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Story in the Public Square

Story in the Public Square

Story in the Public Square is a weekly, public affairs show designed to study, celebrate, and tell stories that matter. The show is inspired by the power of stories to shape public understanding of important issues. For example, Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel, "Uncle Tom's Cabin," shined a crucial light on the violence and inhumanity of American slavery, fueled the abolition movement, and inspired Abraham Lincoln, upon meeting the author, to say "So you're the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war." Narrative is no less important today-though the vehicles for dissemination are much more diverse. From a great novel to a film, a song, or even a Tweet, stories still very much impact the way the American public looks at issues. Our show turns a critical eye to these stories and their tellers.

Latest Episodes

Adam Zyglis, Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist from The Buffalo News.

The tension between faith and reason is an ancient one, made even more distinct in the West by the scientific revolution that preceded the era of the Enlightenment. Alan Lightman is a scientist whose personal transcendent experience shapes his view of spirituality today.

Local journalism is one of the keys to American democracy. There's no substitute for an experienced, local reporter who can share a story with the insight and perspective that comes from living in the community in which they report. Alexandra Watts is part of a new movement to put reporters on the ground in communities across America.

Poets, rock stars, authors-and even mere mortals-all share a nightly sojourn-a temporary stay-in the land of dreams. Alice Robb argues they are not just flights of fancy, but critical to health and happiness in our waking hours too.

Typically, identity politics are associated with marginalized groups-communities that have been defined as "other" by the dominant group in a political culture. Ashley Jardina explains the contemporary emergence of white-identity politics.

Imagine the courage of a young black man in the Jim Crow South to sit at a "Whites Only" lunch counter; to need a military escort for a bus ride; to be assaulted by the Ku Klux Klan, and, through it all, to remain committed to non-violence. Dr. Bernard LaFayette has done just that.

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