Contact: Jacqueline Cartier
(651) 290-1113



ST. PAUL , MN (June 28, 2010) ñ American RadioWorks (ARW) , the award-winning documentary unit of American Public Media, has released two new public radio documentaries. The programs examine the controversial divide between books and beliefs in America ‘s public schools, and delve deep into our nation’s unyielding battle with poverty.

"The Great Textbook War"

In 1974, Kanawha County , West Virginia , erupted in violence with school buildings hit by dynamite and buses riddled with bullets. The fight was over a new set of textbooks. The books in question included works by poet Allen Ginsberg, black rights advocate Eldridge Cleaver, and Sigmund Freud. Other books included excerpts from Animal Farm by George Orwell and The Autobiography of Malcolm X . The conflict captured the attention of national media, and ultimately, the most controversial books never entered schools in the rural areas of the county. "The Great Textbook War" tells the story of one of our nation’s most violent protests over public school textbooks, and examines the divide that persists today over what to teach children in schools. Visit " The Great Textbook War " at for a detailed look at the business of education and to view pictures of the Kanawha County revolt. Complete audio of the program also is available.

"War on Poverty : From the Great Society to the Great Recession. "

"This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America ," proclaimed President Lyndon B. Johnson in his first State of the Union . During his presidency, LBJ’s legislation was geared toward boosting economic opportunity — a theme captured by his administration’s catchphrase, the Great Society. However, over four decades later, the optimism of the Great Society has met the realities of the Great Recession, and poverty remains an abiding problem in America . With nearly 13.2 percent of the population living in poverty today, this documentary tells the story of a new generation of Americans struggling with economic deprivation . The "War on Poverty" blends contemporary storytelling with rich archival audio to examine the modern face of poverty, and asks why LBJ’s dream of a Great Society is still beyond reach. Visit " War on Poverty " at for a look at who is poor in America today, an examination of the changing demographics of poverty , and analyses of current and past programs aimed at curbing poverty. Complete audio of the program also is available.

Tune In: The Great Textbook War and War on Poverty will be broadcast on public radio stations nationwide. Check local listings for availability. In addition, visit for access to additional resources, audio and transcripts.

American RadioWorks is American Public Media’s award-winning documentary program. Based in St. Paul , Minn. , ARW creates documentaries, series projects and investigative reports for the public radio system and the Internet. Its hour-long specials provide in-depth reporting on public affairs and social and cultural subjects. American RadioWorks is on the Web at .