Books

Several regional schools have seen intense, sometimes violent protests focused on social and civil divisions, but the UMKC campus has largely been spared. Today, we find out what makes the metro institution different. Then, a futurist shares her strategies for predicting trends in technology, business and more. Finally, Brian McTavish brings us the latest Weekend To-Do List .

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Great ideas may be hard to come by, but a new book has us thinking all that's needed is a change of scenery. We also remember the attack on Pearl Harbor, 75 years after it catapulted the nation into WWII. This week's Statehouse Blend Kansas features freshman Democrat Cindy Holscher. John T. Kuehn, of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, will discuss the attack on Pearl Harbor at the Kansas City Public Library's Central Library at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday,...

UMKC

Shooting off an email has largely supplanted the practice of hand-writing letters, but certain Letters of Note remind us of their allure. Then, we explore the 83-year history of the University of Missouri-Kansas City with a university staffer who's known to give lunchtime historical tours of the Midtown campus.

Penguin Random House

Are you looking for a special book for the young people in your life? If so, our panel of Johnson County Librarians have their holiday gift recommendations ready for you — and just in time! From the story of a boy who finally connects with his distant father through the unlikely language of music, to a tale of some ragtag kids, and a loyal greyhound, escaping 13th-century France, these titles are sure to get your children through what could otherwise be a long winter break. For preschool...

James Hugo Rifenbark

Kyle Powell died in my arms, November 4, 2006. That's the first line of Gerardo "Tony" Mena's poem "So I Was a Coffin," which he set to music, added photographs from other members of the United States Marine Corps' 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, and posted on YouTube. Mena wasn't always a poet. Growing up in Kansas City, he didn't even like writing. He graduated from Parkville High School in 2001 and was at college on 9/11; he finished that year of school and went into the military, where he...

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has endured for decades, but former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell believes a nonviolent resolution is still possible . Then, one data scientist says expanding misuse of algorithms and mathematical modeling is creating Weapons of Math Destruction . Finally, this week's Local Listen features the very merry multi-instrumental trio The Snow Globes .

What are the books that you turn to when you need to connect with something bigger than yourself? KCUR's Bibliofiles recommend their own personal classics, their dog-eared favorites that they turn to frequently. Guests: Jeffrey Ann Goudie, freelance book reviewer Kaite Stover, Kansas City Public Library Mark Luce, The Barstow School Natasha El-Scari, local writer and poet

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

First, a recollection of the Chief's overtime victory over the Broncos Sunday night. Then, a look at an agency that settled a case last month involving charges of illegal kickback payments, but is still doing business with the state of Kansas. Finally, Author Candice Millard recounts the adventures of a young Winston Churchill as detailed in her latest book .

With so many things competing for our attention these days, building an arts audience can be a challenge. Today, we learn how organizations like ArtsKC work to get people off the couch and into the concert hall. Then, find out what it was about a life on stage that brought award-winning guitarist Peter Himmelman to develop his own methods for more fully engaging creative potential .

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Jazz is all about creativity and freedom, but casual listeners can sometimes find deciphering it a chore. Today, we learn How to Listen to Jazz . Then, they say everything's up to date in Kansas City, but are we a "world class" locale? Finally, a winded Brian McTavish presents his Weekend To-Do List . Ted Gioia will share jazz listening strategies as part of the American Jazz Museum's 'Riffing on the Repertoire' speaker series at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 17. For more information, visit...

Courtesy The Kansas City Star

My last encounter with Charles Gusewelle was early in 2015. He was trying to reach me by phone and I was on a weekend getaway to Key West. But I found his mysterious message — we weren’t fast friends, and I had no idea why he was calling — and returned the call. Of course, he was on deadline — this was a Saturday afternoon when I reached him. And the Sunday column he’d drafted was about me. Really? I found that column this morning after learning that Gus had died, at 83, early Tuesday. He had...

Laura McCallister / Kansas City Public Library

In the hands of musicians like Charlie Christian , Carlos Santana , and Slash , the electric guitar has become a symbol for freedom, rebellion and rock 'n' roll. Then, find out why celebrities like Will Smith and Casey Affleck are taking new interest in the 1955 murder of Emmett Till. This week's Statehouse Blend Kansas features a discussion on the future of education, public and private. Devery Anderson will discuss his research and book, ' Emmett Till: The Murder That Shocked the World and...

The creator and editor-in-chief of MuslimGirl.com talks about the challenges facing Muslim women in the wake of Donald Trump's election. Then we examine the soundtrack of the Vietnam War , and listen to some of the songs that helped American troops get through the conflict.

First, we look at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art's latest plans for expansion that's raising a few questions with some of its neighbors. Then, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman speaks about the new divide in foreign affairs and his latest book, Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations . Also, Brian McTavish presents the Weekend To-Do List .

Rachel Eliza Griffiths

Long before Tracy K. Smith was a poet, she was a young girl fascinated by the stars. That fascination was part of what inspired her book Life on Mars , which won a Pulitzer Prize in 2012. Smith is in Kansas City for an event to benefit Writers for Readers , a partnership between LiteracyKC and the University of Missouri-Kansas City's Creative Writing Program . She also paid a visit to Kansas City back in 2012, to read for Rockhurst University’s Midwest Poets Series . New Letters on the Air...

American Public Square

In light of a campaign season some view as the most rancorous in recent history, we look at the role civility still plays in politics. Then, it's 3 a.m. and there's a phone ringing in the White House . If something disastrous happens in the world, it's the president's job to respond. We take a look at the history of disaster management by the Oval Office. Tevi Troy will speak on the president's role in dealing with calamity and his book "Shall We Wake the President? Two Centuries of Disaster...

Like a good story, a song changes over time as it passes through different voices. We explore the Anatomy of a Song with writer and Wall Street Journal contributor Marc Myers , who recollects the oral histories behind some of the greatest classics in the past fifty years.

The history of brewing beer in KC, then a look at healthcare in KC's music community. Guests: Pete Dulin , author of Kansas City Beer: A History of Brewing in the Heartland Chris Meck, local musician, Chris Meck and the Guilty Birds Renata Marinaro, National Director of Health Services, The Actors Fund Brandon Phillips, local musician, The Architects

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

With Election Day a week away, we check in with local political reporters for analysis of elections in Kansas and Missouri. Then, political commentator E.J. Dionne discusses the presidential campaign and themes from his book Why the Right Went Wrong . We finish with this week's Statehouse Blend Kansas , featuring state Rep. Russ Jennings ( R-Lakin ).

With Donald Trump urging supporters to watch for instances of voter fraud, we find out how the Jackson County Election Board ensures fair and free voting. Then, a 1938 Supreme Court ruling forced the University of Missouri Law School to accept black students, or create a separate school for them. The litigant, Lloyd Gaines, disappeared soon after, but his case made history. Finally, this week's Statehouse Blend Missouri features the candidates for state Senate District 17. University of...

Courtesy Bryn Greenwood

Lawrence writer Bryn Greenwood ’s novel All the Ugly and Wonderful Things is a love story between a grade-school girl and a drug-running biker in his twenties, set on a meth-making compound in the rural Midwest. Since it was published in August, the book has drawn intensely mixed reactions from readers, some of whom are revolted by the relationship at its center and others who are moved by Greenwood's ability to write so authentically about such a difficult subject. Greenwood recently spoke...

With the national Republican Party in turmoil, we look at the unexpected politics of African-Americans in the GOP . Then, whether it's dealing with doctors, dating in one's 70s, or new and unexpected bodily changes, growing older can dismay some folks, but William Novak says laughter is often the best medicine .

After 122 literary agents rejected her work, Kansas novelist Bryn Greenwood finally found a publisher in August for All the Ugly and Wonderful Things . She reflects on her own experiences that lead to the complicated fictional tale of a young girl who grows up on a meth compound, and falls in love with an ex-con nearly 20 years her senior. Plus, 18th & Vine Poet Laureate Glenn North shares a few poems and reflects on his long-term and ongoing role in the changing historic district. Guests...

First, the final reactions to last night’s presidential debate from KCUR's panel of undecided voters. Then, a survivor of the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, recalls that fateful day. Finally, Brian McTavish presents his latest Weekend To-Do-List . As part of the Harry S. Truman Distinguished Lecture Series, Carolyn Maull-McKinstry is speaking at Avila University at 6:15 p.m on Thursday, October 20. For more information, visit Avila.edu .

In a time of diminishing budgets, guest host Brian Ellison learns how fine-arts program Harmony Project is helping underserved kids in Kansas City do better in school. Then, actor Bryan Cranston says a large part of his successful career has to do with hard work and good luck. This week's Local Listen features the classic rock band Kansas, touring in support of its first album since 2000. Margaret Martin, Harmony Project's founder, will discuss her work, and the power of music, at the Kansas...

Prairie Village has the distinction among Kansas cities of being the hometown of not one — but two! — operatic prodigies. Hear the latest tenor voice that's delighting audiences from California to Carnegie Hall. Then, we examine a different way to frame victims of sexual violence and the concept of rape itself. Finally, the latest Statehouse Blend Kansas , recorded live in Wichita.

First, a look at how an increasing Latino population in the Heartland is changing the region. Then, how the border showdown between Kansas and Missouri lives on through Granny Basketball . Finally, Brian McTavish gives us the latest Weekend To-Do List . Professor Rubén Martinez will discuss the impacts of expanding Latino numbers in the Midwest at the Kansas City Library's Central Library at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, October 17. For more information, visit KCLibrary.org .

Teen films from the 1980s (think Fast Times at Ridgemont High and 16 Candles ) helped define a generation, but their influence on American culture lasted much longer than the decade in which they were released.

First, Ambassador Allan Katz examines the diminishing role of civility in politics, and what might be done to reverse it. Then, the story of Forsyth County, Georgia, which became a "white county" in 1912, after a campaign of violence and intimidation against its black inhabitants. This week's Local Listen features Brody Buster's One Man Band . Amb. Allan Katz will take part in American Public Square's panel discussion Why Can't We Be Friends: Civility and Politics, at the Harry S. Truman...

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