Podcast Episode 88: Turn, Washington’s Spies

Not many Americans know anything about the Culper Ring, the intrepid group of American patriots and spies who helped Washington during his difficult tenure in New York during the War. AMC brought the ring to life in the series Turn. While fun to watch, the show lacks historical accuracy. I discuss the show, the Ring, and several of the historical inaccuracies in this episode of …more

Podcast Episode 87: The Flip

A listener asked me to discuss the supposed “flip” of the major American political parties. The narrative is that the Republicans used to be the Democrats and the Democrats used to be the Republicans. This is simply untrue. I discuss both parties and the myth of the “flip” on Episode 87 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

Podcast Episode 86: Andrew Jackson

Now Take ’em Down NOLA wants to remove the statue of Andrew Jackson. This was predictable. Jackson seems to be an easy target. After all, he will be removed from the $20 Federal Reserve Note and millennials think he hunted American Indians for sport. That is simply not true. Jackson was a mixed bag. He was a real American hero but as President he abused …more

Podcast Episode 85: Josiah Bailey and The Conservative Manifesto

Most people have never heard of Josiah Bailey of North Carolina. He was one of the few voices railing against the excesses of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and helped author “The Conservative Manifesto” in 1937. Garland Tucker featured him in his Conservative Heroes, a nice little book that is a good companion to Forgotten Conservatives in American History. I discuss Bailey, Southern Democrats, and the …more

Podcast Episode 84: The True Flag and American Imperialism

Stephen Kinzer has written a number of marvelous books, and his latest The True Flag is no exception. Kinzer argues that the Spanish-American War of 1898 and the debates that swirled about the future of American policy at the time are the origins of our modern imperial impulse. There is some truth to this, but I also think that we have to go back fifty …more

Podcast Episode 83: John Randolph of Roanoke

John Randolph of Roanoke is one of the more important political figures in American history. His thoughts on foreign policy, government, and society are worth studying, but it was his status as an aristocrat that should have everyone take notice. Randolph “loved liberty,” and it was his independence achieved by being a planter that made liberty possible. Randolph the aristocrat was different than Jeff Bezos …more

Podcast Episode 82: Trump, Hamilton, and Foreign Influence

A listener asked if there were any historical examples of foreign influence in American government or any good examples, other than Nixon, of major corruption in the executive branch. Of course! I wrote an entire book on bad presidents, 9 Presidents Who Screwed Up America, but my latest tome, How Alexander Hamilton Screwed Up America, details Hamilton’s role as the greatest villain in American history. …more

Podcast Episode 81: Confederate Origins of Memorial Day

Memorial Day is Monday. Most Americans don’t realize that the holiday would not exist without the Confederacy. In fact, the first Memorial Day was held in Columbus, GA in 1866 to honor Confederate dead. It spread across the South and was later co-opted by Union veterans in 1868. The holiday was often seen as a time of reconciliation. With Confederate symbols and monuments under attack, …more

Podcast Episode 80: Separation of Church and State?

This is a listener generated episode. Did Jefferson really believe that the general government had the authority to create a “wall between church and state?” Of course not, but this phrase has been used–and distorted–by the general government since the 1960s to knock down any semblance of religion in public life. I discuss the complete picture without the spin in this episode of The Brion …more

Podcast Episode 79: Why Slavery?

Why was slavery an important issue in antebellum America? A 2017 response would be because we have a moral aversion to the institution, but that was not the case in the period leading up to the War. Saying “slavery” in 2017 creates a false narrative about American history. I answer the question, “Why slavery?”