History

How It Began: A History of the Modern World

Brad Harris, Historian of Science & Technology

+5 FANS

A thrilling podcast about the History of the Modern World. Humanity has been hard at work for centuries to empower itself with better tools and insights, from science and surgery to electricity and the Internet, and this series celebrates the histor...Show More

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Mastering Metals: From Sticks & Stones to Cars & Computers

1:00:34 | Jan 8th, 2018

The transition from the Stone Age to the age of metals marks the historical arrival of civilization. But, how was it that people first learned to see stone not as a tool in itself but as a reservoir of better tools? And how did we master that materia...Show More

Refrigeration: From Ice Harvests to Superconductivity

45:13 | Nov 29th, 2017

Historian Brad Harris reveals what empowered us to wield cold.  While most of the achievements of technology seem based on our conquest of heat, the unsung technological hero of modernity is refrigeration. It’s on-demand cold is critical in prese...Show More

Episode 104: Wolves to Dogs

26:38 | Apr 13th, 2017

By Brad Harris, Historian of Science & Technology. For more information on this episode, including a select bibliography, visit howitbegan.com.

Context

06:24 | Jun 11th, 2018

I’m thrilled to announce the launch of my new podcast: Context. If you’ve enjoyed engaging in history with me so far, I think you’ll continue to find value in the new show. Join me as we explore how other scholars have interpreted the rise of the mod...Show More

Money: From Barter to Blockchain

52:04 | May 15th, 2018

Money is a form of trust.  And credit, not coins, has been the heart of financial innovation. Communities that have figured this out have sustained the most progress, from the Medician money exchange networks that funded the Renaissance to the cry...Show More

Measuring Time: The Hidden Mechanism of Modernity

1:13:16 | Apr 10th, 2018

Our submergence in the flow of time makes it difficult to comprehend how fundamental timekeeping technology has been to the evolution of civilization. But, to wind up the mechanism of modernity, our mastery of clockwork was critical. Where did the...Show More

The Enlightenment: From a Medieval to a Modern Mindset

49:15 | Mar 5th, 2018

The Enlightenment was an intellectual movement centered in Europe during the 1700s that established our modern convictions concerning the virtues of representative government, religious toleration, and human rights.  It inaugurated the idea that huma...Show More

The Printed Book: Opening the Floodgates of Knowledge

51:09 | Feb 5th, 2018

We've all heard about how the printing press revolutionized book production. But, the real revolution was in how printed books, as opposed to handwritten ones, obliterated the intellectual barriers between us, leading to the Scientific Revolution, Th...Show More

Coffee: Sobering Up for The Enlightenment

50:08 | Dec 18th, 2017

Historian Brad Harris reveals the correlations between the spread of coffee and the rise of modern institutions. From science to security, insurance to stock exchanges, and all the way through to democratic liberation, coffee's arrival into Europe...Show More

What Defines the History of the Modern World?

06:42 | Nov 20th, 2017

In this introduction to Season Two, historian Brad Harris challenges the growing cynicism toward the ideas of progress and modernity, recalling what The Enlightenment was all about. Music provided by Zack Hemsey, "Redemption," from the album, The ...Show More

The Theory of Evolution: A Triumph of Wonder, from Coal Miners to Darwin

46:33 | Aug 3rd, 2017

In this Season One finale of How It Began, historian Brad Harris reveals the beautiful history of how life came to know its true origins through humanity's theory of evolution. Witness the courage and the brilliance of investigators, from modest coa...Show More

Episode 111: The English Language

42:32 | Jul 20th, 2017

By Brad Harris, Historian of Science & Technology. For more information on this episode, including a select bibliography, visit howitbegan.com

Episode 110: The Stock Market

42:16 | Jul 6th, 2017

By Brad Harris, Historian of Science & Technology. For more information on this episode, including a select bibliography, visit howitbegan.com

Episode 109: The Internet

35:44 | Jun 22nd, 2017

By Brad Harris, Historian of Science & Technology. For more information on this episode, including a select bibliography, visit howitbegan.com

Episode 108: Computers

37:26 | Jun 8th, 2017

By Brad Harris, Historian of Science & Technology. For more information on this episode, including a select bibliography, visit howitbegan.com

Episode 107: Electricity

37:29 | May 25th, 2017

By Brad Harris, Historian of Science & Technology. For more information on this episode, including a select bibliography, visit howitbegan.com

Episode 106: Surgery

29:58 | May 11th, 2017

By Brad Harris, Historian of Science & Technology. For more information on this episode, including a select bibliography, visit howitbegan.com

Episode 105: Monumental Infrastructure

25:00 | Apr 27th, 2017

By Brad Harris, Historian of Science & Technology. For more information on this episode, including a select bibliography, visit howitbegan.com

Episode 103: Modern Science

28:16 | Mar 30th, 2017

By Brad Harris, Historian of Science & Technology. For more information on this episode, including a select bibliography, visit howitbegan.com.

Episode 102: Horsepower

25:22 | Mar 30th, 2017

By Brad Harris, Historian of Science & Technology. For more information on this episode, including a select bibliography, visit howitbegan.com.

Episode 101: Introduction

04:34 | Mar 30th, 2017

By Brad Harris, Historian of Science & Technology. For more information on How It Began, including select bibliographies for each episode, visit howitbegan.com. Intro music: "Nero" by Thomas Bergersen and Nick Phoenix, licensed by Extreme Production ...Show More