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HFM 160 | Series Finale: The Final Episode of History in Five Minutes

September 5, 2017

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Welcome to the end, my friends! I am powering down History in Five Minutes because I have launched a new and better show called History Unplugged.  You can subscribe to the show on iTunes or Android

Here’s an overview of History Unplugged: Every Tuesday through Friday I release a short episode of 5-10 minutes in length. It’s basically the same thing you’ve come to know and love (0r hate) from History in Five Minutes.

Every Monday I release a longform interview with a book author, history podcaster, or historical consultant from a TV show.

There are two sorts of episodes that we feature on the History Unplugged podcast: the call-in show and author interviews.

The Call-In Show

The first sort of episode is the weekday where a listener like you can ask me anything. What did the Vikings eat? What was it like to be a Turkish sultan with 4 wives and multiple concubines? If you were sent back in time with your current knowledge, how would you conquer the Roman Empire?

If you would like to send me a question to answer on the show, you can do so one of two ways. The first is to email us at info [@] The second is to leave a voice mail.




Please keep it to about a minute long, be polite, and an all-around cool laddie or lass. Here are the full submission guidelines.



The second sort of episode on our podcast is the long form interview (40 minutes – 1 hour) with top history book authors. These authors have written about everything—and I mean everything—including gruff World War II generals who flew with airmen on bombing raids, a war horse who gained the rank of sergeant, and presidents who gave their best speeches while drunk.

I sit down with them and go in-depth on their topics. So far I’ve been blown away by the stories I’ve heard.

Here are some of our guests that have been or will be featured on the show.

  • Robin Hutton, author of Sgt. Reckless, America’s War Horse
  • Mark Will-Weber, author of Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt: The Complete History of Presidential Drinking
  • Prof. Richard Weikart, author of Hitler’s Relgion: The Twisted Beliefs that Drove the Third Reich
  • Tevi Troy, author of What Jefferson Read, Ike Watched, and Obama Tweeted
  • Brion McClanahan, author of Nine Presidents Who Screwed Up America, and Four Who Tried to Save Her
  • Prof. Michael Foley: author of Drinking With the Saints: The Sinner’s Guide to a Holy Happy Hour
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H5M 158 | Churchill’s “Operation Vegetarian”

December 5, 2016

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Our guest today is Giles Milton, the host of the Unknown History Podcast.

Winston Churchill was not afraid to get his hands dirty. He was perfectly happy to consider chemical warfare against the Axis powers. One plan involved turning an entire island into vegetarians. What did this plot mean, and how would he enact it?

Giles explains many things in this episode, such as:

  • What exactly was “Operation Vegetarian”?
  • What was the result of this experiment?
  • How did the development of the Atomic bomb change Churchill’s strategy?
  • What ever came of Gruinard Island?


This episode is based on a selection from an incredible new book by Giles.

Get a copy of  Giles’s new book When Churchill Slaughtered Sheep and Stalin Robbed a Bank: History’s Unknown Chapters. You can get it by clicking here.

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HFM 137 | Leaders in Times of Crisis, Part 7 – Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (1881-1938)

March 21, 2016

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Mustafa Kemal Ataturk — the victor at the Battle of Gallipoli, Turkey’s first president, and a reformer so zealous that he replaced six centuries of Ottoman Islamic legal and cultural custom with Western practices in the space of 15 years — lost his father at the age of 7, was neglected by his family, and lacked most formal education.

Learn how he overcame these challenges to become the beloved national hero of millions of Turkish citizens.


This episode is brought to you by Hillsdale College. They would like to invite you to learn more about the incredible life of this fascinating man — one of the greatest leaders and statesmen of our time: Winston Churchill.

You can get exclusive access to this new free online course studying the life of Churchill by going to and signing up today.

Almost a million people have taken Hillsdale’s renowned courses like Constitution 101,  American Heritage. As a history fan, you won’t want to miss this one.

Get exclusive access to Hillsdale College’s new course on Winston Churchill right now. Go to and sign up today.

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HFM 128 | Europeans in the Far East Before Marco Polo

November 2, 2015

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Marco Polo is the most famous European explorer to the Far East, but he definitely wasn’t the first. His father and uncle came there years before. And they found a small colony of Europeans who lived permanently in China.

Perhaps the most famous pre-Polo European in the Far East is William of Rubruck. This plucky monk did his best to convert the Great Khan to Christianity. He made his effort by debating Muslims and Buddhists as to which religion was the true one. See how that turns out in this week’s episode.

This podcast is brought to you by Harry’s. Harry’s is an awesome and wonderfully disruptive razor company. It was started by two guys who wanted to create the most debonair shaving experience possible but at the best price. They bough a blade factory in German that has crafted some of the world’s highest quality blades for nearly a century. They cut out the middle man and offer an amazing shave and meticulous craftsmanship at less than half the price of a pack of Gillettes.

I can personally vouch that using it is amazing. When using it, I feel like I am about to put on a tux and go gambling in Monte Carlo. Go to, where you can get a starter set for only $15. That includes the razor, 3 blades and your choice of Harry’s shave cream or foam shaving gel. If you use my coupon code h5m, you will get another $5 off. That’s a month of a premium shave experience for $10, thanks to their free shipping policy.

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HFM 125 | Useful Skills That People Had in the Middle Ages That We Don’t Today, Part 1: Ars Memoriae – The Art of Memory

October 11, 2015

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Think you have a good memory? The average peasant of 1,000 years ago had 10x more memorized than you ever will. Learn more about people trained in the  ars memoriae, who were living databases of information.

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5 Best Christmas Gifts For History Buffs

December 19, 2014

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Do you worry that this Christmas, your family will give you a membership to the Summer Sausage of the Month Club? (yes, that actually exists). Have no fear. If you happen to be a history buff, I have compiled a list of the five best Christmas gifts that you can pass on to your friends or family. If you are shopping for a history buff, then this list will make your life much easier. They will not be disappointed.

I have arranged these in the order from the cheapest to most expensive, depending on how extravagant you want to be.

1) History’s Most Insane Rulers – Audible Audio Edition. OK, OK, I had to include one of my own products on this list, and I promise you that this will be the only one. I only included it because it is the best-selling product of mine currently available. The audio version is a 2-hour recording narrated by professional voice actor Kevin Pierce. Learn about the eccentric reigns of Emperor Caligula, Kim Jong-Il, and 8 other megalomaniacs while in your car or at the gym!

Retail: $6.95 (only $4.99 if you buy the book and the Audio Edition together)

2)  John Adams HBO miniseries on DVD. One of my favorite series of all time. The seven-part miniseries looks at the life of our first vice president, from the Boston Massacre through the American Revolution, up to his presidency and death on the same day as Thomas Jefferson on July 4, 1826. This 8-hour-long box set is one of those rare works of historical study that doesn’t try to shoehorn in contemporary events into the past. Instead it lets history speak for itself. And what a fascinating history it is. Brilliantly acted and produced.

Retail: $16.96

3) Geno 2.0 – Genographic Project Participation and DNA Ancestry Kit. Did your ancestors join the march with Alexander the Great? Are you a direct descendant of Charlemagne or William the Conqueror? While this DNA test unfortunately won’t give you that level of precision, it will show you the migration patterns of your ancestors and your ethnic breakdown. It provides your ancestral information by accessing the database filed with the genetic information of the half million people that have participated in National Geographic’s Genographic Project. You will also learn what percentage of your genome is affiliated with specific regions of the world. Warning: not recommended if you pride yourself on being a “pure-breed” of any particular race, as you are likely in for a nasty shock!

Retail: $159.95

4) “The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World.” This course – available courtesy of the Great Courses – consists of 48 full-length lectures and is the mother of all history lessons. Professor Robert Garland of Colgate University narrates daily life for a dazzling cast of characters, from a Greek soldier marching on the front row of a phalanx to a Celtic monk running away with the Book of Kells during a Viking invasion. Available in video or audio download, or by DVD or CD.

Retail: $249.95 (Audio Download)

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 9.41.44 AM5) Men’s Skeepskin B-3 Bomber JacketYou may not know it, but these jackets played a major role in helping the Allies win World War II. This was the military-issued cold-weather flight jacket in 1934, and it kept pilots warm in their long flights over Europe in unpressurized cabins at altitudes of 30,000 feet, where temps dropped as low as 60 below zero. Without them, many a dogfight could have been lost to Nazi pilots or an Allied bombing run failed. Made from Napa leather, resistant to the most extreme cold weather. Imagine you are dropping the 101st Airborne Division over enemy lines right before D-Day, but in the coolest of style.

Retail: $595.

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HFM 097 | Cassius Marcus Clay – Abraham Lincoln’s Blue Suited, Bowie-Knife Carrying, Diplomat to Russia – and Namesake for the Famous Boxer

November 24, 2014

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In this episode, learn about the man who dressed like Django, convinced LIncoln to enact the Emancipation Proclamation, and fought off men by the dozen with his bowie knife.

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Pre-Order ‘How Iowa Conquered the World’ for $0.99, get $59 bonus!

November 22, 2014

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My new book “How Iowa Conquered the World” is available for pre-order! It comes out December 1, but if you order it now, I’m throwing in my Udemy course “History of the Middle East: 600 A.D. to Today” absolutely free! This course contains over 10 hours of video lectures and normally retails for $59.

In “How Iowa Conquered the World”  find out how this underdog state

— Saved billions of people from starvation in the 20th century

— Created Silicon Valley in the 1960s and inspired the startup culture of egalitarianism and hoodies

— Decides who will win the presidential election every four years

— Was the multicultural center of America and hosted more utopian communes and transcendental meditation centers than any other place in the United States

— Created the General American English accent spoken by all actors and broadcasters. People the world over are learning to speak like an Iowan, even if they don’t know it.

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I just launched an online course on Mideast History!

August 6, 2014

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I have just launched a course on called “History of the Middle East: 600 A.D. to Today.” It includes over 13 hours of content and lifetime access. It’s 75% for the next seven days. Click below to get your discount:

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I’m giving away free audiobooks of ‘Lost Civilizations’

June 19, 2014

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I am giving away free copies of my new audiobook ‘Lost Civilizations.’ It was narrated by professional voice actor Kevin Pierce , and he did a great job. Use the Rafflecopter below to enter – the giveaway will run until June 27.

If you entered the contest but didn’t win, you can still get a free copy of the book with a 30-day free trial with Audible. Get it by clicking here. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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