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New podcast highlights stories of courage, heroism of Medal of Honor recipients

“Medal of Honor: Stories of Courage” delves into themes such as what defines a hero, why individuals risk their lives for others and the nature of sacrifice

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iHeartMedia/Pushkin

By Sarah Roebuck
Editorial Staff

It’s human nature to tell stories about people performing heroic actions. Every good story needs a hero.

A new podcast hosted by Malcolm Gladwell, journalist and author of five New York Times bestsellers, including “The Bomber Mafia,” shares the remarkable stories of some of our country’s heroes, according to iHeartMedia.

The “Medal of Honor: Stories of Courage” podcast is co-produced by Pushkin Industries and iHeartPodcasts. The podcast’s first episode aired on June 26 and will publish weekly episodes that profile one Medal of Honor recipient’s life and brave actions while delving into themes such as what defines a hero, why individuals risk their lives for others, the potential of human beings and the essence of sacrifice.

“We tell stories about heroes because of a simple fact about the human mind: Courage is contagious,” Gladwell said. “And when you hear about someone doing something heroic, it makes you want to be a hero too. And these days, we could use more heroes.”

The first season will feature stories of Medal of Honor recipients from the Civil War to the Iraq War, according to the release. Highlights include Henry Johnson, a WWI “Harlem Hellfighter” who faced racial battles at home; Mary Walker, the only female recipient; and Douglas A. Munro, the first Coast Guard honoree.

In “The Bomber Mafia,” Malcolm Gladwell explores a Dutch genius with a homemade computer, a band of brothers in Alabama, a British psychopath and pyromaniacal Harvard chemists to examine a major moral challenge in modern American history.

The full list of Medal of Honor recipients profiled in Season 1 includes Mike Thornton, Henry Johnson, Douglas A. Munro, Alwyn Cashe, Mary Walker, Tibor Rubin, Jay R. Vargas, Robert Bush and John Chapman.

Gladwell has written several books and is the host of the podcast Revisionist History. His next book, Revenge of the Tipping Point, will be released on October 1, 2024.

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