The Lawfare Podcast

Revolutions Podcast

By Benjamin Wittes
Tuesday, September 24, 2013, 10:53 PM

Here's something I am very excited about: the Revolutions PodcastRevolutions, which describes itself as "a weekly podcast series examining great political revolutions," is the latest project of a guy named Mike Duncan, whom Lawfare readers might know as the creator, writer, and narrator of the History of Rome podcast---which had a rather large cult following which included both Bobby and me until the Western Empire fell and the podcast tragically ended.

I mention Revolutions for two reasons---other than the fact that I am really happy that Duncan is back in the podcasting game and really looking forward to this series. The first is that it is actually relevant for Lawfare readers. What are revolutions, after all, but internal national security threats that come to fruition?

The second reason is that Lawfare owes something of a debt to the History of Rome, which the launch of Duncan's new podcast offers me an opportunity to acknowledge. Back when I started the Lawfare Podcast, I needed a way to introduce my first episode, and interview with Shane Harris about drones. I flipped on a voice recorder and out of my mouth came the words, "Hello, and welcome to the Lawfare Podcast." Anyone who has ever listened to the History of Rome knows immediately that I had flagrantly, if less than consciously, ripped off Duncan's laconic introduction---set to a gentle guitar riff---"Hello, and welcome to the History of Rome."

More generally, History of Rome taught me something really important about podcasting: that you can, if you have great content, just sit down with an $80 recording device and some free shareware editing software and produce a show. It was a revelation to me that I think about every time we post a new episode---a revelation for which everyone who enjoys or learns from our podcast owes Duncan a hearty thanks.

So check out Revolutions. I have listened to the first two episodes---he is starting with the English Revolution---and they are excellent: informative, engaging, told in Duncan's usual easygoing, somewhat comic style that packs a lot of history into relatively brief discussions. And if you've never listened to the History of Rome, go back and check it out too. You won't regret it. Promise.