Fred Kaplan – The Bomb: Presidents, Generals, and the Secret History of Nuclear War
Science , World Leaders / January 27, 2020

January 27, 2020 – Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Fred Kaplan drops in on the key flashpoints of the Nuclear Age, from Harry S Truman first getting word that the Manhattan Project had birthed its radioactive fruit, to the Cuban Missile Crisis and Reagan’s peace offerings to Gorbachev, to modern fears of rogue nations and terrorists gaining access to the ultimate firecrackers. Fred Kaplan is the national-security point man for Slate, and is the author of five previous books including Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War, and the Pulitzer finalist The Plot to Change the American Way of War.   Podcast: Download (Duration: 1:16:03 — 174.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Andrew Nagorski – 1941: The Year Germany Lost the War
World Leaders , WWII / June 3, 2019

June 3, 2019 – We find ourselves at the bleeding borders of Hitler’s Third Reich, nearing the peak of its power in Europe, with Andrew Nagorski, author of 1941: The Year Germany Lost the War. We watch as Hitler’s miscalculations, deteriorating mental state, and policy of terror, give the United Kingdom powerful new allies in the U.S. and U.S.S.R. But these moves didn’t just sealed National Socialism’s fate. They sowed the seeds of the postwar shattering of the Big Three’s alliance that led to the 50-year Cold War chill. Andrew Nagorski gives us a fuller picture of these key 12 months of the 20th Century, employing his skills as a veteran author, interviewer, and foreign correspondent. We last chatted with him about his book, The Nazi Hunters, which you can find in our archives at, iTunes, our iHeartRadio channel, GooglePlay, or wherever you’re listening now. Visit or follow @AndrewNagorski on Twitter for more on these books and other, including, Hitlerland: American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Power.     Podcast: Download (Duration: 1:05:29 — 149.9MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Mark Braude – The Invisible Emperor: Napoleon on Elba from Exile to Escape
World Leaders / January 28, 2019

January 28, 2019 – Mark Braude, who we chatted with previously about his book: Making Monte Carlo: A History of Speculation and Spectacle, brings us the tale of a legendary military leader who’s almost too big for the word legend. Napoleon Bonaparte of France. We meet the titan of France not at the peak of his power, but at his low-point: Cast out, kicked off the throne, and walking among the citizens of a tiny island as one of them. The book is The Invisible Emperor: Napoleon on Elba from Exile to Escape. Mark Braude is a National Endowment for the Humanities 2017-2018 Public Scholar and former lecturer of history at Stanford University, having earned a Ph.D. in Modern European History from the University of Southern California, as well as a Masters in French Studies from our own New York University. Visit him at       Podcast: Download (Duration: 1:03:44 — 145.9MB)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

Robert Lloyd George – A Modern Plutarch: Comparisons of the Greatest Western Thinkers
World Leaders / April 3, 2017

April 3, 2017 – This week, our time machine compares some of the Western world’s big thinkers. Centuries ago Plutarch, the Father of Biography, wrote Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans to reveal new insights about their careers by making comparisons. Robert Lloyd George applies this method to our time in A Modern Plutarch: Comparisons of the Greatest Western Thinkers, using the United States and United Kingdom, in place of Greece and Rome. Mr. Lloyd George is the great-grandson of David Lloyd George, who served as Britain’s prime minister during the Great War, was the architect of its social welfare system, and led the redrawing of maps after the Armistice.  Modern listeners may have seen our guest’s extensive writings on global economics across the East-West divide, and may have read his previous books including David and Winston, contrasting his great-grandfather with Churchill. Podcast: Download (Duration: 36:52 — 84.4MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Candice Millard – Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill
World Leaders / September 26, 2016

September 26, 2016 – This week, our time machine spins us back to Boer War in the twilight of the 19th Century, when the republics that preceded today’s South Africa fought the British Empire over gold and diamonds. While there, we’ll see a familiar face from World War Two forty years later. The name Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill invokes the balding, cigar-chomping, British bulldog who stared down Hitler across the English Channel. So it’s easy to forget that he was a soldier once, and young. Distinguished author Candice Millard introduces us to this Churchill as he puts his foot on the first rung of the ladder to greatness in Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill. Her previous books are best-sellers The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey, and Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President, covering the man the President James A. Garfield National Historic Site described in our very first episode as, “The greatest president we never had.” Visit and follow this week’s guest @Candice_Millard on Twitter. If you’re fascinated by Churchill, catch our interview with Jonathan Sandys,…

H5F: Michael Shelden – Young Titan: The Making of Winston Churchill
History in Five , World Leaders / February 19, 2016

February 19, 2016 – Today’s history author, Michael Shelden, is the author of Young Titan: The Making of Winston Churchill. You may recall hearing praise for Young Titan in our interview with Simon Read, author of Winston Churchill Reporting: Adventures of a Young War Correspondent. The Greatest Briton’s early life is often overlooked, with people understandably focusing on the image of him as a heroic figure, standing on the White Cliffs of Dover, shaking his fist in defiance at Hitler across the channel. But Churchill’s path of destiny was not a straight one. What can the way he dealt with the many bumps and curves in the road, teach us about how to deal with adversity in our own lives? For more on the Greatest Briton life before greatness, you can also hear us catch up with Sir Winston’s great-grandson, Jonathan Sandys, as he discusses the future Prime Minister’s youthful sense of destiny in: God & Churchill: How the Great Leader’s Sense of Divine Destiny Changed His Troubled World and Offers Hope for Ours. Simon & Schuster’s History in Five every Friday. It’s the perfect way to kick off your modern weekend…with people from the past.   Podcast: Download (Duration: 6:51…

Barry Strauss – The Death of Caesar
World Leaders / December 21, 2015

December 21, 2015 – Today we sit down with Barry Strauss, professor of history and classics at Cornell University. A leading expert on ancient military history who counts Mel Brooks as his greatest living inspiration, he has written or edited several books, including The Battle of Salamis, The Trojan War, and The Spartacus War. Visit him @BarryStrauss on Twitter or at Podcast: Download (Duration: 35:10 — 32.2MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Simon Read – Winston Churchill Reporting
World Leaders / October 12, 2015

October 12, 2015 – On this episode, we’ll visit a key period in Winston Churchill’s life, half a century before World War Two. In the late 1800s, Churchill chased adventure in the Sudan, South Africa, India and Cuba, filing dispatches that helped build his resume, and fill his empty wallet. Simon Read describes a Winston Churchill who’s part Indiana Jones, part Ernie Pyle, and part Audie Murphy. It’s hard to overstate just how important these years were to creating the Churchill who grew into the Greatest Briton. His command of the English language, his views of war, his respect for enemies and ideas about creating a lasting peace through victory, all started here. You can follow Simon @SimonReadBooks on Twitter, or visit for more on this exciting adventure.   Additional books discussed in this episode:           Podcast: Download (Duration: 55:07 — 50.5MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Jonathan Sandys – God and Churchill
World Leaders / October 6, 2015

October 6, 2015 – How did Winston Churchill overcome so many personal, financial and professional setbacks to lead the United Kingdom to victory during its darkest hour, when the Empire nation stood alone against Hitler? The answer may surprise you, and that’s the focus of a new book. It’s God & Churchill: How the Great Leader’s Sense of Divine Destiny Changed His Troubled World and Offers Hope for Ours. More than a spiritual biography, God & Churchill recounts a deeply personal quest for Jonathan Sandys, Winston Churchill’s great-grandson. Along with co-author and former White House staffer Wallace Henley, Jonathan discovers how again and again, Churchill turned his eyes up to find strength here on earth. Previous books have ignored the role of faith in the Greatest Briton’s life, or dismissed his invocations on behalf of “Christian civilization” as mere rhetoric. Now, for the first time, God & Churchill debunks that myth and inspires us with a Sir Winston who remains a role model today, as we seek to unite the world in the face of the heirs to Hitler’s nihilistic creed. UPDATE: It’s with a heavy heart I report that Jonathan Sandys — a man I was proud to call friend…