The Kansas City Public Library welcomes bestselling author Howard Blum for a discussion of his book American Lightning: Terror, Mystery, the Birth of Hollywood, and the Crime of the Century  on Tuesday, January 20, at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
Twenty-one people died when dynamite reduced the Los Angeles Times building to rubble in 1910: it was the original “crime of the century.” The ensuing pursuit of justice enveloped three historic figures: William J. Burns, the legendary detective who was often likened to Sherlock Holmes; Clarence Darrow, the renowned trial attorney who championed the innocence of the accused despite overwhelming evidence; and D.W. Griffith, the industry-shaping filmmaker who detected the potential for great art surrounding the case and channeled his observations into his landmark film, The Birth of a Nation.
With American Lightning, Blum offers a compelling narrative nonfiction account of a society on the brink of class struggle through the prism of this far-reaching crime. Blum is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and former New York Times reporter twice nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. His previous books include Gangland, The Gold of Exodus , and Wanted!: The Search for Nazis in America.
A 6 p.m. reception precedes this event. Admission is free. Click here  or call 816.701.3407 to RSVP. Free parking is available in the Library District Parking Garage at 10th and Baltimore.