Event Audio

To listen to an audio recording of a previous Library special event, click the icon. The audio file will launch the media player on your computer.

The most recent recording displays at the top. The Library offers recordings only with the permission of the presenter.

  • Ohio University’s Alonzo Hamby takes an unflinching look at our 32nd president, making the case that his record was more mixed than generally perceived, in a discussion of his book Man of Destiny: FDR and the Making of the American Century.
    Franklin Delano Roosevelt - Alonzo Hamby
    Thursday, April 21, 2016
    Plaza Branch

    When The Washington Post asked 162 political science scholars earlier this year which American president should be added to Mount Rushmore, their overwhelming favorite was Franklin Roosevelt.

    But historian Alonzo Hamby makes a case that FDR’s record was more mixed than generally perceived. While a great politician and war leader, his signature New Deal failed to achieve its goal of reviving the nation’s economy, in part due to Roosevelt’s hostility toward the business and financial communities.

  • Former Granta editor John Freeman joins Writers at Work series organizer Whitney Terrell in a discussion of Freeman’s new literary magazine Freeman’s and anthology Freeman’s Tales of Two Cities: The Best and Worst of Times in Today’s New York.
    A Life in Literature - John Freeman, Whitney Terrell
    Wednesday, April 20, 2016
    Central Library

    Award-winning writer, critic, and editor John Freeman launched the year’s most anticipated literary magazine, the biannual Freeman’s, in September 2015, making it a home for exceptional new fiction, nonfiction, and poetry from both established and up-and-coming writers.

    The former editor of the venerable British publication Granta and president of the National Book Critics Circle joins local novelist and Writers at Work series organizer Whitney Terrell in a public conversation about the new venture. They also discuss Freeman’s Tales of Two Cities: The Best and Worst of Times in Today’s New York, an anthology of pieces by 30 major contemporary writers recently released in paperback.

  • In advance of the annual  Middle of the Map Fest, the Library’s Real/Modern series gathers notable music personalities – including selected festival performers – to explore Kansas City’s diverse and flourishing music scene.
    Music from the Middle - Ramsey Mohsen, John Kreicbergs
    Thursday, April 14, 2016
    Central Library

    Participating in the conversation are several notable local music personalities: Katy Guillen (of the band Katy Guillen and the Girls), Steve Tulipana (co-owner of popular music venue RecordBar), Michelle Bacon (freelance music writer and member of several area bands including The Philistines), and Chris Haghirian (co-founder of Middle of the Map Fest and host of 90.9 FM The Bridge’s Eight One Sixty).

  • Continuing the PBS-backed Indie Lens Pop-Up initiative, the Library and KCPT-TV screen the documentary The Armor of Light, which spotlights an unlikely voice of concern about guns and gun ownership – evangelical minister and far-right fixture Rob Schenck.
    The Armor of Light
    Saturday, April 9, 2016
    Plaza Branch

    Can one be pro-life and pro-gun? Evangelical minister Rob Schenck, an anti-abortion activist and far-right fixture, is an unlikely person to answer “no.”

    The documentary The Armor of Light points to the common ground we sometimes share with opponents – and differences we might have with ideological allies – in following Schenck’s effort to preach about the growing toll of gun violence in America. He aligns with Lucy McBath, the mother of a black Florida teenager shot and killed in 2012 by a white man who objected to the loud rap music blaring from the youth’s car.

  • Seventy years after the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, Mark M. Hull of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College examines the world’s historic effort to bring 22 members of Hitler’s regime to justice.
    The Nuremberg Trials - Mark M. Hull
    Tuesday, April 5, 2016
    Central Library

    Seventy years ago, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson called the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg “the greatest tribute power has ever paid to reason.” It was.

    The IMT, which put 22 members of Hitler’s regime on trial for crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, began in November 1945 and lasted almost a year. Jackson served as chief prosecutor. Beyond its focus of administering justice to Nazi leaders, the tribunal became the foundation for international law and planted the seed for the International Criminal Court.

  • Wide Open Town: Kansas City During the Pendergast Era
    Friday, April 1, 2016
    Plaza Branch

    The Wide Open Town Symposium, featuring presentations from professional historians and a keynote lecture at the Kansas City Public Library's Plaza Branch, explores the 1920s and '30s in Kansas City history. It is free and open to the general public.

  • Launching a new, election-centric season of Dateline: Washington, Time magazine Editor-at-Large David Von Drehle holds a public conversation with RealClearPolitics’ Carl Cannon about politics, partisanship, and the playbook for the 2016 campaign.
    Election Insiders - RealClearPolitics’ Carl Cannon
    Tuesday, March 29, 2016
    Plaza Branch

    This event was originally scheduled for January but was rescheduled due to inclement weather in the Washington D.C. area.

    In the wake of the Super Tuesday primaries, the Library and the Truman Library Institute launch a new season of Dateline: Washington focusing on the 2016 elections – the candidates, their campaigns, and the hot-button issues. Time magazine Editor-at-Large David Von Drehle holds a public conversation with RealClearPolitics’ Carl Cannon, taking an insider’s look at politics, partisanship, and the election playbook.

    Carl Cannon is the Washington bureau chief at RealClearPolitics and co-author of Reagan’s Disciple: George W. Bush’s Troubled Quest for a Presidential Legacy. He has won numerous awards, including a share of the Pulitzer Prize in 1989 and the Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting of the Presidency.

  • In a discussion of his new book, Thomas Frank takes Democrats to task. They’ve occupied the White House for 15 of the past 23 years. Why haven’t they done more to advance the justice-for-all liberal agenda?
    Listen, Liberal - Thomas Frank
    Thursday, March 24, 2016
    Plaza Branch

    Democrats have occupied the White House for 15 of the past 23 years, and Thomas Frank pointedly asks: What do they have to show for it? Wall Street gets bailouts. Free-trade deals keep coming. The decline of the middle class has only accelerated. Why has so little been done to advance traditional liberal goals – to expand opportunity, fight for social justice, and ensure that workers get a fair deal?

  • In a discussion of his new book, Arabic literature and culture expert Flagg Miller – a native of Kansas City – details the revelations he and others discovered from a trove of audiotapes left in Kandahar, Afghanistan, by a fleeing Osama bin Laden in 2001.
    The Audacious Ascetic: What the Bin Laden Tapes Reveal about Al-Qa’ida - Flagg Miller
    Wednesday, March 23, 2016
    Central Library

    Among the things Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants left behind when they fled Kandahar after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 was a cache of more than 1,500 audiotapes. Discovered a year later, the recorded sermons, songs, and intimate conversations lent extraordinary insight into bin Laden and Al-Qa’ida’s theoretical and organizational development.

    Flagg Miller, a University of California, Davis, professor and expert in Arabic literature and culture, was called in to study the tapes, and laid out their revelations in his new book, The Audacious Ascetic. The Kansas City native sits down with Writers at Work series organizer Whitney Terrell for a public conversation about the effort.

  • Young-adult fantasy fiction writer Cassandra Clare discusses her new book Lady Midnight and her phenomenally successful Shadowhunter Chronicles franchise, which has spawned a movie and a new TV series.
    Lady Midnight - Cassandra Clare
    Tuesday, March 15, 2016
    Plaza Branch

    Cassandra Clare, creator of the internationally best-selling Mortal Instruments series, now towers as an author of young-adult fantasy fiction. She discusses her life, her award-winning career, and her new Shadowhunters novel, Lady Midnight, the first in a new series, The Dark Artifices – a sequel to the Mortal Instruments.

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