Episode #37 Murder, Mary Surratt, and Public History with Kate Taylor

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Digging deeper into conspiracies, murders, the assassination, and of course - public history. Kate Taylor joins us this week to hash through some good stuff...particularly about history in the public realm, which seems to be developing into a pretty robust theme on this show. If y'all are ever in the great state of Maryland (as so many of my guests seem to be) be sure to look up Kate and her husband, Dave to sort out the murder, the conspiracy, and the efforts to bring the conspirators to justice. You might learn something unexpected! I certainly have decided to take a second look at the history after speaking with Kate - we discuss...

  • What is so compelling, not only about Mary Surratt, but about other women accused of heinous acts - such as Lizzie Borden
  • Our fascination with murder
  • The significance of public history in American culture
  • Samuel Mudd...what we know and what we think we know about the infamous doctor
  • The Robert Redford film, The Conspirator (n.b., I once gave this film a scathing review...after speaking with Kate, I've decided to give it a second chance)
  • The guilt or innocence of Mary Surratt
  • Weird stuff on tours and the honesty of children 

Kate also comes through on the book and movie recs, suggesting we pick up Manhunt: The 12 Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson and H. H. Holmes: The True History of the White City Devil by Adam Selzer. For the screen...Killing Lincoln along with The Day Lincoln Was Shot are her picks. You can find Kate and get the lowdown on current and upcoming tours and talks by visiting her website and checking her out on Twitter

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Keith Harris