Great War | Great Read

Kansas City Public Library and National World War I Museum Partnership

A collaboration between the National World War I Museum and Kansas City Public LibraryGreat War | Great Read is a multi-faceted initiative encouraging people to engage in works about World War I through a series of community-wide book discussions and public programs and lectures featuring internationally renowned authors and historians. 

Residents in the greater Kansas City area are encouraged to attend the public programs associated with Great War | Great Read as well as revisit acclaimed World War I classics All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque and The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman.

All events with the exception of the guided tours at the Museum are free to the public. Guided tours are free for members and included with admission to the Museum.  

The National World War I Museum recognizes the generous support of Shook Hardy Bacon through the Charles Bacon Fund for the Great War | Great Read initiative.

 

Program Schedule:

Sunday, August 3, 1:00 PM
Great War | Great Read Kickoff
National World War I Museum 

Join Linda Trout, National World War I Museum Director of Strategic Engagement and former Executive Director of the International Relations Council, and Kansas City Public Library CEO Crosby Kemper III for a discussion in J.C. Nichols Auditorium on Great War | Great Read, the joint reading/history initiative of both institutions for the Centennial commemoration of World War I. Trout and Kemper will address the significant place World War I holds in history and introduce attendees to the two books that will be highlighted during Great War | Great Read: All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque and The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman. Following the discussion is a screening of the remastered 1930 Academy Award-winning classic film All Quiet on the Western Front.

 

Wednesday, August 6, 6:30 PM
Captain Harry Goes to War
Dennis Giangreco
KCPL Central Library
 
Join Dennis Giangreco, author of The Soldier from Independence: A Military History of Harry Truman and military historian at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, for an engaging program that focuses on the decisions made by 34-year-old Army National Guard Capt. Harry S. Truman as a field artillery commander in World War I. Co-presented by the Truman Library Institute.
 
 
Wednesday, August 13, 6:30 PM
Verdun: Longest Battle of the Great War 
Paul Jankowski
KCPL Central Library
 
Drawing from his book, Verdun: The Longest Battle of the Great War, Brandeis University historian Paul Jankowski looks back on what became one of history’s greatest and most demanding battlefield encounters – a 302-day nightmare that left an estimated 303,000 French and German soldiers dead and more than 400,000 wounded. 
 
 
Sunday, August 17, 2:00 PM
Missouri’s German Americans during WWI 
Petra DeWitt
KCPL Central Library
 
Examine with Dr. Petra DeWitt, historian and professor of history at the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, the government attacks and questions of loyalty that German Americans had to endure throughout the course of American involvement in World War I.
 
 
Wednesday, August 20, 6:30 PM
Intelligence and Espionage during WWI 
Mark Stout 
KCPL Central Library
 
Join Mark Stout, former intelligence analyst for the State Department and CIA and Director of Johns Hopkins University’s Global Security master’s program, for an examination of U.S. intelligence operations and espionage missions during World War I and there lasting impact on American history. Co-presented by the Truman Library Institute.
 
 
Saturday, August 23, 11:00 AM
Explore: Galleries through the Lens of The Guns of August 
Senior Curator Doran Cart 
National World War I Museum 
 
Join Senior Curator Doran Cart for an exploration of the Museum’s galleries through the lens of Barbara W. Tuchman’s classic The Guns of August, in hopes of better understanding the first few months of World War I. Included with Museum admission and free for members. 
 
 
Saturday, August 23, 1:00 PM
The Kansas City Star/Kansas City Public Library FYI Book Club: The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman
National World War I Museum
 
Examine The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman in this meeting of the  semi-monthly book club sponsored by The Kansas City Star in conjunction with The Kansas City Public Library. Those interested in joining the discussion should register by emailing kaitestover@kclibrary.org or calling 816.701.3683. Co-sponsored by The Kansas City Public Library.
 
 
Wednesday, August 27, 11:30 AM
Brownbag Book Discussion: The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman 
National World War I Museum
 
Join discussion facilitator Kaite Stover for a lively conversation about The Guns of August, Barbara W. Tuchman’s  Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the first thirty days of World War I during the summer of 1914 that determined the course of the conflict, the century, and ultimately our present world. Those interested in joining the discussion should register by emailing kaitestover@kclibrary.org or calling 816.701.3683. Co-sponsored by The Kansas City Public Library.
 
 
Saturday, September 6, 11:00 AM
Explore: Galleries through the Lens of All Quiet on the Western Front 
Senior Curator Doran Cart 
National World War I Museum
 
Discover the intersection of fact and fiction by joining Senior Curator Doran Cart for an exploration of the Museum’s galleries through the lens of Erich Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front. Included with Museum admission and free for members.
 
 
Sunday, September 14, 2:00 PM
Film: All Quiet on the Western Front (1979)
National World War I Museum 
 
Settle in for a screening of the Golden Globe Award-winning remake of the 1930 classic, All Quiet on the Western Front. Based on Erich Remarque’s anti-war novel, the film tells the story of World War I through the eyes of a young German soldier. The film features Ernest Borgnine, Richard Thomas, Donald Pleasence, and Patricia Neal, directed by Delbert Mann. 
 
 
Wednesday, September 17, 6:30 PM
The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914
Christopher Clark
National World War I Museum
 
Explore a fresh look at the complex events and relationships between European leaders that led to the “War to End All Wars” in a discussion of one of The New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year in 2013, The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914. Author Christopher Clark will offer insight into World War I and exam the results of the Great War. Co-sponsored by The Kansas City Public Library and the German Studies Association.
 
 
Friday, September 19, 11:30 AM
Brownbag Book discussion: All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque
National World War I Museum
 
Join discussion facilitator Kaite Stover for a lively conversation about Erich Remarque’s literary classic, All Quiet on the Western Front. The story is told through the eyes of a young German soldier during World War I and follows his personal transition throughout the course of the War.  Those interested in joining the discussion should register by emailing kaitestover@kclibrary.org or calling 816.701.3683. Co-sponsored by The Kansas City Public Library.
 
 
Saturday, September 20, 8:00 PM
Film: The Woman and the Stranger [Die Frau und der Fremde] (1984)
National World War I Museum
 
This special screening of The Woman and the Stranger is a deft exploration of the themes of love and longing, friendship and trust during times of war and takes place during World War I. The film is the only East German film to win a Golden Bear at West Germany’s Berlin International Film Festival and is based on Leonhard Frank’s 1926 novella, Karl and Anna. Co-sponsored by The Kansas City Public Library and Deutsche Film-Aktiengesellschaft.
 
 
Wednesday, September 24, 6:30 PM
A Star for Mrs. Blake
April Smith
National World War I Museum
 
Author April Smith breathes life into a unique moment in American history through her novel A Star for Mrs. Blake. The novel is told through the eyes of mothers of fallen World War I soldiers who were granted the opportunity to make the pilgrimage to France to visit their sons’ graves. In conjunction with her novel, Smith will discuss the Gold Star Mothers. Co-sponsored by The Kansas City Public Library.
 
 
Wednesday, October 1, 6:30 PM
Meet the Past: Ernest Hemingway
Union Station
 
Join Kansas City Public Library CEO Crosby Kemper III at Union Station for a lively conversation with a young Ernest Hemingway, portrayed by local actor and co-founder, co-owner and artistic director of The Living Room Theatre Rusty Sneary. Co-sponsored by The Kansas City Public Library and the National World War I Museum. 
 
 
Friday, October 3, 6:30 PM
Stubby the War Dog: The True Story of World War I’s Bravest Dog
Ann Bausum
KCPL Plaza
 
Join awarding-winning author Ann Bausum for an engaging discussion about her research and findings for, Stubby the War Dog: The True Story of World War I’s Bravest Dog. Bausum tells the riveting story of Stubby, a member and mascot of the 102nd infantry and how he became a national celebrity through her work. 
 
 
Wednesday, October 8, 6:30 PM
Dark Invasion 1915: Germany’s Secret War and the Hunt for the First Terrorist Cell in America
Howard Blum
KCPL Central Library
 
Explore with award-winning author Howard Blum a gripping true story of espionage and terror on American soil during World War I through a discussion of his book, Dark Invasion 1915: Germany’s Secret War and the Hunt for the First Terrorist Cell in America
 
 
Sunday, October 12, 2:00 PM
Great Songs of WWI
Michael Lasser
KCPL Plaza
 
Join Peabody award-wining radio personality Michael Lasser for a discussion as he explores  popular songs inspired by World War I, many of which we still hum today. Lasser has been called “a walking encyclopedia of American song” and is the author of America’s Songs II: Songs from the 1890s to the Post-War Years. He hosts a weekly syndicated radio show “Fascinatin’ Rhythm.” 
 
 
Wednesday, October 15, 6:30 PM
The First World War in the Middle East
Kristian Coates Ulrichsen
Central Library
 
It’s easy to think of World War I as a European war, but the fierce fighting all over the Middle East brought about great changes on socio-economic, cultural, and political levels. Join Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, a Research Fellow at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy in Houston and an Associate Fellow at Chatham House in London, for a discussion on her book, The First World War in the Middle East. In which the lasting impact of the Great War on the region’s political geography is explored.