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25 February 2018


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In not at all a leading question, are their any 2016 US or European political candidates that you would compare to Louis-Napolean Bonaparte?


Will you be doing any of the other WWI related revolutions?
like maybe the Turkish or Chinese? Meiji Restoration? or are you staying focused on Europe and Ex-colonies?


How were they arguing that communism was in undemocratic when at the time the only real representation of communism was the communist manifesto which called for democracy.


Alastair, First I do not recall anywhere that called for democracy in the Communist Manifesto. The word is only used in the document to describe other parties and how those parties can be used to advance the Communist cause. Nowhere does it actually call for a democratic system. But maybe I am wrong. Go ahead and quote the relevant text.

Secondly, who does Mike say argued that Communism was undemocratic? Who is the 'they' making this argument? Further, the word was never said once in his entire podcast. There were 'Socialists' around but no prominent French Communists I am aware of. The Communist Manifesto had just been translated into French in June of 1848, it is highly unlikely very many people right, left, or center in France would have been familiar enough with it to be advancing arguments about it.


Ah you mean Mike saying De Toqueville said that. Yeah I would be interested to know what Mike was referring to there. Maybe Mike meant Socialism.

Michael Reuscher

I am looking forward to the series on the Russian revolution! This revolution was one of the most interesting ones on the social side of things.


Yaaaaas! I'm very excited for the fund raiser so that I, too, can get swag, possibly bonus episodes (?) and support the show and your work. Take my money, Mike! Take my money!

Great job with the show, and looking forward to getting some swag. :)



IMO I really don't much of a difference between Bonaparte and Trump (unless Bonaparte can be considered a populist given his stance on poverty and such)

only 20 ish percent of america voted for trump with a dismal voter turnout rate of 55.7% which is the lowest in two decades and he lost the popular vote

Carrie Palmer

What’s your beef with Empress Josephine? First you completely ignore Madame Victory in Napoleon’s rise to power, then when you introduce Louis Napoleon, you don’t mention Hortense Beauharnais Bonaparte by name, just as “his mother”.
In case you don’t get the connection, Hortense Beauharnais Bonaparte is Empress Josephine’s daughter, which would make Louis Napoleon Empress Josephine’s grandson.


Would it be possible to get an addendum episode on Louis Bonaparte and his reign as the Emperor of France like you did with his Uncle at the end of the French Revolution? At the end you said we'd eventually come back to the revolution that ended his reign but I mean specifically what happened during his reign, was he any good as a leader, etc, etc.

I ask because I've had an interest in history and until this episode I had never once in my life heard that a second Bonaparte took power and even more recreated the French Empire. It really astounds me that while I'm not an expert on history or anything, that this seemingly really important part of history is just never talked about.


Napoleon III was a shitty ruler but he was instrumental (through incompetence) in the rise and fall of the second Mexican Empire as well as the unification of Italy and Germany. He is also the man who had Baron Hausmann redesign Paris into what it is today.

Oh and one certain Porfirio Diaz got his first political credentials by fighting against the second Mexican Empire. Diaz of course being the man whose reign set the stage for the Mexican Revolution.

So despite not being particularly competent or intelligent, Napoleon III was hugely important for world history.

Scott Ball

Mike, I started listening to your podcast after reading about The History of Rome in a Reddit comment. I have now listening to all of your podcast episodes, I thank you for producing quality content.

I know that after the battle of Vienna in 1683, the Habsburgs resettled a significant number of German peasant into Hungary. As such, I would appropriate it if you talked about the role of the Hungarian Germans in the Hungarian Revolution of 1848.


Will you get to the invasion of Hungary and the coronation of Emperor Franz Joseph?

Sidonius Apollinaris

I think it's a stretch to compare Trump to Napoleon III, he's much more malignant and far more of a latter-day updated Italian-style fascist, which is all the rage all these days in Russia, Turkey, the Philippines, and so many other countries. Much chest-beating, nationalism, and what-not.

More importantly (and I really do mean this): Do you really pronounce the word "Gnocchi" that way?! I thought better of you!

- A concerned listener.

Graeme B

I highly recommend reading Karl Marx's Coup of 18th Brumaire of Louis Napoleon. it hauntingly echo's the 2016 US election.

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