American Experience

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The Tuesday Playlist: War of the Worlds at 75, Women of Interest, Naked Vegas

Today's history lesson: You shouldn't always believe what you hear. Long before TV, let alone social media like Twitter and Facebook, the medium of radio held sway over the public consciousness — and more to the point, the collective imagination — in a way that now seems hard for many to fathom. One visionary who understood its potential and power was Orson Welles, "prodigy and provocateur," who at the astonishingly precocious age of 23 triggered a Halloween eve panic in 1938 with his innovative and infamous CBS Radio adaptation of H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds.

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Free | PBS Posted: 5/2/2014

In response to cholera and dysentery epidemics, the Chicago Board of Sewage Commissioners selected Ellis Sylvester Chesbrough to solve Chicago s public health crisis. Chesbrough s planned system relied on gravity flow, but downtown streets were too low to drain into the river. New sewers raised the city's streets as much as 10 feet. The challenge then was to raise the buildings.

Free | PBS Posted: 5/2/2014

From AMERICAN EXPERIENCE A Class Apart: The 1954 Supreme Court had little awareness of what life was like for Mexican-Americans.

Free | PBS Posted: 5/2/2014

In the early 20th century, the average American medicine cabinet was a would-be poisoner's treasure chest, with radioactive radium, thallium, and morphine in everyday products.

Free | PBS Posted: 5/2/2014

From AMERICAN EXPERIENCE - Stonewall Uprising: A veteran remembers what it was like to discover he was gay.

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The Tuesday Playlist: War of the Worlds at 75, Women of Interest, Naked Vegas

Today's history lesson: You shouldn't always believe what you hear. Long before TV, let alone social media like Twitter and Facebook, the medium of radio held sway over the public consciousness — and more to the point, the collective imagination — in a way that now seems hard for many to fathom. One visionary who understood its potential and power was Orson Welles, "prodigy and provocateur," who at the astonishingly precocious age of 23 triggered a Halloween eve panic in 1938 with his innovative and infamous CBS Radio adaptation of H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds.

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Ask Matt: How Scandal-ous, Smash's Crash, PBS Is Hot, Middle Graduation, More

Send questions and comments to askmatt@tvguidemagazine.com and follow me on Twitter!

Question: [SPOILER ALERT for anyone who's fallen behind on Scandal] I'm a loyal reader of your column, and always enjoy hearing your well-thought-out and articulate opinions on TV's hottest topics. I'm writing to you for the first time now because I wanted to know your take on the latest installments of Scandal. I saw in your last column the tag line "Scandal is the new Revenge," and I agree Scandal has been far more gripping lately than Revenge. read more

Tuesday Playlist: The Return of Justified and Cougar Town, Jimmy Kimmel's Move, More

A week's worth of notable TV has been crammed into one very busy night. Let's take it from the top.

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Roush Review: Bearing Witness to the Amish Way of Life

As modern life keeps accelerating, with everything so fast-paced and high-tech, the Amish quietly adhere to centuries-old traditions, leaving the rest of us wondering whether to admire or pity them.

The Amish, a fascinating and gorgeously photographed two-hour episode of PBS' American Experience that's as much anthropology as history lesson, often feels more like a nature documentary. Because the subjects refuse to talk on camera, believing it violates the Second Commandment, we watch from afar as these devout people go about their daily routine and timeless devotions in insular, unspoiled rural habitats. They do, however, open up in voice-over interviews about their strongly held values and rigidly enforced rules.

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Premise: A series of two-hour conversations on the subject of American culture.

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Beyond the Golden Door: Jewish American Drama and Jewish American Experience (Palgrave Studies in Theatre and Performance History)
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Undercover Asian: Multiracial Asian Americans in Visual Culture (Asian American Experience)
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