History Sucks Podcast

The Truman Files

Fun, Lies, and Police Tape at the 1944 DNC

It’s 1944, all the party bosses know two things: Franklin Delano Roosevelt is going to win a 4th term and he most likely won’t live through it. At the party convention, the VP pick is going to be the next president. On one side is Henry Wallace, current VP and a lefty populist who’s popularity rivals Roosevelt’s, and on the other is Harry Truman, a largely marginal senator described by everyone who ever met him as “unremarkable.”

Harry Truman and the Cold War, pt 1

The long awaited sequel to our episode on the 1944 DNC and the first in a three part series, Brian is joined by friend of the show Justin Roll to discuss the key role that the Truman Administration played in starting the Cold War. In this episode we talk about the decision to drop nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Harry Truman and the Cold War, pt 2

In the second part of their three part series on the start of the Cold War, Justin and Brian examine how the US shaped the post-war order in Europe. And they answer the age-old question, “What’s going on over there with Germany?”

Harry Truman and the Cold War, pt 3

Justin and Brian conclude their series on Harry Truman by talking about the Korean War.

The Jumbo Series – The Story of LBJ

Jumbo Rising, pt 1

Justin and Brian are back to talk about the early life and career of one Lyndon Baines Johnson. Did you know that LBJ was so petty that he once rigged a pretend junior-Congress election amongst Congressional staffers? Or that he convinced his mistress’s husband to pay for his hotel rooms? Remember Pappy “Pass the Biscuits” O’Daniel and his Light Crust Doughboys? We cover all that and more as we talk LBJ and the mystery of Box 13.

Jumbo Rising, pt 2

You hear the gentle thump of the helicopter blades before the strings come in. Before you know it, your small town of Marfa is filled with “Ride of the Valkyries.” A man comes over the PA, “This is your friend Lyndon Johnson.” You see your mom faint in the West Texas sun. It’s 1948, and Lyndon Johnson is now your new dad.

Jumbo Intermission, pt 1

Jumbo returns as we discuss the post-WWII reactionary turn. This episode has something for everyone to hate! We talk about the connection between the CIA & abstract expressionism, we use the word “pomo,” we talk about what Trotsky was up to in Mexico, and we finally take Elia Kazan down a peg or two.

Jumbo Intermission, pt 2

In this episode, Justin and Brian discuss the Senate, its humble origins, and its many august institutions. They talk about the tradition of collegiality and debate before revealing the secret room where children are sacrificed to Moloch before finally answering the question, “Which Senator has the best office?” All this and more!