Cover art for podcast Revisionist History

Revisionist History

83 EpisodesProduced by Pushkin IndustriesWebsite

Revisionist History is Malcolm Gladwell's journey through the overlooked and the misunderstood. Every episode re-examines something from the past—an event, a person, an idea, even a song—and asks whether we got it right the first time. From Pushkin Industries. Because sometimes the past deserves a s… read more

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83 Episodes | 2016 - 2021

The Revisionist History Holiday Sampler

December 21st, 2021

24:14

Sharing special previews of Pushkin’s show Bad Women: Ripper Retold and this month’s Pushkin+ episode, ‘The Dog-tor WIll See You Now’  

You know the …

Introducing: A Slight Change of Plans, Apple Podcasts' Best Show of the Year

December 1st, 2021

43:03

Pushkin is thrilled to announce that A Slight Change of Plans was named Apple Podcasts' Best Show of the Year! This week, we're sharing an episode with Revisionist History listeners. A Slight Change of Plans is all …

Revisionist History Presents Miracle And Wonder: Conversations With Paul Simon

November 16th, 2021

38:21

Presenting: An Excerpt from Miracle And Wonder: Conversations With Paul Simon by Malcolm Gladwell and Bruce Headlam. Download the audiobook today at

Teaser: Pushkin’s Dirty Laundry

November 11th, 2021

6:27

In this month’s subscriber-only episode, the Pushkin staff have something to say about Malcolm’s portrayal of their laundry habits. Plus, an unbiased …

Teaser: The Compromises of Al Levitt

October 14th, 2021

3:27

In this month’s subscriber-only episode, a look at the complicated and possibly cursed career of Helen Levitt’s other half.

This is a sneak peek at the second in our series of subscriber episodes. To hear the rest, …

Revisionist History Presents: Climate Change Despondency is Solvable

September 29th, 2021

20:32

Solvable Host Ronald Young Jr. sits down with Malcolm Gladwell to talk about climate change: the power of individual choices, cultural shifts and …

At The Movies with Some of My Best Friends Are...

September 16th, 2021

40:24

Introducing Pushkin's newest show, Some of My Best Friends Are...hosted by Khalil Muhammad and Ben Austen, two best friends who grew up together on the South Side of Chicago in '80s. Khalil and Ben invite listeners into …

Revisionist Revisited: Extras from the Little Mermaid Series

September 9th, 2021

26:16

Malcolm revives his Little Mermaid darlings while the editor is away. The first of a series of four bonus episodes. To receive all four, subscribe to …

The Dog Will See You Now

August 26th, 2021

38:22

If recent times have shown us anything, it’s that many problems can not be fixed by humans alone. In the season 6 finale, Revisionist History turns to another species for a little help.

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A Serious Game

August 19th, 2021

35:58

The best way to prepare for the unexpected may not be to make plans, or predictions, but to play games. Revisionist History explores imaginary worlds and the people who love finding out what they don’t know.

Learn more …

Laundry Done Right

August 12th, 2021

37:21

Is there a right way to do your laundry? Of course there is. A long look at the science of cleaning your clothes.

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Little Mermaid Part 3: Honestly Ever After

August 2nd, 2021

37:30

Revisionist History presents: The Little Mermaid...our way. The grand finale of our three-part series. Featuring the voices of Jodie Foster, Glenn Close, Dax Shepard, Brit Marling, and many more.

Learn more about your …

Little Mermaid Part 2: The Fairytale Twist

July 29th, 2021

37:11

The quest to revise The Little Mermaid continues. This week, we call in the experts. Part two of three.

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Little Mermaid Part 1: The Golden Contract

July 22nd, 2021

38:56

Revisionist History takes on The Little Mermaid: a deep dive into a world where merpeople present us with a series of vexing moral conundrums. Part one of three.

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The Judgment of Helen Levitt

July 15th, 2021

39:55

Helen Slote Levitt was on her way to the good life in 1950s Hollywood. Then one day, her name appeared on a list. The story of an ordinary woman …

Project Dillard

July 8th, 2021

40:04

A historically Black university in New Orleans is beloved by everyone – except the US News best colleges rankings. We hack our way back into the …

Lord of the Rankings

July 1st, 2021

37:24

For 30 years, US News & World Report has been using a secret formula to rank the best colleges and universities in the United States. As a public …

I Love You Waymo

June 24th, 2021

38:56

Revisionist History travels to Phoenix, Arizona to learn about the future of the automobile. It’s not what you think. It’s much better.


Warning: Some of the actions depicted in this episode are dangerous. Do not imitate …

Presenting: Be Antiracist with Ibram X. Kendi

June 9th, 2021

28:23

Presenting a sneak peek of Pushkin’s newest show, Be Antiracist with Ibram X. Kendi. On Be Antiracist, Dr. Kendi discusses policies and practices …

Introducing Revisionist History Season Six

June 3rd, 2021

2:52

The sixth season of Revisionist History is underway, and Malcolm’s finally out of the house. We play chicken with cars, war games with wonks, and …

Bonus: Malcolm Gladwell and Adam Grant

May 28th, 2021

49:39

Whenever Malcolm and Adam Grant cross paths on the book tour circuit, it's always a good time. Here are pieces of two conversations from Clubhouse: …

Presenting: The Bomber Mafia by Malcolm Gladwell

April 27th, 2021

16:51

Season 5 of Revisionist History included four episodes on the rise of air power during the Second World War. Listeners met Air Force generals Haywood Hansell and Curtis LeMay and heard about the birth of napalm and the …

Bonus: Return to the 404

December 17th, 2020

42:04

We're back in Atlanta - this week with jaunts to Jamaica, Kenya, court-side NBA games, and a deep dive into fine art forgery. Plus, Malcolm finally …

Bonus: Druid Hills

December 10th, 2020

33:11

Revisionist History takes a trip to Malcolm's favorite city and gets a tour of Emory University, meets 3000 non-human primates and 8000 rodents, and …

A Memorial for the Living

August 20th, 2020

44:33

Lessons from the world’s most perfect memorial.

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"Oh Howard, You Idiot!”

August 13th, 2020

51:01

A billionaire turned recluse befriends a minor novelist. Together they seize the public’s imagination. Kind of. The true story behind the greatest autobiography you’ve never read.

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Hamlet Was Wrong

August 6th, 2020

43:42

The delicate science of hiring nihilism, examined in five deeply-personal case studies.

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Goodbye, Farewell and Amen

July 30th, 2020

44:59

How do we remember one of the deadliest nights in human history? We don't. Part four.

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Bombs-Away LeMay

July 23rd, 2020

45:09

The arguments, accidents, cold-blooded logic and sheer serendipity that led to the longest night of the Second World War. Part three.

Get Revisionist …

May the Best Firebomb Win

July 16th, 2020

42:17

Basement laboratories. Mad scientists. Sticky gels, and a bake-off in the desert. The strange story behind Curtis LeMay’s weapon of choice. Part two.

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The Bomber Mafia

July 9th, 2020

37:37

On the eve of the Second World War, a band of visionaries at Maxwell Air Force Base tried to reimagine modern warfare. They failed. Part one on the extraordinary life of the Air Force General Curtis LeMay.

Get …

The Powerball Revolution

July 2nd, 2020

46:38

In Bolivia, a political activist radically reforms the voting process for... student council elections. Who else does he convince? Revisionist …

Hedwig’s Lost Van Gogh

June 25th, 2020

45:08

An escape from war-torn Germany. Lavish dinners with Hollywood royalty. A Swedish baron and a dime-store heiress: we explore the long journey of a …

Dragon Psychology 101

June 18th, 2020

46:34

Dragons hoard treasure, deep in their lairs. They don’t show it off to their neighbors. Revisionist History applies dragon psychology to the strange …

Introducing Revisionist History Season Five

June 4th, 2020

2:35

Andy Warhol. War. Smaug the Dragon. And, as always, digressions of great importance.

Launching June 18 from Pushkin Industries.

Learn more about your …

Revisionist History Presents: The Limits of Power

June 2nd, 2020

44:23

Malcolm has been writing about race and policing for a very long time, going back to the killing of Amadou Diallo in 1999. Sometimes, it is useful to …

The Queen of Cuba

August 29th, 2019

1:03:36

On February 24, 1996, Cuban fighter jets shot down two small planes operated by Brothers to the Rescue, an organization in Florida that tried to spot refugees fleeing Cuba in boats. A strange chain of events preceded …

The Obscure Virus Club

August 22nd, 2019

39:38

Throughout the 1960s, a biologist named Howard Temin became convinced that something wasn’t right in science’s understanding of viruses. His …

Chutzpah vs. Chutzpah

August 15th, 2019

41:01

You thought that there was only one kind of chutzpah. Wrong. There’s two. Revisionist History tells the story of the Mafia’s showdown with a …

In a Metal Mood

August 8th, 2019

42:16

Two seasons after its investigation of the decline of McDonalds french fries, Revisionist History returns to fast-food’s high-tech test kitchens. …

Descend into the Particular

August 1st, 2019

44:48

An unarmed man is shot to death by police. How does the Jesuitical idea of “disordered attachments” help us make sense of what happened? Part three …

Dr. Rock’s Taxonomy

July 25th, 2019

40:56

John Rock was the co-inventor of the birth control pill — and a committed Catholic. He wanted his church to approve of his invention. What happens …

The Standard Case

July 18th, 2019

40:15

Revisionist History tries to make sense of the conundrum of PED use in baseball, using the 500-year-old philosophical techniques of St. Ignatius. …

Good Old Boys

July 11th, 2019

42:29

If you disagree with someone — if you find what they think appalling — is there any value in talking to them? In the early 1970s, the talk show host Dick Cavett, the governor of Georgia Lester Maddox, and the singer …

Tempest in a Teacup

July 4th, 2019

38:45

Bohea, the aroma of tire fire, Mob Wives, smugglers, “bro” tea, and what it all means to the backstory of the American Revolution. Malcolm tells the …

The Tortoise and the Hare

June 27th, 2019

42:14

A weird speech by Antonin Scalia, a visit with some serious legal tortoises, and a testy exchange with the experts at the Law School Admissions …

Puzzle Rush

June 20th, 2019

38:24

Malcolm challenges his assistant Camille to the Law School Admissions Test. He gets halfway through, panics, runs out of time, and wonders: why does …

Introducing Revisionist History Season Four

June 13th, 2019

2:31

Jesuits. Chess masters. Mafiosi. Lawyers. And a little bit of tire fire. 

Launching June 20th from Pushkin Industries. 

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Revisionist History Presents: Rick Rubin

November 13th, 2018

48:58

Revisionist History presents the first episode of a new podcast, Broken Record. It's a conversation between Rick Rubin and Revisionist History host …

Analysis, Parapraxis, Elvis

July 19th, 2018

55:27

The one song The King couldn’t sing. 

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Strong Verbs, Short Sentences

July 12th, 2018

43:36

“She was Joan of Arc, Madame Curie, and Florence Nightingale—all wrapped up in one.”

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The Imaginary Crimes of Margit Hamosh

July 5th, 2018

37:04

Epidemics of fear repeat themselves. The first time as tragedy. The second time as farce. Margit Hamosh? Definitely farce. 

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Malcolm Gladwell's 12 Rules for Life

June 28th, 2018

46:45

Crucial life lessons from the end of hockey games, Idris Elba, and some Wall Street guys with a lot of time on their hands.

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The Hug Heard Round the World

June 21st, 2018

41:52

Q: Was there a period where you felt you had something to prove? A: The first 45 years of my life. 

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General Chapman’s Last Stand

June 14th, 2018

37:09

Good fences make good neighbors. Or maybe not.

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Free Brian Williams

June 7th, 2018

39:29

"Sorry dude, I don't remember you being on my aircraft."

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A Polite Word for Liar

May 31st, 2018

39:40

An early morning raid, a house-full of Nazis, the world’s greatest harmonica player, and a dashingly handsome undercover spy. What could possibly go …

Burden of Proof

May 24th, 2018

37:04

“He called to wish me ‘Happy Birthday.’ Then he said, ‘I’m failing everything.’”

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Divide and Conquer

May 17th, 2018

42:21

The complete, unabridged history of the world’s most controversial semicolon. 

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Bonus: Malcolm Gladwell debates Adam Grant

May 10th, 2018

54:32

In a special live taping at the 92nd Street Y in New York, Malcolm talks with WorkLife’s Adam Grant about how to avoid doing highly undesirable …

Introducing Revisionist History Season Three

May 3rd, 2018

2:25

Malcolm Gladwell is back with season three of Revisionist History: harmonica players, mass delusion, semicolons, and a constitutional crisis. …

The Basement Tapes

August 17th, 2017

33:59

What is a son’s obligation to his father?

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McDonald’s Broke My Heart

August 10th, 2017

38:07

They made the world’s greatest French Fry. Then they threw it away.

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Mr. Hollowell Didn’t Like That

August 3rd, 2017

39:28

Arrested, arraigned, indicted, tried, convicted, and sentenced to die in the electric chair in 24 hours.

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State v Johnson

July 27th, 2017

35:30

“Nobody was interested in justice.”

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The King of Tears

July 20th, 2017

45:48

Why country music makes you cry, and rock and roll doesn’t: A musical interpretation of divided America.

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The Prime Minister and the Prof

July 13th, 2017

38:17

The friendship that changed the course of World War II.

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The Foot Soldier of Birmingham

July 6th, 2017

38:36

“Oh, Mac. What did you do?”

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Miss Buchanan’s Period of Adjustment

June 29th, 2017

34:45

A landmark Supreme Court case. A civil rights revolution. Why has everyone forgotten what happened next?

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The Road to Damascus

June 22nd, 2017

44:05

What happens when a terrorist has a change of heart?

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A Good Walk Spoiled

June 15th, 2017

38:09

Rich people and their addiction to golf: a philosophical investigation.

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Introducing Revisionist History Season Two

May 26th, 2017

2:49

From bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell, season two of Revisionist History launches June 15th.

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The Satire Paradox

August 18th, 2016

41:41

In the political turmoil of mid-1990s Britain, a brilliant

young comic named Harry Enfield set out to satirize the ideology and politics

of Prime …

Generous Orthodoxy

August 11th, 2016

37:01

A 98-year-old minister takes on his church over the subject of gay marriage—and teaches the rest of us what it means to stand up in protest.

To learn …

Blame Game

August 4th, 2016

41:52

In the summer and fall of 2009, hundreds of Toyota owners came forward with an alarming allegation: Their cars were suddenly and uncontrollably …

Hallelujah

July 28th, 2016

40:37

How does genius emerge? An exploration of different types of innovation—through the lens of Elvis Costello’s extraordinary song “Deportee,” once utterly forgettable and then, through time and iteration, a work of beauty …

My Little Hundred Million

July 21st, 2016

43:10

In the early ’90s, Hank Rowan gave $100 million to a tiny public university in Glassboro, New Jersey: not Harvard, not Yale, not even to his alma …

Food Fight

July 14th, 2016

34:12

Bowdoin College and Vassar College are two elite private schools that compete for the same students. But one of those schools is trying hard to …

Carlos Doesn’t Remember

July 7th, 2016

37:41

Of the tens of thousands of talented, low-income students who graduate from high school every year in the United States, most never make it to …

The Big Man Can't Shoot

June 30th, 2016

39:11

Wilt Chamberlain’s brilliant career was marred by one, deeply inexplicable decision: He chose a shooting technique that made him one of the worst …

Saigon, 1965

June 23rd, 2016

45:11

In the early 1960s the Pentagon set up a top-secret research project in an old villa in downtown Saigon. The task? To interview captured North …

The Lady Vanishes

June 16th, 2016

37:54

In the late 19th century, a painting titled The Roll Call, by a virtually unknown artist, took England by storm. But after that brilliant first …

Introducing Revisionist History

June 3rd, 2016

4:11

Coming soon, a new podcast series from bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell.

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