KC Unbound

Marcus Garvey was one of the most influential leaders of the early 20th century civil rights movement. On March 5, 2009, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Steven Hahn presents “Marcus Garvey Reconsidered” at the Library. Learn more about Garvey and his lasting legacy in these books.

By Steven Hahn | Marcus Garvey

By Steven Hahn

A Nation Under Our Feet book jacket

A Nation Under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration
By Steven Hahn
Presenting both an inspiring and a troubling perspective on American democracy, this 2004 Pulitzer Prize winner is the epic story of how African Americans, in the six decades following slavery, transformed themselves to a political people--an embryonic black nation.

Today there are more than 2.5 million Filipino Americans in the U.S. This book list includes literature written by Filipino American authors, as well as histories of Filipinos in America, and America in the Philippines.

Filipino American Authors | Filipinos in America | America in the Philippines

Polish architect Czeslaw Bielecki discusses his work and the Polish transition from Communism to democracy at the Library in March. This related reading list includes books about memory and architecture, as well as books about Polish history.

Monuments & Memorials | Polish History

Related event:
Polish architect Czeslaw Bielecki, March 4

Monuments & Memorials

Monuments: America's History in Art and Memory
By Judith Dupré
From the award-winning, bestselling author of Skyscrapers, Churches, and Bridges comes a visual history that serves as a tribute to classic American landmarks. Monuments features more than 200 duotone photographs, as well as fascinating stories, rare illustrations, candid interviews with artists and architects, and a unique chronology of milestones in the history of time and memory.

The state of Missouri provides a multitude of opportunities for enjoying its many beautiful natural areas. This reading list includes books about the Show-Me State’s parks and trails, as well as books on camping, cycling, caving, backpacking, and fishing in Missouri.

Missouri | Camping | Cycling | Caving | Backpacking | Fishing

How do you discuss a book when it is not at all what the readers expected? This was the conundrum that faced the Downtowners book group at yesterday's meeting. We gathered to talk about Letter to My Daughter by Maya Angelou and the book did not fail to meet expectations, but it didn't meet reader assumptions.

Check out these military histories about the battles near the Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War or a few regimental histories from other wars.

Korean War, Chosin Reservoir | Regimental histories | Books by Tom Clavin

Korean War, Chosin Reservoir

The Last Stand of Fox Company: A True Story of U.S. Marines in Combat
By Bob Drury and Tom Clavin
This work offers a fast-paced and gripping account of heroism and self-sacrifice in the face of impossible odds. The authors have conducted dozens of firsthand interviews with the survivors of the deadly Korean War battle known as Fox Hill.

Award-winning comics artist, editor, and writer Art Spiegelman celebrates his birthday this week. Born on February 15, 1948, Spiegelman’s two-volume graphic novel Maus won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992 and helped establish graphic novels as a form of literature.

Maus I book jacket

Maus tells his parents’ story of surviving the Holocaust, depicting Jews as mice and Nazis as cats. Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History moves between modern day New York where Spiegelman discusses the past with his father and the story his father recounts of Nazi-occupied Poland. In Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began, Spiegelman continues his parents’ tale while also depicting his difficult relationship with his father.

Explore the relationships between two sets of influential brothers in these books about John and Robert Kennedy and Fidel and Raúl Castro.

John & Robert Kennedy

Brothers in Arms: The Kennedys, the Castros, and the Politics of Murder
By Gus Russo and Stephen Molton
Using breakthrough reporting, Russo and Molton craft a dramatic retelling of the time before, during, and after the John F. Kennedy assassination--a groundbreaking review of the historical drama linking the Kennedys and the Castros that sheds new light on this pivotal event.

Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years
By David Talbot
Acclaimed journalist Talbot tells in a riveting, well-researched narrative just how explosively alienated the Kennedy administration was from its own national security apparatus and that Robert Kennedy planned to open an investigation into his brother's assassination.

Jane Wood, chair of the English Department at Park University, served as armchair travel guide for many Mark Twain fans on Monday, February 9, when she presented her program "A Not So Innocent Abroad: The Travels of Mark Twain."

Travel writing has many proponents, according to Jane. Merchants, explorers, captives, castaways, even pirates and scientists, all recorded their exploits for future generations to enjoy.

Buffalo Soldiers was a nickname given to the first black cavalry regiments of the United States Army by the Native American tribes of the West. Learn more about this often-forgotten chapter of American History in these nonfiction books for adults and kids.

Related event:
"The Legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers" – Feb. 22

Buffalo Soldiers

Buffalo Soldier Regiment: History of the Twenty-Fifth United States Infantry, 1869-1926
By John H. Nankivell
Buffalo Soldier Regiment offers a detailed record of the service, exploits, travels, and traditions of one of the black infantry regiments, the "grand old Twenty-fifth." Drawing on a wealth of official records, reports, and personal recollections, this book reconstructs the experiences of the Twenty-fifth Regiment from its formation in 1869 through its service in the border town of Nogales, Arizona, in 1926.

New York magazine once dubbed author Sam Lipsyte “one of the ten funniest New Yorkers you’ve never heard of.” Lipsyte presents a talk in the Library’s Writers at Work series on February 19. Here’s a list of satirical and darkly comic novels you might enjoy if you like Sam Lipsyte.

By Sam Lipsyte

Home Land book jacket

Home Land
By Sam Lipsyte
The Eastern Valley High School Alumni newsletter, Catamount Notes, is bursting with tales of success: former students include a bankable politician and a famous baseball star, not to mention a major-label recording artist. Then there is the appalling, yet utterly lovable, Lewis Miner, class of '89---a.k.a Teabag---who did not pan out. This is his confession in all its bitter, lovelorn glory.

Readers gather in the President's Office to discuss Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain

A book group co-sponsored by The Kansas City Public Library and the Kansas City Star brought eleven readers to the Central Library on Sunday, February 8 to discuss Mark Twain’s classic travelogue, Life on the Mississippi, and their comments and perceptions were as varied as their reading experiences.

This year marks a very important date in literary history. It’s the anniversary of one of the oldest works in literature, The Tale of Genji.

Where does our food come from? How does the global food system impact us? These books examine the food industry, as well as how and what we eat.

Books by Marion Nestle | The food industry | The food we eat | Documentaries

Related event:
Marion Nestle presents Red Scare: China and the New Global Food System, Feb. 11

Books by Marion Nestle

Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine
By Marion Nestle
The acclaimed author of Food Politics tells the gripping story of how, in early 2007, a few telephone calls about sick cats set off the largest recall of consumer products in U.S. history and an international crisis over the safety of imported goods ranging from food to toothpaste, tires, and toys.

Celebrate the life and work of Mark Twain by reading some of his novels, stories, travel writing, or autobiographical works.

Novels | Short stories | Travel books | Autobiography


The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876)
This is Mark Twain's first novel about Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, and it has become one of the world's best-loved books. It is a fond reminiscence of life in Hannibal, Missouri, an evocation of Mark Twain's own boyhood along the banks of the Mississippi during the 1840s.