Wondery Presents History Like You’ve Never Heard Before

By Chanak Maduranga

Published on:

Wondery Presents History Like You’ve Never Heard Before
Spread the love

This story was created in paid partnership with Wondery.

There’s no joy like nesting into your couch, opening a box of pizza, and watching your favorite series. But what about the moments when such a luxury isn’t possible? When you’re driving to work, running at the gym, or meandering through the grocery store, yet you still want to be educated and entertained? 

Enter: Wondery’s history podcasts, which combine narrative storytelling with unique perspectives and surprising insights. Their catalog of over 100 seasons gives you context for major events, deepens our collective understanding of what happened in the past, and explains how it continues to affect the present. But this is not history class. These podcasts are just as fun, entertaining and juicy as your favorite chat podcast.

To help pair you with your new favorite pod, we’ve matched each of Wondery’s offerings with a classic from contemporary film or TV. Check out the list below, and happy listening. 

John Adams (2008): Wondery’s American History Tellers

It doesn’t matter the era — from the U.S. Revolution to the creation of the National Parks to the 1968 Chicago protests — History Tellers has a topic for you. The podcast, now in its 71st season, specializes in showing how these people, ideas, and events have shaped our modern world, and it does it with suspense, intrigue, and drama. In that way, it’s similar to John Adams, the seven-part HBO miniseries that premiered in 2008, starred Paul Giamatti, and was directed by Tom Hooper. 

If you watched John Adams and were particularly interested in John’s wife, Abigail, then we’ve got good news for you. American History Tellers just launched a series on five of America’s most remarkable First Ladies: where they came from, how they came to inhabit the White House, and the ways that they defined or defied the role to leave a unique mark on history

Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker (2020): Wondery’s Black History, For Real

With nearly two dozen episodes and counting, Black History, For Real tells no-nonsense, unwhitewashed accounts of history using a mix of narrative storytelling and candid conversations. By unearthing some of our country’s most overlooked moments, it will delight fans of Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker, based on the true story of an African American washerwoman who rose from poverty to build a beauty empire and become the first female self-made millionaire. 

In its latest episode, Black History, For Real follows Samuel L. Jackson as he becomes radicalized by the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968. Then a sophomore at the historically Black Morehouse College, Jackson and other students eventually demand reforms in the college’s governance by taking hostage some of its board members — including Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr.

Frost/Nixon (2008): Wondery’s American Scandal 

In 1922, the U.S. was riveted by a scandal at the highest level. In a shameless ploy to enrich himself, Albert Fall, then Secretary of the Interior, had leased federally-owned oil reserves to two of the nation’s wealthiest oil barons. The Teapot Dome Scandal, named after one of the oil reserves, ended with one of the barons in prison for contempt of Congress and jury tampering, and with Fall becoming the first person ever convicted of a crime committed while serving in the U.S. Cabinet. 

That story is the subject of the upcoming season of American Scandal, releasing on July 9th, which will dive into the corruption, deceit, and reckless ambition that have defined this country since its founding. In its clear-eyed approach and love for lurid details, the podcast, now in its 63rd season, is similar to the 2008 film Frost/Nixon, directed by Ron Howard, starring Kevin Bacon and Rebecca Hall, and nominated for five Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Director.

The United States vs. Billie Holiday (2021): Wondery’s Legacy

Few people have changed the practice of law enforcement as much as J. Edgar Hoover, the first and longest-serving director of the FBI. During his 48 years in the position, Hoover introduced a centralized fingerprint filing system, created forensic laboratories, and also oversaw COINTELPRO, a series of covert and illegal projects aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, discrediting, and incapacitating progressive political organizations, including Communists, feminists, and civil rights organizers. 

Hoover is the subject of the latest season of Legacy, which has investigated the complex reputations of some of history’s greatest figures, including Napoleon, Alan Turning, and Margaret Thatcher. By giving a fresh perspective on someone you’ve likely heard much about, the podcast is reminiscent of The United States vs. Billie Holiday, which follows the iconic singer as she’s targeted by the Federal Department of Narcotics with an undercover sting operation.

Marie Antoinette (2006): Wondery’s Even the Royals

It’s the story that inspired one of the most popular musicals of the past decade: King Henry the VIII and his six wives. But do you know the facts behind the falsettos? That’s where Even the Royals comes in. With over 30 episodes, this podcast excavates all of the gossip and glamor of royal families past and present.  This season it will dive wig-first into the lurid tale on which “SIX” is based. 

Were you a fan of Marie Antoinette, the 2006 historical drama starring Kirstin Dunst? Even the Royals has a similar electrifying, gossip-during-a-sleepover vibe, along with stories from monarchies you’ve likely never heard of, like King Ludwig II of Bavaria, who became obsessed with the operas of Richard Wagner, and Princess Ubolratana of Thailand, who threw away her crown to marry a commoner, only to come to regret the decision later.

Chanak Maduranga

passionate journalist behind 'USA News Now 24', dedicated to delivering timely and accurate updates on US affairs. Committed to journalistic integrity and informing audiences with credible news coverage.

Leave a Comment