DiscoverConflicted: A History Podcast
Conflicted: A History Podcast
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Conflicted: A History Podcast

Author: Evergreen Podcasts

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Untangling history’s greatest controversies. Every month, we take a hard look at the historical conflicts that raise difficult questions, stoke controversy, and send our moral compasses spinning.

25 Episodes
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In 1941, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was the most hated man in America. As the architect of Japan’s December 7th surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States military decided Yamamoto had to die by any means necessary. Two years later, over the jungles of Southeast Asia, a daring aerial ambush gave the American people the closure they craved.  But who was Yamamoto really? Did his death have any impact on the outcome of the war? And who actually landed the killing blow? After the success of “Operation Vengeance”, as it came to be known, two American flyboys would become locked in a decades-long feud over who deserved the credit for avenging one of the deadliest days in American history.  A visionary Admiral. A longshot mission. A broken friendship. SOURCES: Davis, Donald A. Lighting Strike: The Secret Mission to Kill Admiral Yamamoto and Avenge Pearl Harbor. 2005.  Lehr, Dick. Dead Reckoning: The Story of How Johnny Mitchell and His Fighter Pilots Took On Admiral Yamamoto and Avenged Pearl Harbor. 2020.  Hampton, Dan. Operation Vengeance: The Astonishing Aerial Ambush That Changed World War 2. 2020.  Paine, S.C.M. The Japanese Empire: Grand Strategy from the Meiji Restoration to the Pacific War. 2017. Harmsen, Peter: Storm Clouds Over The Pacific, 1931-1941. 2018. Davis, Burke. Get Yamamoto. 1969. Hoyt, Edwin P. Yamamoto: The Man Who Planned Pearl Harbor. 1990. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Civil war has torn the Caliphate apart. In 656 AD, Aisha marches with an army at her back. Ali, newly crowned as Caliph, has no choice but to oppose her. Muawiya sees an opportunity to grab power and start a dynasty of his own. Hussein begins his inevitable path towards Karbala…and martyrdom. THE CAST: Aisha – The Prophet’s widow. “Mother of the Faithful”. Brave, jealous, and calculating. Muawiya – Governor of Syria “Son of the Liver Eater”. Master politician, ruthless and cunning.  Ali – The Prophet’s son-in-law. “Lion of God”. The Fourth Caliph.  Hussein – Grandson of the Prophet. Murdered at Karbala. Martyr of the Shi’a faith. Abu Bakr – Aisha’s father; The Prophet’s oldest friend. The First Caliph.  Umar – Hothead, bruiser, warlord; The Second Caliph.  Uthman – “He of the Two Lights”; The Third Caliph. Muhammed – The Prophet. A merchant-turned-messenger from God.  Fatima – Wife of Ali. Daughter of Muhammed. Mother to Hussein. SOURCES: Humphreys, Steven. Mu’awiya ibn abi Sufyan: The Savior of the Caliphate. 2006. Madelung, Wilferd. The Succession to Muhammad: A Study of the Early Caliphate. 1996. Kennedy, Hugh. The Great Arab Conquests: How the Spread of Islam Changed the World We Live In.  2007. Shah-Kazemi, Reza. Imam ‘Ali: From Concise History to Timeless Mystery. 2019. Hazleton, Lesley. The First Muslim: The Story of Muhammed. 2013. Hazleton, Lesley. After The Prophet: The Epic Story of the Shi’a-Sunni Split in Islam. 2009. Louer, Laurence. Sunnis and Shi’a: A Political History. 2020. Hoyland, Robert G. In God’s Path: The Arab Conquests and the Creation of an Islamic Empire. 2014. Betts, Robert Brenton. The Sunni-Shi’a Divide. 2013. Charles Rivers Editors. The History of the Sunni and Shia Split: Understanding the Divisions Within Islam.2014. Armstrong, Karen Keishin. Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time. 2007. Cole, Juan. Muhammed: Prophet of Peace Amid the Clash of Empires. 2018. Safi, Omid. Memories of Muhammed. 2009. Holland, Tom. The Shadow of the Sword: The Birth of Islam and the Rise of the Global Arab Empire. 2012. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Prophet is dead. In 632 AD, the armies of Islam explode out of Arabia, led by a series of aggressive new Caliphs. The Prophet’s young widow Aisha struggles to understand her new role as “Mother of the Faithful”. Meanwhile, Ali, snubbed for the title of Caliph, grapples with his conflicting feelings of bitterness and commitment to the stability of the Muslim community. All the while, an ambitious new rival, Muawiya, schemes and cajoles his way to absolute control over the new Islamic Empire. THE CAST: Aisha – The Prophet’s widow. “Mother of the Faithful”. Brave, jealous, and calculating. Muawiya – Rising star. “Son of the Liver Eater." A master politician, ruthless and cunning.  Ali – The Prophet’s son-in-law. “Lion of God”. The Fourth Caliph.  Abu Bakr – Aisha’s father; The Prophet’s oldest friend. The First Caliph.  Umar – Hothead, bruiser, warlord; The Second Caliph.  Uthman – “He of the Two Lights”; Corrupt and controversial. The Third Caliph. Muhammed – The Prophet. A merchant-turned-messenger from God.  Fatima – Wife of Ali. Daughter of Muhammed. Mother to Hussein. Hussein – Grandson of the Prophet. Murdered at Karbala. Martyr of the Shi’a faith. SOURCES: Humphreys, Steven. Mu’awiya ibn abi Sufyan: The Savior of the Caliphate. 2006. Madelung, Wilferd. The Succession to Muhammad: A Study of the Early Caliphate. 1996. Kennedy, Hugh. The Great Arab Conquests: How the Spread of Islam Changed the World We Live In.  2007. Shah-Kazemi, Reza. Imam ‘Ali: From Concise History to Timeless Mystery. 2019. Hazleton, Lesley. The First Muslim: The Story of Muhammed. 2013. Hazleton, Lesley. After The Prophet: The Epic Story of the Shi’a-Sunni Split in Islam. 2009. Louer, Laurence. Sunnis and Shi’a: A Political History. 2020. Hoyland, Robert G. In God’s Path: The Arab Conquests and the Creation of an Islamic Empire. 2014. Betts, Robert Brenton. The Sunni-Shi’a Divide. 2013. Charles Rivers Editors. The History of the Sunni and Shia Split: Understanding the Divisions Within Islam.2014. Armstrong, Karen Keishin. Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time. 2007. Cole, Juan. Muhammed: Prophet of Peace Amid the Clash of Empires. 2018. Safi, Omid. Memories of Muhammed. 2009. Holland, Tom. The Shadow of the Sword: The Birth of Islam and the Rise of the Global Arab Empire. 2012. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
When the Prophet Muhammed died in 632 AD, it triggered a succession crisis amongst his followers. After the dust settled, two divergent branches of the faith remained – Sunni and Shi’a. It is a deeply misunderstood story that has been unearthed and repackaged in the 21st century to inflame political animus and give superficial labels to complex tensions. In this episode, we will examine the very human, very relatable drama that unfolded against the backdrop of the rise of the Islamic Empire in the 7th century. THE CAST Muhammed – The Prophet. A merchant-turned-messenger from God.  Aisha – The Prophet’s favorite wife; Charming, fiery, and envious.  Ali – The Prophet’s cherished son-in-law. Lion of God. Humble, loyal, and honorable to a fault. Fatima - Daughter of the Prophet and wife to Ali. Abu Bakr – Aisha’s father, Muhammed’s close friend, and first Caliph. Hussein – Grandson of the Prophet. Murdered at Karbala. Martyr of the Shi’a faith. SOURCES: Hazleton, Lesley. The First Muslim: The Story of Muhammed. 2013. Hazleton, Lesley. After The Prophet: The Epic Story of the Shi’a-Sunni Split in Islam. 2009. Louer, Laurence. Sunnis and Shi’a: A Political History. 2020. Hoyland, Robert G. In God’s Path: The Arab Conquests and the Creation of an Islamic Empire. 2014. Betts, Robert Brenton. The Sunni-Shi’a Divide. 2013. Charles Rivers Editors. The History of the Sunni and Shia Split: Understanding the Divisions Within Islam. 2014. Armstrong, Karen Keishin. MuhammedL A Prophet for Our Time. 2007. Cole, Juan. Muhammed: Prophet of Peace Amid the Clash of Empires. 2018.  Safi, Omid. Memories of Muhammed. 2009. Holland, Tom. The Shadow of the Sword: The Birth of Islam and the Rise of the Global Arab Empire. 2012. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Fake coffee. Rotten meat. Poison milk. This is the story of a few good men and their bitter fight to make America’s food supply safe. Hounded by enemies and discredited at every turn, a handful of scientists and activists challenged the titans of the 19th century food industry – and won.  SOURCES: Blum, Deborah. The Poison Squad: One Chemists Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Twentieth Century. 2018. Morris, Edmund. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. 1979  Sinclair, Upton. The Jungle. 1906. Hilts, Philip J. Protecting America’s Health: The FDA, Business, and One Hundred Years of Regulation. 2003. Wilson, Bee. Swindled: The Dark History of Food Fraud, from Poisoned Candy to Counterfeit Coffee. 2008. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Tank battles, Cold War politics, and nuclear alerts. This is the epic conclusion of a two-part series on the Yom Kippur War. On October 6th, 1973, Egypt and Syria launch a brilliant surprise attack on the nation of Israel. Golda Meir struggles to restrain her generals from unleashing doomsday weapons, and Dr. Henry Kissinger navigates the perilous world of Cold War diplomacy in hopes of bringing the conflict to a swift end. Even Nixon makes an appearance. SOURCES: Morse, David R. Kissinger and the Yom Kippur War. 2015. Boyne, Walter J. The Two O’clock War. 2002. Blum, Howard. The Eve of Destruction. 2003. Klagsbrun, Francine. Lioness: Golda Meir and the Nation of Israel. 2017. Herzog, Chaim. The War of Atonement. 1975. Charles Rivers Editors. The Yom Kippur War. 2017. Abraham Rabinovich. The Yom Kippur War. 2004. Bregman, Ahron. The Spy Who Fell To Earth. 2016. Oren, Michael B. Six Days of War. 2002. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Yom Kippur War of 1973 has been described as the greatest military intelligence failure since Pearl Harbor. This is the story of how a vengeful surprise attack almost destroyed the nation of Israel. Told through the eyes of titanic personalities like Anwar Sadat, Golda Meir, and Moshe Dayan. (Part 1 of 2). SOURCES: Boyne, Walter J. The Two O’clock War. 2002. Blum, Howard. The Eve of Destruction. 2003. Klagsbrun, Francine. Lioness: Golda Meir and the Nation of Israel. 2017. Herzog, Chaim. The War of Atonement. 1975. Charles Rivers Editors. The Yom Kippur War. 2017. Abraham Rabinovich. The Yom Kippur War. 2004. Bregman, Ahron. The Spy Who Fell To Earth. 2016. Oren, Michael B. Six Days of War. 2002. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
On June 5th, 1864, the Shogun’s secret police raced against time to foil a sweeping terrorist plot in Kyoto. The ensuing bloodbath would have far-reaching consequences for the future of Japan.  SOURCES: Hillsborough, Romulus. Shinsengumi: The Shogun’s Last Samurai Corps. 2005. Hillsborough, Romulus. Samurai Revolution. 2014.  Hillsborough, Romulus. Samurai Assassins. 2017.  Jansen, Marius B. The Making of Modern Japan. 2000. Ravina, Mark. The Last Samurai: The Life and Battles of Saigo Takamori. 2004. Esposito, Gabriele. Japanese Armies, 1868-1877. 2020. Charles Rivers Editors. Commodore Matthew Perry. 2020.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Marquis De Sade was a pariah in his time, a monster on the page, and a genius in death. But what crimes did the namesake of “sadism” actually commit? Where did his real-life appetites end…and his literary fantasies begin? (Explicit, obviously) SOURCES: Thomas, Donald. The Marquis de Sade. 1976. Du Plessix Gray, Francine. At Home with the Marquis de Sade. 1998. Lever, Maurice. Sade. 1994. Schaeffer, Niel. The Marquis De Sade: A Life. 1999. Gorer, Geoffrey. The Life and Ideas of the Marquis de Sade. 1933. Marquis de Sade. The 120 Days of Sodom. Marquis de Sade. Letters from Prison. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
How the US government deliberately sent thousands of mentally-disabled men into combat during the Vietnam War. A bonus episode and companion to Episode 12: "The Good Guys". SOURCES: Gregory, Hamilton. McNamara's Folly: The Use of Low-IQ Troops in the Vietnam War. 2015.  Hsiao, Lisa. “Project 100,000: The Great Society’s Answer to Military Manpower Needs in Vietnam”. 1989. Hastings, Sir Max. Vietnam: An Epic Tragedy (1945-1975). 2018.  Turse, Nick. Kill Anything That Moves. 2013. Charles Rivers Editors. The My Lai Massacre. 2015.  Jones, Howard. My Lai. 2015.  Fitzgerald, Frances. Fire In The Lake. 1972. O’Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried. 1990. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The 1968 My Lai Massacre shocked Americans, but the true nature of the Vietnam War went far beyond anything the public could’ve imagined. This is the story of the war within the War, between the soldiers who brutalized Vietnamese civilians, and the unsung men who tried to stop them. SOURCES: Jones, Howard. My Lai. 2015.  Hastings, Sir Max. Vietnam: An Epic Tragedy (1945-1975). 2018.  Hersh, Seymour M. Cover-Up. 1972. Charles Rivers Editors. The My Lai Massacre. 2015.  Fitzgerald, Frances. Fire In The Lake. 1972. O’Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried. 1990. Turse, Nick. Kill Anything That Moves. 2013. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In 1945, the German city of Dresden was consumed in a firestorm engineered by the Allies. Many consider it to be a war crime. Others, a necessary evil. SOURCES Taylor, Frederick. Dresden: Tuesday, February 13th, 1945. 2004. McKay, Sinclair. The Fire and the Darkness: The Bombing of Dresden 1945. 2020. Charles River Editors. The Firebombing of Dresden and Tokyo. 2017. Gregg, Victor. Dresden: A Survivor’s Story. 2013. Harris, Arthurs. Bomber Offensive. 1947. Klemperer, Victor. I Will Bear Witness: A Diary. 1995. Harmon, Christopher. "Are We Beasts?: Churchill and the Moral Question of World War 2 Area Bombing". 1991. Editors, History.com. "Massive fire burns in Wisconsin". Nov 2009   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
A bonus episode concerning the Praetorian Guard's musical and murderous relationship with Rome's fabulous fifth Emperor, Nero. An epilogue to E10: "Kingbreakers" SOURCES: Strauss, Barry. Ten Caesars: Roman Emperors from Augustus to Constantine.2019 De La Bodeyere, Guy. Praetorian: The Rise and Fall of Rome’s Imperial Bodyguard. 2017 Rankov, Boris. The Praetorian Guard. 1994 Bingham, Sandra. The Praetorian Guard. 2012 Suetonius. Lives of the Caesars. AD 121 Dando-Collins, Stephen. Caligula: The Mad Emperor of Rome. 2019. Tacitus, Cornelius. The Complete Works. 1994. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The story of Rome through the eyes of the infamous Praetorian Guard, feared bodyguards who wielded the power and leverage to make – or break – the Emperors they swore to protect. SOURCES: Strauss, Barry. Ten Caesars: Roman Emperors from Augustus to Constantine. 2019 De La Bodeyere, Guy. Praetorian: The Rise and Fall of Rome’s Imperial Bodyguard. 2017 Rankov, Boris. The Praetorian Guard. 1994 Bingham, Sandra. The Praetorian Guard. 2012 Beard, Mary. SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome. 2015 Beard, Mary. The Roman Triumph. 2007. Suetonius. Lives of the Caesars. AD 121 Dando-Collins, Stephen. Caligula: The Mad Emperor of Rome. 2019. Tacitus, Cornelius. The Complete Works. 1994.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Genghis Khan and the Mongols killed millions, but were they actually woke AF? Let's tackle the surprisingly progressive (yet blood-drenched) legacy of one of history's most mysterious empires. SOURCES: Weatherford, Jack. Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World. 2004. Weatherford, Jack. Genghis Khan and the Quest for God. 2016. Weatherford, Jack. The Secret History of the Mongol Queens. 2010. McLynn, Frank. Genghis Khan: His Conquests, His Empire, His Legacy. 2015. Waterson, James. Defending Heaven: China’s Mongol Wars. 2013. Bergreen, Laurence. Marco Polo: From Venice to Xanadu. 2007. Turnbull, Stephen. Genghis Khan & the Mongol Conquests, 1190-1400. 2003. Turnbull, Stephen. Mongol Warrior, 1200-1350. 2003.       Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Car bombs, hitmen, and hunger strikes. How "The Troubles" tore Northern Ireland apart. SOURCES: Toolis, Kevin. Rebel Hearts. 1995 McKittrick, David. Making Sense of the Troubles. 2000 Coogan, Tim Pat. The Troubles: Ireland's Ordeal and the Search for Peace. 1995. Edwards, Aaron. The Northern Ireland Troubles. 2014. O'Doherty, Malachi. The Trouble With Guns. 1998. Collins, Eamon. Killing Rage. 1997. Bingham, John. "Margaret Thatcher: Seconds from death at the hands of IRA bomber." April 2013. Moriarty, Gerry. "Internment Explained: when it was introduced and why". August 2019.  Simonson, Robert. "The Irish Car Bomb". March 2018 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Wonder and warmth quickly turn to slaughter and horror as Hernan Cortes meets Emperor Moctezuma in the explosive conclusion of this two-part series. SOURCES: Levy, Buddy. Conquistador: Hernan Cortes, King Montezuma, and the Last Stand of the Aztecs. Sheppard, Si. Tenochtitlan 1519-1521. 2018. Thomas, Hugh. Conquest: Montezuma, Cortes, and the Fall of Old Mexico. 1993. Prescott, William H. History of the Conquest of Mexico. 1843 Cortes, Hernan. Five Letters. 1519-1526. Restall, Matthew. When Montezuma Met Cortez: The True Story of the Meeting That Changed History. 2018. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
How a handful of mercenaries, explorers, and pirates destroyed the Aztec Empire and burnt its capital city to the ground. Two cultures collide in the first of a two-part series on the Conquest of Mexico.  SOURCES: Levy, Buddy. Conquistador: Hernan Cortes, King Montezuma, and the Last Stand of the Aztecs. Sheppard, Si. Tenochtitlan 1519-1521. 2018. Thomas, Hugh. Conquest: Montezuma, Cortes, and the Fall of Old Mexico. 1993. Prescott, William H. History of the Conquest of Mexico. 1843 Cortes, Hernan. Five Letters. 1519-1526. Restall, Matthew. When Montezuma Met Cortez: The True Story of the Meeting That Changed History. 2018. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The story of China’s infamous One-Child Policy, the most ambitious (and catastrophic) social engineering project the modern world has ever seen. SOURCES: Fong, Mei. One Child: The Story of China’s Most Radical Experiment. 2016 Evans, Karin. The Lost Daughters of China. 2008 Johnson, Kay Ann. China’s Hidden Children. 2016 Xinran, Message From an Unknown Chinese Mother: Stories of Loss and Love. 2012 Greenhalgh, Susan. Just One Child: Science and Policy in Deng’s China. 2008.  Ren, Yuan. “How China's one-child policy overhauled the status and prospects of girls like me”. The Telegraph. Dec 2013.  Clarke, Aileen. “See How The One-Child Policy Changed China”. National Geographic. Nov 2015.  Chen, Shanshan. “Lost lives: the battle of China's invisible children to recover missed years”. Reuters. Dec 2016.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
How a single week in 1967 changed the Middle East, and the world, forever. This is the action-packed, heartbreaking origin story of Israel and the Six-Day War.  SOURCES: Oren, Michael B. Six Days Of War. 2002. Pressfield, Steven. The Lion’s Gate. 2014. Churchill, Randolph S. The Six Day War. 1967 Dana, Seif. “The 1967 Naksa: The Making of the New Middle East”. Al Jazeera. June 2016. Samuel, Sigal. “How the Six Day War Transformed Religion”. The Atlantic. Jun 5 2017 Land, Graham. “Was the Great Jewish Revolt Against Rome a Preventable Tragedy?” HistoryHit. July 2018 Josephus. The Works of Josephus. The Wars of the Jews, Book 7 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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