Unobscured

History is full of stories we think we know. They are old and dark, but time has robbed us of perspective and clarity. They've become obscured and misunderstood. Which is why this series exists: to dig deep and shed light on some of history’s darkest moments. To help us better understand where we’ve come from. To make it Unobscured. Each season pairs narrative storytelling from Aaron Mahnke, creator of the hit podcast Lore, with prominent historian interviews. Season Four: Grigori Rasputin

History
Society & Culture
Documentary
1
13 | Interview: Joshua Sanborn
94 min
2
12 | Interview: Heather Coleman
107 min
3
11 | Interview: Douglas Smith
118 min
4
10 | Ghosts
49 min
5
9 | Let This Cup Pass
40 min
6
8 | A Time to Live
41 min
7
7 | Great Will Be the Ruin
37 min
8
6 | Laying On of Hands
43 min
9
5 | Standoff
40 min
10
4 | Sheep's Clothing
42 min
11
3 | Made Manifest
50 min
12
2 | Man of Contradictions
36 min
13
1 | In Search of a Friend
42 min
14
Trailer: Unobscured Season 4
1 min
15
14 | INTERVIEW 4: Paul Begg
145 min
16
13 | INTERVIEW 3: Drew Gray
136 min
17
12 | INTERVIEW 2: Louise Raw
177 min
18
11 | INTERVIEW 1: Adam Wood
108 min
19
10 | Never Done
44 min
20
9 | Making a Killing
31 min
21
8 | Solitary
45 min
22
7 | House to House
46 min
23
6 | Mismatch
39 min
24
5 | Flaws
37 min
25
4 | Synthetical Turn
46 min
26
3 | Stardom
49 min
27
2 | Rome & Babylon
44 min
28
1 | Temple Mount
38 min
29
Trailer: Unobscured Season 3
3 min
30
20 | INTERVIEW 8: Molly McGarry
Our interview with Molly McGarry, Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Riverside. To wrap up our exploration of spiritualism, we follow her observations about the power and influence of spiritualism in American life, from past to present.
83 min
31
19 | INTERVIEW 7: Cathy Gutierrez
Our interview with Cathy Gutierrez, who has served as Professor of Religion at Sweet Briar College and Scholar in Residence at the New York Public Library. We discuss the nuances and historical development of spiritualist theology, as she explores it in her book Plato's Ghost: Spiritualism in the American Renaissance.
104 min
32
18 | INTERVIEW 6: John Buescher
Our interview with John Buescher, co-director of the International Association for the Preservation of Spiritualist and Occult Periodicals. His dedication to cataloging and preserving spiritualist newspapers give his books on mediums a remarkable command of the people and ideas driving the movement forward.
133 min
33
17 | INTERVIEW 5: Mary Gabriel
Our interview with Mary Gabriel, whose books have been finalists for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critic's Circle Award. Her biographies of Victoria Woodhull and Karl & Jenny Marx unveil the radical threads running through American spiritualism.
106 min
34
16 | INTERVIEW 4: Nancy Rubin Stuart
Our interview with Nancy Rubin Stuart, whose award winning biographies of American women include The Reluctant Spiritualist, our guide to the life of Maggie Fox for this season of Unobscured.
63 min
35
15 | INTERVIEW 3: Emily Clark
Our interview with Emily Clark, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Gonzaga University. Her first book, A Luminous Brotherhood, explores spiritualism in New Orleans, giving us a perspective on spiritualism beyond the northeastern hubs of the movement.
116 min
36
14 | INTERVIEW 2: Margaret Washington
Our interview with Margaret Washington, professor of History and American Studies at Cornell University. Her work on Sojourner Truth's life in the American landscape was invaluable for seeing spiritualism in a broad historical context.
109 min
37
13 | INTERVIEW 1: Ann Braude
Our interview with Ann Braude, Senior Lecturer on American Religious History at Harvard Divinity School. Her book, Radical Spirits, was a guiding light for our exploration of the role of spiritualism in American life.
136 min
38
12 | There Is No Death
Blows fell. Times changed. New voices rose up with answers to the nation’s pressing questions. But through it all, spiritualists worked to create an enduring place for themselves where the spirits could go on speaking.
51 min
39
11 | The Sheep and the Ghosts
What power did the spirits wield? They had convinced millions of their presence. They had moved mediums into high places. They had crossed oceans and shaken slumbering nations. Now the movement's leading lights saw a world to win.
50 min
40
10 | Invisible Hands
Seances circled a high stakes table. Spirits were still comforting families, but in cities like New Orleans and New York, they also held to a glowing vision. The future of the nation's laws, and the levers of its economy, were up for grabs. Now was the time to bring heaven down to earth.
46 min
41
09 | Wounds
The war was over but the fight to determine the future of the nation continued. And the spirits had much to say. Devastated families cried out for their lost loved ones. Sometimes, the beloved dead answered back.
44 min
42
08 | Open Graves
As shots rang out and armies crossed the nation, black spiritualists in New Orleans found themselves fighting for their homes against all comers. But most of the nation’s spirit believers were focused on the spirits clamoring around a different residence—Abraham Lincoln’s White House. Could they guide a generation of followers through the fires of conflict into the light of a new day?
43 min
43
07 | Preach the Word
The news was grim. Across the south, slave states were withdrawing from the nation. In the north, some spiritualists saw their chance to take their winnings and withdraw from conflict. But others kept their printing presses running. In their pages, the spirits raised their voices to a military march, singing songs of freedom—and war.
45 min
44
06 | Restless
The child stars of spiritualism were growing up. And facing a whole host of new realities about their world. Were the spirits up to helping their young vessels find love and fight for reform as the storm clouds gathered?
45 min
45
05 | Seek and Ye Shall Find
The movement continued to swell. It found friends in high places. But everywhere it went, it found entrenched beliefs threatened by this new source of revelation. Finding harmony around a table was one thing. But when mediums met ministers, the seance became a street fight.
46 min
46
04 | The Way, The Truth, The Lie
Spiritualists weren't the only ones who believed the dead could still be heard. That belief came trailing many stories. And with many aims. Some found a nourishing home. Others found a hunting ground.
47 min
47
03 | A Spirit Globe
Who could have imagined how quickly their message would cross oceans? Even as they traveled from city to city, the first spiritualists were celebrated by seekers. But an anarchic new faith wasn't met kindly when it faced the authorities of the old world.
44 min
48
02 | Instruments
A Harmonial Philosophy was one thing. But Rochester, New York, was about to become the cradle for so much more. The city wanted more than just words. They wanted a demonstration of power.
46 min
49
01 | Seer
It was all wide open. Great awakenings shattered the old religions. Showmen made spectacles of cutting-edge science. Radicals campaigned for a social revolution. The nation waited with bated breath for a new kind of prophet to take the stage.
39 min
50
Unobscured - Season 2 - Trailer
The critically acclaimed historical documentary series is back with a powerful new season. With insightful research, expert interviews, and Aaron Mahnke's trademark narrative style, the Unobscured team returns for a new season to delve deep into the world of Spiritualism. By tracing its bizarre trajectory from a scattered fad to a worldwide phenomenon, listeners will discover the truth about the movement—and how it still impacts our world today.
1 min
51
18 | INTERVIEW 6: Stacy Schiff
50 min
52
17 | INTERVIEW 5: Jane Kamensky
50 min
53
16 | INTERVIEW 4: Marilynne K. Roach
91 min
54
15 | INTERVIEW 3: Richard Trask
94 min
55
14 | INTERVIEW 2: Mary Beth Norton
81 min
56
13 | INTERVIEW 1: Emerson Baker
83 min
57
12 | Making Amends
52 min
58
11 | Floundering
47 min
59
10 | Pen and Paper
41 min
60
09 | Fight or Flight
44 min
61
08 | King and Queen
48 min
62
07 | She Is One Of Us
35 min
63
06 | Consequences
38 min
64
05 | A Higher Power
39 min
65
04 | The Refugees
31 min
66
03 | By the Book
45 min
67
02 | The Outsiders
41 min
68
01 | The Arrival
38 min
69
Unobscured - Season 1 - Trailer
Season One: The Salem Witch Trials
2 min