History Ago Go

History Ago Go

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

Episodes

September 25, 2022 56 min

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

FE...

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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 i...

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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...

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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 fascin...

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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, th...

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His comrades called him “Killer.” Of the elite paratroopers who served in the venerated “Band of Brothers” during the Second World War, none were more enigmatic than Ronald Speirs. Rumored to have gunned down enemy prisoners and even one of his own disobedient sergeants, Speirs became a foxhole legend among his troops. But who was the real Lieutenant Speirs?

In Fierce Valor, historians Jared Frederick and Erik Dorr unveil the fulle...

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The heroic story of the founding of the U.S. Navy during the Revolution has been told many times, yet largely missing from maritime histories of America’s first war is the ragtag fleet of private vessels that truly revealed the new nation’s character―above all, its ambition and entrepreneurial ethos.

In Rebels at Sea, best-selling historian Eric Jay Dolin corrects that significant omission, and contends that privateers, as they were...

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Known as the “Father of the Nuclear Navy,” Admiral Hyman George Rickover (1899–1986) remains an almost mythical figure in the United States Navy. A brilliant engineer with a ferocious will and combative personality, he oversaw the invention of the world’s first practical nuclear power reactor. As important as the transition from sail to steam, his development of nuclear-propelled submarines and ships transformed naval power and Col...

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When Britain voted to leave the European Union in 2016, the 48 percent who wanted to stay and the 52 percent who wanted to go each accused the other of stupidity, fraud, and treason. In reality, the Brexit debate merely reran a script written ten thousand years earlier, when the rising seas physically separated the British Isles from the European continent. Ever since, geography has been destiny―yet it is humans who get to decide w...

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What would Willa Cather's widely read and cherished novels have looked like if she had never met magazine editor and copywriter Edith Lewis? In this groundbreaking book on Cather's relationship with her life partner, author Melissa J. Homestead counters the established portrayal of Cather as a solitary genius and reassesses the role that Lewis, who has so far been rendered largely invisible by scholars, played in shaping Ca...

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From the moment the first machine gun rang out over the Western Front, one thing was clear: mankind’s military technology had wildly surpassed its medical capabilities. Bodies were battered, gouged, hacked, and gassed. The First World War claimed millions of lives and left millions more wounded and disfigured. In the midst of this brutality, however, there were also those who strove to alleviate suffering. The Facemaker tells the e...

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The Supreme Court is usually seen as protector of our liberties: it ended segregation, was a guarantor of fair trials, and safeguarded free speech and the vote. But this narrative derives mostly from a short period, from the 1930s to the early 1970s. Before then, the Court spent a century largely ignoring or suppressing basic rights, while the fifty years since 1970 have witnessed a mostly accelerating retreat from racial justice.

F...

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The past few years have seen relations between China and the United States shift, from enthusiastic economic partners, to wary frenemies, to open rivals. Americans have been slow to wake up to the challenges posed by the Chinese Communist Party. Why did this happen? And what can we do about it?
 
In America Second, Isaac Stone Fish traces the evolution of the Party’s influence in America. He shows how America’s leaders initially welc...

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Detailed profiles of ten amazing women who lived in the Old West. They dared to step outside the traditional roles of wife and mother, and left society’s conventions behind them. These women engaged in a wide range of interests and professions, and their stories will inspire and entertain. They overcame incredible odds to make a place for themselves in their chosen world, despite the sometimes strong objections of both men and wome...

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Mostly hidden from public view, like an embarrassing family secret, scores of putative locks of George Washington’s hair are held, more than two centuries after his death, in the collections of America’s historical societies, public and academic archives, and museums. Excavating the origins of these bodily artifacts, Keith Beutler uncovers a forgotten strand of early American memory practices and emerging patriotic identity.

Between...

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Richard Overy sets out in Blood and Ruins to recast the way in which we view the Second World War and its origins and aftermath. As one of Britain’s most decorated and respected World War II historians, he argues that this was the “last imperial war,” with almost a century-long lead-up of global imperial expansion, which reached its peak in the territorial ambitions of Italy, Germany and Japan in the 1930s and early 1940s, before d...

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What causes people to forsake their country and take arms against it? What prompts their neighbors, hardly distinguishable in station or success, to defend that country against the rebels? That is the question H. W. Brands answers in his powerful new history of the American Revolution.
 
George Washington and Benjamin Franklin were the unlikeliest of rebels. Washington in the 1770s stood at the apex of Virginia society. Franklin was ...

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In this sweeping saga that spans empires, peoples, and nations, M. Scott Heerman chronicles the long history of slavery in the heart of the continent and traces its many iterations through law and social practice. Arguing that slavery had no fixed institutional form, Heerman traces practices of slavery through indigenous, French, and finally U.S. systems of captivity, inheritable slavery, lifelong indentureship, and the kidnapping ...

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A rollicking true-crime adventure about a rogue who trades in rare birds and their eggs—and the wildlife detective determined to stop him.

On May 3, 2010, an Irish national named Jeffrey Lendrum was apprehended at Britain’s Birmingham International Airport with a suspicious parcel strapped to his stomach. Inside were fourteen rare peregrine falcon eggs snatched from a remote cliffside in Wales.

So begins a tale almost too bizarre to ...

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This book tells the history of one of America's most popular soft drinks, Mountain Dew. The 300 page book brings you from the drink's earliest beginnings in 1946 all the way through to today's newer drinks like Mountain Dew LiveWire and Code Red. Learn about the Hatfield/McCoy feud that has been brewing for years over the bragging rights to Mountain Dew. This book gives you detailed information on who invented Mountain ...

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