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33 Segments




Basketball Gives Poor City Kids a "Shot"

Writer Darcy Frey, a contributing editor to "Harper's" and "The New York Times Magazine," spent a year at the Abraham Lincoln High School on Coney Island. He followed four young, African American basketball players trying to make it out of the ghetto and into a Division I school. "The Last Shot: City Streets, Basketball Dreams" is his record of what happened to the dreams of these young men.


How the "Poverty Industry" Exploits the Poor

Mike Hudson is a contributing editor for "Southern Exposure," a public policy magazine. He recently wrote a series of stories on the "poverty industry" -- how pawn shops, finance companies, and rent-to-own stores charge high interest rates, sometimes as high as 35%, to people who can almost never pay them back.


Writer Jerrold Ladd on Surviving in the Projects

Ladd is a 24-year-old writer who has just published an autobiography, "Out of the Madness." He writes about growing up in the Dallas housing projects with his mother, who was a heroin addict. Ladd describes how he struggled to educate himself and eventually became a writer. His book started out as an article, written when he was 20, and published in "Dallas Life." Ladd currently writes for the "Dallas Morning News," and attends college.


Can Africa Rebound?

New York Times reporter John Darnton. This past Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, Darnton published a series of articles in the Times about the current state of Africa. He was the Times' Africa correspondent in the 70s. This 3-part series is his return to see how conditions have changed. He reports that living standards have declined far below the rest of the world, with most African countries in economic turmoil, replete with famine, war and drought. He says the World Bank has become the new superpower of Africa with the post-cold war pullout of the U.S. and Russia.


The "Forgotten" Working Poor in the United States

Professor of Political Science John Schwarz of the University of Arizona has just co-written a new book called "The Forgotten Americans: Thirty Million Working Poor in the Land of Opportunity." The authors challenge conventional wisdom: they found that the working poor are neither uneducated nor unskilled, that they encompass all age, ethnic, and racial groups in the U.S.; and that the situation can't necessarily be blamed on declines in domestic manufacturing or decreases in industrial productivity.


Simon Schama's Controversial but Well-Written Chronicle of the French Revolution.

Historian and writer Simon Schama. His revisionist history of the French Revolution - Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution - has been one of the most talked-about and debated volumes of history in the last several years. Critics have lauded Schama for bringing vividly to life the characters that inspired the five-year popular uprising that changed the modern political order.


Serving Appalachia

Father Ralph Beiting's ministry serves the poor of the Appalachian region, which he says was overlooked by the reforms and social programs of the 1960s. He links poverty to the degradation of family life. Despite the difficulties associated with his work, Beiting has fallen in love with the area and its people.


Michael Harrington Discusses His Memoirs.

Michael Harrington, a political scientist, author and co-chairman of the Democratic Socialists of America. His 1962 book, The Other America, caught the attention of President John Kennedy and became the handbook for Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty. Harrington's central theme is that poverty is growing, not shrinking, and that the free market has proven inadequate to the task of reducing it. His more recent works include The New American Poverty and The Next Left. His latest work, The Long-Distance Runner, is his autobiography.


Jonathan Kozol Tackles Homelessness.

Book critic John Leonard reviews Rachel and Her Children, by Jonathan Kozol, which examines the plight of the homeless in New York City's welfare hotels.


Liv Ullmann's New Role as UNICEF Ambassador.

Liv Ullmann gained fame as an actress in Ingmar Bergman films. Recently, her work has involved traveling around the world and fundraising as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF. Bergman has just completed a tour of East Africa. Ullman has also directed a sequence in the film "Acts of Love."


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