Benjamin R. Justesen – Forgotten Legacy: William McKinley, George Henry White, and the Struggle for Black Equality
American Presidents , Civil Rights / February 15, 2021

  February 15, 2021 – There has been no more noble fight in all of history than the one guaranteeing equal rights for formerly enslaved people. So how did America forget the Black congressman and a Civil War veteran president to ensure that all those Union soldiers hadn’t died in vain — and more importantly, that the words on those Reconstruction Era amendments to the Constitution guaranteeing rights to the freedmen, weren’t just ink on the page, laughed at by marauding lynch mobs? In this episode, we meet this overlooked odd couple with Benjamin R. Justesen who brings us Forgotten Legacy: William McKinley, George Henry White, and the Struggle for Black Equality. Justesen writes, “William McKinley’s role as a sincere friend and benefactor of African-Americans may be one of the best-kept secrets in American political history.” He also introduces us to the inspiring Congressman White, whose skill as an orator — and later as the founder of Whitesboro, New Jersey — is the stuff of legend. Ben Justesen is a former journalist, teacher, and U.S. Foreign Service Officer whose previous book is George Henry White: An Even Chance in the Race of Life.       Podcast: Download (Duration: 1:07:47…

Lindsay M. Chervinsky – The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution
American Presidents / January 25, 2021

  January 25, 2021 – When George Washington accepted the responsibility of being the first president of a new nation, he felt the weight of history on his broad shoulders, knowing that every step he took, would set precedents for generations. So, how did he pick a team of advisers to keep his path straight on the long march to nationhood? We explore how he pioneered the presidential cabinet with Dr. Lindsay M. Chervinsky. She’s a historian of Early America, the presidency, and government who brings us The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution. Lindsay Chervinsky is Scholar in Residence at the Institute for Thomas Paine Studies at Iona College, Senior Fellow at the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies, and Professorial Lecturer at the School of Media and Public Affairs, George Washington University. She earned her Ph.D. in history from UC Davis. Find her at LindsayChervinsky.com, or on YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, where you can also find the page for QuincyTheHistoryHound. Previous interviews on the period: David Head: A Crisis of Peace: George Washington, the Newburgh Conspiracy, and the Fate of the American Revolution Bob Drury and Tom Clavin: Valley Forge…

David Pietrusza – 1932: The Rise of Hitler and FDR
American Presidents , World Leaders , WWII / November 2, 2020

November 2, 2020 – One of Europe’s greatest monsters. One of America’s greatest presidents. We’ll dig into the parallel paths that led these men and their nations to very different final destinations with renowned historian David Pietrusza. We sat down at the FDR Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, N.Y., to discuss his book 1932: The Rise of Hitler and FDR ―Two Tales of Politics, Betrayal, and Unlikely Destiny. We last chatted with the award-winning historian about his books… 1920: The Year of the Six Presidents, and, TR’s Last War: Theodore Roosevelt, the Great War, and a Journey of Triumph and Tragedy, as well as, 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 1948 and 1960, in addition to the ’20 and ’32 campaigns. 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 one “one of the great political historians … of all time.” Follow him @DPietrusza on Twitter and…

Todd Arrington – The Last Lincoln Republican: The Presidential Election of 1880
American Presidents / October 5, 2020

October 5, 2020 – In 1881, an assassin shot President James A. Garfield just four months into his term, ending this noble leader’s plans for carrying out Abraham Lincoln’s legacy of equality for formerly enslaved Americans. But how did he get into the big chair? Our time machine heads into the hurly burley of the 1880 election, the only time two Civil War veterans faced off across the Mason-Dixon line of politics. It’s the ultimate winner, James A. Garfield of Ohio, who we meet in the book The Last Lincoln Republican: The Presidential Election of 1880. Our campaign manager on the road to the White House, is Benjamin Todd Arrington, site manager of the James A. Garfield National Historic Site in Mentor, Ohio. Learn more about the 20th president’s life and unfulfilled potential at the National Parks Service website, or on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram. Special thanks to Candice Millard for submitting a question for Todd. She’s author of the landmark James A. Garfield book Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President. You find our conversation her latest book, Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the…

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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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…