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.

  • James G. Basker examines the vast reservoir of early abolitionist literature from the likes of Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, William Lloyd Garrison, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, anonymous editorialists, and freed slaves.
    American Antislavery Writings: Colonial Beginnings to Emancipation
    Tuesday, April 2, 2013
    Central Library

    Historian James G. Basker discusses his new book, a collection of writings reflecting our nation’s long, heated confrontation with that poisonous evil, slavery. This vast reservoir of abolitionist literature flowed from the pens of Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, William Lloyd Garrison, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, anonymous editorialists, and freed slaves. Basker is the editor of a new book, American Antislavery Writings: Colonial Beginnings to Emancipation, published by the Library of America.

  • Kansas City poets Stanley E. Banks and Janet M. Banks read from their new books (respectively) Blue Issues and On the Edge of Urban  in a demonstration of how poetry  can capture the power of inner- city voices.
    Urban Blue Poetry
    Thursday, March 28, 2013
    Central Library

    Think of it as a husband-and-wife tag-team poetry slam.

    Kansas City poets Stanley E. Banks and Janet M. Banks read from their new books (respectively) Blue Issues and On the Edge of Urban in a demonstration of how poetry can capture the power of inner-city voices.

    Stanley’s poetry offers city grit with a blues and jazz undertone. Janet’s poetry has city grit as well, but with an urban woman’s perspective. This African-American couple is known for firing up audiences wherever they give a reading.

  • Theda Skocpol conducted grassroots interviews and visited local Tea Party gatherings throughout America. In this year’s Park University Hauptmann Lecture, she discusses the past and future of the Tea Party movement and examines its dominant beliefs.
    The Tea Party and Civic Engagement in America
    Wednesday, March 27, 2013
    Central Library

    For her book The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism, Theda Skocpol conducted grassroots interviews and visited local Tea Party gatherings throughout America. She discusses the past and future of the Tea Party movement and examines its dominant belief that benefits like Social Security and Medicare should be reserved for “real Americans” who have paid their dues by working and paying taxes.

    Skocpol is Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard University.

    Presented as this year’s Park University Hauptman Lecture.

  • Travel journalist Rudy Maxa explains where you should go right now, how you can save money on hotels, why you should stop hoarding those frequent flyer miles, and why you should never ride a camel named Katherine in Khiva, Uzbekistan. Travel journalist Rudy Maxa explains where you should go right now, how you can save money on hotels, why you should stop hoarding those frequent flyer miles, and why you should never ride a camel named Katherine in Khiva, Uzbekistan.
    Why Everything You Used to Know About Travel Is Wrong
    Wednesday, March 27, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    Traveling has undergone some big changes in recent years. Now travel journalist Rudy Maxa provides tips to save money, maximize pleasure, and minimize hassles. He offers suggestions about where you should go right now, how to save money on hotels, why you should stop hoarding those frequent flyer miles, and why you should never ride a camel named Katherine in Khiva, Uzbekistan.

  • Former chiefs of the Kansas City Police Department – Joseph D. McNamara, Richard D. Easley, Floyd Bartch and James D. Corwin – and current chief Darryl Forte talk about the force, its history, and the very demanding job they all shared.
    Top Cops
    Tuesday, March 26, 2013
    Central Library

    Running a big-city police force requires the instincts of a beat cop, the administrative talent of a CEO, and the public relations skills of a seasoned politician.

    Four former chiefs of the Kansas City Police Department – Joseph D. McNamara, James D. Corwin, Floyd Bartch, and Richard D. Easley – and current chief Darryl Forte talk about the force, its history, and the very demanding job they all shared.

    This Missouri Valley Special Collections program complements the original exhibit Kansas City’s Finest, currently on display at the Central Library.

  • In observation of Women’s History Month, area civil rights pioneer Julia Hill and educator Mary Ann Wynkoop hold a public conversation that looks back on Hill’s six decades of activism.
    A Celebration of Kansas City Women Making History
    Wednesday, March 20, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    Julia Hill spent nearly 60 years at the forefront of the battle for civil rights and equality. Now she participates in a public conversation with educator Mary Ann Wynkoop, discussing her own story as a Kansas City woman who made a difference.

    Hill recently retired from the board of the local NAACP, which she once led. Her history as an activist includes protesting against segregated lunch counters in downtown department stores and presiding over the Kansas City School Board.

  • Author and labor leader Bill Fletcher Jr. takes on accusations that unions pamper workers with high pay and cushy benefits at the expense of the American economy.
    “They’re Bankrupting Us!” And 20 Other Myths about Unions
    Tuesday, March 19, 2013
    Central Library

    Unions have been blamed for budget deficits and for pampering workers with high pay and cushy benefits. Labor leader Bill Fletcher, Jr. tackles those accusations in his book “They’re Bankrupting Us!” He traces the roots of anti-union myths, examines the movement’s missteps and lists significant labor contributions like the minimum wage and 40-hour work week.

  • Journalist and historian David Von Drehle explains how in the pivotal year of 1862 President Abraham Lincoln fashioned a Civil War victory and set the blueprint for modern America.
    Abraham Lincoln
    Wednesday, March 13, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    As 1862 began the U.S. government was overwhelmed, the Treasury was broke, and the Confederacy was winning on the battlefield. A year later, under the leadership of an unschooled country lawyer, the tide had turned.

    Drawing from his book Rise to Greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America’s Most Perilous Year, journalist/historian David Von Drehle explains how Lincoln fashioned a victory and set the blueprint for modern America.

    Von Drehle has written for the Washington Post and Time magazine; among his books is Why They Fought: The Real Reason for the Civil War.

  • Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Hedrick Smith shows how over the last 40 years seismic political and economic changes have all but eliminated the idea of shared prosperity, with America losing the title of “Land of Opportunity.”
    Who Stole the American Dream?
    Tuesday, March 12, 2013
    Central Library

    In his new book Who Stole the American Dream?, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Hedrick Smith shows how over the last 40 years seismic changes, sparked by a sequence of landmark political and economic decisions, have all but eliminated the idea of shared prosperity, with America losing the title of “Land of Opportunity.”

    Smith is a former reporter and editor for The New York Times and an Emmy Award-winning producer/correspondent for the PBS show Frontline. Among his books are The Russians, The New Russians, The Media and the Gulf War, and Rethinking America.

  • Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Ford discusses his new novel Canada – the story of a teenager who flees his Montana home and begins a new life on the Saskatchewan prairie after his parents are arrested for bank robbery.
    CANADA
    Thursday, March 7, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    In Canada, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Richard Ford introduces us to teenager Del Parsons, who after his parents’ imprisonment for bank robbery flees his Montana home, beginning a new life on the Saskatchewan prairie.

    Ford reads from Canada and holds a conversation with UMKC Writer-in-Residence Whitney Terrell, organizer of the Writers at Work series. Ford is the author of the Bascombe novels, which include The Sportswriter and its sequels, Independence Day and The Lay of the Land.

    Co-sponsored by the Writers at Work Roundtable and the UMKC English Department.