Charles Fishman – One Giant Leap: The Impossible Mission That Flew Us to the Moon
Exploration / August 12, 2019

August 12, 2019 – Our time machine boldly goes where no man has gone before, fulfilling President John F. Kennedy’s 1961 challenge to put an American on the moon and return him safely to earth by the end of that decade. Half a century after NASA fulfilled JFK’s vision in the summer of 1969, we look back at the long road of 10,000 small human steps and giant technological leaps, that led to Neil Armstrong stamping his footprint in the lunar dust. Guiding our voyage from Mission Control is Charles Fishman, author of… One Giant Leap: The Impossible Mission That Flew Us to the Moon. Charles Fishman has earned three Gerald Loeb Awards, the most prestigious prize in business journalism. He’s also the acclaimed author of The Wal-Mart Effect and The Big Thirst, as well as co-author of A Curious Mind with Academy Award-winning producer and New York Times best-selling author Brian Grazer. Find our guest on Twitter at CFishman. If you enjoy gazing up at the stars, I highly recommend these previous interviews: Lynn Sherr – Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space Dow Phumiruk – Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13     Podcast: Download…

Jeff Guinn – The Vagabonds: The Story of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison’s Ten-Year Road Trip
Exploration / July 29, 2019

July 29, 2019 – What do you get when two icons of the Industrial Revolution pile into a Model T and speed off to look for America? A one-of-a kind road-trip, peppered with Jazz Age characters like Harvey Firestone, John Burroughs, President Calvin Coolidge, and hardscrabble fiddler Jep Bisbee. Gassing us up for this journey is Jeff Guinn who brings us The Vagabonds: The Story of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison’s Ten-Year Road Trip. Then as now, time spent stuck in a car brought frayed nerves and zany mishaps — literally bumps in the road — but there’s no better way to get the cut of someone’s jib.  Jeff Guinn is an award-winning former investigative journalist and the bestselling author of numerous books. They include Go Down Together: The True Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde, and, The Last Gunfight: The Real Story of the Shootout at the O.K. Corral Find more about our guest at his Simon & Schuster author page or toss him a like on Facebook. Podcast: Download (Duration: 1:02:46 — 143.6MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Dow Phumiruk – Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13
Exploration , Youth / September 10, 2018

September 10, 2018 – Our time machine rockets to the moon — and misses — aboard the ill-fated Apollo 13. Saving the day is the African-American woman whose mathematical know-how guided the trio of Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert, and Fred Haise safely back home. As a child, Katherine Johnson loved math, and triumphed with her family’s support to learn despite segregated schools of the day. Bringing an out-of-this-word story to life for readers 5 to 9 years of age, is Dow Phumiruk, whose vivid illustrations blast off in Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13, written by Helaine Becker. Dow Phumiruk is a pediatrician with a passion for art who enjoys adventures at home, hiking on the trails of Colorado. Visit her online at or follow her @DowPhumiruk. We previously discussed Dow’s illustrations when we chatted with Jeanne Walker Harvey about their book, Maya Lin: Artist – Architect of Light and Lines. A special Happy Birthday to Katherine Johnson, who turned 100 years old just a couple of weeks before this episode’s air-date!     Podcast: Download (Duration: 44:10 — 101.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Laurie Gwen Shapiro – The Stowaway: A Young Man’s Extraordinary Adventure to Antarctica
Exploration / January 29, 2018

January 29, 2018 – Our time machine heads south to the other land down under for a chilly Jazz Age adventure. Our guide on this journey is Laurie Gwen Shapiro who brings us the story of a scrappy Polish-American kid from Manhattan’s Lower East Side, who explores the Roaring ’20s final frontier. Her book is The Stowaway: A Young Man’s Extraordinary Adventure to Antarctica. It’s the spectacular, true story of Billy Gawronski who snuck onto the flagship of famed explorer Richard E. Byrd, demanding a place among the crew and on the pages of history. Laurie Gwen Shapiro is a native of Billy Gawronski’s corner of Manhattan, and you’ve seen her writing in New York Magazine, Slate, Los Angeles Review of Books, as well as in her history column The Forward, focusing on unsung heroes. She is also a documentary filmmaker who won an Independent Spirit Award for directing IFC’s Keep the River on Your Right: A Modern Cannibal Tale and an Emmy nomination for producing HBO’s Finishing Heaven. Visit her online at, follow her @LaurieStories on Twitter and Instagram, or toss a like to       Podcast: Download (Duration: 55:51 — 127.8MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google…

Rebecca Fraser – The Mayflower: The Families, the Voyage, and the Founding of America
Colonial America , Exploration / November 20, 2017

November 20, 2017 – This week — just in time for Thanksgiving in America — we set sail with the intrepid Pilgrims on The Mayflower. Once aboard, we’ll meet the Winslow family, and gain a perspective that links the broader experience — from Native American contacts to intrigues back home in Europe. Tracing the voyage with us is reviewer and broadcaster Rebecca Fraser author of The Mayflower: The Families, the Voyage, and the Founding of America. The daughter of noted British historian Lady Antonia Fraser and former president of the Brontë Society in the U.K. Her previous books include The Story of Britain. You can find her on Twitter at R Fraser Author.       Podcast: Download (Duration: 58:21 — 133.5MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

David Osborne – The Coming
Exploration / June 19, 2017

June 19, 2017 – This week, our time machine joins up with legendary explorers Lewis and Clark, and traces the clash of cultures between the Europeans and Native American Nez Perce tribe through William Clark’s son, Daytime Smoke. Our guide on this journey is David Osborne, who shares his ambitious debut novel, The Coming. David has five nonfiction books to his credit, and you’ve seen his work in the Atlantic, New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, and many other places popular opinion writing is found. He is also a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute, directing the Reinventing America’s Schools Project. Find him on Twitter at Osborne David.           Podcast: Download (Duration: 42:40 — 97.7MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Robert T. Hilliard – A Season on the Allegheny
Exploration / January 23, 2017

January 23, 2017 – This week, our time machine turns on the four-wheel drive, as we hike into Allegheny National Forest, hunting for history. Established in 1923, the forest covers over half a million acres of the northwestern Pennsylvania foothills, and offers us the chance to experience the same sights, sounds and wildlife, as our forebears stretching back to the dawn of civilization. Joining us with his walking stick is author Robert Hilliard, author of, A Season on the Allegheny. Rob has written on sports, history, and the outdoors for over two decades. He’s formerly a contributing editor with Ohio Valley Outdoors magazine, and contributed to the history anthology, Rivers of Destiny. You can pick up his trail by following him on Twitter @RobHilliard_66, or toss him a like at You can also read his piece on The Pennsylvania Tuxedo, by Woolrich, “The Original Outdoor Clothing Company.” You can also check out the history behind Johnny Cash’s song, “As Long as the Grass Shall Go,” off his Bitter Tears Album, and how President John F. Kennedy broke a treaty with the Seneca, which dated back to George Washington, to build the Kinzua Dam.       Podcast: Download (Duration: 1:14:59…

Rinker Buck – The Oregon Trail (Paperback Interview)
Exploration / June 6, 2016

June 6, 2016 – Today, our time machine heads back to our show’s past, serving up a special, all-new paperback interview with a familiar voice. Back in August of 2015, we kicked off the show with the words, “Three mules, two brothers, and a Jack Russell terrier named Olive Oyl.” Our guest was Rinker Buck, and his book — The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey — recounted the trek he made with his brother Nick in a covered wagon, two thousand miles from Missouri to the great American Northwest. In the months since hitting shelves, The Oregon Trail has wended its way up the New York Times best-seller list to #1, and named it the best non-fiction book of 2015. When completing the first mule-powered crossing of this legendary pioneer trail in over a century, Rinker met a lot of people — and he met them, in a new light, after they’d had a chance to see the enthusiastic response to how he shared their story. With the paperback edition of The Oregon Trail appearing in bookstores June 7, 2016, we thought, why not bring Rinker back to hear about his experiences on the tour following publication. After…

Lynn Sherr – Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space
Exploration , Science / May 23, 2016

May 23, 2016 – Lynn Sherr’s book is titled: Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space. It includes unique insights from her friendship with the astronaut, tennis player, astrophysicist, children’s book author, and genuine American legend, as well as exclusives from Dr. Ride’s family, partner, and countless friends and colleagues. You can enjoy more from our guest @LynnSherr on Twitter, or And although Dr. Ride passed away in 2012, her mission to inspire young people in science, technology, engineering, and math — and to promote STEM literacy — endures at Sally Ride Science at UC San Diego. You can visit them at, or follow them @SallyRideSci.   Podcast: Download (Duration: 55:47 — 51.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Gordon E. Tolton – Healy’s West
Exploration / January 25, 2016

January 25, 2016 – In this episode, we’ll be boarding a Pullman car attached to one of the great trains connecting the North American east and west coasts, all the way up into the Alaskan and Yukon territories — and very nearly across the Bering Strait to Siberia. Our conductor on this journey is Gordon E. Tolton, author of Healy’s West: The Life and Times of John J. Healy. Gordon is a Western Canadian historic interpreter and author of the previous books, The Cowboy Cavalry, and Prairie Warships. You can join his Facebook group, Ranger Gord’s Publications, for discussions of Western Canada’s history and some self-described goofball humor. Follow him guest on Twitter @RMRanger, and check out his blog:   Podcast: Download (Duration: 56:13 — 51.5MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Kim MacQuarrie – Life and Death in the Andes
Exploration / January 18, 2016

January 18, 2016 – This week, we’re flying our time machine across the Equator and into South America’s turbulent past, where we’ll meet some colorful characters, present at key moments of its history. They include Pablo Escobar, Butch Cassidy, Sundance, Charles Darwin, and a 14-year-old girl, Juanita, who the Incas sacrificed atop a twenty-thousand foot volcano. Our tour guide to the Andes is author and filmmaker Kim MacQuarrie, who has won four Emmys for his documentaries. His latest book is Life and Death in the Andes: On the Trail of Bandits, Heroes, and Revolutionaries. You can follow him @KimMacQ on Twitter, and learn more about his work at The F/X channel is developing Kim’s previous book, The Last Days of the Incas, into a 13-part TV series: Conquistadors. Other books we discuss include Candice Millard’s epic Amazon history: The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey.       Podcast: Download (Duration: 37:55 — 34.7MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Eric Weiner – Geography of Genius
Exploration / January 4, 2016

January 4, 2016 – In this episode, we’re racing the time machine through a bunch of stops around the world and throughout history. Our ticket is The Geography of Genius: A Search for the World’s Most Creative Places from Ancient Athens to Silicon Valley. We’ll be guided along the way by Eric Weiner, author of the New York Times bestseller The Geography of Bliss, as well as the critically acclaimed Man Seeks God. And along the way, we’ll answer the question that’s on the minds of every Loony Toons fan: “Was Wile E. Coyote a genius or not?” You can sleuth out more about him @Eric_Weiner on Twitter, or at Podcast: Download ()Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

H5F: David McCullough – The Wright Brothers
Exploration , History in Five / October 9, 2015

October 9, 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 legendary history author David McCullough on his latest #1 New York Times best-seller: The Wright Brothers. It’s a tale that Mr. McCullough calls quintessentially American in its power to inspire, and to set an example for us in 2015. Orville and Wilbur Wright — along with their impressive sister Katharine — showed the world that man could fly, changing that world forever. And they did it all for just a thousand bucks.   Additional books discussed in this episode:           Podcast: Download (Duration: 8:01 — 7.3MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Rinker Buck – The Oregon Trail
Exploration / August 9, 2015

August 10, 2015 – Three mules, two brothers, and a Jack Russell terrier. Together they rattle 2000 miles from Missouri to the great American Northwest in a covered wagon. That isn’t the setup for a Vaudeville joke, but there are plenty of laughs found on the ruts, roads and interstates. That’s right, interstates. The trip doesn’t take place before the Civil War, but in our time. We can go along for the ride from the comfort of our reading chairs thanks to author Rinker Buck’s New York Times best-seller: The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey. It’s the first such crossing in a century, which meant our unlikely group of pioneers had to reinvent the lost art of wagon travel along the way. Mr. Buck grew up on the family farm in historic Morristown, New Jersey, and attended Bowdoin College in Maine. His career in journalism earned him the Eugene S. Pulliam Journalism Writing Award and other accolades. In his 1997 book, Flight of Passage, he shared another adventure: Piloting a Piper PA-11 across the United States in 1966. Just 15 at the time, he became the youngest airmen ever to complete the trip. You can follow his continuing adventures…