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...

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 ...

INTERVIEWS

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...

H5F: Michael Hiltzik – Big Science

September 11, 2015 – End your week with a taste of the past.  It’s History in Five Friday!  Here’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael Hiltzik, author of Big Science: Ernest Lawrence and the Invention that Launched the Military-Industrial Complex.  You can enjoy our full interview on or after Monday, September 14, 2015.   You can follow him on Twitter @HiltzikM or visit his website, MichaelHiltzik.com.  And en...

Dan DeMiglio from Callahan’s Hot Dogs

September 7, 2015 – This journey into the past is our tastiest yet. Our guest is Dan DeMiglio, heir to a legendary Callahan’s hot dog shop, a landmark in Fort Lee, New Jersey, just across the George Washington Bridge. Our goal is to do more than books here on the program, to remind people that we’re all the author of our own chapter in the great human story, so Callahan’s — which closed in 2006 after fif...

Jim Leeke – Matty Boy

August 31, 2015 – In our last episode of August, we introduce you to our first History Author Show correspondent: Amanda Read. Amanda Read grew up across the States and overseas as an Army brat before her family settled on Fair Hill Farms in Alabama. She graduated from Troy University Magna Cum Laude in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in History and a minor in Political Science. She’s done voice-over work on previous show...

Jane Singer – Lincoln’s Secret Spy

August 24, 2015 – “What is worse? A confederate con man claiming he was Lincoln’s spy throughout the Civil War, or the Union veteran who pursed his claim all the way to the Supreme Court?” That’s the central question of Jane Singer’s book, Lincoln’s Secret Spy: The Civil War Case that Changed the Future of Espionage. In it, she introduces us to William Alvin Lloyd. Con man, bigamist, charlata...

Donald L. Miller – Supreme City: How Jazz Age Manhattan Gave Birth to Modern America

August 17, 2015 – You’re familiar with our theme song, 1925’s New York Ain’t New York Anymore. It’s the perfect segue into today’s book, Supreme City: How Jazz Age Manhattan Gave Birth to Modern America. The story of speakeasies, Flappers and radio is brought to us by Donald L. Miller. He’s the John Henry MacCracken Professor of History at Lafayette College and also authored City of the Centu...

Rinker Buck – The Oregon Trail

August 10, 2015 – Three mules, two brothers, and a Jack Russell terrier. Together they rattle 2000 miles from Missouri to the great American Northwest in a covered wagon. That isn’t the setup for a Vaudeville joke, but there are plenty of laughs found on the ruts, roads and interstates. That’s right, interstates. The trip doesn’t take place before the Civil War, but in our time. We can go along for the ride fr...