Event Video

To view a video recording of a previous Library special event, click the icon. The Library offers recordings only with the permission of the presenter.

  • Rebecca Solnit offers a guided tour of the Bay Area through her latest book, Infinite City, which reinvents the traditional atlas, expanding it from a mere collection of maps to a vibrant depiction of a city’s inner life.
    Rebecca Solnit - Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas
    Tuesday, February 28, 2012
    Central Library

    Rebecca Solnit offers a guided tour of the Bay Area through her latest book, Infinite City, which reinvents the traditional atlas, expanding it from a mere collection of maps to a vibrant depiction of a city’s inner life.

  • Historian Bud Bowie looks at how Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ miscalculations doomed the South economically even as it was winning on the battlefield.
    Bud Bowie: Jefferson Davis and His Cause
    Wednesday, February 22, 2012
    Central Library

    Historian Bud Bowie looks at economic miscalculations by Confederate President Jefferson Davis and other Southerners that in effect doomed their cause even as it was winning on the battlefield.

    Foremost among these was the belief that the North would never risk ruining the immensely important cotton trade by waging war on secessionist states.

    Bowie is a professor of military history at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth.

  • Kansas City Star sports reporter Blair Kerkhoff discusses the history of the NAIA basketball tournament in Kansas City and explains why it was instrumental in the demolition of racial barriers in college athletics.
    Blair Kerkhoff: NAIA Basketball & the Civil Rights Movement
    Sunday, February 19, 2012
    Central Library

    Kansas City Star sports reporter Blair Kerkhoff explains why the NAIA basketball tournament in Kansas City was instrumental in the demolition of racial barriers in college athletics.

    Long before the NCAA and NIT tournaments accepted them, college basketball teams from historically black colleges and universities found a home in Kansas City. The basketball tournament of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics was a fixture on the city’s sports calendar; but to African Americans around the country, it meant something special.

  • In his new memoir playwright/novelist/poet Zakes Mda recalls his coming of age under South African apartheid and his love of jazz, comic books, political discourse and writing.
    Zakes Mda: Sometimes There Is A Void
    Thursday, February 16, 2012
    Central Library

    In his memoir Sometimes There Is A Void award-winning South African author Zakes Mda chronicles his youth from boyhood in Soweto to his exile and coming of age in Basutoland (now Lesotho).

  • Just in time for Valentine’s Day: UMKC’s Jennifer Phegley provides insights into Victorian “dating” and wedding practices that continue to be embraced by modern brides and grooms…and asks if the Victorians’ ideas about romantic have left us with unhealthy expectations.
    Jennifer Phegley - Courtship and Marriage in Victorian England
    Thursday, February 9, 2012
    Central Library

    Jennifer Phegley, chair of the Department of English at the University of Missouri – Kansas City, examines how many of our modern marriage traditions – including wedding dresses and honeymoons – have their roots in the Victorian era.

  • Randy Roberts discusses how a 1944 college football contest played by West Point cadets and Annapolis midshipmen captivated an American public seeking heroism and hope.
    Randy Roberts - A Team for America: The Army-Navy Game that Rallied a Nation
    Thursday, February 2, 2012
    Central Library

    Purdue University historian Randy Roberts discusses the iconic 1944 football game between the undefeated cadets of West Point and the midshipmen of Annapolis.

  • University of Pennsylvania historian Stephanie McCurry contends the South sowed the seeds of its demise in creating a regime that excluded white women and slaves, which together comprised a majority of the population.
    Stephanie McCurry: Confederate Reckoning
    Thursday, January 26, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    University of Pennsylvania historian Stephanie McCurry offers a new interpretation of the Confederacy that contends the South sowed the seeds of its demise in creating a regime that excluded white women and slaves, which together comprised a majority of the population.

    Confederate Reckoning was a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for History. McCurry’s talk is the keynote address for the Richard D. McKinzie Research Symposium.

    Co-sponsored by the University of Missouri-Kansas City Department of History.

  • Military historian Richard B. Frank examines the new international scholarship on the first five years of China’s “War of Resistance” against Japan, from 1937-42.
    Richard B. Frank: China’s “War of Resistance” 1937-42
    Tuesday, January 24, 2012
    Central Library

    Richard B. Frank examines the new international scholarship on the first five years of China’s “War of Resistance” against Japan from 1937-42.

  • Author and filmmaker Terence O’Malley presents a veritable “Hood’s Who” of Kansas City’s Black Hand/Mafia/Cosa Nostra, an inglorious yet persistently fascinating element of Kansas City’s organized crime history.
    Terence O’Malley - Black Hand Strawman: The History of Organized Crime in Kansas City
    Sunday, January 15, 2012
    Central Library

    Filmmaker Terence O’Malley discusses his new book Black Hand Strawman: The History of Organized Crime in Kansas City, a companion to his documentary of the same name.

    O’Malley chronicles the Black Hand era in Kansas City that saw the beginnings of Italian organized crime, its later alliance with the Pendergast political machine, and its rise to dominance in the early 20th century. O’Malley also discusses the lives of the overwhelming majority within the city’s Italian American community who suffered as victims of organized crime.

  • The retired Special Agent tells the real stories behind the headlines of some of the highest profile FBI cases investigated in Kansas City.
    Jeff Lanza - Federal Cases: Inside the Kansas City FBI
    Thursday, January 12, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    A newborn baby is kidnapped from a Kansas City hospital. A New Year’s Eve bank robber takes hostages in a stand-off. A pharmacist dilutes the medication of 4,000 patients. Over the past 20 years, some of the highest profile FBI cases were investigated in Kansas City.

    Retired Special Agent Jeff Lanza, who served as the FBI’s Kansas City spokesman, tells the real stories behind the headlines and reveals how he learned to interact with local and national media. Lanza is author of the recently released Pistols to Press.