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Uncommon Sense

By oieahc · November 22, 2017

Planning a spring syllabus? Read this first

Doing History 5 min read

2017 was an extraordinary year for the Omohundro Institute’s burgeoning role as a podcast producer.

Liz Covart, creator and host of Ben Franklin’s World, joined the OI full-time as Digital Projects Editor. While they remain based in Boston much of the year, Liz, her partner Tim, and their companion Sprocket, planted a Red Sox flag in front of their place in Williamsburg this past August, making the move official.

Ben Franklin’s World won “Best History Podcast” at Podcast Movement, the leading industry conference, beating Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History, Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History, and Aaron Mahnke’s Lore, among others.

Ben Franklin’s World surpassed 3,250,000 downloads total. Due to its loyal weekly following, the show ranks in the top 5% of the most frequently downloaded podcasts from the iTunes store. A week-long feature on the iTunes store “Recommended” banner pushed interest in July 4’s episode over the 75,000 download mark for a single episode.

Doing History: To the Revolution! explored the history and the histories of the American Revolution in 20 wide-ranging episodes, featuring over 40 guests. We heard from many of you that individual episodes or even the whole series found places in your syllabi, along with episodes from season 1’s Doing History: How Historians Work.

You can stream all Doing History episodes from the OI website or download all of Ben Franklin’s World, including the Doing History series, from the Apple Podcasts store or via your favorite podcast provider.

Episodes in Doing History: To the Revolution!

“The Tea Crisis of 1773” with Mary Beth Norton

“Revolutionary Allegiances” with Sara Georgini, Maya Jasanoff, Vin Carretta, and Kathleen DuVal

“Paul Revere’s Ride Through History” with Sarah J. Purcell, Jane Kamensky, Patrick Leehey, and Christoph Irmscher

“A Declaration in Draft” with Danielle Allen, Patrick Spero, and Peter Onuf

“Defining the Revolution” with Philip Mead

“Origins of the American Revolution” with Bernard Bailyn

“Committees and Congresses: Governments of the American Revolution” with Mark Boonshoft, Benjamin Irvin, and Jane Calvert

“The Freedoms We Lost” with author and Smithsonian curator Barbara Clark Smith

“Pauline Maier’s American Revolution” with Mary Beth Norton, Joanne Freeman, Todd Estes, and Lindsay Chervinsky

“Information and Communications” with Alyssa Zuercher Reichardt, Eric Slauter, Seth Cotlar, and Trish Loughran, hosted by Joe Adelman

“The Revolution’s African American Soldiers” with Judith Van Buskirk

“The Revolutionaries’ Army” with Fred Anderson, Randy Flood, and Brooke Bauer

“The Revolutionary Economy” with Serena Zabin

“The Politics of Tea” with Jane Merritt, Jennifer Anderson, and David Shields

“Smuggling and St. Eustatius” with Wim Klooster, Christian Koot, and Fabrício Prado

Episodes from Tuesday, November 28, through the end of the year will include:

“Dunmore’s New World” with author and communications consultant James Corbett David

“Continental North America” with Alyssa Mt. Pleasant and Claudio Saunt

“Revolution in the Caribbean” with Laurent Dubois

“Revolutions Around the World” with Paul Mapp and Janet Polasky

“David Walker’s Appeal” with Christopher Cameron


I love your podcasts. They are crisp and clear to the listening ear full of really interesting subjects. I can tell you and yours put a lot of time and thought into each episode. Thanks for all the good work you do.
rebecca remington  •  November 22, 2017

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