Thursday, November 27, 2008

Victor Davis Hanson - Hardcore History podcast review

The latest issue of Dan Carlin's Hardcore History is of an unusual format. Host Dan Carlin interviews historian Victor Davis Hanson, whereas normally the show consists of Dan Carlin retelling history in a very compelling narrative and ponder on it. It is interesting for the views expressed and for those who know Dan Carlin's work and want to understand a bit more of how he is influenced, but it is surely not representative for what Hardcore History is normally about.

The amazing talent Dan Carlin has in telling a story with contagious enthusiasm works slightly less in an interview. Dan's strength lies in how evocative he is, but an interviewer needs to be more in the background and cause the interviewed come out in a representative and coherent fashion. In this, Carlin succeeds less and so the quality of the show needs to be hauled in by Hanson and how his answers to Carlin's questions and remarks work together and make an impact.

Some subjects that are touched upon are, for one the importance of the classics for our culture and the impoverishment is caused by the fact that the classics are less known than ever. Another is a kind of nature versus nurture issue, translated to history: are people in the past significantly different, because of their profoundly different circumstances, or are people, just people and can we assume that they react to situations pretty similarly. The result is a good podcast, but not as excellent as the regular Hardcore History.

More Hardcore History:
Punic Nightmares III,
Punic Nightmares II ,
Punic Nightmares I,
Under the Influence,

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