54 minutes | Mar 21, 2023
Stephen F. Knott – Coming to Terms with John F. Kennedy
March 21, 2023 - How did a man who worked at the JFK Presidential Library grapple with the 35th president’s legacy over his own lifetime to deliver portrait of the real man behind the myths of Camelot? In this episode, our time machine welcomes back Stephen F. Knott, author of “Coming to Terms with John F. Kennedy.” We previously welcomed Mr. Knott onto the show way back in 2015 to discuss the book he co-authored with Tony Williams: “Washington & Hamilton: The Alliance that Forged America.” Mr. Knott is a professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College and worked on Senator Ted Kennedy’s campaign in 1976. Find him at StephenFKnott.com or on Twitter and Facebook.
57 minutes | Jan 23, 2023
Mike Purdy – Presidential Friendships: How They Changed History
January 23, 2023 - How did the relationships of two pairs of U.S. presidents — Theodore Roosevelt with William Howard Taft and Franklin Delano Roosevelt with freshman Congressman Lyndon Baines Johnson — change the course of history, and the world we live in today? In this episode, presidential historian Mike Purdy brings us Presidential Friendships: How They Changed History. Mike is an opinion contributor to The Hill and founder of PresidentialHistory.com, where you can find his award-winning presidential history blog. He joined us last to chat about his previous book, 101 Presidential Insults: What They Really Thought About Each Other — and What It Means to Us. Visit Mike @PresidentialHistorian on Instagram, on Twitter @PREShistory or follow his Facebook page Mike Purdy Presidential History. Thanks to Mike’s fellow presidential historians who supplied questions for his interview. They are Feather Schwartz Foster, who joined us to discuss Mary Lincoln’s Flannel Pajamas: And Other Stories from the First Ladies’ Closet, and David Pietrusza, whose conversations you’ll find below. Roosevelt Sweeps Nation: FDR’s 1936 Landslide and the Triumph of the Liberal Ideal 1920: The Year of the Six Presidents 1932: The Rise of Hitler and FDR ― Two Tales of Politics, Betrayal, and Unlikely Destiny TR’s Last War: Theodore Roosevelt, the Great War, and a Journey of Triumph and Tragedy Rothstein: The Life, Times, and Murder of the Criminal Genius Who Fixed the 1919 World Series Too Long Ago: A Childhood Memory. A Vanished World
49 minutes | Dec 19, 2022
Natasha Lance Rogoff – Muppets in Moscow: The Unexpected Crazy True Story of Making Sesame Street in Russia
December 19, 2022 - How did Kermit the Frog, Big Bird, and the rest of the Sesame Street expand their neighborhood to Moscow after the collapse of the USSR? In this episode, we meet the woman who adapted a beloved American TV show for an audience newly freed from behind the Iron Curtain. TV producer and filmmaker Natasha Lance Rogoff who brings us, “Muppets in Moscow: The Unexpected Crazy True Story of Making Sesame Street in Russia.” It’s the true story of the Soviet Union tearing down its walls and a reborn Russia opening its doors to the best the West had to offer -- despite assassinations, armed attacks, and even the kidnapping of Elmo at the barrel of AK-47s. Visit her at NatashaLanceRogoff.com, where you can navigate through to her social media accounts on all the major platforms, including @LanceRogoff on Twitter.
55 minutes | Nov 21, 2022
Mike Guardia – Hal Moore: A Soldier Once…And Always
November 21, 2022 - If you could ride along in a Humvee with one of the most admired American combat leaders of the last half century, what would you hope to learn? In this episode, our time machine welcomes back internationally acclaimed military historian and U.S. Army veteran Mike Guardia. We last caught up with Mike to discuss his book, Skybreak: The 58th Fighter Squadron in Desert Storm. Mike returns to discuss his acclaimed biography of Lt. Gen. Hal Moore, titled, Hal Moore: A Soldier Once...and Always. Mike Guardia served six years on active duty as an Armor Officer and got to know his subject, whose leadership you may recall from the Mel Gibson's portrayal in the film We Were Soldiers. Visit our guest at MikeGuardia.com, or on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
29 minutes | Oct 24, 2022
The Legend of Lizzie Borden – History Author ShowTime Review (featuring Cara Robertson)
October 24, 2022 - Something special this week for the season of pumpkins, ghosts, and Candy Corn: A YouTube feature on what Hollywood gets right and wrong about yesterday called History Author Showtime. It’s a video breakdown of the 1975 movie, “The Legend of Lizzie Borden,” starring Elizabeth Montgomery, who you may remember as Samantha Stevens from “Bewitched.” I often ask authors what they think of the film or TV portrayals of the past, and for this week, I pulled some soundbites from Cara Robertson, who I interviewed about her book, “The Trial of Lizzie Borden.” “The Legend of Lizzie Borden” was her favorite portrayal of the tried-but-not-convicted alleged murderess. I’ve previously published Showtime breakdowns of AMC’s “The Americans,” which featured former KGB agent Jack Barsky, who I interviewed about his book, “Deep Under Cover. My Secret Life & tangled Allegiances as a KGB Spy in America.” I also covered “The Dummy,” a 1962 episode of The Twilight Zone. Anne Serling, author of “As I Knew Him: My Dad Rod Serling” had a surprising and amusing recollection of the infamous ventriloquist dummy used in show that I just felt deserved to be highlighted. Thank you for subscribing at YouTube.com/@historyauthorshow to support more time travel adventures.
46 minutes | Oct 10, 2022
Judith F. Brenner – The Moments Between Dreams: A Novel
October 10, 2022 - What if historical fiction could give someone the courage that saves their life? In this episode, Judith F. Brenner shares her debut novel The Moments Between Dreams, which has the power to do just that, as we mark Domestic Violence and Polio Awareness Months. The book has been described as "edutaining,' both educational and entertaining, as we return to the 1940s and ‘50s for a story set during the polio epidemic wrapped around housewife Carol’s carefully concealed abusive marriage. Judith F. Brenner is a journalist by training and runs Creative Lakes Media, LLC, a freelance writing and editing services company. Her personal essays have been published in Writers in the Know literary magazine and Minnesota Parent magazine. Find our guest at JudithFBrenner.com, where you can navigate through from there to all her social media accounts, on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
51 minutes | Sep 26, 2022
David Pietrusza – Roosevelt Sweeps Nation: FDR’s 1936 Landslide and the Triumph of the Liberal Ideal
September 26, 2022 - How did Franklin Delano Roosevelt win reelection with 46 of the 48 states in 1936, despite America being in the throes of the Great Depression? In this episode, legendary historian David Pietrusza to discuss his new book, Roosevelt Sweeps Nation: FDR's 1936 Landslide and the Triumph of the Liberal Ideal. Enjoy his previous appearances in our archives where we discuss his books: TR’s Last War: Theodore Roosevelt, the Great War, and a Journey of Triumph and Tragedy Rothstein: The Life, Times, and Murder of the Criminal Genius Who Fixed the 1919 World Series 1920: The Year of the Six Presidents 1932: The Rise of Hitler and FDR ― Two Tales of Politics, Betrayal, and Unlikely Destiny Too Long Ago: A Childhood Memory. A Vanished World Find our guest @DPietrusza on Twitter or DavidPietrusza.com. Special thanks to Mike Purdy for submitting a video question for this interview. He appeared on the History Author Show to discuss his book 101 Presidential Insults: What They Really Thought About Each Other and What It Means to Us. He’ll be back to talk Presidential Friendships: How They Changed History.
50 minutes | Sep 3, 2022
Anna J. Walner – Saltwater and Driftwood: A Historical Novel
September 3, 2022 - On the morning of September 8th, 1900, disaster struck the vibrant, prosperous island of Galveston, Texas, tearing out its heart. In this episode, our time machine travels back to the turn of the last century to meet sixteen-year-old Clara and the Gladys family, against the backdrop of the worst natural disaster to ever strike the United States -- that killed between 6,000 and 8,000 on the island of Galveston. Our guide on this journey is international award-winning author Anna J. Walner who brings us Saltwater and Driftwood: A Historical Novel. Anna is a native Texan and began her career as a fantasy novelist, delivering the Enrovia Series and the four-volume Uluru Legacy, a story of vampires and werewolves. Visit our guest at AnnaJWalner.com, or on social media through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
47 minutes | Aug 22, 2022
Jeffrey Frank – The Trials of Harry S. Truman: The Extraordinary Presidency of An Ordinary Man
August 22, 2022 - What if you were a Midwestern haberdasher-turned-senator, who served just three months as vice president, before finding yourself thrust into the Big Chair, charged with winning World War II? In this episode, our time machine welcomes aboard journalist Jeffrey Frank who brings us, The Trials of Harry S. Truman: The Extraordinary Presidency of An Ordinary Man, 1945-1953. Jeffrey Frank is the best-selling author Ike and Dick: Portrait of a Strange Political Marriage. He has published four novels, among them the Washington Trilogy — The Columnist, Bad Publicity, and Trudy Hopedale — and is the coauthor, with Diana Crone Frank, of The Stories of Hans Christian Andersen: A New Translation from the Danish, which won the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Prize. He was a senior editor at the New Yorker, the deputy editor of The Washington Post’s Outlook section and is now a contributor to major publications nationwide. Visit him at JeffreyFrank.com, or on Facebook and @JeffreyAFrank on Twitter. Special thanks to Sally Mott Freeman for offering her insights in a video question for this interview. You can check out our conversation about her excellent book, The Jersey Brothers: A Missing Naval Officer in the Pacific and His Family's Quest to Bring Him Home.
56 minutes | Aug 8, 2022
Ray E. Boomhower – Richard Tregaskis: Reporting under Fire from Guadalcanal to Vietnam
August 8, 2022 - In the late summer of 1942, the First Marine Division sought to wrest Guadalcanal from the Japanese Empire. We’ll meet one of only two reporters on hand to record the carnage, as the spot in the Pacific earned its nickname, the Island of Death. In this episode, our time machine travels back war zones to meet in intrepid journalist who told soldiers’ stories to the folks back home. Our guide on this journey is Ray E. Boomhower, a senior editor at the Indiana Historical Society Press, biographer, and former reporter, who brings us Richard Tregaskis: Reporting under Fire from Guadalcanal to Vietnam. For more, visit RayBoomhower.Blogspot.com and @RayBoomhower on Twitter. Special thanks to Deborah A. Cohen for submitting a video question for this interview. In the History Author Show archives, you can watch or listen to our conversation about her book Last Call at the Hotel Imperial: The Reporters Who Took on a World at War.
61 minutes | Jul 24, 2022
Todd D. Snyder – Beatboxing: How Hip-Hop Changed the Fight Game
July 25, 2022 - How did the worlds of hip-hop and boxing unite, blending together music, race, sports, and politics? In this episode our time machine welcomes back Dr. Todd D. Snyder who brings us Beatboxing: How Hip-Hop Changed the Fight Game. We previously caught up to discuss his previous book: Bundini: Don't Believe the Hype. Meeting Muhammad Ali's hype man, Drew "Bundini" Brown, was an experience that really stuck with me, in a way that made me scared to think I might never have known a thing about him, if not for today's guest. Todd D. Snyder, an Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Writing at Siena College in Albany, New York, who grew up in West Virginia as the son of a boxing trainer. He's excellent at divining the poetry in rap and how it developed this symbiotic relationship with the sweet science. His previous books include 12 Rounds in Lo's Gym: Boxing and Manhood in Appalachia. Visit him at HillbillySpeaks.com, or on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
63 minutes | Jul 2, 2022
S.W. O’Connell: The Patriot Spy – Book One of the Yankee Doodle Spy Series
July 2, 2022 - Who were the citizen spies who risked their lives to bring General George Washington the intelligence he needed to win the War for Independence? In this episode, we take a fictional trip back to the American Revolution, to meet the people who fought for liberty with their wits and secrecy, not muskets and cannon. Our guide on this journey is S.W. O'Connell who brings us, The Patriot Spy, Book One of the Yankee Doodle Spies Series, followed by Book 2, The Cavalier Spy, and Book 3, The Winter Spy. S.W. O'Connell is a retired U.S. Army intelligence officer who has served in a wide variety of counterintelligence assignments around the world. Upon retirement, he decided to mix his love and study of history with his military experiences to craft historical novels. Visit him at Yankee Doodle Spies Dot Blog Spot Dot Com, on Facebook, or @SWOconnell on Twitter. Special thanks to Thomas J. Howley for submitting a video question for this interview. Watch or listen to the History Show interview about his novel Wolf of Clontarf: The Irish, the Vikings and the Foreigners of the World.
65 minutes | Jun 27, 2022
James D. R. Philips — Two Revolutions and the Constitution: How the English and American Revolutions Produced the American Constitution
June 27, 2022 - How did revolutions in the two great English-speaking nations -- the United States and the United Kingdom -- give birth to the American Constitution, and what does its creation have to tell us about the challenges we face over 200 years since its ratification? In this episode, we dig into those questions, traveling back to when it all started with James D. R. Philips, a lawyer and visiting lecturer at the University of Sydney’s Law School in Australia. His book is Two Revolutions and the Constitution: How the English and American Revolutions Produced the American Constitution. In the interview we discussed the dispersion of power that makes the U.S. government almost coup-proof, as well as the New York Sun column where I quoted James Philips: It’s Dangerous for January 6th Hearings To Portray Our Republic as a Fabergé Egg. Visit our guest at JamesPhilips.net, or on Twitter and Facebook.
66 minutes | Jun 13, 2022
Yogi Berra Museum & Bob Feller Act of Valor Foundation – Sacrifice & Courage, A Tribute to D-Day
June 13, 2022 - Before he won ten World Series titles with the New York Yankees, Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra answered a higher team’s calling, to serve his country in World War Two -- a role in the Navy that ultimately led him to a rocket ship supporting the Normandy landings. For June 6, 2022, the 78th anniversary of the 1944 D-Day landings, my column in the New York Sun was titled: “Yogi Berra’s War: ‘Deja Vu All Over Again.’” It looked at the famed catcher’s service during the Normandy invasion, and spread the word about an event you’ll be enjoying in this week’s episode. It’s a roundtable discussion held at the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center, conducted in partnership with the Bob Feller Act of Valor Foundation. It was titled: Sacrifice & Courage, A Tribute to D-Day. I was honored to act as moderator for the conversation, which was streamed live to military personnel at posts all around the world and all the ships at sea. Our panel in Little Ferry, New Jersey, on the campus of Montclair State University featured former governor of Mississippi and Secretary of the Navy Raymond Mabus Jr., Rear Admiral Edward “Sonny” Masso (retired), Luke Epplin -- author of Our Team: The Epic Story of Four Men and the World Series That Changed Baseball -- and Larry Berra, the son and namesake of Yogi. In this interview, I also recommend a few books that I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing authors about, that have covered the service of ballplayers and the Normandy Landings. One is about the son of the 26th president, the oldest man and highest-ranking officer to go ashore that day. That book is His Father's Son: The Life of General Ted Roosevelt, Jr., by Tim Brady. The others are by baseball historian Jim Leeke: The Best Team Over There: The Untold Story of Grover Cleveland Alexander and the Great War From the Dugouts to the Trenches: Baseball During the Great War Nine Innings for the King: The Day Wartime London Stopped for Baseball – July 4, 1918
50 minutes | May 30, 2022
Jeff Gottesfeld – Twenty-One Steps: Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
May 31, 2021 - The United States of America goes to great lengths to recover the remains of those who fall in battle, to offer a headstone, a finally resting place that loved ones can visit to honor their sacrifice. But what about those who fall and cannot be identified? In this episode, our time machine welcomes aboard readers ages 7 to 97, with a book that's perfect for Memorial Day. Since 1937, an elite body of guards began the round-the-clock vigil that continues to this day, steeped in tradition, and dedicated to honoring our nameless war dead. Our guide into one of the most sacred places in the United States, within Arlington National Cemetery, is Jeff Gottesfeld who brings us the illustrated history, Twenty-One Steps: Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. You can find him at JeffGottesfeldWriter.com, as well as on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn. Gottesfeld is a novelist, playwright, screen-and-TV writer whose work (including The Tree in the Courtyard: Looking Through Anne Frank's Window) has earned awards from the American Library Association, the Writers Guild of America, and the National Council for the Social Studies. Matt Tavares is the author-illustrator, who has brought his talents to many previous books including Henry Aaron’s Dream, There Goes Ted Williams, Becoming Babe Ruth, and the New York Times bestseller Dasher. Find him at MattTavares.com, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Google+.
51 minutes | May 16, 2022
Candice Millard – River of the Gods: Genius, Courage, and Betrayal in the Search for the Source of the Nile
May 16, 2022 - Today, mapping the source of the Nile River is as easy as a Google search, but the mystery intrigued humanity for centuries. In this episode, best-selling author Candice Millard introduces us to the men who won a race worthy of Indiana Jones in River of the Gods: Genius, Courage, and Betrayal in the Search for the Source of the Nile. We last met up with Candice Millard to discuss her book, Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape and the Making of Winston Churchill. Regular listeners have also heard me praise Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine & the Murder of a President as well as The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey. For more, visit CandiceMillard.com or follow her @Candice_Millard on Twitter and like her at Facebook. Thanks to Todd Arrington, who we met up with to chat about his book, The Last Lincoln Republican: The Presidential Election of 1880. Todd is site manager at James A. Garfield National Historic Site in Mentor, Ohio. Music credit: "Temple of Endless Sands" by Darren Curtis.
55 minutes | May 2, 2022
Sheila Myers – The Truth of Who You Are (a Novel)
May 2, 2022 - Imagine you're struggling to feed your family during the Great Depression, and you cause a tragic accident at work. Do you risk your precious job at a time of sky-high unemployment and breadlines, or let someone else take the fall for what you did wrong? We'll meet a young man who faced that dilemma with award-winning novelist Sheila Myers who brings us The Truth of Who You Are. In this based-on-a-true-story work of historical fiction, we meet Ben Taylor, whose decision stateside with the New Deal's Civilian Conservation Corps follows him from Great Smoky Mountains all way to the France during the Battle of the Bulge and back. Sheila Myers is a college professor of ecology in Upstate New York. Her previous work of historical fiction earned the 2017 Best Book of Fiction by the Adirondack Center for Writing. Sheila's Durant Family Saga followed Union Pacific Railroad tycoon Dr. Thomas C. Durant, and his children, from the 1870s throughout their boom-and-bust lives. We interviewed her about each book in the trilogy. Book 1: Imaginary Brightness Book 2: Castles in the Air Book 3: The Night Is Done Visit our guest at SheilaMyers.com, or on Twitter and Facebook. Special thanks to Rob Hilliard for submitting a question for the interview. You can hear my conversation with Rob about his book, A Season on the Allegheny, in our archives wherever you enjoy the show.
53 minutes | Apr 18, 2022
Deborah Cohen – Last Call at the Hotel Imperial: The Reporters Who Took on a World at War
April 18, 2022 - If a group of World War Two-era journalists invited you out for drinks, ready to open up about their interviews with everyone from Gandhi and Neru to Mussolini and Hitler, what would say? Readers get that opportunity with Deborah Cohen who brings us Last Call at the Hotel Imperial: The Reporters Who Took on a World at War. In this episode, our time machine welcomes aboard journalists John Gunther, H. R. Knickerbocker, Vincent Sheean, and Dorothy Thompson, who have do their job before and during the war, confronting the likes of Hitler and Mussolini, but also isolationist forces who think dictators might not be so bad. Deborah Cohen is the author of The War Come Home: Disabled Veterans in Britain and Germany, 1914-1939, Household Gods: The British and Their Possessions, and Family Secrets. She is also the Richard W. Leopold Professor of History at Northwestern University, focusing on modern Europe. Visit her at DeborahCohen.com or @DeborahACohen on Twitter. Special thanks to Cara Robertson for sending this great book our way. In our archives, you can listen to Cara chatting about her book The Trial of Lizzie Borden: A True Story.
55 minutes | Apr 4, 2022
Meriel Schindler – The Lost Café Schindler: One Family, Two Wars, and the Search for Truth
April 4, 2022 - What would you do if your estranged father died, leaving behind piles of Nazi-era documents related to the fate of your family's café in the world wars? In this episode, our time machine travels back to the inter-war years, to meet a Jewish family rocked by the turmoil of Austria-Hungary and them Germany coming out on the losing side. Our guide on this journey is Meriel Schindler who brings us The Lost Café Schindler: One Family, Two Wars, and the Search for Truth. After her father Kurt's death, Meriel was left to confront their broken relationship, and untangle the truth behind the tales he spun -- stories of an extraordinary family tree featuring Franz Kafka, Oskar Schindler, the Jewish doctor who treated Hitler’s and his mother, and others. Only one thing was concrete: The café that the Nazis stole when her family was forced to flee. Find our guest at MerielSchindler.com, or at @MerielSchindler on Twitter. Special thanks investigative journalist Gerald Posner for submitting a video question on anti-Semitism for The Lost Café Schindler, and also providing a blurb for the book. Gerald has done three previous interviews about his books: God’s Bankers: A History of Money and Power at the Vatican Pharma: Greed, Lies, and the Poisoning of America Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK We also cite my conversation with Gerald's wife and writing partner, Trisha, and her book The Pharmacist of Auschwitz: The Untold Story .
50 minutes | Mar 21, 2022
Mike Guardia – Skybreak: The 58th Fighter Squadron in Desert Storm
March 21, 2022 - Who were the young American pilots who launched their fighter jets into the wild blue yonder during the first Gulf Wear, aiming to pry tiny Kuwait from Saddam Hussein's fist? In this episode, we'll travel back to January 17, 1991, as Desert Shield transforms into Desert Storm high in the skies over Iraq. Once there, we'll meet those American airmen -- and the teams on the ground that kept their F-15C's flying against Soviet MiG-29 Fulcrums -- with internationally acclaimed military historian and U.S. Army veteran Mike Guardia who brings us Skybreak: The 58th Fighter Squadron in Desert Storm. Mike Guardia served six years on active duty as an Armor Officer and is widely praised for his acclaimed biography Hal Moore: A Soldier Once…and Always, chronicling the life of LTG Harold G. Moore, whose leadership you may recall from the Mel Gibson's portrayal in the film We Were Soldiers. Mike has been nominated for the Army Historical Foundation’s Distinguished Book Award not once but twice. In 2021, he was named Author of the Year by the Military Writers Society of America. Visit our guest at MikeGuardia.com, or on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.