Official Site of Speaker, Historian and Author Sean Munger


Second Decade podcast is now on the Recorded History Network! (And new episode!)

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been itching to make an announcement that I knew about, but couldn’t disclose until the time was right…and now I can! My history podcast, Second Decade, has been picked up as one of the charter shows on the brand new Recorded History network. I made the deal to move to Recorded History a few weeks ago, but the network did not officially launch until yesterday, January 29 (2018). Now that we’re live, I can finally say how happy I am to be on board. And to celebrate the occasion, there’s a brand-new episode of Second Decade up, number 28, “Australia, Part I.” is a network specifically geared toward history buffs and listeners of history podcasts, which have proven to be loyal and growing. In addition to Second Decade, some of the other shows on Recorded History include Dead Ideas (about things people once believed to be true, but no longer do); Election College (a humorous look at U.S. Presidential elections); Art History Babes (the history of art, with a lot of wine), and The Way of Improvement Leads Home (about the religious history of the U.S.). All of these shows are terrific and I’m proud to be in such great company!

As for the new episode, which you can listen to here, it’s a look at what was one of the strangest and darkest places on Earth in the 1810s: the British penal colony of New South Wales, which would soon be known as Australia. Originally settled by Europeans in 1788 as a human waste dump for convicts that were bursting the seams of Britain’s jails, Australia was a hopeless, booze-sodden mess in 1810 when its new governor, Lachlan Macquarie, arrived to take charge. As you’ll hear from the episode, one determined man can make a difference, although the challenges Macquarie faced were daunting. This is only the first part of what I project as a two-part series on the history of Australia in the 1810s.

The move to Recorded History is another great milestone in the story of the Second Decade podcast. As always I’m grateful to all the listeners who continue to come back week after week. Now in common enterprise with the other podcasts on Recorded History, I hope the show will only continue to grow.

Thanks to Recorded History for picking me up!


  1. michael skovbo

    You missed an excellent source for the Hawaii 2nd Decade. “The Grapes of Cainnan.” Being an historian I would have to assume that you somehow missed this important source or else chose to dismiss it since it doesn’t really conform to the popular view that you have confirmed to. The missionaries from Boston were not totally distructive to the people there, the oppression and abuse was already in force when they arrived, and the Hawaiians would have been conquered by one imperialistic force or another, take your choice Without recognizing the realistic trade-offs available at that time it’s unrealistic to make negative speculations regarding the changes effected by the Bingham missionaries that you make so casually and authoritatively. Changes that can point to the Bringham group as the source were accepted by most willingly and with much excitement. If you posit that the Bingham group brought disease, the place was already cosmopolitan by then and exploited morally by the shipping trade. This exploitation by foriegners and royalty (sex and sandalwood slavery) was fought and overturned by the efforts of missionaries. I was rather naive and in agreement much like you before I read “Cannan”. Your delivery though is amazingly smooth and polished.

    • michael skovbo

      Also, the Bingham group built the first written iteration of the strange Hawaiian language so the locals could write in Hawaiian. Then They wrote a bible translation in Hawaiian. They brought a printing press too and made educating the Hawaiians more efficient. So, again, what was the downside trade off of education and efforts and victories against exploitation?

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