Logo

Significant Others

Did you know that the novel "Lolita" would not exist if Vladimir Nabokov’s wife hadn’t stopped her husband from burning the manuscript? Or that Gandhi learned his legendary method of passive resistance from his wife? Or that the person responsible for Maya Angelou’s genre-defining memoir was her good friend James Baldwin? Significant Others is a narrated, nonfiction podcast about folks just beyond the spotlight of history. Each episode tells the story of a talented, difficult and little-known individual who altered the destiny of their better-known partner, child, sibling, or friend, and impacted the world they left behind. Narrated and written by Liza Powel O’Brien and featuring the voices of Megan Mullally, Nick Offerman, Jameela Jamil, Rita Wilson, Timothy Olyphant, Lisa Kudrow and many more.

Hilary Liftin on the Art of Ghostwriting

Significant Others

  • 130 views
  • about 2 months ago
  • 36:07

Amelia Earhart’s husband George Putnam didn’t invent ghostwriting, but he relied on it heavily to produce his best-sellers. What kind of job is ghostwriting today?

George Palmer Putnam

Significant Others

  • 180 views
  • about 2 months ago
  • 47:31

The man who made Amelia Earhart famous may also have gotten her killed. But their marriage was completely on her terms.Starring John C. McGinley as George Palmer Putnam and Christa Miller as Amelia Earhart.Also featuring Conan O’Brien, Neve O’Brien, Tavis Doucette, Maddie Ogden, and Miles Grose. Source ListAmelia Earhart, A Biography by Doris L. Rich, ©1989, 2010 by the Smithsonian InstitutionThe Sound of Wings by Mary S. Lovell, St. Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, NY, NY, 10010 ©1989 Letters From Amelia by Jean L. Backus, Beacon Press, ©1982 Soaring Wings by George Palmer Putnam, Manor Books Inc., ©1939, ©1967 by Margaret H. Lewis, Published by arrangement with Harocourt, Brace, Jovanovich, Inc. Wide Margins, a publisher’s autobiography by George Palmer Putnam, ©1942, Harcourt, Brace and Company, NYEAST TO THE DAWN,The Life of Amelia Earhart by Susan Butler, Da Capo Press, ©1997 Whistled Like A Bird by Sally Putnam Chapman, Warner Books, Inc., Hachette Book GroupProject Muse, “The Earhart Phenomenon and the “Accident of Sex” PBS, “American Experience: Amelia Earhart”“Amelia Earhart’s Last Flight” by Judith Thurman, The New Yorker, Sept. 7, 2009National Air and Space Museum, Earhart and George Palmer PutnamNew England Historical Society, Amelia Earhart, Reluctant BridePurdue University, Putnam, George Palmer, 1887-1950CT Insider, Amelia Earhart’s ‘Secret’ Connecticut Wedding: From the ArchivesUPI, Husband of Missing Flier Earhart Secluded After Long VigilThe New York Times, 1932: I’m Not ‘Mrs. Putnam,’ I’m Amelia EarhartPBS American Experience, Amelia Earhart Program TranscriptPalmer, Amy Phipps Guest PortraitHistory.com, Charles Lindbergh Completes the First Solo, Nonstop Transatlantic FlightCharles Lindbergh House and Museum, New York-to-Paris FlightBritannica, Charles Lindbergh, American AviatorNASA.gov, Realizing the Dream of FlightMedium, Ghostwriters in 2020: The Current Trends and BeyondThe New York Times Archive, Tuesday, June 19th, 1928. Wednesday, June 20th, 1928.Flight Paths: Purdue University’s Aerospace Pioneers, The Earhart Brand: Amelia Earhart’s Impact on Celebrity CulturePBS, Navigating the Truth Behind Amelia Earhart and Fred NoonanGhost Writing and History by Ernest R. May,  ©1953, The American Scholar, Published By: The Phi Beta Kappa Society

Eric Marcus on Bayard Rustin’s Legacy

Significant Others

  • 150 views
  • about 2 months ago
  • 38:40

Founder and host of the podcast Making Gay History, Eric Marcus, on Rustin’s heir and the stewardship of his legacy.

Bayard Rustin

Significant Others

  • 160 views
  • about 2 months ago
  • 50:43

The architect of the March on Washington and co-author of Dr. King’s memoir was a mentor to the great civil rights martyr. But he was nearly hidden from history—largely by choice.Starring: J. Holtham as Bayard Rustin and Anthony Obi as Martin Luther King, Jr. Also featuring: Miles Grose, Matt Gourley, and Jesse Thorn. Source List:The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute, Bayard Rustin, To Bayard Rustin, Glenn E. Smiley, From Bayard Rustin, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Address at NAACP Mass Rally for Civil RightsFacing History & Ourselves, Brother Outsider: Remembering Gay Civil Rights Leader Bayard RustinLambda Legal, 67 Years Later, Bayard Rustin’s California Arrest and Jail Time Have Been PardonedJewish News Syndicate, Bayard Rustin (1912-1987)Bill of Rights Institute, Bayard Rustin, Nonviolence vs. Jim Crow, 1942PBS.org., Who Designed the March on Washington?The Weekly Challenger, The FBI Plot to Bring Down the Gay Man Behind the March on WashingtonMaking Gay History, Bayard RustinWashington Blade, Looking Back: 50 Years of the BladeThe Washington Post, Bayard Rustin, Organizer of the March on Washington, Was Crucial to the Movement, In ‘I Must Resist,’ Bayard Rustin Lived a Life with No Apologies Montgomery Advertiser, 21, 22, 23, & 24 February 1956Cross Country Solidarity, The Montgomery Bus Boycott: The Full StoryLA Times, Glenn Smiley; Advised King on NonviolenceThe Guardian, When Martin Luther King Gave Up His GunsWhy a Gay, Black Civil Rights Hero Opposed Affirmative ActionMalcolm X and Bayard Rustin Debate on WBAICivilRights.org, Bayard Rustin and the Presidential Medal of Freedom: A Perfect FitYale Law School, Bayard Rustin CentennialResearchgate.net, Arrest Record for Bayard RustinAdam Clayton Powell Jr.Beacon Broadside, Roy Wilkins’s Reluctant Tribute to W.E.B. Du BoisLegal Defense Fund, Brown v. Board of EducationGreensboro.com, Thurmond, FBI Had Close Ties, Records ShowThe New York Times, Negro Rally Aide Rebuts SenatorI Must Resist, Bayard Rustin’s Life In Letters, Ed. Michael Long, City Lights Books, ©2012Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin by John D’Emilio, Free Press/Simon & Schuster, ©2003ALABAMA V. KING, By Dan Abrams and Fred Grey with David Fisher, Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd., ©2022 Martin Luther King, Jr., Homosexuality, and the Early Gay Rights Movement By Michael Long, First published by PALGRAVE MACMILLAN, a division of St. Martin’s Press, ©2012Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference by David J Garrow, ©1986, Edition published 2015 by Open Road Media 

Sarah Vowell on Peggy Shippen & Revolutionary America

Significant Others

  • 130 views
  • 2 months ago
  • 29:39

Author Sarah Vowell on the particular struggles women faced in revolutionary America and how Peggy Shippen’s environment influenced her decisions.Sarah’s books can be found here.

Peggy Shippen

Significant Others

  • 160 views
  • 2 months ago
  • 57:44

Benedict Arnold is famous for betraying his country–but it was his wife who made the treason possible.Starring: Susan Yeagley as Peggy Shippen and Andy Richter as Benedict Arnold. Also featuring: Luke Millington-Drake, Jim O’Heir, Matt Gourley, and Roman Mars. Show notes:John Andre sketch of Peggy ShippenSource List:American Battlefield Trust, Peggy Shippen, 10 Facts: Benedict Arnold and Peggy Shippen, Benedict ArnoldHistory.com, Benedict ArnoldNew York Historical Society, Life Story: Margaret “Peggy” Shippen ArnoldNational Endowment for the Humanities, Love and the RevolutionMassachusetts Historical Society, Letters from John Adams to Abigail AdamsNPS.gov, Benedict ArnoldHistory.com, Why Benedict Arnold Tried to Capture QuebecThe George Washington Presidential Library, Joseph ReedMedium.com, The Highest-paid Spy in the American RevolutionBrobeck, Stephen. “Revolutionary Change in Colonial Philadelphia: The Brief Life of the Proprietary Gentry.” The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 33, no. 3, 1976, pp. 410–34. JSTORBenedict Arnold, Patriot and Traitor by Willard Sterne Randall, ©1990 by Willard Sterne Randall, 2001 Dorset PressDefiant Brides: The Untold Story of Two Revolutionary-Era Women and the Radical Men They Married, Nancy Rubin Stuart, ©2013 by Nancy Rubin Stuart, Beacon Press

Significant Others Returns!

Significant Others

  • 160 views
  • 2 months ago
  • 01:58

Significant Others is back for season 2! Starting February 14th, join Liza Powel O’Brien as she explores more stories of the little-known individuals just beyond the spotlight of history. Would Benedict Arnold have betrayed his country were it not for his wife, Peggy? Who is really to blame for Friedrich Nietzche’s connection to Nazism? Find out when Significant Others returns, February 14th with new episodes every Wednesday and follow-up episodes on Thursdays.