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...

March 20, 2017 – This week, we meet a man born Albrecht Dittrich in East Germany, who infiltrated the U.S. as a KGB agent at the height of the Cold War — and in the decades since, Barsky’s life has taken all the twists and turns you’d expect from a fictional spy thriller. From ardent communist to patriotic American citizen. From unquestioning atheist, to agnostic, to the witnessing Christian he is today. Jack’s bo...

March 13, 2017 – This week, we step into the Tardis, and travel back in time to a United Kingdom facing a rebellion in the late 1600s. The leader of this uprising to seize the crown is Charles II’s illegitimate son, James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth. He’s the sort of figure we love: One wronged by generations of falsehoods, until a dedicated historian tells the true story. That author is Dr. Anna Keay, and the book that sets ...

March 6, 2017 – This week, our time machine travels back to the earliest days of the United States, to what’s sometimes called the Second War of independence: The War of 1812. For the first time in this fight against Great Britain, Congress used the Constitution’s power to declare war, and for the last time, the men doing the fighting supplied their own weapons — an idea that seems incredible today, where the term ̶...

February 27, 2017 – This week, our time machine turns Schwinn Sting-Ray bicycle. We’re pedaling our way to the end of Black History Month, with a last stop on the basketball courts just off the coast of Massachusetts. Cultural critic and sportswriter Bijan C. Bayne is here to share his latest book: Martha’s Vineyard Basketball: How a Resort League Defied Notions of Race and Class. The island off Cape Cod may not conjure up th...

February 20, 2017 – This week, we mark Presidents Day by putting some serious years and miles on the old DeLorean, starting with a visit to the Tidewater region of Virginia in the mid 1700’s, and ending over 200 years later across the ocean in Hawaii. In between, we’ll make a bunch of stops in Ohio, a handful in New York, and others scattered across the nation. Our guide on this journey is Louis Picone, author of Where the Pr...

EPISODES

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...

Kathleen Shanahan Maca – Galveston’s Broadway Cemeteries / Ghosts of Galveston

October 31, 2016 – This week, is Halloween, so we’re piling into the Munsters Car, cranking up the Dark Shadows music, and talking about two books that would fit neatly Morticia Addams’ nightstand. Our guest is genealogist and author Kathleen Shanahan Maca, who brings us Galveston’s Broadway Cemeteries, and Ghosts of Galveston. One of the oldest cities in Texas, Galveston has suffered many tragedies — hu...

Harold I. Gullan – Cradles of Power: The Mothers and Fathers of the American Presidents

October 24, 2016 – This week, with an eye on the upcoming U.S. presidential election, our time machine visits the childhood of the 43 bouncing baby boys who’ve served in the Oval Office — which, yes, means changing Grover Cleveland’s diaper on two, non-consecutive occasions. Dr. Harold I. Gullan brings us, Cradles of Power: The Mothers and Fathers of the American Presidents. There have been so many great autho...

Rich & Sandra Neil Wallace – Blood Brother, Jonathan Daniels and His Sacrifice for Civil Rights

October 17, 2016 – This week, our time machine travels back to 1965, where we’ll meet Jonathan Daniels — a white seminary student who answered Rev. Martin Luther King Jr’s call to help with voter registration in Loundes County, Alabama. After the voting rights marches, Daniels remained to assist civil rights workers — and gave his life saving black teenager Ruby Sales from a shotgun blast. Today, you can find ...

Laurie Halse Anderson – The Seeds of America Trilogy

October 10, 2016 – This week, our time machine returns to the days of the Revolutionary War, and views it through the eyes of Isabel and Curzon, two of the African-American children held in slavery. Laurie Halse Anderson’s trilogy, The Seeds of America, includes the books Chains, Forge, and the just-released blistering conclusion, Ashes. Laura Halse Anderson is a New York Times-bestselling author who has earned numerous A...

Paul Kahan – Amiable Scoundrel: Simon Cameron, Lincoln’s Scandalous Secretary of War

October 3, 2016 – This week, our time machine has a familiar face in the passenger seat. It’s Paul Kahan, who joined us previously to discuss The Bank War: Andrew Jackson, Nicholas Biddle, and the Fight for American Finance. You can catch that interview at History Author.com or wherever you’re listening now, and you enjoy the video we produced illustrating the political and journalistic changes occurring at the time...