Taking the concept from Brian Lamb's long running Booknotes TV program, the podcast offers listeners more books and authors. Booknotes+ features a mix of new interviews with authors and historians, along with some old favorites from the archives. The platform may be different, but the goal is the same – give listeners the opportunity to learn something new.

Taking the concept from Brian Lamb's long running Booknotes TV program, the podcast offers listeners more books and authors. Booknotes+ features a mix of new interviews with authors and historians, along with some old favorites from the archives. The platform may be different, but the goal is the same – give listeners the opportunity to learn something new.


United States




Taking the concept from Brian Lamb's long running Booknotes TV program, the podcast offers listeners more books and authors. Booknotes+ features a mix of new interviews with authors and historians, along with some old favorites from the archives. The platform may be different, but the goal is the same – give listeners the opportunity to learn something new.




Ep. 91 Winslow Wheeler on the United States' Military Posture

A couple of weeks ago, the conservative Heritage Foundation published its 2023 Index of U.S. Military Strength. At that time, we discussed the Index's findings with the editor, Dakota Wood. The Heritage study concluded that the current U.S. military is at significant risk of not being able to meet the demands of a single major regional conflict. We wanted another point of view on the current U.S. military posture. So this week, we asked longtime observer and critic of the U.S. military...


Ep. 90 Adam Hochschild, "American Midnight"

Adam Hochschild, in his new book "American Midnight," writes about what he says is left out of the typical high school American history book, especially when the subject is the United States during and immediately after World War One. "This book is about what's missing," writes Hochschild, "It's a story of mass imprisonments, torture, vigilante violence, censorship, killings of Black Americans, and far more that is not marked by commemorative plaques, museum exhibits, or Ken Burns...


Ep. 89 Mark Dimunation, Library of Congress Rare Book & Special Collections Division Chief

To people who know him well, Mark Dimunation is, first and foremost, an accomplished storyteller. Second and not least, he has been for twenty-five years the chief of the Library of Congress' Rare Book and Special Collections Division. The library has over 850,000 items in the collection, including Charles Dickens' walking stick, the Bay Psalm Book, published in 1640, and the contents in Abraham Lincoln's pockets on the night he was assassinated. Mark Dimunation, our guest this week, has a...


Ep. 88 Stacy Schiff, "The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams"

Stacy Schiff has written books about Benjamin Franklin, Cleopatra, and the Witches of Salem. And now it's Samuel Adams, a Massachusetts man Thomas Jefferson called the Father of the American Revolution. Stacy Schiff, appropriately born in Adams, Massachusetts, is our guest this week. Her book is titled "The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams." Mr. Adams was born in Boston and lived for 81 years from 1722 to 1803. He's also been called the most Puritan and the most populist of the American Founders....


Ep. 87 Dakota Wood, Editor, "2023 Index of U.S. Military Strength"

In October, the Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC, released its 578-page 2023 Index of U.S. Military Strength. Retired Marine Lt. Col. Dakota Wood edited the Index, which includes essays and analysis from over 16 experts chosen by the Heritage Foundation. The introduction to the Index concludes: "America’s leadership role remains in question, and its security interests are under substantial pressure. Challenges continue to grow, long-standing allies are not what they once were, and the...


Ep. 86 Vivek Ramaswamy, "Nation of Victims"

At age 37, Vivek Ramaswamy has already built and sold several companies. Before he began his career as an entrepreneur, he managed to serve as the valedictorian of his 2003 senior class at St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, and was a nationally ranked junior tennis player. Then there was a Harvard biology degree and graduation from Yale Law School. Ramaswamy has written two books. His latest is "Nation of Victims: Identity Politics, the Death of Merit, and the Path Back to...


Ep. 85 Nell Wulfhart, "The Great Stewardess Rebellion"

"The Great Stewardess Rebellion" is about the women who changed the working conditions for stewardesses in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The author, Nell Wulfhart wrote the New York Times "Carry-On" column from 2016 to 2019. In the introduction to her book, Ms. Wulfhart writes that: "It wouldn't be much of an exaggeration to say that in the 1960s the airplane cabin was the most sexist workplace in America." Since then, she adds, the "flight attendants' achievements are, even from today's...


Ep. 84 Brad Snyder, "Democratic Justice"

Brad Snyder offers a full and fascinating portrait of the life and legacy of Felix Frankfurter. This is the biography of an Austrian Jewish immigrant who arrived in the United States at age eleven speaking, not a word of English, who by age twenty-six befriended former president Theodore Roosevelt, and who by age fifty was one of Franklin Roosevelt’s most trusted advisers. It is the story of a man devoted to democratic ideals, a natural orator and often overbearing justice, whose passion...


Ep. 83 Charles Kupchan on Russian Propaganda and the War in Ukraine

Charles Kupchan is a professor of international affairs at Georgetown University. He has served on the National Security Council for both the Clinton and Obama White Houses. Prof. Kupchan has a doctorate and a master's degree from Oxford and an undergraduate degree from Harvard. He is the author of 10 books. His latest is titled "Isolationism: A History of America's Efforts to Shield Itself from the World." We asked Prof. Kupchan to appear on the podcast to give his perspective on Vladimir...


Ep. 82 Greg Steinmetz, "American Rascal"

Jay Gould revolutionized the world of finance in the 19th century. In “American Rascal,” Greg Steinmetz tells his story. Jay Gould was a brilliant strategist in any scrap over money. For a good example of Mr. Gould’s cunning, consider how he outgeneraled his fellow robber baron Cornelius Vanderbilt in what might be called the Bovine War. The former reporter for the Wall Street Journal and current partner at a money management firm in New York City sheds light on the life of Gould and his...


Ep. 81 Troy Senik, "A Man of Iron"

Author Troy Senik says in his new book, "A Man of Iron," that Grover Cleveland was the self-made, scrupulously honest man Americans often say they want as their president. President Cleveland served two nonconsecutive terms as commander and chief, a term as Governor of New York, and even as sheriff in western New York's Erie County. In this episode, Mr. Senik, a former speechwriter for George W. Bush, discusses Cleveland's political career. According to Mr. Senik President Cleveland became...


Ep. 80 Judy Shelton on the Federal Reserve

Judy Shelton has been appearing on C-SPAN since 1989 and in this edition of the Booknotes+ podcast, she talks about the role of the Federal Reserve in our economy. . Her first visit was on Booknotes to discuss her book titled "The Coming Soviet Crash." During the past 33 years since her first appearance on C-SPAN, Judy Shelton has been in and out of politics. She worked for a time with three presidential candidates, including Bob Dole, Ben Carson, and Donald Trump. It was President Trump who...


Ep. 79 Claire Arcenas, "America's Philosopher"

John Locke was born on August 29, 1632, in Sommerset, England. He lived for 72 years. University of Montana professor Claire Arcenas, in her new book, calls him "America's Philosopher." She writes in the preface: "Though he never set foot on America soil and died long before the creation of the United States, John Locke stands and has always stood at the center of American intellectual life." Prof. Arcenas focuses on how Locke has captivated our attention for three centuries and has had an...


Ep. 78 Alanna Nash, "The Colonel"

On August 16, 1977, 45 years ago, Elvis Presley died at age 42. The autopsy found eight different drugs in his body. Just seven years earlier, Presley was with Richard Nixon in the Oval Office to offer his assistance in fighting the war on drugs. He asked for a special agent badge from the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. A copy of the photo of President Nixon and Elvis on that occasion is the most requested from the National Archives. Our guest, cultural journalist Alanna Nash, has...


C-SPAN in the Classroom Trailer: Season 2

Hey all you teachers and all you parents, and all you professors and all you students: Season #2 of the C-SPAN in the Classroom podcast drops this fall! Whether you're mowing the yard, on a peaceful weekend drive, or just relaxing on the couch with your favorite blanket, make sure to tune in to the first episode of Season #2 of C-SPAN in the Classroom on September 10th, available at, on the free C-SPAN Now app, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Make sure to like, subscribe, and...


Ep. 77 Ron Liebman & Tim Baker on the Prosecution of Vice President Spiro Agnew

Ron Liebman and Tim Baker are former assistant U.S. attorneys who were part of the prosecution team that brought down Vice President Spiro Agnew on October 10, 1973. On that day, Mr. Agnew appeared before the federal court in Baltimore and pleaded "no contest" to one felony charge for tax evasion in 1967. Messrs. Liebman and Baker talked about their role as the case unfolded. Agnew was fined $10,000 and placed on three years of unsupervised probation. This conversation was originally...


Ep. 76 Terrence Smith, "Four Wars, Five Presidents"

Terence Smith's media career went from the Stamford Advocate the New York Times, then to CBS News, and finally the PBS Newshour. In his short memoir of his working life, titled "Four Wars, Five Presidents," Terrence Smith writes: "There is a great deal of hand-wringing these days about the news business. Young people don’t read, don’t know anything beyond what they see on their screen, and don’t see the value of independent knowledge as long as they have Google and can look it up. The sky,...


Ep. 75 David Kertzer, "The Pope at War"

David Kertzer has studied and written about Italy, the Catholic Church, Nazism, communism, and fascism for over 40 years. His latest of 13 books is about the secret history of Pope Pius XII, Mussolini, and Hitler. It's titled "The Pope at War." In 2020, Pius XII's archives were finally open in the Vatican. Brown University professor Kertzer, according to Random House, his publisher, "paints a new, dramatic portrait of what the pope did and did not do as war enveloped the continent and as the...


Ep. 74 Aram Saroyan, author of "Last Rites," on His Father William Saroyan

In the history of Pulitzer Prizes and the Oscars, very few winners have turned down these awards. One of those who did was a famous Armenian-American, a writer from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. His name was William Saroyan. He turned down the Pulitzer for the drama called "The Time of Your Life" in 1940. Saroyan said he was opposed in principle to awards in the arts and was quoted as saying "such arts awards vitiate and embarrass art at its very source." His son Aram, a well-known poet in his...


Ep. 73 Carl Foster, Director of the Little Blue House

In the heart of Washington, DC, is a unique place for kids. It's called the Little Blue House. For 31 years, it's been the first love of its director, a man named Carl Foster. On the website of the Little Blue House, it says that there is a single core mission: "to foster the development of vulnerable and at-risk children and youth in the District in a safe, stable, and healthy environment." Carl Foster, a Vietnam War veteran, says that for over 30 years, the Little Blue House "has provided...