Hi everyone! So it’s been far too long since I posted an update on Hank’s History Hour (around 2.5 years, I believe). I hope that this post will answer some questions I’ve received in emails and in comments on the site.
First, as many of you have probably noticed, there will never be a Hank’s History Hour collection for APUSH. While I initially believed that I would have time to make a second podcast, I totally overestimated the amount of free time I’d have in college. Between coursework, extracurricular activities and having a ton of fun with new friends, I simply didn’t have the time. I am so sorry to everyone who had hoped for an APUSH podcast. Maybe one of my listeners would like to take up the mantle and record their own APUSH episodes… that would be awesome.
I’ve changed a lot over the 5 years since I began this podcast. It might shock some of you that I never studied European history in college. In fact, I’ve sort of lost interest in it. Between AP Euro, Hank’s History Hour, and independent studying I grew tired of reading about the same historical figures, the same great battles, and the same important treaties. As my interest in Western Europe waned, my area of study drifted east. After taking Russian language and studying the Soviet Union and contemporary Russia, I became fascinated by the nascent countries of Central Asia. The “5 stans”, as they are often called, include Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan. While my studies mostly focused on the current politics of the region, I still found myself drawn to the same sorts of bizarre personalities that I loved in European history. I laughed at the drunken escapades of the Mughal emperor Babur and shuddered at the bleak cruelty of the conqueror Timur, who created enormous towers out of the severed heads of his defeated foes. More recently, the bizarre cult of personality of former Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov has provided me with endless amusement and bewilderment.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, I hope to one day be a professor of Central Asian politics. After graduating from Dartmouth last spring, I have begun preparing for the next chapter in my education. I am studying for the GRE, interning at an anti-corruption think tank, and preparing for 4 months of work at an NGO in Tajikistan.
So what does all of this mean for Hank’s History Hour? While I no longer feel qualified to answer questions on European history, the podcast will stay up as long as it is beneficial to students of AP European History. Please continue to pass this tool along to any interested students, and continue posting on the site.
Finally, I wanted to thank all of my listeners for your 5 years of support. I had only intended for this tool to serve students at Redondo Union High School, so I am incredibly grateful and humbled by the outpouring of support from listeners across the country (and the world). You guys are fantastic. I hope that you enjoy the podcasts, and I hope that all of you get 5’s!