Radio Interviews

The North-East Branch is closed until 2 p.m. today, Monday, August 31 due an interruption in water service.

KCUR, Kansas City's local NPR station, hosts on its programs many of the authors and speakers that visit the Library. This page lists these interviews and provides links for you to listen to the programs.

  • In conjunction with Women’s Equality Week in Kansas City, Jessica Neuwirth – founder of the women’s rights organization Equality Now – discusses her new book Equal Means Equal: Why the Time for an Equal Rights Amendment Is Now.
    Equal Means Equal - Jessica Neuwirth
    Wednesday, August 26, 2015
    Central Library

    Jessica Neuwirth, founder of the women’s rights organization Equality Now, discusses her new book Equal Means Equal: Why the Time for an Equal Rights Amendment Is Now.

    In a series of short, accessible chapters looking at several key areas of sex discrimination recognized by the Supreme Court, Equal Means Equal tells the story of the legal cases that inform the need for an Equal Rights Amendment, along with contemporary cases in which women’s rights are compromised without the protection of an ERA.

    Neuwirth has worked with Amnesty International, the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs, and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. She has lectured for Harvard Law School on women's rights and holds degrees from Harvard Law School and Yale University.

  • Bobbi Baker, president and CEO of the Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, discusses efforts to re-brand Independence Avenue and its array of ethnic restaurants and grocery, jewelry, and apparel stores as Kansas City’s International Market Place.
    International Market Place - Bobbi Baker
    Wednesday, August 12, 2015
    Central Library

    Travel the world without leaving Kansas City.

    Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce CEO and President Bobbi Baker discusses efforts to re-brand Independence Avenue as Kansas City’s International Market Place.

    Independence Avenue is home to a number of ethnic grocers, jewelry and apparel stores, and some of the best restaurants in Kansas City; but many outside of the Northeast have never heard of them, let alone visited.

  • Historian Adrian Burgos Jr. and Raymond Doswell of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum discuss the early struggles and now-growing impact of Latinos on big-league baseball – including their prominent role in the Kansas City Royals’ success
    They, Too, Played America's Game - Adrian Burgos Jr., Raymond Doswell
    Thursday, August 6, 2015
    Plaza Branch

    The influence of Latinos on America's pastime has increased significantly in the past two decades—they now account for more than a quarter of all players in baseball’s major leagues—and their early struggles and emergence parallel the integration of American society as a whole. The Kansas City Royals, whose current roster features 11 players from Venezuela, Brazil, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic, epitomize their current prominence.

    Adrian Burgos Jr., professor of history, African American studies, and Latina/Latino studies at the University of Illinois and author of Playing America’s Game: Baseball, Latinos, and the Color Line, and Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Vice President Raymond Doswell discuss this growing Latino imprint as part of the Latinos in America: 500 Years of History series in partnership with the Missouri Humanities Council, under the auspices of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association.

  • Drawing from seven years of work on his documentary, The Story of the Ozark Music Festival: 3 Days of Sodom & Gomorrah in Sedalia, Missouri, filmmaker Jefferson Lujin discusses a Woodstock-esque weekend of sex, drugs, and rock and roll in July 1974.
    Sodom and Gomorrah in Sedalia: The 1974 Ozark Music Festival
    Sunday, July 19, 2015
    Central Library

    In July 1974, an estimated 100,000 members—and probably more—of the Woodstock generation descended on the Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia for a weekend of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Amid the sweltering heat and the sounds of such popular bands as the Eagles, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and REO Speedwagon, they effectively overwhelmed the beleaguered town.

    While considered the era’s “forgotten festival,” the episode still stirs both hard feelings among locals and fonder memories for its (then) youthful concertgoers.

  • Pennsylvania photographer Matthew Christopher discusses his new book, Abandoned America: The Age of Consequences, and its documentation of the country’s abandoned factories, theaters, churches, and prisons in hauntingly beautiful pictures  and words.
    Abandoned America - Matthew Christopher
    Thursday, July 16, 2015
    Plaza Branch

    Matthew Christopher has spent the past decade documenting the ruins of one of the greatest civilizations the world has known: our own. The Pennsylvania photographer catalogues abandoned structures in pictures and words, lending a haunting beauty to factories, theaters, churches, and prisons now vacant and left to the elements and vandals. They are places that once helped define communities’ identities.

    Christopher, who features the images in his new book, Abandoned America: The Age of Consequences, discusses his work and its underlying importance. “I am dismayed,” he says, “at the prevailing blindness … that prizes a handful of nails or pottery fragments from an early colonial settlement but ignores sites that are still above ground and critical to preserving the accounts of accomplishments and missteps over the last century.”

  • Joseph A. Califano Jr., Lyndon Johnson’s chief aide for domestic affairs for three and a half years, examines our 36th president – from the burden of Vietnam to his Great Society reforms – in a discussion of his book The Triumph & Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson: The White House Years.
    The Triumph & Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson - Joseph A. Califano Jr.
    Wednesday, July 15, 2015
    Plaza Branch

    Lyndon Johnson had the misfortune of following the handsome, martyred John F. Kennedy into the White House and then miring his country in
    Vietnam. Driven, compulsive, occasionally crude, he was an easy target for his many critics.

    He also was the architect of a lasting economic and social revolution, pushing through Medicare, the Voting Rights Act, and other reforms as part of an ambitious Great Society agenda that reached high tide 50 years ago. Joseph A. Califano Jr., Johnson’s chief aide for domestic affairs from 1965-69 and later Secretary of Health Education and Welfare in the Carter administration, delivers an inside look at our 36th president in a discussion of his book The Triumph & Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson: The White House Years. The New York Times Book Review says “Johnson leaps out of the pages in all his raw and earthy glory,” while The Washington Post calls it “a joy to read [and] of what anecdotes.”

  • 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, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges examines the social and psychological factors that foster rebellion. And he suggests that environmental destruction and wealth polarization are planting the seeds of worldwide revolt today.
    Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt - Chris Hedges
    Thursday, June 11, 2015
    Central Library

    Revolutions historically have come in waves, and the world appears to be riding one now – from the Arab Spring to anti-austerity protests in Greece to the more recent Occupy movement.

    In a discussion of his new book, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges examines the social and psychological factors that foster rebellion. And he makes the case that environmental destruction and wealth polarization are planting the seeds of modern revolt in the U.S. and around the globe.

  • Author Denise Kiernan recounts the experiences of thousands of civilians, many of them young women, recruited during World War II to work at a secretive site in Tennessee. Their mission, as later revealed: enriching the uranium that led to the first atomic bombs.
    The Girls of Atomic City - Denise Kiernan
    Tuesday, June 9, 2015
    Plaza Branch

    At the height of World War II, the city of Oak Ridge, Tennessee—then known only as the Clinton Engineering Works—boasted 75,000 people and yet did not appear on any map. Thousands of civilians, many of them young women, were recruited to the secretive site and trained not to talk about what they did or knew.

    This was where the U.S. enriched the uranium that led to the first atomic bombs, a fact not revealed to workers until the bombs were dropped on Japan in 1945.

    Journalist Denise Kiernan recounts the women’s experiences in a discussion of her book The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II. The presentation continues the series War Stories: World War II Remembered, which is co-presented by the Truman Library Institute and made possible by funding from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

  • Through photographs and objects he collected, artist Matt Rahner documented the dismantling of a section of Kansas City’s Wendell Phillips neighborhood via eminent domain. He gives an illustrated talk about his work, on display in the installation Eminent Domain in the Central Library.
    Eminent Domain: An Illustrated Presentation - Matt Rahner
    Thursday, May 28, 2015
    Central Library

    Matt Rahner began documenting the dismantling of roughly a four-block section of Kansas City’s Wendell Phillips neighborhood—acquired by the city via eminent domain—in the fall of 2012. Forty-three households were displaced, some forcibly, to make room in the predominantly African American area for a new police station and crime lab.

    Rahner’s photographs, along with objects and ephemera from the vacated homes and lots, are featured in the installation Eminent Domain on display in the Central Library through May 31, 2015. He discusses his effort to illuminate what he says are “the repercussions and reality of a power construct that allows one entity to forcefully and legally relocate others against their will.”

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