Sunday, March 1, 2020


That History of Rome stuff I was into weeks back?  That was because of a podcast by Mike Duncan called...  The History of Rome.

His next set of history podcasts is on Revolutions.  Did the British one (the 1600s one, revolution, not the fake Glorious Revolution.)  The American one (good talk, but I was up to snuff on that one) and I just finished the French one.

Now I knew broad strokes of the English and French revolutions, but the podcast was a better way to get a more detailed survey of both.  Hammer down a lot more details. Put in perspective the Napolean timelines, etc.

Which is great about podcasts.  This Mike Duncan guy reads the books, and I get an oral Summae.  For a subject I like or am interested in, but don't want to get into the weeds on via the texts.

Speaking of texts.  It's hard to pick the texts to get the proper deep dive.  What is crap?  What is too simplified?  Too pop?  What is good but painfully burdensome to trudge through.  Duncan has a method of how he does it.  It's partly reading the bibliographies of books on a single subject first.  You get what THOSE people turned to, and you notice commonality so you figure out the important stuff that way.  He even did an episode on how he does it.  Twenty seven and a half minutes into the 250th episode, quick and dirty: "Google the topic you want to study and add the word HISTORIOGRAPHY." You get the OGRAPHY or the HISTORY that way.  Bam.  Good start.

Doesn't work perfectly for everything.  John Moses Browning Historiography, or Gunsmithing Historiography does return some interesting links, tho...

It's a good way to fill a commute.  But it does take me away from monitoring the kookies on NPR.  

The best is yet to come, however,  I am REALLY weak in my knowledge of the Haitian Revolution, the 1848 stuff comes soon after and I have may 3%.

But I like listening to History lectures.  If you do, or you have an interest in one of his subject, Duncan is a decent lecturers.  I've had much worse.  He is like a college professor, and could be one with THESE lectures.  All he'd need to add to his syllabus is required reading to go along with it, and tests to match.  And YOU'D have to take notes.  You don't here.  There is no test, and you still learn stuff just like college.  All the good parts of history class, without the onerous parts. 

Now lectures might not be your thing and you'd hate this.  But if you don't already hate history lectures, mainly because of boring lecturers, this is not it.

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