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We’ve come a long way since the days of boring history lectures in school, with literally hundreds of great podcasts about history available for download free of charge in your favorite podcast app. By infusing comedy, storytelling, or other engaging methods, many history podcasts turn an otherwise dry topic into must-listen material.

Read also: Best podcasts you can listen to in 2020

Of course, history is a broad topic, and knowing which podcasts to listen to can be difficult. To help you get started, we’ve chosen 10 of our favorite podcasts about history, plus a few honorable mentions to round things out.

Best podcasts about history


Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History

Dan Carlins Hardcore History Podcast

Topic: History

Frequency: Irregular

Length: 1-6 hours

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History podcast is probably one of the most famous podcasts on this list, and for good reason. Running since 2006, each episode dives deep into a specific topic or moment in history, with episode lengths that typically run two hours or longer. Carried only by the strength of Carlin’s narration with no sound effects or music, it’s like listening to an extremely entertaining audiobook filled with details and insights you won’t read in any textbook.

Listen on Pocket Casts, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts


Revolutions

revolutions podcast

Topic: History

Frequency: Weekly

Length: 30-45 minutes

Revolutions is a fantastic podcast about the history of revolutions around the world. Each season is centered around a single revolution, which allows host Mike Duncan to really dig in and illuminate the details. There have been 10 seasons to date, and the season about the French Revolution ran an impressive 55 episodes. If you like this one be sure to check out Duncan’s previous podcast titled The History of Rome, which ran 179 episodes and finished in 2012.

Listen on Pocket Casts, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts


You’re Dead to Me

Youre dead to me podcast

Topic: History, comedy

Frequency: Irregular

Length: 45 minutes

You’re Dead to Me is one of many great BBC podcasts, but don’t think that it’s limited to the history of England. In each episode, host Greg Jenner works through a specific historical topic from around the world with the help of two guests, one a comedian and the other an accomplished historian. Expect to learn more about people and events from history – and be entertained along the way.

Listen on Pocket CastsSpotify, or Apple Podcasts


30 for 30 Podcast

30 for 30 podcast

Topic: Sports, history

Frequency: Irregular

Length: 30-60 minutes

The 30 for 30 Podcast, from the makers of the acclaimed 30 for 30 documentary series from ESPN, tells the stories of some of sports’ most fascinating and controversial figures in recent history. Previous installments are a mix of one-off shows and short-run series. Even if you’re not much of a sports fan you’ll still find a lot to enjoy, from the history of Bikram yoga to the shocking 1990 scandal that led to Chile’s temporary ban from the World Cup.

Listen on Pocket Casts, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts


You Must Remember This

You Must Remember This podcast

Topic: Hollywood history

Frequency: Weekly (seasonal)

Length: 40-60 minutes

You Must Remember This is a podcast about a kind of history you won’t learn in school. Host Karina Longworth uncovers some of the craziest stories from the lives of early Hollywood stars like Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe. If you can’t get enough classic films or secretly love celebrity gossip, this is the history podcast for you.

Listen on Pocket CastsSpotify, or Apple Podcasts


Slow Burn

Slow Burn podcast

Topic: News, history, politics

Frequency: Weekly (seasonal)

Length: 30-60 minutes

Part-news, part-recent-history, Slow Burn is a great podcast that you won’t want to miss out on. The first two seasons focus on two key events in recent US history: the Watergate scandal and the impeachment of Bill Clinton. Season 3, which finished at the end of 2019, was about the feud between rappers Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. in the 1990s. Each season clocks in at just eight episodes, making them perfect for an extended binge listen.

Listen on Pocket Casts, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts


The British History Podcast

the british history podcast

Topic: History

Frequency: Irregular

Length: 20-40 minutes

The British History Podcast is exactly what it says on the tin: a podcast about the history of England, Scotland, and Wales. Host Jamie Jeffers keeps things interesting by focusing on the day-to-day lives of average people rather than the exploits of kings, knights, and their kin. Throw in a heaping helping of snark and the result is a great podcast that’s still going strong after more than eight years and 300 episodes.

Listen on Pocket Casts, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts


Revisionist History

Revisionist History podcast

Topic: History

Frequency: Weekly (seasonal)

Length: 40-50 minutes

From the mind of The New Yorker staff writer Malcolm Gladwell, Revisionist History is a history podcast with a twist. It picks apart preconceived notions about a wide swath of topics in history, including the Founding Fathers of the US being criminal smugglers, the ambiguity of the semicolon in the Second Amendment, and the decline of the McDonald’s french fry.

Listen on Pocket CastsSpotify, or Apple Podcasts


A History of the World in 100 Objects

history of the world in 100 objects

Topic: History

Frequency: Finished

Length: 15 minutes

It’s nearly a decade old at this point, but there is no more iconic history podcast than the BBC’s A History of the World in 100 Objects. In it, British Museum director Neil MacGregor weaves a complex story of world history one object at a time. Episodes are also short and digestible at just 15 minutes long. If you enjoy this one be sure to also check out the more recent 50 Things That Made the Modern Economy, which is currently in its second season.

Listen on Pocket CastsSpotify, or Apple Podcasts


More Perfect

More Perfect podcast

Topic: History, law, politics

Frequency: Finished

Length: 40-60 minutes

More Perfect is a spin-off podcast from one of the best podcasts around, Radiolab. It features the same quirky editing that the show is famous for, but the topic matter for this podcast is instead focused on the history of the Supreme Court of the United States of America. Here you’ll learn more about critical rulings from the highest court in the land, many of which still affect the lives of all Americans today.

Listen on Pocket Casts, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts


Honorable mentions

  • The Memory Palace — Nate DiMeo hosts this historical podcast, which features short narratives about figures and events from the past. Episodes are released irregularly, but there is a decent catalog of more than 150 episodes to work through.
  • In Our Time: History — This long-running BBC Radio 4 podcast hosted by Melvyn Bragg tackles some of the most important topics in the history of the world. Rather than a narrative, it’s presented as a discussion with knowledgeable experts and academics.
  • Burnt Toast — Put down your swords and pick up a fork for this podcast about the history of food and food culture. It finished its run in 2018, but there are 74 great episodes to choose from.
  • Stuff You Missed in History Class — From the well-known and loved HowStuffWorks network, hostesses Tracy Wilson and Holly Frey talk through interesting and unusual historical topics.
  • Throughline — Throughline is a great NPR podcast that seeks to understand current events by stepping back in time and looking at the past stories that have shaped today’s narrative.

That’s it for our favorite history podcasts. Hopefully you’ve discovered a few great options to fill up your feed, but let us know your favorites in the comments below!

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