June 2020 Issue of The Throwback Now Available

The June issue of The Throwback, my monthly history-themed e-newsletter, takes a look back at the ultimate social-distancing experiment–Biosphere II. The prototype for a planetary commune was plagued by media controversy and outsized expectations–and that’s even before Steve Bannon showed up. Also covered is the recent History Channel miniseries on Ulysses S. Grant and why…

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Australian Radio Appearance

I had the pleasure of speaking about the strange history of the Biosphere 2 with the Late Night Live program in Australia on Tuesday morning. Well, Tuesday night there. Or maybe it was Wednesday? Who knows. Maybe it was garbage day. Can’t tell anymore. Maybe like the Biospherians who spent two years inside a glass…

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May 2020 Issue of the Throwback

The May issue of The Throwback, my monthly history-themed e-newsletter, includes a look at how pandemics of the past created the cities of the present, a kamikaze attack on a WWII hospital ship, and perhaps the most bizarre incident in presidential history. There are also recommendations of a book on the Kent State shootings, a…

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April 2020 Issue of The Throwback

The April issue of The Throwback, my monthly history-themed e-newsletter, includes a recommendation of a new Netflix series on Malcolm X, a book on John Adams and the Boston Massacre Trials co-authored by an ABC legal analyst, along with a podcast recommendation and a plea for indie bookstores in these difficult times. Click here to…

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BYU Radio’s Constant Wonder Appearance

It was great to take a break from our “new normal” last week and talk about more fun subjects, like say, Irish immigrants attacking Canada 150 years ago with BYU Radio’s Constant Wonder program. Kudos for the Canadian Bacon and South Park clips in the intro! Listen here: https://bit.ly/3awaa4q

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March 2020 Issue of The Throwback

My monthly e-newsletter, The Throwback, is filled with history stories that will make you say “Wait? What?” Click here to read this month’s edition, in which I talk about George Washington’s connection to St. Patrick’s Day and how hatred of the Irish resulted in a scar on the Washington Monument that is still visible today.…

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When the Irish Invaded Canada Now in Paperback

This St. Patrick’s Day, hoist a book with that Guinness! Happy to announce that When the Irish Invaded Canada is now available in paperback from Anchor Books. When the Irish Invaded Canada tells the incredible true story of the Irish-American Civil War veterans who undertook one of the most fantastical missions in military history—to seize…

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How a Comic Book Inspired the Civil Rights Movement

Shortly after noon on August 26, 1961, Hollis Watkins and Curtis Elmer Hayes filled two vacant stools at the Woolworth’s lunch counter in McComb, Mississippi. When the two African American students were refused service at the segregated dining spot, police arrested the pair for failing to “disperse and move on” in violation of Jim Crow laws.…

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February 2020 Edition of The Throwback

My monthly e-newsletter, The Throwback, is filled with history stories that will make you say “Wait? What?” Click here to read this month’s edition, in which I talk all things presidential. I talk about two of America’s greatest presidents along with one of the worst. Also, presidential drinking habits, a presidential podcast, and a new…

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How the Gilded Age’s Top 1 Percent Thrived on Corruption

“This is a government of the people, by the people and for the people no longer. It is a government by the corporations, of the corporations and for the corporations.” Rutherford B. Hayes, 1886. Gilded Age political corruption thrived because many public officials didn’t earn salaries but a cut of fees or taxes they collected,…

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