Formosa Files Podcast by by John Ross and Eryk Michael Smith

Formosa Files Podcast

As a permanent resident of Taiwan, I have been enamoured with learning about the island’s history. I am excited to tell you about a new podcast I have discovered - Formosa Files! It is a great podcast to learn about Taiwan’s intricate history in the past 400 years from pre-colonization, through the KMT years, and up to more current events.

Formosa Files logo

I’ve already zipped through listening to 13 episodes and am hooked. I don’t often listen to podcasts, but these short 30-40 minute episodes are perfect for learning about interesting lesser known topics about Taiwan while I’m doing mindless work like marking workbooks, or stapling worksheets.

The hosts of this podcast are John Ross and Eryk Michael Smith. John Ross is the owner of the publishing house, Camphor Press, which specializes in publishing books about East Asia. He is very knowledgable about Taiwan, used to live here, and has even written his own book about Taiwan - Taiwan in 100 Books. The co-host, Smith, is a news broadcaster from ICRT. They both work well together with Ross providing the deep book knowledge, and book recommendations (!) with Smith keeping the episode moving along smoothly and bringing his own local knowledge as a current resident of Taiwan.

To give you a sense of the range of topics you will discover here are episodes 1-10:

  1. The White Formosan
  2. Koxinga vs. The Dutch (Part 1)
  3. The Fall of Fort Zeelandia (Part 2)
  4. Mao Really Wants Taiwan
  5. Rioters Ransake the Taipei U.S. Embassy (1957)
  6. Big Crises on Tiny Islands
  7. WW2 Invasion
  8. POWs, Bombing Raids, and Kamikazes
  9. The Empire’s Last Soldier 10.The Qing Empire Doesn’t Really Want Taiwan

As you may notice, the episodes are in non-chronological order, so you may jump in or out of the podcast (or gasp even skip an episode!) if you wish.They are not stody, boring history lessons, but rather take interesting events from the past to tell “Taiwan’s Story”. A review of this podcast also recently appeared in the Taipei Times.

Rating: ★★★★★

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