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The Western: America’s Story, Part One

Here are some previous Think Tank programs that may be of interest.

The American Musical, Part 2  (aired 5/24/2007)
From Showboat to The Lion King, from Oklahoma to Chorus Line, the lights of Broadway burn brightly in the imaginations of millions of people around the world. The Broadway Musical is a unique 20th century art form, combining comedy and romance, music and dance. With mega-hits like Phantom of the Opera passing 8,000 performances, are we seeing a new golden age of the musical? Or are the corporate backed blockbusters squeezing out new creative voices? Who will join the ranks of Rodgers, Hart, Hammerstein and Sondheim? What do the themes of musicals tell us about the story of America?

The American Musical, Part 1  (aired 5/17/2007)
From Showboat to The Lion King, from Oklahoma to Chorus Line, the lights of Broadway burn brightly in the imaginations of millions of people around the world. The Broadway Musical is a unique 20th century art form, combining comedy and romance, music and dance. With mega-hits like Phantom of the Opera passing 8,000 performances, are we seeing a new golden age of the musical? Or are the corporate backed blockbusters squeezing out new creative voices? Who will join the ranks of Rodgers, Hart, Hammerstein and Sondheim? What do the themes of musicals tell us about the story of America?

One Nation, One Standard  (aired 5/10/2007)
“The Hispanic community doesn’t care about education as much as other minority groups.” This is the controversial claim of Herman Badillo’s immigrant education reform manifesto, One Nation One Standard. Badillo himself embodies the idea of immigrant ascension. Orphaned as a young boy in Puerto Rico, he surmounted the hurdles of the New York public education system to become the first ever Puerto Rican member of the House of Representatives. Originally a champion of bilingual education, Badillo now believes it prevents immigrant children from engaging in American society. Today Think Tank sits down with Herman Badillo to discuss his journey, how to fix public education and what the Hispanic community can do to succeed in America.

The Western: America’s Story, Part Two  (aired 1/18/2007)
Scholars are divided over American’s fascination with the Old West. Some say the Western film is more flawed and less heroic than movie audiences assume. Others say the films reflect the real hardship and courage of Nineteenth Century America. What do Westerns say about American life? And what do they say about our changing view of history and heroes?

Miss Manners: Why Manners Matter  (aired 11/2/2006)
It’s said that Americans have lost their manners, that they are coarse and vulgar, and that such behavior ultimately corrodes our society. This happens whether such behavior occurs in politics, in business or in our personal lives. Today’s guest argues that manners still matter. Has America lost its manners?


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