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 Andrew Smith discusses  his new book, chronicling 30  major events that helped shape  contemporary American cuisine.
    Andrew Smith: Eating History
    Thursday, November 12, 2009
    Plaza Branch

    Author Andrew Smith discusses his new book, chronicling 30 major events that helped shape contemporary American cuisine.

    Eating History is a collection of essays – on topics ranging from Cracker Jacks to Rodale’s organic gardening – intended to shed light on how the modern American diet became what it is today.

  • Economist Zachary Karabell discusses the fusion of the Chinese and U.S. economies and how this new dynamic will determine future global prosperity or greater instability.
    Zachary Karabell: Superfusion
    Wednesday, November 11, 2009
    Central Library
    Recommended reading:
    Staff Picks: Chinese Economy

    Economist Zachary Karabell discusses his new book Superfusion: How China and America Became One Economy and Why the World's Prosperity Depends on It.

    China's emergence as an economic superpower is widely recognized, but that is only one aspect of the story. Over the past decade, the Chinese and U.S. economies have fused—and this new dynamic to the superpower relationship will determine whether the coming decades witness increased global prosperity or greater instability.

  • To mark the 20th anniversary of  the fall of the Berlin Wall, author Romesh Ratnesar discusses how the relationship between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev  led to Reagan’s famous “Tear  Down This Wall” speech.
    Tear Down This Wall: A City, A President, and the Speech that Ended the Cold War
    Thursday, November 5, 2009
    Central Library
    Recommended reading:
    Berlin Wall

    To mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, author Romesh Ratnesar discusses how the relationship between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev led to Reagan's famous "Tear Down This Wall" speech and the end of the Cold War.

  • Los Angeles Times columnist  Steve Lopez joins Angela Elam  of KCUR’s New Letters on the Air for a public conversation about his lauded book that became the basis for a 2009 motion picture starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey, Jr.
    Steve Lopez: The Soloist
    Wednesday, November 4, 2009
    Plaza Branch
    Recommended reading:
    Stories of Homelessness

    Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez discusses his well-received book, The Soloist. Lopez will be interviewed by Angela Elam of New Letters on the Air. The conversation will later be broadcast on KCUR.

  • To commemorate United Nations Day, Radhika Coomaraswamy will discuss her work to protect children from being swept up in civil wars and other armed conflicts around the world.
    Radhika Coomaraswamy: The United Nations, Children, and Armed Conflict
    Thursday, October 29, 2009
    Plaza Branch

    The Kansas City Public Library welcomes Radhika Coomaraswamy of the United Nations for a presentation titled The United Nations, Children, and Armed Conflict on Thursday, October 29, at 3:30 p.m. at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.

    To commemorate United Nations Day, Coomaraswamy will be discussing her work to protect children from being swept up in civil wars and other armed conflicts around the world.

  • Bestselling author Kati Marton discusses her new true-life thriller detailing her family’s activities in Budapest during Nazi and Communist regimes.
    Kati Marton: Enemies of the People
    Tuesday, October 27, 2009
    Central Library

    Bestselling author Kati Marton discusses her new true-life thriller Enemies of the People: My Family's Journey to America.

  • Historian John Ferling reveals the George Washington that no one knows: A canny infighter, master of persuasion and one of America’s most adroit politicians.
    John Ferling: The Ascent of George Washington
    Thursday, October 22, 2009
    Plaza Branch
    Recommended reading:
    George Washington:
    Recent Books

    Bestselling historian John Ferling inaugurates the Library's Presidential Series with a talk based on his newest book, The Ascent of George Washington: The Hidden Political Genius of an American Icon.

  • Author and historian Ron Smith discusses his new book about the man best known in Kansas City for issuing the controversial General Order No. 11, forcibly removing Confederate sympathizers in rural western Missouri.
    Thomas Ewing Jr.: Frontier Lawyer and Civil War General
    Wednesday, October 21, 2009
    Central Library

    Historian Ron Smith discusses his new book Thomas Ewing Jr.: Frontier Lawyer and Civil War General.

    Smith takes readers back to Bleeding Kansas, with its border ruffians and land speculators, to show how Thomas Ewing Jr. and his family played pivotal roles in the history of Kansas, Missouri, and the nation.

  • Richard Serrano tells the story of his grandfather’s murder and its cover-up – with links to political boss Tom Pendergast and other colorful characters
    My Grandfather's Prison: Death and Deceit in 1940s Kansas City
    Sunday, October 18, 2009
    Central Library

    Investigative journalist Richard Serrano tells the story of his grandfather’s murder and its cover-up—with links to political boss Tom Pendergast and other colorful characters.

    A drunk living on Kansas City's skid row, James Patrick Lyons was arrested 80 times for public intoxication. On the night of his last arrest, he was taken to the city jail and held in solitary confinement. The next morning he was dead. Officials said it was natural causes—yet they could not explain his broken neck.

  • Adrian Goldsworthy addresses  a great historical question in his presentation based on his  monumental new work, How  Rome Fell: Death of a Superpower.
    Adrian Goldsworthy: How Rome Fell
    Thursday, October 15, 2009
    Central Library

    Adrian Goldsworthy addresses perhaps the greatest of all historical questions in a presentation based on his monumental new work, How Rome Fell: Death of a Superpower.

    In AD 200, the Roman Empire seemed unassailable. Its vast territory accounted for most of the known world. By the end of the fifth century, Roman rule had vanished in Western Europe and much of North Africa, and only a shrunken Eastern Empire remained. What accounts for this improbable decline?