Join host Marcus Smith for conversations that invite you to discover, explore, and reengage with the wonders of the world around you. Weekdays at 2p ET/11a PT
Filth Parties (originally aired September 23, 2020)
Dr. Joseph Goldberger and the Fight Against Pellagra
Guest: Alan M. Kraut, Professor of History at American University, and author of “Goldberger's War, the Life and Work of a Public Health Crusader”
Contrary to the popular medical opinion of the time, Dr. Joseph Goldberger discovered that pellagra, a rampant epidemic in the South, was not infectious but diet-related. But the truth was hard to bear for the Southern establishment, and Dr. Goldberger had to resort to throwing "filth parties" where he and his colleagues ingested the disease to make their point. Find out how his discoveries still affect the food you eat today.
How a Hungarian Physician Saved Women from Childbed Fever and Became the ‘Savior of Mothers’
Guest: Anthony Valerio, editor, teacher, and author of “Semmelweis”
Washing your hands isn’t just the best way to prevent COVID-19 in 2020—it was also the rallying cry of Ignaz Semmelweis, a young Hungarian doctor trying to end the scourge of childbed fever and lower maternal mortality rates in the 1840s, well before germ theory entered scientific thought.
The Lost American Colony (originally aired September 23, 2020)
The Lost American Colony
Guest: Scott Dawson, author of “The Lost Colony and Hatteras Island”
In 1587 a group of over one hundred English colonists departed to start a colony on Roanoke Island. After the leader John White left for a resupply in England he returned to find nothing left. What happened to these colonists and why can't we solve the mystery of the lost colony.
Atlantis: An Ancient Allegory
Guest: Stephen Kershaw, Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, and author of "The Search for Atlantis: A History of Plato’s Ideal State," and most recently "Barbarians: Rebellion and Resistance to the Roman Empire"
Atlantis is a Platonic, mythical allegory demonstrating the corruption of a previously moral society. But most people don't care about the allegory, they just want to find a mystical city. Plato would shake his head in disbelief if he could see what we've done with his tale.
Mayflower Tales (originally aired November 23, 2020)
Guest: Martyn Whittock, author of "Mayflower Lives: Pilgrims in a New World and the Early American Experience"
The stories of the Mayflower and Plymouth Colony have shaped the legend of the founding of America. We sort out fact from fiction in the stories of William Bradford, Tisquantum, Mary Chilton, John Howland, and, not to be missed, the romance of John Alden and Priscilla Mullins.
Guest: Jonathan Mack, attorney, official member of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, and author of "A Stranger Among Saints: Stephen Hopkins, The Man Who Survived Jamestown and Saved Plymouth"
Jonathan Mack shares the incredible story of his little-known ancestor. Distinguished by his knowledge of Native American cultures, Stephen Hopkins played a vital role in bridging the gap between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag. One of his early exploits even inspired Shakespeare.
Women Making it Happen (originally aired November 10, 2020)
Mother of Thanksgiving
Guest: Denise Kiernan, journalist, producer, and author of "We Gather Together: A Nation Divided, a President in Turmoil, and a Historic Campaign to Embrace Gratitude and Grace”
Sarah Josepha Hale was the mother of Thanksgiving. She campaigned for decades with various presidents, local leaders, and the readers of her incredibly popular journal "Godey’s Lady’s Book" to establish a national holiday of gratitude. She was a social influencer in her time, and she impacted fashion, the literary scene, and public opinion, especially about the need for this holiday.
Wives of POWs Brought their Husbands Home from Vietnam
Guest: Heath Hardage Lee, author of “The League of Wives: The Untold Story of the Women Who Took on the U.S. Government to Bring Their Husbands Home from Vietnam”
In 1967, the wives of POW/MIA soldiers in Vietnam revealed years of coded letters they had sent to their husbands, proving that their captors were violating the Geneva Convention’s rules for treating prisoners of war. The League of Wives helped change public perception of the war.
A Brilliant Disguise
Guest: Scott Eyman, formerly the literary critic at The Palm Beach Post and is the author or coauthor of fifteen books, including bestsellers on John Wayne and Robert J. Wagner. He’s author of a new book, "Cary Grant: A Brilliant Disguise, just released in October."
Despite a troubled childhood which complicated his adult life, Cary Grant became and remains one of the great icons in Hollywood. He did it by inventing his Cary Grant persona.
The Master of Suspense
Guest: Tony Lee Moral, author and film maker who has written three books on Alfred Hitchcock: "Hitchcock and the Making of Marnie," "The Making of Hitchcock's The Birds," and "Alfred Hitchcock's Movie Making Masterclass."
Sir Alfred Hitchcock, the Master of Suspense, was one of the most influential filmmakers of all time. His decades-long career produced classics such as Rebecca, North by Northwest, Rear Window, Vertigo, The Birds, and so much more.
Guest: John G. Turner, Author of "They Knew They Were Pilgrims: Plymouth Colony and the Contest for American Liberty," and Professor of Religious Studies at George Mason University in Virginia.
We’ve all heard the story of the Mayflower, with its tall-hat, buckled-shoes, dour-faced pilgrims who established religious freedom in America. According to historian John Tuner, though, the story is much more complex—and interesting—than that.
Guest: David J. Silverman, Professor of History at George Washington University, and the author of "This Land Is Their Land: The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving"
The Wampanoag tribe had a long history of dealing with Europeans before the Pilgrims, and the feast of Thanksgiving, we've come to know, is largely a myth. Making repairs to our misunderstandings of history can strengthen our collective American house.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Great content and depth
I have found the topics interesting, and discovered a number of ideas to pursue further. Favorites are cephalopods, running man, history of apples and tennis, rough hewn wood techniques, eat the Buddha, Wampanoag history and recipes from the Middle Ages. This is a great way to learn and develop a sense of wonder.
Bad and it is getting worse.
I had a great hopes for this podcast. The more I listen the more I notice how middle school knowledge is passed as a great knowledge. Only someone who slept through the school can find this interesting. Don’t waste your time.