About the film Kaboom: A History of Bombing
The Kaboom Podcast
Latest episodes
Episode:  10.        Date:  July 25, 2017.
Guest: Jon Western
Jon Western on how the United States decides to intervene or not to intervene in foreign conflicts. Also, the history of the bikini.     More . . .
Episode:  9.        Date:  June 16, 2017.
Guest: Donald Miller
Historian Donald Miller on the young men of the American 8th Air Force, how bombing failed to defeat Germany, and how it finally started to succeed. Also, Albert Speer, the US Strategic Bombing Survey, and another dark day in Manchester, England – June 15, 1996.     More . . .

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APRIL 13, 2017

What is Kaboom?

If you know us as a film, we are also a podcast about bombing. If you know us as a podcast, we are also a film about bombing.

Isn't that a weird thing to obsess about? Why bombing?

Actually, it would be a weird thing not to obsess about. You know those popular books about how one thing, such as salt or bananas or the Irish, changed the world? Well, bombing changed the last hundred years. Bananas, obviously, but also bombing.

When I talk to people about this subject, even though they've never thought about it before, they almost immediately realize that they have a dozen questions about it. When was the first bombing? Did the atomic bomb really make Japan surrender? Wouldn't we have won the Vietnam War if we had bombed them more? Can we just drone anybody we want in the world now? And the question I probably get asked the most: Why is it okay to bomb civilians?

So in a world that already has Drunk History and Hardcore History and Revisionist History, why Kaboom? Well, Kaboom is about a history that is alive in us today. From the day in 1911 that Giulio Gavotti dropped four grenades out of his biplane, he set off a chain reaction, an explosion of explosions, at the end of which we Americans find ourselves bombing at least seven countries at the current time. The Russians are bombing, the Turks are bombing, the Saudis and the Syrians are bombing, the Israelis are bombing, and angry people with no air force are bombing too.

In other words, this is who we are now.

So ... I'm doing what I always do, I'm making this subject sound pretty heavy – but in fact, it's going to be fun and interesting! We'll be taking a journey through so many places and times, some of which you might never have imagined. The first bombing before airplanes? Venice, 1849. The first car bombing? New York, 1920. The first bombing of World War II? Wielun, Poland, 1939. The deadliest bombing in history? Tokyo, 1945. The most bombed country in the world? Many say it was little, rural Laos in the 1960s. The most transformative weapon of our time? Is it the American drone or the Iraqi IED? That's a good question. So I think you'll feel excited when "Kaboom" pops up in your podcasts every week. It's going to be a unique way of exploring the world.

To come with us ...

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