April 17, 2017 – This week, our time machine attends the Gilded Age performances of a man who heralded the Borscht Belt, Vaudeville, and paved the way for performers from Mel Brooks to Barbra Streisand and Jerry Seinfeld. He did so by performing Jewish characters — for the first time — with dignity, humor, and emotional depth. Born in 1849, M.B. Curtis gained worldwide fame — and as an immigrant himself, reached into his own pocket to illuminate the Statue of Liberty when the U.S. government wouldn’t foot the bill. Our guide on this journey is Richard Schwartz, author of the previous works Earthquake Exodus, 1906; Eccentrics, Heroes, and Cutthroats of Old Berkeley; The Circle of Stones: An Investigation of the Circle of Stones in Stampede Valley, Sierra County, and, Berkeley 1900. Visit him at RichardSchwartz.info. Thanks to singer-songwriter Val Hovik for supplying the original song Liberty Shine off his Listen to Me Now Album. If you dig the tune, pick up the single or the Album on Amazon, visit ValHovik.com.
April 10, 2016 – This week, our time machine visits the era of silent film stars with Laini Giles, author of The It Girl and Me: A Novel of Clara Bow. Even if you’ve never heard of Clara Bow, you’ll stop and take notice the moment you saw her. She had “it,” which is something more than sex appeal, more than talent — an undefinable and mysterious quality that you can’t create, borrow, or steal. But Clara’s stardom didn’t erase her hardscrabble upbringing in Brooklyn, or ensure her transition to the talking pictures, where she suffered from “mic fright.” Nor did it spare our narrator, Daisy DeVoe, from her own wild ride in Claraworld. Laini Giles previously joined us to chat about her novel, The Forgotten Flapper, the first in her Forgotten Actress series. Catch that interview in our archives at HistoryAuthor.com, or wherever you’re listening, and visit Laini on Twitter @4GottenFlapper, or at LainiGiles.com.
April 3, 2017 – This week, our time machine compares some of the Western world’s big thinkers. Centuries ago Plutarch, the Father of Biography, wrote Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans to reveal new insights about their careers by making comparisons. Robert Lloyd George applies this method to our time in A Modern Plutarch: Comparisons of the Greatest Western Thinkers, using the United States and United Kingdom, in place of Greece and Rome. Mr. Lloyd George is the great-grandson of David Lloyd George, who served as Britain’s prime minister during the Great War, was the architect of its social welfare system, and led the redrawing of maps after the Armistice. Modern listeners may have seen our guest’s extensive writings on global economics across the East-West divide, and may have read his previous books including David and Winston, contrasting his great-grandfather with Churchill.