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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Editor Steve Paul and a panel of authors - Catherine Browder, Matthew Eck, and Andres Rodriguez - share stories about Kansas City’s seedy underbelly
    Steve Paul - Kansas City Noir
    Tuesday, October 2, 2012
    Central Library

    Steve Paul is joined by three of the area writers who contributed to Kansas City Noir, a collection of short stories that takes readers on a journey through the dark underbelly of our sunny Midwestern metropolis.

  • Author William H. Chafe, who studies American politics through politicians’ personal lives,  reveals the core complexity of William Jefferson Clinton as an individual, a husband, and as a national public figure.
    William H. Chafe - William Jefferson Clinton
    Thursday, September 27, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    Taking the White House requires a team, and America had never seen anything like the husband-and-wife team of Bill and Hillary Clinton.

    Historian William H. Chafe, a pioneer in the study of American politics through the personal lives of politicians, reveals the core complexity of the Clintons as individuals, as a couple, and as national figures.

    Chafe is the Alice Mary Baldwin Professor of History at Duke University and the author of Bill and Hillary: The Politics of the Personal.

  • Author Jamal Joseph discusses his life as a member of the Black Panther Party, prison inmate, activist, poet, filmmaker, and professor at Columbia University, the school he once claimed should be burned down.
    Jamal Joseph - Panther Baby
    Friday, September 21, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    As a member of the Black Panther Party, Jamal Joseph advocated burning Columbia University to the ground. Forty years later he’s a professor at Columbia. In his memoir Panther Baby Jamal takes readers from his Bronx childhood to Leavenworth prison and his current career in the arts.

    Joseph is executive artistic producer of the New Heritage Theater in Harlem. In 2008 he was nominated for an Academy Award for his contributions to the song “Raise It Up” from the film August Rush.

  • Political scientist Samuel Popkin, a veteran of numerous presidential campaigns, examines how challengers get to the White House, how incumbents stay there for a second term, and how successors hold power for their party.
    Samuel Popkin - The Candidate: What It Takes to Win – and Hold – the White House
    Tuesday, September 11, 2012
    Central Library

    Why doesn’t practice make perfect? Why are the same mistakes replayed in every presidential election? Political scientist Samuel Popkin looks at three campaigns – George H.W. Bush’s muddled 1992 re-election effort, Al Gore’s flawed 2000 campaign, and Hillary Clinton’s mismanaged effort to win the 2008 Democratic nomination – and uncovers lessons that future candidates should heed.

    Popkin is a professor of political science at the University of California - San Diego.

  • How did America end up in Vietnam? Historian Fredrik Logevall explains the 40 years of political, military, and diplomatic miscalculation that led to U.S. involvement in Indochina.
    Fredrik Logevall - Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America’s Vietnam
    Thursday, September 6, 2012
    Central Library

    Cornell University historian Fredrik Logevall discusses the origins of America’s least popular war, beginning with the 1919 Versailles Peace Conference that ended World War I, continuing through a half century of French rule, and on to America’s involvement in Vietnam. It’s a story of political, military, and diplomatic maneuvering and miscalculation.

    Logevall is John S. Knight professor of international studies at Cornell University. Among his books are America’s Cold War: The Politics of Insecurity, and Virtual JFK: Vietnam If Kennedy Had Lived.

  • Pultizer Prize-winning author James B. Steele argues that the American middle class has been condemned to terminal decline because of actions by Washington and Wall Street over decades.
    James B. Steele - The Betrayal of the American Dream
    Wednesday, August 15, 2012
    Central Library

    Twenty years ago James B. Steele co-authored America: What Went Wrong, which argued that the middle class was shrinking, guaranteed pensions would become a thing of the past, and millions would be without health insurance. His new book asserts that “We grossly underestimated how fast the economic ruling class would pull the rug out from under everyone else.”

    Steele and his writing partner Donald Bartlett are the only reporting team ever to have received two Pulitzer Prizes and two National Magazine Awards.

  • Local historian Joelouis Mattox discusses the history of Prospect Avenue and the life of one of the surrounding community’s leading citizens, Lucile H. Bluford.
    Joelouis Mattox - When Prospect Avenue Was Main Street
    Sunday, July 29, 2012
    Lucile H. Bluford Branch

    Local historian Joelouis Mattox discusses the history of Prospect Avenue and the life of one of the surrounding community’s leading citizens, Lucile H. Bluford.

    In the late 1950s and early 1960s Prospect Avenue was one of Kansas City’s main commercial thoroughfares. It also functioned as an entertainment district, serving as “Westport,” “River Quay,” and the “Power & Light District” for the African-American community.

  • Mark E. Neely, Jr., author of  Lincoln and the Triumph of a Nation, examines charges that Lincoln played fast and loose with the Constitution during his presidency.
    Mark E. Neely, Jr. - Abraham Lincoln
    Thursday, July 26, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    In pursuing the Civil War, did Abraham Lincoln play fast and loose with civil liberties?

    Pulitzer Prize winner Mark E. Neely, Jr., author of Lincoln and the Triumph of a Nation, rejects that idea and argues that Lincoln’s interpretation of the Constitution was well suited to tolerate the stresses of wartime.

    Neely is McCabe-Greer Professor of Civil War History at Pennsylvania State University.

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