136 episodes

Eclectic interviews with historians, authors and other interesting guests. Moderated by Rob Mellon.

History Ago Go Rob Mellon

    • History
    • 4.9 • 30 Ratings

Eclectic interviews with historians, authors and other interesting guests. Moderated by Rob Mellon.

    Gangsters vs. Nazis: How Jewish Mobsters Battled Nazis in WW2 Era America (Michael Benson)

    Gangsters vs. Nazis: How Jewish Mobsters Battled Nazis in WW2 Era America (Michael Benson)

    As Adolph Hitler rose to power in 1930s Germany, a growing wave of fascism began to take root on American soil. Nazi activists started to gather in major American cities, and by 1933, there were more than one-hundred anti-Semitic groups operating openly in the United States. Few Americans dared to speak out or fight back—until an organized resistance of notorious mobsters waged their own personal war against the Nazis in their midst. Gangland-style. . . .

    Packed with surprising, little-known facts, graphic details, and unforgettable personalities, Gangsters vs. Nazis chronicles the mob’s most ruthless tactics in taking down fascism—inspiring ordinary Americans to join them in their fight. The book culminates in one of the most infamous events of the pre-war era—the 1939 Nazi rally in Madison Square Garden—in which law-abiding citizens stood alongside hardened criminals to fight for the soul of a nation. This is the story of the mob that’s rarely told—one of the most fascinating chapters in American history and American organized crime.

    HOST:  Rob Mellon

    FEATURED BREW:  Almost Famous New England IPA, Torch and Crown Brewing Company, New York, New York

    BOOK:  Gangsters vs. Nazis: How Jewish Mobsters Battled Nazis in WW2 Era America 
    https://www.amazon.com/Gangsters-vs-Nazis-Mobsters-Battled/dp/0806541792/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2LJYOXW8FOQYF&keywords=gangsters+vs+nazis+michael+benson&qid=1664750956&qu=eyJxc2MiOiIxLjI3IiwicXNhIjoiMS4wMiIsInFzcCI6IjEuMjMifQ%3D%3D&sprefix=gangsters+vs+%2Caps%2C158&sr=8-1

    MUSIC:  BoneS Fork
    https://bonesfork.com/

    • 51 min
    The Clusterf#ck Crusade: The Diversion, Intrigue, and Disastrous Mishandling of the Fourth Crusade (Patrick Hotle)

    The Clusterf#ck Crusade: The Diversion, Intrigue, and Disastrous Mishandling of the Fourth Crusade (Patrick Hotle)

    Dr. Patrick Hotle discusses the ill-fated and disastrous Fourth Crusade.   Starting with a lively medieval tournament to the Crusader army working with the Venetians to the palace intrigue of the Byzantine Empire.   The story includes interesting characters, twists and turns, fights against other Christians, and spoiler alert the journey never made it to the Holy Land - if that was ever the target to begin with. 

    HOST:  Rob Mellon

    FEATURED BREW:  Lost Lager, BrewDog Brewery, Columbus, Ohio

    MUSIC:  BoneS Fork
    https://bonesfork.com/

    • 56 min
    The Colony: Faith and Blood in a Promised Land (Sally Denton)

    The Colony: Faith and Blood in a Promised Land (Sally Denton)

    On the morning of November 4, 2019, an unassuming caravan of women and children was ambushed by masked gunmen on a desolate stretch of road in northern Mexico controlled by the Sinaloa drug cartel. Firing semi-automatic weapons, the attackers killed nine people and gravely injured five more. The victims were members of the LeBaron and La Mora communities―fundamentalist Mormons whose forebears broke from the LDS Church and settled in Mexico when their religion outlawed polygamy in the late nineteenth century. The massacre produced international headlines for weeks, and prompted President Donald Trump to threaten to send in the US Army.
    In The Colony, bestselling investigative journalist Sally Denton picks up where the initial, incomplete reporting on the attacks ended, and delves into the complex story of the LeBaron clan. Their homestead―Colonia LeBaron―is a portal into the past, a place that offers a glimpse of life within a polygamous community on an arid and dangerous frontier in the mid-1800s, though with smartphones and machine guns. Rooting her narrative in written sources as well as interviews with anonymous women from LeBaron itself, Denton unfolds an epic, disturbing tale that spans the first polygamist emigrations to Mexico through the LeBarons’ internal blood feud in the 1970s―started by Ervil LeBaron, known as the “Mormon Manson”―and up to the family’s recent alliance with the NXIVM sex cult, whose now-imprisoned leader, Keith Raniere, may have based his practices on the society he witnessed in Colonia LeBaron.
    A mesmerizing feat of investigative journalism, The Colony doubles as an unforgettable account of sisterhood that can flourish in polygamist communities, against the odds.

    HOST:  Rob Mellon

    FEATURED BREW:  Sucker Punch Watermelon Sour, Three Nations Brewing Company, Carrollton, Texas

    BOOK:  The Colony: Faith and Blood in a Promised Land
    https://www.amazon.com/Colony-Faith-Blood-Promised-Land/dp/163149807X/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=sally+denton&qid=1663638544&s=books&sr=1-1

    MUSIC:  BoneS Fork
    https://bonesfork.com/

    • 50 min
    The Pope at War: The Secret History of Pius XII, Mussolini, and Hitler (David Kertzer)

    The Pope at War: The Secret History of Pius XII, Mussolini, and Hitler (David Kertzer)

    When Pope Pius XII died in 1958, his papers were sealed in the Vatican Secret Archives, leaving unanswered questions about what he knew and did during World War II. Those questions have only grown and festered, making Pius XII one of the most controversial popes in Church history, especially now as the Vatican prepares to canonize him.

    In 2020, Pius XII’s archives were finally opened, and David I. Kertzer—widely recognized as one of the world’s leading Vatican scholars—has been mining this new material ever since, revealing how the pope came to set aside moral leadership in order to preserve his church’s power.

    Based on thousands of never-before-seen documents not only from the Vatican, but from archives in Italy, Germany, France, Britain, and the United States, The Pope at War paints a new, dramatic portrait of what the pope did and did not do as war enveloped the continent and as the Nazis began their systematic mass murder of Europe’s Jews. The book clears away the myths and sheer falsehoods surrounding the pope’s actions from 1939 to 1945, showing why the pope repeatedly bent to the wills of Hitler and Mussolini.

    HOST:  Rob Mellon

    FEATURED BREW:  Pope's Imperial Pumpkin Ale, Millersburg Brewing Company, Millersburg, Ohio

    BOOK:  The Pope at War: The Secret History of Pius XII, Mussolini, and Hitler
    https://www.amazon.com/Pope-War-Secret-History-Mussolini/dp/0812989945/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=david+kertzer&qid=1663123186&s=books&sr=1-2

    MUSIC:  BoneS Fork
    https://bonesfork.com/

    • 47 min
    The President's Book of Secrets: The Untold Story of Intelligence Briefings to American Presidents (David Priess)

    The President's Book of Secrets: The Untold Story of Intelligence Briefings to American Presidents (David Priess)

    Every president has had a unique and complicated relationship with the intelligence community. While some have been coolly distant, even adversarial, others have found their intelligence agencies to be among the most valuable instruments of policy and power.

    The details of most PDBs are highly classified, and will remain so for many years. But the process by which the intelligence community develops and presents the Book is a fascinating look into the operation of power at the highest levels. David Priess, a former intelligence officer and daily briefer, has interviewed every living president and vice president as well as more than one hundred others intimately involved with the production and delivery of the president's book of secrets. He offers an unprecedented window into the decision making of every president from Kennedy to Obama, with many character-rich stories revealed here for the first time.

    HOST:  Rob Mellon

    FEATURED BREW:  Singel Belgian-style Blonde Ale, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, Richmond, Virginia

    BOOK:  The President's Book of Secrets: The Untold Story of Intelligence Briefings to American Presidents
    https://www.amazon.com/Presidents-Book-Secrets-Intelligence-Briefings/dp/161039769X/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

    MUSIC:  Bones Fork
    https://bonesfork.com/

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Action Park: Fast Times, Wild Rides, and the Untold Story of America's Most Dangerous Amusement Park (Andy Mulvihill)

    Action Park: Fast Times, Wild Rides, and the Untold Story of America's Most Dangerous Amusement Park (Andy Mulvihill)

    The outlandish, hilarious, terrifying, and almost impossible-to-believe story of the legendary, dangerous amusement park where millions were entertained and almost as many bruises were sustained, told through the eyes of the founder's son.

    Often called "Accident Park," "Class Action Park," or "Traction Park," Action Park was an American icon. Entertaining more than a million people a year in the 1980s, the New Jersey-based amusement playland placed no limits on danger or fun, a monument to the anything-goes spirit of the era that left guests in control of their own adventures--sometimes with tragic results. Though it closed its doors in 1996 after nearly twenty years, it has remained a subject of constant fascination ever since, an establishment completely anathema to our modern culture of rules and safety. Action Park is the first-ever unvarnished look at the history of this DIY Disneyland, as seen through the eyes of Andy Mulvihill, the son of the park's idiosyncratic founder, Gene Mulvihill. From his early days testing precarious rides to working his way up to chief lifeguard of the infamous Wave Pool to later helping run the whole park, Andy's story is equal parts hilarious and moving, chronicling the life and death of a uniquely American attraction, a wet and wild 1980s adolescence, and a son's struggle to understand his father's quixotic quest to become the Walt Disney of New Jersey. Packing in all of the excitement of a day at Action Park, this is destined to be one of the most unforgettable memoirs of the year.

    HOST:  Rob Mellon

    FEATURED BREW:  A Sunny Day American IPA, Five Dimes Brewery, Westwood, New Jersey

    BOOK:  Action Park: Fast Times, Wild Rides, and the Untold Story of America's Most Dangerous Amusement Park
    https://www.amazon.com/Action-Park-Andy-Mulvihill/dp/0143134515/ref=sr_1_2?crid=3U2KWYLUVD7SQ&keywords=action+park&qid=1661136252&sprefix=action+park%2Caps%2C99&sr=8-2

    MUSIC:  BoneS Fork
    https://bonesfork.com/

    • 51 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
30 Ratings

30 Ratings

Chuck--o ,

The Only Podcast That I Can Say is, Hooah!”

One of my favorites which I look forward to every week. Mr. Mellon is not only a terrific interviewer, but brings to the show his experience as a career army officer, former state house candidate, high school teacher, beer connoisseur, and above all a true historian. I particularly like the laid back nature when speaking to any of his guests; whether they be a renowned high-minded best selling author, or a relatively unknown “regular folk” kind of person. You get the same from this host, and it’s comforting for both the guest and listener. It’s a must-listen for any history buffs or even casual observer!

DJTSucks ,

Fr. Aaron

Really enjoy the podcast but loved the reference to the great Fr. Aaron. He woke me up to history and married my wife and I. He was a kind soul and generous with his time and talent.

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