The Weird History Podcast

The Weird History Podcast


Latest Episodes

205 Live at Rose City Comic Con: Roy Lichtenstein, Comics Stealer
September 23, 2019

Roy Lichtenstein was one of the most successful American artists of the 20th century, and the figure most associated with pop art after Andy Warhol. Lichtenstein is known for his comics images like “WHAAM!,” pictured below, and his techniques brought […]

204 The Life and Lies of George Psalmanazar
September 10, 2019

In the first decade of the 1700s a visitor to London claimed to be from a far-off land: Formosa. He described it as being an idyllic paradise, albeit one filled with cannibalism. The supposed Formosan, who called himself George Psalmanazar, […]

203 Iran-Contra Part, Four: Fallout
August 26, 2019

The Iran-Contra affair was a failure. It didn’t topple the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua, nor did it improve U.S. relations with Iran. And yet, the subsequent cover-up and damage-control by the Reagan administration was a success. Almost no one talks […]

202 The Solitude of Michael Collins
July 20, 2019

Today is the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Most people remember Neal Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, but fewer remember Michael Collins, the member of the mission who did not set foot on the moon. However, even though […]

201 Duncan Ryuken Williams on American Sutra
July 02, 2019

Duncan Ryuken Williams’s new book, American Sutra, explores Japanese Internment with a focus on Buddhism. Most Japanese immigrants and Japanese Americans were Buddhists, and before and during internment these members of the Japanese-American community ...

200 Q&A Dinosaur Party Extravaganza!
June 24, 2019

We’ve hit two hundred episodes! To celebrate we’re taking your questions. Designer, photographer, and all-around superhero Sarah Giffrow joined Joe to answer talk about how to think about history, the state of podcasting, and dinosaurs.

199 Melissa Kwasny on Putting on the Dog
June 16, 2019

Humans are the only animals to wear clothing, and much of that clothing is made out of other animals. In Putting on the Dog: The Animal Origins of What We Wear author Melissa Kwasny explores the worlds of leather, wool, […]

198 Iran-Contra, Part Three: Secret Wars
June 04, 2019

Congress had made its view clear with the Boland amendments: The United States government would not support the Contras in Nicaragua. However, the Reagan administration was determined to support the anti-Sandinista fighters.

197 Joshua Specht on Red Meat Republic
May 24, 2019

Beef occupies a unique place in American culture. In his new book Red Meat Republic Joshua Specht examines the history of the American beef industry. He examines how ranching and range land was seized from Native Americans, how beef shaped […]

196 Iran-Contra Part Two: The Boland Amendments
May 10, 2019

In the early 1980s the Reagan administration changed how the U.S. engaged with Communism abroad. Instead of following a policy of containment, the U.S. would actively support anti-Communist insurgents around the world. This policy,