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.
Jim Leeke – The Best Team Over There: The Untold Story of Grover Cleveland Alexander and the Great War
April 19, 2021 - How did the trauma of the First World War follow a baseball legend home, sending both his game and his life into downward spirals? Returning to introduce us to this tragic Hall of Famer is Jim Leeke, who brings us The Best Team Over There: The Untold Story of Grover Cleveland Alexander and the Great War.
Grover Cleveland "Pete" Alexander is a legendary name in baseball, but a key factor in his career -- months of service as an artillery sergeant in the Great War -- has been overlooked. Jim is a contributor to the Society for American Baseball Research Baseball Biography Project, as well as the writer or editor of several books on U.S. and military history. Visit our archives wherever you're watching or listening now for my previous conversations with Jim Leeke.
Howell's Storm: New York City's Official Rainmaker and the 1950 Drought
Nine Innings for the King: The Day Wartime London Stopped for Baseball, July 4, 1918
From the Dugouts to the Trenches: Baseball During the Great War
Matty Boy: A Civil War Novel for Young Readers
Follow Jim on Twitter at the handles @JimLeeke and @WW1Baseball.
Louis Picone – Grant’s Tomb: The Epic Death of Ulysses S. Grant and the Making of an American Pantheon
April 5, 2021 - How did the general who saved the Union and served two terms as president, earn so much love from the nation that they memorialized him with what's the largest mausoleum in the Western Hemisphere? We explore this story with Louis Picone in Grant's Tomb: The Epic Death of Ulysses S. Grant and the Making of an American Pantheon.
Louis and I previously caught up to discuss his books Where the Presidents Were Born: The History & Preservation of the Presidential Birthplaces and The President is Dead! The Extraordinary Stories of the Presidential Deaths, Final Days, Burials, and Beyond. In Grant's Tomb, he examines how Americans memorialized one of the most significant leaders in history, and how that man defied a death sentence from cancer to write his epic memoir and provide for his wife and family.
Learn more about our guest at LouisPicone.com, or connect with him across social media platforms LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Beverly Bell – The Murder of Marion Miley
March 22, 2021 - If you don't know the name Marion Miley, then prepare to meet someone you'll never forget. The young golfer had it all: brains, power, beauty, and a winning personality. It seemed only a matter of time before this 27-year-old phenom earned immortality on the links with a national championship.
But fate had other plans. Three burglars cut Marion's life short in a botched robbery, just weeks before Pearl Harbor plunged the nation into war. With a war to fight and millions being killed, the death of even a beloved athlete quickly fell from the world's thoughts.
Beverly Bell returns Marion Miley to her rightful spot as an inspiration in her meticulously researched novel about the forgotten tragedy, The Murder of Marion Miley -- a finalist for the 2020 U.S. Golf Association Herbert Warren Wind Book Award, the highest literary honor given by the USGA.
It describes in vivid detail the young athlete who enchanted fans in Lexington, Kentucky, and the world over, who desperately needed some good news amid the troubles of the Great Depression. The book explores not just Marion's death, but the manhunt and trial to bring her killers to justice.
Beverly Bell is an award-winning magazine and crime writer. Visit her at BeverlyKBell.com.
David Pietrusza – Too Long Ago: A Childhood Memory. A Vanished World.
March 8, 2021 - What happens when a legendary historian aims his keen eye in the rearview mirror, examining the places, people, and experiences that made him a great storyteller? Well, when the historian is David Pietrusza, the answer is the rich, funny and poignant memoir Too Long Ago: A Childhood Memory. A Vanished World.
Before returning us to the Amsterdam, NY, of Upstate New York in the 1950s and '60s, David Pietrusza wrote or edited a treasure trove of books and has appeared everywhere from C-SPAN and the History Channel, to ESPN and Fox Sports Channel, as well as too many fine radio shows to list. He is also featured on AMC's Making of the Mob: New York. It's easy to see why he's been called "one of the great political historians of all time."
David Pietrusza has sat down with me to discuss four of his previous books, interviews which you can find in our archives or below. They are:
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
For more, visit @DPietrusza on Twitter or DavidPietrusza.com.
Benjamin R. Justesen – Forgotten Legacy: William McKinley, George Henry White, and the Struggle for Black Equality
February 15, 2021 - There has been no more noble fight in all of history than the one guaranteeing equal rights for formerly enslaved people.
So how did America forget the Black congressman and a Civil War veteran president to ensure that all those Union soldiers hadn't died in vain -- and more importantly, that the words on those Reconstruction Era amendments to the Constitution guaranteeing rights to the freedmen, weren't just ink on the page, laughed at by marauding lynch mobs?
In this episode, we meet this overlooked odd couple with Benjamin R. Justesen who brings us Forgotten Legacy: William McKinley, George Henry White, and the Struggle for Black Equality. Justesen writes, "William McKinley's role as a sincere friend and benefactor of African-Americans may be one of the best-kept secrets in American political history." He also introduces us to the inspiring Congressman White, whose skill as an orator -- and later as the founder of Whitesboro, New Jersey -- is the stuff of legend.
Ben Justesen is a former journalist, teacher, and U.S. Foreign Service Officer whose previous book is George Henry White: An Even Chance in the Race of Life.
Paige Bowers & David Montague: Overnight Code — The Life of Raye Montague
February 8, 2012 - The U.S. Navy builds modern marvels: 100,000-ton hunks of metal that glide across the ocean rather than sinking like rocks. But how do they do it? The short answer is "computers." But it was Raye Montague who first designed a ship with that technology, doing so as a single mother during the height of the Cold War, and as a Black woman born into the segregated Little Rock of 1935. She literally let nothing stand in her way.
We meet this inspirational trailblazer in Overnight Code: The Life of Raye Montague, the Woman Who Revolutionized Naval Engineering thanks Raye's son, David R. Montague, and his co-author, Paige Bowers, who previously stopped by to chat about her debut book The General's Niece: The Little-Known de Gaulle Who Fought to Free Occupied France. You can enjoy that conversation in our archives wherever you're listening now.
Paige Bowers holds a master’s degree in modern European history and taught about French history and culture at Louisiana State University. David R. Montague earned a Ph.D. at Howard University and a BA at Morehouse College, both in Political Science, as well as an MA in Crime and Commerce at George Washington. He's the director of online learning and faculty mentoring at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
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.
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.
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