A Passion for Living History
Kathryn Smith is a journalist, writer, and American history speaker who is fascinated by how history shapes our world. Her books are meticulously researched, using interviews, primary sources and first-hand observations. In researching her books, she immerses herself in past times and retraces the steps of her subjects. For example, for her book Gertie: The Fabulous Life of Gertrude Sanford Legendre, Heiress, Explorer, Socialite, Spy, Kathryn traced Legendre’s World War II POW experience, from the Ritz Hotel bar in Paris to her escape by train from Konstanz, Germany in the closing weeks of the war in Europe.
For her newest nonfiction book, Methodists and Moonshiners: Another Prohibition Expedition Through the South…with Cocktail Recipes, Kathryn followed the path of George Washington’s 1791 tour of the South, beginning with a rye whiskey tasting at the distillery at Mount Vernon – at 11 o’clock on a Monday morning – and visited the haunts of the North Carolina con man J. Edgar Hoover called “the most amazing figure in contemporary criminal history.”
Kathryn is also the author of The Gatekeeper: Missy LeHand, FDR, and the Partnership That Defined a Presidency and a series of mystery novels featuring Missy LeHand as an amateur detective –- “the Nancy Drew of the New Deal” — co-authored with Kelly Durham. She lives in Anderson, South Carolina with her husband, Leo, who accompanies her on her travels.