Event Video

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  • In his new biography of the creator of Communism, Jonathan Sperber challenges many of our misconceptions about this political firebrand, presenting Marx’s personal story within the larger historical stage of a European continent roiling with political and social unrest.
    Karl Marx: A Nineteenth-Century Life
    Thursday, July 25, 2013
    Central Library

    As the man behind Communism, Karl Marx has been revered as a prophet and blamed for some of the darkest atrocities of modern times. In his new biography of Marx, Jonathan Sperber challenges many of our misconceptions about this political firebrand-turned-London-émigré-journalist, presenting Marx’s personal story within the larger historical stage of a European continent roiling with political and social unrest.

    Sperber is the Curators’ Professor of History at the University of Missouri.

  • Seton Hall’s Williamjames Hull Hoffer examines the repercussions of the controversial 1896 Supreme Court decision that legitimized the segregation of Jim Crow America and ushered in a half-century of “separate but equal.”
    Plessy v. Ferguson: Williamjames Hull Hoffer
    Tuesday, July 23, 2013
    Central Library

    Homer Plessy—a man of seven-eighths Caucasian descent and one-eighth African descent who was nevertheless considered black under Louisiana law—boarded a train car reserved for whites and was promptly arrested. Hearing the appeal of his conviction, the U.S. Supreme Court in 1896 upheld the Louisiana statute, thus ushering in a half-century of legally sanctioned segregation under the "separate but equal" doctrine.

    Williamjames Hull Hoffer examines that controversial decision and its repercussions in a discussion of his book about the landmark case. Hoffer is associate professor of history at Seton Hall University.

  • Time magazine editor-at-large  David Von Drehle conducts a public conversation with Politico chief political correspondent Mike Allen, providing an insider’s look at politics, partisanship, and the ebb and flow of power in the nation’s capital.
    Politico’s Mike Allen
    Wednesday, July 17, 2013
    Central Library

    In the new series Dateline: Washington with David Von Drehle, journalists covering the nation’s capital offer an insider’s look at politics, partisanship, the ebb and flow of power, and the challenges facing our country today.

    David Von DrehleTime magazine’s editor-at-large and a Kansas City resident – holds a public conversation with Politico chief political correspondent Mike Allen. Allen is creator of the influential daily news digest Playbook and “the man the White House wakes up to,” in the words of The New York Times Magazine.

  • KCPT’s Nick Haines moderates a panel of experts discussing proposals to replace the city’s three-terminal airport with a single-terminal design, as well as the movement for a citywide vote on the issue.
    KCI Terminal Replacement: What Does the Future Hold?
    Thursday, July 11, 2013
    Central Library

    When it opened 40 years ago, Kansas City International Airport and its three-terminal design was hailed as the most convenient airport in the country. But with changing times and new security demands, is it time for a new facility? A panel of experts discusses whether it’s time to build a new KCI.

    This is the third of four public forums in 2013 examining current municipal issues. Up next: the economic border war between Kansas and Missouri (on October 17, 2013).

  • Rutgers University Distinguished Professor of Law Earl M. Maltz examines the controversial 1856 Supreme Court decision that found blacks were not citizens of the United States.
    Dred Scott and the Politics of Slavery - Earl M. Maltz
    Wednesday, June 26, 2013
    Central Library

    The slave Dred Scott claimed that his residence in a free state transformed him into a free man. When the Court decided otherwise, the ruling sent shock waves through the nation and helped lead to the Civil War.

    Earl M. Maltz discusses his book Dred Scott and the Politics of Slavery and argues that the case revealed a political climate that had grown so threatening to the South that overturning the Missouri Compromise was considered essential.

  • The Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper known to fans as “The White Puma” joins us for the launch of his new memoir Welcome to the Blue Heaven: Don’t Bet Against the Goalkeeper.
    Welcome to the Blue Heaven: Jimmy Nielsen
    Thursday, June 20, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    The Kansas City Public Library hosts Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper and captain Jimmy Nielsen for the launch of his new memoir Welcome to the Blue Heaven.

    Nielsen was once scouted by Manchester United and a host of other leading European clubs, but his career was derailed by a gambling habit that earned him the nickname “Casino Jimmy.” He managed to piece his life back together and started a record 398 games for Aalborg, the team he supported as a boy; but he was ready for a change and contemplating retirement when he received a call from Kansas City in 2010 to play for a team that he did know existed until that very moment.

  • Biographer John Robert Greene looks at the life of Betty Ford, whose impact on American life is far out of proportion to the mere two and a half years she spent in the White House.
    Betty Ford
    Wednesday, June 19, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    Betty Ford is known for her battles with breast cancer and substance abuse. But perhaps even more than these struggles, says biographer John Robert Greene, she is remembered as a paragon of candor and courage, an outspoken first lady whose public positions did not always conform to those of her husband.

    John Robert Greene is the Schupf Professor of History and Humanities at Cazenovia College and author of Betty Ford: Candor and Courage in the White House.

  • Historian Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy looks at the British leaders who lost the American colonies and finds not incompetence but able and even brilliant men undone by political complexities at home and the fervency of their American opponents.
    The Men Who Lost America
    Tuesday, June 18, 2013
    Central Library

    The loss of America was an unexpected defeat for the powerful British Empire. Common wisdom has held that incompetent military commanders and political leaders were to blame.

    But Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy argues in his book The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire that British troops were led ably and even brilliantly. The effort was undone by political complexities at home and the fervency of their American opponents.

  • Author and economist Zachary Karabell argues that while media reports emphasize tensions between the United States and China, the occasional conflicts pale in comparison to the deepening and ongoing economic bonds that tie the two countries together.
    The Good News is the Bad News is Wrong About U.S.-China Relations
    Wednesday, June 12, 2013
    Central Library

    After more than a decade of intimate economic relations, China and the United States have become deeply intertwined. Historian Zachary Karabell maintains that while neither country is fully at ease with this partnership, the occasional tension over intellectual property, human rights, and regional strategy pales in comparison to the deepening and on-going economic bonds that tie the two countries together.

  • Journalist Jay Nordlinger talks about the sometimes controversial individuals who have won the Nobel Peace Prize and those who didn’t but should have.
    Peace, They Say
    Tuesday, June 11, 2013
    Central Library

    Bestowed on statesmen, preachers, artists, and activists, the Nobel Peace Prize is among the world’s most prestigious honors. And also among the most controversial, as Jay Nordlinger explains in a discussion of his new book, Peace, They Say. He talks about the individuals who have won the award (Theodore Roosevelt, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, Yasser Arafat) and those who didn’t but should have.