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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Latest Episode

Tyler Merritt: Before You Call the Cops

| S:1 E:53

Tyler Merritt is an Activist, Author, Actor, and public speaker. His video monologue, “Before You Call the Cops,” garnered national attention after the murder of George Floyd in 2020, and has been viewed tens of millions of times.

In his new book, I Take My Coffee Black, Tyler talks about his experiences as a black man in America, as well as privilege, religion, multiculturalism, and even musical theater.

Follow Tyler on Twitter at @TTMProject, and on instagram at @thetylermerrittproject.

Recent Episodes

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Kareem Crayton: Redistricting & the Problem with Politicization

Burn the Boats | S:1 E:52
Law professor Kareem Crayton discusses the role of race in current redistricting efforts, and the politicization of America’s symbols and institutions.
Listen to Kareem Crayton: Redistricting & the Problem with Politicization

Chris Harnisch: The ‘Surrender’ of Afghanistan

Burn the Boats | S:1 E:51
Chris Harnisch, who worked in the State Department during the Trump Administration, discusses the missteps during the withdrawal from Afghanistan, as well as the threat of domestic terrorism.
Listen to Chris Harnisch: The ‘Surrender’ of Afghanistan

Chairwoman Shontel Brown: Bipartisanship and Ohio’s 11th District

Burn the Boats | S:1 E:50
Shontel Brown discusses her recent primary win in Ohio’s 11th District, and the future of both parties.
Listen to Chairwoman Shontel Brown: Bipartisanship and Ohio’s 11th District

Miles Taylor: Inside the Trump White House

Burn the Boats | S:1 E:49
Miles Taylor describes the chaos created by Former President Trump, and how people within the administration tried to combat it.
Listen to Miles Taylor: Inside the Trump White House

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

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

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.