The AskHistorians Podcast
A podcast by history nerds for history nerds (and everyone else too).

cordis_melum discusses the group led by Jim Jones known as the People's Temple. We explore its development from a integration minded church in Indianapolis with socialist tendencies to it's final chapter of mass suicide in the jungles of Guyana. This episode aims to look at the People's Temple not as an inexplicable cult, but as an extreme response to the social and political situation of America at that time, set against the backdrop of the Cold War. (83min)

Direct download: AHP_52_ThePeoplesTemple.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:53pm EDT

We wrap up our conversation with Rhodes regarding Zimbabwe. This episode picks up in the mid-20th century, as decolonization sweeps across Africa. We examine the efforts of the white minority to hold on to power, leading to the Unilateral Declaration of Independence and onwards to the Bush War. We continue through the Lancaster Agreement into post-independence Zimbabwe, the rise of Mugabe, and the Gukurahundi. The disastrous land reforms and hyperinflation are also discussed in the context of Zimbabwe as a symbolic state as much as it is a new one. (89min)

Direct download: AHP_51_ZimbabwePt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:25am EDT

ProfRhodes educates us on the history of the modern nation of Zimbabwe starting by introducing the Shona and Ndebele, and proceeding forward with Cecil Rhodes, the British South Africa Company, the Rudd Concession, and the Pioneer Column. This episode, the first of two, takes us through those late 19th Century events up until the formation of the Central African Federation and post-war decolonizations in Sub-Saharan Africa. (67min)

Direct download: AHP_50_ZimbabwePt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:52am EDT

Mictlantecuhtli gives an archaeological perspective on the burial practices and monumental architecture of West Mexico, focusing particularly on shaft tombs and later on guachimontones. The discussion also digs into the current archaeological knowledge of West Mexico and gives insight into the processes of performing archaeology, including the problem of looting. (54min)

Direct download: AHP_049_ShaftTombs.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:57am EDT

The aptly named CanadianHistorian gives a crash course in Canadian history, starting from the British seizure of New France in the Seven Years War and proceeding up until multiculturalism in "Trudeau's Canada." By covering the heavy drinking Charlottetown Conference, the symbolism of Vimy Ridge, and the traumatic October Crisis, this episode looks at the interplay of English and French groups and how a unique Canadian identity was forged out of their shared history. (90mins)

Direct download: AHP_048_CanadianIdentity.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:31am EDT

Vonadler discusses the French plans and preparations for World War 2. The purpose and efficacy of the Maginot Line, the problem of the "hollow classes," and the overall strategy are discussed along with side tangents into the French influence on American artillery tactics and geopolitics.

Direct download: AHP_047_FrenchPlansWW2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:36am EDT

Kittydentures goes in depth on the chemise à la reine, the dress worn by Marie Antoinette that was as scandalous as it was emblematic of the age. Starting from the background of the dress as coming to France via an Italian painter hired by the English to spy on the French West Indies, but who spent more time painting the local Creole women, this episode then segues into experimental archaeology and the importance of authenticity in historical depictions.

Direct download: AHP_046_ChemisealaReine.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:44am EDT

ChocolatePot discusses clothing and the fashion scene in late 18th and early 19th Century France and England. Covering everything from links to the philosophy of Rousseau to nascent fashion magazines, this episode also examines how clothing and fashion fit into the overall discipline of history.

Direct download: AHP_045_RegencyFashion.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:28pm EDT


Anthropology Nerd guests on the podcast to discuss topics anthropological. The conversation begins with discussing what bioarchaeology is, before moving to the methods used to identify human remains with regards to such traits as ancestry. The conversation then widens in scope to talk about the osteological paradox and preservation bias in using cemetery samples to draw conclusions about the past health of populations. A discussion of Inca Mummies concludes the talk, touching on isotope analysis and imaging technology in bioarchaeological investigations.

Direct download: AHP_044_BioarchaeologyPaleodemography.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:01am EDT

Commustar gives co-host Jasfss a continent-wide, millenia-spanning overview of the development, influences, and functions of urban society in Africa. Starting in ancient Egypt and rolling down the coast and through time, the episode continues into the Horn of Africa, the Swahili Coast, Great Zimbabwe, and Ghana, before addressing the growing colonial influence of European states. The episode then doubles back to talk about Kongo, Kanem-Bornu, and the Hausa states.

Direct download: AHP_043_AfricanUrbanism.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:33am EDT