Event Video

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  • Bon vivant Chester Alan Arthur was propelled into the presidency by an assassination and then defied the federal patronage system that had nurtured him.
    Zachary Karabell: Chester Alan Arthur
    Wednesday, May 23, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    Author Zachary Karabell examines Chester Alan Arthur, who was propelled into the presidency by the assassination of James Garfield and turned his back on the patronage system that had nurtured him.

  • Curator Catherine Futter and her colleagues provide a behind-the-scenes look at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art's major exhibit drawn from almost a century of world's fairs.
    Catherine Futter - Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World’s Fairs, 1851-1939
    Tuesday, May 22, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    Curator of decorative arts Catherine Futter and her colleagues from the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art provide an illustrated behind-the-scenes look at the museum’s new exhibit running through August 19, 2012.

    Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World’s Fairs, 1851-1939 features 200 objects introduced at world’s fairs over nearly a century. These events were the first global marketplaces, where manufacturers and artisans promoted their most ingenious innovations.

    Watch a YouTube video for Inventing the Modern World:

  • Candice Millard, author of the best-selling Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine & Murder, examines the brief presidency of James A. Garfield and the fallout from his assassination.
    Candice Millard: James A. Garfield
    Wednesday, May 16, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    Candice Millard, author of Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine & the Murder of a President, explores the life and protracted death of James A. Garfield, who didn’t want to be president and was fatally shot just months into his first term.

  • The Harvard Business School’s Robert Kaplan poses reflective questions all leaders should ask themselves to maximize an organization’s effectiveness.
    Robert Kaplan: What to Ask the Person in the Mirror
    Tuesday, May 8, 2012
    Central Library

    Leadership is less about having all the answers than about asking the right questions. Harvard Business School professor Robert Kaplan says in his book What to Ask the Person in the Mirror that the challenge lies in being able to step back, reflect, and ask the key questions that are critical to your performance and your organization’s effectiveness.

  • Linda Rodriguez discusses her award-winning debut mystery novel, in which a big-city cop finds that running a college police force isn’t as peaceful as she had imagined.
    Linda Rodriguez: Every Last Secret
    Tuesday, April 24, 2012
    Central Library

    Kansas City author Linda Rodriguez discusses her debut novel Every Last Secret, a murder mystery in which big-city cop “Skeet” Banion finds that running a smalltown college police force isn’t as peaceful as she had imagined. The book is the winner of the Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel competition.

  • Author Christopher B. Leinberger discusses urban environments that encourage neighborhoods where citizens can live, work, and play within easy walking distance.
    Christopher B. Leinberger: The Option of Urbanism
    Wednesday, April 18, 2012
    Central Library

    Author Christopher B. Leinberger describes how government policy over the last 60 years – driven by the auto and oil industry – has encouraged suburban sprawl with its strip malls and isolated housing developments. The result: decline of community, urban decay, pollution, and a rise in obesity and asthma. But there’s a new approach (or perhaps it’s an old approach) in which citizens live, work, and play within easy walking distance.

  • Precisely 150 years after the Battle of Shiloh, military historian Gregory S. Hospodor recreates the bloody clash that convinced Americans that the Civil War would be a long, grueling conflict.
    Gregory S. Hospodor: The Battle of Shiloh
    Tuesday, April 17, 2012
    Central Library

    In April 1862 a Union force under Ulysses S. Grant and a Confederate army led by Albert Sidney Johnston clashed in southwestern Tennessee in the Battle of Shiloh. Precisely 150 years later, military historian Gregory S. Hospodor discusses what was to that point the bloodiest fighting of the Civil War and explains how it brought home to both sides the grim reality of the conflict.

    Hospodor is an associate professor of military history at the United States Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he was named teacher of the year for 2011.

  • In the followup to her Booker Prize-winning The Gathering, Anne Enright gives us party girl Gina Moynihan, the center of a tale of illicit passion, self-love and unwanted responsibilities.
    Anne Enright: The Forgotten Waltz
    Monday, April 16, 2012
    Central Library

    Irish writer Anne Enright’s The Forgotten Waltz is the followup to her international bestseller The Gathering, winner of the 2007 Man Booker Prize. She discusses her work with New Letters on the Air host Angela Elam.

    As with The Gathering, Enright offers a momentous drama of everyday life: the volatile connections between people and a wry take on families, marriage, and brittle middle age. In Gina Moynihan she gives us yet another unforgettable heroine on a journey of the heart.

  • 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.

  • The first vice president to assume the presidency on the death of an incumbent, John Tyler was called “His Accidency,” but historian Edward P. Crapol sees a bold leader who enhanced presidential power.
    Edward P. Crapol: John Tyler
    Wednesday, April 11, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    The first vice president to occupy the White House after the death of the incumbent, John Tyler was derided by critics as “His Accidency.” Yet historian Edward P. Crapol depicts Tyler as a bold leader who used the malleable executive system to his advantage and enhanced presidential power.

    Crapol, author of John Tyler: The Accidental President, is the William E. Pullen professor of American history, emeritus, at the College of William and Mary.