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Get to know our authors!

Below, we’ve provided brief bios of the historians, authors and writers that we’ve interviewed for our podcasts. Click onto the author’s name to bring up the author bio. Soon to come will be our Members’ Lounge where you will have full access to much more information about authors, including not only past accomplishments and books, but current projects and activities such as book tours and even historical tours.

Arthur Milnes

searching for the dief

Arthur Milnes, a former speechwriter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, served as the research assistant on the Rt. Hon. Brian Mulroney’s Memoirs. He was co-editor (with Dr. Sarah K. Gibson) of Canada Transformed: The Speeches of Sir John A. Macdonald. His other previous books include studies of Prime Ministers John N. Turner, R.B. Bennett, Arthur Meighen and US Presidents George HW Bush, Franklin Roosevelt, and Jimmy Carter. He lives in Kingston and is a Fellow of the Queen’s University School of Policy Studies, a speechwriter, and acclaimed public historian. The author lives in Kingston, ON.

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Andrew Graham Dixon
www.andrewgrahamdixon.com

Is it better to read up on an artist before going to an exhibition or decide on your own response, then read up on the artist on the train home?

“For me, one of the great pleasures of art is that attempt to enter someone else’s world – to know about the society in which they lived, the city in which they drank their coffee, the politics of the time, the religion of the time. Knowing those things has in many cases completely transformed my ability to feel as if I’m really communicating across time with the artist or feeling some sense of what they intended when they painted the picture or created that sculpture or designed that building.”

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Andrew Graham-Dixon

Caravaggio: Rabble Rouser, Criminal, Misunderstood Artist?

Historian, art critic, author, writer, broadcaster, educator.

“Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane” is just the latest of a number of books written by the prolific author, historian, art critic and broadcaster, Andrew Graham-Dixon. His first book in 1993, a monograph of the renowned contemporary British painter, Howard Hodgkin, was written while Andrew served as art critic for The Independent. Following up only two years later, he produced a major overview and his examination of Britain’s “love-hate relationship with art” in “A History of British Art“. In 1999, Andrew’s “The Renaissance“, not only provided 125 colour illustrations of some of the most famous acclaimed works created during the Renaissance, but in it he also disputes some of the commonly accepted beliefs of that dramatic period of art. Andrew’s 2007 publication “Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel” describes the intense and somewhat tortured process between the mercurial Michelangelo and the highly temperamental arts patron, Pope Julius II, which eventually led to the Renaissance masterpiece of the Sistine Chapel. In between authoring these tomes, Andrew also released two collections of his many weekly articles published in the Telegraph and the Sunday Telegraph.

If anything, Andrew’s expansion into broadcasting became just as prominent as his accomplishments in print. He began a long association with the BBC in 1991, resulting in the presentation of more than 100 long- and short form documentaries through that career.  Those documentaries ranged from major productions such as the six-part series, “A History of British Art (1993),” to the “Secret Lives of the Artists (2002)”, to “1000 Ways of Getting Drunk in England (2003)”, to  “Petworth House: The Big Spring Clean“. In his most recent film project released in 2019, Andrew assumed the role of detective as he traced the journey of the one of the most resourceful art forgers ever.  In the documentary, “Van Meegeren: The Forger Who Fooled the Nazis“, Andrew traces the steps of the Dutch painter, Han van Meegeren, as he painted and sold his imitations to unwitting clients (including Nazi Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring in Nazi occupied Netherlands).

Andrew’s expertise has been called upon numerous times through his highly regarded career to adjudicate for various events including Turner Prize, the BP National Portrait Prize and the Annual British Animation Awards, among many other prizes. He has also been asked to serve on the  Government Art Collection Committee, the Hayward Advisory Committee, and the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead.

AGD says if he were asked to create an image of himself for posterity, his two choices of artist would be the two most well known Michelangelos: Michelangelo Buonarroti Simoni of Sistine Chapel fame or Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, who created the disturbing painting, “Judith Beheading Holofernes.” Andrew says if Michelangelo were to accept the commission, it would be for a sculpture and only after Andrew spent a few months in the gym. “He’d probably have to do me as one of the slaves bemoaning the fate of the arts now that Pope Julius II is dead,” says Andrew. Julius is most well known for his close collaboration with Michelangelo and for his patronage of other artists. It was Julius who  commissioned Michelangelo’s “Moses” and paintings in the Sistine Chapel.

Andrew says if it were Caravaggio who were to agree to take on the assignment, Andrew would have to become an honorary member of the Knights of Malta, wearing a huge gown with a black cross of the Knights of St. John on the back and carrying a fantastic fencing rapier. “Maybe I’d borrow Caravaggio’s own and strike a pose. We’d be lanced together in Malta; he, the painter-fugitive and I the dashing art critic with a sword,” Andrew says with a chuckle.

Andrew Graham-Dixon continues to offer numerous educational and intriguing in-person and online discussions and tours. 

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Carolyn Burke

From Vogue Model to Hitler’s Bathtub

Carolyn Burke’s writing has appeared in such places as Art in AmericaVogueLa Nouvelle Revue Française, and The New Yorker. She has taught life-writing at book festivals and universities in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, and France. Appearances include talks at the Cosmos Club, Washington, DC, the University of Sydney, and Columbia University’s Maison Française. Carolyn is a member of PEN and the Authors Guild. A student of Zen Buddhism, she took the precepts with Tenshin Reb Anderson in 2010.

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Heather Marcovitch

Oscar Wilde: The Art of the Pose

Heather Marcovitch is the author of numerous works in late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century British literature with a scholarly focus on the Victorian fin de siècle, the period from 1880-1905. Her publications include a scholarly book on Oscar Wilde and performance theory, and articles on Wilde’s fairy tales. Marcovitch teaches Victorian Literature, Children’s Literature, and Literary Theory, at Red Deer College in Red Deer, Alberta.

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Jay Miller

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Jay Miller is a Texas-based aviation photo journalist with 36 books and over a thousand published newspaper and magazine articles to his credit. He is also the retired director of the American Airlines C. R. Smith Museum and the retired director of Paul Allen’s Flying Heritage Collection. As a professional aviation photographer, he spends most of his time working with a variety of aviation clients that include many of the major contractors as well as numerous local subs and completion shops. His work has appeared in publications across the globe. Miller has received many accolades for his writing and photography, the most recent of which was the International Society for Aviation Photography’s George Hall Lifetime Achievement Award. He has logged time in a broad spectrum of aircraft including hot air balloons, helicopters, sailplanes, and high-performance military fighters.
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M.M. McAllen

Maximillian & Carlotta: Royals for Hire

Historian and author, Mary Margaret (M.M.) McAllen has contributed a number of significant books tracing the history of her home state of Texas including: I would Rather Sleep in Texas (winner of  the San Antonio Conservation Society Publication Award), A Brave Boy and a Good Soldier, Maximilian and Carlotta, Texas Labor History and The Civil War on the Rio Grande, 1846 – 1876. In addition, M.M. has written numerous articles for magazines, journals, provided introductions, and contributed to anthologies. She lives in San Antonio, Texas. M. M. is an active member of the Western Writers of America, board member of the Texas A & M University Press, past president of the Texas State Historical Association, Director of Humanities at the Witte Museum in San Antonio and former Adjunct Professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

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Stephen Kinzer
www.stephenkinzer.com

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Stephen Kinzer

Sidney Gottlieb: Poisoner in Chief

Writer, foreign correspondent, journalism instructor

As an author, Stephen Kinzer has published numerous books about critical global issues, but perhaps one of the books that troubled him the most was the biography “Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control.” In the podcast interview called “The Deadliest Chemist”, Stephen said, 

As an author, Stephen Kinzer has published numerous books about critical global issues, but perhaps one of the books that troubled him the most was the biography “Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control.” In the podcast interview called “The Deadliest Chemist”, Stephen said, “I really believe that I’ve discovered the most powerful, unknown American of the 20th century, unless there was someone else who had a U.S. government issued license-to-kill, and who had the ability to requisition prisoners all over the world to have them sent to his torture chambers so that he could experiment on them to death. So, this is a huge, untold story. And it’s one that I’m still recovering from. Having to live with Gottlieb for a couple of years while writing this book was quite a stressful experience. And I haven’t quite gotten him out of my mind yet.”

It’s quite a statement for a journalist who has reported from more than 50 countries on five continents. Stephen’s responsibilities as a New York Times foreign correspondent for more than 20 years placed him close to some of the most critically historic situations around the world. Drawing on those experiences, he’s published numerous critically reviewed books and articles that may express views not necessarily accepted as American or Western mainstream. It’s worth your while to check out his work to gain some useful perspectives.

Stephen continues to monitor and analyze the current global status with his blogs on his website. 

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Tammy Bradford

Baillie-grohman: big game hunter in over his head

Tammy Bradford has been manager of the Creston Museum in Creston, B.C., Canada for more than 20 years. In addition, she wears many other hats including curator, historian, archivist, HR and IT, collections manager and sometimes tour guide.

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Abraham Josephine Reisman

The Ambiguity of Stan Lee

Allan Levine

The Peculiar World of Prime Minister Mackenzie King

Andrew Graham-Dixon

Caravaggio: Rabble Rouser, Criminal, Misunderstood Artist?

Arthur Milnes

Searching for "The Dief"

Ben Lewis

da Vinci's Salvator Mundi - The Bargain of the Millenium

Carolyn Burke

From Vogue Model To Hitler’s Bathtub

David Greenberg

The Evolution of Spin

Dimitry Anastakis

The Bricklin: automotive fantasy or lost opportunity for prosperity?
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