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 ...

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...

INTERVIEWS

Q&A with David Bruns and J. R. Olson – Rules of Engagement: A Novel

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 tra...

Charles Fishman – One Giant Leap: The Impossible Mission That Flew Us to the Moon

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 Neil Armstrong stamping hi...

Q&A with Jason Emerson – Mary Lincoln for the Ages

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...

Jeff Guinn – The Vagabonds: The Story of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison’s Ten-Year Road Trip

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 Roa...

Q&A with Duncan Ryūken Williams – American Sutra: A Story of Faith and Freedom in the Second World War

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, an...

Peter Stark – Young Washington: How Wilderness and War Forged America’s Founding Father

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 corres...

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 ...