Event Video

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  • In 1886 four anarchists were hanged for bombing a Chicago labor rally and for 125 years their convictions have been seen as a miscarriage of justice. Now historian Timothy Messer-Kruse argues that the prosecution was solid, but the defense chose grandstanding over substance.
    The Trial of the Haymarket Anarchists
    Wednesday, May 1, 2013
    Central Library

    On May 4, 1886, a peaceful labor rally in Haymarket Square in Chicago erupted in violence. Four anarchists were convicted and hanged for their purported role in a bombing that resulted in the death of seven police officers and at least four civilians.

    For much of a century the executions of the anarchists were widely viewed as a miscarraige of justice. But in a discussion of his book The Trial of the Haymarket Anarchists: Terrorism and Justice in the Gilded Age, Timothy Messer-Kruse argues that the prosecution was solid. It was the anarchists’ lawyers who chose to ignore a sound defense and instead use the trial for political grandstanding.

  • Tama Matsuoka Wong, forager for the exclusive New York restaurant Daniel, discusses her new book Foraged Flavor: Finding Fabulous Ingredients in Your Backyard or Farmer’s Market.
    Foraged Flavor
    Thursday, April 25, 2013
    Central Library

    Tama Matsuoka Wong, forager for the exclusive New York restaurant Daniel, reveals how to locate, identify, and harvest wild plants for the dinner table. In Foraged Flavor: Finding Fabulous Ingredients in Your Backyard or Farmer’s Market, she and co-author Eddy Leroux not only reveal their favorite 71 foraged plants, but explore the best ways to prepare each ingredient for maximum flavor and nutrition. Foraged Flavor has been nominated for a 2013 James Beard Foundation Book Award.

  • Television newsman Jim Lehrer and author Lee Banville join Library director Crosby Kemper III for a public conversation that provides insight into the presidential debate moments that shaped history.
    A Conversation with Jim Lehrer
    Monday, April 22, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    Television newsman Jim Lehrer has presided over 12 presidential and vice-presidential debates and written about them in his 2011 memoir Tension City. Now, MacNeil/Lehrer Production has published Debating Our Destiny, a multimedia-enhanced ebook by University of Montana journalism professor Lee Banville on the history of presidential debates.

  • Military historian Gregory S. Hospodor examines the year-long effort by a Union army – under the command of Ulysses S. Grant – to take Vicksburg, the Mississippi River stronghold that Jefferson Davis called “the nail head that holds the South’s two halves together.”
    Vicksburg: Grant’s Masterpiece
    Thursday, April 18, 2013
    Central Library

    Military historian Gregory S. Hospodor examines the year-long effort by a Union army -- under the command of Ulysses S. Grant -- to take Vicksburg, the Mississippi River stronghold that Jefferson Davis called “the nail head that holds the South’s two halves together.”

  • 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.

  • In Behind the Kitchen Door,  Saru Jayaraman explores how restaurant workers live on some of the lowest wages in America and how poor working conditions - discriminatory labor practices, exploitation, and unsanitary kitchens - affect the meals that arrive at our restaurant tables.
    Behind the Kitchen Door
    Thursday, April 11, 2013
    Central Library

    How do restaurant workers live on some of the lowest wages in America? And how do poor working conditions — discriminatory labor practices, exploitation, and unsanitary kitchens — affect the meals that arrive at our restaurant tables?

    In Behind the Kitchen Door Saru Jayaraman, co-founder of a national restaurant workers organization, provides a groundbreaking exploration of the political, economic, and moral implications of eating out.

  • Dave Helling of the Kansas City Star moderates a panel of experts discussing whether Kansas City, Missouri, should switch from a police department run by the state to one under the direct control of the mayor and city council.
    Should Kansas City Pursue Local Control of Its Police Department?
    Thursday, April 4, 2013
    Central Library

    The Kansas City Star’s Dave Helling and an expert panel discuss whether it is time for control of the Kansas City Police Department to revert from the state back to the city. Participants include former Police Commissioner Karl Zobrist, former Police Chief Jim Corwin, City Councilman Ed Ford, and Steve Glorioso, who led a campaign to change St. Louis’ police governance law.

  • 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.

  • Kansas City poets Stanley E. Banks and Janet M. Banks read from their new books (respectively) Blue Issues and On the Edge of Urban  in a demonstration of how poetry  can capture the power of inner- city voices.
    Urban Blue Poetry
    Thursday, March 28, 2013
    Central Library

    Think of it as a husband-and-wife tag-team poetry slam.

    Kansas City poets Stanley E. Banks and Janet M. Banks read from their new books (respectively) Blue Issues and On the Edge of Urban in a demonstration of how poetry can capture the power of inner-city voices.

    Stanley’s poetry offers city grit with a blues and jazz undertone. Janet’s poetry has city grit as well, but with an urban woman’s perspective. This African-American couple is known for firing up audiences wherever they give a reading.

  • 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.