Wide-Open Town: Kansas City in the Pendergast Era

Diane Mutti Burke, John Herron, Jason Roe
In a discussion of the new book Wide-Open Town, its editors – historians Diane Mutti Burke, John Herron, and Jason Roe – discuss the era of the 1920s and ’30s dominated by notorious Kansas City political boss Tom Pendergast. The “openness” of the day allowed many in a community divided by race and class to challenge social boundaries.
Wednesday, January 9, 2019
Program: 
6:30 pm
Event Audio
While Kansas City might appear a mild-mannered metropolis in the heart of flyover country, it belies a complicated history.

In a discussion of the new book Wide-Open Town, its editors—Diane Mutti Burke, John Herron, and Jason Roe—discuss the era of the 1920s and ’30s dominated by political boss Tom Pendergast. Prohibition was rarely enforced and the mob was ascendant. But this “openness” allowed many in a community divided by race and class to challenge social boundaries.

Mutti Burke is chair of the history department and director of the Center for Midwestern Studies at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Herron is associate dean and a professor of history at UMKC. And Roe, who holds a Ph.D. in American History, is the Library’s digital history specialist.

For presentation slides, click here.

 

RELATED RESOURCE

The Pendergast Years websiteDiscover Kansas City's Prohibition-era legacy at the Library's history website The Pendergast Years. Explore historic documents, photos, original articles, and more. 

Visit PendergastKC.org