Burn the Boats

When Failure is Not an Option

Host, Ken Harbaugh, interviews political leaders, influencers, and other history makers about the choices we confront when failure is not an option. Choices like Alexander the Great made when he landed his troops on the shores of Persia and ordered his men to burn their boats.

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Burn the Boats is a podcast about big decisions, those we face when failure is not an option. Decisions like Alexander the Great made when he landed his troops on the shores of Persia and ordered his men to burn their boats. Listen as Ken Harbaugh interviews political leaders, influencers, and other history makers about the tough choices they've made, starting with columnist Michael Gerson on November 20.

More about the name of the show...

The legendary Alexander the Great built an empire that, at its height, stretched from Ancient Greece to India. One of his strongest and most formidable enemies was the Persian Empire of Darius III. In 334 BC, Alexander led a fleet of Greek and Macedonian ships across the Dardanelles Straits and into Asia Minor. When he reached the shore, Alexander ordered his men to burn the ships. He told his men, “We will either return home in Persian ships or we will die here.”

By burning his ships, Alexander hoped to galvanize and motivate his troops. They knew that they had to fight in order to survive. There was no other way. To borrow from Ed Harris’s line in Apollo 13, failure was not an option. And so Alexander’s men were fully committed to the campaign ahead.

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The Team

Ken Harbaugh

The Host
A former US Navy Pilot and past president of Team Rubicon Global -- has served as a commentator for NPR, a host on Crooked Media, and a contributor to The NY Times & the Atlantic

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