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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Evergreen Podcasts Earns First-Ever Ambie Nomination for 'Burn The Boats'

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Anne Nelson is an award-winning war correspondent, playwright, and author. Her newest book, Shadow Network: Media, Money, and the Secret Hub of the Radical Right, details the influence of the Council for National Policy, a powerful right-wing political coalition.

Find her book here: Shadow Network: Media, Money, and the Secret Hub of the Radical Right

Learn more about Anne here: anne-nelson.com

Follow Anne on Twitter here: @anelson

Recent Episodes

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Master Sergeant Michael ‘Top’ Washington: Coping with Loss

Burn the Boats | S:1 E:44
Master Sergeant ‘Top’ Washington describes the difficulty of coping with the loss of his son, and how he’s working to make that process easier for others
Listen to Master Sergeant Michael ‘Top’ Washington: Coping with Loss

Jason Kander: Destigmatizing PTSD While Continuing to Serve

Burn the Boats | S:1 E:43
Jason Kander, an Army Veteran and former candidate for Senate in Missouri, talks about his struggle with PTSD, and about his continuing public service.
Listen to Jason Kander: Destigmatizing PTSD While Continuing to Serve

Judge Lina Hidalgo: Local Leadership, Voting Rights, and Values

Burn the Boats | S:1 E:42
Judge Lina Hidalgo, county executive for Harris County, Texas, talks about changing the system from within and about budgeting through a values lens.
Listen to Judge Lina Hidalgo: Local Leadership, Voting Rights, and Values

Elliot Ackerman: Writing About War and America’s Future

Burn the Boats | S:1 E:41
Elliot Ackerman, Marine combat veteran and bestselling author, talks about writing and about his fears for the future.
Listen to Elliot Ackerman: Writing About War and America’s Future

More about the name of the show...

In 334 BC, Alexander the Great led Greek troops across the Dardanelles Straits and into Asia Minor, landing on the shores of Persia. He hoped to finally vanquish his greatest enemy, Darius III - the King of Persia. But Alexander was badly outnumbered. The Persian army assembled to attack and Alexander’s troops began to speak openly of retreat. So he gave an order: "Burn the Boats." He told his men, “we either return home in Persian ships, or we die here.” There would be no turning back.

By burning his boats, Alexander hoped to galvanize and motivate his troops. They needed to fully commit to defeating Darius and the Persians. There was no other way - failure was not an option.

This podcast explores decisions our guests made when they fully committed to something because failure was not an option.

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The Team

Ken Harbaugh

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

Declan Rohrs

Producer
Declan (He/Him) was born and raised in Lakewood, Ohio. At Evergreen, he has assumed various roles, including Producer, Editor, and Email-Signature Guru.

Sean Rule-Hoffman

Engineer
Sean hails from Orange Village, OH. He earned a degree in Music Technology with a minor in Electronic Media and Film from Capital University in Columbus, OH.

Isabel Robertson

Senior Producer
Producer, writer, & researcher based in CLE. She's worked on StoryCorps, Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me, and The Intercept. She serves on the ACLU-OH Board of Directors.