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Divided We Stand

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Monday, February 04, 2013

An American flag. An American flag. (bloomgal/flickr)

Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne explains that our politicians can’t agree on where we’re going as a country, because they can’t agree on where we’ve been. We take a look at the earliest mavericks of Silicon Valley. Teddy Wayne talks about his latest novel, The Love Song of Jonny Valentine. And we’ll look at school desegregation—and why a group of African Americans challenged the policy in a 2007 Supreme Court case.

E. J. Dionne on Our Divided Political Heart

Political commentator E. J. Dionne argues that Americans can't agree on who we are because we can't agree on who we've been. In Our Divided Political Heart: The Battle for the American Idea in an Age of Discontent, he offers both a tour of American history—from the Founding Fathers to Clay and Lincoln, on to Populism, the Progressives, and the New Dealers—and an interpretation of our moment's politics. He reclaims the American idea of the federal government as an active and constructive partner with the rest of society in promoting prosperity, opportunity, and American greatness.

 

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The History of Silicon Valley

Randall MacLowry, director of “Silicon Valley,” looks at the early high tech pioneers that transformed a fertile valley in California into a hub of technological ingenuity. In 1957 a group of eight brilliant young men defected from the Shockley Semiconductor Company in order to start their own transistor company. Their radical innovations helped make the United States a leader in both space exploration and the personal computer revolution. “Silicon Valley” premieres on American Experience February 5, 9- 10:30 p.m. on PBS.

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Teddy Wayne's Novel The Love Song of Jonny Valentine

Teddy Wayne talks about his new novel The Love Song of Jonny Valentine, about an 11-year-old icon of bubblegum pop, whose image, voice, and even hairdo have been relentlessly molded into a perfect consumerism package. But underneath it all, Jonny is still a vulnerable young boy who is confused and perplexed by life.

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The African American Community that Ended the Era of School Desegregation

Sarah Garland examines why school desegregation, despite its success in closing the achievement gap, was never embraced wholeheartedly in the black community as a remedy for racial inequality. In Divided We Fail: The Story of an African American Community that Ended the Era of School Desegregation Garland tells the stories of the families and individuals who fought for and against desegregation.

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