Tag Archives: History Podcasts

#49 – Notes on Atheism, Hitler and Nazism

The faithful are playing with reference to a different set of rules when arguing for the merits of religion based on faith alone. Faith, by definition, requires no tangible evidence. But claims from the faithful about human history can be countered by the inquisitive atheist. We all have access to a plethora of terrestrial historical accounts which were not gleaned from divine revelation. In this edition of the podcast, Aidan explores the classic argument of the faithful against atheism when discussing human history. This argument – especially prevalent whenever the issue of violence or hatred is discussed – is that Adolf Hitler was an atheist. The inferred claim is that this godlessness demonstrates the danger of turning away from the moral teachings of the church. Another aspect of the argument which is often thrown in as an addendum is a charge that the Third Reich was a secular movement. How much merit is there in these claims? Did Hitler reject God, and if he did, did this make a difference to human history? And how secular was Hitler’s Nazi regime? Aidan delves into the argument to provide grounded insight and analysis. Indeed, as with the claims of the holy books, the introduction of earthly evidence is crucial when one desires to separate fact from fiction.

Selected bibliography:

J. Cornwell, Hitler’s Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII
A. Hitler (ed. N. Baynes), The Speeches of Adolf Hitler
A. Hitler, Mein Kampf
C. Hitchens, God Is Not Great
G. Orwell, Literature and Totalitarianism

Additional Aidan Project content on related persons:

Adolf Hitler (podcast)
Christopher Hitchens (article)
George Orwell (podcast)

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#46 – The Emergency: Empire, Massacre, Duterte

The British Empire, and other European powers, began to leave South East Asia in the aftermath of World War 2. The region has changed dramatically since this era; a period when British troops were fighting communists in Malaya, several years before the US attempted its own communist supression in Vietnam. It was during the British Empire’s response to Chin Peng’s insurgency that the colonial rulers committed an atrocity that could be called ‘Britain’s My Lai’. On this edition of the Aidan Project, Aidan is talking to Christopher Hale, a distinguished freelance executive producer, producer/director and writer, to discuss British rule in Malaya, post-colonial South East Asia, press constraints in Malaysia and Singapore, Donald Trump’s tenuous grasp of history, and the incomparable Philippines President, Rodrigo Duterte, a man who has claimed to have personally killed criminals, among other controversies. Christopher has numerous documentary credits to his name, for the BBC, Channel 4, Discovery, and National Geographic, amongst other broadcasters. His programs include ‘Why Reading Matters’ for BBC4, ‘The Year the Earth Went Wild’ for Channel 4, ‘Naked Science: Universe’ for National Geographic, ‘Oasis of the Golden Mummies’ for Discovery, ‘Accidents in Space’ for BBC/Travel Channel, and many more. Christopher’s 2013 book, ‘Massacre in Malaya: Exposing Britain’s My Lai’, covers the Malayan Emergency of 1948–1960, which was the longest war waged by British and Commonwealth forces in the twentieth century.  Christopher has also written a number of books on wartime Nazi Germany, including ‘Hitler’s Foreign Executioners: Europe’s Dirty Secret’. For more information on Christopher and to check out his voluminous work, visit http://www.christopherhalemedia.org/. You can find Christopher on Twitter at https://twitter.com/chalemedia.

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#28 – Notes on America’s Great War

In this first spoken essay edition of the Aidan Project Podcast, Aidan examines why, and with what effects, the United States opted to enter World War One in 1917. The essay also looks at the idealist US President, Woodrow Wilson, who declared war on Germany on 6 April 1917, following repeated provocations. This essay takes a deliberately contentious look at the US’s role in the war, which adds a few ‘what-ifs’ into the mix for your consideration. Could, or should, the Bolshevik take-over have been snuffed out before it began? What about the conditions for Hitler’s rise to power? The roots exist within World War One and its aftermath. For more Project podcasts on the US involvement in World War One, take a look at the ‘America’s Great War’ two-part series with Dr. Paul Dean. Part one covers the period of US non-belligerence, up until the Zimmermann Telegram. Part two looks at ‘America’s Forgotten War’ from Wilson’s declaration of war, up until the Treaty of Versailles, for which this essay serves as a useful companion piece. You can find a full archive of podcasts at iTunes, YouTube and www.AidanCoughlan.org. Enjoy the essay.

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#26 – The Great Cat Massacre

On this edition of The Aidan Project, Aidan is joined once more by Jared Miracle, a cultural entomologist with an M.Ed. and a PhD. in anthropology from Texas A&M University. In this episode, Aidan and Jared discuss the infamous cat killings from The Great Cat Massacre, Robert Darnton’s noted scholarly work on the cultural history of France. Why did early modern Europeans find cats to be completely deserving of such harsh treatment? Along with this incredible story and the wider context surrounding it, Aidan and Jared also discuss the mythical Mexican chupacabra, religion, Artificial Intelligence, and much more. You can follow Jared on Facebook (facebook.com/jaredmiraclewriter) and Twitter (@DocKungFu).

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#25 – Project Extra: Exceptional

This bonus episode features unreleased audio from the podcast, ‘America’s Great War: Part Two’, with Dr. Paul Dean. In this edition of ‘Project: Extra’, Aidan and Paul briefly discuss the idea of US exceptionalism, the War of 1812 between the US and Great Britain, the importance of remembering those who served in various conflicts, and more. Dr. Dean, is a former instructor at, and alumni of, Washington State University, who is an expert on World War One and author of ‘Courage: Roy Blanchard’s Journey in America’s Forgotten War’. For more information on Dr. Dean, please visit his web site at www.paultdean.com.

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#24 – The Irish Famine: Tragedy and Propaganda

In this edition of the Aidan Project, Aidan is joined by Professor Liam Kennedy, Emeritus Professor of History at Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, and a member of the Royal Irish Academy for Social Sciences. The Great Famine was the most traumatic event of modern Irish history. Professor Kennedy explains the famine and seeks to provide context to the argument, propagated by some, including a number of Irish Americans, that the Great Famine is comparable to the Holocaust that occurred in Eastern Europe. Professor Kennedy also provides some thoughts on the death of the Irish republican and Sinn Féin politician, Martin McGuinness. Professor Kennedy’s most recent book is ‘Unhappy the Land: The Most Oppressed People Ever, the Irish?’, which is available at all good bookstores and at Amazon.

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#23 – America’s Great War (Part Two): Courage

One hundred years ago to the day of this episode’s release, on 6 April 1917, President Woodrow Wilson declared that the US was at war with Germany. This is part two of a two-part series focusing on the role of the United States of America in the Great War of 1914-1918. In part one, Dr. Paul Dean explained the underlying tensions that led to war, the ambitions of the Central Powers and The Entente, and the tragically misplaced belief that it would all be over quickly. Part one concluded on the eve of the momentous Declaration of War on Germany. Part two surveys the path of the war following the US’s official military intervention until the 11 November 1918 Armistice, but also beyond in wider political terms. What were Wilson’s war aims? How did the US military perform? What overall impact did the US have? And what is the legacy of ‘America’s Forgotten War’? All judgements on the merits of the war aside, the events of 1914-1918 must never be forgotten. It appears there is much work to do to raise the Great War’s profile in the US. This is the Aidan Project’s small contribution towards reinvigorating this valuable historical memory.  The series’ special guest, Dr. Dean, is a former instructor at, and alumni of, Washington State University, who is an expert on World War One and author of ‘Courage: Roy Blanchard’s Journey in America’s Forgotten War’. For more information on Dr. Dean, please visit his web site at www.paultdean.com.

For more ways to listen, to subscribe to the podcast or to sign-up for e-mail updates when new content is available, please click here.