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.

  • 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.

  • Linda Rodriguez discusses her award-winning debut mystery novel, in which a big-city cop finds that running a college police force isn’t as peaceful as she had imagined.
    Linda Rodriguez: Every Last Secret
    Tuesday, April 24, 2012
    Central Library

    Kansas City author Linda Rodriguez discusses her debut novel Every Last Secret, a murder mystery in which big-city cop “Skeet” Banion finds that running a smalltown college police force isn’t as peaceful as she had imagined. The book is the winner of the Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel competition.

  • 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.