Radio Interviews

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.

  • Bestselling urban fiction writer Victoria Christopher Murray discusses and reads from her novel about three friends whose stable lives are thrown into chaos by the reappearances of their former husbands and lovers.
    Forever an Ex - Victoria Christopher Murray
    Wednesday, June 25, 2014
    Central Library

    Best-selling urban fiction author Victoria Christopher Murray discusses and reads from her novel about three friends whose stable lives are thrown into chaos by the reappearances of their former husbands and lovers. It’s a yarn that, in the words of The Washington Post, “has the kind of momentum that prompts you to elbow disbelief aside and flip the pages in horrified enjoyment.”

    Among Murray’s novels are Scandalous, Destiny’s Divas, Sins of the Mother, and Temptation. She is the co-author (with ReShonda Tate Billingsley) of the “First Ladies” series of novels about rival preachers’ wives.

  • Daniel Smith takes a ground-level look at the “Gettysburg of the West,” a bloody Civil War battle that took place in October 1864 in what today are peaceful Kansas City neighborhoods.
    Battle of Westport: Memory and Legacy
    Sunday, June 22, 2014
    Central Library

    On October 21-23, 1864, a Confederate army led by General Sterling Price clashed with its Union counterpart commanded by General Samuel Curtis. The immediate results of this large-scale battle, called by some the “Gettysburg of the West,” were a decisive Union victory and Price’s ignoble retreat from Missouri for the remainder of the Civil War.

    Daniel Smith takes a ground-level look at this epic battle, as well as its lasting legacy, and asks: what does it mean, and why does it matter today? As area groups gear up this year to re-enact the Battle of Westport, Smith explores earlier efforts by participants and successive generations to remember and commemorate this significant historical event.

  • Former Kansas City Royals catcher Jason Kendall and Lee Judge discuss their new book, taking you behind the scenes of major league baseball – onto the field, into the dugout, and behind the closed doors of the players’ clubhouse.
    Throwback: A Big-League Catcher Tells How the Game is Really Played
    Thursday, June 19, 2014
    Central Library

    Jason Kendall knows baseball inside and out. Emphasis on the inside.

    The former Kansas City Royals catcher, whose career spanned 15 seasons and five teams, delivers a behind-the-scenes look at the Grand Old Game in a conversation with The Kansas City Star’s Lee Judge – with whom he has co-authored an insightful new book.

    There’s the game everybody sees. And there’s the game within the game that fans don’t see or fail to notice – the superstitions, subtle strategies, and mind games (at which Kendall was a master). He and Judge take you on the field, into the dugout, and behind the closed doors of a major league clubhouse.

  • Author Jennifer Senior focuses on parenthood rather than parenting in this honest, and sometimes humorous, examination of the way children deepen and add purpose to our lives. And in the process, she makes parents everywhere feel better about their lives, their relationships, and their children.
    All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood
    Thursday, June 5, 2014
    Central Library

    Thousands of books have examined the effects of parents on their children. But what are the effects of children on their parents? New York magazine’s Jennifer Senior digs into that question in a discussion of her new book.

    Senior examines the history and changing definition of what it means to be a parent, analyzing the many ways in which children reshape parents’ lives – their marriages, jobs, habits, hobbies, friendships, and internal sense of self. Her book follows mothers and fathers through parenthood’s deepest vexations and finest rewards.

  • Best-selling urban fiction writer Kimberla Lawson Roby discusses and reads from her newest novel; the latest installment in her series based on the life of the Rev. Curtis Black.
    The Prodigal Son - Kimberla Lawson Roby
    Wednesday, May 21, 2014
    Central Library

    Best-selling urban fiction author Kimberla Lawson Roby discusses and reads from the latest novel in her popular series about the Rev. Curtis Black and his frequently dysfunctional family. Here the Reverend tries to win back his estranged son Matthew while dealing with long-hidden offspring Dillon, the result of a youthful dalliance.

    Roby self-published her first book 17 years ago. She has written almost two dozen novels, among them The Perfect Marriage, Be Careful What You Pray For, Changing Faces, and Casting the First Stone. She is the winner of a 2013 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work - Fiction.

  • Food critic Charles Ferruzza explores our town’s carnivorous proclivities, connecting the historical and cultural dots between the Kansas City Stockyards, local steak joints, and the changing eating habits of the American people.
    Steaks, Stockyards, and Sin: Kansas City’s Meat & Potato Past - Charles Ferruzza
    Sunday, May 18, 2014
    Central Library

    A now forgotten advertising slogan once proclaimed that Kansas City — proud of its “cowtown” heritage — was “where the steak is born.”

    Local food critic Charles Ferruzza explores our town’s carnivorous proclivities, connecting the historical and cultural dots between the iconic Kansas City Stockyards, local steak joints, and the changing eating habits of the American people.

    Ferruzza writes a weekly restaurant column for The Pitch, appears regularly on KCUR-FM and hosts the talk show “Anything Goes” on KKFI-FM.

  • In a discussion of his new book, Stanford University’s Ian Morris takes the provocative position that despite its horrors, armed conflict has made humanity both safer and richer.
    War! What Is It Good For? Conflict and the Progress of Civilization from Primates to Robot
    Tuesday, April 29, 2014
    Central Library

    “War! What is it good for?” Motown singer Edwin Starr asked in his 1969 hit record. The musical answer: “Absolutely nothing.”

    But in a discussion of his erudite new history of war, Stanford University’s Ian Morris takes the provocative position that, despite its horrors, armed conflict has made humanity both safer and richer. From the aggressive instincts of chimpanzees and early “protohumans” to ancient civilizations and the “American Empire,” he looks at war and notes that in terms of lives lost (as a percentage of national population), its impact has lessened while the long-term effects have been “productive.”

  • This feature documentary explores the idea of heroic women, from the birth of superheroes in the 1940s to the TV and big-screen action blockbusters of today. Following the screening filmmaker Kristy Guevara-Flanagan leads a discussion of the themes of the documentary.
    Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines
    Tuesday, April 22, 2014
    Plaza Branch

    For decades, the fictional world of superheroes was dominated by male characters. Wonder Woman was the only female with any real clout.

    Filmmaker Kristy Guevara-Flanagan presents and leads a discussion of her feature documentary exploring the concept of heroic women from the birth of superheroes in the 1940s to the TV and big screen action blockbusters of today. Actresses Lynda (Wonder Woman) Carter and Lindsay (The Bionic Woman) Wagner, feminist Gloria Steinem, and punk rocker Kathleen Hanna are among those interviewed in the film.

    Presented by the University of Missouri-Kansas City Women’s Center.

  • In a discussion of his new book, Dean Starkman exposes the failure of America’s business press to cover the systemic corruption in the financial industry and other events leading up to the 2008 financial collapse.
    The Watchdog That Didn't Bark: The Financial Crisis and the Disappearance of Investigative Journalism
    Wednesday, April 16, 2014
    Central Library

    Does the 2008 financial collapse lie at least in part at journalists’ feet?

    Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Dean Starkman, formerly of The Wall Street Journal, exposes the critical failure of America’s business press to cover the systemic corruption in the financial industry and other events leading up to the 2008 economic meltdown.

    He maintains that deep cultural and structural shifts — some unavoidable, some self-inflicted — eroded journalism’s appetite for its role as watchdog, and the result was a deafening silence about questionable, even dishonest practices. Tragically, that silence grew more profound as the mortgage madness reached its apogee from 2004-06.

  • Larry Tye discusses the first full biography of not only the fictional Man of Steel but also the real-world writers, artists, publishers, and performers who have kept the caped character an essential part of American culture for seven decades.
    Superman - Larry Tye
    Tuesday, March 25, 2014
    Central Library

    Larry Tye discusses his book Superman, the first full-fledged biography of not only the fictional Man of Steel but also the real-world writers, artists, publishers, and performers who have kept the caped character an essential part of American culture for seven decades.

    A former reporter for The Boston Globe, Tye now runs the Boston-based Health Coverage Fellowship, which helps the media cover critical health care issues. His books have addressed baseball legend Satchel Paige, the birth of the public relations industry, and how Pullman porters helped create a black middle class.