22 Jun 2019

'Revisionist History': challenging conventional wisdom

From The Podcast Hour, 12:15 pm on 22 June 2019
Revisionist History new logo (Supplied)

Revisionist History new logo (Supplied) Photo: Supplied by Pushkin Industries

The well-known author and popular podcaster, Malcolm Gladwell, wrote bestsellers like 'The Tipping Point' and 'Outliers', before starting his popular podcast 'Revisionist History' back in 2016.

Now entering its fourth season, listen to a few episodes and you'll soon notice Gladwell's pithy prose and his eye (and ear!) for a good story as he challenges orthodox wisdom about past events, historical figures...even a song.

Important to all of this is the belief that sometimes the best stories are found in the most unlikely of places; in the forgotten footnotes and the margins of our history books, or in obscure academic journals.

We share clips from two episodes of 'Revisionist History' (Pushkin Industries). 'Divide and Conquer' tells the story of how a single punctuation mark could have changed the course of US history. And in 'Analysis, Parapraxis, Elvis', Gladwell plays musical detective, enlisting the help of the musician Jack White to understand why Elvis Presley kept botching the lyrics to one of his most famous songs.