Thursday, February 15, 2018
George Saunders discusses his best-selling Lincoln in the Bardo, winner of the 2017 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for best original novel. The book movingly imagines Abraham Lincoln’s night in a cemetery, tortured by the loss of his son, the Civil War, and a ghostly world shared by Willie and his fellow dead.
Saturday, February 10, 2018
As part of the Indie Lens Pop-Up film series, the Library and KCPT–Kansas City PBS screen the documentary Tell Them We Are Rising, which charts the history and impact of our nation’s historically black colleges and universities. Local HBCU alumni lead a subsequent discussion.
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Donald Trump became the 45th president of the United States in large part by campaigning against the establishment. Now, author and conservative pundit Nick Adams says, the establishment is fighting back.
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Was Abraham Lincoln the transcendent champion of African-American freedom that history books depict? Author Fred Kaplan tempers that image in a discussion of his book Lincoln and the Abolitionists: John Quincy Adams, Slavery, and the Civil War, casting Abe as a less fervent reformer than Adams and others of the time.
Sunday, June 25, 2017
Infamous characters and sensational incidents abounded in the Ozarks immediately after the Civil War and well into the 20th century. The mining district around Joplin, Missouri, saw perhaps more murderous violence than any comparably populated area in the country. Gunplay erupted with alarming regularity, and spectators flocked to the drama of executions and lynchings.
Monday, June 19, 2017
As part of the country’s celebration of Juneteenth, commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S., Occidental College history professor Sharla M. Fett examines a compelling chapter in the 19th-century march toward abolition.
Thursday, February 23, 2017
The attention to so-called “black rage” during the 2014 rioting in Ferguson, Missouri, clouded what one historian says was the actual root of the unrest: more of the “white rage” that has punctuated our country’s history dating to the Civil War and emancipation.
Sunday, February 12, 2017
African-Americans have served proudly in every great American war, including the Civil War, where their verve and valor led to the establishment of all-black regiments in 1866. These “Buffalo Soldiers” played a significant role in the military campaigns and settlement of the American West, and paved the way for African-American soldiers in future conflicts.
Thursday, November 3, 2016
Historian Peter Cozzens offers an evenhanded look at that bloody struggle between whites and Native Americans, drawing from his new book The Earth Is Weeping: The Epic Story of the Indian Wars for the American West.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
This year’s election stakes are high, as always. But perhaps no presidential vote in U.S. history was more consequential than that of 1860.
The nation roiled over the issue of slavery. Abraham Lincoln captured the Republican nomination over New York Sen. William Seward, and then took on a divided Democratic Party. His win in November – with less than 40% of the popular vote – prompted the immediate secession of South Carolina, roused the rest of the South, and ushered in the Civil War.