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Key Battles of American History

with James Early

Key Battles of American History Episodes
They Were Expendable
March 30, 2022 - 71 min
Patrol Torpedo (PT) Boats, while not as famous as battleships, aircraft carriers, destroyers, and other large ships, nevertheless played a crucial role in the Pacific War. In 1942, author W. L. White wrote They Were Expendable, a book that tells the story of the work of PT boats in the American defense of the Philippines in 1941 and 1942. Three years later, MGM released the movie version directed by the legendary director John Ford. In this episode, James and Sean discuss this classic John Wayne film.
Tora! Tora! Tora!
March 23, 2022 - 93 min
In the late 1960s, a Japanese film production team joined forces with an American team in an effort to produce a balanced and accurate retelling of the December 7, 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The result is the classic 1970 film Tora! Tora! Tora!, which after more than 50 years still remains the definitive Pearl Harbor film. Join James and Sean as they discuss the film’s story, its historical accuracy, its quality, and its legacy.
Introduction to Season 3: The Pacific War on Film
March 16, 2022 - 21 min
In this episode, James kicks off a new season of Key Battles of American History: “The Pacific War on Film.” In this season, James and returning co-host Sean McIver will discuss 17 specially selected films that deal with different aspects of the Pacific Theater of WW2. We will discuss the films themselves, including their background, themes, quality, and historical accuracy, as well as the historical events behind the films. Pull up a virtual chair and join us!
Bonus Episode - Gung Ho! (with Steve Guerra)
March 09, 2022 - 65 min
James and Steve Guerra, host of the Beyond the Big Screen Podcast, discuss the 1943 war propaganda movie Gung Ho!, which is loosely based on the formation and first combat action of the elite World War 2 Marine unit called Carlson’s Raiders.
Bonus Episode - Truman and the Atomic Bomb (with Richard Lim)
March 02, 2022 - 54 min
Was President Harry Truman’s decision to use atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki necessary and justified? In this episode, James is joined by Richard Lim, host of the This American President podcast. James and Richard break down the various factors that figured into Truman’s decision in an attempt to answer this important question.
Bonus Episode - CVE Carriers
February 23, 2022 - 19 min
In this episode (written by Sean McIver), James tells the story of the small but important CVE (or “Jeep”) aircraft carriers, which played an outside role in the Pacific Theater of World War II. This episode was commissioned by Major Bob McCullough of Early’s Raiders. For more information on supporting the podcast by becoming an officer in Early’s Raiders, visit
Bonus Episode - Who Would You Save?
February 19, 2022 - 72 min
In this episode, James, Scott Rank (host of History Unplugged), Steve Guerra (host of Beyond the Big Screen and History of the Papacy) and Richard Lim (host of "This American President") discuss the following question: "If you could go back in time and save one person who died prematurely, who would you save?
Bonus Episode - Nathan Gorenstein-John Moses Browning
February 16, 2022 - 58 min
In this episode James interviews Nathan Gorenstein, author of The Guns of John Moses Browning: The Remarkable Story of the Inventor Whose Firearms Changed the World. Nathan explains how Browning, son of a gun repairman in small-town Utah in the mid-nineteenth century, went on to design many of the most popular and widely used firearms in world history, including the Browning Automatic Rifle and the M1911 Colt pistol.
Bonus Episode - Col. Cleland Early on Tarawa
February 09, 2022 - 71 min
In this episode (James’ favorite), James and fellow podcaster Steve Guerra recreate an interview given in 1989 by James’ father Col. Cleland Early about his experiences as a young Marine who fought in the Battle of Tarawa. Listen all the way to the end for a special treat!
Bonus Episode - Beyond the Big Screen
February 08, 2022 - 22 min
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