The thrill of fresh work from Dan Carlin


I scanned through my podcast queue in Overcast yesterday and got a little thrill to see a new Hardcore History episode.

If ever there were an artisanal, hand-crafted podcast it’s Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History.

Who knows how much time he puts into crafting the multi-hour series that covers expansive topics such as all of World War I?

Each episode plays as a single seamless, intricately detailed narrative with Carlin holding forth in his uniquely captivating style.

Three-and-a-half hours fly by. I seek out reasons to drive so I can listen some more.

When it’s over, I’m left waiting weeks until the next installment, waiting patiently until my comfortably familiar podcast queue is interrupted with that little thrill once more.

Carlin is, in essence, performing a sort of extemporaneous yet exhaustively plotted audio book with each series. And his work is remarkably compelling. He shines a light on the tragic foibles of our species.

Seeing terrible headlines today seems less shocking when you consider the even more awful things humans have been doing to each other since history has been recorded.

Carlin is a craftsman who clearly cares deeply about what he makes. He goes deep and creates work that adds real value to my life. 

Care deeply. Go deep. Make something worth talking about, something that might cause even a little thrill for someone, somewhere. 

(If you want to get started with Carlin’s work, my favorite series are his World War I deep dive, Blueprint for Armageddon, and his take on the fall of the Roman Republic, Death Throes of the Republic.)