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 Based on transcripts of the proceedings, newspaper accounts, unpublished re...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...

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...

INTERVIEWS

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 ...

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...

David Pietrusza – TR’s Last War: Theodore Roosevelt, the Great War, and a Journey of Triumph and Tragedy

October 8, 2018 – Our time machine travels back to America’s experience in the Great War through the eyes of former president and hero of the Spanish-American War Theodore Roosevelt, whose four sons suited up to fight over there. Leading us through basic training is David Pietrusza, author of TR’s Last War: Theodore Roosevelt, The Great War, and a Journey of Triumph and Tragedy. In David Pietrusza’s book, we g...

Jenni L. Walsh – Side by Side: A Novel of Bonnie and Clyde

September 24, 2018 – Our time machine welcomes aboard infamous bank robbing-legends Bonnie and Clyde, as they tear a gash across 1930s America at the height of the Great Depression. Returning to ride shotgun with us on this crime spree is Jenni L. Walsh, who we chatted with about her debut novel, the stand-alone origin story Becoming Bonnie. Jenni’s sophomore book isn’t a sequel, but the edge-of-your-seat crime spre...