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PA Books features authors of books about Pennsylvania-related topics. These hour-long conversations allow authors to discuss both their subject matter and inspiration behind the books.
🇬🇧 English
last modified
2019-11-11 14:57
last episode published
2019-11-11 09:15
publication frequency
4.63 days
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author  
PCN Marketing owner  
Number of Episodes
Detail page
Society & Culture History Literature News & Politics Arts



Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors

"Bosom Friends: The Intimate World of James Buchanan and William Rufus King" with Thomas Balcerski

In "Bosom Friends: The Intimate World of James Buchanan and William Rufus King," Thomas J. Balcerski explores the lives of these two politicians and discovers one of the most significant collaborations in American political history. He traces the paral...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

“George Marshall: Defender of the Republic” with David Roll

Even as a young officer George Marshall was heralded as a genius, a reputation that grew when in WWI he planned and executed a nighttime movement of more than a half million troops from one battlefield to another that led to the armistice. Between the ...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

"Targeted Tracks" with Scott Mingus and Cooper Wingert

The Civil War was the first conflict in which railroads played a major role. The Cumberland Valley Railroad, for example, played an important strategic role by connecting Hagerstown, Maryland to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Its location enhanced its impor...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

"Franz Kline in Coal Country" with Rebecca and Joel Finsel

"Franz Kline in Coal Country" is the first biography to examine Kline's formative years in Lehighton, Philadelphia, Boston, and London, before he became a founding member of the New York School, the ragtag group who stole the art world away from Paris ...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

“Gettysburg’s Peach Orchard” with James Hessler and Britt Isenberg

On July 2, 1863, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee ordered skeptical subordinate Lt. Gen. James Longstreet to launch a massive assault against the Union left flank. The offensive was intended to seize the Peach Orchard and surrounding ground along the Emm...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

“Jefferson, Madison, and the Making of the Constitution” with Jeff Broadwater

Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, and James Madison, "Father of the Constitution," were two of the most important Founders of the United States as well as the closest of political allies. Yet historians have often seen a tens...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

"Too Much for Human Endurance: The George Spangler Farm Hospitals and the Battle of Gettysburg" with Ronald Kirkwood

The bloodstains are gone, but the worn floorboards remain. The doctors, nurses, and patients who toiled and suffered and ached for home at the Army of the Potomac’s XI Corps hospital at the George Spangler Farm in Gettysburg have long since departed. H...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

"The Disaffected" with Aaron Sullivan

Elizabeth and Henry Drinker of Philadelphia were no friends of the American Revolution. Yet neither were they its enemies. The Drinkers were a merchant family who, being Quakers and pacifists, shunned commitments to both the Revolutionaries and the Bri...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

“Smokin’ Joe: The Life of Joe Frazier” with Mark Kram

Sports writer Mark Kram gives a full-bodied accounting of Joe Frazier’s life, a journey that began as the youngest of thirteen children packed in small farm house, encountering the bigotry and oppression of the Jim Crow South, and continued with his v...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

“War, Memory, and the 1913 Gettysburg Reunion” with Thomas Flagel

In the summer of 1913, thousands of veterans of the battle of Gettysburg returned to the battlefield. Most were revisiting a time and place in their personal history that involved acute physical and emotional trauma. Contrary to popular belief, veteran...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

"Gifford Pinchot and the Making of Modern Environmentalism" with Char Miller

Gifford Pinchot is known primarily for his work as first chief of the U. S. Forest Service and for his argument that resources should be used to provide the "greatest good for the greatest number of people." But Pinchot was a more complicated figure th...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

"Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World's Stolen Treasures" with Robert Wittman

The Wall Street Journal called him “a living legend.” The London Times dubbed him “the most famous art detective in the world.” In Priceless, Robert K. Wittman, the founder of the FBI’s Art Crime Team, pulls back the curtain on his remarkable career fo...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

"Going Home To Glory: A Memoir of Life with Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961-1969" with David Eisenhower

When President Dwight Eisenhower left Washington, D.C., at the end of his second term, he retired to a farm in historic Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, that he had bought a decade earlier. Living on the farm with the former president and his wife, Mamie, wer...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

"Remembering Pittsburgh: An "Eyewitness" History of the Steel City" with Len Barcousky

The doomed Whiskey Rebellion, the Great Fire that destroyed a third of the city in 1845 and Lincoln's speech urging residents to shun talk of secession--all have made the pages of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and its predecessors. Since 1786, the paper ...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

"Stan Musial: An American Life" with George Vecsey

Veteran sports journalist George Vecsey finally gives this twenty-time All-Star and St. Louis Cardinals icon the biographical treatment he deserves. Stan Musial is the definitive portrait of one of the game’s best-loved but most unappreciated legends—t...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

"I'd Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had" with Tony Danza

I’d Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had is television, screen and stage star Tony Danza’s absorbing account of a year spent teaching tenth-grade English at Northeast High -- Philadelphia’s largest high school with 3600 students. Entering No...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

"Marian Anderson: A Singer's Journey" with Allan Keiler

A definitive biography of one of America's greatest singers and a seminal figure in the American civil rights movement uncovers the life of the first African American soloist at the Met and the first African American singer to perform at the White Hous...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

"Mario Lanza: Tenor in Exile" with Roland Bessette

More than 40 years after his premature death, the mystique of Mario Lanza continues. He remains a legendary figure, a crossover icon embraced and remembered by an entire generation for bridging the gap between popular and classical music, the acknowled...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

"Joseph Leidy" with Leonard Warren

Contemporaries of the modest and unassuming scientist Joseph Leidy (1823–91) revered him as the supreme consultant in questions relating to human anatomy, paleontology, protozoology, parasitology, anthropology, mineralogy, botany, and numerous other sc...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

"Declaration: The Nine Tumultuous Weeks When America Became Independent" with William Hogeland

This is the rambunctious story of how America came to declare independence in Philadelphia in 1776. As late as that May, the Continental Congress had no plans to break away from England. Troops under General George Washington had been fighting the Brit...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

"Disciples of Liberty: The African Methodist Episcopal Church in the Age of Imperialism, 1884-1916" with Lawrence Little

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the African Methodist Episcopal Church provided an ideological foundation for the African American community that was truly world-embracing. While generally identified with the pursuit of liberty fo...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

"The Knox Mine Disaster" with Robert and Kenneth Wolensky

The Knox Mine Disaster is much more than a history of an accident—or an industry, for that matter. Because the book draws on the recollections of miners and their families, industry officials, and individuals involved in the legal aftermath of the disa...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

"The Foreman's Boys: The Story of Civilian Conservation Corps, Company 1333, Camp S-63, Poe Valley" with William Marcum

Employment prospects for many were bleak at the height of the Great Depression. For unmarried recent high school graduates, the prospect of getting a job was mostly non-existent. President Roosevelt’s New Deal plan included the Civilian Conservation Co...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

“Blue-Blooded Cavalryman: Captain William Brooke Rawle in the Army of the Potomac, May 1863–August 1865” with J. Gregory Acken

In May 1863, eighteen-year-old William Brooke Rawle graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and traded a genteel, cultured life of privilege for service as a cavalry officer. Traveling from his home in Philadelphia to Virginia, he joined the Thir...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

“Pittsburgh’s Lost Outpost: Captain Trent's Fort” with Jason Cherry

As 1753 came to a close, European empires were set on a collision course for a triangular piece of land known as the Forks of the Ohio at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers. The navigable waterways were valuable to the French to com...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

"Troublesome Women" with Erica Rhodes Hayden

This book traces the lived experiences of women lawbreakers in the state of Pennsylvania from 1820 to 1860 through the records of more than six thousand criminal court cases. By following these women from the perpetration of their crimes through the st...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

“Longstreet at Gettysburg, A Critical Reassessment” with Cory Pfarr

This is the first book-length, critical analysis of Lieutenant General James Longstreet’s actions at the Battle of Gettysburg. The author argues that Longstreet’s record has been discredited unfairly, beginning with character assassination by his conte...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

"Battle of Paoli" with Thomas McGuire

In the years since the Revolutionary War, legend has obscured the story of the Battle of Paoli, better known in history as the Paoli Massacre. For this first-ever full-length treatment of the battle, the author has uncovered never-before-published prim...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

"Good War, Great Men: The detailed accounts of a machine gun battalion during World War I" with Andrew Capets

"Good War, Great Men" provides first-hand accounts of more than a dozen soldiers who served together during the Great War. Their stories have been rediscovered by compiling unpublished letters and journals with historical insights to provide a compelli...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

“Workers on Arrival: Black Lab or in the Making of America” with Joe William Trotter

From the ongoing issues of poverty, health, housing and employment to the recent upsurge of lethal police-community relations, the black working class stands at the center of perceptions of social and racial conflict today. Journalists and public polic...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

"American Aurora: A Democratic-Republican Returns; The Suppressed History of Our Nation's Beginnings and the Heroic Newspaper That Tried to Report It" with Richard Rosenfeld

200 Years ago a Philadelphia newspaper claimed George Washington wasn't the "father of his country." It claimed John Adams really wanted to be king. Its editors were arrested by the federal government. One editor died awaiting trial. The story of this...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

"Lawmaking and Legislators in Pennsylvania, Volume 2, 1710-1756: A Biographical Dictionary" with Craig Horle and Joseph Foster

This superb biographical dictionary of Pennsylvania legislators provides elaborate accounts of each Pennsylvania lawmaker who served during the period covered by the volume, with detailed scholarly introductions analyzing the makeup of the legislature ...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

“Smiling Banjo: A Half Century of Love and Music at the Philadelphia Folk Festival” with Eric Ring, John Lupton and Jayne Toohey

Attended by tens of thousands of people each August, the Philadelphia Folk Festival is the longest continually running folk festival in America. These pages capture 55 years of its beloved, creatively charged atmosphere. Over 800 photos from 1962 to to...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

"Rush: Revolution, Madness, and Benjamin Rush, the Visionary Doctor Who Became a Founding Father" with Stephen Fried

In the summer of 1776, fifty-six men put their quills to a dangerous document they called the Declaration of Independence. Among them was a thirty-year-old doctor named Benjamin Rush. One of the youngest signatories, he was also, among stiff competitio...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

“They Were Immigrants: The Lasting Legacy of My Syrian Grandparents" with Samuel Davis

"They Were Immigrants" tells the story of Samuel Davis' grandparents who immigrated to Pennsylvania from Syria in the early 20th century and the lives they created in their new home. They started families. They worked hard. Their children, grandchildre...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

"The Kingdom of Coal: Work, Enterprise, and Ethnic Communities in the Mine Fields" with Donald Miller and Richard Sharpless

Considered by scholars and history buffs alike to be the best survey history of the rise and fall of the anthracite mining industry in Pennsylvania, this volume chronicles the discovery of anthracite, the building of canals to transport it to market, t...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

"Abolitionists of Sounth Central Pennsylvania" with Cooper Wingert

Close to the Mason-Dixon line, South Central Pennsylvania was a magnet for slave catchers and abolitionists alike. Influenced by religion and empathy, local abolitionists risked their reputations, fortunes and lives in the pursuit of what they believed...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

"Young Benjamin Franklin: The Birth of Ingenuity" with Nick Bunker

In this new account of Franklin's early life, Pulitzer finalist Nick Bunker portrays him as a complex, driven young man who elbows his way to success. From his early career as a printer and journalist, to his scientific work and his role as a founder ...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

“Remembering Lattimer: Labor, Migration, and Race in Pennsylvania Anthracite Country" with Paul Shackel

On September 10, 1897, a group of 400 striking coal miners--workers of Polish, Slovak, and Lithuanian descent or origin--marched on Lattimer, Pennsylvania. There, law enforcement officers fired without warning into the protesters, killing nineteen mine...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

“Insight Philadelphia: Historical Essays Illustrated” with Kenneth Finkel

Each of the nearly 100 essays in Insight Philadelphia tells a succinct, compelling, and little-known tale of the city’s past. Some stories are quirky, like how early gas stations were designed to resemble classical temples, or the saga of how a museum ...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

"The Elite of Our People: Joseph Willson’s Sketches of Black Upper-Class Life in Antebellum Philadelphia" with Julie Winch

Sketches of the Higher Classes of Colored Society in Philadelphia, first published in 1841, was written by Joseph Willson, a southern black man who had moved to Philadelphia. He wrote this book to convince whites that the African-American community in ...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

“Blue-Collar Conservatism: Frank Rizzo's Philadelphia and Populist Politics” with Timothy Lombardo

The postwar United States has experienced many forms of populist politics, none more consequential than that of the blue-collar white ethnics who brought figures like Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump to the White House. "Blue-Collar Conservatism" traces ...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

“Archaeology at the Site of the Museum of the American Revolution” with Rebecca Yamin

When the Museum of the American Revolution acquired the land at Third and Chestnut streets in Olde City, Philadelphia, it came with the condition that an archaeological investigation be conducted. The excavation that began in the summer of 2014 yielded...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

"Washington's Crossing" with David Hackett Fischer

Six months after the Declaration of Independence, the American Revolution was all but lost. A powerful British force had routed the Americans at New York, occupied three colonies, and advanced within sight of Philadelphia. Yet, as David Hackett Fische...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

"The King of the Movies: Film Pioneer Siegmund Lubin" with Joseph Eckhardt

In addition to detailing the life and career of Siegmund Lubin of Philadelphia, this work explores the complex character of America's first Jewish movie mogul and separates his accomplishments as a film pioneer from the myths he himself helped create. ...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

"Doo-dah!" with Ken Emerson

Stephen Foster (1826-1864) was America’s first great songwriter and the first to earn his living solely through his music. He composed some 200 songs, including such classics as “Oh! Susanna,” “Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair,” “Old Folks at Home (Way...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

"The Goodfella Tapes" with George Anastasia

Goodfella Tapes by George Anastasia is the true story of how the FBI recorded a mob war and brought down a mafia don. A riveting, eye-opening true crime masterwork in the vein of “Wiseguy”, “Underboss”, “Havana Nocturne”, “The Valachi Papers”, and othe...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

“The Forgotten: How the People of One Pennsylvania County Elected Donald Trump and Changed America" with Ben Bradlee Jr.

In "The Forgotten," Ben Bradlee Jr. reports on how voters in Luzerne County, a pivotal county in a crucial swing state, came to feel like strangers in their own land – marginalized by flat or falling wages, rapid demographic change, and a liberal cultu...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

"Valley Forge" with Bob Drury

December 1777. It is 18 months after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and some 12,000 members of America’s beleaguered Continental Army stagger into a small Pennsylvania encampment 23 miles northwest of British-occupied Philadelphia. The...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author

“Radiation Nation: Three Mile Island and the Political Transformation of the 1970s ” with Natasha Zaretsky

On March 28, 1979, the worst nuclear reactor accident in U.S. history occurred at the Three Mile Island power plant in Central Pennsylvania. Radiation Nation tells the story of what happened that day and in the months and years that followed, as local ...
PCN - Pennsylvania Cable Network author