August 12, 2019 – Our time machine boldly goes where no man has gone before, fulfilling President John F. Kennedy’s 1961 challenge to put an American on the moon and return him safely to earth by the end of that decade. Half a century after NASA fulfilled JFK’s vision in the summer of 1969, we look back at the long road of 10,000 small human steps and giant technological leaps, that led to Neal Armstrong stamping his footprin...

We welcome Jason Emerson, who’s here to introduce us to a figure we may all think we know, but we don’t have as clear a picture of as we should. His book is Mary Lincoln for the Ages. Jason Emerson is a journalist and an independent historian who has been researching and writing about the Lincoln family for more than twenty-five years. His works include The Madness of Mary Lincoln; Giant in the Shadows: The Life of Robert T. Lincol...

July 29, 2019 – What do you get when two icons of the Industrial Revolution pile into a Model T and speed off to look for America? A one-of-a kind road-trip, peppered with Jazz Age characters like Harvey Firestone, John Burroughs, President Calvin Coolidge, and hardscrabble fiddler Jep Bisbee. Gassing us up for this journey is Jeff Guinn who brings us The Vagabonds: The Story of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison’s Ten-Year Road Trip. Th...

We welcome Duncan Ryūken Williams with some enriching insights about his book, American Sutra: A Story of Faith and Freedom in the Second World War. Our guest was born in Tokyo to a Japanese mother and British father, growing up in both their native countries before moving to the United States to pursue his studies. He earned a Ph.D. in Religion from Harvard and is now Professor of Religion and East Asian Languages & Cultures, and the Dire...

July 15, 2019 –  Meet the “indispensable man” of the American Revolution, when he was just a hot-headed 22-year-old, growing into the shoes that laid down the footsteps for all future presidents to follow. Peter Stark brings the first face on Mount Rushmore to live in Young Washington: How Wilderness and War Forged America’s Founding Father. Peter Stark is an adventure writer and historian. He’s a correspondent fo...

July 8, 2019 – We welcome David Alan Johnson to our blog, here to answer some written questions about Diploma Mill: The Rise and Fall of Dr. John Buchanan. The book chronicles the bizarre history of the Eclectic Medical College of Pennsylvania (EMC). Founded in 1850 professing lofty goals, it collapsed into spectacular disgrace 30 years later — a scandal of Ponzi proportions, in an era (the 19th Century) when American medical perso...

July 1, 2019 – Our time machine travels back to the American Revolution, where we’ll meet Nathaniel Marten, a young Post Rider tasked with the solemn duty of gathering signatures for the Declaration of Independence. Our guide on this journey is Karen A. Chase, who brings us Carrying Independence: A Founding Documents Novel. Carrying Independence has already garnered accolades, securing second place in the William Faulkner-William W...

We welcome co-authors David Wolman and Julian Smith to chat about ranchmen unlike any you’ve read about before. This may not be our first rodeo, as people say, but it’s certainly a rodeo like no other. Their very special book is Aloha Rodeo: Three Hawaiian Cowboys, the World’s Greatest Rodeo, and a Hidden History of the American West. David Wolman is a Contributing Editor at Outside. He has written for the Wired, the New York...

Jun 17, 2019 – We welcome a familiar passenger back our time machine. It’s Dr. Paul Kahan, who we last chatted with about his book Amiable Scoundrel: Simon Cameron, Lincoln’s Scandalous Secretary of War. Prior to that, he entertained and enlightened us with The Bank War: Andrew Jackson, Nicholas Biddle, and the Fight for American Finance. We put together a video trailer for that book, to share some of the illustrations and po...

We welcome Shelley Emling to give us an inside look at A Forgotten Hero: Folke Bernadotte, the Swedish Humanitarian Who Rescued 30,000 People from the Nazis. Shelley Emling is a native Texan, UT graduate, and former reporter for UPI, London correspondent for Cox Newspapers, having also spent a stint covering Central America. She’s currently a senior editor at AARP. Her previous books are The Fossil Hunter: Dinosaurs, Evolution, and the W...

INTERVIEWS

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...