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Revisionist History

Author: Pushkin Industries

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Revisionist History is Malcolm Gladwell's journey through the overlooked and the misunderstood. Every episode re-examines something from the past—an event, a person, an idea, even a song—and asks whether we got it right the first time. From Pushkin Industries. Because sometimes the past deserves a second chance.
50 Episodes
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Malcolm Gladwell speaks with Oprah Winfrey about his new book Talking to Strangers, the one mystery he hopes might be resolved in our lifetimes, and the ways we could all benefit from a little more patience and humility when judging people we don’t know.
The Queen of Cuba

The Queen of Cuba

2019-08-2901:06:2250

On February 24, 1996, Cuban fighter jets shot down two small planes operated by Brothers to the Rescue, an organization in Florida that tried to spot refugees fleeing Cuba in boats. A strange chain of events preceded the shoot-down, and people in the intelligence business turned to a rising star in the Defense Intelligence Agency, Ana Montes. Montes was known around Washington as the “Queen of Cuba” for her insights into the Castro regime. But what Montes’ colleagues eventually found out about her shook their sense of trust to the core. (In this excerpt from Malcolm Gladwell’s forthcoming audiobook Talking to Strangers, we hear why spy mysteries do not unfold in real life like they do in the movies.)To preorder a copy of Talking to Strangers and check out Malcolm Gladwell's book tour, visit www.gladwellbooks.com.
The Obscure Virus Club

The Obscure Virus Club

2019-08-2200:40:2745

Throughout the 1960s, a biologist named Howard Temin became convinced that something wasn’t right in science’s understanding of viruses. His colleagues dismissed him as a heretic. He turned out to be right — and you're alive today as a result.  Season Four ends with a bedtime story about how we should be freed by our doubts, not imprisoned by them.
Chutzpah vs. Chutzpah

Chutzpah vs. Chutzpah

2019-08-1500:42:4351

You thought that there was only one kind of chutzpah. Wrong. There’s two. Revisionist History tells the story of the Mafia’s showdown with a legendary Hollywood producer, in a battle of competing chutzpahs.
In a Metal Mood

In a Metal Mood

2019-08-0800:43:2440

Two seasons after its investigation of the decline of McDonalds french fries, Revisionist History returns to fast-food’s high-tech test kitchens. This time the subject is cultural appropriation. The case study is Taco Bell. Oh, and Pat Boone is involved.
Descend into the Particular

Descend into the Particular

2019-08-0100:45:2867

An unarmed man is shot to death by police. How does the Jesuitical idea of “disordered attachments” help us make sense of what happened? Part three of three.
Dr. Rock’s Taxonomy

Dr. Rock’s Taxonomy

2019-07-2500:42:3659

John Rock was the co-inventor of the birth control pill — and a committed Catholic. He wanted his church to approve of his invention. What happens when a layman takes on the Vatican? Part two of three.
The Standard Case

The Standard Case

2019-07-1800:41:3375

Revisionist History tries to make sense of the conundrum of PED use in baseball, using the 500-year-old philosophical techniques of St. Ignatius. Part one of a three-part series on the moral reasoning of the Jesuit order.
Good Old Boys

Good Old Boys

2019-07-1100:45:1161

If you disagree with someone — if you find what they think appalling — is there any value in talking to them? In the early 1970s, the talk show host Dick Cavett, the governor of Georgia Lester Maddox, and the singer Randy Newman tried to answer this question.
Tempest in a Teacup

Tempest in a Teacup

2019-07-0400:37:2973

Bohea, the aroma of tire fire, Mob Wives, smugglers, “bro” tea, and what it all means to the backstory of the American Revolution. Malcolm tells the real story on what happened in Boston on the night of December 16, 1773.
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Comments (271)

Rebecca MA

Actually, I would love to see Malcolm being a lawyer and arguing a case in court. I think he would be brilliant!

Sep 19th
Reply

Rebecca MA

Damn! I love how when you ask a poignant question and then the silence... Keep on asking the tough questions!

Sep 19th
Reply

John Clifford

It's a bit tendentious to equate Steve Bannon with Lester Maddox; Maddox was a bigot who grew up in an environment where overt bigotry was the norm. 'Rednecks` pointed out that overt, proud-in-its-ignorance bigot mindset, and also the hypocrisy of the concealed bigotry of the North. Bannon is highly-educated, intelligent, conservative, but not any more of a bigot than Dick Cavett, and to casually label him thus is to lazily dismiss his arguments. Randy Newman's talent was in letting us see how these characters thought, whether it's the shady slave trade, the ignorant Alabama steelworker who just knew he was better than the blacks around him and so did what he could to make their lives miserable so he could feel better about himself... and saw the same motivation for the condescending racism of his Northern critics... or the desperate Louisiana sharecroppers, white and black, who voted for Huey Long because he was corrupt but they hoped he would throw them a morsel. I thought it was a good podcast as it did tie everything together.

Sep 19th
Reply

McKay Sleight

so is the education received better at one or the other? this makes me wonder if the books that gladwell puts out are as skewed as this podcast

Sep 16th
Reply

Ryan Wagoner

If you haven't read his latest book, Talking to Strangers, you're missing out. Available 9-10-19 And no, I don't work for him. Just appreciate his work.

Sep 16th
Reply

Emily Becker

Ron Martinelli may have a PhD but he has a poor understanding of how Black lives in the US have been devalued and brutalized for 400 years. Blaming the victims and telling the Black community to get its act together is ignorant. “...a system so steeped in anti-black racism means that on any given day it can be open season on any black person — old or young, man, woman, or child. There exists no equivalent reality for white Americans.” - Claudia Rankine Black Lives Matter!

Sep 14th
Reply

Matthew Rynne

Malcolm I'm telling you this because I'm SURE you CARE. Regarding your home security ad you mentioned a river called the Suir and a town called Cahir in Ireland. just to let you know they are pronounced more correctly like the capitalised words in my first sentence.

Sep 5th
Reply

علي علوشe

all

Sep 4th
Reply

Craig Branker

To Malcolm and Team, I'd be interested to hear a podcast on the appropriation of calypso from Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaican folklore songs by American artists such as Harry Belafonte and the Andrew sisters post WW II.

Sep 3rd
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Sean Noonan

Good episode. I wasn't sure why Malcolm insisted that decisions about time limits (LSAT, chess) are arbitrary. I don't see why that is necessarily true. Presumably there may be valid reasons for the selected time limits. Off the top of my head (and this may be a poor suggestion on my part), it may be related to how well a candidate or player performs under pressure. I suppose you could say 35 minutes specifically is an arbitrary number but it would have a specific purpose (to apply pressure), and honestly unlimited time is as arbitrary as a specific time limit.

Aug 27th
Reply

Vernon Shoemaker

Sean Noonan If it were competition, the time constraints represent an even playing field, both sides equal. (One of Mr Gladwell's books addresses this subject by contrasting a Mozart and a Darwin because in the game of life we're not the same and it becomes an issue of both fairness and exploiting potential.) If a test, it probably suggests the ability of a person to process information quickly and accurately. This was my understanding when I took the ACT, that it tested a set of skills related to success in college.

Sep 2nd
Reply

Jacob

Sean Noonan i really like this episode

Aug 28th
Reply

Julie Tiu

Thank you for an awesome episode about tea!

Aug 27th
Reply

lavender

Julie Tiu such a good podcast!

Aug 27th
Reply

보스턴피플

Julie Tiu wonderful

Aug 27th
Reply

Andrew Sharpe

as much as I have enjoyed each of the Revisionist History episodes, this particular one had me thinking about ot well after I first listened to it. The philosophical conundrum was and is delightful.

Aug 24th
Reply

Doug Havens

Thankyou to the team that makes the show! People around the world deserve to hear a podcast as diligent and intellectual as this.

Aug 24th
Reply

Ian Kosen

Doug Havens happy boyhood curiosity captured in a grown man🔥

Sep 2nd
Reply

Stella Vee

Doug Havens yes!

Aug 27th
Reply

Heather Bailey

Fantastic!

Aug 23rd
Reply

Siju

Really insightful pair of episodes.

Aug 19th
Reply

Robert Lee

i love that guy from witch taint hahaha

Aug 18th
Reply

Deven Johannessen

Robert Lee haha, me too

Aug 19th
Reply

Hassan Tahan

bruh this episode sounds like an ad

Aug 13th
Reply

Kristin Chong

Is there going to be another summit?

Aug 9th
Reply

Richard Dvorak

I love Mexican food AND Taco Bell. I lived in Mexico, am married to a Mexican woman, and love real, authentic Mexican food. Yet, I still love Taco Bell because it is not trying to be real Mexican food. FYI, my son's Abuela actually likes Taco Bell too. LOVED this episode about cultural stealing v riffing.

Aug 9th
Reply

Ryan Persaud

Richard Dvorak There's room for both. No one in their right mind thinks Taco Bell is "REAL MEXICAN FOOD." If you live in any major city in the US, you can get authentic Mexican food. But Taco Bell is just a fun riff. Even if it has a darker, naturally exploitative, origin story. Taco Bell has done well because they've embraced their ridiculousness and Americaness. As usual, RH does a good job at being nuanced in this age of extremism and polarization.

Aug 14th
Reply

Samuel Anderson

Richard Dvorak Mexican food is good!

Aug 9th
Reply

Aysha Ali

excited to listen 💜💜

Aug 8th
Reply
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