Bob Batchelor is a critically acclaimed cultural historian and biographer. He has published books on Stan Lee, Bob Dylan, The Great Gatsby, Mad Men, and John Updike. Bob earned his doctorate in English Literature from the University of South Florida and teaches in the Media, Journalism & Film department at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Speaking Engagements

 Bob Batchelor speaks on the topics of his books. Audience: Adult.

Bob Batchelor

Bob Batchelor

Author

book cover The Bourbon King

ROOKWOOD: THE REDISCOVERY AND REVIVAL OF AN AMERICAN ICON, AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY (2020)

Published to coincide with Rookwood’s 140th anniversary, this beautiful, collectible, fully illustrated volume tells the rich story of this female-founded, female-owned great American art pottery company.

Author and historian Bob Batchelor tells the compelling story of this artisanal ceramics company, still operating in the heart of the Ohio River Valley from its founding to present day. Filled with behind-the-scenes artist and creator interviews, stories of Rookwood’s avid collectors, as well as never-before-seen images and documents from the company’s historic archives, you will see why Rookwood remains a pillar of true craftsmanship.

The Rookwood Pottery was the most famous company making art pottery in the United States in the late nineteenth century into the twentieth century, achieving an international reputation and consistently promoting artistic innovation. Proud that the pottery was “an artist’s studio, not a factory,” Rookwood Pottery is known for its exceptionally fine glazes and successful experimental designs. By assimilating the strengths of myriad aesthetic movements from the American Art Pottery Movement to Art Nouveau and Art Deco, Rookwood Pottery encouraged decorators to try unusual subjects and to explore new techniques.
 
The Rookwood Pottery Company is located in the bustling Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio—and it has been for decades. Pioneering artist Maria Longworth Nichols Storer founded the studio in the Queen City in 1880, building the business and laying the foundation for what Rookwood is today: a world-renowned artisanal ceramics company, operating in the heart of the Ohio River Valley.

book cover The Bourbon King

THE BOURBON KING: THE LIFE AND CRIMES OF GEORGE REMUS, PROHIBITION’S EVIL GENIUS (2019)

On the 100th anniversary of The Volstead Act comes the epic, definitive story of the man who cracked the Prohibition system, became one of the world’s richest criminal masterminds, and helped inspire The Great Gatsby.

Love, murder, political intrigue, mountains of cash, and rivers of bourbon… The tale of George Remus is a grand spectacle and a lens into the dark heart of Prohibition. Yes, Congress gave teeth to Prohibition in October 1919, but the law didn’t stop George Remus from amassing a fortune that would be worth billions of dollars today. As one Jazz Age journalist put it, “Remus was to bootlegging what Rockefeller was to oil.”

Author Bob Batchelor breathes life into the largest bootlegging operation in America—greater than that of Al Capone—and a man considered the best criminal defense lawyer of his era. Remus bought an empire of distilleries on Kentucky’s “Bourbon Trail” and used his other profession, as a pharmacist, to profit off legal loopholes. He spent millions bribing officials in the Harding Administration, and he created a roaring lifestyle that epitomized the Jazz Age over which he ruled.

 

That is, before he came crashing down in one of the most sensational murder cases in American history: a cheating wife, the G-man who seduced her and put Remus in jail, and the plunder of a Bourbon Empire. Remus murdered his wife in cold-blood and then shocked a nation winning his freedom based on a condition he invented—temporary maniacal insanity.