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The Hero Show

36 EpisodesProduced by Andrew BernsteinWebsite

The Hero Show, a weekly podcast of OSI, explores the lives and achievements of heroes who have shaped our world, with Andrew Bernstein and Jon Hersey. From freedom fighters, to pathbreaking scientists and inventors, to entrepreneurs and industrialists, these men and women can enlighten us, inspire u… read more

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Thomas Jefferson and the Battle for Individual Rights

February 27th, 2021


“All honor to Jefferson—to the man who, in the concrete pressure of a struggle for national independence by a single people, had the coolness, …

Galileo, Science, and the Struggle against the Church

February 19th, 2021


“It is surely harmful to souls to make it a heresy to believe what is proved.” —Galileo Galilei


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The Artistic Genius of Michelangelo

February 12th, 2021


Michelangelo devoted every fiber of his being to the arts, becoming not only one of history’s greatest sculptors, but also one its most notable …

Leonardo da Vinci: King of the Renaissance Men

February 5th, 2021


Leonardo da Vinci was not only one of history’s most innovative painters, he was proficient in practically every area of intellectual and cultural …

Thomas Sowell’s Battle for Capitalism

January 26th, 2021


“Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it.” —Thomas Sowell


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John D. Rockefeller: Robber Baron or Productive Genius?

January 15th, 2021


“We had vision. We saw the vast possibilities of the oil industry, stood at the center of it, and brought our knowledge and imagination and business experience to bear in a dozen, in twenty, in thirty directions.” —John …

Triumph over Prejudice: Cecilia Payne and Vivien Thomas

January 8th, 2021


Cecilia Payne broke open the male-dominated field of astronomy, inspiring young women to pursue scientific careers. Vivien Thomas pioneered life-saving surgical techniques, despite racial prejudices that unjustly …

Francis Bacon and the Genesis of the Scientific Method

December 30th, 2020


Francis Bacon was one of the first truly modern thinkers insofar as he systematically outlined key aspects of scientific methodology and shunned …

Sherlock Holmes: Literature’s Most Singular Man

December 25th, 2020


Some 130+ years after his debut, Sherlock Holmes remains a literary symbol of man’s reasoning mind. 


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Wilbur and Orville Wright: First in Flight

December 18th, 2020


For centuries, they said it couldn’t be done. Then, two bicycle entrepreneurs did it.


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Chuck Yeager: The Pilot Who Broke the Sound Barrier

December 11th, 2020


Chuck Yeager, who passed on December 7, 2020, was the first ever pilot to break the sound barrier. Annoyed at comments that he had in-born talent, he said, “I worked my tail off learning to learn how to fly, and worked …

George Washington: First among the Founders, Part 2

December 4th, 2020


George Washington, “father of his country,” led the Continental Army to victory in the American Revolutionary War, presided over the Constitutional …

Victor Hugo: A Literary Immortal, with Dr. Shoshana Milgram

November 28th, 2020


Victor Hugo helped to shatter classicist dogmas about form and propriety in literature, fueling the ascendance of romanticism. To this day, his The Hunchback of Notre-Dame and Les Misérables stand as unequaled feats of …

Isaac Newton: History’s Greatest Scientist, with Dr. Laurence Gould

November 20th, 2020


Isaac Newton not only identified the fundamental principles of how the world works, he defined the scientific method as we know it today. Join us for a discussion of Newton’s tremendous achievements with Dr. Laurence …

C Bradley Thompson on America’s Revolutionary Minds

November 16th, 2020


Bradley Thompson, author of America’s Revolutionary Mind, discusses the nature of America’s revolution; it’s heroes, known and unknown; and the ways …

George Washington: First among the Founders, Part 1

November 6th, 2020


George Washington, “father of his country,” led the Continental Army to victory in the American Revolutionary War, presided over the Constitutional …

Karl Marx and other Blood-Sucking Vampires | The Villain Show

October 30th, 2020


Animated by the anti-reason ideas of Immanuel Kant and G.W.F Hegel, Karl Marx preached a philosophy of class warfare and violent revolution. He …

Ayn Rand: Literary and Philosophic Revolutionary

October 26th, 2020


Ayn Rand escaped the communism of Soviet Russia in her early twenties, came to the United States, and built a career for herself as the bestselling author of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. She developed the …

Alexander Hamilton: The First Great Immigrant Success Story

October 16th, 2020


In his short life, Alexander Hamilton had an outsized impact on every stage of America’s founding, from leading troops and aiding Washington in the …

The White Rose’s Moral Crusade against the Nazis

October 9th, 2020


In 1942-43, as the National Socialists wreaked terror on the world, a group of university students and their professor collaborated in an attempt to …

Daryl Davis’s Lessons on Countering Racism

October 6th, 2020


The black Boogie-woogie pianist Daryl Davis joins us for a discussion on how he got to know white supremacists and ultimately helped them to leave …

James Madison: Father of the U.S. Constitution

September 28th, 2020


On this day in 1789, the U.S. Congress proposed to the state legislatures a series of constitutional amendments guaranteeing specific freedoms to all Americans. Here’s to the genius who made possible the Bill of Rights: …

Maria Montessori’s Revolution in Childhood Education

September 18th, 2020


Maria Montessori broke gender barriers, becoming one of the first female physicians in Italy. She went on to pioneer an approach to education that helps children independently develop their bodies and minds.


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Charles Darwin and the Triumph of Science

September 11th, 2020


Theorists prior to Charles Darwin either credited God with the creation of all species or announced theories without sufficient evidence. After years …

Ernest Shackleton and the Indomitable Heroic Spirit

September 4th, 2020


Ernest Shackleton famously said “Obstacles are just things to overcome.” He lived by that principle, making three expeditions to Antarctica, one of which was intended to cross the entire continent from sea to sea. When …

John Locke and the Road to Liberty

August 28th, 2020


John Locke, born August 29, 1632, made the first comprehensive case for individual rights, and America’s founders stood on his shoulders when …

William Wilberforce: The Abolitionist that Fought Slavery to the Death

August 24th, 2020


For forty-four years, William Wilberforce fought to end slavery in Britain. Finally, in 1833—just three days before he died—he heard the joyous news …

Louis Pasteur and the Battle against Germs

August 14th, 2020


Louis Pasteur’s groundbreaking science has saved countless lives and continues to do so today. He pioneered the development and use of vaccines, creating the first-ever vaccines for anthrax and rabies. His work was key …

Madam C. J. Walker: America’s First Female Self-Made Millionaire

August 7th, 2020


Sarah Breedlove (aka Madam C. J. Walker), a black woman born two years after Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, began her career washing …

Episode 7 - Joseph Priestley and the Lunar Society

July 31st, 2020


Joseph Priestley was a polymath who made major advances in science, education, and government. On July 31, 1772, he became, if not the first, one of …

The Genius of Adam Smith, with Eamonn Butler

July 27th, 2020


Adam Smith is widely recognized as “the father of modern economics,” thanks to his highly influential book, The Wealth of Nations, in which he explained how free markets work and why they benefit everyone. What many …

Aristotle: The Philosopher Who Taught Humanity How To Think

July 22nd, 2020


Few people, if any, have made as significant an impact on human progress as Aristotle. He was the father of logic and the scientific method, and he …

John Quincy Adams and the Battle for Abolition

July 10th, 2020


July 11 marks the birth of one of the antebellum period’s most powerful opponents of slavery, John Quincy Adams. Andrew Bernstein and Jon Hersey …

Celebrating the Independence and Courage of Amelia Earhart

July 3rd, 2020


Amelia Earhart developed a passion for flying in her early twenties and followed it for the rest of her short life, breaking cultural barriers and …

Life Lessons from Benjamin Franklin

June 26th, 2020


The tale of Benjamin Franklin’s life and accomplishments is one of the most inspiring and instructive stories in world history. If you’ve not heard it, you’re missing out. Tune in for some of Ol’ Ben’s life lessons, and …

Frederick Douglass and the Nature of Heroes

June 19th, 2020


Andrew and Jon discuss the nature of heroes and how they can inspire us to live more heroic lives. They examine the life and ideas of Frederick …

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