News and Events

February 22, 2024

I’m a huge fan of, which delivers a daily excerpt from a new or newish nonfiction book.  Imagine my delight when I read today’s selection: It’s a reprise of an excerpt from Lady Editor, my biography of the great 19th-century editor, Sarah Josepha Hale. Like, Mrs. Hale’s magazine, Godey’s Lady’s Book was based in Philadelphia. 

November 21, 2023

The Revolutionary War liberated American men, but how about the women? Cynthia Kiernan examines that question in “The Tory’s Wife,” the story of the wife of a traitor who tries to claim her rights as an American. See my review in the Wall Street Journal.

November 20, 2023

It was such a pleasure to speak about Thanksgiving, North Korea and Hong Kong hero Jimmy Lai with Roger Ream of the Fund for American Studies on his Liberty & Leadership podcast.

November 8, 2023

What are the colors of Thanksgiving? I’ve written a whole book on Thanksgiving and I confess that I had never given a moment’s thought to this subject until a reporter for the TODAY Show’s website asked. Here’s what I replied. Check out my book for a more serious take on the holiday.

September 23, 2023

Xi Jinping is waging war on China’s history and brave independent thinkers are challenging him. See my latest book review in The Wall Street Journal. In “Sparks,” Ian Johnson writes that “thousands” of scholars, historians, journalists, artists and filmmakers around the country are working to correct the Chinese Communist Party’s version of the “truth.”

September 9, 2023

The most dangerous woman in the world? Sung-Yoon Lee makes a persuasive case in “The Sister” that the title belongs to Kim Jong Un’s sibling, Kim Yo Jong. If only the 25 million citizens of North Korea could read Mr. Lee’s riveting account of Ms. Kim and her family. Here’s my review.

June 26, 2023

Hong Kong’s not just a Chinese city. Vaudine England offers a fascinating look at the mixed-race population of early Hong Kong in her new book, “Fortune’s Children.” Here’s my review in the Wall Street Journal.

March 7, 2023

“To Disarm North Korea, Focus on Human Rights” — my latest op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. First step: an information campaign with three messages to impart to North Koreans: the brutal realities about life in their homeland; the corruption of the leadership; and the truth about life outside their borders, especially in free, prosperous South Korea.

February 16, 2023

If you want a glimpse of ordinary life in North Korea, I recommend “The Hard Road Out” by Jihyun Park and Seh-Lynn Chair. Here’s a link to my review in The Wall Street Journal.

November 21, 2022

I’m quoted in a thoughtful article by Scott Whitlock, an editor at Scott examines why Thanksgiving is vilified in the curricula of some schools. Good question. As I wrote in Thanksgiving: The Holiday at the Heart of the American Experience, For some teachers and textbook authors, the day is all about “cultural imperialism and the displacement and murder of Native Americans by European settlers.” 

November 22, 2022

Sylvie Legere of the Policy Circle invited me to appear on her podcast to talk about Sarah Josepha Hale and Thanksgiving. (Sorry, Sylvie, I can’t figure out how to add the proper French accent marks to your name.) Merci, Madame! SJH, by the way, was fluent in French.

November 21, 2022

I give thanks to my old WSJ buddy and great editor, Mike Judge, for publishing an excerpt from Lady Editor in his splendid Substack column: The First Person with Mike Judge: Giving Thanks for Sarah Josepha Hale.

October 31, 2022

Happy Halloween and on to Thanksgiving! Here’s my personal list of books to add meaning to your Thanksgiving celebration. It appears on a charming new website called Shepherd (as in “book shepherd”), dedicated to helping readers discover great books. It does so by asking authors share some of their favorite books. Check it out.

October 2, 2022

Thanks to the New York Sun and John Bennett for the nice review of Lady Editor, which he deems “a pearl of a book.” Bennett writes: “Fans of Melanie Kirkpatrick during her years on the Wall Street Journal will be delighted by her ‘Lady Editor.’ . . . Hale “proved that a woman could have it all. That adds up — for both Hale and her biographer — to a scoop.”

July 13, 2022

I am honored to be named to the list of “Champion Women” profiled by the estimable Independent Women’s Forum.

July 6, 2022

I was delighted to learn that Lady Editor is among the finalists for the 2022 Sperber Book Prize. The prize, which is administered by Fordham University, honors biographies and memoirs that focus on journalists. The winner will be announced in November.

June 12, 2022

It’s not every American author who gets a book party in the charming Bulgarian capital of Sofia. I’m thankful to my friends Gail & Rick for throwing a marvelous event to introduce Lady Editor to a fascinating assortment of Bulgarians and Americans. Mrs. Hale wrote about Bulgaria in 1877, when it was an oppressed province of the Ottoman Empire. Writing in her Godey’s Lady’s Book column, she recommended that Christian benefactors purchase Bulgaria from the Turks. It’s interesting to speculate how Bulgaria — and the region — would have been different had that happened.

June 15, 2022

What author do I draw inspiration from? Who’s the book character I’d like to be best friends with? If you’re hungry to know the answers to these questions about me (smile), take a look at Ashley Hasty’s interview on her nice book blog. Ashley has a Ph.D. in fashion history, which means she’s heard of Godey’s Lady’s Book and Mrs. Hale. Thanks for your interest in Lady Editor, Ashley!

June 4, 2022

I tried out a new Power Point Presentation this evening, when I gave a talk on Lady Editor at a Manhattan club. Club etiquette prevents me from revealing the name, but suffice it to say it was very enjoyable. I got some good feedback on the PPP too.

March 18, 2022

Here’s a link to my WSJ review of a biography of Miriam Leslie, an editor, fashion icon and publisher of the Gilded Age. Leslie was the polar opposite of Sarah Josepha Hale. She was “vain, bigoted, imperious and hard-boiled,” writes author Betsy Prioleau in “Diamonds and Deadlines.”

March 17, 2022

Really enjoyed my conversation about Sarah Josepha Hale with Scott Monty on his Timeless Leadership podcast. Scott’s a skillful interviewer. His questions about leadership, women, and the 19th century helped bring Sarah Josepha Hale to life for listeners.

March 8, 2022

I’m glad to be back at my alma mater, The Wall Street Journal, writing about Sarah Josepha Hale, who, among so many other things, invented women’s history. Here’s an excerpt: “In addition to her advocacy on behalf of women who wanted to go to college or work for a living, Hale did much to professionalize the job held by the vast majority of women–that of wife, mother and homemaker.” Happy Women’s History month.

March 7, 2022

“Meet the 19th Century Heroine Who Transformed the Role of American Women.” Thank you, BookTrib, for the great review of Lady Editor. The headline is perfect!

January 25, 2022

I had enormous fun at lunch today speaking about Lady Editor to a group of highly intelligent women. The lunch took place at a storied Manhattan club, whose name shall go unmentioned. Mrs. Hale would have enjoyed the company of these well-educated ladies.

November 23, 2021

What an enchanting podcast on Sarah Josepha Hale by Chris Flannery on the Claremont Institute’s “The American Story.” Chris captures Mrs. Hale beautifully in just seven minutes.

November 22, 2021

John Meiller and I discuss four centuries of Thanksgiving on Wisconsin Public Radio.

November 22, 2021

It’s delightful to be back with Tim Anaya and Rowena Itchon to talk about Thanksgiving on their podcast for the Pacific Research Institute. Yes, George Washington’s favorite drink was Madeira wine. And no, I’m not keen to drink it with my turkey on Thanksgiving Day.

November 21, 2021

Delighted to join Jon Delano on KDKA Pittsburgh to chat about all things Thanksgiving.

November 16, 2021

It was great to be back on Ed Martin’s show on the ProAmerica network. This time I talked about Thanksgiving, but I couldn’t resist mentioning you-know-who. (Sarah Josepha Hale!)

November 15, 2021

Here’s a link to C-Span’s BookTV and its broadcast of the Hudson Institute’s event on Lady Editor. Judging from the number of emails I got from friends who happened upon the show, I sure know a lot of bookworms, You’ll have to scroll past the tail end of the presentation by the estimable Gordon Wood presentation before my segment begins.

November 11, 2021

Tune in to C-Span BookTV on Sunday, November 14, to watch me talk about Sarah Josepha Hale, women’s education, and all things Thanksgiving with Ann Marie Hauser of the Hudson Institute. Repeats on November 28 and 29.

November 8, 2021

I enjoyed speaking with the Sons of History about Lady Editor. Thanks, Dustin and Alan for having me on your podcast.

November 3, 2021

The title of my Zoom talk to my Class of 1973 Princeton classmates this evening was “Mr. Lincoln, Mrs. Hale, and Thanksgiving.” Very enjoyable, but I have to improve my Power Point skills.

November 2, 2021

Many thanks to John Miller, director of the journalism program at Hillsdale College, for an eye-opening visit to Hillsdale College this week. John’s students are impressive. Student Ryan Young was a skillful interviewer on Radio Free Hillsdale.

October 24, 2021

I enjoyed my conversation with the estimable Mark Bauerlein, who hosts a marvelous podcast at First Things magazine, the preeminent journal of religion. Hale was a prolific author, the editor of the most widely circulated magazine of the antebellum period, and the godmother of our Thanksgiving holiday. But if you had asked her what was her most important role in life, I think she would have responded: I am a mother.

October 6, 2021

Thank you to the Hudson Institute in Washington for hosting a marvelous book event for Lady Editor. The effervescent Ann Marie Hauser was my interlocutor.

October 5, 2021

The paperback version of Thanksgiving: The Holiday at the Heart of the American Experience is published today — just in time for next month’s 400th anniversary of the First Thanksgiving. I’ve written a preface to this edition about progressives’ war on Thanksgiving.

September 21, 2021

Who knew that talk radio has emigrated to Europe? It was fun to be on Talk Radio Europe’s Lifestyles Show to talk about Sarah Josepha Hale and her impact on American culture.

September 13, 2021

Thank you to PEO New York State and president Lisa Blystone for inviting me to present a webinar on Lady Editor last night. Education for women was Sarah Josepha Hale’s passion — and it remains the passion of PEO, now 152 years old and going strong.

September 8, 2021

Such a pleasure to speak in the lovely garden of the Beekley Library in New Hartford, CT this week. Thanks to friends and neighbors for giving such a warm welcome to me and Lady Editor!

September 1, 2021

From Education Next, a journal published by Harvard’s Kennedy School, my article on how Hale helped open the teaching profession to women.

August 30, 2021

From New Hampshire’s Valley News, a lovely feature story on Lady Editor.

August 26, 2021

Really enjoyed my conversation the other day with Pro America’s Ed Martin.

August 24, 2021

What a lovely spread Monday about Lady Editor in Claremont, N.H.’s (page 13). I’m reminded that when Hale opened a millinery shop in Newport after the death of her husband in 1822, she announced it in the Claremont paper. The heading was “New Goods, and New Fashions.” Needlework was the only respectable occupation available to a lady who had fallen on hard times, and Hale hated the shop. It was part of her motivation to write — eventually becoming one of the first women to earn a living by her pen.

August 24, 2021

I’m honored to be invited to speak about Lady Editor at the New Hampshire Historical Society in Concord, the state capital. My lecture will take place a week from today, August 31, at 6 p.m.

August 23, 2021

If you find yourself near Newport, New Hampshire on Saturday (August 28), I hope you’ll stop by the Apple Pie Crafts Fair and hear me speak about Newport’s hometown heroine, Sarah Josepha Hale, born there on October 24, 1788. My talk is at 2 at the Richards Free Library’s tent.

August 23, 2021

I enjoyed talking about Mrs. Hale with Daniel Nicholas Gullotta on his Age of Jackson podcast, which covers people and issues from the antebellum period.

August 20, 2021

If you’re a reader, you should know about  It emails to subscribers a short daily excerpt from a current book – usually history or biography. I’ve been a satisfied subscriber for years – especially today, when an excerpt from Lady Editor popped into my in box.

August 16, 2021

It was great to speak with Jamie Bologna on WBUR Radio Boston about Hale’s work and views. Interesting discussion on Hale’s opinion of Liberia, the African country established by freed American slaves.

August 16, 2021

Thank you Eric Metaxas for having me on your show to discuss Sarah Josepha Hale’s role in making Thanksgiving a national holiday and her other contributions to American history and culture.

August 14, 2021

I thank National Review’s literary editor, Katherine Howell, for her warm review of Lady Editor. She writes: “Kirkpatrick has dusted off the cobwebs — uncovering a mind worth encountering and an American life worth honoring.

August 9, 2021

It was splendid to chat about Lady Editor with John J. Miller of Hillsdale and National Review on his Bookmonger podcast. John always knows just what to ask.

August 7, 2021

II am delighted that The Wall Street Journal invited me to review “New Women of the Old West” for the paper’s always-terrific weekend book section. Many of the strong women profiled in “New Women” would have read Godey’s Lady’s Book, which its brilliant Lady Editor, Sarah Josepha Hale, built into one of the first national magazines.

August 4, 2021

Really enjoyed my conversation with Ro Itchon and Tim Anaya of the great Pacific Research Institute on their Last Round podcast. Tim and Ro work near Napa County — hence the title of their podcast — and we got to talking about wine. Specifically that famous French wine maker –Madame Clicquot, whose famous Champagne bears her name. Hale was a widow for 57 year, Clicquot for more than 60 years. The deaths of their husbands propelled these amazing women to great achievements in the first half of the 19th century. I like to think Mrs. Hale–despite her temperance views–would have enjoyed drinking some of Mrs. Clicquot’s bubbly while comparing war stories about women and work.

August 3, 2021

It’s official! Lady Editor was published today. According to the Yale Bibliography of American Literature, Hale wrote, edited or contributed to 129 books. This is my third book. It looks like I have 123 to go!

July 2, 2021

For the July 4 weekend, consider the words that Sarah Josepha Hale wrote in 1828 about the American republic: “Democracies have been, and governments called free: but the spirit of independence and the consciousness of unalienable rights were never before transfused into the minds of a whole people….The feeling of equality which they proudly cherish does not proceed from an ignorance of their station, but from the knowledge of their rights; and it is this knowledge which will render it so exceedingly difficult for any tyrant ever to triumph over the liberties of our country.”

June 30, 2021

How nice to see my alma mater’s mention of Lady Editor in its alumni magazine.  Especially so since I was one of the first women to graduate from Princeton – in the Class of 1973. Sarah Josepha Hale, who spent 50 years advocating for higher education for women,  never imagined women studying at what was then called the College of New Jersey! Lady Editor will be published on August 3.

June 1, 2021

Lady Editor will be published on August 3, nine Tuesdays from today.

May 24, 2021

So exciting! The advance reader’s copies of Lady Editor went out this week. If you’re a member of the media and would like one, we’ll happy mail or email you a copy. Please contact Lauren Miklos at Encounter Books:

April 30, 2021

One hundred forty-two years ago today, Hale died peacefully in her bed at home in Philadelphia. She was ninety years old.

April 9, 2021

The Wall Street Journal published my review of three extraordinary women who lived around the same time as Hale.  I expect they read the Ladies’ Magazine and Godey’s Lady’s Book.