January 15, 2018 – Our time machine travels back to the Union-occupied city of Alexandria, Virginia, to get an abolitionist woman’s perspective during America’s Civil War. Our guide on this journey is Paula Tarnapol Whitaker, author of A Civil Life in an Uncivil Time: Julia Wilbur’s Struggle for Purpose. Paula met up with us in Virginia at the Lyceum, Alexandria’s History Museum, where we felt close to this woman ...

January 1, 2018 – Happy New Year, history lovers! To kick off 2018, we welcome thriller author Tom Grace to discuss the sixth novel in his series featuring ex-Navy SEAL Nolan Kilkenny: Undeniable. Tom’s novels feature cutting-edge technology, and we discuss how DNA science is solving historical mysteries. Did Adolf Hitler have a son? Was Warren G. Harding our first black president? What sinister uses will criminal minds cook up whe...

December 25, 2017 – This week, our time machine visits 1939, clicks on the radio, and listens to The Campbell Playhouse production of A Christmas Carol hosted by Orson Welles and staring Lionel Barrymore as Ebenezer Scrooge. When Charles Dickens published the story in 1843, he did so as what we’d call social commentary, reflecting the soul-searching of his fellow Britons about the true meaning of Christmas. Even 175 years later, we...

December 18, 2017 – This week — just in time to get stuffed into your young reader’s stocking — we travel back to a familiar location, at a pivotal moment in the American Revolution. The year is 1780, when one of the greatest heroes of the Continental Army — General Benedict Arnold — decides to betray the patriot cause by surrendering West Point to the British with the help of British spymaster Major John An...

December 11, 2017 – This week, our time machine travels back to the American Civil War in All the Fighting They Want: The Atlanta Campaign from Peach Tree Creek to the City’s Surrender, July 18-September 2, 1864. Our guide on this journey is Stephen Davis, a longtime Atlantan and Civil War enthusiast since the fourth grade. All the Fighting They Want serves as a companion to his previous paperback, A Long and Bloody Task: The Atlan...

December 4, 2017 – This week, our time machine travels back 50 years to one of the Vietnam War’s massive set pieces: The Tet Offensive. This series of simultaneous attacks by the communist North on 36 cities, aimed to weaken support both within the Vietnamese republic in the South and across the Pacific in the United States. Our guest, Doug Stanton, embeds his readers with 46 fresh, young American soldiers in Echo Company: An Army ...

November 27, 2017 – This week, our time machine visits the Gilded Age to witness William McKinley’s rise to the White House. Little remembered or misremembered today, at the time of his assassination in 1901, the Civil War veteran was the most popular president since Abraham Lincoln, and nothing like the caricature portrayed by mid-20th Century authors. Robert W. Merry sets the record straight in President McKinley: Architect of th...

November 20, 2017 – This week — just in time for Thanksgiving in America — we set sail with the intrepid Pilgrims on The Mayflower. Once aboard, we’ll meet the Winslow family, and gain a perspective that links the broader experience — from Native American contacts to intrigues back home in Europe. Tracing the voyage with us is reviewer and broadcaster Rebecca Fraser author of The Mayflower: The Families, the Voyag...

November 13, 2017 – This week, we’ll see a familiar face in the passenger seat of our time machine under a big cartwheel hat, as we travel back to 1908 Los Angeles. Our guest is Jennifer Kincheloe, here to chat about her second novel, The Woman in the Camphor Trunk — An Anna Blanc Mystery. Since we last spoke, Jen has earned the Colorado Gold Award for Mystery, and spots as a finalist for the MacAvirty Sue Feder Historical My...

November 6, 2017 – This week, our time machine travels back to a time when the United States fought its first major overseas conflict, joining a fight idealized as making the world safe for democracy. Our guide on this journey is Margaret E. Wagner, a senior writer/editor in the Library of Congress Publishing Office. She brings us America and the Great War: A Library of Congress Illustrated History. This book is almost an art history mus...

EPISODES

Robert Lloyd George – A Modern Plutarch: Comparisons of the Greatest Western Thinkers

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...

Timothy Boyce – From Day to Day: One Man’s Diary of Survival in Nazi Concentration Camps

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 fami...

Jack Barsky – Deep Undercover: My Secret Life and Tangled Allegiances as a KGB Spy in America

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&...

Dr. Anna Keay – The Last Royal Rebel: The Life & Death of James, Duke of Monmouth

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 ...

James N. Gibson – A War Without Rifles: The 1792 Militia Act and the War of 1812

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 ...

Bijan C. Bayne – Martha’s Vineyard Basketball

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 con...

Louis Picone – Where the Presidents Were Born: The History & Preservation of the Presidential Birthplaces

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 Wh...

Noah Andre Trudeau – Lincoln’s Greatest Journey

February 13, 2016 – This week’s episode falls on the day we observe Lincoln’s birthday, so our time machine travels back to the final days of the American Civil War, as Abraham Lincoln turns his weary eyes forward to ending the rebellion and pushing for his vision of a new, reunited United States. The Great Emancipator does so by leaving the White House for his longest break since the war began, and spending them wi...

Terry Kerber – Major Taylor: The Inspiring Story of a Black Cyclist and the Men Who Helped Him Achieve Worldwide Fame

February 6, 2017 – This week, in honor of Black History Month, our time machine travels back in time to meet a forgotten American hero in the fight for equality — a hero, with a bicycle. You may never have heard of Marshall “Major” Taylor, but this son of an Indiana Civil War veteran was the most popular athlete in America and heralded throughout the world, back at the height of the Jim Crow era in the early 2...

Charles Leerhsen – Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty (The Updated, Hall of Fame Episode)

January 30, 2017 – This week, we mark the anniversary of the first Baseball Hall of Fame class on January 29, 1936. In that year, Ty Cobb earned 222 ballots, just four votes short of a unanimous decision, so the date gave us a chance to revisit one of our earliest interviews, and a book we cited often as a journalistic high water mark for history. Joining us again to chat about the unfairly maligned Georgia Peach, is Charles Le...