Charles Leerhsen – Ty Cobb
Sports / September 28, 2015

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 view of Ty Cobb as a belligerent racist and dirty player, we’re smearing baseball’s all-time great, and abetting a century of shoddy reporting? If so, then someone should set the historical record straight. Well, that’s exactly what Charles Leerhsen set out to do in his New York Times best-seller, Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty. In it, Mr. Leerhsen questioned all the accepted truths about Cobb and found the facts striking out. And Mr. Leerhsen is not just a sports fan, but a journalist trained in facts. You’ve seen his work everywhere from Sports Illustrated and Esquire to The New York Times Magazine and People. He has also been an editor at SI, Us Weekly, and Newsweek. You can find him @CharlesLeerhsen on Twitter and at We hope you’ll pour…

H5F: Ty Cobb – Charles Leerhsen
History in Five , Sports / September 25, 2015

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 after Monday, September 28, 2015.   For more, follow our H5F author on Twitter @CharlesLeerhsen or visit his website,     Podcast: Download (Duration: 5:01 — 4.6MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Gerald Posner – God’s Bankers
Religion / September 24, 2015

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 largest and wealthiest on earth? Attorney, best-selling author, and award-winning investigative journalist Gerald Posner explores that question in his book: God’s Bankers: A History of Money and Power at the Vatican. It’s a book not about faith, but about finances. And it begs the question: Can the man called the people’s pope, Francis, overcome the resistance to change in the Vatican’s inner court, and rein in its excesses? Can the new pontiff, in short, succeed where all his predecessors failed? The Providence Journal called God’s Bankers “As exciting as a mystery thriller.” So I thought, who better to interview Gerald Posner than thriller author Tom Grace. Among Tom’s best-selling novels in the Nolan Kilkenny series is, The Secret Cardinal. It’s an adventure that races from the…

Van Bryan – Classical Wisdom Weekly
Classics / September 21, 2015

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 literature of antiquity with iPad-enabled readers like us. You can also follow them @ClassicalWisdom on Twitter or get their newsletter via email, just by signing up right here. When you do, you’ll get three free books: The Guide to the Greek Gods and Goddesses, an introduction to ancient ethical philosophy, and a guide to the Peloponnesian War. You have nothing to lose and so much wisdom to gain, why not give it a try? Visit “The Thirsty Philosopher,” Dr. Frank McCluskey’s blog.       Podcast: Download (Duration: 35:28 — 32.5MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

H5F: Ike and Dick – Jeffrey Frank
American Presidents , History in Five / September 18, 2015

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.”     Podcast: Download (Duration: 6:47 — 6.2MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Michael Hiltzik – Big Science
Science / September 14, 2015

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 massive team to beat Hitler to the atom bomb, or the U.S. racing the Soviets to the moon? Today’s book introduces us to the man behind this revolution, one that touches all aspects of our modern life. It’s called, Big Science: Ernest Lawrence and the Invention that Launched the Military-Industrial Complex. The author is Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael Hiltzik. He’s a graduate of Colgate and the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia, and has written previous books on the Hoover Dam and The New Deal. You can follow him on Twitter @HiltzikM and visit his website,   Additional books discussed in this episode:   Podcast: Download (Duration: 31:10 — 28.5MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

H5F: Michael Hiltzik – Big Science
History in Five / September 11, 2015

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,  And enjoy more of Simon & Schuster’s History in Five shorts at Podcast: Download (Duration: 3:27 — 3.2MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Dan DeMiglio from Callahan’s Hot Dogs
Food / September 7, 2015

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 fifty years serving the “so big, so good” best –seemed like a natural. In 1950, Leonard “Artie” Castrianni didn’t know it, but he was writing history — not with ink, but with ketchup and mustard. The story began when he opened a road-side food stand and gas station on the Palisades cliffs. From it, he served deep-fried hot dogs, hand-cut fries, Birch Beer and more to hungry families — first from the nearby Palisades Amusement Park, and later to anyone who wanted a taste of the past. Callahan’s was an institution in Fort Lee, and from age 7, Daniel DeMiglio — Artie Castrianni’s grandson — had a single goal in life: To carry on the family legacy. Even when his dad and uncle sold…