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

Margaret Creighton – The Electrifying Fall of Rainbow City: Spectacle and Assassination at the 1901 World’s Fair

January 9, 2017 – This week, our time machine whisks us back the Pan-American Exposition, a Gilded Age world’s fair powered by the newly harnessed power of electricity. “The Pan” covered 350 acres near Niagara Falls, and heralded the wonders of the 20th Century. But it also featured lingering stereotypes of a pre-flight world, and the tragic assassination of President William McKinley — America’s m...

Hugh Howard – Architecture’s Odd Couple: Frank Lloyd Wright and Philip Johnson

January 2, 2017 – Hello, Happy New Year! This week, our time machine turns tower crane, as best-selling author and historian Hugh Howard introduces us to two men whose vision for building shaped the 20th Century. His book is, Architecture’s Odd Couple: Frank Lloyd Wright and Philip Johnson. Conducting the interview is Thriller author and practicing architect Tom Grace, who previously interviewed Gerald Posner, author of G...

Peter Lion – The American St. Nick: A True Story

December 21, 2016 – We’re uploading our Monday, December 26, 2016, episode a little bit ahead of schedule — call it an early Christmas gift. Our guest is Peter Lion, who brings us The American St. Nick: A True Story. It’s the unique tail of a World War Two G.I., who ended up playing a big role in tiny Luxembourg. In the lull between the Nazi withdrawal and the Battle of the Bulge, Corporal Richard Brookins hel...

Edward T. O’Donnell – Henry George and the Crisis of Inequality: Progress and Poverty in the Gilded Age

December 19, 2016 – This week, our time machine swerves Into the Past Lane. Our guest is, Edward T. O’Donnell, host of the Into the Past Lane podcast and author of Henry George and the Crisis of Inequality: Progress and Poverty in the Gilded Age. You may not know who Henry George is, but his ideas swirled around the campaign for president throughout the recent election, and his approach to solving political and economic p...

Irene Levy Baker – 100 Things to Do in Philadelphia Before You Die

December 12, 2016 – This week, our time machine goes looking for America on the New Jersey Turnpike, and finds it at the birthplace of Ben Franklin, the Constitution, and cheesesteaks. We previously visited the City of Brotherly Love for our interview at McGillin’s Olde Ale House est. 1860 and Dr. Mütter’s Marvels, with side trips to check out the Paoli Battlefield and to meet Simon Cameron, “Lincoln’s S...

Lt. Jim Downing – The Other Side of Infamy: My Journey Through Pearl Harbor and the World of War

December 5, 2016 – In this episode we meet 103-year-old Lt. Jim Downing, the second-oldest survivor of the Pearl Harbor attack, who will speak at the 75th commemoration in Hawaii on December 7th, 2016. Jim not only witnessed his ship, USS West Virginia, go up in flames on that day of infamy, but he later served in the Korean War, and in 1956 stumbled into the H-Bomb test at Bikini Atoll. A man of great faith and soon to be the ...

Nathan Stoltzfus – Hitler’s Compromises: Coercion and Consensus in Nazi Germany

November 28, 2016 – This week, our time machine touches down during Adolf Hitler’s reign in Germany, to answer a big question: How? How did this failed Austrian painter — a little-noticed corporal in the Great War — persuade the German people in droves to follow him into the abyss of total war? The usual answers are charisma and a ruthless stamping out of domestic dissent. But here on the History author show, ...

Sam Roberts – A History of New York in 101 Objects

November 21, 2016 – The Flushing Remonstrance of 1657, a precursor to our own First Amendment protections of religious liberty. The Spaldeen we discussed in Geoff Griffin’s Brooklyn Bat Boy: A Story of the 1947 Season that Changed Baseball Forever. This week, New York Times Urban Affairs Correspondent Sam Roberts puts some serious miles on our Time Machine, and fills its trunk with the everyday objects that defined Gotham...

Joseph Madison Beck – My Father and Atticus Finch: A Lawyer’s Fight for Justice in 1930s Alabama

November 14, 2016 – This week, our time machine may sound like it’s taking a sideways journey into the fictional world of Harper Lee’s iconic book, To Kill a Mockingbird. We touch down in 1930’s Alabama, and find a small town rocked when a black man is charged with raping a white woman. Only one local lawyer dares to defend the accused. That man was Foster Beck, and his son, Joseph Madison Beck, joins us to te...

Marcelino Truong – Such A Lovely Little War

November 7, 2016 – This week, we bring you our first book in a graphic format, and our first guest time-traveling with us from France. Marcelino Truong is author and illustrator of Such a Lovely Little War: Saigon 1961-63. This graphic memoir shows us America’s early involvement in the Vietnam War, through the eyes of young Marcelino, the son of a Vietnamese diplomat and his French-born wife — whose bipolar disorder...