Conflicted: A History Podcast

Conflicted: A History Podcast

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Untangling history’s greatest controversies. Every month, we take a hard look at the historical conflicts that raise difficult questions, stoke controversy, and send our moral compasses spinning.


McNamara’s Boys: An Epilogue
Jul 2 • 34 min
How the US government deliberately sent thousands of mentally-disabled men into combat during the Vietnam War. A bonus episode and companion to Episode 12: “The Good Guys”. SOURCES: Gregory, Hamilton. McNamara’s Folly: The Use of Low-IQ Troops in the…
The Good Guys
Jun 13 • 129 min
The 1968 My Lai Massacre shocked Americans, but the true nature of the Vietnam War went far beyond anything the public could’ve imagined. This is the story of the war within the War, between the soldiers who brutalized Vietnamese civilians, and the unsung…
I Must Not Burn
May 12 • 110 min
In 1945, the German city of Dresden was consumed in a firestorm engineered by the Allies. Many consider it to be a war crime. Others, a necessary evil. SOURCES Taylor, Frederick. Dresden: Tuesday, February 13th, 1945. 2004. McKay, Sinclair. The Fire and…
Roadies For Nero: An Epilogue
May 1 • 25 min
A bonus episode concerning the Praetorian Guard’s musical and murderous relationship with Rome’s fabulous fifth Emperor, Nero. An epilogue to E10: “Kingbreakers” SOURCES: Strauss, Barry. Ten Caesars: Roman Emperors from Augustus to Constantine.2019 De La…
Kingbreakers
Mar 30 • 99 min
The story of Rome through the eyes of the infamous Praetorian Guard, feared bodyguards who wielded the power and leverage to make – or break – the Emperors they swore to protect. SOURCES: Strauss, Barry. Ten Caesars: Roman Emperors from Augustus to…
Pax Mongolica
Mar 1 • 121 min
Genghis Khan and the Mongols killed millions, but were they actually woke AF? Let’s tackle the surprisingly progressive (yet blood-drenched) legacy of one of history’s most mysterious empires. SOURCES: Weatherford, Jack. Genghis Khan and the Making of the…
Hate Thy Neighbor
Jan 26 • 111 min
Car bombs, hitmen, and hunger strikes. How “The Troubles” tore Northern Ireland apart. SOURCES: Toolis, Kevin. Rebel Hearts. 1995 McKittrick, David. Making Sense of the Troubles. 2000 Coogan, Tim Pat. The Troubles: Ireland’s Ordeal and the Search for…
The City Of Dreams - Part 2
Nov 26, 2019 • 61 min
Wonder and warmth quickly turn to slaughter and horror as Hernan Cortes meets Emperor Moctezuma in the explosive conclusion of this two-part series. SOURCES: Levy, Buddy. Conquistador: Hernan Cortes, King Montezuma, and the Last Stand of the Aztecs.…
The City Of Dreams - Part 1
Nov 23, 2019 • 57 min
How a handful of mercenaries, explorers, and pirates destroyed the Aztec Empire and burnt its capital city to the ground. Two cultures collide in the first of a two-part series on the Conquest of Mexico. SOURCES: Levy, Buddy. Conquistador: Hernan Cortes,…
Forbidden Children
Oct 22, 2019 • 58 min
The story of China’s infamous One-Child Policy, the most ambitious (and catastrophic) social engineering project the modern world has ever seen. SOURCES: Fong, Mei. One Child: The Story of China’s Most Radical Experiment. 2016 Evans, Karin. The Lost…
Six Days
Sep 15, 2019 • 88 min
How a single week in 1967 changed the Middle East, and the world, forever. This is the action-packed, heartbreaking origin story of Israel and the Six-Day War. SOURCES: Oren, Michael B. Six Days Of War. 2002. Pressfield, Steven. The Lion’s Gate. 2014.…
Wonder Women
Sep 15, 2019 • 80 min
African berserkers, graceful samurai, and deadly Soviet fighter pilots. A three-part, globe-trotting tour of remarkable female soldiers and the complicated lives that they led. SOURCES: Vinogradova, Lyuba. Defending the Motherland. 2015 Alpern, Stanley B.…
They Saw Red
Sep 15, 2019 • 46 min
The Rated-R-for-Russian story of the Red Army’s horrific campaign of vengeance against Nazi Germany. SOURCES: Beevor, Antony. The Fall of Berlin 1945. 2003. Huggler, Justin. “Fall of Berlin: ‘Of course I was afraid. I was 17 years old.’”. The Telegraph…
The Tiger and the Turtle
Sep 15, 2019 • 154 min
Sea battles, tiger hunts, and a mountain of human noses. This is the Shakespearean saga that triggered centuries of bad blood between Korea and Japan. SOURCES: Samuel, Hawley. The Imjin War: Japan’s Sixteenth-Century Invasion of Korea and Attempt to…
This Is Sparta?
Sep 15, 2019 • 51 min
A myth-busting breakdown of history’s favorite fitness cult. SOURCES: Hanson, Victor Davis. A War Like No Other. 2005. Thucydides. History of the Peloponnesian War Plutarch. Parallel Lives Xenophon. Hellenica Cartledge, Paul. “The Socratics’ Sparta and…
Conflicted - Welcome
Sep 14, 2019 • 3 min
A quick introduction to the concept behind the show and your host, Zach Cornwell.