October 7, 2019 – What’s a “honeyfuggle,” and why did Theodore Roosevelt call William Howard Taft one? In this episode, presidential historian Mike Purdy checks in with the 44 men who’ve served as our presidents as they roast, criticize, and belittle fellow commanders-in-chief in a manner that would make Don Rickles smile. And who wouldn’t want to hear Benjamin Harrison mock Grover Cleveland on two, non-consecutiv...

September 23, 2019 – What if your family name was infamous? What if you were the only loyal American in a clan where everyone — even your little, old grandmother — backed treason? Jane B. Singer introduces us to just such a man in The War Criminal’s Son: The Civil War Saga of William A. Winder. It’s the true story of Confederate General John H. Winder and his son, Union Captain William Andrew Winder, who served as priso...

September 9, 2019 – Bob Batchelor introduces us to the boisterous, brass-knuckes bootlegger who quenched Dry America’s thirst in the Roaring Twenties. His book is The Bourbon King: The Life and Crimes of George Remus, Prohibition’s Evil Genius. We last caught up with Bob to chat about his book Stan Lee: The Man behind Marvel. You can find that interview in our archives at iHeartRadio, iTunes or wherever you listen to on-demand audi...

August 26, 2019 – Women aren’t allowed to be police officers in 1908 Los Angeles, but that’s never stopped Anna Blanc from catching killers. Besides, it’s not her fault she keeps stumbling across corpses, or that she’s the keenest legal mind this side of Sherlock Holmes. Jennifer Kincheloe joins us to chat about her latest mystery staring her whiskey-sipping fallen socialite with her third novel: The Body in Griff...

We welcome David Bruns and J.R. Olson to answer some questions about their novel, Rules of Engagement. The book deals with cyberwarfare, as the Internet Age offers a new front in global conflicts, one that is rewriting history as you’re reading this page. Think how the ironclads USS Monitor and CSS Virginia (Merrimack) clashing in the Civil War rendered wood-hulled ships obsolete, or how tanks rolling onto the Western Front transformed i...

August 12, 2019 – Our time machine boldly goes where no man has gone before, fulfilling President John F. Kennedy’s 1961 challenge to put an American on the moon and return him safely to earth by the end of that decade. Half a century after NASA fulfilled JFK’s vision in the summer of 1969, we look back at the long road of 10,000 small human steps and giant technological leaps, that led to Neal Armstrong stamping his footprin...

We welcome Jason Emerson, who’s here to introduce us to a figure we may all think we know, but we don’t have as clear a picture of as we should. His book is Mary Lincoln for the Ages. Jason Emerson is a journalist and an independent historian who has been researching and writing about the Lincoln family for more than twenty-five years. His works include The Madness of Mary Lincoln; Giant in the Shadows: The Life of Robert T. Lincol...

July 29, 2019 – What do you get when two icons of the Industrial Revolution pile into a Model T and speed off to look for America? A one-of-a kind road-trip, peppered with Jazz Age characters like Harvey Firestone, John Burroughs, President Calvin Coolidge, and hardscrabble fiddler Jep Bisbee. Gassing us up for this journey is Jeff Guinn who brings us The Vagabonds: The Story of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison’s Ten-Year Road Trip. Th...

We welcome Duncan Ryūken Williams with some enriching insights about his book, American Sutra: A Story of Faith and Freedom in the Second World War. Our guest was born in Tokyo to a Japanese mother and British father, growing up in both their native countries before moving to the United States to pursue his studies. He earned a Ph.D. in Religion from Harvard and is now Professor of Religion and East Asian Languages & Cultures, and the Dire...

July 15, 2019 –  Meet the “indispensable man” of the American Revolution, when he was just a hot-headed 22-year-old, growing into the shoes that laid down the footsteps for all future presidents to follow. Peter Stark brings the first face on Mount Rushmore to live in Young Washington: How Wilderness and War Forged America’s Founding Father. Peter Stark is an adventure writer and historian. He’s a correspondent fo...

INTERVIEWS

H5F: Michael Shelden – Young Titan: The Making of Winston Churchill

February 19, 2016 – Today’s history author, Michael Shelden, is the author of Young Titan: The Making of Winston Churchill. You may recall hearing praise for Young Titan in our interview with Simon Read, author of Winston Churchill Reporting: Adventures of a Young War Correspondent. The Greatest Briton’s early life is often overlooked, with people understandably focusing on the image of him as a heroic figure, standing on...

CWW: The Glory of the Gladiator

February 17, 2016 – It’s Classical Wisdom Wednesday, presented by Classical Wisdom Weekly — bringing ancient wisdom to modern minds, every Wednesday morning before your first cup of coffee. Today we are looking at gladiators, and while you might be familiar with TV shows like “Spartacus” or movies like “Gladiator”, you might be interested to know that Hollywood does not tell the whole story. Your guide through the classical lan...

Sheila Myers – Imaginary Brightness

February 15, 2016 – Today’s destination is America in the 1870s, and our guest is Sheila Myers, author of the novel Ephemeral Summer, and associate professor at Cayuga Community College. Her latest novel is Imaginary Brightness: a Durant Family Saga. At the dawn of what Mark Twain would later dub the Gilded Age, the economy suffered a panic — what we’d call a depression — brought on, in part, by over-spe...

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...

CWW: Love in the Classical World

February 10, 2016 – It’s Classical Wisdom Wednesday, presented by Classical Wisdom Weekly — bringing ancient wisdom to modern minds, every Wednesday morning before your first cup of coffee. How many ways can you say “I love you”? There are only so many ways. But did you know that in the classical world there were more than thirty ways to express your love for another? Today we are going to look at just a few. Your guide through...

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...

CWW: Hades and the Kingdom of the Dead

February 3, 2016 – It’s Classical Wisdom Wednesday, presented by Classical Wisdom Weekly — bringing ancient wisdom to modern minds, every Wednesday morning before your first cup of coffee. Those of you who are familiar with ancient Greek mythology can probably name some of the Olympian deities. You might know Zeus, god of the heaven, or Poseidon, god of the seas. However, you might not know about the eldest Olympian. He was the...

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...