Patrick has a new podcast!
Hello there, friends! It’s been a while. The past couple of years have been a little bit crazy, leaving me without much in the way of free time to work on this Substack. I sold a book proposal to Harper Collins, entitled Lost Worlds: The Rise and Fall of Human Societies from the Ice Age to the Bronze Age, which I’ve been working on for the past couple of years. Tides of History wrapped up a nearly three-year-long series on prehistory, leading into the current season on the Iron Age and the birth of the Classical world across Eurasia, from Rome to China.
But over the past couple of months, I’ve been working on something near and dear to my heart: a podcast about Dad Culture, everything from tall wooden ships to comfortable sneakers to sandwiches to history. It’s called The Pursuit of Dadliness, and it launches today with two episodes. You can listen to the trailer right here:
Subscribe now wherever you get your podcasts - just search “Pursuit of Dadliness” and hammer that follow button.
Let me tell you a little bit about the Pursuit of Dadliness and what you can expect from it. First of all, you absolutely do not have to be a father, in the technical sense, to listen to or enjoy this show. Dadliness is not defined by the mere fact of having fathered children. Dadliness, to me, is all about embracing the freedom to explore our passions without the fear of seeming somehow uncool, or trying to impress anybody. This is a show for folks who want to enjoy their passions and their hobbies, whatever those might be, and genuinely strive to get better at doing stuff and more knowledgeable about the world around them. That, to me, is the essence of Dadliness. For that reason, we welcome cultural but non-practicing dads of all stripes, no matter your gender, orientation, or relationship to biological children.
I love talking to people about things they care about, so for now, every episode will revolve around an interview with somebody I’ve been dying to talk to. The first guest, Spencer Hall, is one of my favorite sportswriters out there, a keen observer of the strange and wonderful world of college football in particular and a Dad to boot. We chat about the definition of “hoss,” football and its place in American society, and the joy of painting Warhammer 40,000 miniatures, a Dad-coded hobby if ever there was one. The second, Ben Fowlkes, is another one of my favorite writers, a longtime scribe covering the world of mixed martial arts and a capital-W Writer. We discuss the benefits of having a home gym, what happened to Conor McGregor and why combat sports always eat their own, and of course, Master and Commander.
In future interviews, I talk with historian and fitness enthusiast Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie, Defector flannel expert David Roth, the exceptional audio journalist and commentator Sam Sanders, and novelist Chad Dundas. These are all fascinating folks with a lot to say about the world, and though I’m biased, I think the conversations are pretty dang good.
So check out The Pursuit of Dadliness now. Open your favorite podcast app, search for the show, and subscribe - you won’t regret it, I promise.