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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Pardon My French

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)


Thomas, Donald. The Marquis de Sade. 1976.

Du Plessix Gray, Francine. At Home with the Marquis de Sade. 1998.

Lever, Maurice. Sade. 1994.

Schaeffer, Niel. The Marquis De Sade: A Life. 1999.

Gorer, Geoffrey. The Life and Ideas of the Marquis de Sade. 1933.

Marquis de Sade. The 120 Days of Sodom.

Marquis de Sade. Letters from Prison.

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Showdown at the Ikedaya Inn

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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McNamara's Boys

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

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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