These enthralling history podcasts highlight lesser-known stories that didn't show up in your textbooks.
If you’re looking for your next history podcast to listen to on your morning commute, you’re in luck — there’s no shortage of fantastic history shows out there. But it can be hard to narrow down what to listen to next, which is why we’ve come up with this list of the best history podcasts.
The podcasts below all cover history in different ways. If you’re into World War II history, you’ll adore The History of WWII Podcast, which has intricately covered the conflict over its 400+ episodes (and counting). If you’re looking to learn something totally new about the past, you might want to check out a show like You’re Wrong About or Stuff You Missed In History Class.
All That’s Interesting’s own podcast, History Uncovered, covers all things intriguing and mysterious from the world’s past, so we know a thing or two about history shows. The 21 history podcasts below are some of the best, and we can guarantee you’ll learn something with every listen.
Hardcore History Podcast
One of the first history podcasts is also one of the most beloved: Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History. Ever since its debut in 2006, this long-form show has tackled some of history’s most curious “what-ifs.” In the provocative first episode, Carlin guides his listeners through comparisons of Alexander the Great and Adolf Hitler. Later on, he puzzles over topics like the fall of civilizations. Though Carlin is not a professional historian, this show consistently ranks high among the best history podcasts.
Produced by Slate, Slow Burn has dug into a number of important moments in American history across its eight seasons. So far, the show has conducted deep dives into Watergate, the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, Biggie and Tupac, David Duke, the Iraq War, the L.A. riots, Roe v. Wade, and Clarence Thomas.
History Hit Podcast
Historian Dan Snow makes history the most exciting thing on Earth in his show, History Hit. Tackling subjects like the sex lives of Scottish kings, the Great Caterpillar Outbreak of 1782, and women warriors from the past, History Hit is always fun and interesting. Plus, the episodes typically range between 25 and 50 minutes, making them perfect for a morning commute.
The History Of Rome Podcast
Starting in 2007, Mike Duncan began his ambitious quest to tell the history of Rome in weekly episodes for his podcast, The History of Rome. The series is now complete with 179 episodes, which compellingly detail the mythical origins of the Roman Empire up until its fall in the fifth century.
Duncan followed his The History of Rome podcast series with another one, Revolutions, which covered some of history’s most earth-shaking revolutions. Over 11 seasons from 2013 until 2022, Duncan covered the American Revolution, the French Revolution, the Haitian Revolution, the Russian Revolution, and several more historic rebellions and revolts.
One of the best history podcasts is also a bit different from the others. Lore, which explores frightening folklore, dark legends, and unusual historical events, has covered pirate tales, the Stanley Hotel (which inspired the horror film The Shining), the Dyatlov Pass incident, and more. The Academy of Podcasters dubbed it the “Best History Podcast” in 2016.
Presented by Gimlet Media, Uncivil covered stories from the Civil War that might not make it into history textbooks. Between 2017 and 2018, it sought to tell “untold stories about covert operations, corruption, resistance, mutiny, counterfeiting, antebellum drones, and so much more.” The show often found connections between the past and the present and discussed everything from Civil War spy rings to Civil War re-enactors.
Revisionist History Podcast
Hosted by journalist and author Malcolm Gladwell, Revisionist History has tackled a number of subjects over its stellar eight seasons. It unpacks themes like the legacy of racism in the U.S., reporter Brian Williams’ fall from grace, the Boston Tea Party, and many more. Gladwell seeks to question preconceived notions about people, places, and ideas in each episode.
Hosted by U.S. historians Ed Ayers, Brian Balogh, Nathan Connolly, and Joanne Freeman, BackStory “takes a topic that people are talking about and explores it through the lens of American history” with the goal of making history engaging and fun. Before the show ended in 2020, BackStory covered a myriad of topics, like the life of activist Pauli Murray, the history of socialism in the United States, and the “afterlives” of presidents.
The British History Podcast
For anyone looking for a history podcast that you can really sink your teeth into, The British History Podcast — with 400+ episodes — is the perfect choice. The hosts describe the show as a chronological retelling of British history and they mean it. One of the first episodes is a “whirlwind tour of the 70,000 years of the history of Britain” and the show takes off from there.
The History Chicks Podcast
The History Chicks hosts Beckett Graham and Susan Vollenweider have been telling the stories of women from history since 2011 when Graham realized that there were no podcasts that were fully dedicated to women’s history. With nearly 300 episodes, they’ve covered an impressive array of women, from Egyptian pharaoh Cleopatra and alleged murderess Elizabeth Báthory, to first lady Abigail Adams and doomed queen Marie Antoinette.
You’re Wrong About
History is full of misconceptions, and You’re Wrong About is one of the best history podcasts because it sheds light on people and events that have been “miscast in the public imagination.” They’ve covered Bonnie and Clyde, Sinéad O’Connor, Karen Carpenter, the doomed Donner Party, and many other fascinating and complicated topics from the past.
Hosted by Washington Post reporter Lillian Cunningham, Presidential debuted in 2016 with the goal of telling the story of every American president. It covered every president from George Washington to Joe Biden, exploring their rise to power, their behavior in office, and much more. The podcast has also since expanded to cover other subjects from presidential history, like the first female vice presidential nominee of a major U.S. party.
Stuff The British Stole
Hosted by journalist Marc Fennell, Stuff The British Stole takes a look at the objects that the British Empire, well, stole throughout its reign. Over 20 episodes, the podcast has covered the “not-so-polite history” of stolen objects — and people — from British history. They’ve covered topics like Pocahontas, the remains of Prince Alamayu, and precious bottles of rum.
Produced by The New York Times and hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones, the 1619 podcast is part of the paper’s 1619 Project, which has attempted to reframe American history. Rather than place the starting date of the country in 1776, it argues that American history began in 1619, when the first enslaved Africans arrived in Virginia.
The Bowery Boys
One of the best history podcasts for those who want to learn more about New York City is The Bowery Boys. A travel and history podcast, its episodes each focus on a person, place, or event in NYC history. Over the show’s 450+ episodes, they’ve covered topics like Theodore Roosevelt, the city’s iconic yellow taxi cabs, the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, and more.
Stuff You Missed In History Class
Stuff You Missed In History Class is exactly what it sounds like — a podcast that covers all those fascinating topics that your history teachers didn’t cover while you were in school. Over its impressive 2,000 episodes, the show has covered the life of Leicester Hemingway (Ernest Hemingway’s brother), the Zoot Suit Riots, the invention of the raincoat, and more.
Making Gay History Podcast
Making Gay History has covered a number of LGBTQ+ stories over its spectacular 12 seasons. Hosted by author Eric Marcus, it has highlighted LGBTQ+ voices like American playwright Lorraine Hansberry, AIDS activist Larry Kramer, and Martin Luther King Jr. associate Bayard Rustin.
The History Of WWII Podcast
For World War II buffs, the best history podcast is assuredly The History of WWII Podcast, which has covered the conflict over its 400+ (and counting) episodes. This deep dive into World War II will satisfy anyone interested in learning more about the war, and the intricately researched episodes mean that even those who have studied the conflict will learn something new.
Southern Gothic has something for horror buffs and history buffs alike. This independently produced podcast dives into the “rich history, eerie legends, and dark ghost stories” of the American South. Over the show’s 140+ episodes, it’s covered fascinating topics like “The Great Kentucky Meat Shower,” New Orleans vampires, Arlington National Cemetery, and more.
The Art Of Crime
The Art of Crime podcast explores the intersection between art and crime. Its first season covered artists who’d been accused of being Jack the Ripper. And its second season unpacked the stories of artists who were also assassins, like John Wilkes Booth, the actor who killed Abraham Lincoln, and Valerie Solanas, the writer who attempted to murder Andy Warhol.
After learning about some of the best history podcasts available today, look through these fascinating facts about ancient Rome. Or, learn something new about the Vikings with this list of Viking facts.