I am Zack Twamley, a wonderful young man with two college history degrees and a whole load of great ideas, from County Wicklow, Ireland. I have a keen interest in all things history, and I also love politics and current affairs. Especially have a love for international relations; the why behind the war, what constituted a casus belli in that case etc. It is because of such interests that I started the podcast - I couldn't find one like it, so I believed I would have a niche, but I also felt the need to bring the lesser known history out to the public. Everyone knows the big wars, and most people convince themselves that they know what happened. But what about the smaller wars - the wars that don't feature as heavily in the curriculum or on the news; those are the wars that often contain the best stories.
Aware of this, on 18th May 2012, I started podcasting. It's been a wild ride, and I have covered wars ranging from the Napoleonic, to the Boer to the Crimean to the 30 Years War, and many more besides. Every war tells a story, whether that's of human negligence, stunning genius, commendable bravery or the faults of the international system; every war is a story that deserves to be told. Sometimes it's the lesser known wars that tell the best stories, and sometimes it is these stories that we, as historians, amateur or otherwise, can learn the most from. You have joined me for my journey up to this point; when I started doing this all those years ago I was way out of my depth and had no clue what I was doing. The experience I've gained from doing this has made me a better historian, a better student and a more curious human being. In short, I owe a lot to this podcast of mine, and I'm so glad that all of you have been able to enjoy listening as much as I have enjoyed creating.
While also being rather creative in how I do things podcasting-wise, I also have two degrees under my belt, so that WDF comes with an added bit of academic clout. This academic journey began in September 2011 when I started my Bachelor of Arts in History and Politics, and ended in December 2015 when I graduated from my Masters in History, having received a First Class Honours degree and an award for my dissertation in the process. It was quite a journey, but one which I felt I hadn't quite finished yet. I applied for a PhD in History in both Cambridge and Oxford, since I believed that those were the best uni's for history in the world, and that I belonged there. However, though I did receive a yes from BOTH universities - and an incredible boost to my self-confidence and pride as an historian in the process - by spring 2016, I eventually had to postpone the dream owing to want of funds. Since then, I have come to see this delay in my dream as a blessing in disguise - though it left a bad taste in my mouth where scholarships and waiting on critical emails was concerned, it also taught me that I don't know everything. Only a few days after I found out I wouldn't be going to Cambridge/Oxford after all, I received an offer for my dream job. A researcher for an Irish-International charity called The Leprosy Mission. Before long, I was delving into complex issues of international justice, human rights and even history in the name of this org, and I can honestly say that I absolutely love it.
It's amazing that such an opportunity opened up to me at just the right time. Whether you believe in fate, God, or nothing at all, this to me stands as an incredible fact. Not for the first time, my life and career has been saved by a great new chapter just at the right time. I do my very best to thank God for this opportunity, and to justify the trust and confidence in my skills which TLM has invested in me. Thanks to the work I've done on WDF and from the qualifications I gained, I was the right candidate for them, and I won't let them down.
In February 2017, I joined Patreon with this podcast. However you guys feel about Patreon, it has been an absolute boon to the podcast's fortunes. We have massively expanded our ambitions and scope, we have taken on projects and reached so many people we never thought we would. It has also imbued me with more confidence than ever before, and the monetary support has regularly made me think since we launched - can I do this for a living? Perhaps, Anna would kill me if I did. Yet, it has to be said that this podcast will never be the same thanks to the monies I am getting from Patreon - we can now plan for a real future and treat it like something more than just a podcast. It is fast becoming a centre where history can and will thrive, and I have all my lovely patrons to thank for that! From September 2017 in fact, I was able to make the very exciting announcement that, thanks to the aforementioned support of my listeners, I am now able to podcast as part of my part time job. This is absolutely all down to the support and encouragement of my listeners - without them I simply would not be able to fulfill this dream.
What else? Well in May 2017 I married an incredible woman with saint-like patience in Anna, so all well wishes are most welcome. Somehow, I did it all - I got the girl, the job AND the podcast, and you guys have been with me since day 1: since a nervous, inexperienced, naive and excited Zack Twamley released his first podcast episode. The rest, as they say, is history.
On 2nd April 2018 I announced the initiative called the History Podcasting Platform, a grassroots movement which I founded to give proper support to history podcasters just starting out, in need of inspiration or just in need of a chat. It's my hope that with this initiative, I can help others bring history to even greater heights! Around the same time, I also announced that I had launched a newsletter so that I can reach the history friends that want to be reached, and bypass the increasingly lame roadblocks which social media keeps putting up!
Thanksssssssss for sticking with me, and I can't wait to see this story grow and develop as my incredible life continues.