Radio Interviews

All Library locations will be closed on Sunday, April 20, in observance of the Easter holiday.

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.

  • Ethno-biologist Edwin Marty looks at the exploding urban farming movement, which he believes has the potential to transform our national food system.
    Edwin Marty - Breaking Through Concrete: Building an Urban Farm Revival
    Tuesday, June 26, 2012
    Central Library

    Author Edwin Marty looks at successful urban farm programs, part of an environmental and social movement that could transform our national food system. From backyard food swaps to a restaurant supply garden on a Brooklyn rooftop, Marty chronicles changing attitudes and offers advice on keeping livestock in the city, decontaminating toxic soil, and even changing zoning laws.

    Marty is an ethno-botanist, former assistant garden editor for Southern Living magazine and founder of the Jones Valley Urban Farm in Birmingham, Alabama.

  • When her husband, President Woodrow Wilson, suffered a stroke in 1919, did Edith Wilson control the reins of power to become, in effect, our first woman president?
    Kristie Miller: Edith Bolling Wilson
    Thursday, June 21, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    Flamboyant, confident, and controversial, Edith Bolling Wilson was not your traditional First Lady. After her husband, Woodrow Wilson, suffered a debilitating stroke in 1919, she took the reins of government and acted on behalf of her ailing spouse. Historian Kristie Miller looks into the life of the woman known as “Madame Regent” and “the Assistant President” and asks: Was Edith Wilson, in effect, our first woman president?

  • Author Max Holland delves into the mystery of Mark Felt, the FBI official who as the legendary “Deep Throat” helped bring down the presidency of Richard Nixon.
    Max Holland - Leak: Why Mark Felt Became Deep Throat
    Monday, June 18, 2012
    Central Library

    Author Max Holland delves into the enigma that is Mark Felt (1913-2008), the FBI official who as the mysterious Deep Throat shared with reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein insider information on the Watergate scandal and by doing so helped to bring down President Richard Nixon.

  • Walter Cronkite biographer Douglas Brinkley looks at the life and career of the CBS newsman who became “Uncle Walter,” the most trusted man in America.
    Douglas Brinkley: Cronkite
    Tuesday, June 5, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    Biographer Douglas Brinkley looks at the life and career of CBS newsman Walter Cronkite, the St. Joseph native who became the most trusted man in America. Drawing on newly disclosed letters, diaries and interviews with nearly 200 of Cronkite’s friends and colleagues, Cronkite reveals not an icon but a real human with passions, loves, and occasional enmities.

  • KU professors Steve Goddard and Perry Alexander examine the world of computer pioneer Alan Turing, subject of Cryptograph, an exhibit now on display at KU’s Spencer Museum of Art.
    Steve Goddard & Perry Alexander - Cryptograph: An Exhibition for Alan Turing
    Thursday, May 17, 2012
    Central Library

    KU’s Steve Goddard and Perry Alexander explore the world of early computer scientist Alan Turing, the subject of Cryptograph: An Exhibition for Alan Turing now at the Spencer Museum of Art on the KU campus.

    Cryptograph examines the question that drove Turing’s research: finding meaning in patterns.

    Goddard is senior curator at the Spencer Museum and a professor of art history; Alexander is professor of electrical engineering and computer science.

  • The British Museum’s Roger Bland discusses the Treasure Act and Portable Antiquities Scheme, laws devised to protect the U.K.’s archaeological treasures from looting while compensating the individuals who discover them.
    Roger Bland: A License to Loot or Archaeological Rescue?
    Monday, April 16, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    The British Museum’s Roger Bland looks at the successes of the U.K.’s Treasure Act and Portable Antiquities Scheme, legislation aimed at curbing the looting of historic sites while guaranteeing that those who find treasure are compensated.

    Bland is head of the Department of Portable Antiquities and Treasures of the United Kingdom and is the American Institute of Archaeology’s Metcalf Lecturer for 2011-2012.

  • Author Wade Sisson discusses the efforts of the R.M.S. Olympic, the near-identical sister ship of the Titanic, to rescue victims of the famous oceanic disaster in April 1912.
    Wade Sisson: Racing Through the Night
    Saturday, April 14, 2012
    Waldo Branch

    Author Wade Sisson discusses the Titanic’s sister ship, the R.M.S. Olympic, which steamed 300 miles in a desperate rescue mission to pick up survivors of the now legendary disaster. In his book Racing Through the Night, Sisson looks at the entwined fates of these two “unsinkable” vessels.

    A resident of Overbrook, Kansas, Sisson fell in love with the Titanic’s story when he was in the sixth grade. He joined the Titanic Historical Society just a few months before the wreckage of the ship was discovered in 1985.

  • Biographer Justin Wolff examines the life and art of Missouri’s Thomas Hart Benton, whose distinctive style and views made him the object of both veneration and scorn.
    Justin Wolff - Thomas Hart Benton: A Life
    Thursday, April 12, 2012
    Central Library

    Biographer Justin Wolff examines the life and art of Missouri’s Thomas Hart Benton, whose murals bejewel many a public building. From the 1930s to his death in 1973, Benton’s distinctive visual style and nationalistic views made him the object of both veneration and scorn. The issues raised by his art and attitudes dominated debate in the post-war world of painting.

    Wolff is an assistant professor of art history at the University of Maine. He is the author of Richard Caton Woodville: American Painter, Artful Dodger.

  • Nelson-Atkins conservator Paul Benson delves into the story behind some of Kansas City’s most popular fountains.
    Paul Benson - City of Fountains: Underneath the Water and Sculpture
    Thursday, March 29, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    Fountains delight our eyes and our ears with their beauty and calming effect. And in all the world, only Rome has more public fountains than Kansas City. Nelson-Atkins conservator Paul Benson – who has often worked as a consultant in preserving and maintaining these watery jewels – delves into the stories behind some of our town’s most popular fountains.

  • Journalist and author Guy Gugliotta discusses his new book about the raising of the U.S. Capitol, a project meant to symbolize national unity even as the country slid ever closer to secession and Civil War.
    Guy Gugliotta - Freedom’s Cap: The United States Capitol and the Coming of the Civil War
    Thursday, March 22, 2012
    Central Library

    Guy Gugliotta discusses his new book about the raising of the U.S. Capitol, a process steeped in irony.

    Even as the majestic structure rose, the Union it represented was drifting toward Civil War. Among the historic characters in this drama was Jefferson Davis, a big supporter of the project – until he left Washington to become president of the Confederacy. (And the engineer in charge of construction, Montgomery Meigs, feuded bitterly with the architect, Thomas U. Walter).