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

Alvise Falier discusses medieval communes, a term for a complicated and heterogeneous system of local rule in the 11th through 13th centuries. The focus is on the city of Milan, and northern Italy in particular, under the dominion of the Holy Roman Empire, but with a distinct political and cultural difference from that entity. In this conversation we trace the development of the communal system in Milan from the end of Charlemagne up through the end of the system with the establishment of the Duchy of Milan by the Visconti dynasty. Issues of Italian disunity, with local identification taking precedence over a singular national identity are discussed. (68min)

Direct download: AHP_69_CommunalItalyMilan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:16pm EDT

Historian of nuclear weapons and secrecy, Dr. Alex Wellerstein, discusses the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Specifically, the conversation focuses on the high level, and highly classified, debates over how best to employ these new weapons. From there, the episode segues into the inherent difficulties of doing historical research on classified materials and how that has shaped the historiography of the bombings. (75min)

Dr. Wellerstein is the author of Restricted Data: the Nuclear Secrecy Blog, where his NUKEMAP can also be found (among many other items of note). He and his work have also appeared NPR, FOX News, and The Daily Show, as well as in The New Yorker, where his article, "Nagasaki: The Last Bomb," can be found.

Direct download: AHP_68_HiroshimaNagasakiRestrictedData.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:32am EDT