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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All Episodes

The 1971 Bangladesh War – Part 1: Land of Broken Maps

Conflicted | S:3 E:50
In March 1971, the nation of Pakistan was split apart by a vicious civil war, eventually culminating in the creation of a new state: Bangladesh. I...
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The Kinsey Report – Part 3

Conflicted | S:3 E:49
In January of 1948, Alfred Kinsey releases his first book, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, igniting a firestorm of controversy across the Unite...
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The Kinsey Report – Part 2

Conflicted | S:3 E:48
As Dr. Alfred Kinsey begins his foray into sex research in 1938, he faces a rising tide of controversy at Indiana University, and is soon confront...
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The Kinsey Report – Part 1

Conflicted | S:3 E:47
In 1948, Dr. Alfred Kinsey wrote the book on sex. “The Kinsey Report”, as it came to be known, was a pioneering scientific study on the sexual hab...
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History Daily: The Pirate Trial of 1720

Conflicted | S:3 E:46
This featured guest episode of History Daily examines the events of November 16th, 1720. On that day, the trials of notorious pirates Anne Bonny, ...
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Hiroo Onoda & The Surrender of Japan

Conflicted | S:3 E:45
In 1974, a Japanese soldier named Hiroo Onoda emerged from the Philippine jungle, unaware that World War 2 had been over for nearly 30 years. Duri...
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The Gulf War 1991 – Part 3: Land of Darkness

Conflicted | S:3 E:44
On January 17th, 1991, Operation Desert Storm begins. As President Bush braces for high casualties, Saddam Hussein desperately seeks a path to sur...
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Introducing: The French History Podcast - “The Battle of Poitiers 732”

Conflicted | S:3 E:43
If you’re a fan of Conflicted, we think you’ll enjoy this special featured episode of The French History Podcast. In this episode, host Dr. Gary G...
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The Gulf War 1991 – Part 2: The Storm

Conflicted | S:3 E:42
As the Iraqi army digs into Kuwait, the world considers how to respond to Saddam Hussein’s breach of national sovereignty. President George H.W. B...
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The Gulf War 1991 – Part 1: Lines in the Sand

Conflicted | S:3 E:41
On August 2, 1990, Saddam Hussein invaded the tiny emirate of Kuwait. The resulting conflict triggered a chain reaction that changed the world. In...
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40 Hours to Freedom: The Invention of the Weekend

Conflicted | S:3 E:40
Where does the two-day weekend come from? In this standalone episode of Conflicted, we trace the historical trajectory of that oasis of leisure an...
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The Partition of India – Part 6: The Spent Bullet

Conflicted | S:3 E:39
As a plot to assassinate Mohandas Gandhi unfolds, the Mahatma goes to existential lengths to reconcile India’s Hindu, Sikh and Muslim communities....
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The Partition of India – Part 5: A Crisis Made Flesh

Conflicted | S:3 E:38
The “chief sufferers” of Partition, according to Mohandas Gandhi, were women. As the subcontinent descended into chaos, women of all religious com...
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The Partition of India – Part 4: Unholy Rush

Conflicted | S:3 E:37
As Partition finally becomes reality in August 1947, the new boundary sparks a mass migration in the Punjab and Bengal. Atrocity and ethnic cleans...
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The Partition of India – Part 3: A Tryst With Destiny

Conflicted | S:3 E:36
It’s 1947. After many long years of struggle, India is about to gain its independence from the British Empire. But freedom will come at a cost. To...
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The Partition of India – Part 2: Two Blind Eyes

Conflicted | S:3 E:35
As the British Raj crumbles, old animosities begin to stir in the subcontinent’s communities. Mohandas Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru face a formida...
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The Partition of India – Part 1: End of Empire

Conflicted | S:3 E:34
In the summer of 1947, the British Raj relinquished its hold over the Indian subcontinent. In its wake, two new nations were created: India and Pa...
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Human Error: The Destruction of KAL Flight 007

Conflicted | S:3 E:33
On September 1st, 1983, a South Korean commercial airliner inexplicably drifted 200 miles off course into restricted Soviet airspace. In response,...
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The Stock Market Crash of 1929 – Part 3: The Music Stops

Conflicted | S:3 E:32
After weeks of uncertainty and fear, the Great Crash finally arrives on October 24th, 1929. While America’s financial infrastructure burns, Jesse ...
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History Daily (Special Featured Podcast): “The Start of the Cuban Revolution”

Conflicted | S:3 E:31
In this special featured episode of History Daily, host Lindsay Graham gives an atmospheric retelling of the events of December 2nd, 1956. On that...
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The Stock Market Crash of 1929 – Part 2: Age of Illusion

Conflicted | S:3 E:30
As economic disaster looms in the Fall of ‘29, the American public is blissfully unaware, entranced by stratospheric share prices and the sunny pr...
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The Stock Market Crash of 1929 – Part 1: To The Moon!

Conflicted
One of the worst financial disasters in history unfolded on Wall Street in late October of 1929. Within a week, 30 billion dollars had disappeared...
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Gore: The Brutal History of Bullfighting

Conflicted
Some revere it as an art form, others revile it as a blood sport, but no matter where you stand, few traditions stir up strong emotions quite like...
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Ghosts in the Mountains: The Mujahideen Civil War (Part 4)

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It’s 1992. The 40th Army is long gone and the Soviet Union has collapsed, but war still rages across Afghanistan. As the Afghan communist regime c...
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Ghosts in the Mountains: The Soviet-Afghan War – Part 3

Conflicted
As the CIA wages a covert proxy war against the Soviet 40th Army, the Mujahideen are showered with billions of dollars and cutting-edge weaponry....
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Ghosts in the Mountains: The Soviet-Afghan War – Part 2

Conflicted
The Soviet 40th Army invaded Afghanistan in the closing days of 1979....
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Ghosts in the Mountains: The Soviet-Afghan War – Part 1

Conflicted
When Soviet Russia invaded Afghanistan in December of 1979, few could have imagined what a seismic impact it would have on the modern world....
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Curse of the Koh-I-Noor Diamond

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The infamous Koh-I-Noor diamond currently sits in the Tower of London among the crown jewels of the British monarchy,...
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Kill Yamamoto: The Mission to Avenge Pearl Harbor - Part 2

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After the Battle of Midway, the Japanese Navy is in tatters and Yamamoto’s hopes of a quick victory against the Unites States have evaporated....
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Kill Yamamoto: The Mission To Avenge Pearl Harbor - Part 1

Conflicted
In 1941, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was the most hated man in America. As the architect of Japan’s December 7th surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the...
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Prophet's Dilemma: The Sunni Shia Split Part 3

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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 oppo...
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Prophet's Dilemma: The Sunni Shia Split Part 2

Conflicted
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

Conflicted
When the Prophet Muhammed died in 632 AD, it triggered a succession crisis amongst his followers. After the dust settled, two divergent branches o...
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The Kitchen Cartel: Pure Food & Drug Act 1906

Conflicted
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 e...
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The Third Temple: Yom Kippur War Part 2

Conflicted
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

Conflicted
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...
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Showdown at the Ikedaya Inn: Samurai Secret Police

Conflicted
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-...
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Pardon My French: The Marquis de Sade

Conflicted
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 ...
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McNamara's Boys: Lost Innocence in Vietnam

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

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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 ...
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I Must Not Burn: The Bombing of Dresden 1945

Conflicted
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 ...
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Roadies For Nero: An Epilogue

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

Conflicted
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...
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Pax Mongolica: Genghis Khan & Kublai Khan

Conflicted
Genghis Khan and the Mongols killed millions, but were they actually woke AF? Let's tackle the surprisingly progressive (yet blood-drenched) legac...
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Hate Thy Neighbor: Northern Ireland and the Troubles

Conflicted
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

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

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

Conflicted
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

Conflicted
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 an...
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Wonder Women

Conflicted
African berserkers, graceful samurai, and deadly Soviet fighter pilots. A three-part, globe-trotting tour of remarkable female soldiers and the co...
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They Saw Red

Conflicted
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

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

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

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