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  • Writer's picturePodcast Librarian

The Alarmist: The history pod for people who don't take history too seriously

The Premise (from Apple Podcasts):

They say history repeats itself...not on The Alarmist’s watch. The Plague. The sinking of The Titanic. The Donner Party disaster. The break-up of the Beatles. Writer/performer Rebecca Delgado-Smith (The Good Place) and guests scrutinize history’s greatest disasters to figure out what went wrong, and, most importantly, who’s to blame.⠀⠀⠀

Series or standalone:

Standalone (but each episode has a follow-up)

Begin listening to:

Any episode (that is not titled Aftermath because that's the follow-up episode)




Rebecca Delgado-Smith of The Good Place

Sound/production quality:


Rating/age suitability:

Adult mainly; teens may be into it, too

Approximate length of episodes:

60 minutes

Curricular ties:

None--it is a history podcast, but not strictly factual

Similar recommended pods:

Revisionist History

Podcast Librarian’s Review: This fun podcast explores catastrophes in history and determines, in a jokey way, who (or what) is to blame for the event. “Catastrophe” is used widely here, ranging anywhere from The Plague to The Breakup of the Beatles. Each episode begins with a primer on the event (so if you’re not familiar with a certain disaster, you can get caught up). The information seems semi-researched, as in somewhere between Wikipedia and consulting multiple scholarly sources, but it never feels like Rebecca is reading off a script or right from Wikipedia (which is a big pet peeve of mine in pods; please don’t do that). Rebecca and the guest keep score of potential villains in each event and come to a consensus at the end about which person in the story or which greater concept (greed, jealousy, etc.) is ultimately responsible. It’s a fun mix of history (lite) and humor. The audio quality is pretty good, and the episodes are just long enough (around 40-50 minutes). This is a funny pod that is perfect when you don’t feel like thinking too hard. It’s pretty new, and I’m excited to listen to more episodes! P.S. I only just found out that Rebecca is a well-known actress!

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