Our Fake History
I had the honour of appearing on the brilliant Our Fake History podcast, hosted by Sebastian Major.
Sebastian’s show relishes and ruins historical myths – he likes to ask what’s real, what’s fake, and what’s such a good story it just has to be told?
I got in touch with Sebastian a while ago to send him my book… he enjoyed it so much he went and made a whole series about the myths surrounding Stalin (which is excellent, by the way).
So, once the series wrapped up, we sat down to talk about Stalin myths, Stalin jokes, and how we should try to make sense of what it was really like to live under his dictatorship.
Here’s Sebastian original show notes:
When I spoke to Jon Waterlow he reminded me that George Orwell once said that every joke is a tiny revolution. Well, it turns out jokes can be even more than that. In his fantastic new book, It’s Only a Joke Comrade: Humour, Trust and Everyday Life Under Stalin, Waterlow explores the fascinating world of jokes in the Soviet Union during the 1930’s. This week Jon joins me to discuss Stalin jokes, how we perceive reality, and the power and limits of political humour. Tune in and find out how Reagan’s sense of humour, pencil techniques, and mind viruses all play a roll in the story.