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.

  • Time magazine editor-at-large  David Von Drehle holds a public conversation about The Future  of Space Exploration with The Washington Post’s Joel Achenbach. The two will also discuss the recent sale of The Post to billionaire Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com.
    The Future of Space Exploration and the Sale of The Washington Post : Joel Achenbach
    Tuesday, August 20, 2013
    Central Library

    The August Dateline: Washington event at the Kansas City Public Library was supposed to be about outer space. Just outer space. Host David Von Drehle and The Washington Post’s Joel Achenbach were to talk about the future of NASA and the American space program now that our astronauts are being launched from sites in Russia. But the recent sale of The Post to billionaire Jess Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon.com, gives special meaning to the event.

    Not only is Achenbach a current Washington Post employee, but Von Drehle is a former Post reporter. So it’s only natural that they will devote part of the evening to discussing this seismic upheaval in the world of American journalism.

  • Payton Kelly - the creative force behind more than 30 Boulevard Beer labels - discusses the creation of the brand’s visual signature... one that is easily recognized wherever the company’s products are sold.
    Unfiltered Label Design
    Thursday, August 8, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    Marketing studies have shown that, like other consumers, beer drinkers often make purchases based not just on taste, but often on the packaging and label on the bottle.

    Over the last two decades Payton Kelly, creative director for Kansas City’s Boulevard Brewing Company, has hand drawn more than 30 labels for Boulevard’s many products, creating a visual signature that is recognized wherever the products are sold. Now Kelly discusses the design and execution of his distinctive logos for products like Boss Tom’s Golden Bock, Bully! Porter, Nutcracker Ale, Dark Truth Stout, and Single-Wide I.P.A.

  • Veteran Kansas City TV reporter  Bev Chapman screens and discusses her new documentary about Nawang Gombu, who became the first man to twice scale Mount Everest, re-imagined mountaineering, and has championed Sherpa culture.
    Nawang Gombu: Heart of a Tiger
    Sunday, July 28, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    Bev Chapman screens and discusses her new documentary about Nawang Gombu, who became the first man to twice scale Mount Everest, pioneered a safer style of mountaineering in the Himalayas, and became a champion of Sherpa culture.

    Heart of a Tiger was filmed in Colorado, Washington state, California, Switzerland, Austria, and India, and features early mountaineers like Jim Whittaker, “Bull” Kumar, and Jim Wickwire.

    Chapman was for 26 years a reporter for KMBC-TV. She retired in 2010.

  • In his new biography of the creator of Communism, Jonathan Sperber challenges many of our misconceptions about this political firebrand, presenting Marx’s personal story within the larger historical stage of a European continent roiling with political and social unrest.
    Karl Marx: A Nineteenth-Century Life
    Thursday, July 25, 2013
    Central Library

    As the man behind Communism, Karl Marx has been revered as a prophet and blamed for some of the darkest atrocities of modern times. In his new biography of Marx, Jonathan Sperber challenges many of our misconceptions about this political firebrand-turned-London-émigré-journalist, presenting Marx’s personal story within the larger historical stage of a European continent roiling with political and social unrest.

    Sperber is the Curators’ Professor of History at the University of Missouri.

  • Time magazine editor-at-large  David Von Drehle conducts a public conversation with Politico chief political correspondent Mike Allen, providing an insider’s look at politics, partisanship, and the ebb and flow of power in the nation’s capital.
    Politico’s Mike Allen
    Wednesday, July 17, 2013
    Central Library

    In the new series Dateline: Washington with David Von Drehle, journalists covering the nation’s capital offer an insider’s look at politics, partisanship, the ebb and flow of power, and the challenges facing our country today.

    David Von DrehleTime magazine’s editor-at-large and a Kansas City resident – holds a public conversation with Politico chief political correspondent Mike Allen. Allen is creator of the influential daily news digest Playbook and “the man the White House wakes up to,” in the words of The New York Times Magazine.

  • Biographer John Robert Greene looks at the life of Betty Ford, whose impact on American life is far out of proportion to the mere two and a half years she spent in the White House.
    Betty Ford
    Wednesday, June 19, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    Betty Ford is known for her battles with breast cancer and substance abuse. But perhaps even more than these struggles, says biographer John Robert Greene, she is remembered as a paragon of candor and courage, an outspoken first lady whose public positions did not always conform to those of her husband.

    John Robert Greene is the Schupf Professor of History and Humanities at Cazenovia College and author of Betty Ford: Candor and Courage in the White House.

  • Biographer Cynthia A. Kierner discusses  the life of Thomas Jefferson’s daughter Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph, a graceful, sincere, and well-educated woman  who often assumed the duties of first lady for her widowed father.
    Martha Jefferson Randolph
    Wednesday, June 5, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    As the oldest and favorite daughter of Thomas Jefferson, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph was well educated, known on two continents for her grace and sincerity, and often assumed the duties of first lady for her widowed father.

    Yet as biographer Cynthia A. Kierner points out, Patsy Jefferson was not spared the tedium, frustration, and sorrow experienced by most women of her time.

    Kierner is professor of history at George Mason University and the author of Martha Jefferson Randolph, Daughter of Monticello.

  • Author Steve Coll unearths the secrects of America’s largest private corporation, tracking its role on the world stage from the Exxon Valdez accident in 1989 to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.
    Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power
    Tuesday, June 4, 2013
    Central Library

    As America’s biggest private corporation, ExxonMobil has economic power and political clout exceeding that of many countries. Yet its corporate culture of secrecy and discipline makes it a mystery to most of us.

    Author Steve Coll unearths the company’s secrets in Private Empire, tracking the corporation’s role on the world stage from the Exxon Valdez accident in 1989 to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.

  • A Long and Winding Walk to Wichita
    Tuesday, May 28, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    He was escorted to the county line by a sheriff’s deputy, clambered across creaky old railroad bridges that couldn’t pass an OSHA inspection, and dined with two women who channeled the spirits of Amelia Earhart and Calamity Jane.

    It wasn’t exactly akin to the scaling the Matterhorn, but for noted pedestrian Henry Fortunato, the Library’s director of public affairs, his Long and Winding Walk to Wichita last October was quite the amazing – and often amusing – adventure nonetheless.

  • Four award-winning children’s authors join forces for an evening of reader’s theatre that adapts their books for dramatic presentation. For ages 10 and up only.
    Author Reader's Theatre
    Friday, May 3, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    Four award-winning children’s authors, Brian Selznick, Richard Peck, Sarah Weeks, and Avi, are joining forces at the Kansas City Public Library for a program of the Authors Readers Theatre that adapts their popular books for dramatic presentation.

    The evening is part of the Library’s Friday Night Family Fun series and this event is for ages 10 and up only.