Albert Einstein was named Time Magazine's Man of the Century. He pioneered modern physics, created the Theory of Relativity, and became a world-renowned celebrity. Enjoy the surprising and entertaining true story of Albert Einstein and rediscover one of history's most prolific figures.
"Enjoyable Enough Biography"
Thomas Edison was named "The Wizard of Menlo Park." He invented the motion picture camera, founded General Electric, and registered over 1000 patents in his lifetime. Enjoy the surprising and entertaining true story of Thomas Edison and rediscover one of history's most prolific figures.
The most polarizing man of his era, Napoleon Bonaparte has remained a source of controversy ever since. Did his dictatorship crush the French Revolution, or carry its ideals to their logical conclusion? Was he a conqueror-tyrant who sought war for the sake of glory, or was he forced into conflict to defend his beloved France? Was he a throwback to 16th-century "absolute monarchs", or the great modernizer of 19th-century Europe? Or was he all of these things at once?
Benjamin Franklin was named "The First American." He was a founding father of the United States, revolutionized our understanding of electricity, and personifies American culture throughout the world. Enjoy the surprising and entertaining true story of Benjamin Franklin and rediscover one of history's most prolific figures.
Walt Disney was one of the twentieth century's greatest artists, a man whose name remains synonymous with American childhood. His iconic creations - Snow White, Cinderella, Bambi, Disneyland, and, of course, Mickey Mouse - have become fixtures of our cultural landscape. Behind the Disney magic and charm, however, was a life of constant turmoil and conflict.
Isaac Newton is one of the most influential scientists of all time. He wrote the Principia Mathematica, which transformed our understanding of the physical world; invented calculus; and was knighted by the queen of England. Enjoy the surprising and entertaining true story of Isaac Newton, and rediscover one of history's most prolific figures.
"Short but excellent"
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's name remains synonymous with genius, but his life was a whirlwind of controversy, jealousy, and clashing egos. In this highly enjoyable biography, Alexander Kennedy vividly brings Mozart and his times to life. We watch Mozart clash with family and friends, with archbishops and emperors, and we feel again the tragedy of his mysterious, premature death. And above all, we hear his eternal music, music that captivated a continent, defined a genre, and changed the world.
He was one of history's greatest conquerors, and in his day, his very name caused terror. His forces burned great cities to the ground, and killed on a scale that can only be called "genocide." But there was also another side to Genghis Khan, one that most people have never considered. He modernized the laws and customs of his people and unified much of Eurasia, spreading the trade and cultural influence of the Silk Road. For these accomplishments he is still celebrated as the greatest hero of the Mongolians.
In this compact, highly listenable new biography, Alexander Kennedy explores how Charles Darwin evolved alongside his theories, from a diffident failed clergyman to one of the greatest thinkers in human history. Kennedy insightfully probes Darwin's childhood and young adulthood for the roots of his genius, and shows how his ideas finally flowered into the theory of natural selection, the basis of all modern biology.
In this compact narrative biography, Alexander Kennedy drills through centuries of controversy to rediscover the audacious Christopher Columbus. Backed by equally audacious monarchs, Columbus leads an expedition to the Americas, fueled more by iron will than wisdom. But when his cruelty to both Spanish colonists and indigenous peoples leaves his reputation in tatters, the remaining years of Columbus's life become a desperate quest to restore his lost honor.
In this revealing, compact biography, Alexander Kennedy examines Twain's extraordinary life, expertly separating fact from fiction, biography from legend. Here we see how Twain rose from an impoverished boyhood on the Mississippi to become one of the nation's most famous men, using the very material of that impoverished boyhood to propel his rise. But Twain's life also had more than its share of tragedy, and his story is also one of failure, bankruptcy, and grievous loss.
In this compact, highly listenable biography, Alexander Kennedy separates truth from fiction, history from myth in the life of this enigmatic genius. Was Shakespeare gay or bisexual? Who were the recipients of his celebrated sonnets? Did another author write some or all of his plays? How could a single man's work so thoroughly reshape our language, our literature, and our world? The answers lie within.
He was his era's most wanted man, leaving behind him a string of mutilated victims that terrified the world. Yet despite a wealth of tantalizing evidence - eyewitnesses who saw him with his victims, his taunting letters to police, and forensic evidence gathered from the dead - Jack the Ripper has never been conclusively unmasked, and his identity remains unknown.
Tonight on the program, an update on the truck attack in Nice with Alexander Marquardt of ABC World News and Mark Urban of BBC Newsnight.
Next, Jon Meacham discusses his Time Magazine cover story about Donald Trump.
We conclude with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., author of “Framed: Why Michael Skakel Spent Over a Decade in Prison For a Murder He Didn’t Commit.”