Event Video

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  • 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.

  • Biographer Cynthia A. Kierner discusses  the life of Thomas Jefferson’s daughter Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph, a graceful, sincere, and well-educated woman  who often assumed the duties of first lady for her widowed father.
    Martha Jefferson Randolph
    Wednesday, June 5, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    As the oldest and favorite daughter of Thomas Jefferson, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph was well educated, known on two continents for her grace and sincerity, and often assumed the duties of first lady for her widowed father.

    Yet as biographer Cynthia A. Kierner points out, Patsy Jefferson was not spared the tedium, frustration, and sorrow experienced by most women of her time.

    Kierner is professor of history at George Mason University and the author of Martha Jefferson Randolph, Daughter of Monticello.

  • Author Steve Coll unearths the secrects of America’s largest private corporation, tracking its role on the world stage from the Exxon Valdez accident in 1989 to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.
    Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power
    Tuesday, June 4, 2013
    Central Library

    As America’s biggest private corporation, ExxonMobil has economic power and political clout exceeding that of many countries. Yet its corporate culture of secrecy and discipline makes it a mystery to most of us.

    Author Steve Coll unearths the company’s secrets in Private Empire, tracking the corporation’s role on the world stage from the Exxon Valdez accident in 1989 to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.

  • Former Reagan budget director David Stockman explains how the American state — especially the Federal Reserve — has fallen prey to the politics of crony capitalism and the ideologies of fiscal stimulus, monetary central planning, and financial bailouts.
    The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America
    Wednesday, May 29, 2013
    Central Library

    David Stockman was the architect of the Reagan Revolution meant to restore sound money principles to the U.S. government, but the movement was derailed by politics, special interests, welfare, and warfare. Now he offers a fierce indictment of the American governmental-economic complex, reveals how the workings of free markets and democracy has long been under threat in America, and exposes a surprisingly nonpartisan catalog of corrupters and defenders.

  • Educator Michelle Rhee joins Library Director Crosby Kemper III for a public conversation about her ideas for improving public education in America and putting students first.
    Radical: Fighting to Put Students First
    Wednesday, May 22, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    Educator Michelle Rhee joins Library Director Crosby Kemper III for a public conversation about her new book Radical: Fighting to Put Students First and explains her ideas for improving public education by ensuring that laws, leaders, and politics are making students – not adults – their top priority.

  • Library Director Crosby Kemper III conducts a public conversation with Roshann Parris, president and CEO of Parris Communications Inc. and lead advance person on the White House Presidential Advance Team.
    A Conversation with Roshann Parris
    Wednesday, May 15, 2013
    Central Library

    Library Director Crosby Kemper III conducts a public conversation with Roshann Parris, president and CEO of the award-winning public relations firm Parris Communications Inc.

  • Author and economist John Blundell  looks at the lives of women such as Anne Hutchinson, Rosa Parks, Mercy Otis Warren, the Grimke sisters, and Alice Paul to refute the idea that women desire and benefit from big government.
    Ladies for Liberty: Women Who Made a Difference in American History
    Monday, May 13, 2013
    Central Library

    From Anne Hutchinson, whose doctrinal disputes with the Puritan clergy led to her expulsion from colonial Massachusetts, to Rosa Parks, who became a Civil Rights icon by refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus, women have helped shape the American experience.

  • Michael Gillette discusses the life and legacy of Lady Bird Johnson, including her marriage to Lyndon Johnson, her careers as a congressional assistant and radio magnate, and her impressions of other first ladies.
    Lady Bird Johnson
    Thursday, May 9, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    Over nearly two decades Lady Bird Johnson recorded 47 oral history interviews with historian Michael Gillette and his colleagues at the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library. Now Gillette details Johnson’s stories of marriage to a powerful man, of creating a media empire, and of encounters with first ladies like Edith Bolling Wilson, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Bess Truman.