Hire Me To Speak
Following publication of my National Bestseller, D-Day Girls: The Spies Who Armed the Resistance, Sabotaged the Nazis, and Helped Win World War II, and For All The Tea in China: How England Stole the World’s Favorite Drink and Changed History I have been sought out by institutions such as The U.S. House of Representatives Democratic Caucus, The National World War II Museum, The University of Chicago, The American Library in Paris, The Dallas Book Festival, Seabourn Cruises, The Jewish Book Council, Bowling Green State University, The University of Mary Washington, and others for readings, lectures, and seminars.
My broadcast credits include MSNBC’s Morning Joe, BBC’s World Service Newshour and Book of the Week, NPR’s All Things Considered and Good Food, C-Span’s Washington Journal and Book TV, The Wall Street Journal’s Lunch Break and The News Hub, The History Channel’s The World Without, local affiliate programming for CBS, ABC and the WB, and podcasts such as The Atlantic’s Gastropod.
THE HIDDEN FIGURES OF D-DAY: WOMEN AND THE DAY THAT CHANGED THE WORLD
In 1942, the Allies were losing, Germany seemed unstoppable, and every able man was on the front lines. To “set Europe ablaze,” in the words of Winston Churchill, a special agency was created whose spies were trained in everything from demolition to sharpshooting, and it was forced to do something unprecedented: recruit women. Thirty-nine answered the call, leaving their lives and families to become the first women in modern combat. Together, these female 007’s destroyed train lines, ambushed Nazis, plotted prison breaks, and gathered crucial intelligence—laying the groundwork for the D-Day invasion.
I mined recently declassified government files, diaries, and oral histories to re-center women in the narrative of World War II. As a journalist and travel writer, I believe the use of evocative story-telling, suspense, compelling characters, and global context will keep these stories alive. This is not a mere aesthetic preference, but an ethical project with implications for future generations, national security, and military readiness.
HISTORY’S MOST SUCCESSFUL SPY
The industrial age’s greatest act of corporate espionage sits on your breakfast table: Tea The once-mighty British Empire, governing from a small island in the North Atlantic, sent an industrial spy across the globe to the Pacific, to steal Chinese tea plants for farms in colonial India. It was the great age of sail, when Robert Fortune, a Scottish botanist and contemporary of Charles Darwin, became the first Westerner to explore the interior of China since Marco Polo. Tea became an essential commodity, driving the expansion of the modern industrial era. One man alone stole the recipe for the world’s favorite drink and altered the course of Empires.
Rather than framing history through a lens of oversized historical personalities and a dry recitation of dates, this talk explores how a single commodity can impact any nation it touches — socially, economically, culturally, and technologically — and why it is our collective responsibility to recognize and retell these stories. Two global drug cartels – the Chinese and the British – dictated the fate of the world.