Public health historians David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz ("Lead Wars") on the dangers that lead presents to children; Sheila Krumholz (OpenSecrets.org) and Danielle Brian (Project on Government Oversight) on transparency in democracy.
Environmental activist Tim Christopher, who spent 21 months in prison for disrupting a 2008 Bureau of Land Management oil and gas lease auction, is interviewed. Also: New York Times columnist Gretchen Morgenson on whether banks are still too big to fail; and also on how corporations game the tax system.
The struggles of two middle-class Milwaukee families over a 20-year period are chronicled. Also: the changing nature of the economy is discussed with authors Barbara Miner ("Lessons From the Heartland") and Barbara Garson ("Down the Up Escalator").
American detachment from economic and political issues and the role that media distraction plays in the trend are discussed by media scholar Marty Kaplan. Also: a historical perspective on voting rights in America.
Gun-control advocate Tom Diaz ("The Last Gun") on self-defense laws, concealed carry laws and the marketing of guns; Farm Labor Organizing Committee president Baldemar Velásquez on America's farmworkers.
Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) reflects on the 1963 March on Washington, which featured Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. At age 23, Lewis—who was the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee leader at the time—was one of the other speakers that day. Also: a Bill Moyers essay on the continuing struggle for equal rights and opportunities for all Americans.
The ability of grassroots groups to spur change is discussed with Marshall Ganz, who worked as a civil-rights organizer in 1964 Mississippi and later with Cesar Chavez; and helped organize volunteers for Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. Also: Rachel LaForest (Right to the City) and Madeline Janis (Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy) on how social action can change both policy and lives.
The inner-workings of Washington, D.C., are discussed with Mark Leibovich (New York Times Magazine), author of "This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral—Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking!—in America's Gilded Capital."
McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, a Supreme Court case that challenges the caps on how much individual donors can give to candidates and political parties, is discussed with constitutional law expert Heather Gerken (Yale Law School). Also: historian Joyce Appleby ("Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination") is interviewed.
Wall Street corruption is discussed with financial journalist Gretchen Morgenson (New York Times). Also: historian Peter Dreier ("The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century") on Dr. Seuss and politics.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership, which critics describe as "NAFTA on steroids," is discussed with Yves Smith (Naked Capitalism) and Dean Baker (Center for Economic and Policy Research). Also: a preview of Robert Greenwald's "Unmanned: America's Drone Wars" documentary.
Money, media and politics are discussed with John Nichols (Nation) and Robert McChesney (University of Illinois), coauthors of "Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex Is Destroying America."
Green Shadow Cabinet president Jill Stein and health secretary Margaret Flowers discuss what they've learned about the political system and why they remain politically active. Also: viewer response to recent segments on drone attacks and government surveillance; and a preview of "Following the Ninth," a documentary about the global cultural and political influence of Beethoven's masterpiece.
Henry Giroux ("Zombie Politics and Culture in the Age of Casino Capitalism") is interviewed. Also: Nobel-winning novelist Doris Lessing (1919-2013) is remembered; and a look at the "Birth of the Living Dead" documentary, which explores the milieu in which the movie "Night of the Living Dead" was made.
Legal scholar Michelle Alexander ("The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness") discusses America's incarceration rate, which is the highest in the world. Also: an excerpt from "Susan," a documentary about a former California inmate who now runs five houses for women struggling to rebuild their lives.
Pope Francis and the relevance of the Catholic Church in the 21st century are discussed with historian Thomas Cahill. Also: poet Philip Levine on the men and women who work in the nation's fields and factories.
Examining the state of political affairs in North Carolina, where businessman Art Pope has been called the state's own "Koch brother" due to his financial support of foundations and think tanks that advocate conservative positions. Included: opposition within the state to the conservative agenda enacted by the state government.