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Episode 166: G. J. Meyer

American Rambler with Colin Woodward

Release Date: 02/18/2020

Episode 182: Chris Leahy show art Episode 182: Chris Leahy

American Rambler with Colin Woodward

Chris Leahy was a fellow traveler with Colin in his days at LSU. Since 2007, he's been a professor a Keuka College in upstate New York. He has a new book out, President without a Party: A Life of John Tyler (LSU Press, 2020). His biography began as a dissertation in Baton Rouge, where Chris studied under the imposing William J. Cooper (a previous podcast guest on American Rambler). Chris talks with Colin about his days at LSU as well as growing up in Baltimore and his time at Virginia Tech. Chris has been working on his biography for more than 20 years. Born in the first years of the American...

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Episode 181: Barclay Key show art Episode 181: Barclay Key

American Rambler with Colin Woodward

Barclay Key is a history professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He's a native of north Alabama, who was born into a working class family of farmers and textile workers. His father picked cotton before going to college and becoming a teacher. Barclay's Alabama roots help explain why he's a huge fan of Muscle Shoals area rockers Drive-By Truckers, whose music he has used in his history classes. Since graduating from the University of Florida, Dr. Key has traveled the world courtesy of Fulbright Scholarships that allowed him to teach in Poland and Mexico. He is back in Little...

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Episode 180: Robert Gudmestad show art Episode 180: Robert Gudmestad

American Rambler with Colin Woodward

Robert Gudmestad is a native of Minnesota who teaches history at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. He knows Colin from his days as a grad student at LSU, where they both worked with the imposing figure of Charles Royster, the late scholar of the Early Republic, the Civil War, and colonial Vietnam.  Bob is the author of two books, A Troublesome Commerce (2003), about the domestic slave trade, and Steamboats and the Rise of the Cotton Kingdom (2011). As he tells Colin, he never approached his career with much of a plan. He had a good job before he attended grad school. Even so, he...

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Episode 179: Mark Doyle show art Episode 179: Mark Doyle

American Rambler with Colin Woodward

Mark Doyle is a professor of history at Middle Tennessee State University. A native of Oklahoma who now resides in Nashville, he has lived for extended periods in New Orleans, Boston, and Ireland. His latest book is The Kinks: Songs of the Semi-Detached. Mark and Colin talk about the historical and sociological background of the Kinks' golden period in the late 1960s and early 1970s. More specifically, they discuss how the brilliant and multi-faceted Ray Davies, the Kinks' main songwriter and singer, commented on the profound changes going on around him. In the process, he and the Kinks made...

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Episode 178: Manisha Sinha show art Episode 178: Manisha Sinha

American Rambler with Colin Woodward

Manisha Sinha was born in India, but she moved to the U.S. to finish her education. Since graduating with a Ph.D. from Columbia--where she studied under Eric Foner--she has made an impact on the history world. Her first book, The Counterrevolution of Slavery (2000), based on her dissertation, was nominated for the Bancroft Prize. A few years ago, Politico named it as one of the ten books on slavery "you need to read." Her most recent book, The Slave's Cause: A History of Abolition (2016) won the coveted Frederick Douglass Prize.   Dr. Sinha stays busy. She lives in Massachusetts, but...

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Episode 177: Joseph Galloway show art Episode 177: Joseph Galloway

American Rambler with Colin Woodward

Joseph L. Galloway is the author of the 1992 bestselling book We Were Soldiers Once and Young, which was made into a hit 2002 movie starring Mel Gibson. The book was inspired, oddly, by a scene from the sequel to American Graffiti. Joe wrote We Were Soldiers with the help of Hal Moore (played by Gibson in the film), who was then a colonel. The book and movie examined the battle of Ia Drang, fought in November of 1965. It was the bloodiest battle of the war, and Joe Galloway saw it unfold. Joe has a new book out, , which he co-wrote with Marvin J. Wolf. Joe spent many years as a reporter, who...

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Episode 176: Heath Carpenter show art Episode 176: Heath Carpenter

American Rambler with Colin Woodward

Heath Carpenter, a professor of English at Harding University in Arkansas, is the author of The Philosopher King: T. Bone Burnett and the Ethic of a Southern Cultural Renaissance (2019). He is also a native Arkansan, who is friends with previous podcast guest Bonnie Montgomery (featured in his book). Heath has traveled widely, but his globe-hopping has only emphasized the importance of having strong roots in his home state. Musician and producer T. Bone Burnett has worked on such landmark soundtracks as Crazy Heart, Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?, and Cold Mountain and produced acts such as the...

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Episode 175: Bob Dylan show art Episode 175: Bob Dylan

American Rambler with Colin Woodward

Dr. Court Carney returns to the podcast to talk about Bob Dylan. Court is not only a fan, he has taught a class on Dylan at Stephen F. Austin State University, where he is a professor history.  Court's interest in Dylan began when he listened to his dad's copy of Nashville Skyline thirty years ago. In grad school, he took a deeper dive into the Zimmerman catalog by absorbing such classics as Blonde on Blonde, Blood on the Tracks, and John Wesley Harding. Court has also been fascinated by the Dylan-Guthrie connection, which has taken him to archives in Tulsa to examine Guthrie's personal...

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Episode 174: Drew Prehmus show art Episode 174: Drew Prehmus

American Rambler with Colin Woodward

Not many undergraduates publish a book, but Drew Prehmus did. Drew grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, where he now lives. In 2004, he enrolled at Hampden-Sydney College, where he majored in English. In his sophomore year, he started work on a book with Sam. The project took seven years to complete. The result was General Sam: A Biography of Lieutenant General Samuel Vaughan Wilson. Colin chats with Drew about his background, work at Hampden-Sydney, and the seven years he spent on Sam’s biography. He also provides an inside look at being a student at Hampden-Sydney as well as reminiscences about...

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Episode 173: Michael Foley show art Episode 173: Michael Foley

American Rambler with Colin Woodward

Michael Foley lives in France, where he is a professor of history at University Grenoble Alpes. He might be far from home, but Mike is used to moving around. The son of a blue collar dad, his father's work took the family around New England and, briefly, into Pennsylvania. He grew up in the culture of Democratic politics and small town meetings, which has informed his later work. Yet, as an undergrad, he went to Florida to pursue a business degree. After "five miserable years" working in Boston in the late 1980s as an auditor for mutual funds, Mike, inspired by historians of the civil rights...

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He lives in England now, but historian G. J. Meyer is a native of St. Louis, who developed his journalism chops at newspapers in the mid-west. Jerry rose in the ranks at the St. Louis Dispatch, and his writing won him a Neiman fellowship at Harvard. He published a book on a Memphis serial killer in 1974, but he eventually left journalism to work in corporate America, which became the basis for his second book, Executive Blues. He returned to writing full-time once he landed in New York and found a publisher for World Undone, a tour de force history of World War I.

In part one of his two part talk with Colin, Jerry discusses his winding path to becoming a full-time writer. He also talks about how World Undone was different from other books on the Great War, and how that tragic conflict changed the global landscape.