk Spoiled
Jun 15, 2017 • 38 min
Rich people and their addiction to golf: a philosophical investigation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Introducing Revisionist History Season Two
May 26, 2017 • 2 min
From bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell, season two of Revisionist History launches June 15th. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The Satire Paradox
Aug 17, 2016 • 41 min
In the political turmoil of mid-1990s Britain, a brilliant young comic named Harry Enfield set out to satirize the ideology and politics of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. His parodies became famous. He wrote and performed a vicious sendup of the…
Generous Orthodoxy
Aug 10, 2016 • 37 min
A 98-year-old minister takes on his church over the subject of gay marriage—and teaches the rest of us what it means to stand up in protest. To learn more about the topics covered in this episode, visit Learn more about your ad…
Blame Game
Aug 3, 2016 • 41 min
In the summer and fall of 2009, hundreds of Toyota owners came forward with an alarming allegation: Their cars were suddenly and uncontrollably accelerating. Toyota was forced to recall 10 million vehicles, pay a fine of more than $1 billion, and settle…
Jul 27, 2016 • 40 min
How does genius emerge? An exploration of different types of innovation—through the lens of Elvis Costello’s extraordinary song “Deportee,” once utterly forgettable and then, through time and iteration, a work of beauty and genius. If you’re looking to go…
My Little Hundred Million
Jul 20, 2016 • 43 min
In the early ’90s, Hank Rowan gave $100 million to a tiny public university in Glassboro, New Jersey: not Harvard, not Yale, not even to his alma mater, MIT. What was Rowan thinking? And why has it proven so difficult for other philanthropists to follow…
Food Fight
Jul 13, 2016 • 34 min
Bowdoin College and Vassar College are two elite private schools that compete for the same students. But one of those schools is trying hard to address the problem of rich and poor in American society—and paying a high price. The other is making that…
Carlos Doesn’t Remember
Jul 6, 2016 • 37 min
Of the tens of thousands of talented, low-income students who graduate from high school every year in the United States, most never make it to universities appropriate to their gifts. America leaves an enormous amount of talent on the table every year.…
The Big Man Can’t Shoot
Jun 29, 2016 • 39 min
Wilt Chamberlain’s brilliant career was marred by one, deeply inexplicable decision: He chose a shooting technique that made him one of the worst foul shooters in basketball—even though he had tried a better alternative. Why do smart people do dumb…
Saigon, 1965
Jun 22, 2016 • 45 min
In the early 1960s the Pentagon set up a top-secret research project in an old villa in downtown Saigon. The task? To interview captured North Vietnamese soldiers and guerrillas in order to measure the effect of relentless U.S. bombing on their morale.…
The Lady Vanishes
Jun 16, 2016 • 37 min
In the late 19th century, a painting titled The Roll Call, by a virtually unknown artist, took England by storm. But after that brilliant first effort, the artist all but disappeared. Why? And what does The Roll Call tell us about the fate of those first…
Introducing Revisionist History
Jun 3, 2016 • 4 min
Coming soon, a new podcast series from bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit