Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Battle of Ramillies - Historyzine

First of all Historyzine is a history podcast that retells the War of Spanish Succession, a European war that took place 1701-1714. Host Jim Mowatt offers couple of additional rubrics that give a wonderful added value to the show and surely adds to the magazine feel of Historyzine. Over the last weeks, he has also produced episodes more frequently and that is what a magazine inevitably also needs.

The additional value for the latest show (#16) are for one a podcast review of Lars Brownworth's Norman Centuries; a review I can agree with (see my own about Norman Centuries). Another is once more a tidbit of language history. Mowatt reveals what he has found out about the origins of the expression nose to the grindstone. But of course, as usual, the main part of the show is the next story about the War of Spanish Succession.

A great improvement is that Mowatt starts his tale with a recap of what had happened so far an what this war was all about. It may have been a war about the throne of Spain, but most of the fighting went on in Belgium and Germany. There is some tale of what happens in Spain, but also in this show the main action is in Belgium: the battle around the village of Ramillies. In spite of advantages for the French and Bavarian forces, the Anglo-Dutch alliance raked in victory. Once again this is thanks to the great tactics of Mowatt's hero throughout the podcast: the Duke of Marlborough.

More Historyzine:
Winter diplomacy,
The lines of Brabant,
Historyzine at its best,
The battle of Blenheim,
Reliving the War of Spanish Succession.

Jennifer Burns on Ayn Rand - two more podcasts

Podcaster Chris Gondek did one interview with Professor Jennifer Burns about Ayn Rand whose biography she has written under the title Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right. This one interview he edited to fit each on of two of his podcasts, The Biography Podcast (feed) and The Invisible Hand (feed).

I would have loved to hear the unedited interview, or at least the extended version that contained all the material for both podcasts. As it went now, I heard one and was excited about Gondek's announcement by the end that there was yet another interview on the other. Then I listened to the other and heard so much twice that I can't tell in hindsight what is fundamentally different between the two. So, listen to either one and choose depending upon the touch you'd like to get.

The Biography Podcast is, obviously, about biographies and has Burns talk about Rand's life, career and development. The Invisible Hand is a podcast about 'business, economics and strategy' and therefore puts the emphasis on Rand's political thought. Both versions start however with a questions about Rand's childhood and both interviews close with the question of what Rand would have thought was her legacy today. Although these are two professional, polished and to the point productions, my personal preference goes to the more raw and less balanced interview Burns gave at New Books In History.

More Jennifer Burns:
Jennifer Burns about Ayn Rand - NBIH,
History 7b - history podcast review,
American Civil Rights Movement,
Whittaker Chambers,
Scopes Trial.