Conscious Choice cover

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

August 13, 2021 Zimmerman/Batchelor podcast

Embedded below the fold in two parts. (Note, the second segment is now correct!)


Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.

Your support is even more essential to me because I keep this site free from advertisements and do not participate in corrupt social media companies like Google, Twitter, and Facebook. I depend wholly on the direct support of my readers.

You can provide that support to Behind The Black with a contribution via Patreon or PayPal. To use Patreon, go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation. For PayPal click one of the following buttons:


Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


If Patreon or Paypal don't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to

Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652


  • Willi

    Duplicate ‘casts…

  • Mark

    Bob, does this issue of multiple handoffs also occur in Space Industry subcontracting?

    I checked the john batchelor show, and this is not a Bob problem. My best guess this is a cbs/ audioboom / john batchelor show problem. So either Audioboom as the subcontractor made a mistake grabbing the same audio file twice , or the Batchelor Show made a mistake supplying the same audio file twice. In any case, I do appreciate that these are on your site – otherwise I would have to listen to pesky advertising at the beginning of each segment.

  • Mark: This happens sometimes. John Batchelor does the podcast all on his own. Sometimes he uploads incorrectly. I have emailed him. He will get to it, but it is the weekend. Allow him his free time to garden.

  • Mark

    Bob, I really enjoy the John Batchelor Show, and think he is among the most underrated radio broadcasters of the last two decades. I recommend his show to all on your site. It would be interesting at some time if you could write a post about how you first started your weekly segments with John. Cheers!

  • Mark: The story is simple: I wrote an article for Natural History magazine back in 2004 about the recent discovery that the Earth’s core appears to rotate at a slightly different speed as the rest of the planet. Batchelor contacted me to see if I’d come on to talk about it.

    I knew he liked to report on space stuff, so after that appearance I then proceeded to email him a story list every few days, asking if he “wanted to talk.” He repeatedly did. He soon made it a regular thing, because he knew he could always depend on me to give him good stuff and be there when needed.

  • Gary


    Thanks for sharing that info about the Batchelor Show. I had been wondering how he was putting it together after the departure from NYC. Hope he continues as long as he wants. That show really is a wonderful, eclectic collection of world news, history, archaeology, culture and, of course, astronomy and space exploration.

    FYI, the link was updated as of today for the Bennu part of the cast.

    Also, I have a nomination for an “Evening Pause” if you need more. Please let me know if you wish.

Readers: the rules for commenting!


No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.


However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.


Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *