Podcast recommendations

published on 2021-08-01

last edited on 2022-11-19

Ever since I discovered podcasts, I pretty much stopped reading non-fiction books. Whether or not that is a good thing is another discussion, but it speaks to the power of podcasting as a format and the many excellent podcasts that were produced/are in production ever since the podcast boom in 2019-ish, which is when I started very actively listening.

As with every medium, there’s good, bad, very bad and ugly podcasting. This list contains only the podcasts I encountered that I found superior in content, delivery, focus, enjoyability and production value.

In terms of “how” to listen, there’s a plethora of software out there. I exclusively listed on my phone, and used to be really happy with the FOSS application Antennapod on Android (especially with the gPodder synchronization with my Nextcloud instance). Ever since I switched to iOS, Pocket Casts has been my go-to; the free version has everything I need and more.

If you speak Dutch, scroll down for a separate Nederlandstalig category.

Recurring podcasts

Non-recurring podcasts

Slow Burn Slow Burn
7 seasons, 8 eps each
50 mins
Well-made US history stories. Covered topics: Watergate, Lewinsky, Biggie v. Tupac, David Duke, Iraq war, L.A. Riots, Roe v. Wade.
Unfinished Unfinished
3 seasons, 10 eps each
50 mins
Stories about US history that the country has not fully reckoned with. High emphasis on racial relations.
The Coming Storm The Coming Storm
10 episodes
40 mins
BBC podcast on QAnon, January 6th and the more outlandish strain of conspiracy theories engulfing contemporary US politics.
Heaven's Gate Heaven's Gate
10 episodes
45 mins
The unbelievable history of the Heaven's Gate cult and its mass suicide, of which its followers thought it was a UFO cab ticket.
The Missing Cryptoqueen The Missing Cryptoqueen
11 episodes
45 mins
Ruja Ignatova scammed millions and disappeared into thin air. Podcast not only details her story, but actively Sherlocks her current whereabouts.
Wind of Change Wind of Change
8 episodes
50 mins
Did the CIA write the Scorpions' hit to stir revolution in the USSR? More interesting than the answer to that question are the accounts of to what lengths psyops in the Cold War went.
The Chernobyl Podcast The Chernobyl Podcast
6 episodes
50 mins
Accompanying the (excellent) TV series, providing additional historical context to the eponymous nuclear disaster.
Caliphate Caliphate
6 episodes
50 mins
Probably the best investigative journalism about the rise, heyday and fall of ISIS I've heard.
Day X Day X
5 episodes
30 mins
NYT podcast about right-wing extremism's orchestrated infiltration into Germany's military and police force.
Welcome To Your Fantasy Welcome To Your Fantasy
9 episodes
45 mins
I could never predict that a podcast about The Chippendales could be this entertaining. A look at the history and the behind-the-scenes of the male stripper ensemble.

Nederlandstalige podcasts