Among the things Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants left behind when they fled Kandahar after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 was a cache of more than 1,500 audiotapes. Discovered a year later, the recorded sermons, songs, and intimate conversations lent extraordinary insight into bin Laden and Al-Qa’ida’s theoretical and organizational development.
Flagg Miller, a University of California, Davis, professor and expert in Arabic literature and culture, was called in to study the tapes, and laid out their revelations in his new book, The Audacious Ascetic. The Kansas City native sits down with Writers at Work series organizer Whitney Terrell for a public conversation about the effort.
Democrats have occupied the White House for 15 of the past 23 years, and Thomas Frank pointedly asks: What do they have to show for it? Wall Street gets bailouts. Free-trade deals keep coming. The decline of the middle class has only accelerated. Why has so little been done to advance traditional liberal goals – to expand opportunity, fight for social justice, and ensure that workers get a fair deal?
The best-selling, Kansas City-born author takes up the issue, employing his trademark sardonic wit and lacerating logic in a discussion of his new book Listen, Liberal: Or What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?
In conjunction with its Shakespeare-themed 2016 Adult Winter Reading Program and the forthcoming special exhibit, First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, the Library screens four films spotlighting the Bard’s works. All feature the great Kenneth Branagh as director, star, or both.
This event was originally scheduled for January but was rescheduled due to inclement weather in the Washington D.C. area.
In the wake of the Super Tuesday primaries, the Library and the Truman Library Institute launch a new season of Dateline: Washington focusing on the 2016 elections – the candidates, their campaigns, and the hot-button issues. Time magazine Editor-at-Large David Von Drehle holds a public conversation with RealClearPolitics’Carl Cannon, taking an insider’s look at politics, partisanship, and the election playbook.
Carl Cannon is the Washington bureau chief at RealClearPolitics and co-author of Reagan’s Disciple: George W. Bush’s Troubled Quest for a Presidential Legacy. He has won numerous awards, including a share of the Pulitzer Prize in 1989 and the Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting of the Presidency.
What better way to celebrate Shakespeare than by getting into character?
SHAKESperience, a hands-on workshop conducted by the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, lends participants an opportunity to immerse in the Bard’s plays. The two-hour session focuses on text analysis, acting techniques pertinent to Shakespeare, improvisation, and the art of stage combat.
Hollywood has adapted, sampled, and stolen from William Shakespeare for more than a century – seeing his works as a source of prestige as soon as the commercial possibilities of narrative movies were apparent. The Ciné Shakespeare series features four of the best films featuring the Bard or his works in the past 20 years. Joan FitzPatrick Dean, the Curators Professor of English at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, introduces the selections and leads a discussion after each Sunday afternoon screening.
Ben Whishaw, whom you may know as Q in the James Bond films Skyfall and Spectre, stars as the titular Richard. Patrick Stewart, Clémence Poésy, and Rory Kinnear also appear in this first of four films in the BBC’s series of adaptations of Shakespeare histories, The Hollow Crown.
The Library continues its 10th season of Script-in-Hand performances and more than six months of special programming surrounding one of the cultural events of the year – an exhibit featuring a rare, nearly four-centuries-old First Folio collection of Shakespeare’s plays.
The first Tony Award winner for best musical (in 1949), this masterful play-within-a-play follows a troupe of actors performing the Bard’s The Taming of the Shrew while dealing with their own personal lives off stage. Cole Porter provided the music and lyrics, including such standards as So in Love; Too Darn Hot; and Another Op’nin, Another Show.