Katja Hoyer

Today, I’m joined by historian, writer and podcaster, Katja Hoyer. Katja’s podcast, Tommies and Jerries, has a unique style that not only manages to inform us about the similarities and differences between British and German, but also has a combination of fun and form. Katja has also recently written an amazing book, Blood and Iron: The Rise and Fall of the German Empire 1871-1918 which tells the story of a country that is just as influential now as it was when it was first created. Her style is to keep you reading, even if you know the end; as if it was some high stakes drama with the characters jostling for power and influence along the way. Now having read her book a few times, I felt it was time for us to have a chat, so I hope you are sitting comfortably and happy to stay with us.

In what was great conversation, we kicked off with a chat about Katja on this day’s tweets and my experience of reading her book and I asked Katja if there was an idea behind writing it in a non academic way (03:00). We discussed the style of the book, and I remarked that it remined me of reading a novel rather than a history book (04.30). Next up, I asked Katja if history was always something that she was interested in (06:25). We had an interesting discussion about the definition of modern history and how it is defined on the timeline (08:35). Important topics came up with regard to the publication of books and if self publications can damage the recording of history (11:00).

As we chatted, we talked about the concept of counterfactual history and if it is relevant to history as whole (17:40). Towards the end of the episode, I was keen to know more about Katja’s podcast Tommies and Jerries (26:15) and how the idea came to fruition, and we finished up (30:40) discussing what Katja is reading and watching at the moment, as well as our mutual love for classic cars.

Show notes

Published
Categorized as Episodes

By Ken Sweeney

Podcast host and producer.

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