Benjamin Runkle – Generals in the Making
WWII / June 1, 2020

June 1, 2020 – Meet the commanders who led America to Victory in mankind’s most terrible conflict before they had stars on their shoulders. Our guide on this journey is 82nd Airborne veteran and paratrooper Benjamin Runkle. He brings us Generals in the Making: How Marshall, Eisenhower, Patton, and Their Peers Became the Commanders Who Won World War II. It’s the first comprehensive history of these men during the interwar years, when the already lean U.S. Armed Forces found themselves squeezed even further by the Great Depression and isolationist sentiment, all while facing strains on marriages, bouts with the bottle, the deaths of wives or children, backwater postings, and stagnant chances for promotion. In addition to his service, for which he earned a Bronze Star during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Benjamin Runkle has worked as a presidential speechwriter, Department of Defense official, director at the National Security Council, and professional staff member on the House Armed Services Committee. He is currently a senior policy fellow with Artis International and adjunct lecturer in Johns Hopkins University’s Global Security Program. He holds a PhD from Harvard. Check out Dr. Runkle’s previous book, Wanted Dead or Alive: Manhunts from Geronimo to Bin Laden. You…

Neal Bascomb – Faster: How a Jewish Driver, an American Heiress, and a Legendary Car Beat Hitler’s Best
Sports , WWII / March 23, 2020

March 23, 2020 – Adolf Hitler … had a need for speed. After all, it was the key feature in blitzkrieg, lightning war. So the Nazis poured resources into developing the fastest engines, sleekest race cars, and best drivers. Who dared stand against them? We’ll meet the Jewish driver who took on these would-be Aryan supermen in Faster: How a Jewish Driver, an American Heiress, and a Legendary Car Beat Hitler’s Best. For this journey, we welcome a familiar face back into our time machine: Neil Bascomb. We previously caught up back in Norway with The Winter Fortress: The Epic Mission to Sabotage Hitler’s Atomic Bomb — and — The Escape Artists: A Band of Daredevil Pilots and the Greatest Prison Break of the Great War. Visit NealBascomb.com, follow @NealBascomb on Twitter, or like Facebook.com/NealRBascomb.       Podcast: Download (Duration: 50:03 — 114.6MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Q&A with Duncan Ryūken Williams – American Sutra: A Story of Faith and Freedom in the Second World War
Q&A , Religion , WWII / July 22, 2019

We welcome Duncan Ryūken Williams with some enriching insights about his book, American Sutra: A Story of Faith and Freedom in the Second World War. Our guest was born in Tokyo to a Japanese mother and British father, growing up in both their native countries before moving to the United States to pursue his studies. He earned a Ph.D. in Religion from Harvard and is now Professor of Religion and East Asian Languages & Cultures, and the Director of the USC Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture. Duncan Ryūken Williams previously held the Shinjo Ito Distinguished Chair of Japanese Buddhism at UC Berkeley and served as the Director of Berkeley’s Center for Japanese Studies. In 1993, he was ordained as a Buddhist priest in the Soto Zen tradition and served as the Buddhist chaplain at Harvard University from 1994-96. He last published The Other Side of Zen: A Social History of Soto Zen Buddhism in Tokugawa Japan, and he’s edited or co-edited seven others. THE HISTORY AUTHOR SHOW: First, thank you for your time and this read. I love a book that adds to my understanding of the world, especially when I didn’t realize that hole in my…

Q&A with Shelley Emling – A Forgotten Hero: Folke Bernadotte, the Swedish Humanitarian Who Rescued 30,000 People from the Nazis
Q&A , WWII / June 10, 2019

We welcome Shelley Emling to give us an inside look at A Forgotten Hero: Folke Bernadotte, the Swedish Humanitarian Who Rescued 30,000 People from the Nazis. Shelley Emling is a native Texan, UT graduate, and former reporter for UPI, London correspondent for Cox Newspapers, having also spent a stint covering Central America. She’s currently a senior editor at AARP. Her previous books are The Fossil Hunter: Dinosaurs, Evolution, and the Woman Whose Discoveries Changed the World, and, Setting the World on Fire: The Brief, Astonishing Life of St. Catherine of Siena; as well as Marie Curie and Her Daughters: The Private Lives of Science’s First Family.  THE HISTORY AUTHOR SHOW: Shelley, while you’ve worked in a lot of places around the globe, I don’t see an obvious spot on your journey where you’d have come across the fascinating story of Folke Bernadotte. How did you find the man who is — as the title of your book says — A Forgotten Hero? Shelley Emling: It was actually my literary agent, Agnes Birnbaum, who had read a magazine article about Folke Bernadotte and mentioned him to me as a possible subject. Previously I had only written about strong, interesting women so…

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 HistoryAuthor.com, iTunes, our iHeartRadio channel, GooglePlay, or wherever you’re listening now. Visit AndrewNagorski.com 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

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,…

Lynda Cohen Loigman – The Wartime Sisters: A Novel
Fiction , WWII / April 8, 2019

April 8, 2019 – Our time machine welcomes aboard book lovers live at the Meet the Author Series presented by Mayda Bosco at the Closter Public Library in New Jersey. Together, we travel back to the Brooklyn and Massachusetts of the pre- and post-World War 2 era, for a tale of sibling strife that’s as old as Cain and Abel. This is the engaging, absorbing story of two very different sisters, Ruth and Millie Kaplan. Raised in Brooklyn, each carries a hope chest full of hurt and secrets from their childhood. Although they try their best to escape it, they’re forced together again as adults at the Springfield Armory, where the Arsenal of Democracy gears up to support the war effort. Many years have passed, but marriages, husbands, and even kids of their own can’t stop them from sliding right back into the sandbox of roles forged in childhood. Weaving this tale of hurt feelings, estrangement, and siblings who are just running wildly different emotional operating systems, is Lynda Cohen Loigman, author of The Wartime Sisters: A Novel. It’s the sophomore offering after her critically acclaimed debut The Two-Family House, a 2016 nominee for the Goodreads Choice Awards in Historical…

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

M. Evelina Galang – Lolas’ House: Filipino Women Living with War
WWII / March 12, 2018

March 12, 2018 – Our time machine travels back to the Philippines during the Japanese occupation the Second World War. Once in the South Pacific, we’ll bear solemn witness to crimes against women who have been denied the justice and compensation for the atrocities they suffered in the name of the emperor. Our guide on this journey is M. Evelina Galang who brings us Lolas’ House: Filipino Women Living with War. The Imperial Japanese Army kidnapped over 1,000 Filipino women and girls, part of a staggering 400,000 women across forced Asia into sexual slavery. Incredibly, and to Japan’s shame, to this day their government denies the crimes of its wartime regime, unlike the heirs of their fascist Axis allies in Germany, where denying the Holocaust is a crime. M. Evelina Galang is the author of several books and the editor of Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian-American Images. She directs the M.F.A. Creative Writing Program at the University of Miami and is core faculty and board member of Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation (VONA). She wrote the novel, Her Wild American Self, which The New York Times Book Review praised and named a notable book. You can find our guest…

John McNarry – Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum
Canada , WWII / October 9, 2017

October 9, 2017 – This week, our time machine flies up to the Great White North — the very heart of Canada — for a road trip to Brandon, Manitoba’s Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum, a national historic site dedicated to the memory of the men who fought and died in the skies during the Second World War. It’s the only museum of its kind in the world, marking where crews from Australia, New Zealand, England and Canada trained. Prime Minister Winston Churchill called Canada “the Great Dominion,” and said the Commonwealth Air Training Plan was its greatest contribution to Allied victory over the Axis powers, specifically Germany and Italy in the European Theater. Our guest is Museum president John McNarry. Visit the museum at AirMuseum.ca, join their Facebook group, or find them @CATPM_Brandon on Twitter.   Podcast: Download (Duration: 53:44 — 123.0MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Dina Gold – Stolen Legacy
WWII / September 25, 2017

September 25, 2017 – This week, our time machine follows one woman’s modern quest to recover property stolen by Nazi Germany. It was only a single theft in the National Socialist State’s vast, systematic plundering of Jewish wealth, but the Wolff family’s story quickly becomes our story, and we find ourselves rooting for justice. Author Dina Gold’s grandmother, Nellie Wolff, told her stories of the glamorous life she had led in pre-war Berlin, and how she dreamed of reclaiming the majestic building that had housed the family business. Grandma Nellie didn’t live to see the fall of the Berlin Wall, but when Germany reunified, Dina marched into a German government ministry and declared: “I’ve come to claim my family’s building.” Dina tells the story in her book, Stolen Legacy: Nazi Theft and the Quest for Justice at Krausenstrasse 17/18, Berlin. Raised in the U.K. and is now an American citizen living in the nation’s capital, she sits on the board of the Jewish Community Center and just completed her stint as co-chair on the council of the Washington Jewish Film Festival. A senior editor at Moment magazine, she started her career in London as a financial journalist after postgraduate studies…

Paige Bowers – The General’s Niece: The Little-Known de Gaulle Who Fought to Free Occupied France
WWII / August 28, 2017

August 28, 2017 – This week, our time machine takes us into Nazi-occupied France, to meet a bold patriot with a famous Uncle Charles. Her name was Genevieve de Gaulle, and she did the hard work of resistance behind enemy lines, that the general urged from exile. Paige Bowers tells Genevieve’s story in The General’s Niece: The Little-Known de Gaulle Who Fought to Free Occupied France. It taps a rich historical well of interviews with family members, former associates, prominent historians, and never-before-seen papers written by de Gaulle herself, exploring her relationship as confidante and daughter figure to the legendary French patriot.This week, our time machine takes us into Nazi-occupied France, to meet a bold patriot with a famous Uncle Charles. Her name was Genevieve de Gaulle, and she did the hard work of resistance behind enemy lines, that the general urged from exile. Paige Bowers tells Genevieve’s story in The General’s Niece: The Little-Known de Gaulle Who Fought to Free Occupied France. It taps a rich historical well of interviews with family members, former associates, prominent historians, and never-before-seen papers written by de Gaulle herself, exploring her relationship as confidante and daughter figure to the legendary French patriot. For…

Clare Mulley – The Women Who Flew for Hitler
WWII / August 7, 2017

August 7, 2017 – This week, our time machine takes to the skies of Germany as war clouds gather on the horizon, to meet two very different women, united in history by their determination to soar in the brand new — and male-dominated — world of human flight.This week, our time machine takes to the skies of Germany as war clouds gather on the horizon, to meet two very different women, united in history by their determination to soar in the brand new — and male-dominated — world of human flight. Hanna Reitsch and Melitta von Stauffenberg shared talent and courage, but held very different views on the Nazi state — partly because Melitta had a Jewish grandfather, which led her to support the Valkyrie plot, which very nearly succeeded in killing Hitler. Clare Mulley joins us from the U.K. to introduce The Women Who Flew for Hitler: A True Story of Soaring Ambition and Searing Rivalry. Her previous books are The Woman Who Saved the Children: A Biography of Eglantyne Jebb, which won the Daily Mail Biographers’ Club Prize — and — The Spy Who Loved: The Secrets and Lives of Christine Granville. Granville was Britain’s first female special agent…

Sally Mott Freeman – The Jersey Brothers
WWII / July 3, 2017

July 3, 2017 – This week, our time machine enlists in the U.S. Navy with a trio of my fellow Garden State natives — brothers Bill, Benny and Barton — who serve in every corner of the World War Two fight in the Pacific. FDR taps Bill to run his first Map Room. Benny serves as the gunnery and anti-aircraft officer aboard the legendary USS Enterprise, which served in all but two Pacific engagements after Pearl Harbor. Barton, the youngest,  ended up a prisoner of war under cruel, brutal conditions, after the Imperial Japanese overran his post in the Philippines, and the family never learned his true fate. Our guest this week is Bill’s daughter, Sally Mott Freeman, who solves the mystery in her debut book, The Jersey Brothers: A Missing Naval Officer in the Pacific and His Family’s Quest to Bring Him Home. These three brothers are seemingly everywhere in the Pacific fight, from Pearl Harbor all the way through Bill briefing President Harry S. Truman on casualty projections for a U.S. invasion of Japan, solidifying the decision to drop the atomic bombs to bring a swift end to the conflict. Sally Mott Freeman is a former speech writer…

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 |…