Event Video

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  • Author Robert W. Merry wraps up the presidential election - and the Hail to the Chiefs series - with a fresh, playful and challenging way of rating our presidents.
    Robert W. Merry - Where They Stand: Ranking the Presidents
    Tuesday, November 27, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    Author Robert W. Merry wraps up the presidential election – and the Hail to the Chiefs series – with a fresh, playful, and challenging way of rating our presidents. He is the author of Where They Stand: The American Presidents in the Eyes of Voters and Historians.

    Merry has been a Washington correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and the executive editor of Congressional Quarterly.

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

  • Jarhead author Anthony Swofford discusses his new memoir about self-destructive excess and rediscovering family.
    Anthony Swofford - Hospitals, Hotels and Jails
    Wednesday, November 14, 2012
    Central Library

    Anthony Swofford's new memoir, Hotels, Hospitals, and Jails, chronicles how in the years after the success of his book Jarhead, he went on a binge of self-destructive excess. He lost almost everything and everyone that mattered to him.

  • Historian Terry Beckenbaugh of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth explains the effect politics had on the Civil War and discusses the issues and ideologies that drove debate.
    Terry Beckenbaugh - The Politics of War
    Thursday, November 8, 2012
    Central Library

    Historian Terry Beckenbaugh maintains that the Civil War was inevitable given the failure of the nation’s political leadership to resolve fundamental questions over the nature of the American republic and the meaning of constitutional liberty.

    Beckenbaugh examines the leaders of the North and the South, the issues and ideologies that drove debate, and the effect politics had on the war.

    Beckenbaugh is an assistant professor of military history at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

  • Noted economist Mark Skousen examines this Founding Father’s business sense, summed up in Franklin’s perennial classic The Way to Wealth, often considered America’s first “rags to riches” account.
    Mark Skousen - Benjamin Franklin: Founding Father of American Entrepreneurship
    Wednesday, November 7, 2012
    Central Library

    Benjamin Franklin was an inventor, author, politician, postmaster, and civic activist.

    But noted economist and Franklin biographer Mark Skousen reminds us that Franklin was also a businessman and an entrepreneur whose autobiography is often considered to be the first “rags to riches” account in American history.

  • With his thick spectacles, big teeth, and boundless energy, President Theodore Roosevelt was a cartoonist’s dream subject. Author and former political cartoonist Rick Marschall discusses this  most dynamic of chief executives.
    Rick Marschall - Theodore Roosevelt
    Thursday, November 1, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    With his thick spectacles, big teeth, and boundless energy, President Theodore Roosevelt was a cartoonist’s dream subject. Rick Marschall, author of Bully! The Life and Times of Theodore Roosevelt: Illustrated with More than 200 Vintage Political Cartoons discusses this most dynamic of chief executives.

    Marschall is a former political cartoonist. Bostonia magazine calls him “perhaps America’s foremost authority on popular culture.”

  • KMBZ's Dana Wright hosts a public conversation with Thomas Frank, whose new book asks why so many Americans are ready to penalize the recession's victims at the expense of society's traditional winners.
    Thomas Frank - Pity the Billionaire
    Monday, October 29, 2012
    Central Library

    For his latest book Thomas Frank, the best-selling author of What’s the Matter with Kansas? and The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule, went looking for public discontent in the wake of the 2008 economic meltdown.

    Instead, as Frank reports in Pity the Billionaire, he found loud demands that the system be made even harsher on the recession’s victims and that society’s traditional winners receive even grander prizes.

  • Historian Henry Wiencek examines how Thomas Jefferson, for all his accomplishments and advanced thinking, could not get beyond his own limited perspective in matters of race.
    Henry Wiencek - Thomas Jefferson
    Thursday, October 25, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    For all his accomplishments and advanced thinking, Thomas Jefferson could not get beyond his own limited perspective in matters of race. Drawing from new archaeological work and previously overlooked evidence, historian Henry Wiencek examines the factors that led Jefferson, once an emancipationist, to keep some of his own children as slaves.

  • Small-business guru John Jantsch explains how you can create a successful corporate culture, one with committed, long-term customers and dedicated employees.
    John Jantsch - The Commitment Engine: Making Work Worth It
    Wednesday, October 24, 2012
    Central Library

    Why are some companies able to generate committed, long-term customers while others struggle to stay afloat? Why do the employees of some organizations fully dedicate themselves while others punch the clock without enthusiasm? Small-business guru John Jantsch looks at what makes a successful corporate culture.

  • Royals great Frank White discusses his life and career as chronicled in his new book and, for the first time, publicly discusses his dramatic split from the Royals earlier this year.
    Frank White - One Man’s Dream
    Tuesday, October 23, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    During his 18 years playing for the Royals, Frank White became a beloved figure in Kansas City. In a public conversation with sportswriter Bill Althaus, co-writer of One Man’s Dream: My Town, My Team, My Time, White discusses his life and career.

  • Scholar Dennis Domer examines  architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s revolutionary and wholly integrated approach to interior design.
    Dennis Domer - Frank Lloyd Wright’s Search for Organic Simplicity
    Thursday, October 11, 2012
    Central Library

    Dennis Domer looks at the evolution of architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s interior designs in which every element is intended to be not only individually interesting but to contribute to a unified whole.

    Domer is director of graduate studies for the KU Department of American Studies.