David O. Stewart – The Lincoln Deception (A Fraser and Cook Historical Mystery)
American Presidents , Fiction / May 4, 2020

May 4, 2020 – What if a former U.S. congressman told you he had a secret about the most infamous presidential assassination, but died before revealing it? It’s a turn-of-the-century whodunit, courtesy of historian David O. Stewart‘s novel, The Lincoln Deception (A Fraser and Cook Historical Mystery). His Holmes and Watson team features the white Dr. Jamie Fraser, and African-American former baseball player, Speedwell Cook. We previously chatted about his non-fiction books, American Emperor – Aaron Burr: The Man Who Shot Alexander Hamilton, and Madison’s Gift: Five Partnerships that Built America. Check out those interviews in our archives, visit our guest at DavidOStewart.com, and find him on Facebook. You’ll also enjoy his post-Civil War non-fiction exploration of the man who found himself president after Lincoln’s murder: Impeached: The Trial of President Andrew Johnson and the Fight for Lincoln’s Legacy. On that topic, he was recently featured in the documentary, Going to the Devil: The Impeachment of 1868, presented by The Great Courses at Hunter College. You can enjoy the Film Screening & Discussion on YouTube. Look for the next books in the series — The Paris Deception and The Babe Ruth Deception — coming in the summer and autumn of…

Donald L. Miller – Vicksburg: Grant’s Campaign That Broke the Confederacy
American Presidents , Civil War / April 20, 2020

April 20, 2020 – In 1863, the Confederate States held a last stronghold on the Mississippi River: Vicksburg. Losing it, and the slavocracy would be sliced in half, mortally wounding their cause. Donald L. Miller musters us into the Grand Army of the Republic’s campaign to capture this city on its high bluff in Vicksburg: Grant’s Campaign That Broke the Confederacy. Donald L. Miller is the John Henry MacCracken Professor of History at Lafayette College, and was awarded the prestigious Fletcher Pratt Prize for the outstanding book on the American Civil War in 2020. His previous books include City of the Century: The Epic of Chicago and the Making of America, as well as a book we discussed in one of our very first interviews, Supreme City: How Jazz Age Manhattan Gave Birth to Modern America.           Podcast: Download (Duration: 1:19:34 — 182.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

David Head – A Crisis of Peace
American Presidents , Colonial America / February 24, 2020

February 24, 2020 – What if the Revolution sparked in 1776 had collapsed? In this episode, our time machine travels back to the last days of the American Revolution, to track down rumors of an unthinkable plot by the Continental Army to mutiny over lack of pay. Only George Washington stood against the passions of men that may have included such patriots Alexander Hamilton and James Madison? Infiltrating the plot against the government to see just how far it goes is Professor David Head, who brings us A Crisis of Peace: George Washington, the Newburgh Conspiracy, and the Fate of the American Revolution. Professor Head is a history professor at the University of Central Florida whose work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and George Washington’s Mt. Vernon. Visit him online at DavidHeadHistory.com, on Facebook at David Head History, or @DavidHeadPhD on Twitter.       Podcast: Download (Duration: 1:09:54 — 160.0MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

David Pietrusza – 1920: The Year of the Six Presidents
American Presidents / February 10, 2020

February 10, 2020 – Recorded live at the FDR Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, New York, our time machine travels back to the end of the Great War and the dawn of Prohibition. Jazz Age America picks a president, with flappers in all 48 states casting ballots for the first time as a half dozen once and future presidents compete for victory. They are: Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, Calvin Coolidge and the eventual winner, Ohio’s Warren G. Harding. Returning to share his historical wisdom is David Pietrusza, who brings us, 1920: The Year of the Six Presidents. We last chatted with the award-winning historian about his books TR’s Last War: Theodore Roosevelt, the Great War, and a Journey of Triumph and Tragedy, and, Rothstein: The Life, Times, and Murder of the Criminal Genius Who Fixed the 1919 World Series. David Pietrusza has written or edited a stack of best-selling, award-winning books, including those on pivotal presidential election years 1932, 1948, and 1960.  He’s appeared everywhere from C-SPAN and the History Channel, to ESPN and Fox Sports Channel, and AMC’s Making of the Mob: New York. It’s easy to see why he’s been called…

Mike Purdy – 101 Presidential Insults
American Presidents / October 7, 2019

October 7, 2019 – What’s a “honeyfuggle,” and why did Theodore Roosevelt call William Howard Taft one? In this episode, presidential historian Mike Purdy checks in with the 44 men who’ve served as our presidents as they roast, criticize, and belittle fellow commanders-in-chief in a manner that would make Don Rickles smile. And who wouldn’t want to hear Benjamin Harrison mock Grover Cleveland on two, non-consecutive occasions? The book is 101 Presidential Insults: What They Really Thought About Each Other – and What It Means to Us. Mike Purdy is the founder of PresidentialHistory.com, where you can find his award-winning presidential history blog. He’s also a regular opinion contributor to TheHill.com. As the 2020 presidential election heats up, look for his work everywhere from CNN and the Wall Street Journal to USA Today, Reuters, Bloomberg, The Huffington Post, and the BBC. You can also today’s special guest at Presidential Historian on Instagram, on Twitter @PresHistory, or toss him a like at Mike Purdy Presidential History on Facebook.     Podcast: Download (Duration: 1:02:29 — 143.0MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Q&A with Jason Emerson – Mary Lincoln for the Ages
American Presidents , Q&A / August 5, 2019

We welcome Jason Emerson, who’s here to introduce us to a figure we may all think we know, but we don’t have as clear a picture of as we should. His book is Mary Lincoln for the Ages. Jason Emerson is a journalist and an independent historian who has been researching and writing about the Lincoln family for more than twenty-five years. His works include The Madness of Mary Lincoln; Giant in the Shadows: The Life of Robert T. Lincoln; Mary Lincoln’s Insanity Case: A Documentary History; and Lincoln’s Lover: Mary Lincoln in Poetry. You can find him @JasonEmersonHistorian on Facebook or Jason.Emerson7 on Instagram. THE HISTORY AUTHOR SHOW: Thanks for being here, Jason. I want to start with the cover of Mary Lincoln for the Ages. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her look quite so alive and vibrant, which is fitting as you bring her to life here for readers. Why chose that portrait attributed to Nicolas H. Shepherd? Jason Emerson: Thanks for having me here. I love the cover of my book. It’s difficult to create a good cover design when writing about Mary, since there are only a handful of photos of her that are known to exist. If you look,…

Peter Stark – Young Washington: How Wilderness and War Forged America’s Founding Father
American Presidents / July 15, 2019

July 15, 2019 –  Meet the “indispensable man” of the American Revolution, when he was just a hot-headed 22-year-old, growing into the shoes that laid down the footsteps for all future presidents to follow. Peter Stark brings the first face on Mount Rushmore to live in Young Washington: How Wilderness and War Forged America’s Founding Father. Peter Stark is an adventure writer and historian. He’s a correspondent for Outside magazine, and you’ve seen his work in places like Smithsonian, The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and Men’s Journal. Peter Stark’s His previous book, Astoria, was a finalist for a PEN USA literary award. You can find our guest at PeterStarkAuthor.com, @StarkAdventurer on Twitter, Facebook.com/PeterStarkAuthor, and @PeterStark_Adventure_Historian on Instagram. If you’re in the New York City area on July 31, 2019, Peter will appear at 7pm, as part of the New-York Historical Society’s “Non-Fiction at the Bryant Park Reading Room” summer series. Join him there!     Podcast: Download (Duration: 56:55 — 130.3MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Karen A. Chase – Carrying Independence: A Founding Documents Novel

July 1, 2019 – Our time machine travels back to the American Revolution, where we’ll meet Nathaniel Marten, a young Post Rider tasked with the solemn duty of gathering signatures for the Declaration of Independence. Our guide on this journey is Karen A. Chase, who brings us Carrying Independence: A Founding Documents Novel. Carrying Independence has already garnered accolades, securing second place in the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Unpublished Novel Competition, and rolled its way into the semis at the Screencraft Cinematic Book competition. Her first effort, Bonjour 40: A Paris Travel Log, also met with critical acclaim, earning seven independent publishing awards. Visit our guest at KarenAChase.com, or on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  Today, she lives in historic Virginia. But Karen A. Chase was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, and has a couple of ancestors who fought in the War of Independence — which gained her membership in the National Society of that Daughters of the American Revolution.     Podcast: Download (Duration: 52:26 — 120.0MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Paul Kahan – The Presidency of Ulysses S. Grant
American Presidents / June 17, 2019

Jun 17, 2019 – We welcome a familiar passenger back our time machine. It’s Dr. Paul Kahan, who we last chatted with about his book Amiable Scoundrel: Simon Cameron, Lincoln’s Scandalous Secretary of War. Prior to that, he entertained and enlightened us with The Bank War: Andrew Jackson, Nicholas Biddle, and the Fight for American Finance. We put together a video trailer for that book, to share some of the illustrations and political cartoons of the time. Dr. Kahan holds a Ph.D. in U.S. history from Temple University, an M.A. in Modern American History & Literature, and B.A.s in history and English. He’s also the author of two books on Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary, as well as The Homestead Strike: Labor, Violence, and American History Critical Moments in American Industry . You can learn more about today’s guest at PaulKahan.com, or follow him on Twitter @Paul_Kahan.           Podcast: Download (Duration: 1:06:03 — 151.2MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Winston Groom – The Allies: Roosevelt, Stalin, Churchill and the Unlikely Alliance That Won World War II
American Presidents , World Leaders , WWII / December 17, 2018

December 17, 2018 -Our time machine welcomes aboard Winston Groom, acclaimed author of Forrest Gump, for a seat at the conference table with the Big Three. The book is The Allies: Roosevelt, Stalin, Churchill and the Unlikely Alliance That Won World War II. It’s a fresh look at the interactions between these very different men as they navigated the fight against Hitler and the inevitable stresses of a culture clash between democracy, empire, and dictatorship. Winston Groom is a master storyteller, and it’s with that eye he approaches The Allies. Born in the nation’s capital and raised in Alabama, he is also a Vietnam veteran and former journalist. His novels include Shrouds of Glory, Better Times Than These and As Summers Die, as well as Forrest Gump and its sequel, Gump & Co. His non-fiction work includes Conversations with the Enemy: The Story of PFC Robert Garwood, which earned a nomination for the Pulitzer Prize. Podcast: Download (Duration: 55:20 — 126.7MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

David Pietrusza – TR’s Last War: Theodore Roosevelt, the Great War, and a Journey of Triumph and Tragedy
American Presidents / October 8, 2018

October 8, 2018 – Our time machine travels back to America’s experience in the Great War through the eyes of former president and hero of the Spanish-American War Theodore Roosevelt, whose four sons suited up to fight over there. Leading us through basic training is David Pietrusza, author of TR’s Last War: Theodore Roosevelt, The Great War, and a Journey of Triumph and Tragedy. In David Pietrusza’s book, we get a fleshed-out picture of the former Rough Rider — older, suffering in the aftermath of his ill-fated Brazilian expedition, and blind in one eye, but still scrapping for a fight and taking on President Woodrow Wilson. You have seen David Pietrusza’s work everywhere great history is found. He has written or edited a footlocker full of best-selling, award-winning books, including those on the pivotal presidential election years 1920, 1932, 1948, 1960. He’s been called one “of the best historians in the United States,” “one of the great political historians of all time,” and “the undisputed champion of chronicling American Presidential campaigns.” Visit him online @DPietrusza on Twitter and DavidPietrusza.com.     If you’re into the Roosevelts, enjoy these features from our archives: Tim Brady – His Father’s Son: The Life of…

Robert W. Merry – President McKinley: Architect of the American Century
American Presidents / November 27, 2017

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 the American Century. You’ve seen Mr. Merry was editor of The National Interest from 2011 to 2013, and previously served as a Washington correspondent for the Wall Street Journal and executive editor of the Congressional Quarterly. He’s now editor at The American Conservative. You’ve seen his work everywhere from the New York Times to National Review, and seen his appearances on shows like Meet the Press. His previous book resurrected another overlooked president: A Country of Vast Designs, on James K Polk, and Where They Stand: The American Presidents in the Eyes of Voters and Historians. Also mentioned this week: Our interview with Candice Shy Hooper, author of Lincoln’s Generals’ Wives: Four Women Who Influenced the Civil War–for Better and for Worse.     Podcast: Download (Duration: 1:09:42 — 159.5MB)Subscribe: Apple…

Ron Shafer – The Carnival Campaign
American Presidents / September 11, 2017

September 11, 2017 – his week, our time machine travels back to 1840 for a belt of hard cider courtesy of presidential candidate — William Henry Harrison. A hero in the War of 1812, “Old Tippecanoe” and served in a variety of public offices, before winning the Whig nomination and making a bid for the presidency with Virginia Democrat John Tyler. In 2017, we expect the atmosphere of a Coney Island summer to surround our campaigns. We demand style and charisma. Well, 1840 is when it all began. The big money, wild rallies, self-promotion, slogans and stagecraft. Pulitzer Prize-nominated reporter Ronald G. Shafer tells this colorful story in his book, The Carnival Campaign: How the Rollicking 1840 Campaign of “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too” Changed Presidential Elections Forever. You can check out our guest online at CarnivalCampaign.com or follow @Ron Shafer1 on Twitter.       Podcast: Download (Duration: 59:24 — 135.9MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Louis Picone – The President Is Dead!
American Presidents / July 17, 2017

July 17, 2017 – This week, the old-time machine leads a funeral procession, starting at George Washington’s crypt at Mount Vernon and ending over 200 years later paying out respects to Gerald R. Ford in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Returning for a second time-travel adventure is Louis Picone, author of: The President is Dead! The Extraordinary Stories of the Presidential Deaths, Final Days, Burials, and Beyond. We previously caught up with Louis on Presidents Day at the Church of the Presidents in Long Branch, N.J. to talk about his book, Where the Presidents Were Born: The History & Preservation of the Presidential Birthplaces. This time, we met at another gem of presidential Jersey Shore history: The Township of Ocean Historical Museum, which calls itself “an open door to history.” If love walking in the final steps or baby steps of our presidents, be sure to like Louis Picone at Facebook.com/LouisLPicone, where he actively shares his enthusiasm for the men who’ve served in America’s highest office.         Podcast: Download (Duration: 57:16 — 131.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Tim Brady – His Father’s Son: The Life of General Ted Roosevelt, Jr.
American Presidents , WWII / June 5, 2017

June 5, 2017 – This day after this episode airs is June 6th, the anniversary of the D-Day landings in 1944. This week, our time machine hits those bloody beaches of Normandy, where we’ll meet the oldest man and highest-ranking officer to go ashore with the first wave: General Ted Roosevelt, Jr. As the oldest son of President Theodore Roosevelt, Ted had the name, the looks, the expectations — and the pressure that literally gave him headaches as a young man. So how did Ted avoid the pitfalls of that upbringing, to attain success in business, laurels in the First World War, and that crowning moment on D-Day, actions which earned him the Congressional Medal of Honor? Here to introduce us to the younger Theodore Roosevelt is Tim Brady, author of His Father’s Son: The Life of General Ted Roosevelt, Jr. Tim Brady is a Peabody Award-winning writer whose works include Twelve Desperate Miles and A Death in San Pietro. He has written a number of PBS documentaries, and helped develop the series Liberty! The American Revolution. Check out his author pages at Amazon and Penguin Random House.       Podcast: Download (Duration: 48:13 — 110.4MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts |…