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Revisionist History Podcast by Malcolm Gladwell

Revisionist History Podcast

by Malcolm Gladwell

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One of the top podcasts on iTunes is Malcolm Gladwell's Revisionist History Podcast, and not without good reason! Journalist and author Malcolm Gladwell is known for his bestselling books Blink, The Tipping Point, and Outliers: The Story of Success. Now he brings his unique perspective to overlooked historical events in this new podcast. He takes seemingly minor historical events and expounds upon them, as he suggests that these events signify great trends in the world of psychology, sociology, behavioral economics, politics, and more. For example, he examines when Wilt Chamberlain changed to shooting free throws underhand (which greatly improved his free throw shooting percentage) and then why he inexplicably went back to shooting free throws "normally" even though his percentage of making free throws dropped off. He looks at a British female painter from the 19th century, and suggests that opening doors in society for one woman might not necessarily pave the way for gender equality. He studies the efforts of three individuals from the RAND Corporation who attempted to understand the enemy in the Vietnam War, and why they came to vastly different conclusions from the same intelligence. You'll also want to listen to the episode on "The Satire Paradox", in which Gladwell suggests that while satire might speak truth to power, it actually might not accomplish much by exposing certain hard truths. Right now there are seven podcast episodes on the feed and they are all more interesting than they might initially appear. Gladwell intersperse the podcasts with interviews, historical audio, and music for a thoroughly enjoyable listening experience. And in season 2, you'll hear about curious historical tales of the crusade which caused McDonald's to change their french fry recipe, how the private golf courses of Los Angeles rigged the system to pay almost no property taxes, and the divide in America over sad songs which sets apart rock and roll from country music. Subscribe to this one!

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Podcast Episodes

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  • Revisionist History Presents: Against the Rules with Michael Lewis
    Tue, Apr 09, 2019

    Malcolm Gladwell presents Ref, You Suck!, the first episode of the newest podcast from Pushkin Industries: Against the Rules with Michael Lewis.

    Rage at referees is all the rage in professional sports. Michael Lewis visits a replay center that’s trying to do the impossible: adjudicate fairness.

    If you enjoyed this episode, subscribe to Against the Rules wherever you get your podcasts.

  • Revisionist History Presents: Rick Rubin
    Tue, Nov 13, 2018

    Revisionist History presents the first episode of a new podcast, Broken Record. It's a conversation between Rick Rubin and Revisionist History host Malcolm Gladwell, covering everything from Rick’s role in the very beginning of hip-hop to his role in introducing Johnny Cash to a new generation of writers, performers and music lovers. Rick and Malcolm delve deep into Rick’s back catalogue – which is really a history of contemporary music – to reveal more about the artists that defined a new era, and why they are still vital listening today.

  • Revisionist History Presents: Broken Record
    Tue, Nov 06, 2018

    From Revisionist History host Malcolm Gladwell, Rick Rubin, and Bruce Headlam: Conversations. Arguments. Stories. Remembering old music. Discovering new music. Broken Record: Liner notes for the digital age.

    Revisionist History will be airing the first episode of Broken Record on November 13th. Listen here or in the Broken Record feed.

  • Analysis, Parapraxis, Elvis
    Thu, Jul 19, 2018

    The one song The King couldn’t sing. 

  • Strong Verbs, Short Sentences
    Thu, Jul 12, 2018

    “She was Joan of Arc, Madame Curie, and Florence Nightingale—all wrapped up in one.”

  • The Imaginary Crimes of Margit Hamosh
    Thu, Jul 05, 2018

    Epidemics of fear repeat themselves. The first time as tragedy. The second time as farce. Margit Hamosh? Definitely farce. 

  • Malcolm Gladwell's 12 Rules for Life
    Thu, Jun 28, 2018

    Crucial life lessons from the end of hockey games, Idris Elba, and some Wall Street guys with a lot of time on their hands.

  • The Hug Heard Round the World
    Thu, Jun 21, 2018

    Q: Was there a period where you felt you had something to prove? A: The first 45 years of my life. 

  • Thu, Jun 14, 2018

    Good fences make good neighbors. Or maybe not.

  • Free Brian Williams
    Thu, Jun 07, 2018

    "Sorry dude, I don't remember you being on my aircraft."

  • A Polite Word for Liar
    Thu, May 31, 2018

    An early morning raid, a house-full of Nazis, the world’s greatest harmonica player, and a dashingly handsome undercover spy. What could possibly go wrong?

  • Burden of Proof
    Thu, May 24, 2018

    “He called to wish me ‘Happy Birthday.’ Then he said, ‘I’m failing everything.’”

  • Divide and Conquer
    Thu, May 17, 2018

    The complete, unabridged history of the world’s most controversial semicolon. 

  • Bonus: Malcolm Gladwell debates Adam Grant
    Thu, May 10, 2018

    In a special live taping at the 92nd Street Y in New York, Malcolm talks with WorkLife’s Adam Grant about how to avoid doing highly undesirable tasks, what makes an idea interesting, and why Malcolm thinks we shouldn't root for the underdog.

  • Introducing Revisionist History Season Three
    Thu, May 03, 2018

    Malcolm Gladwell is back with season three of Revisionist History: harmonica players, mass delusion, semicolons, and a constitutional crisis. Launching May 17th on Panoply.

  • The Basement Tapes
    Thu, Aug 17, 2017

    What is a son’s obligation to his father?

  • Thu, Aug 10, 2017

    They made the world’s greatest French Fry. Then they threw it away.

  • Thu, Aug 03, 2017

    Arrested, arraigned, indicted, tried, convicted, and sentenced to die in the electric chair in 24 hours.

  • State v Johnson
    Thu, Jul 27, 2017

    “Nobody was interested in justice.”

  • The King of Tears
    Thu, Jul 20, 2017

    Why country music makes you cry, and rock and roll doesn’t: A musical interpretation of divided America.

  • The Prime Minister and the Prof
    Thu, Jul 13, 2017

    The friendship that changed the course of World War II.

  • The Foot Soldier of Birmingham
    Thu, Jul 06, 2017

    “Oh, Mac. What did you do?”

  • Thu, Jun 29, 2017

    A landmark Supreme Court case. A civil rights revolution. Why has everyone forgotten what happened next?

  • The Road to Damascus
    Thu, Jun 22, 2017

    What happens when a terrorist has a change of heart?

  • A Good Walk Spoiled
    Thu, Jun 15, 2017

    Rich people and their addiction to golf: a philosophical investigation.

  • Introducing Revisionist History Season Two
    Fri, May 26, 2017

    From bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell, season two of Revisionist History launches June 15th.

  • The Satire Paradox
    Thu, Aug 18, 2016

    In the political turmoil of mid-1990s Britain, a brilliant
    young comic named Harry Enfield set out to satirize the ideology and politics
    of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. His parodies became famous. He wrote and
    performed a vicious sendup of the typical Thatcherite nouveau riche buffoon. People
    loved it. And what happened? Exactly the opposite of what Enfield hoped would
    happen. In an age dominated by political comedy, “The Satire Paradox”asks whether laughter and social
    protest are friends or foes. 

    To learn more about the topics covered in this episode, visit www.RevisionistHistory.com

  • Generous Orthodoxy
    Thu, Aug 11, 2016

    A 98-year-old minister takes on his church over the subject of gay marriage—and teaches the rest of us what it means to stand up in protest.

    To learn more about the topics covered in this episode, visit www.RevisionistHistory.com

  • Blame Game
    Thu, Aug 04, 2016

    In the summer and fall of 2009, hundreds of Toyota owners came forward with an alarming allegation: Their cars were suddenly and uncontrollably accelerating. Toyota was forced to recall 10 million vehicles, pay a fine of more than $1 billion, and settle countless lawsuits. The consensus was that there was something badly wrong with the world’s most popular cars. Except that there wasn’t. What happens when hysteria overtakes common sense?

    To learn more about the topics covered in this episode, visit www.RevisionistHistory.com

  • Hallelujah
    Thu, Jul 28, 2016

    How does genius emerge? An exploration of different types of innovation—through the lens of Elvis Costello’s extraordinary song “Deportee,” once utterly forgettable and then, through time and iteration, a work of beauty and genius.

    If you're looking to go deeper into the subjects on Revisionist History, visit Malcolm's collection on iBooks at http://www.apple.co/MalcolmGladwell -- iBooks will update the page every week with new recommendations.

    To learn more about the topics covered in this episode, visit www.RevisionistHistory.com

  • My Little Hundred Million
    Thu, Jul 21, 2016

    In the early ’90s, Hank Rowan gave $100 million to a tiny public university in Glassboro, New Jersey: not Harvard, not Yale, not even to his alma mater, MIT. What was Rowan thinking? And why has it proven so difficult for other philanthropists to follow his lead?

    To learn more about the topics covered in this episode, visit www.RevisionistHistory.com

  • Food Fight
    Thu, Jul 14, 2016

    Bowdoin College and Vassar College are two elite private schools that compete for the same students. But one of those schools is trying hard to address the problem of rich and poor in American society—and paying a high price. The other is making that problem worse—and reaping rewards as a result.

    To learn more about the topics covered in this episode, visit www.RevisionistHistory.com

  • Thu, Jul 07, 2016

    Of the tens of thousands of talented, low-income students who graduate from high school every year in the United States, most never make it to universities appropriate to their gifts. America leaves an enormous amount of talent on the table every year. “Carlos Doesn’t Remember” explains why.

    To learn more about the topics covered in this episode, visit www.RevisionistHistory.com

  • The Big Man Can't Shoot
    Thu, Jun 30, 2016

    Wilt Chamberlain’s brilliant career was marred by one, deeply inexplicable decision: He chose a shooting technique that made him one of the worst foul shooters in basketball—even though he had tried a better alternative. Why do smart people do dumb things?

    To learn more about the topics covered in this episode, visit www.RevisionistHistory.com

  • Saigon, 1965
    Thu, Jun 23, 2016

    In the early 1960s the Pentagon set up a top-secret research project in an old villa in downtown Saigon. The task? To interview captured North Vietnamese soldiers and guerrillas in order to measure the effect of relentless U.S. bombing on their morale. Yet despite a wealth of great data, even the leaders of the study couldn’t agree on what it meant.

    To learn more about the topics covered in this episode, visit www.RevisionistHistory.com

  • The Lady Vanishes
    Thu, Jun 16, 2016

    In the late 19th century, a painting titled The Roll Call, by a virtually unknown artist, took England by storm. But after that brilliant first effort, the artist all but disappeared. Why? And what does The Roll Call tell us about the fate of those first through the door?

    To learn more about the topics covered in this episode, visit www.RevisionistHistory.com

  • Introducing Revisionist History
    Fri, Jun 03, 2016

    Coming soon, a new podcast series from bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell.

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