Autocracy Now!

Autocracy Now

Autocracy Now is a podcast about historical dictators. In the modern world, shockingly, more and more people are growing frustrated with democracy. Is democracy really 'the best form of government, apart from all the others'? What can we understand a...Show More
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The Future of the Show

04:32 | Feb 5th

An announcement regarding the future of the show.  Hi all, So this is just a quick update to explain a little about the podcast, so that I don't just vanish without trace entirely. Autocracy Now! was the first show idea I had, way back at the end of ...Show More
Huey Long, Part VI: A Long Shot?

37:06 | Jan 23rd

Could Huey Long's personality, travelling-salesman charm, and Share Our Wealth populism catapult him into the White House? In this episode, we find out. @physicspod @autocracynow
Huey P. Long V: Kingfishers and Filibusters

36:50 | Jan 13th

The good people of the United States Senate were not prepared for Huey P. Long. @physicspod @autocracynow
Huey P. Long, IV: Round Robin

33:13 | Jan 2nd

“I would rather go down to a thousand impeachments than admit that I am the Governor of the state that does not dare to call the Standard Oil company to account so that we can educate our children and care for the destitute, sick, and afflicted.”   ...Show More
Huey P. Long III: Schoolbooks and Blood

35:14 | Dec 20th, 2018

In 1928, Huey Long was riding high. He'd beaten all opposition and achieved the second step in his life-plan. Get elected to minor public office, check. Get elected to the Governorship, check. There's little doubt given everything we know about him t...Show More
Huey P Long II: The Campaign Trail

32:25 | Dec 6th, 2018

Huey Long pulled a man aside once, and, conspiratorially, explained his plans for 1924.  "I'm gonna run for governer, and let me tell you how I'm going to win. In every parish, there is a boss, usually the sheriff. He has 40% of the votes, 40% are op...Show More
Huey Long Part I: The Whirlwind

34:26 | Nov 22nd, 2018

Imagine, for a moment, that there was a politician in the United States very unlike the others. One who was willing to promise all things to all people, who had no qualms about changing his position on a daily basis. One who viciously attacked the es...Show More
Stalin Episode XIII: The Fall of the Red Tsar

38:35 | Nov 4th, 2018

In 1953, in a final convulsion of paranoid violence, Stalin suffered a massive stroke. As his underlings jockeyed and vied for position, alternating between their lust for power and fear that the man who had dominated their lives for decades might re...Show More
Simon Ings on Stalin and the Scientists

1:58:25 | Oct 24th, 2018

As we bring our series on Stalin to its conclusion, I'm posting the full and unedited interview with Simon Ings, author of Stalin and the Scientists, about Stalin's impact on the sciences. This originally appeared on the Physi...Show More
Stalin, Episode XII: The Red Tiberius and the Game of Thrones

40:38 | Oct 15th, 2018

Towards the end of Stalin's life, he became ever more paranoid, embittered, isolated, and vengeful. As his various ministers and members of the Politburo jockeyed for power and position around him, using his fits of paranoia to exact revenge on one a...Show More
Stalin, Episode XI: The Big Three, Beria, and the Bomb

43:05 | Oct 1st, 2018

As World War Two wound down to a close, Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill held several meetings to carve up the world. After Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Stalin realised that nuclear weapons would be the main factor in the post-war balance of power - and or...Show More
Stalin X: Stalin's City

35:14 | Sep 12th, 2018

The Second World War was an incredibly complex conflict, fought on multiple fronts between various aggressors. It's difficult to pinpoint an individual moment and describe it as the conclusive "turning point". But more historians will point to the Ba...Show More
Stalin, Episode IX: Barbarossa

36:39 | Aug 31st, 2018

The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact could only keep the peace for so long. Both the Nazi and the Soviet dictators knew that a bloody confrontation between them would likely determine the future fate of Europe. But when the moment came, on 22nd June 1941, and...Show More
Stalin, Episode VIII: Before the Storm

33:30 | Aug 8th, 2018

Stalin's Great Terror took place in the 1930s, with its most bloodthirsty peak in 1937. Two years later, Nazi Germany would invade Poland and the Second World War would begin.  But before the storm of war, there was a most remarkable peace treaty. ...Show More
Stalin, Episode VII: The Common Enemy of Humanity

34:54 | Jul 26th, 2018

Stalin's "Great Terror" was not limited to eliminating his political rivals. Soon enough, detentions and executions were occurring according by quota. In 1937, the killing and persecution rose to its virtually indiscriminate peak.  www.autocracynow....Show More
Stalin Episode VI: Devouring the Children

33:50 | Jul 11th, 2018

After the death of Kirov, Stalin would turn his wrath towards the Old Bolsheviks that remained as key revolutionary figures in his own right. His fellow Communists could remember a time when Stalin was not Lenin's divinely appointed successor; and fo...Show More
Stalin Episode V: Nadya and Kirov

32:09 | Jun 25th, 2018

In the early 1930s, two mysterious (at the time) deaths occurred to people who were close to Stalin as he consolidated power as the supreme leader of the USSR. Follow the show @autocracynow and don't forget to subscribe and listen to the physics sh...Show More
Stalin Episode IV: Revolution in the Economy

33:24 | Jun 13th, 2018

After consolidating power over his Bolshevik rivals, Stalin dispensed with Lenin's pseudo-capitalist NEP and replaced it with the top-down bureaucratic nightmare that was the Five-Year Plans. Follow us on Twitter @autocracynow, our sister podcast @p...Show More
Stalin Episode III: Taking Control

33:54 | May 30th, 2018

As Lenin's health declined, Stalin sought to outmanouver his rivals in the Bolshevik party and consolidate single-handed, dictatorial control over Russia.  Follow us on Twitter @autocracynow, our sister podcast @physicspod, and subscribe to the show ...Show More
Stalin, Episode II: Revolution and Civil War

31:18 | May 17th, 2018

In this episode, we'll track Stalin's life and career through one of the most tumultuous times in Russian history: the Revolutions of 1917 and the Civil War that would follow. In these early days, we see Stalin's autocratic and ruthless nature beginn...Show More
Stalin, Episode I: Rebel to Revolutionary

37:00 | May 3rd, 2018

In this episode, which launches our epic series on Stalin, we'll examine the early life of the man who would become the ruthless dictator who ruled over the USSR. He was like so many thousands of other villagers; born into relative poverty, you might...Show More

35:13 | Sep 10th, 2017

This episode, we look at the life of the Roman Emperor who really wanted to be a gladiator. Yes, Joaquin Pheonix himself - Commodus: a perfect object lesson in what can happen when you give absolute power to someone catastrophically incapable of wiel...Show More
Autocracy Now: The Introduction

19:09 | Mar 15th, 2017

Hello, and welcome to Autocracy Now, the show about the lives of famous autocrats. In this first episode, I'll discuss my motivations behind creating the show, and what I hope we can learn from examining the lives of these dictators. What exactly is...Show More