Stephen Coss – The Fever of 1721
Medicine / March 7, 2016

March 7, 2016 – Today, we’re climbing into the Wayback Machine and setting the dial for the early 1700’s, when temperatures ran high in politics, the press, and from a smallpox epidemic burning through Boston. Leading us on this journey is Stephen Coss: author, ad guy, and “close personal friend of Ben Franklin.” Everything, Stephen says, that Franklin really needed to know, he learned in 1721 (and he’s only half joking). Stephen’s debut book is The Fever of 1721: The Epidemic that Revolutionized Medicine and American Politics. In it, we meet historical figures including the young Franklin laboring at his brother’s newspaper, and the Reverend Cotton Mather, seeking redemption from the debacle Salem Witch Trials by pioneering the technique of inoculation against the dreaded pox. An unlikely advocate for something as revolutionary as vaccination, Mather convinces only a single doctor — Zabdiel Boylston — to try what we’d call a clinical trial on the controversial technique, one frowned upon in part because it had been practiced in Africa. You can follow Stephen @Coss1Coss on Twitter, or visit him at In this episode, we also mentioned David Pietrusza’s new book, 1932: The Rise of Hitler and FDR – Two Tales of…

H5F: Nicholas Griffin – Ping Pong Diplomacy
History in Five / March 4, 2016

March 4, 2016 – Nicholas Griffin shares the story of how a little white ball impacted the way we live on this big, blue marble. His book is titled, Ping-Pong Diplomacy: The Secret History Behind the Game That Changed the World. Just how did the United States and communist China go from the icy pictures of Cold War adversaries, to Nixon’s visit and a relationship that shocked the USSR? Well, believe it or not, table tennis helped communist China achieve a new relationship with America, and set the stage for Ronald Reagan to reach out to Mikhail Gorbachev, ultimately leading to the destruction of the Berlin Wall, and the Communist Bloc. Simon & Schuster’s History in Five every Friday morning. It’s the perfect way to kick off your modern weekend…with people from the past. Podcast: Download (Duration: 6:51 — 6.3MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

CWW: The Very Cynical Diogenes of Sinope
Classical Wisdom / March 2, 2016

March 2, 2016 – It’s Classical Wisdom Wednesday, presented by Classical Wisdom Weekly — bringing ancient wisdom to modern minds, every Wednesday morning before your first cup of coffee. This week, we discuss Diogenes of Sinope.  He is often considered one of the more eccentric, or at the very least untraditional, of the ancient Greek philosophers. He is credited as being one of the founders of cynicism and practiced these ideals through the eccentricities that filled his life. Your guide through the classical landscape is Van Bryan, Associate Editor of Classical Wisdom Weekly. You can catch Classical Wisdom Wednesday every week before your first cup of coffee, right here on the History Author Show. Podcast: Download (Duration: 7:31 — 6.9MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More