Q&A with David Collum – The War Diaries of Virgil Collum: Three Years on a Destroyer in the Korean War
Q&A , WWII / May 25, 2019

In honor of the fallen on Memorial Day, The History Author Show welcomed David Collum, editor of The War Diaries of Virgil Collum: Three Years on a Destroyer in the Korean War. Virgil is David Collum’s late father, who recorded detailed descriptions of his shipmates in action from the outbreak of war in 1951, through armistice (though not peace treaty) in 1953. You can find David on Twitter @DCollum5978 or on LinkedIn, where we connected. THE HISTORY AUTHOR SHOW: First, thank you for your service in the U.S. Navy, which we’ll get to as our conversation progresses. Let’s start when you contacted me about your book. You said, “I’m not an author,” but that when you discovered your father’s war diary, you felt you had to do something with it. A lot of us find documents when we’re going through a loved one’s effects, and maybe think we’ll write them up…someday. But even those who are authors get caught up with living life and obligations. You’re also disabled, so that’s another challenge, and yet you got the job done. It’s inspiring. What advice would you give to someone who finds a diary like this in their loved one’s personal effects,…

Shelley Wood – The Quintland Sisters: A Novel
Canada , Fiction / May 20, 2019

May 20, 2019 – Our time machine travels back to the Northern Ontario, Canada of 1934, to witness a unique and risky series of births. Through the eyes of fictional midwife Emma Trimpany, we’ll meet the Dionne family. They’re humble farmers eking a living out of the land, when they’re blessed with not one but five bundles of joy — the first identical quintuplets to survive birth. But the story turned dark when the Canadian government separated the infants from their parents and put them on display, as the center-ring act of a bizarre, moneymaking circus. Our guide on this journey is Shelley Wood, author of her debut novel, The Quintland Sisters. Shelley Wood’s work has appeared in The New Quarterly, Room, The Antigonish Review, Bath Flash Fiction, and The Globe and Mail. She earned the Frank McCourt prize for creative nonfiction, Freefall Magazine’s short prose contest and Causeway Lit’s creative nonfiction prize. Visit our guest at ShelleyWood.ca, follow her @ShelleyWood2 on Twitter, or toss her a like at Facebook.com/ShelleyWoodAuthor.   Podcast: Download (Duration: 57:17 — 131.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Adam Higginbotham – Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster
Cold War / May 6, 2019

May 6, 12019 – Our time machine travels back to the nuclear nightmare at the Soviet Union’s V.I. Lenin Nuclear Power Station — as destined to fail, as the political system of its namesake. On April 26, 1986, Reactor No. 4 exploded, and in the 30 years since, a name that few in the world could have placed, has become synonymous with radioactive Armageddon. What really happened? Communist propaganda long obscured the story of the accident behind the Iron Curtain. Here with his Geiger counter to tally the cost and causes is Adam Higginbotham, who brings us, Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster. Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews as well as letters, unpublished memoirs, and recently declassified archives, Higginbotham has written the true history at last in a book that reads like a thriller. You’ve seen our guest’s work in The New Yorker, New York Times Magazine, Wired, GQ, and Smithsonian. Find him online at AdamHigginbotham.com or @HigginbothamA on Twitter.   Podcast: Download (Duration: 55:19 — 126.6MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More