Lionel Shriver's new novel, called The New Republic, is actually an old manuscript with a star-crossed history. As Shriver explains in a prefatory note, this satire on (among other things) terrorism was finished in 1998, but, back then, publishers weren't interested. That was five years before Shriver's break-through novel, We Need to Talk About Kevin. Then, Sept. 11 happened: sincerity was in; irony was out. Publishers wouldn't touch this story that offered an ironic take on violent extremism.
Race is central to the debate surrounding Trayvon Martin, the black Florida teen shot by neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman. Many media outlets first identified Zimmerman as "white," but his father describes him as a Spanish-speaking minority. Host Michel Martin explores the question, "who is white?" with sociologist Jean Halley.
Dennis Walcott oversees a school system with more than one million students. Graduation rates are below the national average, and studies suggest most of the city's high school graduates are not ready for college. But Chancellor Walcott tells host Michel Martin that, after one year on the job, New York City schools are on the mend.
Mitt Romney has taken the lead in voter support in Pennsylvania, according to a new poll from Public Policy Polling which shows the Republican frontrunner ahead of Rick Santorum, the former U.S. senator from the Keystone State, 42 percent to 37 percent. That lead was just on the 4.9 point margin of error, suggesting a tie. That's bad news for Santorum, however, as he dropped six percentage points while Romney gained 17 percent from a month ago.