[Discussion] The Podcasts of Robert Evans

The podcasts and character of Robert Evans. It starts with my questions but the thread could certainly contain discussion on episodes of interest and the themes of his work.

This is basically my hive-mind check to make sure Robert Evans is a trustworthy source of information.

I've been listening to Behind the Bastards as my first exposure to his work. In it he reads an essay he's written covering the personal life, 'professional' life, and lasting influence of well known or barely known worst people society has created. He seems to do good research, writes well, and has good apparent insights into the various connections between what happened in the topic of the day and the current time and place (from a US perspective)

Before I dive too deep into his other podcasts which go to darker places I want a gut check with the folks here. Is there any reason not to trust his work?

Other Podcasts I'm looking at:
It Could Happen Here - I think its looking at the path other countries went down as they fell into civil war
Worst Year Ever - referring to the potential for 2020 to be essentially the point of no return for the US

He's an investigative reporter, with a fairly long track record (for a young guy), including war reporting in Iraq and Syria. He's written for a number of outlets over the years - I think he started out at Cracked, when that was still a thing.

I trust his investigative reporting. Seems to be on the level, very deeply sourced and professional.

Some of his other work (e.g. Worst Year Ever) is less fact-based and more opinion-y.

I went through the sources initially on an episode or two just because I was curious and wanted to make sure there wasn't anything weird going on. Everything has seemed legit to me, but yeah, I haven't basically done the research he does on an episode to double check him because... time. He'll typically name the books and authors he's pulling stuff from and then there's the source list which I'll check sometimes for the photographs mostly. He puts a little exaggeration and his own personal feelings on things here and there but you can usually tell when he's doing that. Really enjoying the Black Panther episode that's airing this week. Part way through part 2.

I think my favorite episode of Behind the Bastards was the two parter on Reagan He was a little before my time and I doubt my quasi-religious high school would have properly eviscerated him anyway so I had no idea what a complete asshole this bobblehead was.

I suspect the character Esteban Sorrento-Gillis (Secretary General of the UN in The Expanse) is at least partly based on Reagan, given that character's tendency to parrot the ideals of the last person to talk to him.

polypusher wrote:

I think my favorite episode of Behind the Bastards was the two parter on Reagan

The L.Ron Hubbard set are worth a listen too.

Tangential, but if you are into BtB you might want to check out the podcast I Don’t Speak German. It’s not as polished as Evan’s stuff, but has similar tone and content. It mostly focuses on recent and modern figures and events in the Neo-Nazi, Alt-Right, and White Supremacist/Identitarian movements.

Knowledge Fight is also really good, but the hosts have both been on BtB several times so you’ve likely already heard of the podcast.

A reminder to anyone old like me that there is another not dead Robert Evans who wasn't a famous movie producer.

On social media and some of his less-serious articles he used to use the name “The other Robert Evans.” Now he’s using “The only Robert Evans.”

I disagree with some of his far left stances but I find him to be relatively well informed and definitely honest. I mean, my gold standard for history podcasts is Hardcore History which Behind the Bastards doesn’t meet. But at least it’s decently researched and most of all entertaining.

The thing I like most about Evans is he has a similar background to me and therefore at least has some empathy for why poor working class Whites act the way they do.

I think he’s the real deal.

Also worth noting that he’s got a very specific political ideology that doesn’t neatly track on a Left-Right spectrum (his stance on guns, for example.) As a lefty, I find a lot of his stances interesting and challenging. He’s someone I feel like I can respectfully disagree with on a bunch of things and still trust to be decidedly anti-fascist.

His gun stance isn’t super unusual for leftists. Liberals and progressives, yes, but Marx himself said that any attempt to disarm the working class should be aggressively discouraged.

ruhk wrote:

His gun stance isn’t super unusual for leftists. Liberals and progressives, yes, but Marx himself said that any attempt to disarm the working class should be aggressively discouraged.

Or, for African-Americans, the Ida B. Wells position.

This talk of left, but views not typically in line with current, progressive stances has me super interested. Especially because I find historians have a better grasp on current events than just about anyone.

Lefty rapper Sole (from Anticon) interviewed Robert Evans on the most recent episode of his podcast, mostly about the inspiration for It Could Happen Here and Robert's experience with rural America.
Apparently Robert is gearing up to release another limited-run podcast in the next few months about post-Trump Rojava and is planning for season 2 of It Could Happen Here later this year, covering the inevitable climate apocalypse.

The Worst Year Ever episode about Rojava was fascinating. The social experiment that is/was run there (Which is a weird way to say they're running an egalitarian society) is something positive that I hope spreads from the region.

This is several layers deep of niche interest, but this video came up in my youtube suggestions a couple days ago of Robert trying to play the Horus Heresy boardgame with the Gamefully Unemployed guys. Apparently Robert is a huge Warhammer 40k nerd and still reads all the source books and novels even though he hasn’t played since high school. The video is basically just four hours of Robert talking about 40k lore.