January 11, 2021 – In 2017, Sports Illustrated named Mike “Doc” Emrick the greatest sportscaster of all time. But how did a kid from a tiny town in the American Midwest, grow up to be a voice synonymous with Canada’s game, the first media member inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, a TV heavyweight, and the winner of eight Sports Emmys? How did Doc sound just as excited about the 10,000th goal he saw, as he did w...

   December 28, 2020 – What’s it like being the great-grandson of one of the greatest leaders of the 20th Century, the man called “the Greatest Briton”? In this episode, we pay tribute to Jonathan Sandys, Winston Churchill’s great-grandson, who passed away at just 43 years old on December 29, 2018. With the two-year remembrance upon us, we reached back into the archives to share a speech he delivered to the ...

December 14, 2020 – In 1880, Maria Longworth Nichols Storer founded Rookwood Pottery in Cincinnati, aiming to give American artists a place to produce quality pieces to beautify the home, but also practical ceramics and tile. It grew into a world-renowned success, one that endures to this day. Spinning the pottery wheel for us is Bob Batchelor who brings us the illustrated history Rookwood: The Rediscovery and Revival of an American Icon...

November 30, 2020 -What are your favorite stories from growing up? Well, make room on your bookshelf for the chickens who dreamed of speaking Yiddish. We dive into a treasure trove of children’s literature, brought together here for the first time by Miriam Udel. Her book is Honey on the Page: A Treasury of Yiddish Children’s Literature. Perfect for anyone on your Hanukah or Christmas list. That’s right. Santa can clean out t...

November 16, 2020 – “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” The phrase is the stuff of legend, but who wrote that memorable lyric? In this episode, we meet the street poet with a heart of gold, Drew “Bundini” Brown, Jr., one of boxing’s most mysterious and misunderstood figures — and the one who motivated Muhammad Ali to be the greatest. Join us in the corner of Sugar Ray Robinson and the young Cassius C...

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...

October 19, 2020 – In 1887, the New York World newspaper laughed off 23-year-old Elizabeth Cochrane’s dreams of being a reporter. Today, she’s a New York City legend, known to history by the pen name Nellie Bly. But to sew up that dream job, Nellie had to go undercover in the closest thing Gilded Age Gotham had to hell: The asylums of Blackwell’s Island on the East River. Tonya Mitchell brings us a meticulously research...

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 ...

September 21, 2020 – The Great War is over, but the Spanish Influenza continues to deliver the butcher’s bill. Everywhere, children are dying. But in Philadelphia, they’re also disappearing — and they all have one thing in common: They’re immigrants. We dive into a riveting novel set 100 years ago that’s eerily familiar today with acclaimed novelist Ellen Marie Wiseman. She brings us The Orphan Collector, a ...

Sep 7, 2020 – On September 11, 2001, Al-Qaeda sought to break the American union, aiming at what they saw as fatal flaws in our democratic system. Two decades later, the man who was governor of the Empire State on that day of infamy dares to ask, “Did the terrorists win?” In this episode, the 53rd governor of New York, George E. Pataki, joins us to discuss Beyond the Great Divide: How a Nation Became a Neighborhood, co-author...

Aug 24, 2020 – What if your grandparents had narrowly escaped a genocide that left one million people dead, just because they shared your faith and ethnic background? That’s part of the Karayanis family story, in the mass murder of Greeks by Ottoman Turkey that followed the Great War. Our guide back to the 20th Century’s first genocide, is Greek-Australian Aris Tsifidis, who brings us The Genocide of the Greeks in Turkey: Sur...

August 10, 2020 – Lizzie Borden has been testified against by generations of children in a nursery rhyme, and continually convicted in the court of public opinion. But did she swing the axe that whacked her parents, or didn’t she? We dig into the 1893 murder trial with first-time author Cara Robertson. She brings us The Trial of Lizzie Borden: A True Story. Based on transcripts of the proceedings, newspaper accounts, unpublished re...

July 27, 2020 – Video killed the radio star, and the talkies killed Vaudeville, but some legends adapt to changing times. In this episode, we meet one such innovator, who made a series of leaps from New York City’s Hippodrome to Hollywood, with many entertaining stops and in between. Born in the San Francisco of 1883 as Katherine Gertrude Hay, Gertrude Hoffman broke into show business as a mimic, copying highbrow performances from ...

July 13, 2020 – He’s the ultimate Civil War baby gone bad, born in 1866 with the modest handle of Robert Leroy Parker. So how did that dirt-poor son of a Mormon farmer grow up into a horse thief, rustler, and bank robber who ran with the Wild Bunch? Charles Leerhsen explores the origin story of a famous outlaw who never killed a soul in Butch Cassidy: The True Story of an American Outlaw. If you’re familiar with sensationaliz...

June 29, 2020 – Doctor. Major General. Hero of the American Revolution. Martyr who spilled his lifeblood fighting the British at Bunker Hill. And yet most of us have never heard of him. Our guide on this journey is Christian Di Spigna, who brings us Founding Martyr: The Life and Death of Dr. Joseph Warren, the American Revolution’s Lost Hero. Christian Di Spigna is a regular speaker and volunteer at Colonial Williamsburg, and an ex...

INTERVIEWS

H5F: John Taliaferro – All the Great Prizes

February 12, 2016 – Today’s author, John Taliaferro, pans the camera lens of history just to the side of two great American presidents to focus on a man who worked for both. The book is All the Great Prizes: The Life of John Hay, from Lincoln to Roosevelt. John Hay may not be a name that jumps out at people today, but he had a front-row seat with Abraham Lincoln in the early 1860s, and Theodore Roosevelt in the early 1900s. His...

T.H. Breen – George Washington’s Journey

February 8, 2016 – Today, we’re riding in Great White Coach with the father of our country. Our teamster is author Timothy Hall Breen, and his book is George Washington’s Journey: The President Forges a New Nation. Aware of the fragile and fractured nature of the new republic after independence, Washington resolves — in a day without maps or roads worthy of the name — to take the federal government to th...

H5F: David Maraniss – Vince Lombardi

February 5, 2016 – On this Friday before Super Bowl 50, we’re going to focus on the name etched into the victory trophy: Lombardi. Best-selling author and historian David Maraniss shares five key facts about the NFL’s greatest coach from his biography, When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi. If you’d like to hear more about the history of football this Super Bowl week, catch our interview with Joh...

John J. Miller – The Big Scrum: How Teddy Roosevelt Saved Football

February 1, 2016 – An advocate of the strenuous life, President Theodore Roosevelt saw sports as essential to developing physical fitness and character. So when 18 players died playing football in 1905, and people called to ban the game, TR leaped into action to reform the pigskin pastime. The game in those days resembled rugby much more than the game the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers will play in Super Bowl 50. Joining ...

H5F: Richard Rhodes – The Spanish Civil War

January 29, 2016 – Today’s history author, Richard Rhodes, has edited or authored several history books including The Making of the Atomic Bomb, winner of a Pulitzer Prize in non-fiction. His most recent book is Hell and Good Company: The Spanish Civil War and the World it Made. The fighting took place from 1936 to 1939, and so is often lost in the catastrophe of World War Two. But the Spanish Civil War featured many of the sam...

Gordon E. Tolton – Healy’s West

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 histori...

H5F: Andrew D. Kaufman – Give War and Peace a Chance

January 22, 2016 – Today’s history author, Andrew D. Kaufman, author of Give War and Peace a Chance: Tolstoyan Wisdom for Troubled Times. He’s going to share how, incredibly, one of the greatest works of fiction in history… almost didn’t happen. Fortunately, Leo Tolstoy married the right woman, and she helped him in ways nobody else could have. You can also follow today’s guest on Twitter @AndrewDKaufman. Hist...

Kim MacQuarrie – Life and Death in the Andes

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 filmm...

H5F: Ulysses S. Grant

January 15, 2016 – Today’s history author, Jean Edward Smith, author of Grant, discusses the life and legacy of Ulysses S. Grant, from great disappointments and outright failures, to Civil War battlefields and, ultimately, the White House. The book bears a single word, the name of a modest man who became a legend. Grant.  Frederick Douglas called him “the last of the radicals” and he wrote memoirs so beautiful that ...

Laini Giles – The Forgotten Flapper

January 11, 2016 – In this episode, we’re going to Charleston our way back to the Manhattan of our theme song, New York Ain’t New York Anymore. Yes, it’s the Jazz Age of speakeasies and Prohibition — and our tour guide is none other than the Theater Districts most famous resident ghost, sighted from time to time in the New Amsterdam Theater. Our guest, author Laini Giles, has written our ticket to one of...

H5F: How FDR Defied Polio

January 8, 2016 – Today, James Tobin — winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in biography — shares one of the greatest stories of defiance and overcoming infirmity in: The Man He Became: How FDR Defied Polio to Win the Presidency. When polio robbed Franklin Delano Roosevelt of his legs at age 39, the conventional wisdom agreed that his political career was over. Certainly nobody thought he’d rise to...

Eric Weiner – Geography of Genius

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 Go...

Stephen F. Knott – Washington and Hamilton

December 28, 2015 – Today, we’re joined by Stephen F. Knott, who along with co-author Tony Williams brings us Washington & Hamilton: The Alliance that Forged America. George Washington and Alexander Hamilton’s relationship has gotten renewed attention since the smash Broadway musical, ending almost 200 years of being overlooked. From the early days of the Revolutionary War on the hills of Rutgers University R...

Amanda Read – Why December 25th for Christmas?

December 25, 2015 – Traditionally, December 25th has been celebrated as the birthday of Jesus Christ. But a variety of historic factors and scholarly discoveries indicate that He was not actually born on that date. Since this isn’t really news, just how did most of the Christian world settle on this date for the big celebration? Amanda Read digs deep into the reason for the season in a special episode brought to you by Lu...

Barry Strauss – The Death of Caesar

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 BarryStrauss.com. Podcast: Download (Duration: 35:10 —...