Video: Jackie Robinson— Opening Day

April 15, 1947, marked the most important opening day in baseball history. When Jackie Robinson stepped onto the diamond that afternoon at Ebbets Field, he became the first black man to break into major-league baseball in the 20th century. World War … [Read more...]

Video: The Loving Story (a live panel with clips from the HBO documentary)

In 1958, the sheriff of Caroline County charged into the bedroom of Richard and Mildred Loving in the dead of night and arrested them. Although legally married in Washington, Richard was white and Mildred was black, which was against the law in … [Read more...]

Video: Columbus, the Four Voyages

Christopher Columbus, said a New York Times reviewer of Laurence Bergreen’s biography, was a “terribly interesting man — brilliant, audacious, volatile, paranoid, narcissistic, ruthless and (in the end) deeply unhappy.” Part explorer, part … [Read more...]

Video: American Emperor: Aaron Burr’s Challenge to Jefferson’s America

Vice-president of the United States, brilliant attorney, duelist, and renegade leader of Western adventurers— Aaron Burr cut a path through American history that is bold, at times erratic, and highly controversial. In his fast-paced book, American … [Read more...]

Video: Noah Webster, the Forgotten Founding Father

Get to know Noah Webster, a brusque, ambitious intellectual who influences you every time you speak or start to write. Noah Webster was born in 1758 in Connecticut of a prestigious Puritan Yankee lineage. Although he tried variously to be a lawyer, … [Read more...]

Video: Lecture on the Marquis de Lafayette

The Marquis de Lafayette, who came from a long line of French military men dating to the Crusades, wanted honor and glory from a young age. But he had to leave the comforts of his native France and sail to America in order to find them. Born in … [Read more...]

Video: And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut, A Life

And So It Goes is the culmination of five years of research and writing—the first-ever biography of the life of Kurt Vonnegut, author of the now-classic Slaughterhouse Five: Vonnegut’s World War II experiences turned into fiction. Published in … [Read more...]

Hugh Hefner

The April 21, 2009 lecture on Hugh Hefner. Steven Watts Professor of American Intellectual and Cultural History, University of Missouri Author, Mr Playboy: Hugh Hefner and the American Dream … [Read more...]

Harry Potter

The April 14, 2009 lecture on Harry Potter. Philip Nel Professor of English, Kansas State University … [Read more...]


The April 7, 2009 lecture on Frankenstein. Susan Tyler Hitchock Author, Frankenstein: A Cultural History … [Read more...]