Jay Atkinson – Massacre on the Merrimack

March 28, 2016 – Step through the Guardian of Forever and back in time to colonial North America, in the heat of King William’s War. Our guide on this journey is Jay Atkinson, called “the bard of New England toughness” by Men’s Health magazine for his approach to writing and his topics. He shares the story of another tough New Englander in his new book, Massacre on the Merrimack: Hannah Duston’s Captivity and Revenge in Colonial America. Early on March 15, 1697, a band of Abenaki warriors in service to the Catholic French, raided the Puritan English frontier village of Haverhill, Massachusetts, killing twenty-seven men, women and children, and taking thirteen survivors captive. Hannah Duston and her one-week-old daughter, Martha, were among these survivors — and it is there that our story begins. Jay Atkinson teaches journalism at Boston University, as well as a critic, essayist, investigative journalist, and itinerant amateur athlete up in Methuen, Massachusetts. He is also the author of the author of two novels, a collection of short fiction, and five nonfiction narrative books including Ice Time and Legends of Winter Hill. You can visit his website, JayAtkinson.com, follow him @Atkinson_Jay on Twitter, or drop him a like…

H5F: James Shapiro – 5 Things About Shakespeare
Classics , History in Five / March 25, 2016

March 25, 2016 – It’s History in Five Friday, presented by Simon & Schuster — kicking off your modern weekend, with people from the past.  Today, we offer bring you some new discoveries on one of history’s greatest authors: William Shakespeare. Yes, that Shakespeare. As incredible as it may seem, we’re still learning about the man who brought us Hamlet, Macbeth, The Tempest and so many other immortal plays. The man in the driver’s seat of our time machine is James Shapiro, Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. He’s the author of Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare, and the topic of our next episode: The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606. You can hear that interview recorded in the shadow of Shakespeare’s Central Park statue . History in Five Friday. It’s the perfect way to kick off your modern weekend… with people from the past.       Podcast: Download (Duration: 5:20 — 4.9MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Don Glickstein – After Yorktown
American Presidents / March 21, 2016

March 21, 2016 – Today, we time-travel back to the times after the times that tried men’s souls. The date is October 19, 1781, and a combined French and rebel force defeats the Redcoats at the Battle of Yorktown, Virginia. But contrary to two centuries of grade school and academic histories, the war for independence didn’t end with the surrender of General Cornwallis’s sword. The fighting dragged on for men like George Washington, Horatio Nelson, Lafayette, and Hyder Ali. This was a world war, with fighting from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean, and the Arctic to the coast of Sri Lanka. We learn about the men who kept fighting in Don Glickstein’s debut book, After Yorktown: The Final Struggle for American Independence.  We also mentioned Fergus Bordewich’s book, The First Congress: How James Madison, George Washington, and a Group of Extraordinary Men Invented the Government.   Podcast: Download (Duration: 53:33 — 49.0MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

H5F: Walter Isaacson, the Invention of Video Games
History in Five / March 18, 2016

March 18, 2016 – Today on History in Five Friday, presented by Simon & Schuster, we’re going to hear from writer/journalist Walter Isaacson. He’s president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, and author of The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution. He also brought us the acclaimed biography: Steve Jobs. You can like his Facebook page, or follow him @WalterIsaacson on Twitter. This week, the focus is on how the very earliest video games inspired the personal computer revolution. From Pong, Pac Man and Defender, to Doom, Halo and Starcraft, these games were anything but child’s play. They brought the computer into more vital roles, from business to medical breakthroughs. Simon & Schuster’s History in Five Friday. It’s the perfect way to kick off your modern weekend… with people from the past. Podcast: Download (Duration: 4:15 — 3.9MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

John McCavitt, Christopher T. George – The Man Who Captured Washington
War of 1812 / March 14, 2016

March 14, 2016 – Today, our time machine touches down on one of America’s darkest days: The capture of Washington, DC, and the burning of the White House, Capitol Building and a other public buildings. The man who lit the match? British Major General Robert Ross. A horseman, prankster, loving husband and daring commander who served under Wellington, Ross has fallen into obscurity over the two centuries since the War of 1812. But with the bicentennial, two authors have resurrected the tale of a man they describe as a “reluctant arsonist.” John McCavitt is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and neighbor of Ross in Rostrevor (a town in Northern Ireland originally owned by the Ross family), and Baltimore’s Christopher T. George, Vice President of the 1812 Consortium and founding editor of the Journal of the War of 1812. McCavitt and George are co-authors of, The Man Who Captured Washington: Major General Robert Ross and the War of 1812. You can follow them on Twitter @John_McCavitt and @CThompsonGeorge, or visit TheManWhoCapturedWashington.com. We decided to air this episode the week of St Patrick’s Day, to honor the huge numbers of Irishmen who fought on both the British and the American…

H5F: Jan Jarboe Russell – The Train to Crystal City
History in Five / March 11, 2016

March 11, 2016 – Today’s history author, Jan Jarboe Russell, revisits the dark period of World War Two when President Franklin Roosevelt signed the infamous Executive order 9066. You may recall that we interviewed Kermit Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt’s great-great-grandson and a distant cousin to Franklin, about his novel Allegiance, covering the fight over these deportations at the Supreme Court. From 1942 to 1948, trains delivered thousands of civilians from the United States and Latin America to Crystal City, Texas, a small desert town at the southern tip of Texas. The trains carried Japanese, German, Italian immigrants and their American-born children, who were all U.S. citizens. Ms. Russell takes a closer look at this travesty of justice in her non-fiction book: The Train to Crystal City: FDR’s Secret Prisoner Exchange Program and America’s Only Family Internment Camp During World War II. You can learn more about her work at JanJarboeRussell.com, or by following her on Twitter @JarboeJan. Simon & Schuster’s History in Five Friday.  It’s the perfect way to kick off your modern weekend… with people from the past.       Podcast: Download (Duration: 5:02 — 4.6MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Stephen Coss – The Fever of 1721
Medicine / March 7, 2016

March 7, 2016 – Today, we’re climbing into the Wayback Machine and setting the dial for the early 1700’s, when temperatures ran high in politics, the press, and from a smallpox epidemic burning through Boston. Leading us on this journey is Stephen Coss: author, ad guy, and “close personal friend of Ben Franklin.” Everything, Stephen says, that Franklin really needed to know, he learned in 1721 (and he’s only half joking). Stephen’s debut book is The Fever of 1721: The Epidemic that Revolutionized Medicine and American Politics. In it, we meet historical figures including the young Franklin laboring at his brother’s newspaper, and the Reverend Cotton Mather, seeking redemption from the debacle Salem Witch Trials by pioneering the technique of inoculation against the dreaded pox. An unlikely advocate for something as revolutionary as vaccination, Mather convinces only a single doctor — Zabdiel Boylston — to try what we’d call a clinical trial on the controversial technique, one frowned upon in part because it had been practiced in Africa. You can follow Stephen @Coss1Coss on Twitter, or visit him at StephenCoss.com. In this episode, we also mentioned David Pietrusza’s new book, 1932: The Rise of Hitler and FDR – Two Tales of…

H5F: Nicholas Griffin – Ping Pong Diplomacy
History in Five / March 4, 2016

March 4, 2016 – Nicholas Griffin shares the story of how a little white ball impacted the way we live on this big, blue marble. His book is titled, Ping-Pong Diplomacy: The Secret History Behind the Game That Changed the World. Just how did the United States and communist China go from the icy pictures of Cold War adversaries, to Nixon’s visit and a relationship that shocked the USSR? Well, believe it or not, table tennis helped communist China achieve a new relationship with America, and set the stage for Ronald Reagan to reach out to Mikhail Gorbachev, ultimately leading to the destruction of the Berlin Wall, and the Communist Bloc. Simon & Schuster’s History in Five every Friday morning. It’s the perfect way to kick off your modern weekend…with people from the past. Podcast: Download (Duration: 6:51 — 6.3MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More