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.

All Episodes

Ghosts in the Mountains: The Soviet-Afghan War – Part 1

Evergreen Podcasts
When Soviet Russia invaded Afghanistan in December of 1979, few could have imagined what a seismic impact it would have on the modern world.
Listen to Ghosts in the Mountains: The Soviet-Afghan War – Part 1

Curse of the Koh-I-Noor Diamond

Evergreen Podcasts
The infamous Koh-I-Noor diamond currently sits in the Tower of London among the crown jewels of the British monarchy,
Listen to Curse of the Koh-I-Noor Diamond

Kill Yamamoto: The Mission to Avenge Pearl Harbor - Part 2

Evergreen Podcasts
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.
Listen to Kill Yamamoto: The Mission to Avenge Pearl Harbor - Part 2

Kill Yamamoto: The Mission To Avenge Pearl Harbor - Part 1

Evergreen Podcasts
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 United States military decided Yamamoto had to die by any means necessary.
Listen to Kill Yamamoto: The Mission To Avenge Pearl Harbor - Part 1

Prophet's Dilemma: The Sunni Shia Split Part 3

Evergreen Podcasts
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.
Listen to Prophet's Dilemma: The Sunni Shia Split Part 3

Prophet's Dilemma: The Sunni Shia Split Part 2

Evergreen Podcasts
The Prophet is dead. In 632 AD, the armies of Islam explode out of Arabia...
Listen to Prophet's Dilemma: The Sunni Shia Split Part 2

Prophet's Dilemma: The Sunni Shia Split Part 1

Evergreen Podcasts
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.
Listen to Prophet's Dilemma: The Sunni Shia Split Part 1

The Kitchen Cartel: Pure Food & Drug Act 1906

Evergreen Podcasts
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.
Listen to The Kitchen Cartel: Pure Food & Drug Act 1906

The Third Temple: Yom Kippur War Part 2

Evergreen Podcasts
Tank battles, Cold War politics, and nuclear alerts. This is the epic conclusion of a two-part series on the Yom Kippur War.
Listen to The Third Temple: Yom Kippur War Part 2

The Third Temple: Yom Kippur War Part 1

Evergreen Podcasts
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)
Listen to The Third Temple: Yom Kippur War Part 1

Showdown at the Ikedaya Inn: Samurai Secret Police

Evergreen Podcasts
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.
Listen to Showdown at the Ikedaya Inn: Samurai Secret Police

Pardon My French: The Marquis de Sade

Evergreen Podcasts
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)
Listen to Pardon My French: The Marquis de Sade

McNamara's Boys: Lost Innocence in Vietnam

Evergreen Podcasts
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".
Listen to McNamara's Boys: Lost Innocence in Vietnam

The Good Guys: My Lai Massacre, Vietnam

Evergreen Podcasts
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: My Lai Massacre, Vietnam

I Must Not Burn: The Bombing of Dresden 1945

Evergreen Podcasts
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: The Bombing of Dresden 1945

Roadies For Nero: An Epilogue

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

Kingbreakers: The Praetorian Guard

Evergreen Podcasts
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: The Praetorian Guard

Pax Mongolica: Genghis Khan & Kublai Khan

Evergreen Podcasts
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.
Listen to Pax Mongolica: Genghis Khan & Kublai Khan

Hate Thy Neighbor: Northern Ireland and the Troubles

Evergreen Podcasts
Car bombs, hitmen, and hunger strikes. How "The Troubles" tore Northern Ireland apart.
Listen to Hate Thy Neighbor: Northern Ireland and the Troubles

The City Of Dreams: The Aztec Conquest Part 2

Evergreen Podcasts
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: The Aztec Conquest Part 2

The City Of Dreams: The Aztec Conquest Part 1

Evergreen Podcasts
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: The Aztec Conquest Part 1

Forbidden Children: China's One-Child Policy

Evergreen Podcasts
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: China's One-Child Policy

Six Days: The 1967 Six Day War

Evergreen Podcasts
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.
Listen to Six Days: The 1967 Six Day War

Wonder Women

Evergreen Podcasts
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.
Listen to Wonder Women

They Saw Red

Evergreen Podcasts
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

Evergreen Podcasts
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.
Listen to The Tiger and the Turtle: Samurai Invasion of Korea

This Is Sparta?

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

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