Dan Carlin Explains Historical Arsonists

When the men who want to watch the world burn change it for the better

Dan Carlin Explains Historical Arsonists Dan Carlin Explains Historical Arsonists
Genghis Khan rode out from the steppes and shook the foundation of the world. He killed millions and destroyed civilizations. Despite such atrocities, some... Dan Carlin Explains Historical Arsonists

Genghis Khan rode out from the steppes and shook the foundation of the world. He killed millions and destroyed civilizations. Despite such atrocities, some historians credit the Khan with ushering in a new era of progress and development. The Great Khan was just clearing out the world’s dead wood.

Alexander the Great spread Hellenic culture across the known world. His ideas about society and war affected all he encountered, and the empires that grew after his death changed the world. Yet he accomplished these feats at the end of a sword.

From Caesar to Napoleon, history of full of what Hardcore History host and not-historian Dan Carlin calls historical arsonists. These men and women challenged the status quo, tore down old structures and paved the way for progress. But often these people did so unintentionally and without regard for the millions they killed.

So what makes a historical arsonist and how many generations must pass before historians turn into apologists? Carlin sits down with us this week on War College to discuss a concept he helped bring to light.

How long until — or if — history glosses over the tragedy and blood of the World Wars and views Hitler or Stalin as men who burned the old world down to make way for the 20th century? Can someone disrupt the status quo just by writing a book or inventing a new technology?

Carlin helps us answer these questions and more on this week’s War College.

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