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...

June 15, 2020 – Investigative journalist and attorney Gerald Posner shares the highpoints of the pharmaceutical industry’s transformational successes, as well the moments they’d prefer to keep buried. We go along for the ride in his latest book, Pharma: Greed, Lies, and the Poisoning of America. It’s a page-turning journey to meet the scientists whose successes have improved the lives of every human being on earth, and ...

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 year...

May 18, 2020 – In an iconic, ad-libbed moment at the old Yankee Stadium, a terminally ill baseball player declared himself “the luckiest man on the face of the earth.” A decade earlier, he’d sat down to write the remarkable story of his career in newspaper columns that remained buried for almost a century — until now. In Lou Gehrig: The Lost Memoir, we meet Major League Baseball’s most triumphant and tragic ...

May 4, 2020 – What if a former U.S. congressman told you he had a secret about the most infamous presidential assassination, but died before revealing it? It’s a turn-of-the-century whodunit, courtesy of historian David O. Stewart‘s novel, The Lincoln Deception (A Fraser and Cook Historical Mystery). His Holmes and Watson team features the white Dr. Jamie Fraser, and African-American former baseball player, Speedwell Cook. We...

April 20, 2020 – In 1863, the Confederate States held a last stronghold on the Mississippi River: Vicksburg. Losing it, and the slavocracy would be sliced in half, mortally wounding their cause. Donald L. Miller musters us into the Grand Army of the Republic’s campaign to capture this city on its high bluff in Vicksburg: Grant’s Campaign That Broke the Confederacy. Donald L. Miller is the John Henry MacCracken Professor of Hi...

April 6, 2020 – Pack your full-body swimsuit, everybody. We’re headed for Coney Island in the summer of 1911, where we’ll meet a young heiress, Peggy Batternberg. Peggy falls in love, dives into the seedy world where the other half lives, and stumbles upon the mystery of young women found murdered under the boardwalk. Our time machine travels back to America’s Playground, Coney Island, Brooklyn, with “writer, edit...

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 jou...

March 9, 2020 – Jerry Mitchell joins us with Race Against Time: A Reporter Reopens the Unsolved Murder Cases of the Civil Rights Era.  In addition to what we today know as the Mississippi Burning case, this unique memoir covers our guest’s efforts in the assassination of Medgar Evers, the 16th Street Church bombing, and the firebombing of Vernon Dahmer. By refusing to ignore pleas for justice when everyone else had given up hope, M...

February 24, 2020 – What if the Revolution sparked in 1776 had collapsed? In this episode, our time machine travels back to the last days of the American Revolution, to track down rumors of an unthinkable plot by the Continental Army to mutiny over lack of pay. Only George Washington stood against the passions of men that may have included such patriots Alexander Hamilton and James Madison? Infiltrating the plot against the government to...

February 10, 2020 – Recorded live at the FDR Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, New York, our time machine travels back to the end of the Great War and the dawn of Prohibition. Jazz Age America picks a president, with flappers in all 48 states casting ballots for the first time as a half dozen once and future presidents compete for victory. They are: Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, Ca...

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 Sl...

January 13, 2020 – Our time machine travels back to the Civil Rights era, to meet a man who fought the racial discrimination of his day on the basketball court, while using his platform to support those battling in courts of law. In the process, he was the first man ever described as a “superstar.” We enjoy this 6′ 5″pioneer’s story in Elgin Baylor: The Man Who Changed Basketball. Giving us play by play cour...

INTERVIEWS

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 —...

H5F: Barry Strauss, Why Murder Caesar?

December 18, 2015 – Today, author Barry Strauss explores the political, military, and social motivations behind history’s most famous murder. Mr. Strauss is professor of history and classics at Cornell University, and a leading expert on ancient military history. Visit him @BarryStrauss on Twitter or at BarryStrauss.com. And don’t miss our full interview on his book, The Death of Caesar, when we upload it on December 21, ...

McGillin’s Olde Ale House, Chris Mullins, Sr.

December 14, 2015 – Ma and Pa McGillin opened the door to their home in 1860, when Abraham Lincoln won the presidency and just after the Liberty Bell cracked. As the decades passed, their tavern endured, tucked away in an alley, as if hiding from old Father Time. Originally called The Bell in Hand, McGillin’s has survived wars, economic panics, challenges from upstart chain restaurants and <shudder> Prohibition. Vis...

H5F: Dianne Hales – Mona Lisa: A Life Discovered

December 11, 2015 – It’s History in Five Friday, presented by Simon & Schuster — kicking off your modern weekend, with people from the past. Today, author Dianne Hales reveals the woman immortalized by the great master, Leonardo Da Vinci. Everybody remembers Mona Lisa’s smile, and has seen her face, but no one knew her full story — until now. You can find Dianne Hales on Twitter @DMHales, at Facebook.com/MonaLisaALife...

Teresa K. Irish – A Thousand Letters Home

December 7, 2015 – On this Pearl Harbor Day, we mark the Japanese attack on Hawaii, and travel back 75 years to meet Aarol W. “Bud” Irish in the European Theater where he fought the Nazis. On the Memorial Day after Bud passed away in 2006, his daughter Teresa opened her father’s mysterious old Army trunk and found stacks and stacks of letters from the front. Through these, she met her father as a young man, and shared him with ...

Betty Boyd Caroli – Lady Bird and Lyndon

November 30, 2015 – Historian of First Ladies Betty Boyd Caroli introduces us to the diminutive, quiet woman who stood behind one of the most controversial presidents of the 20th Century through some of America’s most difficult years. The book is Lady Bird & Lyndon: The Hidden Story of a Marriage that Made a President. But Clauda “Lady Bird” Johnson was more than just the flower lady. She was a shrewd busi...

H5F: Betty Boyd Caroli – Lady Bird and Lyndon

November 27, 2015 – It’s History in Five Friday, presented by Simon & Schuster. For the day after Thanksgiving, we’re joined by historian of first ladies Betty Boyd Caroli, whose previous books include The Roosevelt Women: A Portrait In Five Generations, and The First Ladies: From Martha Washington to Michelle Obama. Today, she introduces us to a woman who was at the center of public life for half a century, and yet who few...

The Old ’76 House, Robert Norden

November 23, 2015 – The Old ’76 House in Tappan, New York, is a National Landmark, one where you can eat a meal fit for overthrowing a king. The building itself predates the American Revolution by over a century, and served an active role in the fight for independence. Every major figure including General George Washington spent time at this great American tavern. In 1780, it even served as a make-shift prison for Major J...

H5F: Clint Hill – JFK Assassination

November 20, 2015 – It’s History in Five Friday, presented by Simon & Schuster. Today, author Clint Hill shares his eyewitness account of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination fifty-two years ago on November 22, 1963. Mr. Hill was the Secret Service agent assigned to protect Mrs. Kennedy that day, and the man seen leaping onto the back of the car after the fatal shots rang out in Dealey Plaza. His latest book is titled,...

Kermit Roosevelt – Allegiance

November 16, 2015 – Today, we travel back 75 years to a dark period of the Second World War. But the battlefield where liberty and tyranny clash isn’t Midway or Normandy Beach. It’s the hallowed halls of the United States Supreme Court. Our guide into this world is Kermit Roosevelt. His novel is Allegiance, a legal thriller built around the internment of Americans with Japanese ancestry — 62% of them American ...

H5F: Walter Isaacson – The Innovators

November 13, 2015 – Today we’re going to hear from writer/journalist Walter Isaacson, president and CEO of the Aspen Institute and author of  The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution, and the acclaimed biography: Steve Jobs. The Innovators includes names like Grace Hopper, Lord Byron’s daughter, Bletchley Park’s Alan Turing, ENIAC, John Mauchly, J. Presper ...

Jacqueline Wadsworth – Letters from the Trenches

November 9, 2015 – In honor of Veterans Day and Remembrance Day on November 11th, Bristol writer Jacqueline Wadsworth takes us back to “the war to end all wars” in Letters from the Trenches: The First World War by Those Who Were There. We hear from soldiers on the Western Front, Mesopotamia, Gallipoli, Italy, Northern Russia — and, of course, from the women and children suffering through the Great War back hom...

Jennifer Kincheloe – The Secret Life of Anna Blanc

November 2, 2015 – For our first historical fiction author, we’re pleased to introduce Jennifer Kincheloe’s debut novel: The Secret Life of Anna Blanc. Join us in 1907 Los Angeles, where Anna Blanc chafes under the thumb of her controlling father and yearns for a life of crime — solving them that is. Inspired by the wild Santa Anna winds, Anna joins a suffragette protest, lies to everyone in her life, and take...