240 episodes

A special book, person or place has the power to transport us into the past, to times and moments long before we were born. You may reach the last page of a biography and mourn a person who died a century ago, or meet a fictional character so vivid, you become lifelong friends. The History Author Show vaults beyond the usual layman's questions, and offers a show by history lovers for history lovers. Enjoy fascinating guests who write history in their daily lives, including award-winning writers from publishers like Simon & Schuster. These are the people who build time machines with their words. New episodes every two weeks.

History Author Show Dean Karayanis

    • History
    • 4.9, 57 Ratings

A special book, person or place has the power to transport us into the past, to times and moments long before we were born. You may reach the last page of a biography and mourn a person who died a century ago, or meet a fictional character so vivid, you become lifelong friends. The History Author Show vaults beyond the usual layman's questions, and offers a show by history lovers for history lovers. Enjoy fascinating guests who write history in their daily lives, including award-winning writers from publishers like Simon & Schuster. These are the people who build time machines with their words. New episodes every two weeks.

    Cara Robertson – The Trial of Lizzie Borden

    Cara Robertson – The Trial of Lizzie Borden

    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    Based on transcripts of the proceedings, newspaper accounts, unpublished recollections of citizens in Fall River, Massachusetts -- and recently unearthed letters from Lizzie -- the book brings us inside a case that shook the deeply held convictions, assumptions and social anxieties of the 19th Century's twilight.



    Cara Robertson began researching the Borden case as an undergraduate at Harvard and continued while earning an Oxford PhD and JD from Stanford Law School. She clerked at the Supreme Court of the United States for two justices and served as a legal adviser to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia at The Hague.



    Learn more about the book and cast your verdict -- guilty or not guilty -- at TrialofLizzieBorden.com.







     



     



     

    • 55 min
    Sunny Stalter-Pace – Imitation Artist: Gertrude Hoffmann’s Life in Vaudeville and Dance

    Sunny Stalter-Pace – Imitation Artist: Gertrude Hoffmann’s Life in Vaudeville and Dance

    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 Europe and popularizing them for a broader American audience. She started as a pantomime ballet girl in the Gay Nineties, grew up with Vaudeville, and later worked as a choreographer and teacher, living well into the 1960's.



    Joining us in our time machine is the Hargis associate professor of American literature at Auburn University, Sunny Stalter-Pace, who brings us, Imitation Artist: Gertrude Hoffmann's Life in Vaudeville and Dance. Find our guest online at SunnyStalterPace.com or on Twitter @SLStalter.







     



     



     

    • 1 hr
    Charles Leerhsen – Butch Cassidy: The True Story of an American Outlaw

    Charles Leerhsen – Butch Cassidy: The True Story of an American Outlaw

    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 sensationalized, thinly researched Hollywood depictions of Butch, you'll find the real man even more entertaining and charming. Charles Leerhsen previously joined us to discuss one of my all-time favorite books Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty. In it, he redeems one of baseball's all-time greats, stripping away the lies of the sensationalist sportswriter, Al Stump, who concocted tales of a brutal, belligerent racist.



    Now, he aims the same careful eye to Butch, digging through legends and tall tales to paint a complete picture of an American original who just wanted to be liked -- and to avoid the 19th Century version of the cubicle life.



    You've Charles Leerhsen's work everywhere from Sports Illustrated and Esquire to The New York Times Magazine and People. He has also been an editor at SI, Us Weekly, and Newsweek. Find him @CharlesLeerhsen on Twitter and at CharlesLeerhsen.com.







     



     



     

    • 1 hr
    Christian Di Spigna – Founding Martyr: The Life and Death of Dr. Joseph Warren

    Christian Di Spigna – Founding Martyr: The Life and Death of Dr. Joseph Warren

    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 expert on the history of the era with a real passion for bringing the Revolution to life.



    Visit him at FoundingMartyr.com or Martyr1776 on Twitter.



    Since Dr. Warren stoked the flame of liberty in taverns, we also discussed my interview with Robert Norden at The '76 House in Tappan, New York. It's America's oldest restaurant, and a spot where all the major Continentals -- including George Washington -- spent time and took their meals.



    It's also where the patriots held Benedict Arnold's British conspirator, Maj. John André, on the evening before his execution, as we discussed with Selene Castrovilla in her illustrated book, Revolutionary Rogues: John André and Benedict Arnold.







     



     

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Gerald Posner – Pharma: Greed, Lies, and the Poisoning of America

    Gerald Posner – Pharma: Greed, Lies, and the Poisoning of America

    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 the marketers who gave us infamous scourges like Thalidomide and the opioid crisis.



    Yes, for every polio vaccine, there are those who lose sight of their noble mission to first do no harm, in the face of massive piles of corrupting cash and compliant congresses that are more lap dogs than watch dogs.



    Gerald Posner is a distinguished attorney, Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, and an Honors Graduate of Hastings Law School. He's written definitive books on everything from the Nazi "Angel of Death" Josef Mengele, the Oklahoma City Bombing, 9/11, and Motown, to the JFK and Martin Luther King, Jr. assassinations. He previously appeared on the History Author Show to discuss his 2015 book, God’s Bankers: A History of Money and Power at the Vatican.



    We also welcomed Gerald's wife and research partner, Trisha, who shared the story behind her chilling biography, The Pharmacist of Auschwitz: The Untold Story.



    Visit Posner.com for more on our guest, and follow him @GeraldPosner on Twitter, Facebook, and Posnergram on Instagram.







     



     



     

    • 1 hr 12 min
    Benjamin Runkle – Generals in the Making

    Benjamin Runkle – Generals in the Making

    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 years, when the already lean U.S. Armed Forces found themselves squeezed even further by the Great Depression and isolationist sentiment, all while facing



    strains on marriages, bouts with the bottle, the deaths of wives or children, backwater postings, and stagnant chances for promotion.



    In addition to his service, for which he earned a Bronze Star during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Benjamin Runkle has worked as a presidential speechwriter, Department of Defense official, director at the National Security Council, and professional staff member on the House Armed Services Committee. He is currently a senior policy fellow with Artis International and adjunct lecturer in Johns Hopkins University's Global Security Program. He holds a PhD from Harvard.



    Check out Dr. Runkle's previous book, Wanted Dead or Alive: Manhunts from Geronimo to Bin Laden. You can find more of his work in major newspapers and periodicals, sharing his insights as America navigates the dangers of the 21st Century world. Also in this episode, we compared the wilderness years of generals like Ike, Patton, Douglas MacArthur, Matthew Ridgway, and Omar Bradley to Ulysses S. Grant's similar struggles between the Mexican and Civil Wars.



    Offering up a question on those parallels was Donald L. Miller, who recently joined us to discuss his book, Vicksburg: Grant's Campaign That Broke the Confederacy.







     



     

    • 1 hr 19 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
57 Ratings

57 Ratings

agapanthus327 ,

Enjoyable and informative

I tried to avoid listening to this podcast. It sounded so drearily educational that I could not find it attractive. I was sooo wrong. This is a fascinating podcast, made more so by excellent interviews of people who are clearly expert and enthusiastic about their subjects.

I have bought several books after listening to their authors.

I do not think Dean knows how to do a bad job. I hope he never figures out how to do so.

Puketastic ,

A great conversation

Dean does a great job. He's prepared and entices his guests to be interesting, which they always are, even if you weren't interested in the topic going in. One of the bes subscription choices you can make.

HelloandNo ,

Excellent pod

Love this show. Always keeps me interested and always look forward to new episodes. Can’t recommend it enough.

-Tabby from Your New Best Friends podcast

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