Last Updated: February 6th
A great podcast is all about being able to tell a great story. The medium thrives on masterful storytellers recounting and analyzing a moment in time that may have been forgotten or misread. It’s all about weaving threads together and adding insight along the way. That’s why history podcasts are some of the most fun listens, industry-wide.
Still, with our entire collective past to pick from, the best history podcast is hard to qualify. There’s a definite need for fascinating subject matter — but even that is almost always subjective. Some of us love hearing crazy stories from the golden age of Hollywood while others will easily get lost in the minute details of the Lutheran revolution. The possibilities stretch back all the way to the primordial soup.
Below are the 25 best history podcasts you can listen to right now. There are comedians riffing on improbable stories, hardcore history professors laying down masterclasses, and well-educated buffs diving into the worlds they love. There’s a little something for everyone. Enjoy!
DAN CARLIN’S HARDCORE HISTORY
This is the history lover’s history podcast. Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History‘s deep dives are the deepest out there. Carlin takes several hours (across several episodes in some multi-part series) to explore a single topic. Every moment will be riveting. If you perceive each episode like a short audiobook, you may have an easier time digesting the long running times. Besides, if you love history, the running times become inconsequential.
Most of the episodes are available for free, but some of the older archival episodes cost $1.99. The best place to start is with episode one of “Blueprint for Armageddon” which chronicles the first World War. From moment one, Carlin makes a Serbian assassination in 1914 something that every single one of us can relate to.
The Dollop is American history filtered through absurdist comedy… and it’s kinda glorious. Hosts Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds power through some of the craziest stories from American history. Basically, each episode is Anthony telling Reynolds a snippet of history and the duo riffing on each beat as hard as they can for maximum comedy. It’s fun, delightfully informative, and very entertaining.
Where to start with this podcast? Hard to say. There are 300 free episodes available. So, if you listen to one a day, you have nearly a year’s worth of content to get through. If we had to pick one, we’d say start with the “Blackbeard” episode for a swashbuckling good time.