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This Week
March 21, 2003

This week on NOW:

As the nation goes on heightened alert to guard against terrorist attacks, in many cities there are chemical plants that could be targets for terrorists. Critics claim that toxic and often explosive chemicals remain largely unprotected throughout the nation, even though billions have already been spent on homeland security. But is it the government’s responsibility to make sure these sites are protected from attack, or should private industry take the lead? NOW examines the roles of government and the private sector in securing what could be one of America’s most vulnerable areas from terrorist attack.

Two weeks ago acclaimed author Alice Walker, alongside other writers, was arrested while protesting against going to war with Iraq. While she has written numerous novels, poems, short stories and essays, she is perhaps best known for her Pulitzer Prize-winning THE COLOR PURPLE, a book whose themes, she tells Bill Moyers, are as important today as they were when she wrote it 20 years ago. She speaks candidly about her anti-war activism, her spirit, how her life and ancestry are reflected in her writing, and also previews a poem from her new book ABSOLUTE TRUST IN THE GOODNESS OF THE EARTH: NEW POEMS.

Bill Moyers talks about the war in Iraq with Alan Wolfe, professor of political science and Director for the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life at Boston College. Professor Wolfe is the author of several books, his most recent being MORAL FREEDOM: THE SEARCH FOR VIRTUE IN A WORLD OF CHOICE. His upcoming book, due this Fall by the Free Press, is TRANSFORMATION OF AMERICAN RELIGION.

In Depth


Checking on the Environmental Security of Your Homefront

Assessing the state of U.S. chemical safety

WPA Civil Defense Poster
The U.S. and World Opinion

Focus on Iraq: Investigation and Analysis

Alice Walker
Alice Walker, Writer, Poet and Activist


Talk about the news on the message boards


Bill Moyers on the Politics of a Struggle


Learn more about the issues discussed on NOW

Read the complete transcript.


On the Home Front
Producer: William Brangham
Correspondent: Daniel Zwerdling
Editor: Amanda Zinoman

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