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.

  • Author Christopher B. Leinberger discusses urban environments that encourage neighborhoods where citizens can live, work, and play within easy walking distance.
    Christopher B. Leinberger: The Option of Urbanism
    Wednesday, April 18, 2012
    Central Library

    Author Christopher B. Leinberger describes how government policy over the last 60 years – driven by the auto and oil industry – has encouraged suburban sprawl with its strip malls and isolated housing developments. The result: decline of community, urban decay, pollution, and a rise in obesity and asthma. But there’s a new approach (or perhaps it’s an old approach) in which citizens live, work, and play within easy walking distance.

  • Precisely 150 years after the Battle of Shiloh, military historian Gregory S. Hospodor recreates the bloody clash that convinced Americans that the Civil War would be a long, grueling conflict.
    Gregory S. Hospodor: The Battle of Shiloh
    Tuesday, April 17, 2012
    Central Library

    In April 1862 a Union force under Ulysses S. Grant and a Confederate army led by Albert Sidney Johnston clashed in southwestern Tennessee in the Battle of Shiloh. Precisely 150 years later, military historian Gregory S. Hospodor discusses what was to that point the bloodiest fighting of the Civil War and explains how it brought home to both sides the grim reality of the conflict.

    Hospodor is an associate professor of military history at the United States Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he was named teacher of the year for 2011.

  • In the followup to her Booker Prize-winning The Gathering, Anne Enright gives us party girl Gina Moynihan, the center of a tale of illicit passion, self-love and unwanted responsibilities.
    Anne Enright: The Forgotten Waltz
    Monday, April 16, 2012
    Central Library

    Irish writer Anne Enright’s The Forgotten Waltz is the followup to her international bestseller The Gathering, winner of the 2007 Man Booker Prize. She discusses her work with New Letters on the Air host Angela Elam.

    As with The Gathering, Enright offers a momentous drama of everyday life: the volatile connections between people and a wry take on families, marriage, and brittle middle age. In Gina Moynihan she gives us yet another unforgettable heroine on a journey of the heart.

  • Author Kristen Iverson discusses the remarkable life of Titanic survivor Molly Brown. Journalist Julie Hedgepeth Williams examines the saga of her great uncle Albert and his family, passengers on the doomed liner.
    Titanic Lives: Kristen Iversen and Julie Hedgepeth Williams discuss survivors of the Titanic
    Sunday, April 15, 2012
    Central Library

    Kristen Iversen, author of Molly Brown: Unraveling the Myth, examines the colorful life of the famed “unsinkable” Molly Brown. In A Rare Titanic Family Julie Hedgepeth Williams reveals the story of her great uncle and his family, who barely avoided going down with the ship.

  • Biographer Justin Wolff examines the life and art of Missouri’s Thomas Hart Benton, whose distinctive style and views made him the object of both veneration and scorn.
    Justin Wolff - Thomas Hart Benton: A Life
    Thursday, April 12, 2012
    Central Library

    Biographer Justin Wolff examines the life and art of Missouri’s Thomas Hart Benton, whose murals bejewel many a public building. From the 1930s to his death in 1973, Benton’s distinctive visual style and nationalistic views made him the object of both veneration and scorn. The issues raised by his art and attitudes dominated debate in the post-war world of painting.

    Wolff is an assistant professor of art history at the University of Maine. He is the author of Richard Caton Woodville: American Painter, Artful Dodger.

  • The first vice president to assume the presidency on the death of an incumbent, John Tyler was called “His Accidency,” but historian Edward P. Crapol sees a bold leader who enhanced presidential power.
    Edward P. Crapol: John Tyler
    Wednesday, April 11, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    The first vice president to occupy the White House after the death of the incumbent, John Tyler was derided by critics as “His Accidency.” Yet historian Edward P. Crapol depicts Tyler as a bold leader who used the malleable executive system to his advantage and enhanced presidential power.

    Crapol, author of John Tyler: The Accidental President, is the William E. Pullen professor of American history, emeritus, at the College of William and Mary.

  • Dr. Walter Broadnax, distinguished professor of public adminstration at Syracuse University, examines presidential leadership, the current state of executive power in the U.S., and the lingering effects the current financial crisis will have on future presidents.
    Walter Broadnax - Leadership Challenges for the Presidency: A World of Opportunities and Hazards
    Wednesday, April 4, 2012
    Central Library

    What, exactly, is presidential leadership? What is the current state of executive power in the U.S.? What lingering effects will the current financial crisis have on future presidents? Professor Walter Broadnax addresses those questions in the annual Park University Hauptmann Lecture on international politics, public administration, and democracy.

    Broadnax is the distinguished professor of public administration at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.

  • Architect Wendell Burnette discusses an approach to architecture that relies on consensus and specificity of materials to create buildings that are timeless and valuable to their clients and users.
    Wendell Burnette: Crafting Space
    Tuesday, April 3, 2012
    Central Library

    Award-winning architect Wendell Burnette discusses his distinctive approach to architecture, one based on developing consensus to create buildings that are timeless and valuable to their clients and users. This methodology extends to using “locally appropriate construction systems and materials” to create “soulful places for our clients, our constituents, our communities, and our world.”

    Burnette is the 2012 Regnier Distinguished Visiting Chair at Kansas State University.

  • Historian Julie Courtwright examines how fire has shaped the landscape of the Great Plains and the lives of its residents, from Native Americans to modern farmers and ranchers.
    Julie Courtwright - Prairie Fire: A Great Plains History
    Sunday, April 1, 2012
    Central Library

    Historian Julie Courtwright explains the role of fire – man-made and natural – in shaping the Great Plains and the lives of its residents. Taking their cue from lightning strikes, Native Americans would burn the prairie to encourage the growth of new grass. Modern ranchers and farmers follow the same practice.

    Drawing upon old diary entries, newspaper accounts, and pop culture artifacts like TV’s Little House on the Prairie, Courtwright explores how fire has benefitted and sometimes terrorized humans.

  • Harvard legal scholar Noah Feldman examines how Hugo Black, William O. Douglas, Felix Frankfurter, and Robert Jackson overcame rivalries, personality clashes, and individual approaches to constitutional thought.
    Noah Feldman - Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR’s Great Justices
    Tuesday, March 27, 2012
    Central Library

    Noah Feldman examines how four of FDR’s Supreme Court appointees – Hugo Black, William O. Douglas, Felix Frankfurter, and Robert Jackson – juggled rivalries, personality clashes, and individual approaches to constitutional thought to decide landmark cases on race, business and politics.

    Feldman, professor of law at Harvard, has written about the Middle East, advised the writers of the new Iraqi constitution, and has been named one of “75 influential figures for the 21st century” by Esquire.