Small Wars Journal

‘Combat and Classics’: New Podcast Brings Literary Discussions to a Military Audience

‘Combat and Classics’: New Podcast Brings Literary Discussions to a Military Audience by Natalie Gross - Military Times

Brian Wilson isn’t your average book nerd.

He has an engineering degree, owns a pair of CrossFit gyms and can share war stories from numerous deployments over more than a decade as an intelligence officer in the Marine Corps and Reserves.

But Wilson, 39, would rather talk about classical literature any day.

“You read something in the 1300s about a pilgrimage to Canterbury, and you’re like, ‘What does this have to do with me?’” he said, spotting Geoffrey Chaucer’s famous work sitting on his packed bookshelf during a recent interview. “Then you start digging into these characters and digging into their dialogue. Then you think, ‘Oh my God. People haven’t changed at all.’”

Wilson, whose favorite works include everything from Shakespeare to Sophocles, knows he’s not the only veteran fascinated by ancient texts, and that’s one reason he’s bringing his expertise to the masses in a new literary podcast called “Combat and Classics.” The podcast, co-hosted by Wilson and two college professors, targets a military audience and has garnered more than 11,000 downloads since its August launch.

“We know that service members are serious people, and they’ve had experiences that lead them to ask fundamental questions,” said Jeff Black, a podcast co-host who tutors at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland…

Read on.