"Chug, chug, chug. Puff, puff, puff. Ding-dong, ding-dong."

The beloved tale of the little blue engine — who helps bring a broken-down train of toys to the good little boys and girls on the other side of the mountain — has been chugging along for a very long time. But despite the locomotive's optimistic refrain — I think I can, I think I can, I think I can — the story has a somewhat checkered past: In its tracks, The Little Engine has left both a legal battle and a debate over whether the little blue engine is male or female.

The efforts to keep high-tech military technology out of the hands of enemy states and combatants  comes to light in the book "Operation Shakespeare." 

Investigative reporter John Shiffman tells us about Homeland Security's three-year effort to block and apprehend arms traders from accessing some of America's leading technologies. 


Jones Collection, DeGolyer Library, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University

*This show is a rebroadcast of the April 18, 2014 episode of Texas Matters

Texas Matters: Dive into the hidden history of early Texas photographs with Lawrence T. Jones, III, whose new book, "Lens on the Texas Frontier," presents a stunning look at life in early Texas.

The history of truth in the political and corporate spheres is a sordid one. Our elected officials have gotten us into wars and our corporate leaders have driven the economy into recession --  both on the assumption that their analysis and statements were honest.

In his new book "935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America's Moral Integrity," Charles Lewis reveals the lies of our public officials and corporate titans while highlighting the journalism and journalists that revealed the lies for what they were.

When Mary Pope Osborne wrote the first set of stories in the Magic Tree House series in 1992, she had a contract for four books, and she figured that would be it. But then she began getting letters from teachers, parents and kids.

"Those letters are priceless," she says. "I've memorized so many of them, like: 'Dear Mrs. Osborne, Your books almost made me smart!' or 'Dear Mrs. Osborne, I'm working on my own novel. ... It's not finished yet, it's scary, it's called The Septic System.'"