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.

  • Western historian and award-winning author Paul L. Hedren asks: Was George Custer’s defeat at Little Bighorn the greatest American Indian victory? Or was it the beginning of the end for Sioux country?
    Paul L. Hedren - After Custer: The Transformation of Sioux Country
    Sunday, June 3, 2012
    Central Library

    On the eve of the 136th anniversary of the famous “Last Stand,” retired National Park Service Superintendent Paul L. Hedren asks: Was General George Custer’s defeat at the Little Bighorn on June 26, 1876, the greatest American Indian military victory? Or was it the beginning of the end of Sioux Country as the native peoples knew it?

  • Economist Viral V. Acharya argues that the collapse of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was virtually inevitable and discusses how we can limit the damage and avoid the same mistakes in the future.
    Viral V. Acharya: Guaranteed to Fail
    Wednesday, May 30, 2012
    Central Library

    The 2008 financial collapse of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac resulted in a sweeping government bailout that cost the American taxpayers $150 billion. Economist Viral V. Acharya, co-author of Guaranteed to Fail: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Debacle of Mortgage Finance, argues that given government policy, the meltdown was virtually inevitable. He discusses how economic damage can be limited and how to avoid the same mistakes in the future.

  • Historian Barry Strauss delves into the personalities and methodologies of Alexander, Hannibal, and Caesar, ancient generals who offer valuable lessons 2,000 years later.
    Barry Strauss: Masters of Command
    Tuesday, May 29, 2012
    Central Library

    Historian Barry Strauss delves into the personalities and methodologies of Alexander, Hannibal, and Caesar, three generals of the ancient world who had to look beyond the battlefield to decide what constitutes victory, when to end the fighting, and how to bring stability to the lands they conquered. These warrior-statesmen, Strauss argues, provide valuable lessons 2,000 years later.

  • Bon vivant Chester Alan Arthur was propelled into the presidency by an assassination and then defied the federal patronage system that had nurtured him.
    Zachary Karabell: Chester Alan Arthur
    Wednesday, May 23, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    Author Zachary Karabell examines Chester Alan Arthur, who was propelled into the presidency by the assassination of James Garfield and turned his back on the patronage system that had nurtured him.

  • Murder. Hill people. Sensational press coverage. Historian Brooks Blevins reveals how a 1929 crime forever colored public perceptions of  the Ozarks.
    Brooks Blevins: Ghost of the Ozarks
    Sunday, May 20, 2012
    Central Library

    Historian Brooks Blevins examines a brutal 1929 murder and rape in the Arkansas Ozarks and demonstrates how press coverage of the ensuing trial has resulted in unfair generalizations about life in that corner of the Midwest.

    A native of the Arkansas Ozarks, Blevins is the Noel Boyd Professor of Ozarks Studies at Missouri State University. His other books include Arkansas/Arkansaw: How Bear Hunters, Hillbillies, and Good Ol’ Boys Defined a State and Hill Folks: A History of Arkansas Ozarkers and Their Image.

  • KU professors Steve Goddard and Perry Alexander examine the world of computer pioneer Alan Turing, subject of Cryptograph, an exhibit now on display at KU’s Spencer Museum of Art.
    Steve Goddard & Perry Alexander - Cryptograph: An Exhibition for Alan Turing
    Thursday, May 17, 2012
    Central Library

    KU’s Steve Goddard and Perry Alexander explore the world of early computer scientist Alan Turing, the subject of Cryptograph: An Exhibition for Alan Turing now at the Spencer Museum of Art on the KU campus.

    Cryptograph examines the question that drove Turing’s research: finding meaning in patterns.

    Goddard is senior curator at the Spencer Museum and a professor of art history; Alexander is professor of electrical engineering and computer science.

  • Candice Millard, author of the best-selling Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine & Murder, examines the brief presidency of James A. Garfield and the fallout from his assassination.
    Candice Millard: James A. Garfield
    Wednesday, May 16, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    Candice Millard, author of Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine & the Murder of a President, explores the life and protracted death of James A. Garfield, who didn’t want to be president and was fatally shot just months into his first term.

  • The Harvard Business School’s Robert Kaplan poses reflective questions all leaders should ask themselves to maximize an organization’s effectiveness.
    Robert Kaplan: What to Ask the Person in the Mirror
    Tuesday, May 8, 2012
    Central Library

    Leadership is less about having all the answers than about asking the right questions. Harvard Business School professor Robert Kaplan says in his book What to Ask the Person in the Mirror that the challenge lies in being able to step back, reflect, and ask the key questions that are critical to your performance and your organization’s effectiveness.

  • Historian Donald R. Hickey examines the war that inspired The Star Spangled Banner, left us with the phrase “Don’t give up the ship,” and reached the Mississippi River Valley, New Orleans, and what was then considered the far west - nearby Fort Osage on the Missouri River.
    Donald R. Hickey: The War of 1812
    Sunday, May 6, 2012
    Central Library

    Historian Donald R. Hickey, author of The Rockets’ Red Glare: An Illustrated History of The War of 1812, discusses that “forgotten war” which gave us some memorable military moments (Admiral Perry’s victory on Lake Erie, Andrew Jackson’s triumph at New Orleans) but also saw the British burn the White House. Moreover, the war ended not in overwhelming victory, but in a draw – which may explain why so many Americans know little about it.

  • Award-winning short story writer and novelist Adam Johnson  (Parasites Like Us, The Orphan Master’s Son) discusses his work with UMKC Writer in Residence Whitney Terrell.
    Adam Johnson: The Orphan Master’s Son
    Thursday, April 26, 2012
    Central Library

    Short story writer and novelist Adam Johnson discusses his work in a public conversation with local author Whitney Terrell. Known for his “vaguely Blade Runner–esque visions of a cluttered, anaerobic American culture,” Johnson has published the short story collection Emporium and the novel Parasites Like Us. His latest novel is The Orphan Master’s Son.