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DVD Review: Bill Moyers – A World of Ideas II – Great Thinkers

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Imagine if you could sit down with 16 influential and intelligent people who have made a difference in our world. Some of them, perhaps, are no longer with us, like Dr. Jonas Salk, and we will never have that opportunity. But Bill Moyers did talk to them, and in A World of Ideas II: Great Thinkers, those conversations are preserved for us so we can tap into the thoughts of these great thinkers any time we choose.

The people here have distinguished themselves by teaching, writing, and acting to bring about change in many fields, from politics to education, community activism, medicine, religion, and anthropology. Subjects range from the role of women to the role of the church in the modern world, black and Latino rights, ecology, physics and spirituality, and much more.

Moyers talks with, among other writers, professors, and activists, Pulitzer Prize winning political writer James McGregor Burns, Mary Catherine Bateson, whose mother was the anthropologist Margaret Meade, linguistics scholar Noam Chomsky, Dr. Jonas Salk, and Princeton professor Cornell West.

These thinkers are provocative, interesting, and insightful. Whether you agree with them or disagree, they will make you think and that is always a good thing.

For high school and college students and teachers, these 19 episodes are wonderful source material for classes and papers. For the rest of us, they are springboards for stimulating discussions and an opportunity to sharpen our own thinking and increase our knowledge. Some of the material is a bit dated, but the big issues concerning the state of our world and how we can improve it remain relevant.

This DVD collection will remind you that television can provide us with more than sitcoms and escapism, and that it can also be a tool for education, growth and change in a way that is lively, often witty, engrossing and interesting and never dry or boring.

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About Rhetta Akamatsu

I am an author of non-fiction books and an online journalist. My books include Haunted Marietta, The Irish Slaves, T'ain't Nobody's Business If I Do: Blues Women Past and Present, and Sex Sells: Women in Photography and Film.