« Appendix 11- Meet the New Boss | Main

25 December 2022


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See you on the other side, Mike. Thanks for the more than a week apparently of entertainment and knowledge this and The History of Rome offered. It made our lives a little brighter, specially if you begun to listen during the lockdown like me.

Emmanuel Ederick

Highly Recommended

duncan mchale

repose-toi bien, mon vieux, et à la prochaine!

Shane Doherty

Feels very strange to be here at the end. Like a road with a clear destination in sight but with so many twists and turns you never know when that ending comes. Thank you so much for helping expand my own worldview as well.

Just for fun, and I hope out of respect, I've been attempting to use these appendicies to outline the phases of what I think would have happened had Mike covered Irish Independence, and have opted to present the broad strokes here.

Ancien Regime - English/British rule in Ireland, most recently codified in 1801 with the Acts of Union

Disequilibrium - Over the 19th Century, from the initial emancipation of Catholics in 1829, to the myriad failings of British governance during the Great Famine, to the rise of the Irish Parliamentary Party and its moderate remand for the restoration of Home Rule, along with the deliberate embracement of Irish culture leading to the foundation of the GAA. But also something of a backlash from the Protestant minority centered in Ulster as they became ever more committed to their British identity, and resisted Home Rule over fears of persecution, sometimes stoked by British politicians for their own ends, sometimes called Playing the Orange Card.

Shock to the System - I'm unsure which of these three led to it, so I'm throwing them all in: The crisis surrounding the third Home Rule bill in 1912-1914, where Protestants were threatening revolt. World War One, which suspended Home Rule and delayed the impending success of the moderate IPP, and finally the 1916 Easter Rising, specifically the harsh treatments and crackdowns of the rebels and suspected rebels by British Authorities after the revolt was crushed, which had the consequence of really souring Irish feelings towards London

The Trigger - The Conscription Crisis of 1918, radicals successfully parleying a reluctance for the Irish to die for British aims into Sinn Fein's landslide victory in the December 1918 General Election which they used to convene in Dublin and declare the republic.

The War - Pretty straight forward: British attempts to retain control of Ireland from 1919-1921. On top of the IRA versus Britain, you also have something of a back-and-forth in Ulster as protestants took the initiative to protect themselves. Sidenote, there are at least two massacres during this time called Bloody Sunday, and neither of them are the one you think about.

Entropy of Victory/Second Wave - Britain is brought to the bargaining table, but are able to get the rebels to agree to Dominion Status within the empire and for part of Ulster to be partitioned. The new moderates say they don't have the means to fight for anything more and this will be a slippery slope to independence, the new radicals want complete independence of the entire island now. This isn't the only split, throughout this whole thing there are trueblue socialist thinkers trying to push for a new fairer Ireland, but largely they're pushed to the side by more traditional nationalists. Still, there are places like the Limerick Soviet that paint an interesting what-if. The treaty is signed, and a large chunk of the IRA go into revolt and a civil war in 1922-1923. The Pro-Treaty side wins, but Ireland loses some of their greatest statesmen in the struggle, and plans to make sure the brand new Northern Ireland is temporary are not fulfilled.

Meet the new Boss - The new Irish state settles into democracy, and eventually votes Eamonn DeValera, onetime Anti-Treaty Rebel, into power, and he uses that slippery slope his opponents described to marginalise lingering British power, setting the stage for true independence in 1949. He also enshrines the Catholic Church as part of Irish society in something of an appeal to an agrarian ideal of tradition, which honestly doesn't assuage the Protestants of Belfast. It's been said Ireland resulted in one of the most conservative outcomes of a successful revolution, and I think the consequences of that are still here. Meanwhile in Northern Ireland the Unionist government, ironically now having their own home rule, cement their power through self-coups to gerrymander electoral boundaries and have the remaining Catholic minority marginalised. It's a story for another time, but this was bound to create some Troubles.

I hope I haven't butchered Mike's framework and that it appears coherent. Thank you for the almost fortnight of content (including the Roman appendicies and two audiobooks), and here's hoping nostalgia encourages a few more appendicies to be knocked out, either on Rome or Revolutions, and I hope the next project is successful!

Enes Sami Yüksel

As a new listener who binge-listened all the episodes until Appendixes, it took a heavy heart to listen to thjs final episode.

See you on the other side too Mike.

Alain Chabot

Been listening since the very start. What am I gonna do now? Wait for the next podcast. Thanks Mike and bien content de vous savoir désormais francophile!


I'll admit that I'm cautiously optimistic about the History Book Show. I've listened to podcasts constantly since 2008, and in that whole time I've rarely been gripped by a series made in the conversational format. I secretly don't even think of it as quite the same medium as the "serial audiobook" type of casts.

That's the caution, now for the optimism:
• I've enjoyed your interviews; I know you're good unscripted
• The old casts are so dense with value that I don't even need any more scripted content for a while

I've gone through most of THoR 5 or 6 times now, and gone through 3 or 4 listens on most of the Revolutions series. I'd say I've extracted 65% of the total value from the first half of THoR, 25% of the value from the second half. I'm only at about 35% of the first French series, and about 15% of Russia. I can estimate about 7 more years will elapse as I continue to re-listen.

Now I would like to go a bit meta with my commentary. On the optimism side:
• I believe taking an indefinitely long break from "specified" "linear" content is extremely beneficial for a long-term creative career

What I commonly see in content creators is they get themselves "put on a track". They do A, B and then C. They then continue with D and E. By the time they've gotten J, they're on autopilot. I believe it is so so important, at some point, to break off the sequence. To wander around and try 1, 2 and 5, Up, Diagonal, Blue and Purple. It was unplanned accident that you stumbled into making The History of Rome. Stopping to smell the flowers is how one best keeps having the right kind of accidental ideas.

Finally, another note of caution (for me at least):
• Do you think you run the risk of taking a path I've seen many creators follow? I'm talking about "The Quicker Content Feedback Loop".

The path generally looks like this:
1. A creator meets with success over the labor of complex and highly refined works
2. The creator starts making side-content with lower production time
3. The creator is pleasantly surprised to discover their fans like the side content just as much if not more as their main works
4. The side content increases in volume and takes up more and more of the total production time
5. The "regular content" starts to feel awkward to get started on
6. Side content is being made full time, and the creator is drawing in higher numbers and making more money than ever
7. The highly produced content is now terribly difficult to justify

It's something of a self McDonalds-ification. Now I believe in your care I'm overstating myself here--my perspective is skewed by my experience with Youtube. Youtube's algorithm is basically designed to seduce creators into this path. (Creators go from scripted and edited, to lightly scripted with improv, to podcasts and finally to daily streaming and constant social media use.) But this algorithm is playing on a more general property of human nature.

Once a brain decides it's "A fan of Creator X", it will tend to pursue more content from them, and will often desire more casual and conversational products. The loose format hits the "human connection" component of the brain harder and faster than the more detached scripted presentation. It's like a sweeter, saltier meal.

In other words, I wonder if you might end up just doing unscripted permanently from now on. But you'll still have books! And like I said I have 7 years worth of re-listens. So even if I don't like this show, I have nothing to worry about.


I hope this wasn't too annoying of a read...I know it often hits a sour note when a random commenter goes off in exhaustive depth about the meta elements of production, like who the heck is this person? But I figure it's worth a shot talking about what was on my mind.

See you in the next show!


Congratulations on finishing your show! It was incredible to listen to and it is sad that it’s finished, but I am sure that your next project will be just as great. Keep us posted on the Lafayette series you were working on. The pilot script you read was amazing and I would have loved to hear more.

Kalen Petersen

I started listing to Revolutions around 2018 (on a flight to Paris) and have been devouring it (and Rome, retrospectively) ever since. Thank you, Mike Duncan, for filling my drives, my walks, my downtime, and more than a few of my work hours with not merely “content” but learning and insight. Congratulations on your great success; I wish you the very best.

Johannes Stangier

thanks mike duncan! you made a gazillion trainrides very pleasant for me! cant wait for the history books podcast! greetings from germany

Ionut Orbesteanu

Thank you Mike for the amazing experience that both THoR and Revolutions podcast, as well as your books, have all been. All your work was awesome, and some particular chapters such as those on the French, Haitian and Russian revolutions are truly outstanding.

As I have spent countless hours going several times through both podcasts, in addition to all I've learned, the podcasts have prompted me to delve deeper in the study of the various events, something that I feel might not have happened without the amazingly detailed and entertaining accounts that you have given us.

See you on the other side, and looking forward to all your future projects.


How about bringing back the old Roman/Revolutionary tours? I bet there would be lots of people interested to join!

Karel Tavernier

This is a stunningly good series of podcasts. Well researched, well told. It brings out the core reasons why things happened as they happened, and that is an art few master. Gripping. The best series of podcasts I ever listened to, the only one that comes close is the one on Byzantine history.

Jason Tay

Thank you, Mike! I'll definitely miss this podcast, and I'm looking forward to the next one.

Michael Steward

Thanks for the blood, sweat, and tears. Thanks for the countless hours of research, the writes, and re-writes. Thanks for making incredibly complex historical episodes, nay, epochs easy to understand. Thank you for sticking it out when it was overwhelming you mentally. Thanks for butchering French so I feel good about my own pronunciation. Thanks for being an inspiration to me and so many others. Just, thanks.

Eliott C


Long time lurker since the end of The History of Rome. Thank you for all your amazing work. I've enjoyed every moment and proudly tell everyone I know to check out your stuff. Enjoy your break and I can't wait to enjoy your next project!

Stephen W

Hey Mike,

I've been with you since the French Revolution series, and it has been quite a ride! Revolutions has been my favorite podcast of any category these many years, and my only regret is that I didn't get to see any of your live shows. I'm exited for the next step, but until then I'd like to express my deep appreciation for Revolutions (and The History of Rome, which I listened to as well).


By the way you didn't post the second-to-last episode on this site.

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