Episode 226: Adventures Through Time, with Dominic Sandbrook
Go into an American bookshop, and you’ll get the impression that the only two most important events that ever happened in all of human history were the American Civil War and the Second World War. In England, it's all very different. There the two most important events in human history are the Tudors (Henry VIII, Good Queen Bess, the Spanish Armada and all that)...and the Second World War.
So in the spirit of giving the people what they want, the first two books in Dominic Sandbrook’s new Adventures in Time series–written for children of all ages, but particularly for his son Arthur—are The Six Wives of Henry VIII and The Second World War.
Dominic Sandbrook has reached Tudor England and Nazi Germany by a curious road that began with his first book, a biography of Senator Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota, and has wandered through a series of fantastic books on modern Britain after 1957, most recently Who Dares Wins: Britain, 1979-1982. He is a columnist for The Daily Mail, and is the co-host with Tom Holland of a charming niche podcast, The Rest is History.
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Regular listeners of this podcast might recall Tom Holland from Episode 139, in which I persuaded the notoriously reticent Holland to open up about the argument of his book Dominion: How the Christian Revolution Remade the World, something that he rarely does.
Early in the conversation I mentioned this essay by
Jon Zimmerman, Eliot Cohen, and I talked briefly about the Landmark Books in Episode 205, during our discussion of civics and history