10 Educational History Podcasts To Subscribe & Listen To

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history podcastsIf Hitler knew his history, he wouldn’t have attacked the Russians and lost the war. Thank God, he didn’t pay history any heed. But shouldn’t we be aware of what happened in the times before us?

A lot of us left history back in the classrooms. For some it made for ponderous reading. Thanks to the many history podcasts available for free on the web, listening to it is both entertaining and educational. We have seen how podcasts can add value to our idle time. We have also noticed that the web and the many history related web apps have made the study of the past a more engaging one.

Now, with the help of these ten history podcasts we try to combine the best of both worlds.

History on Air

history podcasts

This is a podcast blog that’s all about historical figures, events and places. The About page says that since 2005, the site has seen 3.2 million downloads of its more than 100 episodes. The site features podcasts which you can listen to first, and then go through the blog post which includes external links for more study. The study aids are helpful if you want to do more research on the event. There are videos too that are collected from around the web.

Hardcore History

free history podcasts

The well known podcast site by the American political commentator Dan Carlin takes an unconventional look at history with his own take on events past. Yes, you have to be in tune with his sense of humor as he rips into today’s society and relates it to historical churns. He covers topics on Roman history, the World Wars, and the Cold War to mention a few. The tag says it best – history like you have never heard before.

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BBC: In Our Time

free history podcasts

The BBC Radio 4 feature is hosted by Melvyn Bragg, the British broadcaster. Many podcasts have guests and follow a discussion format. Podcasts cover culture, religion, science, philosophy, along with history. You can listen to the podcast online via BBC’s iPlayer. Each podcast explores the ‘history of ideas’ and is usually broadcast live and unedited.

History According To Bob

free history podcasts

Professor Bob Packett takes his history class and his considerable teaching experience online in the form of free history podcasts. He explains historic events from the perspective of those people who were caught up in it. He has a light style as he goes from explaining Caesar to more close events like The Korean War.

Matt’s Today In History

best free history podcasts

We had gone back in history and taken a look at websites that tell us what happened in history on this day (or on a particular date). Matt’s website is an audio version of that. Each podcast is 5-10 minutes long and is narrated in a pleasant voice and casual story style by Matt Dattilo. The site seems to be dormant so it’s not actually ‘today in history’. But you can still listen to the podcasts because history is hardly current.

Binge Thinking History Podcast

best free history podcasts

I loved the podcasts on The Battle of Britain on this blog which has a much smaller selection of podcasts. The only thing about Tony Cocks’ small site is that the history podcasts are infrequent and spaced out over months.

BackStory with the American History Guys

best free history podcasts

Subscribe free to this radio program which uses the trio of U.S. historians Ed Ayers, Peter Onuf, and Brian Balogh to look at events that shaped our world. The podcasts are professionally produced and fun to listen to. For students of history, the links provided for further reading are a treasure trove of knowledge.

A History of The World In Hundred Objects

Another cool program from BBC which takes a look at the world with the help of 100 objects from the British Museum and hundreds more from museums and people across the UK. Use the beautifully designed timeline to explore the objects in the list and take a look at the history around it. The program has ended, but the MP3 are a ‘historical’ treasure.

How Stuff Works

This top notch website does a great job explaining how our world functions. They have a dedicated podcast page sub-divided into a few more “official” pages like the one on – Official Stuff of Genius Podcast Page which looks at inventions past and present. But the one history buffs should fall for is the page on –  Official Stuff You Missed in History Class Podcast Page. The page is well supported by entertaining quizzes and puzzles.

Laughing Historically

history podcasts

Okay, we have had enough of serious history. Take a lighter look at it with these five podcasts on The Modern Day Pirates,  a geek lifestyle magazine with a well developed funny bone.

These ten websites show that podcasts aren’t only about easy listening pleasures. When it comes to things like educating on history, they are a very important tool. Do contribute any other cool history podcasts that I might have missed here.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

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Comments (20)
  • Dave

    Gosh, I would love to hear a Mike Duncan or Robin Pierson style history of the Persian Empire

    • Saikat

      That, I would love too. You might want to check out SoundCloud. They have a few.

  • Jim Beeghley

    I run the Teaching the Civil War with Technology website and have just launched a new podcast called Teaching the Civil War. You can get it via iTunes or on my website at http://www.teachthecivilwar.co

  • Jim Beeghley

    I run the Teaching the Civil War with Technology website and have just launched a new podcast called Teaching the Civil War. You can get it via iTunes or on my website at http://www.teachthecivilwar.com

  • Sal Pellettieri

    These are awesome! Thanks so much for posting

  • Ron

    Here’s a big, big vote for “History According to Bob” and Bob Packwood’s sense of both humanity and humor. Currently, he has a variety of series running on the American Civil War, on early Christian relics, the life of Julius Caesar and other topics.
    Don’t care about the Indochina/Vietnam wars? That’s OK – tomorrow you may hear about the effects of the Stamp Act in his series leading to the American Revolutionary War, or there may be another installment of the Napoleonic series the following day.

    • Tina

      Sounds super interesting, I guess I have to check it out. Thank you for the summary, Ron!

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Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.