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History Defeats Itself

History Defeats Itself

Author: Kevin Rosenquist, John Banks, and Greg Mitchell

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The crew at History Defeats Itself has been providing laughs and even a (very) little bit of education since 2019. With topics ranging from the fascinating to the seemingly mundane, Kevin, John, and Greg discuss events and people that exemplify how humans never really learn from their history. The show is part history podcast, part society and culture podcast, and all comedy podcast. Sometimes clever, sometimes sophomoric, but always entertaining, the boys are here every other Wednesday to put a smile on your face.
134 Episodes
Today we're talking about Wernher von Braun, a Nazi who was recruited by NASA after World War 2 to help develop the space program.
Dive into the captivating story of the Poyais Scheme, the ultimate historical scam by Gregor MacGregor, who sold dreams of a nonexistent paradise to hundreds. Explore how this 19th-century con artist created Poyais, duping settlers and investors alike, and the stark reality that awaited them. From MacGregor's early exploits to the scheme's fallout and its place in the annals of financial frauds, this episode uncovers the allure of utopian dreams and the timeless lessons of history's audacious scams.
Have you or someone you know been affected by music snobbery? Have you fallen victim to ridicule from elitists who think their supposed deeper understanding of music makes you look inferior? You've come to the right place. Because Greg is talking about being a music snob. Kevin is on the same page. John thinks they're just dicks.
Join us as we embark on a journey through the complex web of drug trafficking from Mexico. We'll discuss the smugglers' innovations and the unintended consequences that ripple through societies. Laugh and learn with us as we unpack the serious topic of drug trafficking with our usual dose of comedy and historical insight. A must-listen for those who enjoy a giggle with their gritty realities! []
Join us in this intriguing episode as we delve into the humorous tale of the Mount Edgecumbe volcano hoax – a masterful April Fools' prank pulled off by Oliver 'Porky' Bickar in 1974. Discover how a sleepy Alaskan town was stirred by billowing smoke from a dormant volcano, leading to a mix of panic, confusion, and, ultimately, laughter. We unravel the planning, execution, and aftermath of one of history's most audacious pranks.
Dive into the dark legend of Sawney Bean as we explore the grisly tale of Scotland's most infamous clan leader and cannibal. Was Bean a real figure or just folklore? We dissect this macabre story, blending historical facts with our humorous take. Perfect for fans of true crime and quirky history. Subscribe for more episodes where humor meets the bizarre corners of the past. Discover More -
We're back! After a holiday break in which there was much yuletide cheer and a successful stint as a mall Santa by John, despite there being no malls anymore, we're back in action. John leads the first episode of 2024 on the topic of Nikola Tesla. An inventor, pioneer, and borscht fan (probably) Tesla changed the world as much as anyone ever has. We're here to talk about. Plus, Greg is on location from his bathroom.
On a very special episode of History Defeats Itself, John and Kevin record in the same room. And it is very special. Also, we discuss the Elf on the Shelf. Adorable Christmas tradition? Or Big Brother-esque spy tool designed to prepare kids for a lifetime of surveillance. You decide.
If you need a reason to hate mosquitos, outside of the annoyance, itchiness, and intense smell of deet-infused repellent products, you can also get dengue fever. Fun! Tune in to learn more.
If you often find yourself wondering, "What is the historical and cultural impact of felines," you've come to the right place. On this episode, John enlightens his co-hosts, and the world, about all things cats. Also, we discuss chlamydia and The Shawshank Redemption.
Monsters | A Comedy Podcast

Monsters | A Comedy Podcast


In honor of Halloween (or All Hallow's Eve for those of you from the old country), Kevin leads the crew in a vibrant discussion about Monsters. Don't worry, John only gets scared a few times.
Dementia | A Comedy Podcast

Dementia | A Comedy Podcast


One of the toughest things a family can go through is watching a loved one battle dementia. It's also something people don't talk enough about. In this episode, we discuss this illness's ins and outs and even tell some jokes along the way.
Have you ever sat down and really thought about how much better the world would be if we replaced stop signs with roundabouts? No, of course, you haven't. That would be insane. But John did. So join us as he leads the classic debate about what method of managing small intersections is best.
After being needlessly ridiculed by John and Greg simply for having an opinion too advanced for them to understand, Kevin decided to lead his own philosophical episode, this time discussing free will. Do we have as much control over our lives as we'd like to think we do? We'll answer that question definitively, with no room for ambiguity or debate, once and for all.
Opinions | A Comedy Podcast

Opinions | A Comedy Podcast


Not to be outdone by last episode's foray into philosophy by John, Greg is leading the charge this time on another philosophical-ish topic: people's difficulty changing their opinions. At least, I think that's what it was about.
In this episode John goes literal and leads a discussion on how history has defeated itself for generations and even provides data points as to why we keep doing this. If we're not careful, it could be end of times. Come for the data, stay for the apocalypse.
Imagine walking down the street, turning the corner, and you're suddenly looking at hundreds of people dancing like crazy for no apparent reason whatsoever. That's what happened in 1518. Learn along with John and Greg as Kevin gives the deets on the Dancing Plague. Also, John records from the road, and Greg's newborn granddaughter makes an appearance. She's already better at this than us.
In our first foray into true crime Greg discusses notorious serial killer, H. H. Holmes and how he used the Chicago Worlds Fair as a hunting ground. Move over, Eric Larson, Greg is the new historical fiction authority now.
Brad Pitt once asked Edward Norton, "How much can you know about yourself if you've never been in a duel?" Or something like that. In this episode, John talks to Greg about dueling. It's the first episode where one of us wasn't able to be there, as Kevin was fighting off some sort of plague.
Exploding cars are never good. But they're worse when auto execs know they could happen but choose profits over people. Yay, Capitalism! In this episode, the crew talks about the legendary Ford Pinto in all its fiery glory.
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