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

Q&A with David A. Johnson – Diploma Mill: The Rise and Fall of Dr. John Buchanan

July 8, 2019 – We welcome David Alan Johnson to our blog, here to answer some written questions about Diploma Mill: The Rise and Fall of Dr. John Buchanan. The book chronicles the bizarre history of the Eclectic Medical College of Pennsylvania (EMC). Founded in 1850 professing lofty goals, it collapsed into spectacular disgrace 30 years later — a scandal of Ponzi proportions, in an era (the 19th Century) when American med...

Karen A. Chase – Carrying Independence: A Founding Documents Novel

July 1, 2019 – Our time machine travels back to the American Revolution, where we’ll meet Nathaniel Marten, a young Post Rider tasked with the solemn duty of gathering signatures for the Declaration of Independence. Our guide on this journey is Karen A. Chase, who brings us Carrying Independence: A Founding Documents Novel. Carrying Independence has already garnered accolades, securing second place in the William Faulkner...

Q&A with David Wolman and Julian Smith – Aloha Rodeo

We welcome co-authors David Wolman and Julian Smith to chat about ranchmen unlike any you’ve read about before. This may not be our first rodeo, as people say, but it’s certainly a rodeo like no other. Their very special book is Aloha Rodeo: Three Hawaiian Cowboys, the World’s Greatest Rodeo, and a Hidden History of the American West. David Wolman is a Contributing Editor at Outside. He has written for the Wired, th...

Paul Kahan – The Presidency of Ulysses S. Grant

Jun 17, 2019 – We welcome a familiar passenger back our time machine. It’s Dr. Paul Kahan, who we last chatted with about his book Amiable Scoundrel: Simon Cameron, Lincoln’s Scandalous Secretary of War. Prior to that, he entertained and enlightened us with The Bank War: Andrew Jackson, Nicholas Biddle, and the Fight for American Finance. We put together a video trailer for that book, to share some of the illustrati...

Q&A with Shelley Emling – A Forgotten Hero: Folke Bernadotte, the Swedish Humanitarian Who Rescued 30,000 People from the Nazis

We welcome Shelley Emling to give us an inside look at A Forgotten Hero: Folke Bernadotte, the Swedish Humanitarian Who Rescued 30,000 People from the Nazis. Shelley Emling is a native Texan, UT graduate, and former reporter for UPI, London correspondent for Cox Newspapers, having also spent a stint covering Central America. She’s currently a senior editor at AARP. Her previous books are The Fossil Hunter: Dinosaurs, Evolution,...

Andrew Nagorski – 1941: The Year Germany Lost the War

June 3, 2019 – We find ourselves at the bleeding borders of Hitler’s Third Reich, nearing the peak of its power in Europe, with Andrew Nagorski, author of 1941: The Year Germany Lost the War. We watch as Hitler’s miscalculations, deteriorating mental state, and policy of terror, give the United Kingdom powerful new allies in the U.S. and U.S.S.R. But these moves didn’t just sealed National Socialism’s fa...

Q&A with David Collum – The War Diaries of Virgil Collum: Three Years on a Destroyer in the Korean War

In honor of the fallen on Memorial Day, The History Author Show welcomed David Collum, editor of The War Diaries of Virgil Collum: Three Years on a Destroyer in the Korean War. Virgil is David Collum’s late father, who recorded detailed descriptions of his shipmates in action from the outbreak of war in 1951, through armistice (though not peace treaty) in 1953. You can find David on Twitter @DCollum5978 or on LinkedIn, where we...

Shelley Wood – The Quintland Sisters: A Novel

May 20, 2019 – Our time machine travels back to the Northern Ontario, Canada of 1934, to witness a unique and risky series of births. Through the eyes of fictional midwife Emma Trimpany, we’ll meet the Dionne family. They’re humble farmers eking a living out of the land, when they’re blessed with not one but five bundles of joy — the first identical quintuplets to survive birth. But the story turned dark...

Adam Higginbotham – Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster

May 6, 12019 – Our time machine travels back to the nuclear nightmare at the Soviet Union’s V.I. Lenin Nuclear Power Station — as destined to fail, as the political system of its namesake. On April 26, 1986, Reactor No. 4 exploded, and in the 30 years since, a name that few in the world could have placed, has become synonymous with radioactive Armageddon. What really happened? Communist propaganda long obscured the ...

Jim Leeke – Howell’s Storm: New York City’s Official Rainmaker and the 1950 Drought

April 22, 2019 – We welcome a familiar face back into our time machine, and travel back to a parched New York City, suffering from a drought that began in a sweltering 1949, and stretched into 1950 with no end in sight. Desperate for rain, Mayor William O’Dwyer hired Dr. Wallace E. Howell, a handsome, 35-year-old meteorologist out of Harvard who approached weather modification as a cool-headed scientist, not a Music Man-style h...

Lynda Cohen Loigman – The Wartime Sisters: A Novel

April 8, 2019 – Our time machine welcomes aboard book lovers live at the Meet the Author Series presented by Mayda Bosco at the Closter Public Library in New Jersey. Together, we travel back to the Brooklyn and Massachusetts of the pre- and post-World War 2 era, for a tale of sibling strife that’s as old as Cain and Abel. This is the engaging, absorbing story of two very different sisters, Ruth and Millie Kaplan. Raised i...

Martin Fletcher – Promised Land: A Novel of Israel

March 25, 2019 – In this episode, our time machine travels back to post-World War 2 Israel. When we arrive, we’ll follow its return to statehood — beset by enemies on three sides and their back against the sea on the fourth — through the eyes of two fictional brothers and the woman they love. Our guide on this journey is Martin Fletcher who brings us Promised Land: A Novel of Israel. In it, we meet characters ...

Joan E. Cashin – War Stuff: The Struggle for Human and Environmental Resources in the American Civil War

March 11, 2019 – Our time machine travels back to the American Civil War for a look at the toll paid by civilians and the countryside trampled under the boots, hooves and wagon wheels of rampaging armies. We’re all familiar with the devastation wrought on soldiers, but after a century-and-a-half, those sacrifices have become romanticized — and battlefields once soaked with blood and littered with corpses, are now pr...

Tom Clavin – Wild Bill: The True Story of the American Frontier’s First Gunfighter

February 25, 2019 – We welcome a familiar face back into the passenger seat of our time machine. It’s Tom Clavin, who we last chatted with about the book, Valley Forge, he co-authored with Bob Drury. Tom returns solo with the definitive true story of James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok. A soldier in the Civil War, spy for the Union, scout, lawman, gunfighter, gambler, showman, actor, and romantic, he crossed paths...

Neal Bascomb – The Escape Artists: A Band of Daredevil Pilots and the Greatest Prison Break of the Great War

February 11, 2019 – We welcome one of our favorite authors back into our time machine. It’s Neal Bascomb. We last caught up with him in Nazi-occupied Norway for the bone-chilling tale of The Winter Fortress: The Epic Mission to Sabotage Hitler’s Atomic Bomb. Neal’s latest book is The Escape Artists: A Band of Daredevil Pilots and the Greatest Prison Break of the Great War. It’s the tale of Allied airmen ...