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The Art of Manliness


The Art of Manliness Podcast aims to deepen and improve every area of a man's life, from fitness and philosophy, to relationships and productivity. Engaging and edifying interviews with some of the world's most interesting doers and thinkers drop the fluff and filler to glean guests' very best, potentially life-changing, insights.


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The Art of Manliness Podcast aims to deepen and improve every area of a man's life, from fitness and philosophy, to relationships and productivity. Engaging and edifying interviews with some of the world's most interesting doers and thinkers drop the fluff and filler to glean guests' very best, potentially life-changing, insights.




The Secrets of Supercommunicators

Have you ever known one of those people who seemed to be able to connect with anyone? The kind of person who had the ability to make others feel understood and smoothly navigate even the trickiest of conversations? Charles Duhigg calls these folks "supercommunicators," and he's the author of a new book by the same name. Today on the show, Charles explains that what underlies supercommunicators' skill in connection is something called the matching principle, and he unpacks how it works and how you can put it to use in your own conversations. We discuss several techniques for how to figure out what kind of conversation you're having, so you can align your language and energy with the other person. And because emotional conversations can be particularly difficult, we dig into tactics for successfully navigating them, even when they contain a high degree of conflict. We also get into how to carry the skills of connection into your digital conversations. Resources Related to the Podcast Episode #61: The Power of HabitEpisode #196: The Science of Self-Motivation & ProductivityAoM Podcast #559: How to Handle Difficult ConversationsConnect With Charles Duhigg Charles' website


7 Journaling Techniques That Can Change Your Life

In my twenties and early thirties, I was a regular journaler. Several years ago, however, I stopped journaling almost entirely because I wasn’t getting anything out of it anymore. But my guest has helped me see that my problem wasn’t with journaling itself, but that I had gotten into a journaling rut, and he’s introduced me to some new ways to journal that have inspired me to get back into the practice. Campbell Walker is an illustrator, animator, podcaster, and YouTuber, as well as the author of Your Head is a Houseboat: A Chaotic Guide to Mental Clarity. Today on the show, Cam shares how journaling transformed his life and what it can do for yours. We discuss why it’s helpful to do a journaling brain dump and how to then move beyond that to incorporate different techniques that will help you get greater insight into the problems you’re facing and how to solve them. We unpack those techniques, which include how to journal to break mindset, conduct a lifestyle and habits audit, and quell anxiety. We also talk about an experiment Cam did where he only used the social media apps on his phone when he was posting something, and every time he got the itch to check social media for fun, he engaged in something he calls “microjournaling” instead. We end our conversation with how Cam’s journaling changed after he became a dad and his tips on making journaling a consistent habit in your life. Resources Related to the Episode Campbell’s Video: The Journaling Techniques That Changed My LifeCampbell’s Video: I Replaced Social Media With Micro-Journaling for 1 YearAoM Article: The Right and Wrong Way to JournalAoM Article: Why I Stopped JournalingAoM Article: 30 Days to a Better Man Day 8 — Start a JournalAoM Article: Jumpstart Your Journaling — A 31-Day ChallengeAoM Article: 31 Journaling Prompts for Building Greater Self-RelianceAoM Article: Quit Catastrophizing AoM Podcast #387: Think Like a Poker Player to Make Better Decisions (With Annie Duke)Connect With Campbell Walker (AKA “Struthless”) Cam on YouTubeCam on IGThe Struthless Shop WebsiteThe Struthless Animation Studio Website


Busting the Myths of Marriage — Why Getting Hitched Still Matters

The marriage rate has come down 65% since 1970. There are multiple factors behind this decrease, but one of them is what we might call the poor branding that surrounds marriage in the modern day. From all corners of our culture and from both ends of the ideological spectrum come messages that marriage is an outdated institution, that it hinders financial success and personal fulfillment, and that it's even unimportant when it comes to raising kids. My guest would say that these ideas about marriage are very wrong, and he doesn't come at it from an emotionally-driven perspective, but from what's born out by the data. Dr. Brad Wilcox is a sociologist who heads the nonpartisan National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, which studies marriage and family life. He's also the author of Get Married. Today on the show, Brad discusses the latest research on marriage and how it belies the common narratives around the institution. We dig into the popular myths around marriage, and how it not only boosts your finances, but predicts happiness in life better than any other factor. Brad also shares the five pillars of marriage that happy couples embrace. Resources Related to the Podcast Brad's previous appearance on the AoM Podcast: Episode #278 — The Surprising Benefits of Marriage for MenThe National Marriage Project at UVAAoM Article: The Case for MarriagePiece in the NYT by Brad: "To Be Happy, Marriage Matters More Than Career"Piece in the Atlantic co-authored by Brad: "Now Political Polarization Comes for Marriage Prospects"Brad's articles at the Institute for Family Studies AoM Podcast #946: Counterintuitive Ideas About Marriage, Family, and Kids Connect With Brad Wilcox Brad's faculty pageBrad on XBrad on LinkedIn


Chasing Shackleton — Re-creating the World’s Greatest Journey of Survival

If you’ve ever read the classic book Endurance, you probably shivered and shuddered as you wondered what it would have been like to have undertaken Ernest Shackleton’s famously arduous Antarctic rescue mission. The adventurer Tim Jarvis did more than wonder. When Alexandra Shackleton challenged him to re-create her grandfather’s epic journey, he jumped at the chance to follow in the legendary explorer’s footsteps. Today on the show, Tim, the author of Chasing Shackleton: Re-creating the World’s Greatest Journey of Survival, first shares the story of Shackleton’s heroic effort to save the crew of his failed Antarctic expedition. Tim then tells us how he and his own crew replicated Shackleton’s journey over land and sea, from taking the same kind of rowboat to eating the same kind of rations — and the lessons in resilience and leadership he learned along the way. Resources Related to the Podcast Endurance by Alfred LansingShackleton’s apocryphal recruiting advertisement AoM Article: Leadership Lessons from Ernest ShackletonAoM Article: What They Left and What They Kept — What an Antarctic Expedition Can Teach You About What’s Truly ValuableAoM Article: Alone — Lessons on Solitude From an Antarctic ExplorerAoM Article: The Libraries of Famous Men — Ernest ShackletonConnect With Tim Jarivs Tim’s websiteTim on IGTim on LinkedIn


Night Visions — Understand and Get More Out of Your Dreams

When you really stop to think about it, it’s an astonishing fact that we spend a third of our lives asleep. And part of that time, we’re dreaming. What goes on during this unconscious state that consumes so much of our lives, and how can we use our dreams to improve our waking hours? Here to unpack the mysterious world of dreams is Alice Robb, the author of Why We Dream: The Transformative Power of Our Nightly Journey. Today on the show, Alice first shares some background on the nature of dreams, why their content is often stress-inducing, and how they can influence our waking hours, from impacting our emotional health to helping us be more creative. We then turn to how to get more out of our dreams, including the benefits of keeping a dream journal and talking about your dreams with others. We also get into the world of lucid dreaming and some tips for how you can start controlling your dreams. Resources Related to the Podcast Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund FreudExploring the World of Lucid Dreaming by Stephen LaBergeAoM Article: Nap Like Salvador Dali — Get Creative Insights on the Boundary Between Sleep and WakefulnessConnect With Alice Robb Alice’s website


Shakespeare on How Leaders Rise, Rule, and Fall

When people think of the plays of Shakespeare, they tend to think of his comedies and tragedies that spotlight interpersonal dynamics like love and jealousy, pretense and reality. But my guest would say that many of Shakepeare's plays, especially his sometimes overlooked histories, are also unmatchable in revealing the dynamics of power. Eliot Cohen is a military historian, political scientist, professor of international studies, and former State Department counselor, as well as the author of The Hollow Crown: Shakespeare on How Leaders Rise, Rule, and Fall. Today on the show Eliot takes us through what Shakepeare's plays can teach us about navigating the three-part arc of power: acquiring power, exercising power, and losing power. Along the way, we discuss how these lessons in leadership played out in the lives of real-life historical figures as well. Resources Related to the Podcast Richard IIHenry IV, Part 1Henry IV, Part 2Henry VRichard IIIJulius CaesarCoriolanusKing LearMacbethThe TempestAoM Podcast #853: The Real Rules of PowerAoM Podcast #792: How Power CorruptsAoM Article: A Lesson From TR & Taft on Pursuing a Life You LikeAoM Article: There Is No Indispensable ManRobert Caro's biographical series on LBJAll the King's Men by Robert Penn WarrenSupreme Command: Soldiers, Statesmen, and Leadership in Wartime by Eliot CohenConnect With Elliot Cohen Eliot's faculty page


Launch a Million-Dollar Business This Weekend

Have you always wanted to be an entrepreneur but don’t have an idea for a business? Or have you been sitting on a business idea for years but have never gotten going with it? Well, after listening to this podcast and by the end of this weekend, you can have a business started that could ultimately make you a million bucks. Here to walk you through the process of becoming a near-overnight entrepreneur is Noah Kagan. Kagan is the founder of AppSumo, a software deals site, and half a dozen other multi-million-dollar businesses, as well as the author of Million Dollar Weekend: The Surprisingly Simple Way to Launch a 7-Figure Business in 48 Hours. Today on the show, Noah and I first discuss the two biggest obstacles that hold people back from starting a business and how to overcome them. We then turn to the practicalities of coming up with and vetting a business idea, how to find your first customers, and how to keep growing from there. Along the way, Noah and I share insights into how we turned AppSumo and Art of Manliness, respectively, from side hustles into rewarding careers. Resources Related to the Podcast Noah’s previous appearance on the AoM Podcast: Episode #315 — The Power of Small Experiments to Supercharge Your SuccessPart IPart II AoM Article: Want to Start a Business? Consider These 5 Invaluable Lessons Before Diving InAoM Article: How to Start a Business with Limited FundsAoM Podcast #344: The Art of the Side HustleAoM Article: Be Your Own Boss — 37 Side Hustle IdeasConnect With Noah Kagan Million Dollar Weekend websiteNoah’s websiteNoah on XNoah on IGNoah on LinkedInNoah on YouTube


The Case for Minding Your Own Business

Attend the graduation of a college senior, and the commencement speech is likely to include a few themes: Do something big. Make a name for yourself. Change the world. My guest is not a fan of this advice, and says that rather than focusing on solving large-scale problems, we ought to concentrate on making things better in our own backyards. Brandon Warmke is a professor of philosophy and the co-author of Why It's OK to Mind Your Own Business. Today on the show, Brandon explains why what he calls "commencement speech morality" distorts our moral vision by emphasizing one version of the good and valuable life, at the expense of the value and good of a life marked by "ordinary morality." Brandon first unpacks the dangers of intervening in other people's business, including becoming a moralizer and a busybody. He then makes a case for the benefits of minding your own business and putting down roots, creating a good home, and living in solitude, and for how a smaller, quieter life can still be generous, important, and noble. Resources Related to the Podcast Brandon's previous appearance on the show: Episode #734 — How Moral Grandstanding Is Ruining Our Public DiscourseSunday Firesides: Blessed Are the Trail MaintainersAoM Article: How John Stuart Mill Got Over His Existential Crisis, and You Can Too!AoM Podcast #910: Thick Desires, Political Atheism, and Living an Anti-Mimetic LifeAoM #881: A Kantian Guide to LifeAoM Article: The Spiritual Disciplines — Solitude and Silence The Virtues of Limits by David McPhersonThe Need for Roots by Simone WeilConnect With Brandon Warmke Brandon's websiteBrandon's faculty page


The Mundanity of Excellence

Forty years ago, now retired professor of sociology Daniel Chambliss performed a field study in which he observed an elite swim team to figure out what it was that led to excellence in any endeavor. As Chambliss shared in a paper entitled “The Mundanity of Excellence,” the secret he discovered is that there really is no secret, and that success is more ordinary than mystical. As mundane as the factors and qualities that lead to excellence really are, they can still run contrary to what we sometimes think makes for high achievement. Today on the show, I unpack the sometimes unexpected elements of excellence with Daniel. We discuss how desire is more important than discipline, the central role of one’s social group and surrounding yourself with the best of the best, the outsized importance of the small things, why you need to make being good your job, why motivation is mundane, and why you need to keep a sense of mundanity even as you become excellent. Resources Related to the Podcast Champions: The Making of Olympic Swimmers by Daniel F. Chambliss“The Mundanity of Excellence”AoM Article: Motivation Over DisciplineAoM Article: The Secret of Great Men — Deliberate PracticeAoM Podcast #887: The Golden Rules of SuccessSunday Firesides: What Looks Like Grit, Is Often Fit“Go Ahead, Drop My Course” — WSJ article by DanielMark SchubertMission Viejo NadadoresConnect With Daniel Chambliss Daniel’s faculty page


A Guide to Protecting Yourself Against Unexpected Violence

When Sam Rosenberg was 20 years old and working as a bouncer in a bar, a disgruntled patron pointed a gun directly at his chest and told him: “Now I’m going to kill you.” Sam survived the incident but it caused him to question what he thought he knew about self-defense and sent him on a decades-long quest to figure out how people can best protect themselves and others. Today on the show, I talk to Sam, an expert in personal protection and the author of Live Ready: A Guide to Protecting Yourself in an Uncertain World, about his self-defense philosophy and how you can use it in your life to stay safe from violent threats. Sam makes the case that understanding how the mind works under life-or-death stress is the foundation of protecting yourself. We unpack that idea, as well as the phases of the timeline of violence, the phase you can exercise the most control in to deter a violent encounter and how to know when you’re in that phase, how to convey you’re a hard target that predators don’t want to mess with, and much more. Resources Related to the Podcast AoM Article: The Tao of Boyd — How to Master the OODA LoopAoM Article: A Crash Course in Real World Self-DefenseAoM Article: How to Treat Your Family Like VIPsAoM Podcast #85: Situational Awareness With Patrick Van HorneAoM Podcast #198: Turning Yourself Into a Human Weapon With Tony BlauerAoM Podcast #334: When Violence Is the AnswerAoM Podcast #513: Be Your Own BodyguardAoM Podcast #688: Protection for and From HumanityAoM Podcast #781: Beyond OODA — Developing the Orientation for Conflict and ViolenceConnect With Sam Rosenberg LiveReady website


Come Alive Again by Having More Fun

Reflect on something for a second: when was the last time you had fun? Are you having trouble remembering, and if you think about it, is it actually kind of hard to even describe what fun is, even? Don’t worry, if you feel like fun’s gone missing from your life, and are feeling a little dead inside as a result, Catherine Price and I are here to offer you a fun-tervention. Catherine is the author of The Power of Fun: How to Feel Alive Again, and today on the show we discuss the three elements of true fun and how it differs from fake fun, how to conduct a fun audit so you can identify your personal fun magnets, how to get a greater kick out of your life, and why you really need to have a Ferris Bueller day. Resources Related to the Podcast How to Break Up with Your Phone: The 30-Day Plan to Take Back Your Life by Catherine PriceAoM Article: The Case Against Scheduling Your FunAoM Article: A Lesson From Ernest Hemingway in Why You Should Plan Your WeekendsThe Book of Delights by Ross GayFerris Bueller’s Day OffConnect with Catherine Price Catherine’s Substack: How to Feel AliveCatherine’s website


An Insider's Guide to the Rise of the American Mafia

You're probably familiar with the American mafia, at least through its portrayal in popular culture. But how did this infamous secret society come to be? Louis Ferrante traces its origins in the first volume of his slated trilogy on the subject, entitled Borgata: Rise of Empire: A History of the American Mafia. While there's been plenty written on the mafia, Ferrante, who was incarcerated for being a mobster himself, offers the first insider's history of this crime organization. Today on the show, he shares the surprising influences on the formation of the mafia in Sicily, why Louisiana and not New York was actually the mob's American Plymouth Rock, the unexpected collaboration between the government and the mafia during WWII, the real reason J. Edgar Hoover didn't go after the mob, why that hands-off approach changed, and much more. Connect With Louis Ferrante Louis' websiteLouis' previous appearance on the AoM podcast — #551: Inside the Gangsters’ Code


How Curiosity Conversations Can Supercharge Your Success

Brian Grazer is a Hollywood producer whose films and television shows have been nominated for 43 Academy Awards and 217 Emmys and grossed $15 billion worldwide. He's produced everything from my favorite TV show of all time, Friday Night Lights, to critically-acclaimed and Oscar-winning films like Apollo 13 and A Beautiful Mind. Grazer credits much of his success to his commitment to a practice he calls "curiosity conversations." Today on the show, I talk to Grazer, who's also the co-author of A Curious Mind Expanded Edition: The Secret to a Bigger Life, about why he considers curiosity conversations the “superpower” that fueled his rise as one of Hollywood’s leading producers. We talk about how these curiosity conversations are beneficial to have with everyone from VIPs to ordinary folks, how the ideas and connections they foster can enhance both your personal and professional life, what makes a curiosity conversation effective, and how to make them happen.


Feeling Depressed and Discombobulated? Social Acceleration May Be to Blame

The social theorist Charles Taylor says that part of what characterizes a secular age is that there are multiple competing options for what constitutes the good life. The sociologist Hartmut Rosa argues that modern citizens most often locate that good in optionality, speed, and reach, which creates a phenomenon he calls “social acceleration.” Professor of theology Andrew Root explores the ideas of Taylor, Rosa, and social acceleration in his work, including in his book The Congregation in a Secular Age. While Andy largely looks at social acceleration through the lens of its effect on churches, it has implications for every aspect of our lives, from work to family. We explore those implications today on the show, unpacking the way that seeking stability through growth leads to feelings of depression, exhaustion, and discombobulation, how we collect possibilities while not knowing what we’re aiming for, and how we’ve traded the burden of shoulds for the burden of coulds. We discuss how social acceleration has shifted the horizons and significance of time, how time has to be hollowed out to be sped up, and how the solution to the ill effects of social acceleration isn’t just slowing down, but finding more resonance. Resources Related to the Podcast AoM Podcast #238: Life in a Secular AgeA Secular Age by Charles TaylorSocial Acceleration: A New Theory of Modernity by Hartmut RosaResonance: A Sociology of Our Relationship to the World by Hartmut RosaThe Weariness of the Self: Diagnosing the History of Depression in the Contemporary Age by Alain EhrenbergConnect With Andy Root Andy’s website


The Power of NEAT — Move a Little to Lose a Lot

Do you have a goal to lose weight? If so, you're probably thinking about how you need to exercise more. And that can certainly help. But what about the 23 hours a day you're not at the gym? How much you move during those hours — from walking to the mailbox to fidgeting at your desk — can be just as important in winning the battle of the bulge. Here to explain the importance of what's called non-exercise activity thermogenesis, or NEAT, is Dr. James Levine, a professor, the co-director of the Mayo Clinic's Obesity Solutions Initiative, the inventor of the treadmill desk, and the author of Get Up!: Why Your Chair Is Killing You and What You Can Do About It. James explains how much more sedentary we are than we used to be and what happens to your body when, as the average American does, you spend two-thirds of your day sitting. He shares how doing the lightest kinds of physical activity, even standing more, can help you lose a significant amount of weight and improve other aspects of health, from your sleep to your mood. And we talk about how to easily incorporate more NEAT into your day. Resources Related to the Podcast Role of Nonexercise Activity Thermogenesis in Resistance to Fat Gain in Humans — James' overfeeding studyAoM Article: The Digestive Power of an After-Dinner WalkAoM Podcast #552: How to Optimize Your MetabolismAoM Article: The Importance of Building Your Daily Sleep Pressure


The Feel-Good Method of Productivity

When we think about getting more done, we tend to think about working harder, exerting more willpower, and buckling down; we tend to think of doing things that are unpleasant, but that we deem worth it, for the productivity boost they offer. But what if the key to greater productivity ran the other way round, and the easier and more enjoyable you made your work, the more of it you’d get done? That’s the premise of Ali Abdaal’s new book Feel-Good Productivity. In addition to being a new author, Ali is a doctor, a YouTuber, and the world’s most followed productivity expert. Today on the show, Ali unpacks the three prongs of his feel-good approach to productivity: energerize, unblock, and sustain. We talk about how to inject your work with more play, flip the confidence switch, find joy in increasing your power, harness relational energy, and use the 10-10-10 rule for overcoming hesitation in taking action. We also discuss why smart goals aren’t always effective and what’s a better alternative, why you might want to put a five-minute hourglass on your desk, the three types of burnout and how to overcome each, and much more. Resources Related to the Podcast AoM Article: Motivation Over DisciplineAoM Article: The 7 Habits — Be Proactive, Not ReactiveThe 7 Habits: Begin With the End in MindLondon Writer’s SalonThe Strenuous LifeAoM Podcast #575: Counterintuitive Advice on Making Exercise a Sustainable HabitAoM Podcast #292: The Road to CharacterAoM Podcast #716: How to Make Your Life More EffortlessConnect With Ali Abdaal Feel Good Productivity websiteAli‘s YouTube channelAli on TwitterAli on IG


Fat Loss Made Simple

Note: This is a rebroadcast. When it comes to losing weight, you can find plenty of complicated programs that involve long, intense workouts and strict calorie-counting diet plans. But my guest today takes an approach to fat loss that’s awesomely simple, and even more effective because of that fact. His name is Dan John and he’s a strength coach, a competitive thrower and weightlifter, and the author of many books about health and fitness, including Fat Loss Happens on Monday. Today on the show, Dan talks about the importance of not only picking a specific number where you want your weight to be, but enriching that goal so that it lights up multiple parts of your brain. We then discuss how and how often to measure your weight, how to deal with setbacks as you shed the pounds, and Dan’s uncomplicated approach to eating. Dan also explains why he recommends drinking hot water with lemon, practicing intermittent fasting, and working out in a fasted state. We go over the “Easy Strength” exercise program he suggests for fat loss, and why these short weightlifting sessions are always followed by a walk. We end our conversation with how to break through a weight loss plateau by doing something called “reverse rucking.” Resources Related to the Podcast #354: Brains & Brawn — Tips and Inspiration on Being a Well-Rounded Man#655: Excuse-Busting Advice for Getting in Shape#678: Physical Benchmarks Every Man Should Meet, at Every AgeAoM Article: 6 Ways to Measure Your Body FatMyoTape Body Measuring TapeClarence BassAoM podcast #581 on tiny habits with BJ FoggRusty Moore’s Fat Loss BoostAoM Article: How Much Protein Do You Really Need?Pavel TsatsoulineAoM article and podcast about intermittent fastingAoM Article: The Spiritual Disciplines — Fasting5:2 fastingAoM Article: Cardio for the Man Who Hates Cardio — The Benefits of RuckingConnect With Dan John Dan John UniversityDan on InstagramDan’s Website


Declutter, Downsize, and Move Forward With Your Life

Note: This is a rebroadcast. You want to declutter. You want to downsize. You want to live more simply. So what’s been holding you back from getting closer to those ideals? My guest today sorts through both the psychological and practical roadblocks that can get in the way of living more minimally, and more in the present. His name is Matt Paxton, and he’s a downsizing and decluttering expert, a featured cleaner on the television show Hoarders, the host of the Emmy-nominated show Legacy List With Matt Paxton which showcases people’s heirlooms and treasures, and the author of Keep the Memories, Lose the Stuff: Declutter, Downsize, and Move Forward with Your Life. We begin our conversation with how Matt got into cleaning out houses and working with hoarders, and some of the worst cases of hoarding Matt’s seen. We then get into both the mindset and brass tacks tips he’s learned from the most extreme cases of clutter that can be used by regular people who just want to pare down their stuff. We talk about why we can feel so attached to our possessions, and how to let them go, while still preserving your and your family’s memories. Matt recommends how and where to get started with your decluttering, and offers tools, including creating a “maybe pile” and a “legacy list,” for deciding what to keep and what to chuck, whether you’re dealing with big items like furniture or small stuff like documents and pictures. Matt explains what to do with your stuff whether trashing, donating, upcycling, or selling, and how much you can reasonably expect to get when you do the latter (spoiler alert: it’s a lot less than you think). We end our conversation with how, after you’ve decluttered your place, to keep it from getting clogged up again. Oh, and we also discuss where to find hidden stashes of money when you’re cleaning out the house of an older person who’s died. This is a really fun and interesting conversation that definitely motivated me to clean out our house. Resources Related to the Podcast Website for My Legacy ListHoarders television showMatt’s TEDx talk on “The Unintended Result of Our Attachment to Personal Belongings”Podcast #699: The No-Nonsense Guide to Simplifying Every Aspect of Your LifeAoM article on declutteringPodcast #626: How to Declutter Your Work LifeConnect With Matt Paxton Matt’s Website


Duty, Honor, and the Unlikely Heroes Who Helped Win the Battle of the Bulge

The Battle of the Bulge commenced on the morning of December 16, 1944. The Allies were ill-prepared for this last, desperate offensive from the Germans, and the campaign might have succeeded if a few things hadn’t gotten in their way, including a single, green, 18-man platoon who refused to give up their ground to the Nazis. Alex Kershaw shares the story of these men in his book, The Longest Winter, and with us today on the show. He first explains the background of the Battle of the Bulge and how an Intelligence and Reconnaissance unit that had never seen combat ended up in the thick of it. And he describes the platoon’s 20-year-old leader, Lyle Bouk, who was determined to carry out his orders and hold their position despite being massively outmanned and outgunned, and how his men fought until they were down to their last rounds. Alex then shares how what Bouk thought was a total failure — being captured as POWs after just a day of combat — turned out to have been an effort that significantly influenced the outcome of the Battle of the Bulge, and how an unlikely platoon of heroes who initially went unrecognized for their valor became the most decorated American platoon of WWII. You’ll find such an inspiring lesson in this show about living up to your duty and holding the line. Resources Related to the Podcast #361: The Untold Story of WWII’s 45th Infantry Division#514: Remembering D-Day 75 Years Later#806: The Humble Heroics of Four of WWII’s Most Decorated SoldiersThe Bedord Boys by Alex Kershaw The Bitter Woods: The Battle of the Bulge by John S.D. EisenhowerAoM Article: NUTS! Why Remembering Christmas 1944 Can Change Your LifeLyle Bouck


Season’s Screenings — A Tour of Classic Christmas Movies

Watching a holiday movie is a great way to get into the spirit of the season and has become an annual tradition for many families. But what exactly makes a Christmas movie, a Christmas movie, what are some of the best ones ever made, and what makes these gems so classic? Here to answer these questions and take us on a tour of the highlights of the holiday movie canon is Jeremy Arnold, a film historian and the author of Christmas in the Movies: 35 Classics to Celebrate the Season. Today on the show, we talk about what defines a Christmas movie, why we enjoy them so much, and why so many classics in the genre were released during the 1940s. Jeremy offers his take on the best version of A Chirstmas Carol, whether Holiday Inn or White Christmas is a better movie, why he thinks Die Hard is, in fact, a Christmas movie, what accounts for the staying power of Elf, and much more. At the end of the show, Jeremy offers several suggestions for lesser-known Christmas movies to check out when you’re tired of watching A Christmas Story for the fiftieth time. Movies Mentioned in the Show Santa Claus (1898)Scrooge (1901)Scrooge (1935)Miracle on Main Street (1939)Remember the Night (1940)The Shop Around the Corner (1940)Holiday Inn (1942)The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942)Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)It’s a Wonderful Life (1947)Scrooge/Christmas Carol (1951)We’re No Angels (1955)Cash on Demand (1961)Die Hard (1988)Home Alone (1990)Home Alone 2 (1992)The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)Elf (2003)