History Author Show

History Author Show

We've all been transported into the past by a special book, place or person. On the History Author Show, host Dean Karayanis and a team of correspondents bring you the people who build the time machines.... Show More

Episodes

October 19, 2020 44 min
October 19, 2020 - In 1887, the New York World newspaper laughed off 23-year-old Elizabeth Cochrane's dreams of being a reporter. Today, she's a New York City legend, known to history by the pen name Nellie Bly. But to sew up that dream job, Nellie had to go undercover in the closest thing Gilded Age Gotham had to hell: The asylums of Blackwell's Island on the East River.

Tonya Mitchell brings us a meticulously researche...
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October 5, 2020 - In 1881, an assassin shot President James A. Garfield just four months into his term, ending this noble leader's plans for carrying out Abraham Lincoln's legacy of equality for formerly enslaved Americans. But how did he get into the big chair?

Our time machine heads into the hurly burley of the 1880 election, the only time two Civil War veterans faced off across the Mason-Dixon line of politics. It's t...
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September 21, 2020 - The Great War is over, but the Spanish Influenza continues to deliver the butcher's bill. Everywhere, children are dying. But in Philadelphia, they're also disappearing -- and they all have one thing in common: They're immigrants. We dive into a riveting novel set 100 years ago that's eerily familiar today with acclaimed novelist Ellen Marie Wiseman.

She brings us The Orphan Collector, a Target B...
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Sep 7, 2020 - On September 11, 2001, Al-Qaeda sought to break the American union, aiming at what they saw as fatal flaws in our democratic system. Two decades later, the man who was governor of the Empire State on that day of infamy dares to ask, "Did the terrorists win?" In this episode, the 53rd governor of New York, George E. Pataki, joins us to discuss Beyond the Great Divide: How a Nation Became a Neighborhood, co-auth...
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Aug 24, 2020 - What if your grandparents had narrowly escaped a genocide that left one million people dead, just because they shared your faith and ethnic background? That's part of the Karayanis family story, in the mass murder of Greeks by Ottoman Turkey that followed the Great War.

Our guide back to the 20th Century's first genocide, is Greek-Australian Aris Tsifidis, who brings us The Genocide of the Greeks in Turkey: Su...
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June 15, 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 r...
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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 fr...
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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 sensationali...
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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...
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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 ...
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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 yea...
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May 18, 2020 - In an iconic, ad-libbed moment at the old Yankee Stadium, a terminally ill baseball player declared himself "the luckiest man on the face of the earth." A decade earlier, he'd sat down to write the remarkable story of his career in newspaper columns that remained buried for almost a century -- until now. In Lou Gehrig: The Lost Memoir, we meet Major League Baseball's most triumphant and tragic slugger...
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May 4, 2020 - What if a former U.S. congressman told you he had a secret about the most infamous presidential assassination, but died before revealing it? It's a turn-of-the-century whodunit, courtesy of historian David O. Stewart's novel, The Lincoln Deception (A Fraser and Cook Historical Mystery).

His Holmes and Watson team features the white Dr. Jamie Fraser, and African-American former baseball player, Speedwell Cook. W...
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April 20, 2020 - In 1863, the Confederate States held a last stronghold on the Mississippi River: Vicksburg. Losing it, and the slavocracy would be sliced in half, mortally wounding their cause. Donald L. Miller musters us into the Grand Army of the Republic's campaign to capture this city on its high bluff in Vicksburg: Grant's Campaign That Broke the Confederacy.

Donald L. Miller is the John Henry MacCracken Professor of H...
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April 6, 2020 80 min
April 6, 2020 - Pack your full-body swimsuit, everybody. We're headed for Coney Island in the summer of 1911, where we'll meet a young heiress, Peggy Batternberg. Peggy falls in love, dives into the seedy world where the other half lives, and stumbles upon the mystery of young women found murdered under the boardwalk.

Our time machine travels back to America's Playground, Coney Island, Brooklyn, with "writer, editor,...
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March 23, 2020 - Adolf Hitler ... had a need for speed. After all, it was the key feature in blitzkrieg, lightning war. So the Nazis poured resources into developing the fastest engines, sleekest race cars, and best drivers. Who dared stand against them? We'll meet the Jewish driver who took on these would-be Aryan supermen in Faster: How a Jewish Driver, an American Heiress, and a Legendary Car Beat Hitler’s Best.

For this jour...
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March 9, 2020 - Jerry Mitchell joins us with Race Against Time: A Reporter Reopens the Unsolved Murder Cases of the Civil Rights Era.  In addition to what we today know as the Mississippi Burning case, this unique memoir covers our guest's efforts in the assassination of Medgar Evers, the 16th Street Church bombing, and the firebombing of Vernon Dahmer.

By refusing to ignore pleas for justice when everyone else had given up hope...
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February 24, 2020 69 min
February 24, 2020 - What if the Revolution sparked in 1776 had collapsed? In this episode, our time machine travels back to the last days of the American Revolution, to track down rumors of an unthinkable plot by the Continental Army to mutiny over lack of pay. Only George Washington stood against the passions of men that may have included such patriots Alexander Hamilton and James Madison?

Infiltrating the plot against the governme...
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February 10, 2020 - Recorded live at the FDR Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, New York, our time machine travels back to the end of the Great War and the dawn of Prohibition. Jazz Age America picks a president, with flappers in all 48 states casting ballots for the first time as a half dozen once and future presidents compete for victory.

They are: Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Herbert Hoove...
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January 27, 2020 - Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Fred Kaplan drops in on the key flashpoints of the Nuclear Age, from Harry S Truman first getting word that the Manhattan Project had birthed its radioactive fruit, to the Cuban Missile Crisis and Reagan's peace offerings to Gorbachev, to modern fears of rogue nations and terrorists gaining access to the ultimate firecrackers.

Fred Kaplan is the national-security point man for...
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