May 29, 2017 – We’re uploading this episode for Memorial Day 2017, to pay tribute to the men and women who gave their lives in service to the United States. Leading us on this trip into the past, is Kevin C. Fitzpatrick, a licensed New York City Sightseeing Guide, United States Marine veteran, and author of World War I New York: A Guide to the City’s Enduring Ties to the Great War. World War I has deep roots in the Empire Sta...

May 22, 2017 – This week, our time machine visits a small Jersey Shore town with big White House history. The spot is The Church of the Presidents in Long Branch, a spot where seven commanders-in-chief vacationed in the Gilded Age. They started coming to the beach with the man who crushed the Confederacy, General Ulysses S. Grant, and continued through five of the next six — Rutherford B. Hayes, James Garfield, Chester A. Arthur, B...

May 15, 2017 – This week, for our 100th interview, our time machine visits some of the most heated fighting — political and on the battlefield — during the American Civil War. We’ll experience the great conflagration through the eyes of a soldier and his young love, whose father just happens to be a Democratic state senator, who begins to doubt Lincoln’s war effort as it drags on year after year. Letters aren̵...

May 8, 2017 – This week, our time machine hoists the Jolly Roger, that notorious black flag with a skull and crossbones that sent shivers down the spine of God-fearing men and woman on the high seas. Shortly after we set sail, we’ll meet Massachusetts fisherman Philip Ashton, whose capture and escape from pirates, earned him status as America’s real-life Robinson Crusoe. We’ll also cross swords with Ashton’s nemesis, th...

May 1, 2017 – This week, our time machine touches down at the height of the Red Scare, in the Oval Office of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, whose public stance of ignoring Senator Joseph McCarthy’s descent into demagoguery — refusing even to mention his name — has long been cited by historians as proof that the old World War Two general just didn’t care. Some even dared call the former Supreme Allied commander, a...

April 24, 2017 – This week’s episode airs on Holocaust Remembrance Day, and features debut novelist Barbara Stark-Nemon’s ambitious novel, Even in Darkness. Spanning a century and three continents, Barbara tells the story of her real-life great-aunt, Kläre Kohler, from early years in a prosperous German-Jewish family, through an adulthood of love, two World Wars, a concentration camp, and an unconventional life in post-war Ge...

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 hi...

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 Clar...

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...

March 27, 2017 – This week, our time machine goes inside a succession of Nazi Concentration camps, and views them through the great Norwegian statesman, Odd Nansen. Editing Nansen’s diaries — written painstakingly and smuggled out of the camps — is Timothy J. Boyce, and the resulting book is From Day to Day: One Man’s Diary of Survival in Nazi Concentration Camps. As a friend of Norway’s royal family and son...

EPISODES

Jonathan Sandys – God and Churchill

October 6, 2015 – How did Winston Churchill overcome so many personal, financial and professional setbacks to lead the United Kingdom to victory during its darkest hour, when the Empire nation stood alone against Hitler? The answer may surprise you, and that’s the focus of a new book. It’s God & Churchill: How the Great Leader’s Sense of Divine Destiny Changed His Troubled World and Offers Hope for Ours. M...

James Shapiro – The Year of Lear

October 5, 2015 – On this episode, we visit the theaters, throne rooms and taverns of London 400 years ago, as seen through the eyes of William Shakespeare. History Author Show correspondent Stephen Bedford met our guide to Jacobian London in the shadow of the immortal bard’s statue in Central Park. He is renowned Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro, professor of English of Columbia University. His book is The Year of Lear:...

Charles Leerhsen – Ty Cobb

September 28, 2015 – Even casual baseball fans can name the game’s greatest heroes, and its most infamous villain: Ty Cobb. Yes, it’s something that even Yankees and Red Sox fans can agree on: “The Georgia Peach” wasn’t a very nice fellow. But what if everyone is wrong? What if, like Ulysses S. Grant, Ty Cobb’s enemies were just more prolific writers than his friends? What if by accepting the...

H5F: Ty Cobb – Charles Leerhsen

September 25, 2015 – It’s History in Five Friday, presented by Simon & Schuster — kicking off your modern weekend, with people from the past.  Today, we offer up Charles Leerhsen’s incredible book: Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty. It exposes the cruel smear of baseball’s most exciting player, debunking the caricature of him as a dimwitted, belligerent, drunken racist.  You can enjoy our full interview on or aft...

Gerald Posner – God’s Bankers

September 24, 2015 – This is a special, Pope-in-America edition of the History Author Show. Pope Francis began his visit to the United States on September 22, 2015 with stops in Washington, D.C., New York City and Philadelphia. Top on his agenda were calls for Americans to spend more on the poor. But what about the church’s finances? How did a humble ministry started by St. Paul two thousand years ago, grow into the large...

Van Bryan – Classical Wisdom Weekly

September 21, 2015 – Join us in Manhattan’s Madison Square Park — next to the statue of President Chester A. Arthur — as we travel back to the days when Latin was very much a living language. Our tour guide is Van Bryan, associate editor of Classical Wisdom Weekly: “Ancient Wisdom for Modern Minds.” It’s an online publishing house that shares information, commentaries, and opinions on literat...

H5F: Ike and Dick – Jeffrey Frank

September 18, 2015 – One of the most acclaimed political biographies of our time, Jeffrey Frank’s Ike and Dick: Portrait of a Strange Political Marriage takes you inside the strained and complex relationship of two fascinating American leaders—hailed as “top-drawer as political history” by the New York Review of Books and “one of the best books ever written about Richard Nixon” by the New Yorker.” ...

Michael Hiltzik – Big Science

September 14, 2015 – From Thomas Edison to Dr. Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters, the idea of the quirky, driven scientist working in solitude is a popular one in the American imagination. But today, you need big machines like particle accelerators, electron microscopes, and super computers to advance human knowledge. So how did we get from Alexander Graham Bell in his lonely lab to Robert Oppenheimer assembling and leading a massi...

H5F: Michael Hiltzik – Big Science

September 11, 2015 – End your week with a taste of the past.  It’s History in Five Friday!  Here’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael Hiltzik, author of Big Science: Ernest Lawrence and the Invention that Launched the Military-Industrial Complex.  You can enjoy our full interview on or after Monday, September 14, 2015.   You can follow him on Twitter @HiltzikM or visit his website, MichaelHiltzik.com.  And en...

Dan DeMiglio from Callahan’s Hot Dogs

September 7, 2015 – This journey into the past is our tastiest yet. Our guest is Dan DeMiglio, heir to a legendary Callahan’s hot dog shop, a landmark in Fort Lee, New Jersey, just across the George Washington Bridge. Our goal is to do more than books here on the program, to remind people that we’re all the author of our own chapter in the great human story, so Callahan’s — which closed in 2006 after fif...