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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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“Revolutions” makes it easy to reignite a lost love for history

Revolutions+in+a+historical+podcast+that+mike+Duncan+hopes+will+teach+you+important+historical+events+like+the+Civil+War+and+the+Mexican+Revolution.
Photo by Creative Commons

Revolutions in a historical podcast that mike Duncan hopes will teach you important historical events like the Civil War and the Mexican Revolution.

If you, like me, used to love to study history, but now find yourself busy with other subjects, then you will likely fall in love with Mike Duncan’s podcast, Revolutions.
Revolutions is a podcast that seeks to teach you about all of the major historical revolutions, starting in the early modern era — specifically, The English Civil War — and going to the 21st century. Right now, the show is covering the Mexican Revolution, but Duncan has said he intends to end with the Arab Spring.
While the podcast can feel a bit like an endless list of names, Duncan is well aware of this potential pitfall. He does his best to counteract the problem by reminding listeners several times who each person is, and trying to use their name, as opposed to just pronouns, as often as possible. Even if you did forget who someone is, you can be reminded, keep track of what that person is doing now, and be aware of what is going on.
That said, Duncan can do only so much, and somewhat more active listening is required for this than for many other podcasts. At times on my drives or my walks through campus while listening to Revolutions, I will look up, realize I was lost in thought and have no idea what is going on, leaving me  to roll the episode back or even restart entirely.
Despite this, I manage to learn a lot. And even without the learning, it’s a worthwhile experience, because ultimately, Duncan is telling a story, and he’s quite a good storyteller. His somewhat dry wit will often sneak up on you, and as such, even though jokes are pretty uncommon in this podcast, there are some truly gut-busting goofs Duncan throws in to break up the serious stuff from time to time. Even beyond the jokes, the show is just entertaining. It’s easy to imagine Revolutions feeling like a boring history lecture, but it really never does, because Duncan does such a good job of explaining the material in an incredibly engaging way.
Furthermore, listening to this show sometimes brings back the intense curiosity about history that I have lost over the years, and after listening to it all day as I walk and drive, I sometimes find myself sitting over my computer, trying to research the things Duncan doesn’t have time to cover due to the scope of the podcast. Revolutions reignites my desire to learn when curiosity is waning, and I think anything that can do that is worth a listen.
 

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