It's Groundhog Day, James Madison

Never give an animal to James Madison.
Groundhog Day was not yet a thing in eighteenth century America, but the furry rodent itself was a source of fascination to two early presidents.

The Trials of a Scold: Book Review

The Incredible True Story of Writer Anne Royall
I first became interested in Anne Royall while researching the story about her ambushing a skinny-dipping John Quincy Adams for an interview. At first I was disappointed there was absolutely no truth to the tale (see my debunking here) but I soon found out the actual story of Royall’s life and her infamous trial for being a “common scold” far more interesting.

In a new book The Trials of a Scold: The Incredible True Story of Writer Anne Royall out this month, Jeff Biggers tells Anne Royall’s story in a compelling narrative that helps restore her place in history.

John Adams and Hamilton's Superabundance of Secretions

And What Makes Men Terrible
In one letter from 1806, John Adams manages to level his greatest insult at Alexander Hamilton at the same time he shares a bizarre medical theory about why men like Hamilton go mad with power.

My Uncomfortable Night With "Thomas and Sally"

A provocative, but not thought-provoking, play.
When I first heard about Thomas Bradshaw’s play Thomas and Sally opening at Marin Theatre Company, I was intrigued.