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. Please allow 7-10 days for the recording to be posted.

  • Pastor and self-described avid hunter James E. Atwood argues that our national obsession with firearms is rooted in theological myth, and that an absolute trust in guns easily morphs into idolatry.
    America and Its Guns: A Theological Expose
    Thursday, June 13, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    In his book America and Its Guns pastor and self-proclaimed avid hunter James. E. Atwood maintains that our national obsession with firearms is rooted in the myth that God has appointed America as “the trustee of the civilization of the world” and empowered its citizens to carry weapons as a “redemptive” practice. But, Atwood warns, absolute trust in guns easily morphs into idolatry.

  • Author and economist Zachary Karabell argues that while media reports emphasize tensions between the United States and China, the occasional conflicts pale in comparison to the deepening and ongoing economic bonds that tie the two countries together.
    The Good News is the Bad News is Wrong About U.S.-China Relations
    Wednesday, June 12, 2013
    Central Library

    After more than a decade of intimate economic relations, China and the United States have become deeply intertwined. Historian Zachary Karabell maintains that while neither country is fully at ease with this partnership, the occasional tension over intellectual property, human rights, and regional strategy pales in comparison to the deepening and on-going economic bonds that tie the two countries together.

  • Journalist Jay Nordlinger talks about the sometimes controversial individuals who have won the Nobel Peace Prize and those who didn’t but should have.
    Peace, They Say
    Tuesday, June 11, 2013
    Central Library

    Bestowed on statesmen, preachers, artists, and activists, the Nobel Peace Prize is among the world’s most prestigious honors. And also among the most controversial, as Jay Nordlinger explains in a discussion of his new book, Peace, They Say. He talks about the individuals who have won the award (Theodore Roosevelt, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, Yasser Arafat) and those who didn’t but should have.

  • As the Board of Trade prepares to relocate to Chicago, former CEO Michael Braude traces the history, development, and economic impact of this 157-year-old institution.
    Farewell to the Kansas City Board of Trade
    Sunday, June 9, 2013
    Central Library

    As the Kansas City Board of Trade prepares to move to Chicago, its CEO Michael Braude traces the history, development, and economic impact of the 157-year-old futures exchange specializing in hard red winter wheat. It was said that more money changed hands at the Board of Trade than anywhere else in the Missouri Valley region. Braude joined the Board of Trade in the 1980s. He is a longtime civic leader and columnist for the Kansas City Business Journal.

  • Biographer Cynthia A. Kierner discusses  the life of Thomas Jefferson’s daughter Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph, a graceful, sincere, and well-educated woman  who often assumed the duties of first lady for her widowed father.
    Martha Jefferson Randolph
    Wednesday, June 5, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    As the oldest and favorite daughter of Thomas Jefferson, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph was well educated, known on two continents for her grace and sincerity, and often assumed the duties of first lady for her widowed father.

    Yet as biographer Cynthia A. Kierner points out, Patsy Jefferson was not spared the tedium, frustration, and sorrow experienced by most women of her time.

    Kierner is professor of history at George Mason University and the author of Martha Jefferson Randolph, Daughter of Monticello.

  • Author Steve Coll unearths the secrects of America’s largest private corporation, tracking its role on the world stage from the Exxon Valdez accident in 1989 to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.
    Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power
    Tuesday, June 4, 2013
    Central Library

    As America’s biggest private corporation, ExxonMobil has economic power and political clout exceeding that of many countries. Yet its corporate culture of secrecy and discipline makes it a mystery to most of us.

    Author Steve Coll unearths the company’s secrets in Private Empire, tracking the corporation’s role on the world stage from the Exxon Valdez accident in 1989 to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.

  • The retired Supreme Court justice discusses her new book and sheds light on the centuries of change and upheaval that characterize the Court’s history.
    Out of Order: Sandra Day O’Connor
    Monday, June 3, 2013
    Central Library

    The first woman appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States, Sandra Day O’Connor has learned firsthand the inner workings, history, evolution, and influence of the nation’s highest court.

    The retired justice now shares those insights in a discussion of her new book Out of Order. O’Connor sheds light on the centuries of change and upheaval that characterize the history of the Supreme Court. She also provides vivid portraits of justices such as Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., Thurgood Marshall, William O. Douglas, and current Chief Justice John Roberts.

  • Former Reagan budget director David Stockman explains how the American state — especially the Federal Reserve — has fallen prey to the politics of crony capitalism and the ideologies of fiscal stimulus, monetary central planning, and financial bailouts.
    The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America
    Wednesday, May 29, 2013
    Central Library

    David Stockman was the architect of the Reagan Revolution meant to restore sound money principles to the U.S. government, but the movement was derailed by politics, special interests, welfare, and warfare. Now he offers a fierce indictment of the American governmental-economic complex, reveals how the workings of free markets and democracy has long been under threat in America, and exposes a surprisingly nonpartisan catalog of corrupters and defenders.

  • Educator Michelle Rhee joins Library Director Crosby Kemper III for a public conversation about her ideas for improving public education in America and putting students first.
    Radical: Fighting to Put Students First
    Wednesday, May 22, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    Educator Michelle Rhee joins Library Director Crosby Kemper III for a public conversation about her new book Radical: Fighting to Put Students First and explains her ideas for improving public education by ensuring that laws, leaders, and politics are making students – not adults – their top priority.

  • Katherine Kranz shares the stories of her fellows from the U.S. Naval Academy’s Class of 2002, who have faced little but war since graduation day.
    In the Shadow of Greatness: Voices of Leadership, Sacrifice, and Service from America’s Longest War
    Sunday, May 19, 2013
    Central Library

    The first to graduate after the events of 9/11, the midshipmen of the U.S. Naval Academy’s Class of 2002 have faced nothing but war ever since. Katherine Kranz, herself a member of that class, presents their stories in In the Shadow of Greatness: Voices of Leadership, Sacrifice, and Service from America’s Longest War.