As the world endures a pandemic, we look to a plague of the past: that which struck Athens early in the Peloponnesian War. And we do so with the aid of Neville Morley, professor of classics and ancient history at the University of Exeter. Where did the plague come from? How did it affect the war? How did it change Athenian society? We explore these questions and more in a fascinating extended conversation. Neville is the perfect guide for these matters, having written many books and articles on different aspects of ancient history and its modern influence, including Roman imperialism, ancient trade, and the ancient Greek historian Thucydides.
America has been at war since the fall of 2001. There is no end in sight in Afghanistan, Mesopotamia and the Levant, and beyond. What political and strategic disincentives have stalled Washington's ability to responsibly end its involvement in these wars under Republican and Democratic administrations? After spraying down our studio with grain alcohol to kill the virus afflicting the world (Everclear is the unofficial sponsor of this episode, as is an excellent northern Italian vineyard called Paltrinieri), we convened a great group to grapple with the forever wars: Paul Miller of Georgetown, Sarah Kreps of Cornell, and Will Ruger of the Charles Koch Institute and Foundation.
Devour this deep dive into the dash to drop America's drawn-out duel in the domain of the Durrani (and different dynasties): Afghanistan. To help us understand what's transpired and the meaning of the new deal between the United States and the Taliban, Ryan was joined by Orzala Nemat, Laurel Miller, and Vikram J. Singh -- all of whom have many years of experience with America's longest war.
Further reading and listening: