20th Century

20th Century

Defined by a rise of nationalism, two world wars, clashing super powers, nuclear weapons and space exploration, the 20th Century is certainly not void of fascinating history. Enjoy our enormous library of documentaries on key events such as D-Day or the sinkng of the Titanic, interviews with leading experts such as Tom Holland, David Cannadine and fascinating podcasts on the history of warfare.

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20th Century
  • Mudlarking

    Dan joins author and mudlark expert Lara Maiklem for a spot of mudlarking.

  • Modern Spain

    Sir Paul Preston CBE comes on the show to discuss Spain's modern history and explain how the stripping away of its empire in the early 19th century had such a catastrophic impact on the country.

  • Inside Blenheim Palace

    One of the grandest private houses in the world, the site of Blenheim Palace has been host to the murder of a royal mistress, the downfall of a quarrelling Duchess and the birth of Sir Winston Churchill. Dan Snow takes a tour of one of Britain's most famous attractions.

  • Ink: A History of Tattooing

    Matt Lodder is the world's leading expert on the history of tattoos. He has found evidence of people using ink or charcoal on their bodies stretching back thousands of years. He explodes myths at every turn. Tattoos were common long before Captain Cook allegedly imported them back from the Pacifi...

  • How Christianity Shapes Our Morality

    Tom Holland sits down with Dan to talk about the history of Christianity, and how the religion has shaped morality in Western civilisation to this day.

  • Africa: Written out of History

    Historian Luke Pepera looks at how and why the history of Africa was written out of world history. He also explores how and why, as a consequence of this, the history of Africans in Britain was written out of British history.

  • Acting Up: Why The Royal Wedding Puts Women Centre Stage

    Historian Rebecca Rideal explores the significance of the wedding of Meghan Markle to Prince Harry by looking at how actresses have furthered the cause of equal rights and elevated the status of women, breaking new ground and subverting expectations, from restoration England right up to the prese...

  • I Object: Ian Hislop's Search for Dissent

    We live in a golden age of objection. Not since the 1960s has the Western world been so embroiled in street protests – women’s marches, anti-Trump demonstrations and alt-right parades in America, anti-Brexit marches in Britain, and strikes across continental Europe – as in recent years. It is saf...

  • 🎧 Adam Frankel on How Holocaust Trauma Still Haunts His Family 80 Years Later

    Adam Frankel worked in the Obama White House administration as a speech writer. His grandparents were holocaust survivors from eastern Europe. His mother had profound mental health problems and he discovered that his father was not his father. in an effort to understand the roots of this he learn...

  • Drake's Island: Plymouth's Island Fortress

    For generations, Drake's Island, situated just outside of Plymouth harbour, had been owned by the Ministry of Defence. Recently, however, this island bastion has gone into private ownership. In this documentary Bob King, the gatekeeper of Drake's Island, gives Dan an exclusive tour of this extrem...

  • 🎧 African Experiences in World War One with John Akomfrah

    Dan talks to video artist John Akomfrah about his new work, Mimesis, produced in association with 14-18Now, the arts organisation dedicated to the commemoration of the First World War. It explores the experience of Africans in World War I, and John tells about all the surprising things he learned...

  • 🎧 Air Power at Gallipoli with Mike Pavelec

    Dan chats to Mike Pavelec on the often-overlooked use of naval air power at Gallipoli during World War One in this minisode of the podcast.

  • 🎧 Air Power: The Past, Present and Future with Mike Pavelec

    Dan and Mike Pavelec talk about Air Power: it's short history and how it will shake the future up.

  • 🎧 Al Murray on Arnhem, Satire, Bartending and Drums

    Dan catches Al Murray for a wide ranging discussion.

  • 🎧 America's Contested Election

    Gary Gerstle joined me on the podcast to discuss two hundred years of U.S. history. He argues that the roots of the current crisis lie in two contrasting theories of power that the Framers inscribed in the Constitution.

  • 🎧 America's Entry into the First World War with Michael Neiberg

    Dan talks to Michael Neiburg, a leading historian of the transnational effects of war, who reveals everything you need to know about America's entry into World War One.

  • 🎧 An American on the Western Front with Patrick Gregory

    Patrick Gregory wrote and edited An American on the Western Front: The First World War Letters of Arthur Clifford Kimber, together with Elizabeth Nurser, who is Arthur Clifford Kimber’s niece. As programme producer for the BBC, he covered world events such as the fall of the Berlin Wall and reali...

  • 🎧 Anglo-American Rivalry in the Middle East with James Barr

    Dan Snow talks to James Barr about a rivalry in the Middle East, but it's not the one you might expect...

  • Sissinghurst: A Garden of Love

    In this second episode of our Great British Houses series:
    In the heart of Kent is one of Britain’s most intriguing houses: Sissinghurst Castle Garden. Originally a grand Elizabethan manor, by the 20th century Sissinghurst had fallen into a ruinous state. Yet it was this wildness and disrepair wh...

  • 🎧 Anita Anand on the Man Who Set out to Avenge the Amritsar Massacre

    Udham Singh, legendary in India but barely known in the western world, was present when the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar was perpetrated. Legend has it he picked a clump of bloody soil and swore to avenge the massacre. Twenty-one years later, he walked into Caxton Hall in order to shoot ...

  • 🎧 Anne Glenconner: Princess Margaret's Confidante

    Anne Glenconner has been at the centre of the royal circle from childhood, when she met and befriended the future Queen Elizabeth II and her sister, the Princess Margaret. Anne spoke to me from the resplendent saloon at Holkham Hall to discuss her truly remarkable life - a story of drama, tragedy...

  • 🎧 Antony Beevor on Arnhem

    Dan talks to Antony Beevor about Arnhem and Operation Market Garden.

  • My Life and World War Two

    Happy Birthday Victor Gregg - he has turned 100 this week. Victor volunteered to join the army before the Second World War and he fought all the way through - from clashes with the Italians in North Africa in 1940 to being captured 75 years ago this autumn at Arnhem. He was a Prisoner of War in D...

  • 🎧 Apollo 13

    I was joined by Kevin Fong, who took me through one of the most extraordinary stories in the history of exploration. Apollo 13 was the seventh crewed mission on the Apollo space programme, and their third attempt to land on the moon. But after an oxygen tank in the command module ignited early on...