The Revolutions podcast, hosted by Mike Duncan, takes us far back to the past, on a tour of all the major political revolutions that have shaped the world as we currently know it. Some revolutions – such as the French and the Russian revolutions – are well known. But there are many others, less known revolutions, that have played just as important a role in history, and Mike covers all of them!
The podcast gained a lot of popularity among history enthusiasts because of Mike’s attention to detail and dedication to covering each topic in its entirety. This podcast makes learning a joy and teaches listeners a lot of details that even history books don’t cover.
The Creator Behind The Revolutions Podcast
Mike Duncan is a self proclaimed “complete history geek” turned podcaster and author. He was interested in ancient civilizations – particularly ancient Rome – even as a child. He majored in Political Science (with a concentration in Political Theory) and minored in Philosophy from the Western Washington University.
In 2007, Mike started his first podcast “The History of Rome” after not finding any other podcasts on this topic. The podcast talked about the entire history of the Roman Empire – right from its founding to its collapse. At this time, he was working as a fishmonger. In 2013, a year after his first podcast ended, he started “Revolutions” which had a run-time of nine years.
Mike has also authored two critically acclaimed historical books, namely “The Storm Before The Storm” and “Hero of Two Worlds: The Marquis de Lafayette in The Age of Revolution.”
Themes and Topics Covered in Revolutions
The Revolutions podcast ran over the span of nine years and is split into ten seasons, with each season covering one revolution that took place between the 17th and early 20th centuries. These include the English Civil War of 1642, the American Revolution of 1776, the French Revolution of 1789, the Haitian Revolution of 1791, the Spanish American wars of independence of the early 19th century, the French Revolution of 1830, the European upheavals of 1848, the Paris Commune of 1871, the Mexican Revolution of 1910, and finally the Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917.
Season 1: The English Civil War of 1642
The first season contains 16 episodes and begins with an introduction about Charles Stuart, who found himself as the king of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Then, Mike talks about how he ruled without a Parliament, and how many of his policies angered the people. Next comes the Bishop Wars where the Scots revolted against one of his religious policies, forcing Charles to recall the Parliament.
This was the beginning of the end, and Mike goes on to explain each event that led up to the revolution in great detail. The season ends with an episode about the restoration of the English monarchy.
Season 2: The American Revolution of 1776
This season contains 15 episodes. We are introduced to the American Revolution with a tour of all the 13 colonies that the British had captured in America. Then, one by one, he talks about all the Acts imposed by the British that angered the colonies and led to the Boston Tea Party – such as the Stamp Acts and the Townshend Acts.
After the Boston Tea Party comes the Declaration of Independence by the colonies. He gives a blow-by-blow of the revolution, finally ending the season with the ratification of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights that granted rights and liberties to Americans.
Season 3: The French Revolution of 1789
This is one of the longest seasons with a total of 54 episodes, which means Mike has really gone into great detail about the French Revolution. He starts off by describing how pre-revolution France was divided into the Three Estates, and the role that each of them played. From this, we get to know how France was anything but equal, and was in need of reform.
Then, he goes on to talk about the events that led to the Third Estate gaining political consciousness and how they began to revolt. Slowly, the people began gaining rights and the monarchy was overthrown. But France had to endure two more reigns before the Revolution could finally end – the reign of terror that accompanied the rise of the Jacobians, and Napoleon’s rule.
Reach of The Revolutions Podcast
Mike Duncan, the podcast host, has 122.4k followers on Twitter and 1.47k subscribers on YouTube.
As of January 2023, Revolutions ranked #1 in Apple Podcasts under the category of American history.
Based on this analysis, we estimated that the Revolutions podcast receives 10k and 30k listens each time an episode goes out across Apple, Google, YouTube, and Spotify podcast networks.
The Format of The Revolutions Podcast
The podcast tackles a different revolution in a different season. It has a total of 10 seasons, meaning it educates listeners about 10 revolutions that changed the world. The revolutions are in chronological order, as are the events narrated within each season.
A season always begins with an overview of the state of the country before the revolution. Then, he talks about all the problems that the country had and the events and various Acts that angered the common people. After that, Mike moves on to how people began revolting. Then comes a detailed description of the revolution itself. Finally, the season ends with how the revolution wrapped up and all the reforms that followed as a result.
The podcast doesn’t feature any guests. It simply consists of Mike narrating the historical events based on his knowledge and research.
Reception and Impact
The Revolutions podcast has been very well received throughout the past decade by history enthusiasts and other people alike. Listeners worldwide have commended Mike’s storytelling ability and his narration skills. He breaks down complicated historical events spanning centuries into bite-sized pieces that are easy to digest. Despite the gravitas of the subject matter, one can listen to this podcast even while doing chores and retain everything.
He goes into incredible detail while making all the boring parts entertaining. He covers all the things that we wish we had been taught at school. He makes sure to present the viewpoints of all parties involved so that you get a whole picture of the events. Not only do you get insights into what happened, but also the whos and the whys of world history.
Whether you love history or not, this podcast serves as a great way to learn about the revolts of the oppressed classes, how we came to enjoy the rights we have today, and just what happened in the world centuries ago.