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Dr. Luke A. Nichter

By Author, Education, Politics One Comment

This week on the Here’s What We Know Podcast, join us as we delve into the tumultuous year of 1968, a pivotal moment in American and global history, with our special guest, an esteemed historian and professor, Dr. Luke A. Nichter. He is a New York Times bestselling author or editor of eight books, including, most recently, “The Year That Broke Politics: Collusion and Chaos in the Presidential Election of 1968,” which was chosen as the Best Book of 2023 by the Wall Street Journal. As an expert on presidential history, Dr Luke brings a wealth of knowledge about the seismic shifts that occurred during this era. He also mentioned that there is talk about using AI for transcribing historical recordings which could revolutionize our understanding of past presidencies by providing deeper insights than ever before possible.

This is such an enlightening episode filled with insights into one of America’s most dynamic years while emphasizing the importance of preserving our country’s rich history for future generations. Tune in now!

This episode is sponsored by:

(Be sure to use code “Gary20” to get 20% off your order!)

In this Episode:

  • Hear about the revolutionary nature of 1968, both domestically and internationally.
  • Discover how media coverage brought the Vietnam War and political unrest into living rooms across America.
  • Comparisons between past conflicts like Vietnam and more recent ones such as Iraq.
  • Explore Lyndon B. Johnson’s complex legacy as president during these transformative times.
  • Hear insightful conversations about whether John F. Kennedy would have escalated or withdrawn from Vietnam had he not been assassinated. 
  • Discover why the treatment of vice presidents has been scrutinized throughout history.
  • Listen to Dr. Luke as he shares personal stories and anecdotes while teaching history to college students.
  • Discover the role technology could play in transcribing historical presidential tapes for greater public access.

Quotations:

“Americans, we often put ourselves, we think we’re the middle of the world and there’s nothing else going on that’s nearly as important.” ~ Luke A. Nichter

“Young people especially will surprise you by what they know, but also what they don’t know. And sometimes they know things very differently than you and I would.” ~ Luke A. Nichter

“I think just kind of by definition, to reach the office of the presidency, you’ve got to be an interesting person.” ~ Luke A. Nichter

“When I see a new political book, you know, on a shelf and I reach for it, you know, there’s that little voice in my head that usually says, well, what’s the author’s take? Do they have an agenda? Do they have a favorite?” ~ Luke A. Nichter

“I think we’ve lost so much historical empathy about history because we’re such in a rush to judge historical figures by our own standards that we’ve lost a connection with history and really what history is.” ~ Luke A. Nichter

“These things in politics, while presented nobly, you know, are often driven by partisan concerns.” ~ Luke A. Nichter

“Historians, we’re not supposed to care about counterfactuals, you know, or concern ourselves at all with what ifs.” ~ Luke A. Nichter

“Often in history, you have two sides and I tend to come down somewhere in the middle.” ~ Luke A. Nichter

“Early on in the Republic, the best path to becoming president was to be secretary of state, perhaps. And then there’s a phase where maybe becoming a senator is the way to become the president. You know, there’s a joke made that in the Senate, we have a hundred would-be presidents at all times. And then there’s a period that it’s the governor of a state, especially a large industrial, important state with a big population.” ~ Luke A. Nichter

“Presidents have always desired to bypass the media, whether it’s print, whether it’s radio. whether it’s television and speak directly to the American people.” ~ Luke A. Nichter

“I think there’s always been a degree of nepotism as long as there’s been politics. The two have always gone back together.” ~ Luke A. Nichter

“On each side of the political aisle, you have about 20% that are activists that you gotta watch out for. And so you do get a student either on the right or the left occasionally who’s there to make a point.” ~ Luke A. Nichter

“The bigger concern, I would say, now. is that students are afraid to actually say what they think in classrooms. Not because of me. They’re not worried about being judged by me. They’re worried about being judged by their peers.” ~ Luke A. Nichter

“College should really be free for all of ideas. You should be going down the intellectual rabbit hole and learning about yourself and situating yourself in the world that you live in.” ~ Luke A. Nichter

“I really try to be transparent with my reader. I mean, I really try to separate facts.” ~ Luke A. Nichter

“One of the things I do as a historian is, if you’re gonna write about history, you better make friends with archivists.” ~ Luke A. Nichter

“My goal is to drive the creation of new knowledge.” ~ Luke A. Nichter

“The more that I learn about history, the more I realize I have to learn about history.” ~ Luke A. Nichter

Bio:

Dr. Luke A. Nichter is a Professor of History and James H. Cavanaugh Endowed Chair in Presidential Studies at Chapman University. His area of specialty is the Cold War, the modern presidency, and U.S. political and diplomatic history, with a focus on the “long 1960s” from John F. Kennedy through Watergate. He has been a Visiting Fellow at the Norwegian Nobel Institute, an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at the Massachusetts Historical Society, a Visiting Scholar at the University of Michigan’s Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies, a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Oxford’s Rothermere American Institute, and a Hansard Research Scholar at the London School of Economics.

He is a New York Times bestselling author or editor of eight books, including, most recently, The Year That Broke Politics: Collusion and Chaos in the Presidential Election of 1968 (Yale University Press). It is the first rigorously researched historical account of the most controversial election in modern U.S. history to have cooperation from all four major sides – Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, Richard Nixon, and George Wallace. Luke interviewed approximately 85 family members and former staffers, in addition to extensive archival research and access to new evidence that dramatically changes our understanding of the election. This work was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship.

Luke’s last book was The Last Brahmin: Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. and the Making of the Cold War (Yale University Press). It was the first full biography of Lodge – whose public career spanned from the 1930s to the 1970s – based on extensive multilingual archival research. This work was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar Grant. He is also the author of Richard Nixon and Europe: The Reshaping of the Postwar Atlantic World (Cambridge University Press), which was based on multilingual archival research in six countries, and is now at work on a book tentatively titled LBJ: The White House Years of Lyndon Johnson.

Luke earned his Ph.D. in History from Bowling Green State University, and lives in Orange, California and Bowling Green, Ohio.

Guest Contact Info:

Website: http://lukenichter.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/luke-a-nichter-1190877/

Kathy Reichs

By Author, Film, Sci-Fi, Science, True Crime, TV No Comments

This week on the Here’s What We Know Podcast, our special guest is the renowned Kathy Reichs, a forensic anthropologist turned bestselling author of Temperance Brennan novels. With a career that’s as remarkable as her literary acclaim creations, Kathy shares insights from her life journey. She went from being a curious child fascinated by science to becoming one of only 100 forensic anthropologists ever certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology.

Whether handling crime scenes or weaving humor into dark narratives, Kathy offers listeners an intimate portrait of a life rich with stories. So, stay tuned for a captivating conversation that traverses death investigations, literature’s imaginative realms, and everything that ties them together through the eyes of a master storyteller.

This episode is sponsored by:

(Be sure to tell them Gary sent you!)

(Use code “Gary” to get $89 off any service!)

In this Episode:

  • The early signs of drive and curiosity in young Kathy.
  • The rigorous path to becoming a board-certified forensic anthropologist.
  • Transitioning from academic writing to crafting thrilling novels based on real-life experiences.
  • Insights into Temperance Brennan’s character evolution—from books to the hit TV show “Bones.”
  • Behind-the-scenes look at scriptwriting for “Bones” and how it differs from novel writing.
  • The importance of setting in storytelling and why Kathy never writes about places she hasn’t visited.
  • How personal preferences sometimes make their way into characters’ quirks.
  • Hear about Kathy’s latest novel, “The Bone Hacker.”
  • Kathy also touches upon family influences, with two out of three children following in her footsteps in writing.

Quotations:

“I do put in detail. I never put in anything just for grisly sensationalism. It has to inform the reader and move the story forward.” ~ Kathy Reichs 

“I don’t shy away from because I think my readers want to know what it’s like at a crime scene or what it’s like in an autopsy room. So I do give them detail.” ~ Kathy Reichs 

“You have to maintain your objectivity, your scientific distance, without getting emotionally involved with each victim, because you wouldn’t be of any good to them. But you have to still keep in mind that it’s a human being, treat that set of remains respectfully and hopefully get a name for that dead person, figure out what happened to them, and get them back to their family.” ~ Kathy Reichs 

“Bones is, we were all on the same page. I had other offers and they just weren’t right. But one of the things we agreed on was that we wanted humor in the show. I put humor in the books.” ~ Kathy Reichs 

“We had brilliant writers. You know, I’m not one of these authors who’s going to say they took my work and destroyed it. I had a wonderful experience. Everybody from the on-camera talent to the producers, to the crew, to the writers, everybody just was delightful. And we didn’t have a lot of drama. We didn’t have a lot of tension on the set like some shows do. And I think that’s partly why we lasted as long as we did.” ~ Kathy Reichs 

“That’s the definition of a thriller: that your protagonist or those close to your protagonist have to come under threat. One of the components of a thriller versus just a mystery.” ~ Kathy Reichs 

“Setting is a really strong component of my books. It’s almost like another character in my books. So I’ll never write about a place I haven’t been.” ~ Kathy Reichs 

“I think you have to go to a place to absorb. You could Google Earth it, but you’re not going to get the smells and the sounds and, you know, the tastes, the flavor of the food, and yeah.” ~ Kathy Reichs 

“I started out in academics and then I started doing forensic anthropology casework and then based on that, I wrote commercial fiction and then went into the world of TV production. So I kept taking side paths.” ~ Kathy Reichs 

“I’ll never run out of ideas. I’ve worked on so many cases when I was still actively doing forensic work. But also I’ve constantly got my antenna out for things, for whatever I’m reading, talking to colleagues, reading forensic journals, attending forensic meetings, and listening to presentations. I’m always on the lookout for ideas, story ideas.” ~ Kathy Reichs 

“If I can get through one or two pages in a day, that’s a really good day.”

“French is hard. It’s really hard. Spanish is easy. If it’s written, you pronounce it. French, they’re all these letters in the words. They have no purpose. You don’t pronounce them.” ~ Kathy Reich

“I try to make things up. I try not to use cliches ever. There may be a few that sneak in, but I do try to not use cliches.” ~ Kathy Reichs

Guest’s Bio:

Kathy Reichs’s first novel, Déjà Dead, catapulted her to fame when it became a New York Times bestseller and won the 1997 Ellis Award for Best First Novel. Her other Temperance Brennan books include Death du Jour, Deadly Decisions, Fatal Voyage, Grave Secrets, Bare Bones, Monday Mourning, Cross Bones, Break No Bones, Bones to Ashes, Devil Bones, 206 Bones, Spider Bones, Flash and Bones, Bones Are Forever, Bones of the Lost, Bones Never Lie, Speaking in Bones, and the Temperance Brennan short story collection, The Bone Collection. In addition, Kathy co-authored the Virals young adult series with her son, Brendan Reichs. The best-selling titles are Virals, Seizure, Code, Exposure, Terminal, and the novella collection Trace Evidence. The series follows the adventures of Temperance Brennan’s great-niece, Tory Brennan.  Dr. Reichs’ latest novel, Two Nights, was released on July 11 and features Sunday Night, a tough-talking, scarred heroine.  Dr. Reichs was also a producer of the hit Fox TV series Bones, which is based on her work and her novels.

From teaching FBI agents how to detect and recover human remains to separating and identifying commingled body parts in her Montreal lab, as a forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs has brought her own dramatic work experience to her mesmerizing forensic thrillers. For years, she consulted with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in North Carolina and with the Laboratoire de Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale for the province of Québec. Dr. Reichs has traveled to Rwanda to testify at the UN Tribunal on Genocide and helped exhume a mass grave in Guatemala. As part of her work at JPAC (Formerly CILHI), she aided in the identification of war dead from World War II, Korea, and Southeast Asia. Dr. Reichs also assisted in the recovery of remains at the World Trade Center following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Dr. Reichs is one of only 100 forensic anthropologists ever certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. She served on the Board of Directors and as Vice President of both the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the American Board of Forensic Anthropology and is currently a member of the National Police Services Advisory Council in Canada. She is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.

Dr. Reichs is a native of Chicago, where she received her Ph.D. at Northwestern. She now divides her time between Charlotte, NC, and Montreal, Québec.

Guest’s Contact Info:

Website: https://kathyreichs.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kathyreichsbooks/

Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/kathyreichs/

X: https://twitter.com/KathyReichs

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ph/kathyreichs/

Jonathan Maberry

By Author, Film, Movies, Sci-Fi No Comments

This week on the Here’s What We Know Podcast, join us for a riveting episode as our host, Gary Scott Thomas, sits down with none other than the master of thrills and chills, Jonathan Maberry! They dive deep into his fascinating life and work as a prolific author whose career spans across novels, short stories, comic books, the big screen, and more. Jonathan’s life reads like one of his novels—from martial arts expert to bestselling author. Our host couldn’t get enough of his Joe Ledger series and Pine Deep trilogy. And neither will you once you dive into those heart-pounding action scenes!

So tune in to this incredible episode and discover the passion and stories behind your favorite Maberry books! Also, brace yourself for spoilers!

This episode is sponsored by:

(Be sure to use code “Gary20” to get 20% off your order!)

In this Episode:

  • A Life Full of Stories: Jonathan shares his wildly varied bio, proving that his life is just as captivating as the worlds he creates.
  • The Joe Ledger Series: Get ready to dive into the mind of a master storyteller as Jonathan discusses the completion of the 13th book and his preparations for the 14th. 
  • Crafting Fight Scenes: Find out how Jonathan’s martial arts expertise translates into gripping combat sequences that are packed with physiological and psychological layers. It’s like watching a high-octane fight scene on the page!
  • Character Depth and Evolution: Hear Jonathan’s insights on the development of his book protagonists and how they evolve throughout his captivating stories. 
  • Hollywood Adaptations and Casting Challenges: Get the inside scoop on past discussions about adapting the Joe Ledger series into TV shows or movies. And let’s not forget the all-important casting choices.
  • The Future of Joe Ledger: Join in on the excitement as they talk about possible future adaptations and Jonathan’s appearances in other book series. The possibilities are endless!
  • Narrative Technique Discussion: Discover how Jonathan’s ideas are born from current events or scientific advancements, weaving impactful storylines that center around character experiences. It’s like a masterclass in storytelling!
  • The Story of Our Fathers: Take a nostalgic trip down memory lane as Jonathan shares stories from his upbringing. A glimpse into his past that adds an extra layer of depth to his work.
  • Comic Book Morality: Explore the intricate world of comic books, including the beloved Marvel and DC comics, as Jonathan delves into the moral complexities they tackle. 

Quotations:

“It’s always annoyed me when I watch movies or TV shows where the hero, you know, gets in a gun battle or fist fight and, you know, either brutalizes someone or kills someone. And then in the next scene, there’s no emotional resonance to it. It’s like, it’s like, that’s just another day. And I know a lot of guys in law enforcement and the military, including a lot of guys in the special forces. And even, you know, even though a lot of them keep good game faiths, you know, there’s a reason why PTSD is such a big thing. Because, you know, you are crossing that barrier of, you know, that taboo barrier of ending human life in a combat situation.” ~ Jonathan Maberry

“Even though you may have 100 percent justification, there is still a part of you that’s always going to be the moral, empathetic human being who just killed someone, and if you don’t have that moment, then there is; that’s the real cry for help. When you can pull a trigger and not have it affect you at all, that’s symptomatic of a pathology that is very frightening.” ~ Jonathan Maberry

“Fact that violence always, always leaves a mark.” ~ Jonathan Maberry

“That humanism matters far more to me in an action hero than any kind of politics ever would.” ~ Jonathan Maberry

“Our job as writers is not to give a bunch of good characters a nice bed. So we think of, like, whose lives would be most dramatically impacted.” ~ Jonathan Maberry

“It’s all about character experience,  picking different people and seeing how their lives will be impacted by something, and then building the story around that rather than just focusing on the big, central conceit of whatever the theme is going to be.” ~ Jonathan Maberry

“Having had a horrible father, I know what not to do; you know, I know what I don’t want as part of my life.” ~ Jonathan Maberry

“A father’s, a blood father, can be the family we’re born into, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the family, um, that we want to have, especially since that person has to be the father where a stepfather chooses to be the father.” ~ Jonathan Maberry

“Professional daydream is what I should put on my business card because it is the best job in the world.” ~ Jonathan Maberry

Guest’s Bio:

Jonathan Maberry is a New York Times best-seller, five-time Bram Stoker Award-winner, anthology editor, comic book writer, executive producer, magazine feature writer, playwright, and writing teacher/lecturer. He is the editor of Weird Tales Magazine and president of the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers. He is the recipient of the Inkpot Award, three Scribe Awards, and was named one of the Today’s Top Ten Horror Writers. His books have been sold in more than thirty countries. He writes in several genres, including thriller, horror, science fiction, epic fantasy, and mystery, and he writes for adults, middle grade, and young adults.

Jonathan is the creator, editor, and co-author of V-WARS, a shared-world vampire anthology from IDW Publishing that was adapted into a Netflix series.

He is the editor of many anthologies, including The X-Files, Aliens: Bug Hunt, Don’t Turn Out the Lights, Nights of the Living Dead, and others. His comics include Black Panther: DoomWar, Captain America, Pandemica, Highway to Hell, The Punisher, and Bad Blood.

Jonathan and his wife, Sara Jo, to whom he dedicates all of his published works, and their dog, Rosie, live in San Diego, California.

Guest’s Contact Info: