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 |…

Timothy Boyce – From Day to Day: One Man’s Diary of Survival in Nazi Concentration Camps
WWII / March 27, 2017

March 27, 2017 – This week, our time machine goes inside a succession of Nazi Concentration camps, and views them through the great Norwegian statesman, Odd Nansen. Editing Nansen’s diaries — written painstakingly and smuggled out of the camps — is Timothy J. Boyce, and the resulting book is From Day to Day: One Man’s Diary of Survival in Nazi Concentration Camps. As a friend of Norway’s royal family and son of a prominent anti-Quisling voice, the Gestapo snatched Odd as a hostage in an effort to keep patriot insurgents in check. If you heard my interview with Neal Bascomb, author of The Winter Fortress: The Epic Mission to Sabotage Hitler’s Atomic Bomb, you know that Norway holds a special place in our hearts, especially as it relates to their valiant resistance during the war.           Podcast: Download (Duration: 1:04:38 — 73.7MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Patricia Posner – The Pharmacist of Auschwitz: The Untold Story
WWII / January 16, 2017

January 16, 2017 – This week, our time machine travels back to one of the past’s darkest corners, to meet Victor Capesius. Before the war, he was a friendly neighborhood druggist in Romania. But as World War Two progressed, this ethnic German rose from anonymity, to infamy, standing at the side of Dr. Josef Mengele, The Angel of Death. Patricia Posner brings us the true tale of this Nazi SS officer in, The Pharmacist of Auschwitz: The Untold Story. Together with her husband, Gerald Posner, our guest has authored 12 nonfiction books including Mengele: The Complete Story, Hitler’s Children, and most recently, God’s Bankers: A History of Money and Power. (Enjoy our interview on that title here.) We also make reference to our chat with Andrew Nagorski about his book, The Nazi Hunters. You can find our guest online at Her personal Twitter account is @TrishaPosner, and the one for the book is @AuschwitzPharm1.             Podcast: Download (Duration: 1:01:57 — 59.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Lt. Jim Downing – The Other Side of Infamy: My Journey Through Pearl Harbor and the World of War
WWII / December 5, 2016

December 5, 2016 – In this episode we meet 103-year-old Lt. Jim Downing, the second-oldest survivor of the Pearl Harbor attack, who will speak at the 75th commemoration in Hawaii on December 7th, 2016. Jim not only witnessed his ship, USS West Virginia, go up in flames on that day of infamy, but he later served in the Korean War, and in 1956 stumbled into the H-Bomb test at Bikini Atoll. A man of great faith and soon to be the oldest male author in the Guinness Book of World Records, Jim Downing is also a spiritual leader with The Navigators, a worldwide Christian ministry. This unique and inspiring veteran joins us to share his memoir, The Other Side of Infamy: My Journey Through Pearl Harbor and the World of War. If you enjoy this first-person account of the war, check out our chat with Roger Boas, who’s a few years short of 100 and a veteran of George S. Patton’s Third Army. He shared many war stories and his struggles to adjust to civilian life in Battle Rattle: A Last Memoir of World War Two.         Podcast: Download (Duration: 42:32 — 97.4MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android |…

Nathan Stoltzfus – Hitler’s Compromises: Coercion and Consensus in Nazi Germany
WWII / November 28, 2016

November 28, 2016 – This week, our time machine touches down during Adolf Hitler’s reign in Germany, to answer a big question: How? How did this failed Austrian painter — a little-noticed corporal in the Great War — persuade the German people in droves to follow him into the abyss of total war? The usual answers are charisma and a ruthless stamping out of domestic dissent. But here on the History author show, we always seek out a fuller picture than we get in most history books. Nathan Stoltzfus does just that, challenging the traditional view of the asparagus sucker’s rise to power in the book, Hitler’s Compromises: Coercion and Consensus in Nazi Germany.  Of course, none of this is to soften the image of Hitler as evil or excuse his crimes, but to give us a deeper understanding about how he seduced a nation. Professor Stoltzfus received his Ph.D. in Modern European history from Harvard in 1993, and is the Dorothy and Jonathan Rintels Professor of Holocaust Studies at Florida State University. His previous books include Social Outsiders in Nazi Germany, and Protest in Hitler’s “National Community” — Popular Unrest and the Nazi Response. You can follow him on…

Andrew Nagorski – The Nazi Hunters
WWII / August 15, 2016

August 15, 2016 – This week, we follow the journey of the men and women who — in the aftermath of World War Two in Europe — dedicated themselves to visiting justice upon Hitler’s Henchmen. Veteran author and foreign correspondent Andrew Nagorski brings us these stories in The Nazi Hunters, stripping away the myths and caricatures of popular fiction. The book is also an implicit call to action, breathing life into the phrase “Never Again,” as the last cogs of the National Socialist Party’s bloody legacy, rust away. You can read his latest articles at, and check out his previous books. Those include the companion to today’s title, Hitlerland: American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Power. You can also follow our guest on Twitter @AndrewNagorski, or like his Facebook page. We also mention the documentary film, Hitler’s Children, which you can check for a look into the legacy of those descended from the Third Reich’s war criminals.           Podcast: Download (Duration: 11:48 — 10.8MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Hildegarde Mahoney – Journey Interrupted: A Family Without a Country in a World at War
WWII / July 25, 2016

July 25, 1016 – This week, Hildegarde Mahoney shares her memoir, Journey Interrupted: A Family Without a Country in a World at War. In 1941, seven-year-old Hillie and her family left home in New York City and set off for their native Germany. They planned to take the safe and scenic route: Across the U.S., the Pacific, and Eurasia via the Trans-Siberian Railway. But then Hitler betrayed his alliance with Stalin, the family found themselves stranded in Yokohama, Japan — and when the empire attacked Pearl Harbor, there was no going back. Today, Hildegarde Mahoney has worn many hats in her life — and one crown. She was Miss Rheingold, 1956. Today, she is the chairman of the Harvard Mahoney Neuroscience Institute. You can sign up for their free, quarterly newsletter right here, and be on the cutting edge of brain science when you or someone you love is impacted. As Mrs. Mahoney says, “No family goes untouched.”         Podcast: Download (Duration: 39:56 — 36.6MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Roger Boas – Battle Rattle: A Last Memoir of World War Two
WWII / July 11, 2016

July 11, 2016 – Today, we travel back in time to World War Two, and hear from a veteran who served on the front lines. Our guest is Roger Boas, and his book is Battle Rattle: A Last Memoir of World War II. It focuses not only on the fighting, but the scars it left on the inside. Roger Boas was born in San Francisco, 1921, so he’s just five years from celebrating his centennial. That long life — denied so many of his generation — has given him time to reflect on the meaning of his four years in uniform, including eleven months fighting in Europe as a field artillery forward observer with Gen. George S. Patton’s Fourth Armored Division. For his service, Roger Boas earned both a Silver Star and a Bronze Star. And raised a Christian Scientist but of Jewish ancestry, he was among the first American soldiers to find and enter a Nazi concentration camp. Experiencing so much brutality left scars on the young Roger Boas. The result, is what we today call Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). But in the Second World War they called it, “battle rattle.” For more of Roger Boas discussing his experiences,…