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Best Biography podcasts we could find (updated August 2020)
Best Biography podcasts we could find
Updated August 2020
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In writing this ponderous tome, the author's desire has been to describe the eminent characters and remarkable events of our annals, in such a form and style, that the YOUNG might make acquaintance with them of their own accord. For this purpose, while ostensibly relating the adventures of a Chair, he has endeavored to keep a distinct and unbroken thread of authentic history. The Chair is made to pass from one to another of those personages, of whom he thought it most desirable for the young ...
 
Laurence Oliphant, author, international traveller, diplomatist and mystic, who spent a decade in later life under the influence of the spiritualist prophet Thomas Lake Harris, writes here under the amusing guise of Lord Frank Vanecourt, bringing us a veritable pot-pourri of events from everyday life in 1865 as he moves amongst the great, the good, and not so good who reside in the exclusive area of London's Piccadilly W1 and its surroundings. (Introduction by Nigel Carrington)
 
"The life of a wild animal always has a tragic end," as Ernest Thompson Seton said. This is the story of Metitsi Wahb, born a playful cub, orphaned young by the murder of his mother, his brothers and sister, raising himself surrounded by enemies, and growing to the fiercest creature anywhere in his vast range -- though showing himself a gentleman in the Yellowstone National Park. And finally, he is laid low by a smaller, more cunning enemy, and defeated in the end by age and injury. "The lif ...
 
This book is a wonderful way to learn about how the prairies were years ago, but you will hardly feel you are learning because you will be caught up with the 'little girl', living with her as she grows up far away from any large city. Very well written, in this book you live, worry, and rejoice, along with the little girl. Whether it is through a prairie fire, raising some interesting and queer pet, having fun at some big prairie-time event, or worming her way out of trouble, the little girl ...
 
François-Dominique Toussaint L’Ouverture (1743-1803) rose to fame in 1791 during the Haitian struggle for independence. In this revolt, he led thousands of slaves on the island of Hispañola to fight against the colonial European powers of France, Spain and England. The former slaves ultimately established the independent state of Haiti and expelled the Europeans. L’Ouverture eventually became the governor and Commander-In-Chief of Haiti before recognizing and submitting to French rule in 180 ...
 
Popography (pop culture + biography) is a podcast born out of my interest in the relationship between our identities and the pop culture we love. Each episode features a conversation with someone I find inspiring, and I hope you'll feel the same. We'll discuss how music, television shows, movies, art pieces, and other media shape our personal journeys and professional development. So join me for these stories and let's learn how to appreciate and exchange passions.
 
The GOAT is a podcast about people who are the greatest of all time in their respective field. Sports stars, celebrities, genius filmmakers, businessmen, and just about anyone who can viably be considered a GOAT - that's who we're talking about. What do critics say? "A nice blend of education and dumb-assery" Ok fine, Lucas' GF said that, but it was unsolicited.
 
In every country there have been certain men and women whose busy lives have made the world better or wiser. The names of such are heard so often that every child should know a few facts about them. It is hoped the very short stories told here may make boys and girls eager to learn more about these famous people. (from the Forward of the text)
 
Wahb (meaning White Bear) is an orphaned Grizzly Bear who learns to respect his fears, fight for peace, and trust the healing powers of a stinky hot-spring. The story is aptly titled The Biography of a Grizzly because it is about the life of a Grizzly. Seton writes with a folksy tone that will enlighten children to the gore and war that Grizzly Bears endure. I thought it was fun to learn (through Wahb's story) about their life span, their diet, their ability to survive gunshots and bear-trap ...
 
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show series
 
We discuss the career, potential, and massive baseball power of Mike Trout. He may still be playing, and yet there is a powerful argument that this dude is a living legend. Please note, if you're a baseball fan, we are pretty stupid so this may be below your pedigree, but if you only have a passing interest in the sport, we have tried to make every…
 
Nozomi Naoi’s Yumeji Modern: Designing the Everyday in Twentieth-Century Japan (University of Washington Press, 2020) is the first book-length English-language study of one of Japan’s iconic twentieth-century artists, Takehisa Yumeji (1884–1934). While he is most famous for portraits of beautiful women and stylish graphic design―which remain enormo…
 
Russell J. A. Kilbourn’s The Cinema of Paolo Sorrentino: Commitment to Style (Wallflower Press, 2020) is the first comprehensive study published in the English-speaking world on one of the most compelling figures in twenty-first centry European film, Italian 2014 Academy Award recipient Paolo Sorrentino. Kilbourn’s book offers close readings of Sor…
 
In this episode, I look at Eisler’s last days in England, where he found that the Oxford readership he had been promised before being sent to Dachau was taken by someone else, a paper shortage had put a stop to academic publishing, and that foreign Jews without visas were being imprisoned in a British internment camp on the Isle of Man. I also talk…
 
Today's GOAT is none other than 29 year old, Nigerian-born techno entrepreneur SILAS ADEKUNLE. The fellers recount his work teaching with LEGOS, his unlikely rise from obscurity, and the setbacks he had along the way. Also we discover Lucas's untrustworthy hands, Danny's mistrust of the UK, and Ronnie's antitrust law suit his Aunt *****! Look out R…
 
Among the tens of thousands of Americans who volunteered their services during the Civil War was Mary Walker, a daring young woman who was one of the handful of female doctors in the nation at that time. Yet despite the often desperate need for medical professionals she spent much of the war struggling to earn the respect she felt she deserved. In …
 
Following the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany in March of 1938, Robert Eisler wrote to Oxford asking about being appointed to the Wilde Readership in Comparative and Natural Religion, thereby gaining a way out of Nazi-controlled Europe. On the day after Hitler held a rally at the Heldenplatz in Vienna attended by 200,000 Austrian supporters, …
 
In Karl Kraus and The Discourse of Modernity (Northwestern University Press, 2020), Ari Linden analyzes Karl Kraus’s oeuvre while engaging in the conversation about modernism and modernity, which is shaped and conditioned by the already post-postmodern condition. This perspective opens up the exploration of modernist projects and allows a discussio…
 
Robert Whitehead of London, a self-described “Business Man” who was “no Churchman and not a Jesus worshipper, much as I admire him,” wrote to Robert Eisler on New Year’s Eve of 1929, asking “if it is a frequent occurrence that men see The Christ; and are there occasions known when the visions are free from religiosity and at the same time full of l…
 
*do not listen to this if you're related to Danny* Ronnie had a busy week so we're a bit behind with the biography eps (we'll catch up shortly, thanks for your patience). This ep is a WILD one but possibly one of our funniest yet. It includes Ronnie's dating life, Lucas' sick sex preferences, Danny's break up (and quadrupling down on keeping everyo…
 
James West speaks with Jerry Gershenhorn, Julius L. Chambers Professor of History at North Carolina Central University, about Louis Austin and the Carolina Times: A Life in the Long Black Freedom Struggle (University of North Carolina Press, 2018), ahead of the book's paperback release. Gershenhorn's award-winning study recovers the life and activi…
 
Nasser Rahmaninejad’s A Man of the Theatre: Survival as an Artist in Iran (New Village Press) provides a fascinating glimpse into the political and artistic life of Iran. This memoir discusses the difficulties of creating progressive theatre under the murderous and repressive regime of the Shah (supported by the United States), the “prison commune”…
 
Warning: Economics. In this episode, we begin with Eisler’s testimony before the skeptical Senators of the Committee on Banking and Currency in Washington, D.C. on January 20, 1934, in which he proposed that the nation adopt a dual currency system to control inflation and end the Great Depression. I (a non-economist) talk about what this means with…
 
Exciting episode folks. We're going back to the original theme this episode, one may say we're returning the original...formula. That's right! Today we are learning about Lewis Hamilton, the GOAT of Formula 1. We learn about his upbringing racing go-karts, the confidence early wins instills in a kid, and what it takes to become a black pioneer in a…
 
In the middle of the twentieth century, a newspaper photographer who went by the name of Weegee took memorable pictures of New York City’s street life that appeared everywhere from tabloid newspapers to seminars on the history of photography. Christopher Bonanos’ book Flash: The Making of Weegee the Famous (Henry Holt and Company, 2018), winner of …
 
Though not as well known today as many of his contemporaries, few American mob bosses were as feared as Albert Anastasia. As head of “Murder Inc.”, Anastasia presided over the contract killing of hundreds of people, some of whom he murdered with his own hands. In Lord High Executioner: The Legendary Mafia Boss Albert Anastasia (Citadel, 2020), Fran…
 
Good news: we just recorded a new episode about Lewis Hamilton! We will be doing 4 black GOATs in a row soon. Also we will be continuing our free-form episodes. Find them all in season 2. Meantime, the new BIOGRAPHY episodes will live in season 3. This episode features a lot of opening up, therapy, awkwardness, and vulnerability. Danny is going thr…
 
Youthful arrogance. Hipster alienation. A lot of reading. A lot of drinking. Struggles to adjust to a land radically different from the one that one has left in youth. Intense wrestling with nearly every major intellectual trend of the last few decades (from hardcore Marxism to intersectionality) to a searing admission of one’s own seeming worthles…
 
In this episode, we focus on one of Eisler’s most controversial works, a reconstruction of the 1st-century Roman Jewish historian Josephus’ account of the events surrounding the death of Jesus and the ministry of John the Baptist, including a new physical description of Jesus that apparently prompted the Christ to appear to followers in America to …
 
Jennifer J. Davis speaks with Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, Professor of English at the University of Oklahoma, about The Age of Phillis (Wesleyan UP, 2020), Jeffers’s latest collection of poems centered on the remarkable life of America’s first poet of African descent, Phillis Wheatley Peters. The Society of Early Americanists recently selected The Age…
 
Today's episode the boys share early childhood SECRETS. Danny kept a suicide a secret, Lucas tells a wild shit story, and Ronnie plays the meanest prank ever. ALSO, the return of Chase Freely, Danny gets turned on in the bathroom, and Ronnie and Lucas have both slept with 45 year olds. Is Coronavirus over yet? Will they ever return to the old forma…
 
In this episode, we examine the rivalry/friendship between Eisler and the great scholar of Jewish mysticism Gershom Scholem and reassess Eisler’s infamous meeting with Scholem and Walter Benjamin in Paris in 1926. We try to unravel the mystery of why Eisler was disavowed by his government after he was appointed to The International Institute of Int…
 
During his nearly four decades as a newspaper editor and politician, Horace Greeley embraced a range of controversial causes. In his book Horace Greeley: Print, Politics, and the Failure of American Nationhood (Johns Hopkins UP, 2019), James M. Lundberg finds within his seemingly contradictory positions a consistent belief in the power of print to …
 
Keynes was not only an economist but the preeminent anti-authoritarian thinker of the 20th century, one who devoted his life to the belief that art and ideas could conquer war and deprivation. As a moral philosopher, political theorist, and statesman, Keynes led an extraordinary life that took him from intimate turn-of-the-century parties in London…
 
The Hasidic leader R. Nachman of Braslav (1772–1810) has held a place in the Jewish popular imagination for more than two centuries. Some see him as the (self-proclaimed) Messiah, others as the forerunner of modern Jewish literature. Existing studies struggle between these dueling readings, largely ignoring questions of aesthetics and politics in h…
 
In Officer Clemmons: A Memoir (Catapult, 2020), François Clemmons tells the story of how he became the first ever African-American recurring character on a children’s television when he took on the role of the friendly police officer in Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. But this book is more than a behind-the-scenes show business memoir. It is a touching c…
 
Sophonisba Breckinridge's remarkable career stretched from the Civil War to the Cold War. She took part in virtually every reform campaign of the Progressive and New Deal eras and became a nationally and internationally renowned figure. Her work informed women's activism for decades and continues to shape progressive politics today. In her new book…
 
In Everything Man: The Form and Function of Paul Robeson (Duke University Press, 2020), Shana Redmond explores the ways in which Paul Robeson, silenced by state repression in his lifetime, still speaks to us today. Through explorations of Robeson’s genre-defying genius as well as reflections on how Robeson’s legacy continues today, Redmond re-conte…
 
In this episode, we talk with Michael Gubser about the pioneering art historian Alois Riegl, one of Eisler’s teachers in Vienna and a major influence on his thought. Then we look at Eisler’s first work on the history of religions, World Mantle and Heavenly Canopy, a massive two-volume study of ancient cosmology published in 1910. In the second half…
 
Philip A. Craig’s new book on John Owen, the premier puritan theologian, demonstrates how carefully his subject tracked the influence of antinomianism in his writing. Craig’s book roots Owen’s ideas of conversion in Augustine and Calvin. The Bond of Grace and Duty in the Soteriology of John Owen (Founders Press, 2020) shows how the seventeenth-cent…
 
In this episode (# 2), we discuss Eisler’s early years as a member of the Jewish bourgeoisie in turn-of-the-century Vienna with historian Steven Beller. We also hear from the closest living relative of Robert Eisler, his grand-nephew Richard Regen. Philosopher Tom Hurka provides some background for understanding the arguments Eisler is making in St…
 
"Every morning of my life in the past few years I would wake with the thought, I’m a murderer. I have no right to enjoy life.” Evan Pederick speaking to psychiatrist William Barclay in prison about what lead him to confess to the Hilton bombing. In 1978, Evan Pederick, a naive 22-year-old in the thrall of a radical religious movement, Ananda Marga,…
 
In 1883, a young woman named Anandi Joshi set out from her native India to the United States to study medicine. To do so, as Nandini Patwardhan describes in her book Radical Spirits: India’s First Woman Doctor and Her American Champions (Story Artisan Press, 2020) required overcoming numerous hurdles, which she did thanks to the support of family a…
 
This book is a translation and study of The Subhedar's Son (Oxford University Press, 2019), an award-winning Marathi biographical novel written in 1895 by Rev. Dinkar Shankar Sawarkar, who writes about his own father, Rev.Shankar Nana (1819-1884). Nana, a Brahmin, was among the early Christian converts of the Church Missionary Society in Western In…
 
In this episode, we discuss how I discovered Robert Eisler’s Man into Wolf: An Anthropological Interpretation of Sadism, Masochism, and Lycanthropy and unpack the book’s argument that modern humans are descended from primates who imitated the hunting practices and pack hierarchies of wolves during the scarcity of the ice age. We also hear from a cr…
 
In The Politics of Taste: Beatriz González and Cold War Aesthetics (Duke University Press, 2019), Ana María Reyes examines the ways Colombian artist Beatriz González and Argentine-born art critic Marta Traba railed against international forms of modernism and promoted low brow or even provincial forms of art in the period of the Colombian National …
 
The boys discuss encounters with celebs such as Tom Green, Brian Posehn, Frankie Muniz, Steven Spielberg's Son, and more. Honestly, I should've edited this more because Tom Green is legit a comic genius and I need to have more shame for my behavior. I only saw Freddy Got Fingered until after college, incredibly ignorant. Anyway, it's a fun ep. It d…
 
Tanya Harmer’s new biography, Beatriz Allende: A Revolutionary Life in Cold War Latin America (University of North Carolina Press, 2020), explores how a young Chilean woman pursued her political commitments and navigated patriarchal strictures as a militant leftist. The daughter of Salvador Allende, Beatriz Allende was born in 1942 and came of age …
 
Brian Greene is a Professor of Mathematics and Physics at Columbia University in the City of New York, where he is the Director of the Institute for Strings, Cosmology, and Astroparticle Physics, and co-founder and chair of the World Science Festival. He is well known for his TV mini-series about string theory and the nature of reality, including t…
 
In Epic Journey: Life and Times of Wasyl Kushnir (Academic Studies Press, 2020), Andrei Kushnir documents the story of his father, Wasyl Kushnir, who was born in the western part of Ukraine in 1923. The book is based on Wasyl Kushnir’s memoirs and it includes a number of photos that help reconstruct his personal story. Narrating his family story, W…
 
Though his advice has saved the lives of millions of people, the name Ignaz Semmelweis is not one commonly known today. In his book Anthony Valerio’s Semmelweis: The Women's Doctor (Zantedeschi Books, 2019). Valerio details the many struggles Semmelweis faced in winning acceptance for his advice on antiseptic procedures. The son of a Buda spice mer…
 
As historical topics, political revolutions come in and out of fashion. At the moment the American Revolution as an ideological struggle engages the public, but historians are less sure. Books that used to have the Revolution at their centre now approach it from the edges and peripheries, integrating the experiences of people and communities exclud…
 
Monster Trucks, Lesbian Weddings, and Shipwrecked Cubans -- this episode has it all. You know a lot about the fellas, but what about their folks? This week they tackle their favorite parent stories. ALSO, they get into a hot riff up top about buying panties online and what that says about SOCIETY. We're big thinkers at the GOAT.…
 
In light of the profound physical and mental traumas of colonization endured by North Africans, historians of recent decades have primarily concentrated their studies of North Africa on colonial violence, domination, and shock. The choice is an understandable one. But in his new monograph, A Slave between Empires: A Transimperial History of North A…
 
Today we are joined by Dr. Mitchell Nathanson, author of the book Bouton: The Life of a Baseball Original (University of Nebraska Press, 2020). Nathanson, a professor of law at the Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports at Villanova University, examines the life of Jim Bouton, a journeyman pitcher whose 1970 book, “Ball Four,” was a light…
 
John Hervey Wheeler (1908–1978) was one of the civil rights movement's most influential leaders. In articulating a bold vision of regional prosperity grounded in full citizenship and economic power for African Americans, this banker, lawyer, and visionary would play a key role in the fight for racial and economic equality throughout North Carolina.…
 
The life of Theodor Herzl (1860–1904) was as puzzling as it was brief. How did this cosmopolitan and assimilated European Jew become the leader of the Zionist movement? How could he be both an artist and a statesman, a rationalist and an aesthete, a stern moralist yet possessed of deep, and at times dark, passions? And why did scores of thousands o…
 
Remember airline travel? This week, the fellas recall their most harrowing tales from forty-thousand feet. Lucas sits next to a meth-ed out psychopath, Danny misses a flight watching Kick-Ass, and Ronnie has only been on 3 flights. They also hit on conspiracy theories, bag culture at the airport, Branson Missouri, and ask: Are jokes about cops real…
 
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