Untold Stories of US Presidents, Undercover Women, Unbroken

Top of Mind with Julie Rose

  • Feb 16, 2015 10:00 pm
  • 1:40:42

Untold Stories of U.S. Presidents Guest: Rick Beyer, author of “The Greatest Presidential Stories Never Told: 100 Tales from History to Astonish, Bewilder, and Stupefy” We know about their leadership techniques, the various policies they’ve implemented, and the lasting effect they’ve had on our nation, but what do we know about their lives outside of the public eye? From George Washington’s custody battle to Jimmy Carter’s UFO sighting, we get insight into some of the juiciest stories on the most powerful men in U.S. history. “George Washington is not our first president. He is our first president under the constitution,” says Beyer, “but our country existed about 8 years before the constitution was ratified, and during that time we had a bunch of presidents. The first one was John Hanson—he is actually our first president.” Women Undercover in the Civil War Guest: Kern Abott, Best-selling author including “Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy” Pick up a book about Civil War history and you’re likely to read about Generals Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant and the men who fought under them for the future of the nation. Women figure into the story mainly as the wives and girlfriends back home whose letters and pictures gave the men on the front something to live for. But that’s because you haven’t read best-selling author Karen Abott’s new book about Emma Edmondson, Belle Boyd, Rose Greenhow, Elizabeth Van Lew. The amazing stories of these four women are the subject of the new book, “Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy”  Boyd was 17 and obsessed with Confederate General Stonewall Jackson. “Part of her disguise was her brazenness. She would wander through Union Army camps stealing sabers and pistols and telling the men that she was a Confederate spy,” says Abott.   “I think it just comes down to this: No one had any idea what women would look like wearing pants. People were so used to seeing women corseted and in crinoline they couldn’t fathom a woman in pants, let alone a full army uniform,” says Abott on Emma Edmondson. Unbroken Guest: Laura Hillenbrand, Best-selling author including “Unbroken” Louis Zamperini is an Olympic runner whose record-breaking career was interrupted by World War II. The plane for which he’s a bombardier goes down over the Pacific and he’s marooned with two other crewmen for nearly two months, subsisting on rain water and fish. When a plane finally spots them, it’s Japanese and raining fire down on their disintegrating raft. After surviving, he’s sentenced to unspeakable brutality in Japanese prison camps. “Unbroken” is an inspiration story of a survivor who learns to forgive. “I fell in love with Louis Zamperini,” says Hillenbrand. “He was such an inspiring figure and a happy man who was such a joy to be around. He was a virtuoso of joy.” Mothers Behind Bars Connect with Kids Guest: Brooke Adams, Public Information Officer at the Utah Department of Corrections Three-quarters of the women incarcerated around the country are mothers, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. While in prison, they’re missing out on dance recitals and graduations and even just the nightly bedtime stories. But a program run by employees and volunteers at a women’s prison here in Utah is giving mothers behind bars the chance to read to their children through audio recordings—a program called, Bedtime Stories. “Women are often dealing with trauma and abuse as an underlying issue,” explains Adams. Helping them stay connect to their children while in prison is critical to their emotional health and the likelihood they will transition successfully after release.