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Explaining History
Fifteen minutes of 20th Century History for students and enthusiasts.
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October 2014 Episodes:
  • Pub Date: Oct 29, 2014
  • Leni Riefenstahl
  • Listen:
  • Leni Riefenstahl was Adolf Hitler's favourite film maker and became an increasingly popular member of his inner circle, producing films like Triumph of the Will and Olympia throughout the 1930s. After the war she distanced herself from the Nazis crimes but evidence shows her complicity in them, despite acquittal at the Nuremberg Trials.
  • Pub Date: Oct 21, 2014
  • Prohibition
  • Listen:
  • In 1920 the sale, import and manufacture of alcohol in America was banned and for the next thirteen years the government waged an increasingly fruitless war against smugglers and gangsters to keep America dry. How did a society that cherished libertarian principals and the limited role of the state come to enact such far reaching laws?
  • Pub Date: Oct 17, 2014
  • The Profumo Scandal
  • Listen:
  • In 1963 John Profumo, Harold Macmillan's Minister for War was forced to resign following an affair with a young call girl Christine Keeler. Even though the scandal was relatively trivial it came to dominate the headlines and defined the modern sex scandal. It revealed far more about the anxieties of Britain in a time of growing prosperity than it did about the private life of a junior minister.
  • Pub Date: Oct 10, 2014
  • The Nazi Soviet Pact
  • Listen:
  • Why did Stalin and Hitler, mortal enemies, sign a non aggression pact in 1939 on the eve of the Second World War? This podcast explores the origins and the consequences of the pact. If you'd like to know more you can check out my ebook Hitler, Stalin and the Destruction of Poland:

  • Pub Date: Oct 09, 2014
  • The Washington Naval Conference
  • Listen:
  • In 1921 Britain, America and Japan were among ten powers that met in Washington DC for the world's first ever disarmament conference. The declining power of the British and the rising confidence of Japan in Asia created the conditions for possible future conflict and all three nations positioned themselves to safeguard their interests.
  • Pub Date: Oct 07, 2014
  • Never Had It So Good: Mass Consumerism in Macmillan's Britain
  • Listen:
  • After 1954 there was an explosion in consumer spending in Britain that was unprecedented. Living standards began to rise in the 1950s and real wages grew for the next three decades. The availability of consumer credit and rising wages led Prime Minister Harold Macmillan to declare that Britons had 'never had it so good' but was this true?
  • Pub Date: Oct 01, 2014
  • Book Review: The End of Empire
  • Listen:
  • This month's book review podcast, featuring:

    * Fight or Flight by Martin Thomas

    * Forgotten Armies by Christopher Bayly and Tim Harper