Untangling history’s greatest controversies

Every month, host Zach Cornwell takes a hard look at the historical conflicts that raise difficult questions, stoke controversy, and send our moral compasses spinning.

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Prophet's Dilemma: The Sunni Shia Split Part 3

Civil war has torn the Caliphate apart. In 656 AD, Aisha marches with an army at her back. Ali, newly crowned as Caliph, has no choice but to oppose her. Muawiya sees an opportunity to grab power and start a dynasty of his own. Hussein begins his inevitable path towards Karbala…and martyrdom.
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Prophet's Dilemma: The Sunni Shia Split Part 2

The Prophet is dead. In 632 AD, the armies of Islam explode out of Arabia...
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Prophet's Dilemma: The Sunni Shia Split Part 1

When the Prophet Muhammed died in 632 AD, it triggered a succession crisis amongst his followers. After the dust settled, two divergent branches of the faith remained – Sunni and Shi’a.
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The Kitchen Cartel: Pure Food & Drug Act 1906

Fake coffee. Rotten meat. Poison milk. This is the story of a few good men and their bitter fight to make America’s food supply safe. Hounded by enemies and discredited at every turn, a handful of scientists and activists challenged the titans of the 19th century food industry – and won.
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The Third Temple: Yom Kippur War Part 2

Tank battles, Cold War politics, and nuclear alerts. This is the epic conclusion of a two-part series on the Yom Kippur War.
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The Third Temple: Yom Kippur War Part 1

he Yom Kippur War of 1973 has been described as the greatest military intelligence failure since Pearl Harbor. This is the story of how a surprise attack almost destroyed the nation of Israel. (Part One)
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Showdown at the Ikedaya Inn: Samurai Secret Police

On June 5th, 1864, the Shogun’s secret police raced against time to foil a sweeping terrorist plot in Kyoto. The ensuing bloodbath would have far-reaching consequences for the future of Japan.
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Pardon My French: The Marquis de Sade

The Marquis De Sade was a pariah in his time, a monster on the page, and a genius in death. But what crimes did the namesake of “sadism” actually commit? Where did his real-life appetites end…and his literary fantasies begin? (Explicit, obviously)
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McNamara's Boys: Lost Innocence in Vietnam

How the US government deliberately sent thousands of mentally-disabled men into combat during the Vietnam War. A bonus episode and companion to Episode 12: "The Good Guys".
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The Good Guys: My Lai Massacre, Vietnam

The 1968 My Lai Massacre shocked Americans, but the true nature of the Vietnam War went far beyond anything the public could’ve imagined. This is the story of the war within the War, between the soldiers who brutalized Vietnamese civilians, and the unsung men who tried to stop them.
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I Must Not Burn: The Bombing of Dresden 1945

In 1945, the German city of Dresden was consumed in a firestorm engineered by the Allies. Many consider it to be a war crime. Others, a necessary evil.
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Roadies For Nero: An Epilogue

A bonus episode concerning the Praetorian Guard's musical and murderous relationship with Rome's fabulous fifth Emperor, Nero. An epilogue to E10: "Kingbreakers"
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Kingbreakers: The Praetorian Guard

The story of Rome through the eyes of the infamous Praetorian Guard, feared bodyguards who wielded the power and leverage to make – or break – the Emperors they swore to protect.
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Pax Mongolica: Genghis Khan & Kublai Khan

Genghis Khan and the Mongols killed millions, but were they actually woke AF? Let's tackle the surprisingly progressive (yet blood-drenched) legacy of one of history's most mysterious empires.
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Hate Thy Neighbor: Northern Ireland and the Troubles

Car bombs, hitmen, and hunger strikes. How "The Troubles" tore Northern Ireland apart.
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The City Of Dreams: The Aztec Conquest Part 2

Wonder and warmth quickly turn to slaughter and horror as Hernan Cortes meets Emperor Moctezuma in the explosive conclusion of a two-part series on the Aztec Conquest.
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The City Of Dreams: The Aztec Conquest Part 1

How a handful of mercenaries, explorers, and pirates destroyed the Aztec Empire and burnt its capital city to the ground. Two cultures collide in the first of a two-part series on the Conquest of Mexico.
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Forbidden Children: China's One-Child Policy

The story of China’s infamous One-Child Policy, the most ambitious (and catastrophic) social engineering project the modern world has ever seen.
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Six Days: The 1967 Six Day War

How a single week in 1967 changed the Middle East, and then the world, forever. This is the action-packed, heartbreaking origin story of Israel and the Six-Day War.
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Wonder Women

African berserkers, graceful samurai, and deadly Soviet fighter pilots. A three-part, globe-trotting tour of remarkable female soldiers and the complicated lives that they led.
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They Saw Red

The Rated-R-for-Russian story of the Red Army’s horrific campaign of vengeance against Nazi Germany. Forward 15 secondsBack 15 seconds
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The Tiger and the Turtle: Samurai Invasion of Korea

Sea battles, tiger hunts, and a mountain of human noses. This is the Shakespearean saga that triggered centuries of bad blood between Korea and Japan.
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This Is Sparta?

A myth-busting breakdown of history’s favorite fitness cult.
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Conflicted - Welcome

A quick introduction to the concept behind the show and your host, Zach Cornwell.
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