Radio Interviews

All Library locations will be closed on Monday, May 25 in observance of Memorial 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 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.

  • Aaron Barnhart and Diane Eickhoff present their new travel guide, which explores historic sites along the Kansas-Missouri border.
    The Big Divide
    Wednesday, April 24, 2013
    Central Library

    Diane Eickhoff and Aaron Barnhart offer a new way to appreciate local history with The Big Divide, a travel book that chronologically examines historic sites along the Kansas-Missouri border. From pre-history through the Border War, Civil War, and on to the 20th Century, this guide employs point-by-point directions, photos, and maps to explore the region’s rich past.

  • Author William Hogeland explains how debt, speculation, foreclosures, protests, and crackdowns made us a nation.
    Founding Finance: How Debt, Speculation, Foreclosures, Protests and Crackdowns Made Us a Nation
    Wednesday, April 17, 2013
    Central Library

    Arguments over taxation and “constitutional conservatism” are nothing new, William Hogeland points out. His new book brings to life the violent conflicts over economics, class, and finance that played directly into the hardball politics of forming the nation and ratifying the Constitution — conflicts that still affect our politics, legislation, and national debate.

  • Scholar Henry Adams discusses the life of his  great-great-great-great-great grandmother, who witnessed the American Revolution and left behind insightful  and sometimes ascerbic impressions of the Founding Fathers.
    Abigail Adams
    Wednesday, April 3, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    Abigail Adams, the wife of one president and the mother of a second, was significant not only for her accomplishments as a diarist and letter writer but for the influence she had on successive generations of the Adams family. Scholar Henry Adams, the great-great-great-great-great grandson of Abigail and John Adams, looks at his forbear’s life and writing, especially her often caustic impressions of the Founding Fathers.

  • James G. Basker examines the vast reservoir of early abolitionist literature from the likes of Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, William Lloyd Garrison, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, anonymous editorialists, and freed slaves.
    American Antislavery Writings: Colonial Beginnings to Emancipation
    Tuesday, April 2, 2013
    Central Library

    Historian James G. Basker discusses his new book, a collection of writings reflecting our nation’s long, heated confrontation with that poisonous evil, slavery. This vast reservoir of abolitionist literature flowed from the pens of Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, William Lloyd Garrison, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, anonymous editorialists, and freed slaves. Basker is the editor of a new book, American Antislavery Writings: Colonial Beginnings to Emancipation, published by the Library of America.

  • Travel journalist Rudy Maxa explains where you should go right now, how you can save money on hotels, why you should stop hoarding those frequent flyer miles, and why you should never ride a camel named Katherine in Khiva, Uzbekistan. Travel journalist Rudy Maxa explains where you should go right now, how you can save money on hotels, why you should stop hoarding those frequent flyer miles, and why you should never ride a camel named Katherine in Khiva, Uzbekistan.
    Why Everything You Used to Know About Travel Is Wrong
    Wednesday, March 27, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    Traveling has undergone some big changes in recent years. Now travel journalist Rudy Maxa provides tips to save money, maximize pleasure, and minimize hassles. He offers suggestions about where you should go right now, how to save money on hotels, why you should stop hoarding those frequent flyer miles, and why you should never ride a camel named Katherine in Khiva, Uzbekistan.

  • Author and labor leader Bill Fletcher Jr. takes on accusations that unions pamper workers with high pay and cushy benefits at the expense of the American economy.
    “They’re Bankrupting Us!” And 20 Other Myths about Unions
    Tuesday, March 19, 2013
    Central Library

    Unions have been blamed for budget deficits and for pampering workers with high pay and cushy benefits. Labor leader Bill Fletcher, Jr. tackles those accusations in his book “They’re Bankrupting Us!” He traces the roots of anti-union myths, examines the movement’s missteps and lists significant labor contributions like the minimum wage and 40-hour work week.