The End Is Always Near
By Dan Carlin
288 pp. Harper Collins. $30.
My recommendation: Listen to Carlin’s Hardcore History podcast!
If you haven’t listened to Dan Carlin’s “Hardcore History” podcast, do yourself a favor and download it now.
I first heard of Dan Carlin thanks to an interview the author Sam Harris gave to The Guardian back in 2015. Harris mentioned Carlin’s podcast and before long I’d downloaded all 50+ episodes and was instantly hooked. The only problem is that Carlin, who releases long-form podcasts that often exceed four hours, only produces one to two podcasts a year, so the wait time is real.
I particularly recommend Carlin’s podcast on the First World War called Blueprint for Armageddon as well as his series on the rise of Genghis Khan’s mongols called Wrath of the Khans.
The reason I mention the podcast here is that Carlin has essentially gone and written a book, his first, that is more or less a “Greatest Hits” of his podcast series. That doesn’t mean the book isn’t good, it is, but when you’re used to a series that takes on a specific subject in six 4+ hour episodes, a 288-page book that jumps through various historical events isn’t going to feel like much more than an overview.
So there it is. If you want a great introduction to Dan Carlin, this is it. I predict you’ll like it and end up wanting more … or you could just jump right into the podcast.
While Carlin claims endlessly that he’s “not a historian”, he certainly does make history fun!