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

Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz – Dr. Mütter’s Marvels

October 29, 2015 – In this special, Halloween episode, we’re traveling back to the days before the American Civil War, when doctors would take their scalpels to fully awake patients — the pre-microbial era when the causes of common diseases remained a mystery, and when oil lamps and flammable clothing combined to engulf a staggering number of people in flames. This, was the age of monsters. Yes, monsters. Not costum...

Jordan Harbour’s Twilight Histories

October 26, 2015 – What if John Wilkes Booth’s gun had misfired? And what if we could blast off to a Mars colony founded by the Carthaginians, or head 250,000 years into the past when a race of giants dominate Africa? Writer and archaeologist Jordan Harbour, explores stories like these at the Twilight Histories podcast. And like a David Lynch film, things keep getting weirder. The Twilight Histories is a podcast, Jordan s...

H5F: Harold Holzer – Lincoln and the Press

October 23, 2015 – Today we’re going to hear from Harold Holzer, one of America’s leading authorities on Abraham Lincoln’s life and the politics of the Civil War era. His book is, Lincoln and the Power of the Press: The War for Public Opinion. Mr. Holzer shows us an activist Lincoln through journalists who covered him from his start through to the night of his assassination — when one reporter ran to the box w...

David O. Stewart – Madison’s Gift

October 19, 2015 – On this episode, you’ll meet five legends — George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, James Monroe, and Dolley Madison — as viewed through their relationships with James Madison. Often overlooked in death as he was in life (and having the White House burned out from under him in the War of 1812 didn’t help), David O. Stewart reveals a founding father and president unique...

H5F: The Political Genius of James Madison, David O. Stewart

October 16, 2015 – It’s History in Five Friday, presented by Simon & Schuster — kicking off your modern weekend, with people from the past. Today, historian David O. Stewart focuses on James Madison, Father of the Constitution and fourth president of the United States. Overlooked in death as he was in life, Madison was the indispensable man in peace as General George Washington was in the Revolutionary War. On Monday, October 19,...

Simon Read – Winston Churchill Reporting

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 har...

H5F: David McCullough – The Wright Brothers

October 9, 2015 – It’s History in Five Friday, presented by Simon & Schuster — kicking off your modern weekend, with people from the past.  Today, we offer up legendary history author David McCullough on his latest #1 New York Times best-seller: The Wright Brothers. It’s a tale that Mr. McCullough calls quintessentially American in its power to inspire, and to set an example for us in 2015. Orville and Wilbur Wright —...

Jonathan Sandys – God and Churchill

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. M...

James Shapiro – The Year of Lear

October 5, 2015 – On this episode, we visit the theaters, throne rooms and taverns of London 400 years ago, as seen through the eyes of William Shakespeare. History Author Show correspondent Stephen Bedford met our guide to Jacobian London in the shadow of the immortal bard’s statue in Central Park. He is renowned Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro, professor of English of Columbia University. His book is The Year of Lear:...

Charles Leerhsen – Ty Cobb

September 28, 2015 – Even casual baseball fans can name the game’s greatest heroes, and its most infamous villain: Ty Cobb. Yes, it’s something that even Yankees and Red Sox fans can agree on: “The Georgia Peach” wasn’t a very nice fellow. But what if everyone is wrong? What if, like Ulysses S. Grant, Ty Cobb’s enemies were just more prolific writers than his friends? What if by accepting the...

H5F: Ty Cobb – Charles Leerhsen

September 25, 2015 – It’s History in Five Friday, presented by Simon & Schuster — kicking off your modern weekend, with people from the past.  Today, we offer up Charles Leerhsen’s incredible book: Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty. It exposes the cruel smear of baseball’s most exciting player, debunking the caricature of him as a dimwitted, belligerent, drunken racist.  You can enjoy our full interview on or aft...

Gerald Posner – God’s Bankers

September 24, 2015 – This is a special, Pope-in-America edition of the History Author Show. Pope Francis began his visit to the United States on September 22, 2015 with stops in Washington, D.C., New York City and Philadelphia. Top on his agenda were calls for Americans to spend more on the poor. But what about the church’s finances? How did a humble ministry started by St. Paul two thousand years ago, grow into the large...

Van Bryan – Classical Wisdom Weekly

September 21, 2015 – Join us in Manhattan’s Madison Square Park — next to the statue of President Chester A. Arthur — as we travel back to the days when Latin was very much a living language. Our tour guide is Van Bryan, associate editor of Classical Wisdom Weekly: “Ancient Wisdom for Modern Minds.” It’s an online publishing house that shares information, commentaries, and opinions on literat...

H5F: Ike and Dick – Jeffrey Frank

September 18, 2015 – One of the most acclaimed political biographies of our time, Jeffrey Frank’s Ike and Dick: Portrait of a Strange Political Marriage takes you inside the strained and complex relationship of two fascinating American leaders—hailed as “top-drawer as political history” by the New York Review of Books and “one of the best books ever written about Richard Nixon” by the New Yorker.” ...

Michael Hiltzik – Big Science

September 14, 2015 – From Thomas Edison to Dr. Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters, the idea of the quirky, driven scientist working in solitude is a popular one in the American imagination. But today, you need big machines like particle accelerators, electron microscopes, and super computers to advance human knowledge. So how did we get from Alexander Graham Bell in his lonely lab to Robert Oppenheimer assembling and leading a massi...