Matthew Algeo, Author

In early 1861, as he prepared to leave his home in Springfield, Illinois, to move into the White House, Abraham Lincoln faced many momentous tasks, but none he dreaded more than telling his two youngest sons, Willie and Tad, that the family's beloved pet dog, Fido, would not be accompanying them to Washington. Lincoln, who had adopted Fido about five years earlier, was afraid the skittish dog wouldn't survive the long rail journey, so he decided to leave the mutt behind with friends in Springfield. Abe & Fido tells the story of two friends, an unlikely tandem who each became famous and died prematurely. It also explores the everyday life of Springfield in the years leading up to the Civil War, as well as Lincoln's sometimes radical views on animal welfare, and how they shaped his life and his presidency. It's the story of a master and his dog, living through historic, tumultuous times.


A unique and stately journey captured


On June 19, 1953, Harry Truman got up early, packed the trunk of his Chrysler New Yorker, and did something no other former president has done before or since: he hit the road. No Secret Service protection. No traveling press. Just Harry and his childhood sweetheart Bess, off to visit old friends, take in a Broadway play, celebrate their wedding anniversary in the Big Apple, and blow a bit of the money he’d just received to write his memoirs. Hopefully incognito. In this lively history, author Matthew Algeo meticulously details how Truman’s plan to blend in went wonderfully awry. Fellow diners, bellhops, cabbies, squealing teenagers at a Future Homemakers of America convention, and one very by-the-book Pennsylvania state trooper--all unknowingly conspired to blow his cover. Algeo revisits the Trumans’ route, staying at the same hotels and eating at the same diners, and takes readers on brief detours into topics such as the postwar American auto industry, McCarthyism, the nation’s highway system, and the decline of Main Street America. By the end of the 2,500-mile journey, you will have a new and heartfelt appreciation for America’s last citizen-president.


An almost unknown chapter of sporting—and American���history


During World War II, the National Football League faced a crisis unimaginable today: a shortage of players. By 1943, so many players were in the armed forces that the league was forced to fold one team and merge two others: the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles—the Steagles. Its roster that included military draft rejects, aging stars lured out of retirement, and even a couple of active servicemen who managed to get leave for the games. The team’s center was deaf in one ear, its wide receiver was blind in one eye, and its halfback had bleeding ulcers. One player was so old he’d never played football with a helmet. Yet, somehow, this motley bunch managed to post a winning record—the first for the Eagles and just the second for the Steelers. But Last Team Standing isn’t just about football. It’s also about life in the United States during World War II, a time of fear and hope, of sacrifice and momentous change. It’s about rationing, racism, and Rosie the Riveter. It’s about draft boards, bond drives, and movie stars. Above all, it’s about the men and women of the Greatest Generation who couldn’t fight, but helped win the war in immeasurable ways.



Strange as it sounds, during the 1870s and 1880s, America's most popular spectator sport wasn't baseball, boxing, or horseracing—it was competitive walking. Inside sold-out arenas, competitors walked around dirt tracks almost nonstop for six straight days (never on Sunday), risking their health and sanity to see who could walk the farthest—500 miles, then 520 miles, and 565 miles! These walking matches were as talked about as the weather, the details reported from coast to coast.This long-forgotten sport, known as pedestrianism, spawned America's first celebrity athletes and opened doors for immigrants, African Americans, and women. The top pedestrians earned a fortune in prize money and endorsement deals. But along with the excitement came the inevitable scandals, charges of doping—coca leaves!—and insider gambling. It even spawned a riot in 1879 when too many fans showed up at New York's Gilmore's Garden, later renamed Madison Square Garden, and were denied entry to a widely publicized showdown. Pedestrianism: When Watching People Walk Was America's Favorite Spectator Sport chronicles competitive walking's peculiar appeal and popularity, its rapid demise, and its enduring influence, and how pedestrianism marked the beginning of modern spectator sports in the United States.


A vivid portrait of politics, medicine, and journalism in late 19th-century America


On July 1, 1893, President Grover Cleveland vanished. He boarded a friend’s yacht, sailed into the calm blue waters of Long Island Sound, and--poof!--disappeared. He would not be heard from again for five days. What happened during those five days, and in the days and weeks that followed, was so incredible that, even when the truth was finally revealed, many Americans simply would not believe it. The President Is a Sick Man details an extraordinary but almost unknown chapter in American history: Grover Cleveland’s secret cancer surgery and the brazen political cover-up by a politician whose most memorable quote was “Tell the truth.” When an enterprising reporter named E. J. Edwards exposed the secret operation, Cleveland denied it. The public believed the “Honest President,” and Edwards was dismissed as “a disgrace to journalism.” The facts concerning the disappearance of Grover Cleveland that summer were so well concealed that even more than a century later a full and fair account has never been published. Until now.



Copyright 2015, Matthew Algeo, Author.  All rights reserved.