Raise a glass to history.


About Drinks With Dead People:

This site is one long answer to that old party question: if you could have a drink with anyone in history, who would it be?

Think history is all about dates?  Stuffy?  Irrelevant?  WRONG.  We’re talking about discoveries, fights, booze, severed heads, cults of personality, art, sex, death, toilet humor, religion, politics and sports.  And best of all: it’s all true.

History is full of people you’d love to have a drink with.  Let me introduce you to a few.

Meet Your Historian and Barkeep:

Hi, I’m Betsy.


Tintype by James Weber Studio.

I studied history at Yale University, where I got my degree with distinction and was nominated for best senior history thesis.  I did not win, but they had a nice cheese tray.  Next stop: law school, and while other people were studying the rules of civil procedure, I wrote papers about 16th century legal theory.  (This perhaps should have been a red flag.)

As an attorney and historian I’m especially interested in mass media, pop culture and how we humans try to regulate and consume our favorite pastimes. I’ve taught law and history classes at Yale University and the University of Connecticut, done work in the museum field, and in addition to practicing media and technology law have been a juggler, stand-up comedian and artist. My writing has appeared in outlets including the Washington Post, Atlas Obscura, The Atlantic, Smithsonian and Vanity Fair.

I think history rocks, and I want you to think so too.

Legal Mumbo-Jumbo:

This site may link to other third party websites, for which I take no responsibility.

Attribution is required if you share content from Drinks With Dead People, and your commercial use is prohibited.

Commenting?  Be civil, for Pete’s sake.

Unless otherwise noted, all site photos are mine.

Drinks With Dead People™ is a mark of, and this site is © 2020, Betsy Golden Kellem.



  1. Mike McClung

    Betsy: What a cool site! I graduated magna cum laude with a history degree. My first job was collecting rejection letters from prestigious places of employment all over the country. It’s a 6 volume set. I am a good friend of Jeff Whitney (or “Emmett Whitney” as I called him in my comic strip in our high school paper. He never forgave me for that) and he suggested on Facebook that I check out your site. Well, anyway, just wanted to say that I thank you for your Brain Buffet for Hungry Historians. Please count me in. By the way, I’d like to have a drink with Theodore Roosevelt. If he paid.

    • Betz

      Thanks Mike! (I’ll join in for drinks with Teddy any day.)

  2. Talia

    Entering this into Easybib (cuz I’m lazy like that) but how would I label your site? Blog? Scholarly Project? Raw Data? Sorry to bother you with this, but I’ve found some articles that are going to immensely helpful to a History report I’m doing on invisible ink.

    • Betz

      Hi Talia, I’m glad this is helpful, and thanks for reading! Calling the site a blog seems most accurate (I’m not familiar with Easybib).

  3. Gwendolien Sabbe

    Hi Betsy, I love your site and the stories, I’ve subscribed to the newsletter, I want to read moooore!

    • Betz

      Thank you so much! I so enjoyed meeting you last week.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.