February 15, 2021 – There has been no more noble fight in all of history than the one guaranteeing equal rights for formerly enslaved people. So how did America forget the Black congressman and a Civil War veteran president to ensure that all those Union soldiers hadn’t died in vain — and more importantly, that the words on those Reconstruction Era amendments to the Constitution guaranteeing rights to the freedmen, wer...

  February 8, 2012 – The U.S. Navy builds modern marvels: 100,000-ton hunks of metal that glide across the ocean rather than sinking like rocks. But how do they do it? The short answer is “computers.” But it was Raye Montague who first designed a ship with that technology, doing so as a single mother during the height of the Cold War, and as a Black woman born into the segregated Little Rock of 1935. She literally let no...

  January 25, 2021 – When George Washington accepted the responsibility of being the first president of a new nation, he felt the weight of history on his broad shoulders, knowing that every step he took, would set precedents for generations. So, how did he pick a team of advisers to keep his path straight on the long march to nationhood? We explore how he pioneered the presidential cabinet with Dr. Lindsay M. Chervinsky. She’...

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 Americ...

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 ...

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...

INTERVIEWS

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...

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...