What Is This?

This is a Podcast that chronologically tells the history of the Modern Middle East, in the form of a podcast. The stories told are about Leaders and Commoners; Reformers and Reactionaries; Invaders and Resisters. My goal with this podcast is to educate and entertain. I want to show more than one side of this grand story. Events and decisions made over a century ago are still impacting us today, and this is where I am giving my take.

Why Did You Start This Podcast?

For the longest time I wanted to teach history. Well, I'm not sure if "teach" is the right word. I think I just like talking about history. Most of the people around me in my life are not as into history as I am, so there's rarely anyone to converse with. A podcast is a handy way of me getting to talk about history, and as many people who want to listen can do so.

I also think that history is taught poorly. In most schools, especially K-12 schools, history is taught mostly as a series of political events. And when you get older you are taught that history is series of economically motivated political events. History today is taught as being a series of materialistically determined events. There is also the problem of history being taught as just a bunch of names, dates, and places. It should be taught as stories, and related to what is happening today. After all, what does the Fall of the Ottoman Empire have to do with ISIS? 

About the Host

My name is Grant Hurst. I am a native of Central California. So, if you've ever eaten an almond, I've probably driven past the orchard it was grown in. I've had a life long love for history, although when I was younger, this mostly took the form of playing Risk. I consider myself to be a "Recovering Poli-Sci Major." You never entirely recover from that. And its my political aptitude that will inform much of the narrative of this podcast. I love to read: Physical Books, EBooks, and Audio Books. How else would I be able to make a podcast about history? Like most internet inclined Millennials, I am an avid listener of podcasts, and watcher of YouTube (more on that further down).

In terms of my education, my current highest degree is an AA in Social and Behavioral Sciences. My community college didn't have, history or political science degrees. Currently I am working on getting my BA in History from a State University in Central California, with plans on pursuing a Masters and a PhD. My favorite areas to study are Early American (1763-1825), Turn of the Century U.S. (1880-1920), and the Modern Middle East (1908- Present). The last of those I decided to make a podcast about.

Aside from this podcast, I have a number of other projects that I work on. I have a YouTube channel, youtube.com/grantghurst, as well as another website, CasualHistorian.com, which you can find a link to on the navigation bar. There is also a podcast under the name "Casual Historian", which you can find on most major podcasting apps.