Books

Would you have guessed that the funeral of “Meet the Press” host Tim Russert would be a crucial networking event? On Monday's Up to Date, we talk with Mark Leibovich, The New York Times Magazine’s chief national correspondent and author of This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral-Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking!-in America's Gilded Capital,  about how the elbow rubbing game works inside the beltway and why getting your name in print makes the difference between success and obscurity in the capital city. 

Bleeding Kansas wasn’t just a figurative term, and if you need proof, just look at Quantrill’s Raid on Lawrence.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we examine the circumstances that led to the famous massacre, from the 1861 sacking of Osceola in slave-state Missouri to other rising violence of the Civil War with guests Jonathan Earle and Diane Mutti Burke, who edited Bleeding Kansas, Bleeding Missouri: The Long Civil War on the Border.

Guests:

Do you remember that friend your mom said was no good? Or that buddy your dad said was a bad influence on you? As it turns out, they might have been right.

In the first part of Monday's Up to Date, we talk with Carlin Flora, author of Friendfluence: The Surprising Ways Friends Make Us Who We Are, about how friends shape our personalities and help create the mold for our attitudes and future actions.

Only a few decades ago, it was almost unheard of for men and women to swap traditional gender roles at home. The idea of a stay-at-home dad isn’t so foreign anymore, and these “Mr. Moms” are making their impact on society’s larger ideas of breadwinners and nuclear families. 

Pull off a bank job in the Wild West with Jesse James, join Ulysses S. Grant as he leads Union troops into the entrenched Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg and solve the puzzle of a woman's month of madness.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with the authors of the latest titles on Steve’s Bookshelf:

Developing a medicine that attacks the genes of a disease may seem like science fiction, but it’s already been done.

Ever dreamed of cruising across the United States with a retro Airstream trailer named Ethel? What about making that journey in your 70s?
Beth Lipoff/KCUR

Comedian Jim Gaffigan knows that a four-year-old eating a taco and throwing a taco on the floor is pretty much the same thing, and he can teach you a thing or two about co-opting your kid’s Halloween candy.

A Heist At The Museum

Jul 23, 2013
Rainy Day Books

Forgery and a slick art theft frame a the story of a new novel set in the museum world.

City Lights Vs. The Night Sky

Jul 22, 2013

Ever look up in the sky and wondered why you can’t always see the stars?

Sneak behind the lines of Mexico’s brutal drug wars and climb to the top of Mount Everest during the Cold War without leaving your home.

It’s been 150 years since the muskets fired and men in both blue and gray fell to the ground at battleground in Pennsylvania. Gettysburg’s dubious distinction was to have the most casualties of any battle of the Civil War. 

On Monday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with Allen Guelzo, author of Gettysburg: The Last Invasion, about the politics and power plays that surrounded the famous battle.

Hot Summer Reads From Steve's Bookshelf

Jun 12, 2013

The hot weather is out in full force this week, and Up To Date host Steve Kraske has a few good reads to crack open in the shade.

The History Press

When the Confederate Army was pushed from Missouri, a slave state that hadn't ceded from the Union, in late 1861 ordinary people transformed themselves into guerilla fighters for the confederate cause.  A mayor's son and town teacher were among those who found themselves part of one of the most violent band of guerilla fighters lead by "Bloody" Bill Anderson.  After the war they became notable bank and train robbers.  But, there were also ordinary citizens who dedicated their lives to hunting these guerillas down, sometimes with equal violence.  Author James "Jim" W.

An Unconventional First Lady

Jun 4, 2013
firstladies.org

Thomas Jefferson's eldest and favorite daughter, Martha Jefferson Randolph, would often assume the role of First Lady after her mother died.

Hot Summer Reads For Kids

May 28, 2013
woodleywonderworks/Flickr-CC

When you read a children’s book, you can peek in on aliens, take a nature hike or learn about friendship from a couple of hippos. 

Beth Lipoff/KCUR

Comedian Jim Gaffigan knows that a four-year-old eating a taco and throwing a taco on the floor is pretty much the same thing, and he can teach you a thing or two about co-opting your kid’s Halloween candy.

rainydaybooks.com

Omaha, Juno, Utah, Gold and Sword. The names of the Normandy beaches echo in the annals of World War II history, but the iconic invasion wasn’t the last step of the European campaign.

Writing can be a solitary pursuit, and that can mean the tricks of the trade remain quiet

Ever wonder where the word hornswoggle comes from? How about doubloon?

Beth Lipoff/KCUR

It’s a special blend of characters, engaging stories and occasionally, a bit of magic that goes into a great children’s book.

On Thursday's Up to Date,  Steve Kraske hosts a roundtable of children's book authors, including Brian Selznick, Richard Peck, Sarah Weeks and Avi to discuss their methods for putting together award-winning tomes with that extra spark of fun.

rainydaybooks.com

People with Tourette's syndrome are often portrayed as spouting curse words uncontrollably, but there's more to the condition than that.

If your life was falling apart, would you think the world was telling you to take a hike—a 1,000-mile hike?

Susan B. Wilson / KCUR

Blacks and Jews have historically had a complicated relationship in the United States.  And it’s perhaps the most evident when they claim the same religion, or historical ancestry. The development of Black Israelite or Black Jewish faith has its roots in Kansas, according to the book The Chosen People: The Rise of American Black Israelite Religions by University of Kansas history and American studies professor, Jacob Dorman.

What does it feel like to become a grandparent? There’s the initial excitement of the moment, but it’s something that changes your whole life.

Ask a school kid, and he or she will tell you that slavery in America ended in the mid-1860s. But when did the movement against slavery start?

Jessica Hills

In 1889, it wasn't a woman's world, but that didn't dampen the enthusiasm of reporters Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland when they embarked on a journey to beat Phileas Fogg's fictional travels.

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