Best History Podcasts on Audible

11 Educational History Podcasts

From ancient dramas to modern tragedies that shaped our world today, our history is packed with stories we’re longing to hear — and listening to an entertainingly educational history podcast is an ideal way to hear it. When the fascinating and the fantastic of our past is paired with incredible storytellers, we can be spoiled for choice. That’s why we’ve curated a list of thought-provoking history podcasts. Lost civilisations, political power plays and untold secrets, zone out and travel back in time with one of these Original Podcasts
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    • By: Dominic Sandbrook
    • Length: 3 hrs and 30 mins
    • Release date: 23-06-2020
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 257 ratings
    • In a world of ‘fake news’, have you ever considered ‘fake history’? It’s exactly this which historian Dominic Sandbrook tackles in this podcast, as he explores some famous and little known events in history to try and separate fact from fiction. It’s a well known adage that history is written by the victorious, but Sandbrook goes beyond simply this cynicism to understand what stories we’ve heard wrong, how they’ve been manipulated and for what purpose. Forget what you think you know and be prepared to have history retold with this fascinating and thought-provoking six-part series. From the American Deep South to the air raid shelters of wartime Britain, this incredible podcast will make you think again.

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    • By: Ellie Sans, Clare Chadburn
    • Narrated by: Professor Ben Garrod
    • Length: 2 hrs and 50 mins
    • Release date: 11-07-2019
    • Language: English
    • 5 out of 5 stars 605 ratings
    • No longer are dinosaurs the realm of only eight-year-old boys, and Stephen Spielberg. Now, we can all revel and wonder at these fantastic beasts. We’re living in a golden age of paleontological discovery as modern research reshapes what we think we knew about these amazing creatures. Professor Ben Garrod is the perfect guide in this six-episode series, candidly interviewing some of the world’s top paleontologists as he reignites your long lost love for dinosaurs. Equal parts entertaining and educational, this book will help you regain lost childlike focus and joy; described by an Audible listener as ‘...a sheer delight’.

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    • By: Bonnie Greer
    • Length: 5 hrs and 30 mins
    • Release date: 19-12-2019
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 66 ratings
    • There are stories which have long been missing from our collective histories, whether from the classroom, or from popular culture. In this eight-chapter podcast, critic, playwright and former British Museum trustee Bonnie Greer goes in search of the lives and stories of people of African descent, lost and removed from the accepted version of history upheld in Western society. From saints to philosophers to warrior women, each episode holds a hidden gem which is bound to change how you think of the world around you. Just using this example of all the suppressed histories in the world around us, Greer will help you revisit and reimagine the events and truths you thought you knew, and open up questions that may feel closer to home.

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    • By: Afua Hirsch
    • Length: 3 hrs and 45 mins
    • Release date: 13-02-2020
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 133 ratings
    • Hosted by informed and engaging UK journalist, Afua Hirsch, this series uses six in-depth interviews to explore the role of the British empire in the modern day, and the influences of colonialism in all our lives. Reaching its tentacles far beyond the borders of Britain, Hirsch notes how ‘we rarely hear the stories of the colonised’, but in this podcast, she artfully allows us to get a glimpse of those hidden stories. From novelist Nadifa Mohamed, we hear of her grandfather’s life as a street kid in Somaliland—while television presenter Anita Rani tells of the often underrepresented tragedy of Partition between India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, turning 15 million residents to refugees overnight, including her own grandfather. Hearing these stories from the families that experienced them is eye-opening, relevant and fascinating; you will begin to better understand the undeniable impact of the British Empire in this series — and now is as good a time as any to learn these lesser-known tales.

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    • By: David Dimbleby, Joe Sykes, Peggy Sutton
    • Length: 5 hrs and 5 mins
    • Release date: 18-11-2019
    • Language: English
    • 5 out of 5 stars 72 ratings
    • From Australia, to the UK and on to the US, it would be hard to argue with Rupert Murdoch’s influence on the media industry across the world. So it’s surely time for some balanced, insightful and fascinating analysis of his influence. Enter The Sun King: a six-part podcast series headed up by one of the UK’s most acclaimed broadcasters and political journalists, David Dimbleby. He traces Murdoch’s career, from his arrival in London as a newspaper executive in 1968, to the New York Post, the consequences of the phone-hacking scandal, and the role of Fox News in the making of a president. While his close relationship with President Trump currently places him as one of the world’s most powerful media moguls, Dimbleby asks what is about this Melbournian which makes such an impact, and what it reflects on our society as a whole.

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    • By: Stephen Fry, John Woolf, Nick Baker
    • Length: 7 hrs and 40 mins
    • Release date: 19-10-2018
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 782 ratings
    • Combining engaging story-telling with factual accuracy is no mean feat, but there’s surely no one better suited to it than wittily intelligent Stephen Fry. Over 12 episodes, Fry’s magnificent voice guides you through the scandals and dramas of 19th-century Britain and beyond. Known now for its propriety and industry, the Victorian era in Britain was a time of monumental social change, not just for the small European island but the entire world. In his Victorian Secrets, join Fry as he uncovers the lesser-known side to the period, from fashion to lunacy, sanitation to sexual orientation. Not simply relying on his own excellent commentary, Fry turns to historians, experts, diary extracts and newspapers to help verify and enlighten his tales. For those who want to learn as much as they laugh, this is the perfect balance of education and entertainment.

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    • By: Misha Glenny
    • Length: 2 hrs and 45 mins
    • Release date: 20-08-2019
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 260 ratings
    • In 1999, Vladimir Putin was a little known KGB bureaucrat who stepped into the role of Russian president. 20 years later, and he’s still in place — arguably one of the most powerful men on the planet. In the seven episodes of this Audible Original, award-winning journalist and best-selling author of McMafia, Misha Glenny, will reveal the inside intricacies and unexpected twists behind this man’s rise to power. Not simply guided by his own expert investigations, Glenny will take you along as he questions insider Kremlin accounts and renowned journalists, before going on to consider what Putin might do next. As you listen to this exploration of the power and vulnerabilities of Putin, you’ll find yourself reconsidering what you thought you knew about this near-mythical leader.

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    • By: Professor Suzannah Lipscomb
    • Length: 3 hrs and 10 mins
    • Release date: 04-08-2020
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 157 ratings
    • ‘I have a dream’ and ‘This was their finest hour’ — powerful speeches can change the world. But what about the speeches that were never made? Is the world we live in different due to the voices and messages that were not heard? It’s exactly this question which fascinates Professor Suzannah Lipscomb and a group of academics, writers and other guests who join her in this five-part podcast series. Focusing on Western ideology in the 20th century, listen as she reveals the alternative implications of major events, from the Allied success in the D-Day Landings of WW2 to the American achievement of the moon landing. Entertaining, educational and enlightening, just five episodes will make you view the world in a new way.

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    • By: Misha Glenny
    • Length: 3 hrs and 35 mins
    • Release date: 18-08-2020
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 259 ratings
    • At a time where world leaders are under more pressure than ever, British journalist Misha Glenny looks at six major leaders — who he terms ‘iron men’ — and how the world has been shaped to support them (or vice versa). For those interested in uncovering some of the truths behind politics and the hidden powers of world governments, this six-episode series explores the modern phenomenon of populism and how it came to dominate on the global stage. Rather than merely looking at the cold political structures that came to serve them, Glenny focuses on the personalities of these larger-than-life figures, creating crystal clear and fascinating images of the men in power. From rigged votes to mass media scrutiny, join Glenny on a cross-continental journey, joining the dots from Bolsonaro to Boris Johnson.

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    • By: Laurence Bouvard
    • Length: 2 hrs and 20 mins
    • Release date: 09-11-2018
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 365 ratings
    • For those fascinated by true crime or documentary style podcasts, you won’t find a story more gripping, heart-breaking and fascinating than this. In 1978, members of a remote settlement deep in the Guyana jungle of South America were trying to build a ‘utopian’ society. But, on November 18, 914 appear to have drunk a lethal elixir of Flavor Aid and cyanide in a mass suicide. In this eye-opening podcast, Tim Carter, one of just a handful of survivors and member of charismatic leader’s inner circle, tells the story of his experience, alongside first-hand tapes and recordings. Tragic, haunting and darkly intriguing, this superbly told podcast will catch you whole and demand you listen.

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    • By: DeNica Fairman
    • Length: 4 hrs and 10 mins
    • Release date: 05-07-2018
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 41 ratings
    • If you're entranced by current affairs and the words which have shaped the world around us, then you’ll need to add this eight-part series onto your must-listen list. From Donald Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ to Malala Yousafzai’s ‘Shoot First, Education First’, this podcast, narrated by Denica Fairman, will help you better understand, contextualise and consider historically profound speeches of the modern era. If you’ve ever wondered what it might have been like to be in the crowd at one of these monumental moments, then this may well be the closest thing to it. Simply told but superbly well-informed, these fascinating historical analyses will teach you more about the speech beyond the soundbite.

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