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 Good Guys

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.
Listen to The Good Guys

I Must Not Burn

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.
Listen to I Must Not Burn

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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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.
Listen to Kingbreakers

Pax Mongolica

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

Car bombs, hitmen, and hunger strikes. How "The Troubles" tore Northern Ireland apart.
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The City Of Dreams - 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.
Listen to The City Of Dreams - Part 1

The City Of Dreams - 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.
Listen to The City Of Dreams - Part 2

Forbidden Children

The story of China’s infamous One-Child Policy, the most ambitious (and catastrophic) social engineering project the modern world has ever seen.
Listen to Forbidden Children

Six Days

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

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

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