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...

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 medical perso...

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-William W...

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, the New York...

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 illustrations and po...

INTERVIEWS

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 ...

Mark Braude – The Invisible Emperor: Napoleon on Elba from Exile to Escape

January 28, 2019 – Mark Braude, who we chatted with previously about his book: Making Monte Carlo: A History of Speculation and Spectacle, brings us the tale of a legendary military leader who’s almost too big for the word legend. Napoleon Bonaparte of France. We meet the titan of France not at the peak of his power, but at his low-point: Cast out, kicked off the throne, and walking among the citizens of a tiny island as ...

Jim Jordan – The Slave-Trader’s Letter-Book

January 24, 2019 – Our time machine transports us back to the Savannah, Georgia, of 1858, where we’ll meet Charles Lamar. Ignoring the law of the United States, Lamar organizes the transportation of hundreds of Africans aboard the yacht Wanderer. This criminal act strikes a hammer blow on the fault lines of America society, marking the first importation of human beings as slaves in four decades. Piecing together the true ...

Q&A with Travis Smith – Superhero Ethics: 10 Comic Book Heroes; 10 Ways to Save the World; Which One Do We Need Most Now?

After three years of hosting almost all our 150+ interviews for The History Author Show, I maintain my love for the magic of books and admiration of the people at all levels who bring them to us. But like Mr. Henry Bemis in the iconic Twilight Zone episode “Time Enough at Last,” there are always more books than hours to read. So I’m hoping that the occasional written Q&A will allow me to touch base with and prom...

Stacy Horn – Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York

December 31, 2018 – Our time machine travels back to a two-mile sliver of land in New York City’s East River. Since 1971, it has been known as Roosevelt Island. But the Victorians knew it as Blackwell’s Island, a dreaded name synonymous with illness, insanity, poverty, prisons and purgatory. You could suffer there for a variety of crimes, or for things as simple as being a woman walking alone late at night, an immig...

Winston Groom – The Allies: Roosevelt, Stalin, Churchill and the Unlikely Alliance That Won World War II

December 17, 2018 -Our time machine welcomes aboard Winston Groom, acclaimed author of Forrest Gump, for a seat at the conference table with the Big Three. The book is The Allies: Roosevelt, Stalin, Churchill and the Unlikely Alliance That Won World War II. It’s a fresh look at the interactions between these very different men as they navigated the fight against Hitler and the inevitable stresses of a culture clash between demo...

Nicholas Hirshon – We Want Fish Sticks

December 3, 2018 – In this episode, our time machine turns Zamboni and hits the ice for the greatest fanned shot in sports marketing history, when the New York Islanders — a decade removed from their four-in-a-row Stanley Cup dynasty of the early ’80s — chose a new mascot that resembled nothing so much as frozen food pitchman The Gorton’s Fisherman. Joining us to do color commentary is our friend Nichola...

Christopher Bonanos – Flash: The Making of Weegee the Famous

November 19, 2018 – Our time machine hauls out the big, bulky Speed Graphic camera and watches the ultimate watcher of watchers in 1930s, ’40s and ’50s New York City: Arthur Fellig. Helping haul the tripod around to various crime scenes and disasters is Christopher Bonanos who brings us Flash: The Making of Weegee the Famous. Even if you don’t know the name, you’ve seen his gritty images from the 1930s through...

Patrick Gregory – An American on the Western Front

November 5, 2018 – Our time machine soars over the Great War’s trenches — and gets down and dirty on ground level — through the eyes of a pilot in the very early days of U.S. air power. Our guide on this journey is Patrick Gregory, co-author of An American on the Western Front: The First World War Letters of Arthur Clifford Kimber 1917-18. Written along with his mother-in-law, Elizabeth Nurser (Kimber’s ...

Bob Drury and Tom Clavin – Valley Forge

October 22, 2018 – Our time machine travels back to “the times that try men’s souls,” when Thomas Payne wrote that phrase to embody the struggles of Gen. George Washington’s beaten-but-not-broken army and the precarious cause of American independence. In their new book, Valley Forge, #1 New York Times best-selling team Bob Drury and Tom Clavin provide a fresh look at the winter of 1777. In it, they introduce u...