Radio Interviews

All Library locations will be closed on Saturday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day.

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.

  • Biographer Robert Farnsworth looks at the life, death, and lingering legacy of Leon Jordan, a one-time police officer and educator who founded Freedom, Inc., and became Missouri’s most powerful black politician before being gunned down in an unsolved 1970 assassination.
    Leon Mercer Jordan - Robert Farnsworth
    Sunday, January 20, 2013
    Central Library

    Biographer Robert Farnsworth discusses his new eBook about the life, death, and legacy of Leon Jordan, a one-time police officer and educator who founded Freedom, Inc., and became Missouri’s most powerful black politician before being gunned down in a 1970 assassination outside his Kansas City tavern.

  • Author/musician/rickshaw driver Eric Brende offers new lyrics for a Christmas favorite that reflect a greener, cleaner, more frugal approach to celebrating the holidays.
    The Twelve Days of Christmas, Revisited - Eric Brende
    Thursday, December 6, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    Ever get the feeling that Christmas has morphed into something it was never supposed to be?

    How did a celebration of joy, togetherness, love, and hope transmute into an extended shopping spree accounting for 25 percent of annual consumer spending? 

  • Author Robert W. Merry wraps up the presidential election - and the Hail to the Chiefs series - with a fresh, playful and challenging way of rating our presidents.
    Robert W. Merry - Where They Stand: Ranking the Presidents
    Tuesday, November 27, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    Author Robert W. Merry wraps up the presidential election – and the Hail to the Chiefs series – with a fresh, playful, and challenging way of rating our presidents. He is the author of Where They Stand: The American Presidents in the Eyes of Voters and Historians.

    Merry has been a Washington correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and the executive editor of Congressional Quarterly.

    Co-presented with the Truman Library Institute; co-sponsored by KCUR’s Up To Date.

  • Get a preview of Ken Burns’ new documentary about America’s worst manmade ecological disaster, followed by a panel discussion featuring screenwriter Dayton Duncan.
    Dayton Duncan - The Dust Bowl
    Tuesday, November 13, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    The result of uncontrolled plowing on the Great Plains, the Dust Bowl of the 1930s turned prairies into deserts and unleashed a pattern of massive and deadly dust storms. Children contracted “dust pneumonia,” businesses collapsed, and thousands lost their land and were forced on the road.

    A screening of excerpts from Ken Burns' The Dust Bowl will be followed by a panel discussion headlined by the documentary’s writer and co-producer Dayton Duncan.

    Co-sponsored by KCPT and the University of Kansas Libraries.

  • With his thick spectacles, big teeth, and boundless energy, President Theodore Roosevelt was a cartoonist’s dream subject. Author and former political cartoonist Rick Marschall discusses this  most dynamic of chief executives.
    Rick Marschall - Theodore Roosevelt
    Thursday, November 1, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    With his thick spectacles, big teeth, and boundless energy, President Theodore Roosevelt was a cartoonist’s dream subject. Rick Marschall, author of Bully! The Life and Times of Theodore Roosevelt: Illustrated with More than 200 Vintage Political Cartoons discusses this most dynamic of chief executives.

    Marschall is a former political cartoonist. Bostonia magazine calls him “perhaps America’s foremost authority on popular culture.”

  • Host Steve Kraske conducts a Q&A session (to be broadcast love) with area political consultants Jeff Roe (Republican) and Roy Temple (Democrat) over the choices offered by their parties for Missouri and the nation.
    Up to Date - A Surrogate Presidential Debate
    Tuesday, October 30, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    In the waning days of the 2012 political campaign, KCUR-FM and the Library join forces to present a live surrogate Presidential debate.

    Steve Kraske will broadcast a live episode of his Up to Date program.

  • Historian Henry Wiencek examines how Thomas Jefferson, for all his accomplishments and advanced thinking, could not get beyond his own limited perspective in matters of race.
    Henry Wiencek - Thomas Jefferson
    Thursday, October 25, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    For all his accomplishments and advanced thinking, Thomas Jefferson could not get beyond his own limited perspective in matters of race. Drawing from new archaeological work and previously overlooked evidence, historian Henry Wiencek examines the factors that led Jefferson, once an emancipationist, to keep some of his own children as slaves.

  • Author Tanner Colby engages in a public conversation about his new book — an incisive and candid look at  how America got lost on the way to Dr. King’s  Promised Land — with Kansas City writer  Whitney Terrell as part of the Writers at Work series.
    Tanner Colby - Some of My Best Friends Are Black: The Strange Story of Integration in America
    Wednesday, October 10, 2012
    Central Library

    Tanner Colby engages in a public conversation about his new book, Some of My Best Friends Are Black, with Kansas City writer Whitney Terrell. Colby’s book about race is anchored by four interrelated stories, one of which involves a Kansas City neighborhood.

    A child of a white-flight Southern suburb, Colby is former head writer of the National Lampoon Radio Hour and co-author of Belushi: A Biography.

    Co-sponsored by the Writers at Work Roundtable & the UMKC English Department.

  • The sustainability movement is alive and well in Kansas City. A discussion by a panel of experts in energy use and generation, water use and recycling provides a clear understanding of the many efforts underway to achieve energy and resource sustainability.
    The Future of Energy & Creating a Sustainable Community
    Wednesday, October 10, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    The sustainability movement is healthy and active in Kansas City.

    A panel of energy and recycling experts moderated by Kate Corwin, CEO of GreenWorks Kansas City, discuss The Future of Energy and Creating a Sustainable Community. Participants include Kristin Riott of Bridging the Gap, Bob Housh of the Metropolitan Energy Center, Lara Isch of the KCMO Water Department, Stacia Stelk of Ripple Glass and Chuck Caisley of Kansas City Power & Light.

  • Bruce Mathews and his coauthors discuss our town’s spirit, exhibited repeatedly in 150 years of setbacks and determined recoveries.
    Bruce Mathews - The Kansas City Spirit: Stories of Service Above Self
    Thursday, October 4, 2012
    Central Library

    The Kansas City Sprit was in evidence with the 1900 construction of a new convention hall in just 90 days and in how the community has pulled together to recover from floods and other disasters. Norman Rockwell even created a painting celebrating it. Bruce Mathews and his co-authors (Mamie Hughes, Andrew Kaplan, Christopher Leitch, Lynn Mackle, and Carol Powers) and Library Director Crosby Kemper III discuss the new book about Kansas City’s legendary spirit.