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.

  • University of Illinois at Chicago historian Kevin M. Schultz discusses his revealing new book about two icons of the Sixties, conservative William F. Buckley and the left-wing Norman Mailer, friends who had far more in common than their ideological differences would suggest.
    Buckley and Mailer: The Difficult Friendship That Shaped the Sixties
    Tuesday, July 28, 2015
    Central Library

    The political gulf between them may have been wide, but conservative icon William F. Buckley and the left-wing Norman Mailer cut remarkably parallel tracks through the 1960s. Both wrote best-selling first books (Buckley’s God and Man at Yale and Mailer’s The Naked and the Dead). Both founded important periodicals (National Review and The Village Voice, respectively). Both ran for mayor of New York.

    They argued publicly about every major issue of the decade—the counterculture, Vietnam, feminism, civil rights, the Cold War—but behind the scenes were friends and confidantes.

    University of Illinois at Chicago historian Kevin M. Schultz discusses his revealing new book about two towering figures who served as the Sixties’ ideological bookends.

  • Kansas City civil rights activist Alvin Sykes and former U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn discuss their roles in the ground-breaking cold-case bill of 2008. Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican, initially opposed it; but Sykes convinced him to change his mind, opening the door to passage.
    The Power of Dialogue: How It Led to the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act
    Thursday, July 23, 2015
    Central Library

    Kansas City civil rights activist Alvin Sykes first encountered former U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn in 2007, when Coburn was stalling the Sykes-backed Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act.

    Sykes sought and got a meeting. The two men talked. And Coburn dropped his opposition, opening the door to the Till Bill’s passage in September 2008. He paid tribute to Sykes as a difference-maker on the Senate floor.

    Coburn left office at the end of last year. He and Sykes, who educated himself and still does much of his research in local libraries, recall their history and Sykes’ lifelong work in a public discussion moderated by Library Director Crosby Kemper III. The event is part of the Library’s Scholar-in-Residence Lecture Series.

  • The Cato Institute’s David Boaz explains how the Libertarian movement gained momentum in the wake of lingering conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan, chronic budget deficits, the costly war on drugs, and expanding executive-branch power.
    The Libertarian Mind - David Boaz
    Tuesday, July 7, 2015
    Central Library

    Surveys show that the percentage of Americans with libertarian leanings—preferring to maximize individual rights and minimize the role of government—has grown by a third in the past decade.

    Libertarianism has deep roots in Western civilization and in American history, and Cato Institute Executive Vice President David Boaz has written the definitive guide. In a discussion of The Libertarian Mind: A Manifesto for Freedom, an updated version of his classic Libertarianism: A Primer, he examines a movement that has gained momentum in the wake of long wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, chronic budget deficits, the costly war on drugs, expansion of executive-branch power, and revelations about National Security Agency abuses.

  • In a discussion of his new book Popular Economics: What the Rolling Stones, Downton Abbey, and LeBron James Can Teach You About Economics, Forbes magazine’s John Tamny takes a comprehensible, real-world look at how money works – and how he says it should work.
    Popular Economics - John Tamny
    Thursday, June 25, 2015
    Central Library

    Economics needn’t be shrouded in byzantine theory and mathematical formulas. In a discussion of his new book Popular Economics: What the Rolling Stones, Downton Abbey, and LeBron James Can Teach You About Economics, Forbes magazine editor John Tamny takes a clear, comprehensible, real-world look at how money works – and how he says it should work.

    Tamny, also managing editor of the website RealClearMarkets and a senior economic advisor to the Toreador Research and Trading investment management firm, draws from movies, sports, pop culture, and marquee businesses. The Rolling Stones, football’s Dallas Cowboys, and celebutante Paris Hilton are examples of good and bad tax policy. The Godfather, Gone with the Wind, and The Sopranos illustrate the downside of antitrust regulation.

  • Military historian Dominique François examines the overlooked role of women during World War II - from the waves of non-combat volunteers in the U.S. and Britian to the Soviets on the front lines to France’s vilified “horizontal collaborators” with the Nazis
    Women During World War II: Substitutes, Soldiers, or Scapegoats?
    Tuesday, June 23, 2015
    Plaza Branch

    The role of women during World War II is little known, obscured by attention to the men who fought and led. But women were essential to the outcome. In the U.S. and Britain, they volunteered en masse, serving in non-combat roles. Soviet women joined front-line troops. French women helped replace men sent to Germany as forced laborers, joined the resistance, or became “horizontal collaborators” later subjected to punishment and humiliation after their country’s liberation.

    French military historian Dominique François examines these unknown soldiers, whose participation and support helped the Allies win the war. The presentation is part of the Eisenhower 125 series co-presented by the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum and Boyhood Home with support from the W.T. Kemper Foundation - Commerce Bank, Trustee.

  • Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer David McCullough discusses his new book on the lives, trials, and ultimate triumph of aviation pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright, selecting the Kansas City Public Library for a special engagement.
    The Wright Brothers - David McCullough
    Friday, June 19, 2015
    Central Library

    Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer David McCullough explores the lives, trials, and ultimate triumph of aviation pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright in his latest book, telling a great American story as it has never before been told.

    The Dayton, Ohio, brothers endured four years of contrary weather, accidents, disappointment, and public indifference and ridicule before their Wright Flyer became the first mechanically powered, heavier-than-air machine to sustain controlled flight with a pilot aboard in December 1903. McCullough chronicles not only the technological achievements but also Orville’s and Wilbur’s human side – including their close relationship with sister Katharine, who would go on to marry Kansas City Star editor Henry Joseph Haskell.

  • Launching a new series, Real/Modern: KC, social media and digital marketing veterans Ramsey Mohsen and John Kreicbergs lead a fast-paced public discussion about the ways organizations and businesses use Kansas City as a selling point.
    Selling Kansas City - Ramsey Mohsen, John Kreicbergs
    Tuesday, June 16, 2015
    Central Library

    The Library launches a new series, Real/Modern: KC, that takes a humorous, opinionated, intimate, and informative look at the modern world of design, technology, and media engagement. In this inaugural installment, social media and digital marketing veterans Ramsey Mohsen and John Kreicbergs lead a panel discussion about the ways local organizations use Kansas City as a selling point. Is the current Cowtown buzz helping area firms attract clients and recruit talent? Are developments like Google Fiber making KC a major player on the tech scene? Does the city need more than hometown sports and cultural offerings to elevate its reputation?

    The fast-paced format features three elements: a quick rundown of timely industry news and topics followed by an interactive, in-person and online question-and-answer session and finally a lively conversation among Mohsen, Kreicbergs, and a panel of featured guests.

  • On the eve of the annual West 18th Street Fashion Show, Kansas City’s fashion industry harkens back to its illustrious past. Seamstresses from the Garment District’s 20th-century heyday share their stories with fashion show co-executive producer Jennifer Lapka Pfeifer.
    West 18th Street Fashion Show Kickoff Event
    Friday, June 12, 2015
    Central Library

    Program: 6:30 p.m. • Reception Follows

    On the eve of the annual West 18th Street Fashion Show, Kansas City’s fashion industry harkens back to its illustrious past – to the golden age of the 20th century when more than 150 garment design and manufacturing companies boasted a workforce of more than 5,000.

    A panel of seamstresses from the Garment District heyday—Cherry Barthel, Sarah Guillen, Loretta Ortiz, Catalina Reyes, and Fatma Konyalioglu—sit down with Jennifer Lapka Pfeifer, the co-executive producer of this year’s fashion show, to share their unique stories. It was their skill and work ethic that powered the Garment District, and they serve today as a valuable resource for the growing number of individuals making a living in Kansas City’s fashion community.

    Co-sponsored by the Friends of the Kansas City Public Library and the West 18th Street Fashion Show.

  • Stuart Anderson, who heads the nonprofit National Foundation for American Policy, draws from his report American-Made 2.0: How Immigrant Entrepreneurs Continue to Contribute to the U.S. Economy in discussing the substantial impact of immigrant entrepreneurs and professionals in the country today.
    American Made 2.0 - Stuart Anderson
    Thursday, June 4, 2015
    Plaza Branch

    A growing number of well-known companies including Google, Facebook, Intel, eBay, and LinkedIn have this much in common: They were founded or co-founded by immigrants.

    Stuart Anderson, who heads the nonprofit National Foundation for American Policy, draws from his report American Made 2.0: How Immigrant Entrepreneurs Continue to Contribute to the U.S. Economy in discussing the substantial role of immigrant entrepreneurs and professionals in the country today. Despite continued federal restrictions on skilled immigrants, a third of all U.S. venture-backed companies that went public between 2006 and 2012 had at least one immigrant founder and employ nearly 65,500.

  • Michael Auslin, a columnist for The Wall Street Journal and director of Japan Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, examines Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s efforts to revive the country and what the outcome could portend for America and Europe.
    Japan’s Future and the Fate of the West - Michael Auslin
    Wednesday, June 3, 2015
    Central Library

    Japan is in the middle of a historic experiment. Nearly a quarter-century after the end of its post-World War II economic miracle, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is boldly attempting—through massive government spending, monetary easing, and an overhaul of Japan’s highly regulated economy—to end a long period of political paralysis and revive the country, lifting it into a leadership role in Asia.

    Michael Auslin, a resident scholar and the director of Japan studies at the Washington, D.C.-based American Enterprise Institute, examines the effort and the lessons it may hold for the West. Many of Japan’s problems are mirrored in America and Europe. Its success, or lack of it, could signal whether they are on a similar path to low growth, political incompetence, and social malaise.

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