Fresh takes on American history from three authors

Three book covers
"The Witches" by Stacy Schiff, "Black Cloud Rising" by David Wright Falade and "Alexander Hamilton" by Ron Chernow.
Courtesy photos

Who decides history? What gets passed on, and what gets passed over?

That is the question that historians are always plumbing. On this week’s special edition of Big Books and Bold Ideas, host Kerri Miller replayed portions of conversation she’s had with writers who’ve drawn indelible portraits of American history. 

You’ll hear Stacy Schiff, whose 2015 book “The Witches” delves into what really happened during the Salem Witch Trials. There’s also David Wright Faladé, who novelized the true story of an all-Black brigade during the Civil War that was commanded by a formerly enslaved man.

And finally, the incomparable Ron Chernow, who was at Talking Volumes in 2017 to talk about his book, “Grant” — but Miller couldn’t resist asking about “Hamilton,” his book that inspired Lin Manuel Miranda’s hit musical.


To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above. 

Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts or RSS.

Subscribe to the Thread newsletter for the latest book and author news and must-read recommendations. 

MPR News is Reader Funded

Before you keep reading, take a moment to donate to MPR News. Your financial support ensures that factual and trusted news and context remain accessible to all.