Blog

Electronic Music’s First Century and the Theremin

Electronic Music’s First Century and the Theremin

Sep 20 2019

The theremin kicked off the first century of electronic music. The story twists from radio engineers in World War I Russia to Jazz Age New York and the stage of Carnegie Hall.

California in a World War II  Security Campaign

California in a World War II Security Campaign

Aug 29 2019

California’s natural bounty has been a marvel for centuries, from the redwood forests to the waters and mountains. During World War II…

From Family Station Wagon to the Apollo Moon Rover

From Family Station Wagon to the Apollo Moon Rover

Jul 10 2019

For me, Apollo is the story of my father William Taylor, a mid-level engineer behind the lunar rover.

Can Assembling Immigrant Stories Bring Change?

Can Assembling Immigrant Stories Bring Change?

Jun 20 2019

Recently I got a letter in the mail from former U.S. Treasury Secretary Michael Blumenthal. This was not completely out of the…

Honoring D-Day’s 75th Anniversary

Honoring D-Day’s 75th Anniversary

Jun 06 2019

On the morning of June 6, 1944 American soldiers landed on the beaches of Normandy to retake Europe, unsure of what lay…

Cork Wars in BookStory

Cork Wars in BookStory

May 31 2019

One of my favorite history podcasts, BackStory, selected my book Cork Wars for its monthly book club, BookStory. So the other day…

Q&A: History, Cork Wars, and How Stories Sometimes Find Me

Q&A: History, Cork Wars, and How Stories Sometimes Find Me

May 20 2019

Not long ago I had the pleasure of talking with the fine writer Cathy Alter for the Washington Independent Review of Books.

Uncovering the Secret History of a Brooklyn Businessman

Uncovering the Secret History of a Brooklyn Businessman

May 14 2019

My essay on Literary Hub explores how writing about families can lead you down twisting paths.

WW2 Podcast – Cork Wars and the Arsenal of Democracy

WW2 Podcast – Cork Wars and the Arsenal of Democracy

May 05 2019

In a new episode, Angus and I discuss Cork Wars and the circumstances that set up one small industry’s unexpectedly critical importance during the war.

BackStory podcast: 20th-century Industrial Disasters Still Affect Us

BackStory podcast: 20th-century Industrial Disasters Still Affect Us

Apr 19 2019

Our conversation ranged across the fears of sabotage in America, the role of cork in American industry, innovation, and wartime intelligence.