Fresh Air

Fresh Air

By NPR

Fresh Air from WHYY, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Hosted by Terry Gross, the show features intimate conversations with today's biggest luminaries.

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Episodes

'White Lotus' Creator Mike White

As the second season of HBO's The White Lotus comes to a close, creator Mike White reflects on how it examines the dark side of sex, and how at its heart is a mix of Laverne & Shirley, Fantasy Island and Survivor. Also, Ken Tucker shares three songs that grapple with romance.
05/12/22·45m 56s

Best Of: 'Armageddon Time' Director / A Revolution In Cell Biology

James Gray's new film, Armageddon Time, was inspired by his childhood in Queens in the 1980s. Though his grandparents had fled antisemitism in Ukraine, his family didn't recognize their own biases against Black people. He talks about his life and the film.Book critic Maureen Corrigan shares her list for the best books of the year. Physician Siddhartha Mukherjee writes about cellular science could lead to breakthroughs in the treatment of cancer, HIV, Type 1 diabetes and sickle cell anemia. His new book is The Song of the Cell.
03/12/22·48m 37s

'Daily Show' Host Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah is stepping down as host of The Daily Show after seven years. We'll listen back to portions of two 2016 interviews with Noah, whose newest standup comedy special just premiered on Netflix.Also, Justin Chang reviews The Eternal Daughter starring Tilda Swinton.
02/12/22·46m 14s

How Should Nations Memorialize Their Atrocities?

In How the Word Is Passed, author Clint Smith explored U.S. sites that deal with the legacy of slavery. Now, in The Atlantic, he writes about German memorials to the Holocaust.
01/12/22·44m 49s

How To Stand Up To A Dictator

Nobel Peace Prize-winning Filipina journalist Maria Ressa faced criminal charges in the Philippines after her news organization's reporting angered government officials. She has a new memoir called How to Stand Up to a Dictator.Critic Maureen Corrigan shares her list of the best books of the year.
30/11/22·45m 27s

Reporting On The Atrocities And Destruction In Ukraine

Guardian journalist Luke Harding shares his experience reporting from Ukraine. "It's almost impossible to process," he says. "You can see a flourishing city of half a million people with ports, with restaurants, with live music, with culture, coffee — and now it's a ghostly ruin." We talk about how the war might end — and why the West needs to pay attention. Harding's book is Invasion.
29/11/22·45m 20s

'Armageddon Time' Filmmaker James Gray

James Gray's new film was inspired by his childhood in Queens in the 1980s. Though his grandparents had fled antisemitism in Ukraine, his family didn't recognize their own biases against Black people. He talks about his life and the film.
28/11/22·45m 40s

Best Of: "Weird Al" Yankovic / To Retire, Or Not To Retire?

The hit parody artist "Weird Al" Yankovic talks about what made him weird — and bringing "the sexy back" to accordion. The new movie Weird, inspired by the story of his life, is a parody of music biopics.TV critic David Bianculli reviews Wednesday, an Addams Familiy spin-off. LA Times columnist Steve Lopez turned the issue of retirement into a reporting project, speaking to geriatric experts, a psychiatrist, a rabbi, plus people who had retired and some who refuse. His book is Independence Day.
26/11/22·48m 23s

Brandi Carlile

The Grammy winner got her start onstage as a kid, singing backup for an Elvis impersonator. Her memoir, 'Broken Horses,' is about her early life and the family of misfits she's built. "I think I'm starting to really feel sort of solid and loved in my world. Like maybe I've kind of finally found my place," Carlile says. John Powers reviews the Polish film EO about a wandering donkey.
25/11/22·44m 58s

'Peanuts' Cartoonist Charles Schulz

This week marks the centennial of the birth of Charles Schulz, the creator of Charlie Brown and the beloved Peanuts comic strip. We'll listen back to our 1990 interview with him. Plus, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead talks about pianist Vince Guaraldi, who created the music for A Charlie Brown Christmas.Also, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck have recently been revived in the podcast, "Bugs and Daffy's Thanksgiving Adventure." We mark the occasion by listening to our 1989 interview with Jones, who died this year.
24/11/22·46m 13s

Comedy Legend Mel Brooks

Brooks wrote countless edgy jokes over the years, but he doesn't regret any of them. In fact, his only regret is the jokes he didn't tell. Brooks calls comedy his "delicious refuge" from the world. His memoir is All About Me! is now out in paperback. David Bianculli reviews Wednesday, the new Addams Family spin-off.
23/11/22·45m 24s

To Retire, Or Not To Retire?

LA Times columnist Steve Lopez turned the issue of retirement into a reporting project, speaking to geriatric experts, a psychiatrist, a rabbi, plus people who had retired and some who refuse. His book is Independence Day.Maureen Corrigan reviews Claire Keegan's Foster.
22/11/22·44m 25s

Siddhartha Mukherjee On A Revolution In Cell Biology

Physician Siddhartha Mukherjee explains how cellular science could lead to breakthroughs in the treatment of cancer, HIV, Type 1 diabetes and sickle cell anemia. His new book is The Song of the Cell.
21/11/22·45m 0s

Best Of: Misty Copeland / Michael Imperioli

Misty Copeland was the first Black principal ballerina for the American Ballet Theatre. We talk about the pressure of being first, touring with Prince, and experiencing homelessness as a child. Her memoir is The Wind at My Back.Michael Imperioli plays a sex-addicted Hollywood producer on vacation in Sicily in HBO's The White Lotus. He's best known for his role as Tony Soprano's hot-headed protégé, Christopher Moltisanti. He talks about both roles with us.
19/11/22·48m 50s

Behind Yiddish 'Fiddler On The Roof'

We'll talk about the Yiddish language production of Fiddler on the Roof that's just returned to off Broadway. Our guests will be Joel Grey, who directed it, and Steven Skybell who stars as Tevye. And we'll hear songs from the Yiddish cast recording.Also, Justin Chang reviews She Said, a new film about the New York Times reporters who broke the Harvey Weinstein story.
18/11/22·44m 52s

A Dangerous Game Over Taiwan

New Yorker staff writer Dexter Filkins says war games staged by U.S. commanders suggest a conflict over Taiwan could lead to U.S. attacks on China's mainland — and Chinese attacks on Alaska and Hawaii.
17/11/22·44m 34s

Weird Al Yankovic

The hit parody artist Weird Al Yankovic talks about what made him weird, the legal gray area of parody, and bringing "the sexy back" to accordion. The new movie Weird, inspired by the story of his life, is a parody of music biopics.
16/11/22·45m 4s

'Sopranos' & 'White Lotus' Actor Michael Imperioli

Imperioli plays a sex-addicted Hollywood producer on vacation in Sicily in HBO's The White Lotus. He's best known for his role as Tony Soprano's hot-headed protégé, Christopher Moltisanti. In 2021, Imperioli published Woke Up This Morning, an oral history of the series based on his podcast, Talking Sopranos.Podcast critic Nick Quah talks about white noise streams.
15/11/22·45m 31s

Ballerina Misty Copeland

Copeland was the first Black principal ballerina for the American Ballet Theatre. We talk about the pressure of being first, the injury that nearly ended her career, and her mentor, pioneering Black ballerina Raven Wilkinson. Her memoir is The Wind at My Back.
14/11/22·44m 22s

WWII Veterans Reflect On Their Service

For Veterans Day, we feature archival interviews with two men who fought in World War II: Robert Kotlowitz was one of three soldiers in his platoon to survive an ill-advised assault on the Germans. For 12 hours, he lay in a foxhole without moving. Also, we hear from Robert Williams, one of the elite Tuskegee Airmen. The primarily Black group of military pilots faced scorn from the bomber pilots they flew to protect — until it became clear how good they were at their job. Justin Chang reviews Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
14/11/22·47m 9s

Best Of: Steven Spielberg / The Black Soldiers Of WWII

Steven Spielberg's latest project, The Fabelmans, is semi-autobiographical — focused on his childhood and teen years and his parents' divorce. He jokingly refers to the film as "$40 million of therapy." He speaks with Terry Gross about the first movie he saw in theaters and growing up around Holocaust survivors.Maureen Corrigan reviews Foster by Claire Keegan.Historian Matthew Delmont talks about the more than one million Black people who served in the military in WWII, the contributions they made and discrimination they faced, and those who struggled for equality in civilian life. Delmont's book is Half American.
12/11/22·48m 45s

Our New Climate Reality

New York Times science writer David Wallace-Wells brings us some new thinking on global warming — and it isn't all bad. He's been called an alarmist in the past for his warnings about the consequences of dumping carbon into the atmosphere. But in a new article, Wallace-Wells writes that the cost of solar and wind energy has fallen dramatically, and scientists now say the pace of global warming in coming decades will be slower than previously forecast. Wallace-Wells says we're still in for painful, long-lasting changes to the world we inhabit, and nations will have to decide how to adapt to the new climate reality.TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new series Tulsa King starring Sylvester Stallone, and the new season of Yellowstone, starring Kevin Costner.
10/11/22·46m 25s

Steven Spielberg

Spielberg's latest project, The Fabelmans, is semi-autobiographical — focused on his childhood and teen years and his parents' divorce. He jokingly refers to the film as "$40 million of therapy." He speaks with Terry Gross about the first movie he saw in theaters, filming the iconic D-Day sequence in Saving Private Ryan, and growing up around Holocaust survivors.
09/11/22·45m 18s

Remembering Jerry Lee Lewis

We mark the life of the rock 'n' roll pioneer, who died Oct. 28, by listening to archival interviews with his sister, pianist/singer Linda Gail Lewis, and with Myra Lewis Williams, who married Jerry Lee when she was 13. And Ken Tucker reflects on Lewis' 1968 country album.
08/11/22·45m 10s

The Black Experience Of WWII

Historian Matthew Delmont talks about the more than one million Black people who served in the military in WWII, the contributions they made and discrimination they faced, and those who struggled for equality in civilian life. Delmont's book is Half American.Justin Chang reviews Steven Spielberg's new semi-autobiographical film The Fabelmans.
07/11/22·44m 51s

Best Of: 'Till' Director Chinonye Chukwu / 'Shutter' Author Ramona Emerson

Till tells the story of Mamie Till-Mobley, whose decision to hold an open-casket funeral for her murdered son Emmett served as a catalyst for the civil rights movement. We talk with director Chinonye Chukwu. Ken Tucker reviews Taylor Swift's Midnights. Ramona Emerson's novel, Shutter, is about a police department photographer, who, like Emerson, grew up in the Navajo Nation. The protagonist is haunted by the ghosts of victims from scenes she's photographed. We talk with Emerson about her own experience in forensic photography and how it informed the book.
05/11/22·49m 6s

'Pose' Actor Billy Porter

Porter won an Emmy for Pose, and a Tony for the Broadway musical Kinky Boots. In addition to performing, he's also a star on the red carpet. His memoir, Unprotected, is now out in paperback.
04/11/22·44m 29s

How Election Deniers Might Impact The Midterms

New York Times reporter Alexandra Berzon says election deniers are joining the electoral process at the precinct level. Their hope is to remake the machinery of American elections. She spoke with guest interviewer Arun Venugopal. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a new album from the trio Thumbscrew. And David Bianculli reviews the Weird Al Yankovic biopic, Weird, starring Daniel Radcliffe.
03/11/22·44m 8s

Novelist Tells The Story Of A Haunted Crime Scene Photographer

Ramona Emerson's novel, Shutter, is about a police department photographer, who, like Emerson, grew up in the Navajo Nation. The protagonist is haunted by the ghosts of victims from scenes she's photographed. We talk with Emerson about her own experience in forensic photography and how it informed the book.John Powers reviews two foreign crime films: Decision to Leave and Argentina, 1985.
02/11/22·43m 43s

'Till' Director Chinonye Chukwu

Till tells the story of Mamie Till-Mobley, whose decision to hold an open-casket funeral for her murdered son served as a catalyst for the civil rights movement. "Without Mamie Till-Mobley, the world wouldn't know who Emmett Till was," director Chinonye Chukwu says. "She wanted the world to witness what happened to her child so then this can stop happening to other Black children and Black people."Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews a new biography of Samuel Adams.
01/11/22·44m 47s

Halloween Special: Part II

This Halloween, we're venturing into the crypt (our archives). We'll hear from Anthony Hopkins on playing Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs, Sissy Spacek on Carrie, George Romero, director of Night of the Living Dead, Kathy Bates on Misery, and Mercedes McCambridge, who voiced the demon in The Exorcist. Listen if you dare!
31/10/22·45m 28s

Best Of: MAGA's Chinese Billionaire / Sports Journalist Jemele Hill

New Yorker writer Evan Osnos traces the path of Guo Wengui, a billionaire who fled China and insinuated himself into the MAGA inner circle. But his true allegiances are suspect.Maureen Corrigan reviews The Year of the Puppy, by Alexandra Horowitz.Former co-anchor of ESPN's SportsCenter, Jemele Hill, faced criticism in 2017 for calling Trump a white supremacist. In her memoir, Uphill, she talks about her career and her life growing up in Detroit. She spoke with contributor Tonya Mosley.
29/10/22·48m 44s

Halloween Special Part I: Stephen King & Jordan Peele

We're dipping in the archive and finding our spookiest tape. Stephen King talks about what terrified him as a child — and what frightens him as an adult. Director Jordan Peele talks about the scares that inspire his filmmaking. Justin Chang reviews Armageddon Time.
28/10/22·46m 10s

Phillies Radio Announcer On The World Series & Changes In Baseball

Scott Franzke has been calling MLB games in Philadelphia since 2006. He sizes up the teams headed into the World Series and reflects on upcoming changes designed to put more action in the game. Ken Tucker reviews Taylor Swift's new album, Midnights.
27/10/22·45m 51s

Did The "Deep State" Protect The Country From Trump?

David Rothkopf explains how veteran U.S. government officials, sometimes scorned as the so-called Deep State, repeatedly intervened in the Trump administration to undermine presidential orders they thought were illegal, immoral, unworkable, or against America's interests. His book is American Resistance. Justin Chang reviews the Martin McDonagh film The Banshees of Inisherin.
26/10/22·45m 40s

Sports Journalist Jemele Hill

The former co-anchor of ESPN's SportsCenter faced criticism in 2017 for calling Trump a white supremacist. In her memoir, Uphill, she talks about her career and her life growing up in Detroit. She spoke with contributor Tonya Mosley. Also, David Bianculli reviews Guillermo del Toro's horror anthology series on Netflix.
25/10/22·45m 58s

The "Sioux Chef," Sean Sherman

You won't find wheat flour, dairy or sugar at Sean Sherman's award-winning Minneapolis restaurant, Owamni. The menu has been "decolonized," but that doesn't mean it feels antiquated. "We look at showcasing the amazing diversity and flavor profiles of all the different tribes across North America, all the different regions, and really celebrating that and cutting away colonial ingredients," Sherman says. Maureen Corrigan reviews The Year of the Puppy, by Alexandra Horowitz.
24/10/22·46m 57s

Best Of: Angela Lansbury / Culture Critic Hua Hsu

The legend of stage and screen died Oct. 11 at age 96. She starred in the TV series Murder, She Wrote and won Tony Awards for her performances as Mama Rose in Gypsy and the pie shop owner Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd. We'll hear excerpts from Terry Gross's interviews with Lansbury from 2000 and 1980.Justin Chang reviews The Banshees of Inisherin starring Colin Farrell. The son of Taiwanese immigrants, New Yorker staff writer Hua Hsu defined himself as a teen by the music he loved. The murder of a close friend when he was in college changed the course of his life. His memoir is Stay True.
22/10/22·46m 38s

Remembering Angela Lansbury

The legend of stage and screen died Oct. 11 at age 96. She starred in the TV series Murder, She Wrote, and in such films as The Manchurian Candidate and Disney's Beauty and the Beast. She won Tony Awards for her performances as Mama Rose in Gypsy and the pie shop owner Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd. Earlier this year, she received the Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement. We'll hear Terry Gross's interviews with Lansbury from 2000 and 1980.
21/10/22·44m 16s

Tracing The Path Of Steve Bannon's Enigmatic Chinese Benefactor

New Yorker writer Evan Osnos traces the path of Guo Wengui, a billionaire who fled China and insinuated himself into the MAGA inner circle. But who is he really working for?
20/10/22·44m 30s

How The Far-Right Became The GOP's Center Of Gravity

Journalist Robert Draper says the GOP's embrace of extremism opened the door to fringe actors, who've become among the party's most influential leaders. His new book is Weapons of Mass Delusion.Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews an album from saxophonist Bobby Watson.
19/10/22·45m 31s

'New Yorker' Writer Hua Hsu On Friendship, Grief, And Pop Culture

The son of Taiwanese immigrants, New Yorker staff writer Hua Hsu defined himself as a teen by the music he loved. The murder of a close friend when he was in college changed the course of his life. His memoir is Stay True.David Bianculli reviews the new season of Documentary Now!
18/10/22·43m 41s

Chelsea Manning On Life Before & After WikiLeaks

The former military analyst has been called both a whistleblower hero and a traitor for leaking classified information about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In a new memoir, READ ME.txt, she talks about why she did it. We also talk about her childhood and gender dysphoria, her time in Iraq, and her experience in solitary confinement.
17/10/22·45m 54s

Best Of: One-Pan Recipes / The History Of Money

NYT Cooking food writer and cookbook author Melissa Clark says she's always looking for shortcuts in the kitchen — including ways to use fewer pans. Her latest cookbook is Dinner in One: Exceptional & Easy One-Pan Meals.John Powers reviews the Indian film RRR.Author and podcaster Jacob Goldstein says we don't think of money as a technology, but we should. He traces the first paper currency to China's Sichuan province, and talks about the early days of dollar bills in the U.S. His book is Money: The True Story of a Made Up Thing.
15/10/22·49m 15s

Linda Ronstadt

Ronstadt's career spanned rock, pop, country and everything in between. Her most famous recordings include "Heart Like a Wheel," "Desperado," "Faithless Love," and many more. In 2013, Ronstadt revealed that she has Parkinson's disease and can no longer sing. Ronstadt has a new memoir called Feels Like Home: A Song for the Sonoran Borderlands. It's an exploration of her Mexican roots, with recipes of some of the dishes she grew up with. We listen back to her 2013 interview with Terry Gross. Also, Justin Chang reviews Till, a new film about the lynching of Emmett Till.
14/10/22·45m 34s

The Sensory Perceptions Of Animals

There's a vast world around us that animals can perceive — but humans can't. Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer Ed Yong talks about some of the sights, smells, sounds and vibrations that other living creatures experience. His book is An Immense World. John Powers reviews the new Masterpiece Mystery! series on PBS, The Magpie Murders.
13/10/22·44m 50s

Exploring The History Of Money

Author and podcaster Jacob Goldstein says we don't think of money as a technology, but we should. He traces the first paper currency to China's Sichuan province, and ponders the Fed's next move. His book is Money: The True Story of a Made Up Thing. Also, Ken Tucker reviews Ashley McBryde's concept album Lindeville.
12/10/22·45m 3s

Testing 'NYT Cooking' Recipes With Melissa Clark

NYT Cooking food writer and cookbook author Melissa Clark says she's always looking for shortcuts in the kitchen — including ways to use fewer pans. Her latest cookbook is Dinner in One: Exceptional & Easy One-Pan Meals.John Powers reviews the new epic Indian action film RRR.
11/10/22·46m 28s

Journalist Maggie Haberman On The Making Of Donald Trump

New York Times journalist Maggie Haberman talks about Trump's tactics for dealing with the media and explains why he's more concerned about the Mar-a-Lago documents than the Jan. 6 hearings. Her new book is Confidence Man.
10/10/22·46m 53s

Best Of: Loretta Lynn / Rachel Bloom

Country music star Loretta Lynn died Oct. 4 at the age of 90. Her life story was made famous in the film Coal Miner's Daughter. She had 16 No. 1 hits, some controversial in their day because they were about drinking, divorce, wayward husbands, and birth control. She spoke with Terry Gross in 2010.Justin Chang reviews Bros, the new gay rom-com starring Billy Eichner. Actor, comedian and songwriter Rachel Bloom talks about writing songs for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and her new Hulu series Reboot. She plays a writer who wants to reboot an old family sitcom from the early 2000s — but make it darker and edgier.
08/10/22·49m 3s

Tom Waits

Waits' two lyrical concept albums, Blood Money and Alice, are being reissued on vinyl for their 20th Anniversary. He wrote the music with his wife, Kathleen Brennan. The interviews were originally recorded in 2002 and 2011.Film critic Justin Chang reviews Tár, the new film by Todd Field, starring Cate Blanchett.
07/10/22·46m 22s

A New Generation Of Resistance In Iran

22-year-old Mahsa Amini died in Tehran police custody after being detained for wearing her hijab loosely. Her death sparked a movement. We talk with Iranian American scholar Pardis Mahdavi about the morality police and Iran's cultural resistance. Mahdavi herself was once arrested in Tehran for lecturing about Iran's sexual revolution. She wonders if the country's current wave of protests might result in regime change.
06/10/22·44m 12s

Remembering Loretta Lynn

Country music star Loretta Lynn died Oct. 4 at the age of 90. Her life story was made famous in the film Coal Miner's Daughter. She had 16 No. 1 hits, some controversial in their day because they were about drinking, divorce, wayward husbands, and birth control. She spoke with Terry Gross in 2010. Also, we remember Sue Graham Mingus, who died Sept. 24 at the age of 92. After the death of her husband, composer and bassist Charles Mingus in 1979, she devoted her life to keeping his legacy alive.
05/10/22·45m 58s

Rachel Bloom On 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' & 'Reboot'

Bloom talks about writing songs for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and losing her musical collaborator Adam Schlesinger, who died from COVID-19 complications in March 2020. She now stars in the Hulu series Reboot as a writer who wants to reboot an old family sitcom from the early 2000s — but make it darker and edgier. She spoke with contributor Ann Marie Baldonado. Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews Celeste Ng's new novel Our Missing Hearts.
04/10/22·47m 10s

Inside The World's Most Powerful Consulting Firm

When McKinsey Comes to Town authors Walt Bogdanich and Michael Forsythe say the consulting firm helped companies boost tobacco and opioid sales — while at the same time working for the FDA. "McKinsey's working for the companies and also the regulators that regulate them," Forsythe says. "I think most reasonable people would look at that and say, 'I think that's a problem.'"John Powers reviews the latest season of Ramy on Hulu.
03/10/22·45m 13s

Best Of: Hilary Mantel / British Vogue's Edward Enninful

We remember British author Hilary Mantel who died Sept. 22. Mantel was best known for her trilogy of novels about Thomas Cromwell, the political fixer for Henry VIII. In 2012 she spoke with Terry Gross about her love of history. "Instead of thinking there was a wall between the living and the dead, I thought there was a very thin veil. It was almost as if they'd just gone into the next room."Also, we'll talk with Edward Enninful, editor-in-chief of British Vogue, about bringing diversity into the fashion industry. As a child, Enninful emigrated from Ghana to England. Early in his career, he was told Black women don't sell magazines. He proved that was false.Maureen Corrigan reviews Less is Lost, the follow up to Andrew Sean Greer's Pulitzer Prize-winning satirical novel Less.
01/10/22·48m 39s

The Dangerous Early Days Of The Space Race

Historian Jeff Shesol recalls the early days of the U.S. space program, when rockets often blew up in test launchings, and no one was sure John Glenn would make it through America's first orbital flight alive. In his book Mercury Rising, he describes how Soviet success in space forced a reluctant President Kennedy to embrace the program.And film critic Justin Chang reviews Bros, the new gay rom-com starring Billy Eichner.
30/09/22·45m 23s

The Water Crisis In The American West

40 million people rely on water from the Colorado River, but overuse and global warming have combined to create a water emergency. Tough choices must be made soon, or farms and cities will face critical shortages. We talk with ProPublica investigative reporter Abrahm Lustgarten.millionJazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a recording by pianist Mal Waldron.
29/09/22·45m 34s

Remembering 'Wolf Hall' Novelist Hilary Mantel

The British writer, who died Sept. 22, wrote a trilogy of critically acclaimed historical novels on the life of Thomas Cromwell, one of Henry VIII's most trusted advisors. Mantel was the first woman to win the Man Booker Prize twice. She spoke with Terry Gross in 2012.Also, Ken Tucker reviews a new collection of unreleased demos by Lou Reed recorded when he was a fledgling singer songwriter, before he led the Velvet Underground.
28/09/22·45m 9s

Uncovering Racial Violence During Jim Crow

In her new book, By Hands Now Known, civil rights lawyer and professor Margaret Burnham reports on little-known cases of racial violence in the Jim Crow era, including crimes that went unreported and murderers who were never punished. Over 15 years, the project's researchers have chronicled roughly 1,000 murders. David Bianculli reviews 11 Minutes, a documentary about the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas.
27/09/22·44m 5s

MMA Fighting, Memory Loss & Identity

Writer John Vercher trained in mixed martial arts as a young man. His novel, After the Lights Go Out, centers on a veteran MMA fighter who is experiencing memory loss, severe mood swings and tinnitus. The book is also about the fighter's biracial identity.Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews Less is Lost by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Andrew Sean Greer.
26/09/22·44m 57s

Best Of: 'Reservation Dogs' Showrunner / The Mosquito Bowl Of WWII

The FX/Hulu series Reservation Dogs follows four teens on an Oklahoma Indian reservation who are frustrated and alienated, caught between what's left of traditional Native culture on the reservation and the broader pop culture. We talk with co-creator and showrunner Sterlin Harjo about his own upbringing in Indian Territory and how he was inspired by the storytellers in his family.Ken Tucker reviews some previously unreleased early Lou Reed demos. Also, Buzz Bissinger, author of the classic high school football book, Friday Night Lights, tells the story of college football stars-turned Marines who endured some of the most savage fighting in World War II. Bissinger's new book is The Mosquito Bowl.
24/09/22·48m 49s

Inside The Weird World Of Animal Crimes

Science writer Mary Roach (Stiff, Gulp) explores scenarios where animals are the ones committing "crimes" — and how society deals with it. We talk about bear attacks, drunk elephants, and monkey thieves. Her book is Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law.Justin Chang reviews the Marilyn Monroe biopic, Blonde.
23/09/22·46m 33s

How Climate Change Supercharged The Weather

Washington Post reporter Brady Dennis warns our aging infrastructure systems weren't built to withstand the stresses of climate change: "There is a certain amount of suffering that we can't avoid."
22/09/22·44m 5s

'British Vogue' Editor-In-Chief Edward Enninful

Edward Enninful grew up in Ghana, assisting his seamstress mother in her dressmaking shop. "For me, fashion was always such an inclusive, beautiful thing," he says. We talk about making the fashion industry more diverse, the famous "all Black" issue of Vogue Italia, and modeling as a teen. Enninful's memoir is A Visible Man.And David Bianculli reviews Reboot on Hulu.
21/09/22·45m 28s

How Trump's DOJ Pressured The SDNY To Aid The White House

Geoffrey Berman served as U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York. In his memoir, Holding the Line, he describes how the Dept. of Justice demanded he use his office to aid the Trump administration. "The Department of Justice has to remain independent of politics," Berman says. "It's supposed to be unbiased. And what happened was President Trump treated the Department of Justice like his own personal law firm, and he put people in charge there who did his bidding."
20/09/22·44m 36s

'Reservation Dogs' Showrunner Sterlin Harjo

The FX/Hulu series Reservation Dogs follows four teens on an Oklahoma Indian reservation who are frustrated and alienated, caught between what's left of traditional Native culture on the reservation and the broader pop culture. We talk with co-creator and showrunner Sterlin Harjo about his own upbringing in Indian Territory and how he was inspired by the storytellers in his family.
19/09/22·45m 28s

Best Of: Nina Totenberg / Sheryl Lee Ralph

NPR's longtime legal affairs correspondent, Nina Totenberg, talks about her long friendship with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which began years before Ginsburg became a Supreme Court Justice. Her book is Dinners with Ruth.Sheryl Lee Ralph just won her first Emmy for role as a no nonsense kindergarten teacher in the ABC sitcom Abbott Elementary. Sidney Poitier gave Ralph her first screen role in his 1977 film A Piece of the Action. At the age of 24, Ralph starred in the original Broadway production of Dreamgirls. But there were many difficult years when she was told there was nothing for her because she was Black.Kevin Whitehead reviews a new album by three notable veteran musicians combining free jazz and electric funk.
17/09/22·48m 38s

'Succession' Actor Matthew MacFadyen

The British actor played the brooding Mr. Darcy in the 2005 film adaptation of Pride & Prejudice. Now he's won an Emmy for playing scheming Midwesterner Tom Wambsgans on Succession. Kevin Whitehead remembers jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis, who had the 1965 crossover hit "The In Crowd."Justin Chang reviews The Woman King starring Viola Davis.
16/09/22·46m 49s

Buzz Bissinger On 'The Mosquito Bowl'

Friday Night Lights author Buzz Bissinger tells the story of Marines in 1945 who, while waiting for the Battle of Okinawa to begin, staged a football game broadcast on Armed Services Radio throughout the Pacific. Bissinger's book is The Mosquito Bowl: A Game of Life and Death in World War II. TV critic David Bianculli reviews Ken Burns' new documentary, The U.S. and the Holocaust.
15/09/22·45m 50s

Nina Totenberg On Her Friendship with RBG

The NPR legal affairs correspondent met the future SCOTUS justice in the early '70s, when Totenberg interviewed Ruth Bader Ginsburg for a story about a decision pertaining to women's rights. Her memoir about her life and friendship is Dinners with Ruth.Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews Ling Ma's new collection of stories, Bliss Montage.
14/09/22·46m 12s

How One Law Firm Influenced The Trump Administration

Servants of the Damned author David Enrich says lawyers for the firm of Jones Day were deeply embedded in the Trump White House — and helped create policy designed to limit the federal government.
13/09/22·44m 59s

Actor Sheryl Lee Ralph

Sheryl Lee Ralph is Emmy-nominated for her role as the veteran teacher Barbara Howard on the hit ABC sitcom Abbott Elementary, about an under resourced Philly school. We talk about her long career in showbiz — from Dreamgirls on Broadway to Moesha, and how she made her own way in an industry that didn't offer many parts to Black women.
12/09/22·46m 46s

Best Of: John McEnroe / Amanda Shires

Tennis legend John McEnroe talks about his career, his outbursts on the court, and his new job as a TV tennis analyst and voice-over artist on the hit Netflix Series, Never Have I Ever. McEnroe is the subject of a new Showtime documentary. Also, songwriter and singer Amanda Shires performs a few songs and talks about her life. Her latest album, Take it Like a Man, has songs about a rocky period in her marriage to singer songwriter Jason Isbell. Shires also founded the Highwomen, a supergroup featuring country stars Brandi Carlile, Maren Morris and Natalie Hemby.
10/09/22·38m 15s

Remembering War Correspondent Anne Garrels

NPR international correspondent Anne Garrels died Wednesday at 71. She was known for fearless reporting in conflict zones, empathy for the victims of war, and a host of prestigious awards. We'll hear about her experiences in Iraq in 2003, chronicled in her book, Naked in Baghdad.Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. Book critic Maureen reviews If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery.
09/09/22·43m 37s

YouTube's Chaotic Rise To World Domination

Like, Comment, Subscribe author Mark Bergen says YouTube has ushered in a world of abundant content and creativity, of influencers and hustlers, of information overload and endless culture wars. Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews The Funky Freqs' album Hymn of the Third Galaxy. And John Powers reviews the new sequel series American Gigolo.
08/09/22·44m 18s

Amanda Shires

Singer-songwriter and fiddle player Amanda Shires opens up about a rough time in her marriage and how she turned to songwriting to process her feelings. Her new solo album is Take it Like a Man. We talk about playing the songs for her husband, Jason Isbell, performing fiddle as a teen with the Texas Playboys, and founding the country supergroup The Highwomen. Shires plays some songs in-studio.
07/09/22·46m 2s

Tennis Legend John McEnroe

John McEnroe is remembered as one of the most talented — and hotheaded — tennis players of all time. Over the course of his career, he won 155 combined titles — more than any man in the game's modern era. We talk about wins, losses and notorious moments on the court. He's the subject of a new Showtime documentary called McENROE.
06/09/22·45m 4s

Pete Seeger / Bruce Springsteen

On this Labor Day, we feature Terry Gross's 1984 interview with folk singer Pete Seeger, who was famous for singing songs about workers, unions and social justice. And we'll hear her 2016 interview with Bruce Springsteen — recorded after the publication of his memoir Born to Run.
05/09/22·45m 50s

James Brown / Ellie Greenwich

We continue our series of great music interviews from our archive with "The Godfather of Soul," "the Hardest Working Man in Show Business," "Soul Brother #1" — James Brown. He spoke with Terry Gross in 2005.Also, we hear Terry's 1986 interview with songwriter Ellie Greenwich. She collaborated on teenage pop hits from the early '60s like "Be My Baby," "Leader of the Pack" and "Da Doo Ron Ron."And, Justin Chang reviews the new film Three Thousand Years of Longing by director George Miller who made the Mad Max films. It stars Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton.
03/09/22·48m 44s

Smokey Robinson / Isaac Hayes

Our week of archival music interviews continues with Smokey Robinson, one of the greatest soul singers ever, and one of the most important figures in the development of Motown Records. He spoke with Terry Gross in 2006. The movie Shaft helped launch the blaxploitation genre of the '70s. The academy award-winning theme was composed and performed by Isaac Hayes. In the '60s, Hayes helped shape the sound of Memphis soul music, as a songwriter, arranger, producer and singer for Stax records. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1994.Also, David Bianculli reviews the new Lord of the Rings prequel, The Rings of Power.
02/09/22·45m 53s

Rosanne Cash

We continue our weeklong series of great music interviews from the archive with singer and songwriter Rosanne Cash. When she was 18, her father, Johnny Cash, gave her a list of 100 essential country songs he thought she should know. After recording many great songs of her own, in 2009 she made an album in which she performed a dozen songs from that list. She spoke with Terry Gross about that record.
01/09/22·46m 28s

Jay-Z / Lizzo

We continue our weeklong series of favorite music interviews from our archives with Jay-Z and Lizzo. Jay-Z grew up in a housing project in Brooklyn, and sold drugs before hitting it big as a rapper. He talks about his life and career.Lizzo grew up thinking she would become a professional, classical flute player. She talks about she how pivoted to pop and hip hop, how Prince helped her, growing up in the church, and making body positivity a theme in her work.
31/08/22·46m 3s

Jazz Legend Charlie Haden

We're continuing our weeklong series of some of our favorite music interviews from our archive. We'll hear several interviews recorded with the late Charlie Haden, one of the greatest bass players in the history of jazz. Haden grew up singing in his family's country music radio shows but turned to the bass when polio damaged his vocal cords. He helped lead a musical revolution in the late 1950s and early '60s, performing in the Ornette Coleman Quartet. He formed his own jazz bands but also returned to traditional music when he recorded with his triplet daughters, wife and son.Also, David Bianculli reviews HBO's The Patient, starring Steve Carell.
30/08/22·46m 17s

Keith Richards / Brian May

We're kicking off a weeklong series of some of our favorite music interviews from our archive. We'll begin with Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, who was our guest in 2010. He'll tell us about cofounding the band, writing songs with Mick Jagger, and how things changed when the Stones became famous.Later, we'll hear our 2010 interview with Brian May, a founding member of Queen, and their lead guitarist. May wrote one of the band's most famous songs, "We Will Rock You." He'll tell the stories behind that song and Freddie Mercury's "Bohemian Rhapsody."
29/08/22·47m 2s

Best Of: Comic Mo Amer / Cold Case Investigator Paul Holes

Comedian Mo Amer is of Palestinian descent, but he grew up in Kuwait and Houston. So besides his native Arabic, he learned to speak Spanish, and the kind of English that sets Texans at ease. Amer stars in a new Netflix comedy about his life, called Mo.Also, veteran cold case investigator Paul Holes talks about pursuing serial killers, and the emotional toll of obsessing over gruesome crime scenes. He played a key role in tracking down the Golden State Killer. He has a new memoir called Unmasked: My Life Solving Cold Cases. John Powers reviews the documentary Three Minutes: A Lengthening, which shows a jewish neighborhood in Poland before it was erased by the Holocaust.
27/08/22·48m 36s

Colson Whitehead On 'Harlem Shuffle'

The Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist talks about Harlem, hooligans, race and class in the '60s. His novel Harlem Shuffle, now out in paperback, is about a furniture store owner in Harlem who's sideline is fencing stolen goods. Also Justin Chang reviews the new film Three Thousand Years of Longing by director George Miller, who made the Mad Max movies. It stars Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton.
26/08/22·44m 16s

How The Ultrawealthy Avoid Taxes

Journalist Jesse Eisinger says a trove of IRS data acquired by ProPublica shows that many of America's billionaires avoid paying any taxes — sometimes by claiming big deductions from posh hobbies.Also, John Powers reviews the German series Kleo on Netflix, which he says is reminiscent of Killing Eve.
25/08/22·44m 48s

The Growing Conflict Between China & The U.S.

China scholar Michael Beckley says China is engaged in the largest military buildup since World War II, and is being increasingly aggressive with its Asian neighbors and with the U.S. Beckley's book is Danger Zone.Ken Tucker reviews a reissue by Roger Miller.
24/08/22·45m 7s

Comedian Mo Amer

Amer stars in a new Netflix comedy about his life called Mo. His family is Palestinian, and fled the first Gulf War, so Amer grew up in Houston from age nine. "Palestinian culture is a folksy farmer kind of mentality and life," Amer says. "And when I came to Texas, one of the things that was really attractive to me was the country music, the folksy music, the storytelling tradition of that." Amer also has two Netflix comedy specials, and co-starred in the Hulu series Ramy. Also, Kevin Whitehead reviews the new album from jazz drummer Billy Drummond's quartet.
23/08/22·46m 6s

Former GOP Operative On Enabling Trump's Rise

Tim Miller is a former Republican communications operative who held moderate views and backed moderate candidates for years. But he says in practicing the dark arts of opposition research and planting negative stories about rival candidates, he worked with increasingly extreme right-wing media outlets and fed populist outrage that would radicalize much of the Republican voter base. Miller examines his past work, and considers why so many Republicans who thought Trump unfit for office nonetheless backed him, in a new book, called Why We Did It.
22/08/22·45m 16s

Best Of: What Happened To The GOP / Robin Thede

Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank examines how the GOP got to where it is today, with some elected leaders and candidates still endorsing the lie that Trump won. His book is The Destructionists.Film critic Justin Chang reviews Emily the Criminal starring Aubrey Plaza.Robin Thede's HBO series, A Black Lady Sketch Show, is the first sketch comedy show solely written, directed and starring Black women. She spoke with contributor Tonya Mosley.
20/08/22·48m 48s

Remembering Actor Anne Heche

We remember actor Anne Heche, who died Sunday at age 53. She starred in Donnie Brasco, Wag the Dog, Six Days, Seven Nights, and Walking and Talking. Early in her career, she made headlines when she had a relationship with Ellen Degeneres. She spoke with Terry Gross in 2000. Also, we listen back to our 2015 interview with actor Jonathan Banks, who co-starred as fixer and hitman Mike Ehrmantraut on Better Call Saul. Ken Tucker reviews the new album by Loudon Wainwright III about growing older, and John Powers reviews the new documentary Three Minutes: A Lengthening.
19/08/22·46m 49s

Arizona's Anti-Democracy Experiment

2020 election deniers won key races in the Arizona GOP primary. New York Times Magazine journalist Robert Draper says the swing state is a bellwether for the rest of the nation.
18/08/22·45m 12s

Harm Reduction & The Opioid Crisis

The CDC estimates over 1 million Americans have died of overdoses since Oxycontin went on the market in the mid '90s. Dopesick author Beth Macy and harm reduction specialist Michelle Mathis talk about grassroots and community efforts to address the opioid crisis. Macy's latest book is Raising Lazarus.TV critic David Bianculli reflects on the series finale of Better Call Saul.
17/08/22·45m 10s

Rep. Adam Schiff On Jan. 6, Mar-a-Lago Raid & Impeachment Hearings

Congressman Adam Schiff talks about the investigations of Donald Trump, and the significance of the top secret documents that the FBI seized from Mar-a-Lago last week. Schiff was the lead manager of the first impeachment and senate trial of President Trump, and now serves on the House Committee investigating January 6th and attempts to overturn the election. We'll also talk about what it's been like to work with colleagues who amplify falsehoods and conspiracy theories, and to be the constant target of threats. Schiff's memoir is Midnight in Washington.
16/08/22·44m 23s

Robin Thede On 'A Black Lady Sketch Show'

Thede's HBO series, A Black Lady Sketch Show, is the first sketch comedy show solely written, directed and starring Black women. "It is a nonstop job," she says of the various hats she wears. Thede spoke with guest interviewer Tonya Mosley. Also, Justin Chang reviews the noir thriller Emily the Criminal, starring Aubrey Plaza. And Lloyd Schwartz a reissue of Judy Garland films.
15/08/22·45m 51s

Best Of: Women In Afghanistan / How College Broke The American Dream

Over this past year, the Taliban have broken their promises to allow girls to continue their schooling and women to keep their jobs. Many girls and women are disappearing — arrested for violating the morality code, or abducted and forced to marry one of the Taliban. We talk with British/Iranian journalist Ramita Navai, who went undercover to speak to women who were victimized by the Taliban, and women working underground to help women escape brutality. Her new PBS Frontline documentary is called Afghanistan Undercover. Also, we talk with Will Bunch, author of After the Ivory Tower Falls, about how college tuition became so expensive, driving students and parents into debt. Justin Chang reviews the film Ali & Ava.
13/08/22·48m 8s

Remembering Motown Songwriter Lamont Dozier

Lamont Dozier was one third of the Motown songwriting team Holland Dozier Holland. He died Monday at the age of 81. Along with brothers Brian and Eddie Holland, he helped define the Motown sound, writing 10 Number One top hits for The Supremes, The Four Tops, Martha and the Vandellas, and Marvin Gaye — songs like "You Can't Hurry Love," "Baby Love," "Reach Out I'll Be There," "Can't Help Myself," "Heatwave," and "Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch." They spoke with Terry Gross in 2003.Justin Chang reviews The British romantic drama Ali & Ava.
12/08/22·44m 32s

The Secret History Of Family Separation At The Border

Atlantic journalist Caitlin Dickerson spent 18 months filing lawsuits for documents to put together the story of the Trump administration's policy of separating migrant families at the border.
11/08/22·45m 2s

Cold Case Investigator Paul Holes

Investigator Paul Holes spent his career cracking cold cases. His work led to the arrest of the so-called Golden State Killer in 2018. He spoke with us about the case the the impact the work has had on his mental health. His memoir is Unmasked.Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews Mohsin Hamid's latest novel, The Last White Man.
10/08/22·45m 30s

How This Political Era Of Partisan Warfare & Conspiracies Came To Be

Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank examines how the GOP got to where it is today, with some elected leaders and candidates still endorsing the lie that Trump won. His book is The Destructionists.
09/08/22·44m 27s

'Yellowjackets' Star Melanie Lynskey

Melanie Lynskey spoke with Fresh Air producer Ann Marie Baldonado about coming up as an actress in the '90s and 2000s, when she was typecast as the best friend. Now she's the lead in the Showtime series Yellowjackets. John Powers reviews the second season of Reservation Dogs.
08/08/22·45m 30s

Best Of: Soccer Star Briana Scurry / How The Opioid Industry Operated Like A Cartel

The first time women's soccer was included in the Olympics, in 1996, the U.S. team won the gold, and Briana Scurry was the team's goalie. She went on to win a second gold medal and a World Cup. Her soccer career was ended by a severe concussion, in a collision on the field. Unable to work, broke and in despair, she pawned her gold medals. She got them back–and got the surgery she needed– with the help of the woman who became her wife.Also, we'll talk with Washington Post reporter Scott Higham about how America's opioid industry resembled a drug cartel. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead will review a new album by the Tyshawn Sorey Trio.
06/08/22·48m 48s

Remembering Celtics Legend Bill Russell

Russell, who led the Boston Celtics to 11 NBA titles, died Sunday at the age of 88. He was also the first Black head coach in the NBA and a civil rights activist. He spoke with Terry Gross in 2001. Also, we remember a champion of traditional Irish music, Mick Moloney. He died last week at 77. He was a musician and a musicologist who revived forgotten Irish songs. His passion was finding connections between Irish, African and American roots music. And Ken Tucker reviews Beyoncé's RENAISSANCE.
05/08/22·45m 54s

Undercover Journalist Finds Afghan Women Are Being Abducted & Imprisoned By Taliban

Journalist Ramita Navai went undercover in Afghanistan to film her new PBS Frontline documentary and found that girls and women are being arrested for violating the morality code. Also many girls are abducted and forced to marry Talibs.
04/08/22·44m 44s

How College Broke The American Dream

Journalist Will Bunch says instead of opening the door to a better life, college leaves many students deep in debt and unable to find well-paying jobs. His new book is After the Ivory Tower Falls.Podcast critic Nick Quah reviews two podcasts about counterculture, Mother Country Radicals and I Was Never There.Also, we remember radio pioneer Larry Josephson.
04/08/22·46m 19s

How The Opioid Industry Operated Like A Cartel

It's estimated that more than 107,000 people in the United States died due to opioid overdoses in 2021. Washington Post journalist Scott Higham says it's "the equivalent of a 737 Boeing crashing and burning and killing everybody on board every single day." In the new book, American Cartel, Higham and co-author Sari Horwitz make the case that the pharmaceutical industry operated like a drug cartel, with manufacturers at the top; wholesalers in the middle; and pharmacies at the level of "street dealers."
02/08/22·44m 30s

Xenophobia & The Klan On The Texas Gulf Coast

Kirk Wallace Johnson tells the story of a bitter conflict that arose along the Gulf Coast of Texas when Vietnam War refugees began trawling for shrimp in the area. His book is The Fishermen and the Dragon.
01/08/22·44m 55s

Best Of: Farewell 'Better Call Saul' / Rethinking The Sex Talk

Better Call Saul, the prequel and spin-off to Breaking Bad, has only a few episodes left. We talk with the show's star, Bob Odenkirk, and showrunner/co-creator Peter Gould. While filming Better Call Saul, one scene was interrupted for the worst imaginable reason: Odenkirk had a heart attack that was nearly fatal. He'll tell us about returning to life–and to that scene.Cory Silverberg's new book, You Know, Sex, touches only briefly on reproduction. Instead, it centers on young people and the questions they might have about pleasure, power and identity.
30/07/22·49m 12s

Actor Oscar Isaac

The actor is Emmy nominated for his co-starring role in Scenes from a Marriage. We talk about his latest projects, grief and fatherhood, and his evangelical Christian upbringing. "We grew up with a very, very real sense of the impending doom of the apocalypse," he says. Also, John Powers reviews Darren Star's new bingeable show starring Neil Patrick Harris, Uncoupled.
29/07/22·45m 55s

How 'Stop The Steal' Is Threatening Future Elections

New York Times journalist Charles Homans says scores of groups at the state and local levels, with the help of right wing media figures and activists, are taking aim at the electoral system.Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews Tyshawn Sorey's album Mesmerism. Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin.
28/07/22·44m 57s

Soccer Champion Briana Scurry

After a traumatic brain injury left her in terrible pain and unable to work, the legendary goalkeeper had to pawn her Olympic gold medals. Scurry charts her pioneering soccer career and her road to recovery in My Greatest Save.
27/07/22·46m 32s

Rethinking The Sex Talk

Cory Silverberg's new book, You Know, Sex, touches only briefly on reproduction. Instead, it centers on young people and the questions they might have about pleasure, power and identity. Also, TV critic David Bianculli reflects on the Jan. 6 committee hearings as if they were a drama series.
26/07/22·47m 12s

Bob Odenkirk & Peter Gould On The End Of 'Better Call Saul'

A great chapter in the history of TV is about to end. Better Call Saul, the prequel and spin-off to Breaking Bad, has only 4 episodes left. We talk with the show's star, Bob Odenkirk. In Breaking Bad, he was the sleazy, fast-talking lawyer Saul Goodman, known for his slip-and-fall cases and frivolous lawsuits. Secretly, he represented drug lords. In the prequel, we learn Saul's origin story. We'll also talk with Peter Gould, the writer who created the character Saul on Breaking Bad, and went on to co-create Better Call Saul and become the showrunner. While filming Better Call Saul, one scene was interrupted for the worst imaginable reason: Odenkirk had a heart attack that was nearly fatal. He'll tell us about returning to life–and to that scene.
25/07/22·45m 31s

Best Of: 'A Strange Loop' Creator / 'Ms. Marvel' Creator

The Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical A Strange Loop is about a Black gay man working as an usher on Broadway. Michael R. Jackson talks about writing the book, music and lyrics and how his time working as an usher at The Lion King on Broadway inspired it.Maureen Corrigan reviews The Poet's House.Ms. Marvel is the first show or film in the Marvel universe to feature a Muslim hero. Creator and heat writer Bisha K. Ali drew on her own experiences growing up in England as the child of Pakistani parents.
23/07/22·49m 40s

Bill Hader & Henry Winkler On 'Barry'

The HBO dark comedy series Barry is about a Marine vet-turned-hit man who starts taking acting classes, but is conflicted between the desire to open up emotionally and the need to hide the truth. We hear from Bill Hader who stars as the hitman, and co-created, co-writes, and directs many episodes. And we hear from Henry Winkler, who co-stars as Barry's narcissistic acting coach. Both actors have won Emmys for their roles, and are nominated again this year. Film critic Justin Chang reviews Nope, the new sci-fi epic from director Jordan Peele.
22/07/22·46m 18s

Inside A Powerful MAGA Messaging Force

Journalist Maggie Severns explains how the Conservative Partnership Institute helped push the Republican party further to the right and became what she calls a "clubhouse" for insurrectionists.Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews Ethan Hawke's 6-part documentary series about Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, The Last Movie Stars.
21/07/22·45m 57s

Facial Reconstructive Surgery In WWI

An estimated 280,000 soldiers suffered facial trauma in WWI. Medical historian Lindsey Fitzharris tells the story of Harold Gillies, the surgeon who pioneered reconstructive surgery, trying to restore function and help the men return to society. Her book is The Facemaker.Also, John Powers reviews The Bear on FX/Hulu.
20/07/22·45m 55s

'Ms. Marvel' Creator Bisha K. Ali

Ms. Marvel is the first show or film in the Marvel universe to feature a Muslim hero. Creator and heat writer Bisha K. Ali drew on her own experiences growing up in England as the child of Pakistani-born parents. Maureen Corrigan shares some books that are good for getting through the chaos of summer air travel. Also, we remember artist Claes Oldenburg, known for his monumental sculptures of everyday objects. He died July 18 at 93.
19/07/22·46m 41s

'A Strange Loop' Creator Michael R. Jackson

The Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical is about a Black gay man working as an usher on Broadway. Michael R. Jackson talks about writing the book, music and lyrics and how his time working as an usher at The Lion King on Broadway inspired it.
18/07/22·45m 54s

Best Of: Finding 35 Siblings / Growing Up Undocumented

Chrysta Bilton's mother was a lesbian who asked a man she'd just met to be her sperm donor. It was only much later that Bilton learned the same man had donated sperm to countless other women. Bilton tells the story of connecting with her 35 siblings and her unusual childhood in her memoir Normal Family.Ken Tucker reviews Bartees Strange's new album, Farm to Table.Rafael Agustin's parents were physicians in Ecuador, but when they came to the U.S. they worked at a car wash and Kmart to get by. It wasn't until he was a teen that he learned they were undocumented. Agustin tells his story in his new memoir, Illegally Yours. He wrote for the TV series Jane the Virgin and is the CEO of the Latino Film Institute.
16/07/22·49m 0s

Geoff Muldaur Performs Songs From The '20s & '30s

The singer, composer and guitarist has had a lifelong passion for the jazz and blues of the '20s and '30s. In the '60s and '70s, he made a series of influential recordings with the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, Paul Butterfield's Better Days, and Maria Muldaur. His new double CD, titled His Last Letter, traces the musical influences of his life, and is arranged for, and performed with, Dutch chamber musicians. He spoke with Terry Gross in 2009. Justin Chang reviews the new thriller The Gray Man, starring Ryan Gosling.
15/07/22·46m 41s

'Normal Family' Author On Uncovering 35 Siblings

Chrysta Bilton's mother was a lesbian who asked a man she'd just met to be her sperm donor. It was only much later that Bilton learned the same man had donated sperm to countless other women. Bilton tells the story of uncovering her 35 siblings and her unusual childhood in her memoir Normal Family. TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new HBO reality series The Rehearsal, where participants practice real-life scenarios.
14/07/22·45m 36s

Hungarian Autocracy & The American Right

New Yorker journalist Andrew Marantz says Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's administration has rewritten Hungary's constitution to consolidate his power. U.S. conservatives are taking note.
13/07/22·46m 5s

TV Writer Rafael Agustin On Growing Up Undocumented

Rafael Agustin's parents were physicians in Ecuador, but when they came to the U.S. they worked at a car wash and Kmart to get by. It wasn't until he was a teen that he learned they were undocumented. Agustin tells his story in his new memoir, Illegally Yours. He wrote for the TV series Jane the Virgin and is the CEO of the Latino Film Institute. Also, Ken Tucker reviews the album Beatopia from the artist beabadoobee, out July 15.
12/07/22·46m 22s

The Violent Legacy Of The British Empire

The British Empire covered 24% of the Earth's land mass by 1920. Harvard historian Caroline Elkins says British rulers portrayed themselves as benevolent, but used systematic violence to maintain control. Her book is Legacy of Violence.Later, TV critic David Bianculli reviews Better Call Saul, whose final handful of episodes begin tonight and Kevin Whitehead reviews trombonist Jacob Garchik's latest album.
11/07/22·46m 50s

Best Of: A Pediatric Neurosurgeon's Stories From The O.R. / Island Records Founder

Dr. Jay Wellons regularly feels the exhilaration of saving a child from near certain death — and sometimes the anguish of failing to prevent it. He shares stories from the operating room, and talks about how the overturning of Roe v. Wade will impact pregnant women whose fetuses have neurological defects. His new memoir is All That Moves Us.Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews the science fiction movie Apples, set during a pandemic of sudden memory loss.Finally, Island Records founder Chris Blackwell grew up in Jamaica, and helped launch the careers of reggae stars like Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff, as well as rock bands like U2. His memoir is The Islander.
09/07/22·47m 45s

Denzel Washington & Megan Rapinoe

Washington and Rapinoe are among this year's recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Washington's films include "Malcolm X," "Philadelphia," "Glory," and "Training Day." Rapinoe is a soccer champion and LGBTQ activist. She fought for, and helped win, equal pay in women's soccer. Also, Justin Chang reviews the new French film Both Sides of the Blade, starring Juliette Binoche and directed by Claire Denis.
08/07/22·46m 18s

Unpacking The Supreme Court's Recent Decisions

The court's super majority of conservative judges has already passed down rulings about abortion and the 2nd Amendment. New York Times journalist Adam Liptak says more legal upheavals are likely. "[It's] a court that seems to be in an exceptional hurry," he says.
07/07/22·45m 50s

A Pediatric Neurosurgeon Shares Stories From The O.R.

Dr. Jay Wellons regularly feels the exhilaration of saving a child from near certain death — and sometimes the anguish of failing to prevent it. He's operated on various parts of the pediatric central nervous system, including performing spine surgery on an in-utero fetus to correct spina bifida. He says he has a big book of photos and mementos from his patients that he pulls out whenever he needs to be lifted up or grounded. "I will always pull that file out and just flip through it and just think, 'This is why we do what we do,'" he says. He also talks about how the overturning of Roe v. Wade will impact pregnant women whose fetuses have neurological defects. His new memoir is All That Moves Us.Also, rock critic Ken Tucker reviews the new album from Bartees Strange.
06/07/22·46m 35s

How The Mexican Revolution Shaped The U.S.

Historian Kelly Lytle Hernández tells the story of the rebels who fled Mexico to the United States, and helped incite the 1910 Mexican Revolution that overthrew dictator Porfirio Díaz. Hernández spoke with guest interviewer Tonya Mosley about her new book, Bad Mexicans. "People who were being disparaged at that time as 'bad Mexicans' in the United States were those who organized, those who protested against the conditions of what was then known as Juan Crow, a similar form of social marginalization as Jim Crow," Hernández says.Also, Maureen Corrigan recommends the new novel The Poet's House, which she describes as a wry and vivid story about class, competition, and the magic of art. And Lloyd Schwartz reviews early recordings by the late violinist Joseph Szigeti.
05/07/22·46m 31s

Al Green

Green's string of hits in the '70s include "Let's Stay Together" and "Love and Happiness." He later became an ordained minister, and bought a church in Memphis. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1991 and 2000.Also, Justin Chang reviews the Greek film Apples.
04/07/22·44m 53s

Best Of: Novelist Mat Johnson / Comic Joel Kim Booster

Mat Johnson's new satirical novel, Invisible Things, is set in the future, on a moon of Jupiter, in an artificial ecosystem designed to replicate life on Earth. We talk about writing satire in our current political climate, mass denialism in America, and being a caretaker of his late mother.Nick Quah reviews new podcasts that are directly inspired by reality TV's mechanics and style.Comic Joel Kim Booster speaks with guest interviewer Sam Sanders about his new film Fire Island (which he wrote and stars in). Inspired by Pride and Prejudice, it's a rom-com about a group of gay friends and explores racism and classism in their community.
02/07/22·48m 29s

The World Of Film Noir

Eddie Muller hosts the TCM series Noir Alley. An expanded edition of his book, Dark City, chronicles film noir from the '40s and '50s. We talk about the femme fatale, the sexiness of the genre, and why film noir flourished in the post-WWII era.Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the album Nuna by pianist David Virelles.
01/07/22·43m 49s

Investigating The Far-Right Militia Groups Of Jan. 6

New York Times journalist Alan Feuer says some members of Trump's inner circle have close ties to the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, whose leaders have been charged with seditious conspiracy.
30/06/22·44m 43s

Novelist Mat Johnson

Mat Johnson's new satirical novel, Invisible Things, is set in the future, on a moon of Jupiter, in an artificial ecosystem designed to replicate life on Earth. We talk about writing satire in our current political climate, mass denialism in America, and being a caretaker of his late mother.
29/06/22·55m 27s

Novelist John Vercher On MMA Fighting, Memory Loss & Identity

Writer John Vercher trained in mixed martial arts as a young man. His novel, After the Lights Go Out, centers on a veteran MMA fighter who is experiencing memory loss, severe mood swings and tinnitus. The book is also about the fighter's biracial identity. Also, Nick Quah reviews new podcasts that are directly inspired by reality TV's mechanics and style.
28/06/22·45m 50s

Joel Kim Booster On 'Fire Island'

Comic Joel Kim Booster speaks with guest interviewer Sam Sanders about his new film Fire Island (which he wrote and stars in). Inspired by Pride and Prejudice, it's a rom-com about a group of gay friends and explores racism and classism in their community. Booster also talks about his Netflix stand-up special Psychosexual and growing up Asian with white, evangelical Christian parents. Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews Lapvona by Ottessa Moshfegh.
27/06/22·46m 10s

Best Of: The Sensory World Of Animals / Mothering As Social Change

We explore the hidden world around us — the sights, smells, tastes, sounds, and vibrations that are imperceptible to humans, but are perceived by various animals and insects. We talk with science writer Ed Yong about his new book An Immense World.Justin Chang reviews two films from the Sundance Film festival — now streaming — about relationships between a younger man and an older woman, Cha Cha Real Smooth and Good Luck to You, Leo Grande.Also, we hear from Angela Garbes, author of the new book Essential Labor. She wrote it after having to give up work during the pandemic lockdown, when she no longer had daycare. She says, raising children shouldn't be as lonely, bankrupting and exhausting as it is.
25/06/22·47m 16s

A Former Flight Attendant Shares Stories From The Sky

T.J. Newman's book, Falling, is a thriller about a hijacking on a commercial flight. The pilot is told he must crash the plane or his family on the ground will be killed. We talk with Newman about her book and about her 10 years in the skies — from pet peeves to scary situations. Justin Chang reviews Elvis, the latest spectacle from Baz Luhrmann.
24/06/22·45m 48s

Where The Anti-Abortion Movement Is Heading

How did we get to the point where Roe v. Wade is likely to be overturned, just as we approach its 50 anniversary? We talk with law professor Mary Ziegler. She's written several books about the abortion wars. Her new one, Dollars for Life, is about how the anti-abortion movement helped push the courts to the right, and upended the GOP establishment.
23/06/22·43m 51s

The Sensory World Of Animals

There's a vast world around us that animals can perceive — but humans can't. Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer Ed Yong talks about some of the sights, smells, sounds and vibrations that other living creatures experience. His book is An Immense World.
22/06/22·44m 55s

Rethinking The 'Essential Labor' Of Raising Children

In her book, author Angela Garbes makes the case that the work of raising children has always been undervalued and undercompensated in the U.S. Then came the pandemic, and everything got harder. We talk about how parents​ in the U.S.​ are often isolated, and left without a social safety net, and we contrast that to how domestic labor is handled in the Philippines.
21/06/22·45m 26s

Banjo Player Rhiannon Giddens Sings Slave Narratives

Giddens' album Freedom Highway is an exploration of Black experiences, accompanied by an instrument with its own uniquely African American story: the banjo. Originally broadcast May 11, 2017.Ken Tucker reviews three new country songs.
20/06/22·46m 36s

Best Of: News Anchor Katy Tur / Linda Villarosa On Racism & Healthcare

Katy Tur's parents ran a helicopter news service in LA in the '80s and '90s. While she loved the rush of flight, her family dynamic was a volatile one. We talk about her unusual childhood and her early career in journalism. She's now an anchor for MSNBC and a correspondent for NBC News. Tur's memoir is Rough Draft.1619 Project journalist Linda Villarosa says bias in the healthcare system and the "weathering" affect of living in a racist society are taking a serious toll on Black people in America. Her new book is Under the Skin.
18/06/22·48m 46s

The History Of Juneteenth / Remembering Philip Baker Hall

Juneteenth, formerly Emancipation Day or Jubilee, celebrates the day slavery ended in Texas, June 19, 1865. Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Annette Gordon-Reed studies the early American republic and the legacy of slavery. "It was a very, very tense time — hope and at the same time, hostility," Gordon-Reed says. Her book is On Juneteenth.Also, we remember actor Philip Baker Hall, who died June 12. He appeared in the Paul Thomas Anderson films Boogie Nights and Magnolia. He also played a cop on the trail of overdue library books on Seinfeld. He spoke with Terry Gross in 2006. Justin Chang reviews two films streaming now: Good Luck to You, Leo Grande and Cha Cha Real Smooth.
17/06/22·44m 59s

How Phones Are Mining Data On Kids (And All Of Us)

Washington Post tech writer Geoffrey Fowler says that apps are collecting data on kids on a massive scale — despite a law that was designed to prevent that. Fowler explains the loophole in the law that apps are using, and ways that the system can and should be changed. We'll also talk about medical data collection, terms of service, and what "ask app not to track" really means.
16/06/22·44m 45s

Searching For The Source Of The Nile

Writer Candice Millard chronicles the arduous journey of two 19th century explorers through East Africa, where they battled heat, insects, and diseases that at times rendered one or the other deaf, blind or paralyzed. After discovering the sprawling lake that feeds the world's longest river, the two fell into a bitter public dispute over their discoveries. Too little credit went to the formerly-enslaved African who guided them and other explorers of the age. Millard's new book is River of the Gods: Genius, Courage and Betrayal in the Search for the Source of the Nile.David Bianculli reviews The Old Man, a new FX series starring Jeff Bridges.
15/06/22·45m 34s

The Hidden Toll Of Racism On Health

1619 Project journalist Linda Villarosa says bias in the healthcare system and the "weathering" affect of living in a racist society are taking a serious toll on Black people in America. Her new book is Under the Skin.Maureen Corrigan reviews Greenland, a debut novel by David Santos Donaldson.
14/06/22·45m 46s

MSNBC Anchor Katy Tur

Tur's parents ran a helicopter news service in LA in the '80s and '90s. While she loved the rush of flight, her family dynamic was a volatile one. We talk about her unusual childhood and her early career in journalism. Tur's memoir is Rough Draft.
13/06/22·46m 38s

Best Of: Comic Sam Jay / Coach Dawn Staley

On her HBO show, PAUSE with Sam Jay, SNL alum Sam Jay talks with with friends and fellow comics about topics like queer culture, relationships, and racism in America. She came out in her 20s and much of her comedy is about her relationship with her fiancé, and the life she had prior to coming out. Justin Chang will review the new David Cronenberg thriller, Crimes of the Future. Dawn Staley has won Olympic gold medals as a player and as a head coach. She played in the WNBA, and is now head coach of the South Carolina Gamecocks women's basketball team. In April, she led her team to its second NCAA championship.
11/06/22·48m 23s

Julie Andrews

Julie Andrews is this year's recipient of the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award. The star of Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music says because of those roles, many of her fans have a certain image of her. "They think I am this very squeaky clean, upper class lady that came from such a family — and it's so far from the truth." She'll tell us about growing up part of a vaudeville family, surviving the blitz during WWII, and we'll hear about why she's no longer physically capable of singing.Also David Bianculli reviews Evil, the latest series by the creators of The Good Wife and The Good Fight on Paramount +.
10/06/22·46m 54s

The Jan. 6 Insurrection: Understanding The Big Picture

New York Times Congressional reporter Luke Broadwater says the effort to overturn the 2020 election results was a "sprawling and diffuse" one that involved local governments as well as White House insiders. We'll talk about the investigations by the House Select Committee and the Justice Department, and connect some of the events leading up to the attack.
09/06/22·45m 34s

Island Records Founder Chris Blackwell

Blackwell grew up in Jamaica, and, as the head of Island Records, helped launch the careers of reggae stars like Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff, as well as rock bands like U2. His memoir is The Islander. Maureen Corrigan reviews The Facemaker, a nonfiction book by medical historian Lindsey Fitzharris about the plastic surgeon who reconstructed disfigured soldiers in WWI.
08/06/22·45m 18s

Comic Sam Jay

On her HBO show, PAUSE with Sam Jay, the SNL alum talks with with friends and fellow comics about topics like queer culture, relationships, and racism in America. Sam Jay came out in her 20s and much of her comedy is about her relationship with her fiancé, and the life she had prior to coming out. We talk about the show, writing "Black Jeopardy" sketches for SNL, and losing her mother when she was a teen.John Powers reviews a new collection of work by the writer Maxine Hong Kingston.
07/06/22·45m 49s

Basketball Star Dawn Staley

Dawn Staley has won Olympic gold medals as a player and as a head coach. She played in the WNBA, and is now head coach of the South Carolina Gamecocks women's basketball team. In April, she led her team to its second NCAA championship. We'll talk about how she's seen women's basketball change and grow, and about how she got her start playing basketball with the boys in the projects of North Philly.Later, we'll hear from journalist Neda Toloui-Samnani, author of They Said They Wanted a Revolution: A Memoir of My Parents.And TV critic David Bianculli will review the new HBO series Irma Vep.
06/06/22·46m 52s

Best Of: David Sedaris / Political Discord In The White Evangelical Church

Humorist David Sedaris talks about his new collection of personal essays, called Happy-Go-Lucky. This book has some pretty serious writing about his late father, who died a year ago at the age of 98. Throughout Sedaris' life, his father bullied him, and belittled him and his accomplishments. "My father was not a good person, but he was a great character," he says.Ken Tucker reviews Kendrick Lamar's new album Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers. Also, we'll speak with New York Times religion correspondent Ruth Graham about how the issues dividing the Republican party are creating tensions within white evangelical churches across the country. Graham says many pastors are being pressured to resist vaccines and mask mandates, embrace Trump's claims about election fraud and adopt QAnon-based conspiracy theories.
04/06/22·47m 54s

Remembering Ray Liotta

Actor Ray Liotta died last week at 67. We'll listen back to Terry's 2016 interview with him. He got his start playing a nice guy on a soap opera. Then came his tough-guy role in Something Wild – and his starring role in Goodfellas. He also played Shoeless Joe Jackson in the film Field of Dreams. Justin Chang reviews the new David Cronenberg thriller Crimes of the Future.
03/06/22·45m 31s

Uncovering Abuse In The Southern Baptist Convention

A new report commissioned by the Southern Baptist Convention found that "survivors and others who reported abuse were ignored, disbelieved, or discredited." Even some convicted molesters continued as ministers, without the SBC informing their congregations. The report's bombshell is that the SBC had compiled its own secret list of alleged abusers – and still took no action. This report was commissioned in response to a series of newspaper articles investigating sexual abuse in the Southern Baptist Church. Published in 2019, the series was a team effort by reporters from the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News. We'll talk with one of the lead reporters, Robert Downen.John Powers will review the new British medical series This is Going to Hurt.
02/06/22·45m 12s

Did Jack Welch Break Capitalism?

The legendary GE CEO wowed investors and mingled with celebrities. But New York Times correspondent David Gelles says Welch's aggressive tactics also caused irreparable harm to American industry. His book is The Man Who Broke Capitalism. David Bianculli reviews a Netflix comedy special by the late Norm Macdonald.
01/06/22·46m 29s

David Sedaris Returns

"My father was not a good person, but he was a great character," Sedaris says. The humorist writes about his efforts to make peace with his memories of his late father in Happy-Go-Lucky.Also, Ken Tucker reviews Kendrick Lamar's new album, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers.
31/05/22·46m 5s

Country Star Tim McGraw

Country music singers McGraw and Faith Hill star in the Paramount+ series 1883. The show tells the story of a group of Eastern European immigrants trying to make their way in covered wagons from Texas to Oregon. Before they filmed, they attended "cowboy camp," to learn the basics of riding horses and driving wagons. Dave Davies spoke with McGraw about the series, falling in love with Faith Hill, and learning about his birth father, MLB pitcher Tug McGraw.
30/05/22·45m 13s

Best Of: Comic Sarah Silverman / Poet Diana Goetsch

As a kid, Sarah Silverman says, the fact that she wet the bed was her "deepest, darkest shame." Decades later, she wrote about the humiliation in her 2010 memoir The Bedwetter — now adapted into a musical. The comic talks with Terry Gross about the songs, cringing at some of her old jokes, and satirizing the Left in I Love You, America.Book critic Maureen Corrigan shares four books for early summer reading. Diana Goetsch grew up in a time when she didn't have the language to help her understand what it meant to be trans. The poet chronicles her later-in-life transition in the memoir This Body I Wore.
28/05/22·48m 36s

Angela Lansbury

In June, Lansbury will receive the Tony Award for lifetime achievement. The Murder, She Wrote star previously won Tonys for her performances in Gypsy and Sweeney Todd. She spoke with Terry Gross in 2000.Also, David Bianculli reviews the PBS Great Performances documentary about Stephen Sondheim's Company.
27/05/22·46m 23s

How A Disinformation & Harassment Expert Became A Target

Nina Jankowicz was tapped to head the Biden administration's new Disinformation Governance Board but resigned after being deluged with online threats. Her new book is How to Be a Woman Online.
26/05/22·43m 53s

Diana Goetsch's Long Journey To Living As A Woman

Diana Goetsch grew up in a time when she didn't have the language to help her understand what it meant to be trans. The poet chronicles her later-in-life transition in the memoir This Body I Wore. "I felt that the universe owed me 50 years as a female living this way," she explains. "That's crazy, but it's this sense that I wanted more life."
25/05/22·45m 41s

Comic Sarah Silverman

As a kid, Silverman says, the fact that she wet the bed was her "deepest, darkest shame." Decades later, she wrote about the humiliation in her 2010 memoir The Bedwetter — now adapted into a musical. The comic talks with Terry Gross about the songs, cringing at some of her old jokes, and satirizing the Left in I Love You, America.
24/05/22·44m 7s

Novelist Emma Straub

Straub's new novel, This Time Tomorrow, is a time-travel fantasy about a 40-year-old woman who's tending to her ailing father — until, that is, the day she's transported to her childhood home on her 16th birthday. Straub owns the independent bookstore Books Are Magic in Brooklyn. She spoke with contributor Tonya Mosley about pre-grieving, rejection, and what she'd tell her 16-year-old self. Also, Justin Chang reviews Top Gun: Maverick.
23/05/22·46m 14s

Best Of: George Floyd's Life / The Queer History Of A Women's Prison

We remember George Floyd as we approach the second anniversary of his murder. We'll speak with Washington Post reporters Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa. They argue that George Floyd's struggles in life reflect the challenges and pressures of institutional racism in the country. Their new book is His Name is George Floyd.Also, we'll hear about the Women's House of Detention, the forgotten women's prison in Greenwich Village that played a role in the gay rights movement of the '60s, including the Stonewall Uprising. Angela Davis and Afeni Shakur, Tupac's mother, were incarcerated there. We'll talk with Hugh Ryan, whose new book is about what this prison tells us about queer history.David Bianculli will review the new HBO documentary George Carlin's American Dream.
21/05/22·48m 1s

George Carlin

Carlin was one of the most famous comics to emerge from the '60s counterculture. After it was broadcast on radio, his comic monologue Seven Dirty Words You Can't Say on Television became the focus of an obscenity case that made it all the way to the Supreme Court. Carlin is the subject of a new two-part HBO documentary by Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio. Carlin spoke with Terry Gross in 1990 and 2004. Our TV critic, David Bianculli also reviews the documentary. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the reissue of Max Roach's classic 1960 album We Insist! Freedom Now Suite. Last month, it was named to the National Recording Registry.
20/05/22·46m 14s

Political Discord In The White Evangelical Church

New York Times journalist Ruth Graham says many pastors are being pressured to resist vaccines and mask mandates, embrace Trump's claims about election fraud and adopt QANON-based conspiracy theories.Maureen Corrigan shares four terrific novels perfect for your early summer reading: This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub, Search by Michelle Huneven, One-Shot Harry by Gary Phillips, and Knock Off the Hat by Richard Stevenson.
19/05/22·44m 54s

How Systemic Racism Shaped George Floyd's Life

As we approach the second anniversary of the murder of George Floyd, two journalists report on the life of the man whose death sparked a massive protest movement and a national conversation about race. Washington Post reporters Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa drew on hundreds of interviews and countless public and private records to reconstruct the course of Floyd's often-troubled life. A gentle man who sometimes worried that his size intimidated people, George Floyd grew up in poverty, and had big aspirations. But the authors argue his opportunities were limited time and again by the effects of systemic racism. Their new book is His Name Is George Floyd: One Man's Life, and the Struggle for Racial Justice.
18/05/22·45m 19s

Frank Bruni On Vision Lost & Found

After experiencing a rare kind of stroke, NYT writer Frank Bruni suddenly became blind in his right eye. Doctors told him there was a decent chance the same could happen to his other eye. It forced him to make a decision: He could focus on what had been lost or on what remained. He chose the latter. Bruni's new memoir is The Beauty of Dusk.
17/05/22·45m 29s

The Queer History Of The Women's House Of Detention

In New York City, in the 20th century, tens of thousands of women and transmasculine people were incarcerated at the so-called "House of D." Author Hugh Ryan says that in many cases, the prisoners were charged with crimes related to gender non-conforming behavior. "Drunkenness, waywardism, disobedience to their parents, being out at night by themselves, wearing pants, accepting a date from a man, accepting a ride from a man," Ryan says. "All of these things could have gotten you arrested if you were perceived as the 'wrong kind of woman.'" In his new book, The Women's House of Detention, Ryan writes about the prison, and about the role it played in the gay rights movement of the '60s, including the Stonewall Uprising of 1969.
16/05/22·45m 22s

Best Of: Rosie Perez / Stephen Merchant

Rosie Perez was a dancer on Soul Train, the choreographer for "the Fly Girls," the dancers on the sketch comedy show In Living Color, and she did the now-famous dance in the opening credit sequence of Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing. She's now co-starring in the HBO max series The Flight Attendant. We'll talk about her career and how she managed to become so successful after having been raised as a ward of the state in St. Joseph's Catholic Home for Children in New York, and later in foster care.Maureen Corrigan reviews Hernan Diaz's new novel, Trust. Also, we speak with comedian, writer, director and actor Stephen Merchant. With Ricky Gervais, he co-created the British comedy The Office. He has a new comedy thriller series called The Outlaws.
14/05/22·48m 32s

Met Opera Star Anthony Roth Costanzo

A decade ago, Costanzo had surgery that threatened to destroy his singing voice. Now he stars as a gender-fluid Egyptian pharaoh in the Met Opera's production of Philip Glass' Akhnaten. He's a countertenor, meaning he sings in a high range that's associated with women's voices. He knows all about the history of countertenors and their predecessors, castrati.Justin Chang reviews the new film Memoria, starring Tilda Swinton, which he calls a "sonic detective story."
13/05/22·46m 23s

How Tucker Carlson Conquered Cable

The New York Times did an exhaustive survey of the Fox News hosts' broadcasts. Reporter Nicholas Confessore says Carlson's show is based on ideas that were once "caged in a dark corner of American life." Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews Trust by Hernan Diaz.
12/05/22·45m 48s

Former Attorney General Eric Holder

Holder was America's first Black attorney general when he served in the Obama administration. He has a new book called Our Unfinished March: The Violent Past and Imperiled Future of the Vote.
11/05/22·46m 15s

British Comedy Writer & Actor Stephen Merchant

Merchant co-created the British Office and Extras with Ricky Gervais. His new show, The Outlaws, is about people court-ordered to do community service for low-level crimes. He spoke with producer Sam Briger about what inspired the new series, his best writing advice, and how being very tall (6'7") has informed his personality. Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a new album from The Clarinet Trio.
10/05/22·45m 18s

Rosie Perez

Raised in a convent for abandoned kids, The Flight Attendant co-star used to dream of stability and a loving home. Now that she has it, Perez says, "It's priceless." We talk with Perez about overcoming the trauma of her childhood, how a fight with Spike Lee helped land her breakthrough role in Do the Right Thing, and her brief — but impactful — time dancing on Soul Train.
09/05/22·46m 6s

Best Of: Alexander Skarsgård / Comedy Writer Jessi Klein

Swedish actor Alexander Skarsgård describes himself as "quite a mellow guy." Playing a Viking warrior in the film The Northman gave Skarsgård a chance to tap into his animalistic nature. We talk about being a child actor in Sweden, growing up in a bohemian family, and his roles in Big Little Lies and Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi" music video.Ken Tucker reviews Bonnie Raitt's new album, Just Like That... Jessi Klein was the head writer of Inside Amy Schumer and is one of the lead voices in the animated Netflix series Big Mouth. She has a new book of essays about motherhood called I'll Show Myself Out. Klein talks about how having a baby made her feel like a stranger in her own body and life. "There's just no way to comprehend how completely your old identity vanishes," Klein says.
07/05/22·48m 44s

'Better Things' Star Pamela Adlon

Adlon is the co-creator, director and star of the FX comedy series Better Things, which ended its fifth and final season last month. The Peabody award-winning series has been heralded as a "masterpiece of unreal realism." Her character, like Adlon herself, is the single mother of three girls, who is also helping her aging mother, and trying to keep her acting career alive. Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and Justin Chang reviews the French film Happening.
06/05/22·45m 25s

How The UK Became A Safe-Deposit Box For Russian Oligarchs

We talk with journalist Oliver Bullough about how Russian oligarchs have stashed their wealth and laundered their money in Britain, and how that's helped Putin – and the Russian state – launch its war in Ukraine. There's so much oligarch money in London, it's been nicknamed "Londongrad." Bullough says the UK has developed a system of bankers, lawyers, accountants and PR managers who work to help Russian kleptocrats hide their wealth.
05/05/22·44m 29s

Alexander Skarsgård

The Swedish actor describes himself as "quite a mellow guy." Playing a Viking warrior in the film The Northman gave Skarsgård a chance to tap into his animalistic nature. We talk about being a child actor in Sweden, growing up in a bohemian family, and his roles in Big Little Lies, Succession, and Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi" music video. Also, John Powers reviews HBO Max's new drama series The Staircase, inspired by the true crime story and documentary series about the 2001 suspicious death of Kathleen Peterson.
04/05/22·45m 14s

How GOP Leaders (Briefly) Turned Against Trump After Jan. 6

In their book, This Will Not Pass, NYT journalists Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns reveal that GOP leaders, including Rep. Kevin McCarthy and Sen. Mitch McConnell privately discussed removing Trump from office.
03/05/22·45m 41s

Stopping Mass Shootings Before They Happen

Mother Jones national affairs editor Mark Follman has studied mass shootings in America for much of the past decade. He says a growing number of mental health experts, educators and law enforcement leaders are engaged in the emerging field of behavioral threat assessment. They study the psychology and behavior of past mass shooters, interviewing many in prison. They then train local personnel to look for those patterns at schools or workplaces, and intervene to get troubled people help before they turn to violence. The approach raises privacy questions, but its advocates believe it's already been effective in preventing tragedies. Follman's new book is Trigger Points: Inside the Mission to Stop Mass Shootings in America.Ken Tucker reviews Bonnie Raitt's new album, Just Like That...
02/05/22·45m 20s

Best Of: Tim McGraw / Zain Asher

Country music singers McGraw and Faith Hill star in the Paramount+ series 1883. The show tells the story of a group of Eastern European immigrants trying to make their way in covered wagons from Texas to Oregon. We talk with McGraw about the series and learning about his birth father, MLB pitcher Tug McGraw.When CNN international anchor Zain Asher was 5, her father died in a car accident in Nigeria. Asher's new memoir, Where the Children Take Us, is largely about her mother's remarkable life – surviving poverty, genocide and civil war in Nigeria, then raising four children in a struggling neighborhood in London, and giving them the skills, resilience and determination to be successful in life.
30/04/22·48m 17s

The Wonder of the Human Voice

We talk with 'New Yorker' writer John Colapinto, author of This Is the Voice, about how voices work, how they evolved in our prehistoric ancestors, how babies learn to vocalize words of their parents' languages so quickly, and what makes voices sexy or authoritative. Colapinto's own vocal injury led him to explore this subject.Film critic Justin Chang reviews Petite Maman, a new film by Portrait of a Lady on Fire director Céline Sciamma.
29/04/22·46m 5s

Moral Panic in the Classroom

Florida officials recently rejected a slew of math textbooks, claiming they included "prohibited topics." NYT journalist Dana Goldstein theorizes the objections related to social-emotional learning. The goal of social-emotional learning is to provide kids with a set of skills that they can draw on when they face challenges later in life, Goldstein explains. But some conservatives see it as something that opens the door to larger discussions about race, gender and sexuality.
28/04/22·46m 25s

Comedy Writer Jessi Klein On Motherhood

Klein was the head writer of Inside Amy Schumer and is one of the lead voices in the animated Netflix series Big Mouth. She has a new book of essays about motherhood called I'll Show Myself Out. Klein talks about how having a baby made her feel like a stranger in her own body and life. "There's just no way to comprehend how completely your old identity vanishes," Klein says. TV critic David Bianculli reviews two new shows: Gaslit, about Watergate, and The Offer, about the making of The Godfather.
27/04/22·46m 24s

CNN Anchor Zain Asher

When Asher was five, living with her family in London, her mother got a call informing her that her husband and son, who were on a road trip in Nigeria, their ancestral home, had been in a terrible accident. She was told her husband or her son had survived, but the caller didn't know which. That story opens Asher's new memoir, Where the Children Take Us, which is largely about her mother's remarkable life – surviving poverty, genocide and civil war in Nigeria, then raising four children in a struggling neighborhood in London, and giving them the skills, resilience and determination to be successful in life. Asher made it in TV news. Her brother, Chiwetel Ejiofor, is an award-winning actor.Maureen Corrigan reviews Tasha, novelist Brian Morris's memoir about his smart, difficult and funny mother.
26/04/22·45m 50s

Michelle Yeoh

When Yeoh first read the script for Everything Everywhere All at Once, she gave a big sigh of relief: Finally, here was a film that put a middle-aged mother in the role of action hero. She spoke with Tonya Mosley about her path from dancer to martial artist to leading lady, as well as joining the boys' club of stunt work. Also, Justin Chang reviews The Northman.
25/04/22·45m 36s

Best Of: Comic Jerrod Carmichael / Musician Richard Thompson

Comic, actor and writer Jerrod Carmichael goes deeper into the secrets he reveals in his new HBO comedy special, Rothaniel — secrets about his real name, his family tree, and his sexual orientation. Carmichael's new special is directed by Bo Burnham. A previous one was directed by Spike Lee.Also, songwriter, singer and guitarist Richard Thompson, talks about his formative years. He co-founded the band Fairport Convention, which created a new genre – a hybrid of traditional music of the British isles and rock. His memoir, Beeswing, is out in paperback.
23/04/22·48m 27s

Pianist Jeremy Denk

Acclaimed classical pianist Jeremy Denk's new memoir begins with his first piano lessons and ends with his last formal lesson when he was 26. He'll talk about the obsessive practicing and repetition that's essential to reach his level of proficiency, and what he's learned about technique and conveying emotion. We'll also hear music from his new album.John Powers reviews the new CNN documentary Navalny, about the Russian dissident who survived a murder attempt and is now in prison. And jazz critic Kevin Whitehead pays tribute to bassist Charles Mingus on the 100th anniversary of his birth.
22/04/22·45m 11s

Inside The Murdoch Media Empire

The new CNN+ docuseries The Murdochs looks inside the Fox media empire and the family's behind-the-scenes in-fighting. Journalist Jim Rutenberg says the real-life drama rivals HBO's Succession. "I ... have always suspected that the Succession writers have some mole in the family because it's just too many things they seem to know," Rutenberg says. "It's just got all the drama you want in television, but democracy hinges on its future."
21/04/22·44m 43s

Fairport Convention Band Co-Founder Richard Thompson

The British singer, songwriter and guitarist talks about his formative years, and about pioneering a new musical genre that blended rock with traditional music of the British isles. Thompson's new memoir is Beeswing.
20/04/22·45m 58s

Tim McGraw

Country music singers McGraw and Faith Hill are starring in the Paramount+ series 1883. The show tells the story of a group of Eastern European immigrants trying to make their way in covered wagons from Texas to Oregon. Before they filmed, they attended "cowboy camp," to learn the basics of riding horses and driving wagons. We talk with McGraw about the series, falling in love with Faith Hill, and learning about his birth father, MLB pitcher Tug McGraw.
19/04/22·44m 30s

Comic Jerrod Carmichael Reveals His Secrets

In his new HBO comedy special, Rothaniel, Carmichael opens up about his real name, his family tree, and his sexual orientation. We'll go deeper into these issues — and talk about how being honest about them changed his comedy and his life. "The more honest I am, the freer I am," he says.
18/04/22·44m 44s

Best Of: Molly Shannon / Delia Ephron

In addition to SNL, Molly Shannon has co-starred in the comedy series The Other Two and The White Lotus, and will soon appear in the Showtime comedy series I Love That for You. We talk with Shannon about the tragic event of her childhood that changed her life, and how she found comedy. Her memoir is Hello, Molly! Ken Tucker reviews a debut album from Wet Leg. Delia Ephron, who co-wrote the '90s film You've Got Mail with her sister Nora, found herself in the plotline of a romantic comedy. In her new memoir Left on Tenth: A Second Chance at Life, Delia Ephron writes about finding new love at age 72, in the face of grief and cancer.
16/04/22·48m 4s

Remembering Jazz Pianist & Composer Jessica Williams

Williams was a dazzling player and a favorite at Fresh Air. She died March 10 at 73. We'll listen back to her 1997 performance and interview.
15/04/22·46m 46s

Trump, The GOP Kingmaker / Remembering Gilbert Gottfried

NYT correspondent Shane Goldmacher says Trump doles out endorsements to Republican candidates to elevate allies, punish enemies, and make the "Big Lie" that the 2020 election was stolen into a party litmus test. Also, we remember comic Gilbert Gottfried who died this week. Known for his unusual voice and cranky stage persona, he was a perfect fit to play the evil parrot Iago in Disney's Aladdin. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1992.
14/04/22·44m 55s

Writer Delia Ephron's Real-Life Rom-Com

Delia Ephron, who co-wrote the '90s film You've Got Mail with her sister Nora, found herself in the plotline of a romantic comedy. In her new memoir Left on Tenth: A Second Chance at Life, Delia Ephron writes about finding new love at age 72, in the face of grief and cancer. Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews The First Lady on Showtime.
13/04/22·45m 45s

The Pandemic Profiteers

ProPublica reporter David McSwane tells the story of people and businesses that profited from the COVID-19 pandemic. He found the government awarded lucrative contracts to many people with a history of fraudulent business practices documented in public records, if anyone had bothered to check. His new book is Pandemic, Inc.
12/04/22·45m 50s

Actor & Comedian Molly Shannon

When Molly Shannon started finding success on Saturday Night Live, she remembers feeling depressed. "I realized that really the only person I wanted to say, 'Oh my gosh, I'm so, so proud of you, Molly' was my mom," she says. But Shannon's mother, along with her younger sister and a cousin, had died decades earlier in a car crash. Shannon's new memoir Hello, Molly! recounts the tragic as well as the wonderful turning points in her life. In addition to SNL, Shannon has co-starred in the comedy series The Other Two and The White Lotus, and will soon appear in the Showtime comedy series I Love That for You.
11/04/22·46m 27s

Best Of: Groundbreaking Conductor Marin Alsop / Poet Ocean Vuong

In 2007, Alsop became the first woman to lead a major American orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony. But on the way to great success, she faced plenty of rejection. "Girls can't do that," Alsop recalls her violin teacher told her at age nine, of becoming a conductor. "I'd never heard a phrase like that," Alsop says. "You know, it never occurred to me that there was something that girls couldn't do." Alsop was mentored by Leonard Bernstein, and has conducted major orchestras around the world. Also, John Powers reviews the new HBO Max crime thriller Tokyo Vice. Finally, Vuong is author of the acclaimed novel On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous. His novel was published in 2019, the same year he won a MacArthur "genius" grant. It was also the same year his mother died. "Ever since I lost her, I've felt that my life has been lived in only two days," Vuong tells Tonya Mosley. "There's the today where she is not here, and then the vast and endless yesterday where she was." Vuong has a new poetry collection called Time Is a Mother, which he describes as "a search for life in the aftershocks of death."
09/04/22·48m 20s

Acclaimed Novelist Kazuo Ishiguro

The Nobel Prize-winning novelist's latest book, Klara and the Sun, is set in the future and has an artificially intelligent narrator. "I wanted some of that childlike freshness and openness and naivety to survive all the way through the text in her," he says. We talk about his writing process, hitchhiking in the '60s, and his family history in Nagasaki.Also, David Bianculli reviews 61st Street, a new AMC series about crime, the police, and the courts.
08/04/22·45m 51s

The Abortion Underground

Activists are mobilizing in preparation for the weakening or end of Roe v. Wade. That's the subject of Jessica Bruder's new cover story for The Atlantic. "There are lots of people who want to keep abortion accessible for everybody who might want access to abortion, regardless of what the Supreme Court does," she says. Bruder is also author of the book Nomadland, which was adapted into an Oscar-winning film. Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews Sea of Tranquility the new novel by Emily St. John Mandel.
07/04/22·45m 9s

Actor Adam Scott On 'Severance'

Scott is known for TV comedies like Parks and Recreation and Party Down, the drama series Big Little Lies, and the film Step Brothers. Now Scott stars in the Apple TV+ series Severance, which gives a sci-fi take on work-life balance. He plays a man who's chosen to have a chip implanted in his brain to separate his work life from his home life. "I now have no real separation, nor have I ever," he says of his own work as an actor.Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a reissue of Ornette Coleman's first two albums. And John Powers reviews the new HBO Max crime thriller Tokyo Vice.
06/04/22·45m 10s

Poet & Author Ocean Vuong

Vuong is author of the acclaimed novel On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous. It was published in 2019, the same year he won a MacArthur "genius" grant. It was also the same year his mother died. "Ever since I lost her, I've felt that my life has been lived in only two days," Vuong tells Tonya Mosley. "There's the today where she is not here, and then the vast and endless yesterday where she was." Vuong has a new poetry collection called Time Is a Mother, which he describes as "a search for life in the aftershocks of death."Also, Ken Tucker reviews the new album by Wet Leg, who he describes as indie-rock's newest obsession.
05/04/22·45m 38s

Groundbreaking Conductor Marin Alsop

In 2007, Alsop became the first woman to lead a major American orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony. But on the way to great success, she faced plenty of rejection. "Girls can't do that," Alsop recalls her violin teacher telling her at age nine, of becoming a conductor. "I'd never heard a phrase like that," Alsop says. "You know, it never occurred to me that there was something that girls couldn't do." Alsop was mentored by Leonard Bernstein, and has conducted major orchestras around the world.
04/04/22·45m 36s

Best Of: Sam Waterston / A Civil Rights Leader Who Investigated Lynchings

Waterston joined the cast of Law & Order in 1994 on a one-year contract. He wound up staying 16 years, until the series wrapped in 2010. Now the show's back — and so is he. We talk about working into his 80s, Grace and Frankie, and how the 1984 film The Killing Fields changed his life and career.Also, David Bianculli reviews Julia, a new HBO series about Julia Child.And White Lies author A.J. Baime tells the story of Walter White, a light-skinned Black man whose ancestors had been enslaved. For years White risked his life investigating racial violence in the South.
02/04/22·47m 30s

The Extraordinary Lives Of Migratory Birds

Author Scott Weidensaul talks about the millions of birds flying unseen over our heads in the night sky, how the bar-tailed godwit can fly more than a week over water without stopping, and how new tracking technology may help with strategies to keep them alive. His book is A World on the Wing.Also, Justin Chang reviews Nitram, the new film about events leading up to a mass shooting in Australia.
01/04/22·45m 42s

How Ukraine Is Fighting On The Digital Battlefield

Time's Vera Bergengruen says Ukraine's citizen IT force, led by a 31-year-old minister of digital transformation, is blunting Russian disinformation and galvanizing international support. The Ukrainian government has enlisted as many as 300,000 citizens to volunteer for the so-called IT army. "There are people who worked at tech companies, who had startups, who are cybersecurity experts, and many of them are just ordinary citizens who raised their hands," Bergengruen says. Also, John Powers reviews Slow Horses, the new six-part spy thriller series on Apple TV+, starring Gary Oldman.
31/03/22·45m 8s

How A Civil Rights Leader Risked His Life to Investigate Lynchings

White Lies author A.J. Baime tells the story of Walter White, a light-skinned Black man whose ancestors had been enslaved. For years White risked his life investigating racial violence in the South.
30/03/22·44m 43s

The History Of Surgery

Medical historian and surgeon Ira Rutkow points to physical evidence that suggests Stone Age people conducted — and survived — brain surgery. We talk about the evolution of surgery from ancient societies to robotic surgery today. His new book is Empire of the Scalpel.Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart.
29/03/22·45m 6s

Sam Waterston On Returning To 'Law & Order'

Waterston joined the cast of the original NBC series in 1994 on a one-year contract. He wound up staying 16 years, until the series wrapped in 2010. Now the show's back — and so is he. We talk about working into his 80s, Grace and Frankie, and how the 1984 film The Killing Fields changed his life and career. Also, David Bianculli reviews Julia, a new HBO series about Julia Child.
28/03/22·45m 6s

Best Of: Pianist Jeremy Denk / Columnist Frank Bruni

MacArthur "genius" grant winner Jeremy Denk talks about what he learned from his piano teachers, his pivotal artistic moments and his failures and frustrations. Denk's new memoir is Every Good Boy Does Fine.John Powers reviews Life & Beth on Hulu, created by and starring Amy Schumer. After experiencing a rare kind of stroke, NYT writer Frank Bruni suddenly became blind in his right eye. Doctors told him there was a decent chance the same could happen to his other eye. It forced him to make a decision: He could focus on what had been lost or on what remained. He chose the latter. Bruni's new memoir isThe Beauty of Dusk.
26/03/22·48m 5s

Remembering Secretary Of State Madeleine Albright

Appointed by President Clinton in 1997, Albright advocated for the expansion of NATO into the former Soviet bloc countries of Eastern Europe. She died March 23. Originally broadcast in 2003 and 2018. Justin Chang reviews Everything Everywhere All At Once starring Michelle Yeoh.
25/03/22·47m 0s

The Massive Aid Flowing Into Ukraine

Time reporter Simon Shuster recently returned from the Ukrainian-Polish border. Watching as U.S. planes brought in loads of weapons, he felt like he was standing on the brink of something massive. "We are on the edge of a really era-defining war. We're already in it," he says.
24/03/22·44m 16s

Healing & Heartbreak In A Chicago ER

Veteran ER doctor Thomas Fisher's new book describes his experiences in the first year of the Covid pandemic treating patients on Chicago's South Side. He never had enough time or resources for his needy patients before the pandemic, but 2020 brought COVID and a wave of gun violence that stressed patients, doctors and staff in new ways. His new book is The Emergency.Also John Powers reviews the new Apple TV series Pachinko, based on the best-selling novel by Korean American author Min Jin Lee, and Kevin Whitehead reviews an album by Cecil Taylor.
23/03/22·44m 59s

Columnist Frank Bruni On Vision Lost & Found

After experiencing a rare kind of stroke, NYT writer Frank Bruni suddenly became blind in his right eye. Doctors told him there was a decent chance the same could happen to his other eye. It forced him to make a decision: He could focus on what had been lost or on what remained. He chose the latter. Bruni's new memoir is The Beauty of Dusk.
22/03/22·43m 57s

Classical Pianist Jeremy Denk

The MacArthur "genius" grant winner talks about what he learned from his piano teachers, his pivotal artistic moments and his failures and frustrations. Denk's new memoir is Every Good Boy Does Fine.
21/03/22·46m 1s

Best Of: Seth Meyers / A Tour Of The Human Body

As the host of NBC's Late Night, it's Seth Meyers' job to be funny, even when the news is catastrophic. He's satirized issues in the news, including in times of tragedy and war ever since he became an anchor on Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update in 2006. His first SNL episode was the episode following 9/11. Seth Meyers has a new children's book called I'm Not Scared, YOU'RE Scared. Also, we'll talk about the hidden world inside our bodies — from the remarkable design of our organs, to the messages contained in our body fluids, with Dr. Jonathan Reisman, author of The Unseen Body. He's a pediatrician, internist and ER physician who's worked in different cultures and in extreme climates. Justin Chang reviews the new Pixar movie, Turning Red.
19/03/22·48m 58s

Remembering Actor William Hurt

Hurt died March 13 at the age of 71. He was a leading man in the 1980s in the films Body Heat, Broadcast News, and The Big Chill. But he thought of himself as a character actor, and won an Oscar for his performance as a drag queen sharing a prison cell with a political dissident in the film Kiss of the Spider Woman.Also, John Powers reviews Amy Schumer's new series on Hulu, Life & Beth, and Justin Chang reviews the film Deep Water, a new psychological thriller starring Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas.
18/03/22·45m 5s

A Crash Course On NATO History

Historian Mary Elise Sarotte tells how NATO expanded into Eastern Europe after the fall of the U.S.S.R, and is now obligated to defend nations near Russia's war in Ukraine. Her book is Not One Inch.
17/03/22·45m 9s

A Doctor's Guided Tour Inside Your Body

We talk with Dr. Jonathan Reisman, author of The Unseen Body, about how our organs function, the messages contained in our body fluids, and his experiences treating patients with diseased organs. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead remembers trumpet player and bandleader Ron Miles, who died last week at age 58.
16/03/22·44m 32s

Former U.S. Ambassador To Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch

Yovanovitch was relieved of her post following a smear campaign orchestrated by Trump lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. She also testified at Trump's first impeachment. Her new memoir is 'Lessons from the Edge.' Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews a new collection of the novels of esteemed YA author Virginia Hamilton.
15/03/22·45m 43s

Seth Meyers On Fear, Fatherhood & Friendship

We talk with the Late Night host about his second son's dramatic birth story, John Mulaney's intervention, and his new children's book, I'm Not Scared, YOU'RE Scared. Meyers says the book is about our relationship with fear. Maureen Corrigan reviews The Swimmers by Julie Otsuka.
14/03/22·46m 51s

Best Of: Amy Bloom On Alzheimer's And Assisted Suicide / Cartoonist David Sipress

Shortly after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2019, architect Brian Ameche, then in his mid-60s, told his wife, novelist Amy Bloom, that he wanted to end life on his own terms, before the disease robbed him of everything. Bloom talks about how she traveled with him to Zurich so he could legally terminate his life. Her new memoir is In Love.Cartoonist David Sipress endured years of rejection before finally landing a gig with The New Yorker in '98. "I wasn't about to let all that rejection get in the way," he says. His new memoir is What's So Funny?
12/03/22·48m 38s

Patrick Stewart On 'Star Trek: Picard'

Patrick Stewart is back as Jean-Luc Picard in season 2 of the CBS All Access series Star Trek: Picard. "I am not averse to risk-taking and I don't judge myself," he says. Stewart spoke with Sam Briger in 2020. Also, Justin Chang reviews the new Pixar film Turning Red.
11/03/22·45m 50s

Why Russians Are Fleeing Their Country

New Yorker staff writer Masha Gessen says there's been an exodus from Russia in the last week and a half: "It's a sudden and drastic descent into a sense of having no country." Gessen reported in late January and February from Ukraine, and then went to Moscow after the invasion. On the night Putin shut down the last remaining independent source of TV news, Gessen was at that TV studio. They're now in the Republic of Georgia.
10/03/22·44m 10s

How Sandy Hook Ushered In A New Era Of Conspiracies

In the years since the Sandy Hook shooting, the victims' families have endured relentless online abuse, stalking and personal threats. New York Times journalist Elizabeth Williamson examines how the conspiracy theories around the tragedy began — and how they changed America. Her book is Sandy Hook: An American Tragedy and the Battle for Truth.
09/03/22·44m 17s

Writer Amy Bloom Reflects On Her Husband's Assisted Suicide

Shortly after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2019, architect Brian Ameche, then in his mid-60s, told his wife, novelist Amy Bloom, that he wanted to end life on his own terms, before the disease robbed him of everything. Bloom talks about how she traveled with him to Zurich so he could legally terminate his life. Her new memoir is In Love.Ken Tucker reviews Del McCoury's album Almost Proud.
08/03/22·45m 10s

New Yorker Cartoonist David Sipress

Sipress endured years of rejection before finally landing a gig with The New Yorker in '98. "I wasn't about to let all that rejection get in the way," he says. His new memoir is What's So Funny?
07/03/22·45m 44s

Best Of: China's Influence On Hollywood / Living With Chronic Illness

Wall Street Journal reporter Erich Schwartzel says that Hollywood film studios increasingly rely upon Chinese audiences to break even — which can result in self-censorship. His new book is Red Carpet.Film critic Justin Chang reviews The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson. Also, we'll hear from Meghan O'Rourke who has been reporting on long COVID. She'll talk about how research into long COVID offers insights into other mysterious chronic illnesses.
05/03/22·49m 13s

Benedict Cumberbatch / Film Composer Jonny Greenwood

Benedict Cumberbatch stars in Jane Campion's Western The Power of the Dog as Phil Burbank, a hyper-masculine cattle rancher living on the plains of Montana in the 1920s. We talk about how body odor helped him channel the character, toxic masculinity, and filming on location in breathtaking landscapes of New Zealand. He's nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor. Jonny Greenwood plays guitar and keyboard in Radiohead, but in 2007 director Paul Thomas Anderson enlisted him to score his film There Will Be Blood. Since then, Greenwood has scored such films as Spencer and Phantom Thread. He's nominated for Best Original Score for The Power of the Dog. TV critic David Bianculli reviews Winning Time on HBO, about the 1980s Lakers.
04/03/22·45m 1s

How The War Between Russia & Ukraine Might End

Historian and former State Department official Michael Kimmage says the war in Ukraine is going "surprisingly badly" for the Kremlin: "It didn't get the politics of Ukraine right. It didn't expect the Ukrainians to fight." We talk about possible scenarios of how this conflict could end, and what that means for Ukraine, Europe and the U.S.
03/03/22·45m 7s

'Raised By Wolves' Series Creator

In the HBO Max series Raised By Wolves, humanity is near extinction after a global religious war. Two androids are sent to another planet to raise human children and keep the species alive. We talk with series creator Aaron Guzikowski about how parenthood and faith inspired the show. Also, John Powers reviews the British thriller series The Tourist (on HBO Max),and film critic Justin Chang reviews The Batman.
02/03/22·45m 32s

How Russia's Invasion Of Ukraine Changes The World As We Know It

Journalist Anne Applebaum has been covering the war in Ukraine for The Atlantic. "I don't think that we will ever again smugly assume that borders in Europe can't be changed by force," she says. We talk about why Putin takes Ukrainian democracy as a personal and political threat — and how Stalin created a famine to destroy the Ukrainian national movement in the 1930s.
01/03/22·45m 0s

Long COVID, Chronic Illness & Searching For Answers

Meghan O'Rourke says long COVID and other chronic illnesses put an unwieldy burden on patients, who have to testify to the reality of their own illness. Her new book, The Invisible Kingdom, chronicles her personal struggle to find diagnoses for her own nerve pain, brain fog, extreme fatigue and other symptoms."When you're at the edge of medical knowledge, the lack of evidence is treated as evidence that the problem is you and your mind," O'Rourke says. "I felt, in a sense, kind of locked away in a room like a 19th-century hysteric."
28/02/22·44m 19s

Best Of: 'Abbott Elementary' Creator Quinta Brunson / Novelist Julie Otsuka

Quinta Brunson stars as a rookie second grade teacher in an under-resourced public elementary school in the mockumentary sitcom Abbott Elementary. Brunson says she conceived of the show with her mother — a teacher — in mind.Kevin Whitehead reviews a new stash of home and live recordings by jazz pianist Lennie Tristano.Though the main character in Julie Otsuka's new novel, The Swimmers, has lost much of her memory to dementia, she still remembers being sent to an incarceration camp for Japanese Americans during World War II. We talk with the novelist about her own family's history.
26/02/22·48m 45s

The Remarkable Life Of Frederick Douglass

Historian David Blight's Pulitzer Prize-winning biography traced Frederick Douglass' path from slavery to abolitionist and inspired HBO's documentary, Frederick Douglass: In Five Speeches. "Seeing and hearing Douglass became, through the course of the 19th century, a kind of American wonder of the world," Blight says. Also, we remember anthropologist and physician Paul Farmer, who died Feb. 21. He dedicated his life to providing health care for the poor in Haiti, Rwanda and other countries. He spoke with Fresh Air in 2011. Film critic Justin Chang reviews Cyrano, starring Peter Dinklage.
25/02/22·46m 27s

What The Insect Crisis Means For Humans

Environmental writer Oliver Milman says habitat loss, pesticides and climate change are killing off insects worldwide, which, in turn, threatens humans. We talk about the critical role insects play in pollinating plants we eat, breaking down waste, and forming the base of a food chain for other animals — and what would happen if they disappeared. Milman's book is The Insect Crisis.Ken Tucker reviews Mitski's new album Laurel Hell.
24/02/22·43m 59s

'Abbott Elementary' Creator/Star Quinta Brunson

Quinta Brunson stars as a rookie second grade teacher in an under-resourced public elementary school in the mockumentary sitcom Abbott Elementary. Brunson says she conceived of the show with her mother — a teacher — in mind. "The beauty is someone being so resilient for a job that is so underpaid and so underappreciated because it makes them feel fulfilled," she says. Also, David Bianculli reviews the new Law & Order reboot.
23/02/22·46m 5s

Novelist Julie Otsuka On 'The Swimmers'

Though the main character in Julie Otsuka's new novel has lost much of her memory to dementia, she still remembers being sent to an incarceration camp for Japanese Americans during World War II. We talk with the novelist about her family's history and writing The Swimmers. Maureen Corrigan reviews Vladímír, a virtuoso debut novel by Julia May Jonas, and jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a new stash of personal recordings from Lennie Tristano.
22/02/22·46m 23s

Does China Have Hollywood In An Economic Muzzle?

Wall Street Journal reporter Erich Schwartzel says that film studios increasingly rely upon Chinese audiences to break even — which can result in self-censorship. His new book is Red Carpet.
21/02/22·45m 25s

Best Of: Bill Cosby's Legacy / Matthew Macfadyen

Comic and producer W. Kamau Bell talks about directing the Showtime series We Need to Talk About Cosby, which explores how Bill Cosby became "America's dad," and a hero in Black culture — and how that changed when he was accused and convicted as a rapist. Podcast critic Nick Quah reviews The Trojan Horse Affair from Serial Productions. Also, we hear from actor Matthew Macfadyen. He talks about playing Tom Wambsgans in HBO's Succession and Mr. Darcy in the 2005 film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.
19/02/22·48m 27s

Penélope Cruz / Javier Bardem

Penélope Cruz is nominated for Best Actress for her role in Parallel Mothers, the latest movie written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar. And her husband, Javier Bardem, is nominated for his role as Desi Arnaz in Being the Ricardos. He's probably best known for playing a psychopathic serial killer in the Coen brothers' film, No Country for Old Men.Also Justin Chang reviews two international films — Belgium's Playground and Chad's Lingui, the Sacred Bonds.
18/02/22·46m 14s

The Battle For Voting Rights

Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center for Justice, says lawmakers in 27 states are considering hundreds of bills designed to limit voting or undermine the integrity of the election process. We talk about the ongoing threat to our democracy and fair elections. Waldman's book is The Fight to Vote.
17/02/22·44m 31s

The Untold Story Of 'Civil Rights Queen' Constance Baker Motley

Though she litigated Brown v. The Board of Education, was the first Black woman to argue before the Supreme Court, and represented MLK, few people know her name: Constance Baker Motley. Guest interviewer Tonya Mosley speaks with her biographer, Tomika Brown-Nagin, author of Civil Rights Queen.John Powers reviews Severance on Apple TV+.
16/02/22·44m 8s

An Underground Journey With Afghan Refugees

Journalist Matthieu Aikins accompanied his Afghan interpreter when he decided to flee Afghanistan in 2016, using smugglers' routes to make his way to Europe and start a new life. For Aikins, it meant shedding his own identity and passport and taking risks refugees take — heading into the Mediterranean sea at midnight in a flimsy, overcrowded rubber craft, where Coast Guard patrols would ram the vessel to turn refugees away from their destination. Aikins' new book is The Naked Don't Fear the Water. Also, podcast critic Nick Quah reviews Serial's new show, The Trojan Horse Affair.
15/02/22·46m 14s

W. Kamau Bell On Bill Cosby's Legacy

About 60 women have come forward accusing Cosby of drugging and raping them. In 2018, Cosby was convicted of three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault, though that conviction was overturned on a technicality in 2021. W. Kamau Bell's new Showtime documentary series, We Need To Talk About Cosby, grapples with the comedian's tainted legacy, which Bell describes as a "third-rail" conversation for many people in the Black community. "[Cosby] was America's dad during The Cosby Show — not Black America's dad, America's dad," he says.
14/02/22·44m 51s

Best Of: Jonny Greenwood / How The Method Changed Acting

Jonny Greenwood plays guitar and keyboard in Radiohead, but in 2007 director Paul Thomas Anderson enlisted him to score his film There Will Be Blood. Since then, Greenwood has scored such films as The Power of the Dog, Spencer, and Phantom Thread. Method acting is more than mining personal experiences to play a character — or physically transforming for a role. Author and cultural critic Isaac Butler traces the history of the technique in The Method.
12/02/22·48m 11s

Remembering Antiwar Activist Todd Gitlin / 'Maus' Author Art Spiegelman

We remember activist, scholar and social critic Todd Gitlin, who died Feb. 5 at the age of 79. He was president of SDS, the Students for a Democratic Society and helped organize the first national demonstration against the Vietnam War. He continued his commitment to social change as a teacher and writer. John Powers reviews a reissue of a groundbreaking crime novel about a gay detective.Also, we'll listen back to our 1987 interview with Art Spiegelman, whose Pulitizer Prize-winning graphic novel Maus, about the Holocaust, is one of the books recently being banned. Finally, Justin Chang reviews the thriller Kimi directed by Steven Soderbergh.
11/02/22·47m 11s

What We Know Now About Jan. 6

NYT congressional reporter Luke Broadwater was in the Capitol when the mob started breaking down barricades. We talk about the House committee's investigation into the attack and new revelations about Trump destroying documents and attempting to seize voting machines to overturn the election. We'll also consider the possibility of Trump facing criminal charges.
10/02/22·45m 23s

How The Method Changed Acting

Method acting is more than mining personal experiences to play a character — or physically transforming for a role. Author and cultural critic Isaac Butler traces the history of the technique in The Method.
09/02/22·45m 38s

How The GOP Became The Party Of Trump

New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters says the religious right and social conservatives "got basically everything that they wanted" from Trump's presidency. We also talk about how Sarah Palin pushed the Republican Party to the right. Peters' new book is Insurgency. Also, David Bianculli reviews Pam & Tommy, about Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee's 1995 sex tape that was put online without their consent.
08/02/22·46m 5s

Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood On Scoring Films

Greenwood plays guitar and keyboard in Radiohead, but in 2007 auteur director Paul Thomas Anderson enlisted him to score his film There Will Be Blood. Since then, Greenwood has scored such films as The Power of the Dog, Spencer, and Phantom Thread. We talk with the musician about his scoring process, his experiments with instruments, and how he joined Radiohead. Also, Ken Tucker reviews Connie Smith's new album The Cry of the Heart.
07/02/22·45m 50s

Best Of: Guillermo del Toro / The Science Of Heartbreak

Guillermo del Toro's new movie, Nightmare Alley, is a film noir starring Bradley Cooper as a murderer who joins a traveling carnival, first as part of the crew, and then as part of a clairvoyant act. The Oscar-winning Mexican director talks about researching psychics and why he relates to Frankenstein's monster. Del Toro also directed The Shape of Water, the Hellboy movies and Pan's Labyrinth.Science writer Florence Williams experienced what felt like a brain injury when her husband left her after more than 25 years together. So she decided to explore the connection between heartache and physical pain — including possible changes in the immune, digestive and nervous systems. Her new book is Heartbreak: A Personal and Scientific Journey.
05/02/22·49m 21s

Christine Baranski / Remembering Actor Howard Hesseman

Actor and singer Christine Baranski is now one of the stars of the new HBO series The Gilded Age. She spoke with Terry Gross in 2020. Also, we listen back to our 1988 interview with Howard Hesseman, who died last Saturday at the age of 81. Hesseman played a DJ in the series WKRP in Cincinnati, and a teacher in Head of the Class. Justin Chang reviews the Norwegian film The Worst Person in the World.
04/02/22·44m 55s

Teachers Could Face Penalties For Lessons On Race, Gender, Politics

Across the U.S., educators are being censored for broaching controversial topics. Since January 2021, researcher Jeffrey Sachs says that 35 different states have introduced 137 bills limiting what schools can teach with regard to race, American history, politics, sexual orientation and gender identity. One proposed law in South Carolina, for instance, prohibits teachers from discussing any topic that creates "discomfort, guilt or anguish" on the basis of political belief. We talk about these bills and laws and their implications.
03/02/22·44m 54s

A Family's Secret Mob Operation

Russell Shorto's grandfather was a mob leader in the industrial town of Johnstown, Pa. Shorto writes about the havoc that resulted from his grandfather's operation in the memoir, Smalltime. The story involves rackets, political payoffs, and the unsolved murder of a bookie. John Powers reviews Reacher, a series on Amazon Prime Video.
02/02/22·45m 40s

The Science Of Heartbreak

Science writer Florence Williams experienced what felt like a brain injury when her husband left her after more than 25 years together. So she decided to explore the connection between heartache and physical pain — including possible changes in the immune, digestive and nervous systems. Her new book is Heartbreak: A Personal and Scientific Journey.Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews Free Love, by Tessa Hadley.
01/02/22·46m 9s

Dir. Guillermo del Toro

Del Toro's new movie, Nightmare Alley, is a film noir starring Bradley Cooper as a murderer who joins a traveling carnival, first as part of the crew, and then as part of a clairvoyant act. The Oscar-winning Mexican director talks about researching psychics, his feelings about mortality, and why he relates to Frankenstein's monster. Del Toro also directed The Shape of Water, the Hellboy movies and Pan's Labyrinth.
31/01/22·45m 38s

Best Of: A Journey Through The South / The Genius Of Buster Keaton

Princeton African American Studies professor Imani Perry says the South can be seen as an "origin point" for the way the nation operates. Her book, South to America, reflects on the region's history and traces the steps of an enslaved ancestor. Ken Tucker reviews Neil Young's newest album, Barn. Buster Keaton was a silent film star in the 1920s, but he was far more than an actor and stuntman. He conceived and directed his films, cited by some of America's leading filmmakers as inspirations. We speak with Slate film critic Dana Stevens, whose new book, Camera Man, examines Keaton's work and influence, and chronicles his colorful life.
29/01/22·49m 3s

Remembering Comic Louie Anderson

Anderson grew up poor in Minnesota, in a family with 11 children. His Emmy-winning performance in the FX series Baskets was based upon his own mother. Anderson died Jan. 21. He spoke with Terry Gross in 2016 about his family, mortality, and how his material onstage has evolved. Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the four-part documentary series We Need to Talk About Cosby, created by W. Kamau Bell.
28/01/22·46m 47s

Is Ginni Thomas A Threat To SCOTUS?

New Yorker staff writer Jane Mayer discusses the conservative beliefs and influence of Ginni Thomas, wife of Justice Clarence Thomas. She's a right-wing activist and has been associated with some groups involved in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
27/01/22·44m 56s

'Succession' Actor Matthew Macfadyen

In 2005, the British actor played brooding aristocrat Mr. Darcy in the film adaptation of Pride & Prejudice. Now, he's a scheming Midwesterner on Succession: "Tom Wambsgans is a long way from Mr. Darcy," he says. We talk about Tom's complicated relationships with Shiv Roy and cousin Greg, Macfadyen's background in the theater, and how he didn't think he was "dishy" enough to play Mr. Darcy. Also, we remember Vietnamese Buddhist monk and activist Thich Nhat Hanh. He died Jan. 22.
26/01/22·46m 13s

A Journey Through The American South

Princeton African American Studies professor Imani Perry says the South can be seen as an "origin point" for the way the nation operates. Her book, South to America, reflects on the region's history and traces the steps of an enslaved ancestor. "The South in some ways becomes the repository for the nation's sins, right?" she says. "And then it allows the rest of the country to conceive of itself as relatively pristine."Also, Justin Chang reviews the Finnish film Compartment No. 6.
25/01/22·45m 33s

The Genius Of Buster Keaton

We explore the subtle genius of a man often remembered for pratfalls and sight gags. Buster Keaton was a silent film star in the 1920s, but he was far more than an actor and stuntman. He conceived and directed his films, cited by some of America's leading filmmakers as inspirations. We speak with Slate film critic Dana Stevens, whose new book examines Keaton's work and influence, and chronicles his colorful life. Her book is Camera Man: Buster Keaton, the Dawn of Cinema, and the Invention of the 20th Century.
24/01/22·45m 48s

Best Of: Benedict Cumberbatch / Brian Cox

Benedict Cumberbatch stars in Jane Campion's Western The Power of the Dog as Phil Burbank, a hyper-masculine cattle rancher living on the plains of Montana in the 1920s. We talk about how body odor helped him channel the character, toxic masculinity, and filming on location in breathtaking landscapes of New Zealand. Maureen Corrigan reviews one of this year's most anticipated books, To Paradise, by Hanya Yanagihara.Succession actor Brian Cox says ruthless business tycoon Logan Roy is one of the most extraordinary roles he's ever played: "He is a misanthrope [who] is very disappointed with the human experiment."
22/01/22·48m 35s

Remembering André Leon Talley / Ronnie Spector

André Leon Talley, titan of the fashion world, died this week at 73. He was Vogue editor-at-large from 1998 until 2013. He spoke with Terry Gross in 2018 about his journey from the Jim Crow South to Paris ateliers. Also, we remember Ronnie Spector, the leader of the '60s girl group the Ronettes, best-known for their hit "Be My Baby." She died last week at 78. Also, David Bianculli reviews the HBO series The Gilded Age.
21/01/22·46m 43s

A Marine-Turned-Journalist Returns To Afghanistan

Thomas Gibbons-Neff served two tours in Afghanistan in the Marines, and is now a New York Times reporter and Kabul bureau chief. He recently interviewed a high-level Taliban commander about a battle they had both been engaged in.Ken Tucker reviews Neil Young's new album Barn.
20/01/22·45m 10s

Benedict Cumberbatch

Cumberbatch stars in Jane Campion's Western The Power of the Dog as Phil Burbank, a hyper-masculine cattle rancher living on the plains of Montana in the 1920s. We talk about how body odor helped him channel the character, toxic masculinity, and filming on location in breathtaking landscapes of New Zealand. Cumberbatch also shares stories from his past — like his experiences teaching English at a Tibetan monastery and getting kidnapped in South Africa in 2005.
19/01/22·44m 42s

'Succession' Star Brian Cox

Cox says ruthless business tycoon Logan Roy is one of the most extraordinary roles he's ever played: "He is a misanthrope [who] is very disappointed with the human experiment." We talk with the Scottish actor about the musicality of his voice, why he doesn't practice method acting, and growing up in poverty.Also, Justin Chang reviews Asghar Farhadi's new film, A Hero.
18/01/22·46m 2s

Attorney Laura Coates On The Fight For Voting Rights

While working for the Department of Justice, attorney Laura Coates says she saw voter rolls being purged and instances where polling places were moved to known Klan locations. She also worked as a prosecutor and had to grapple with her own relationship with law enforcement, as a Black woman. Coates is a CNN analyst and hosts a SiriusXM show. Her new memoir is 'Just Pursuit.'
17/01/22·45m 53s

Best Of: Sidney Poitier / Nicole Kidman

Sidney Poitier, who paved the way for Black actors in film, died last week at 94. He was the first Black man to win an Oscar. He spoke with Terry Gross in 2000 about growing up in the Bahamas and breaking into acting. A leading man in the '50s and '60s, some of his best-known films include Lilies of the Field, In the Heat of the Night, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and To Sir, with Love.In Being the Ricardos, Nicole Kidman shifts back and forth between Lucille Ball and her character Lucy of I Love Lucy. We talk with the Australian actor about the challenges of the role and about ageism in Hollywood.
15/01/22·48m 2s

Remembering Lyricist Marilyn Bergman & Dir. Peter Bogdanovich

We remember lyricist Marilyn Bergman, half of a songwriting duo with her husband Alan. The songs she and her husband co-wrote won Oscars, Golden Globes and Grammys, and were popularized by Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Fred Astaire and Barbra Streisand, just to name a few. She died last week at 93. Also we remember director and author Peter Bogdanovich whose best-known films include The Last Picture Show, Paper Moon and Mask. He died Jan. 6 at 82. TV critic David Bianculli reviews the 4-part documentary series 'Reframed: Marilyn Monroe.'
14/01/22·45m 41s

The Unreported Civilian Deaths In The U.S. Air War Against ISIS

New York Times reporter Dave Philipps says a top-secret special ops unit disregarded official protocols to pick targets for airstrikes, resulting in the death of thousands of farmers and families.
13/01/22·44m 42s

Nicole Kidman

While her friends and family went to the Australian beaches, Kidman stayed indoors reading — and imaged herself as a character in the books. She says reading is what led her to acting. We talk with the Oscar-winning actor about ageism in Hollywood, singing in a cover band as a teenager, and playing Lucille Ball in Being the Ricardos.
12/01/22·45m 18s

Remembering Sidney Poitier

The legendary actor, who paved the way for Black actors in film, died last week at 94. Poitier was the first Black performer to win the best actor Academy Award. He spoke with Terry Gross in 2000 about growing up in the Bahamas and breaking into acting while working as a dishwasher in New York. A leading man in the '50s and '60s, some of his best-known films include A Raisin in the Sun, Lilies of the Field, In the Heat of the Night, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and To Sir, with Love. Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews ...and then there's this by the trio Artifacts.
11/01/22·46m 35s

Actor Kal Penn

The actor spoke with contributor Ann Marie Baldonado about navigating Hollywood as a young actor of color at a time when there were only stereotypical roles available — and why he took a break from acting to work in the Obama administration. He's best known for his roles in the Harold and Kumar franchise, The Namesake, and on the TV series House. His new memoir is You Can't Be Serious.Maureen Corrigan reviews a suspense novel that takes place in academia, The Latinist, by Mark Prins.
10/01/22·44m 52s

Best Of: Kirsten Dunst / The Global Supply Chain

Kirsten Dunst co-stars in the new film The Power of the Dog, along with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jesse Plemons, who plays her husband in the film, and is her husband in real life. We talk about being a child actor and the formative experience of working with Sofia Coppola early in her career. Also, we'll take a sobering look inside the global supply chain — and how it broke — with Wall Street Journal columnist Christopher Mims. His new book is called Arriving Tomorrow.And book critic Maureen Corrigan will tell us about a superb debut suspense novel.
10/01/22·48m 44s

Remembering Joan Didion & Betty White

We remember writer Joan Didion, known for her cool, unsentimental observations and distinctive writing. After the sudden death of her husband in 2003, she turned her gaze on her own grief in the memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking. Didion died last month. She spoke with Terry Gross in 1987 and 2005.Also, we remember legendary TV actor Betty White. Her television career spanned the history of TV itself – and that's no exaggeration. She was best known for her roles on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Golden Girls. She died Dec. 31, just a few weeks shy of her 100th birthday.
07/01/22·45m 53s

Why Dan Bongino Is Building A Right-Wing Media Infrastructure

New Yorker writer Evan Osnos says no one in the media has profited more from the Trump era than Dan Bongino, who hosts the country's fourth most listened to radio show and has 8.5 million weekly listeners. Bongino has also helped create and fund right-wing platforms that replicate Twitter, PayPal and YouTube, to lay the groundwork for the 2024 presidential election.
06/01/22·44m 54s

Inside The Global Supply Chain

In a new book, Wall Street Journal columnist Christopher Mims looks at how goods make their way from factories in Asia, across the Pacific in container ships and then are moved, sorted and delivered in American warehouses and trucks. Much of the handling is highly automated, he says, which cuts costs, but also lowers wages for workers and makes the remaining jobs stressful and physically punishing. Mims' new book is Arriving Today: From Factory to Front Door – Why Everything Has Changed About How and What We Buy.Also we remember scientist and author Edward Wilson, a pioneer in evolutionary biology whose books won two Pulitzer Prizes.
05/01/22·45m 10s

Rep. Raskin Reckons With His Son's Suicide And The Jan. 6 Attack

A year ago, Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., experienced two unimaginable traumas in the span of a single week: On New Year's Eve 2020, his son Tommy died by suicide after succumbing to mental illness. Then, on Jan. 6, 2021, just a day after Tommy's funeral, Raskin was at work in the U.S. Capitol with his daughter and son-in-law when a violent mob stormed the building in an attempt to overturn the results of the presidential election. His memoir, 'Unthinkable,' chronicles his search for answers in the grief that followed both events.
04/01/22·45m 25s

Kirsten Dunst

Dunst stars opposite her husband, Jesse Plemons, in Jane Campion's Western, 'The Power of the Dog.' She calls it a "cinematic love letter" to their children. Dunst spoke with Terry Gross about how her experience with depression helped her performance in the film, how she uses dreams to deepen her understanding of her characters, and working with Sofia Coppola as a young actor. David Bianculli reviews 'The Book of Boba Fett' on Disney+.
03/01/22·46m 0s

Best Of: The World Of Film Noir / Colson Whitehead

We talk about classic film noir — movies from the '40s and '50s with doomed characters, sexual heat and double crosses — with Eddie Muller, host of the Turner Classic Movies show Noir Alley and author of Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir.Film critic Justin Chang reviews the new movie The Tragedy of Macbeth, starring Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand. Also, Colson Whitehead talks about Harlem, hooligans, race and class in the '60s. His new novel, Harlem Shuffle, is about a furniture store owner who's sideline is fencing stolen goods. Whitehead won a Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Underground Railroad, about a 15-year-old enslaved girl who escapes a brutal Georgia plantation. The novel was adapted into a TV series for Amazon.
01/01/22·48m 39s

Dave Grohl

The Foo Fighters frontman (and Nirvana drummer) talks about his journey from playing small punk clubs to giant stadiums in his memoir, The Storyteller. He reflects on how he taught himself drums, his friendship with Kurt Cobain, and reinventing himself after Cobain's death. "I was heartbroken," he says. "I didn't really know if I ever wanted to play music again, until I realized that music was the one thing that had healed me my entire life."
31/12/21·45m 9s

A 'Schmigadoon!' Show

SNL's Cecily Strong co-stars in the Apple TV+ satire series Schmigadoon!. It centers on a couple who gets trapped in a town where people burst into song. We talk with Strong as well as Cinco Paul, the show's co-creator.
30/12/21·44m 59s

Remembering Desmond Tutu

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a legendary leader in the fight to end apartheid in South Africa, died Sunday at age 90. After Nelson Mandela was elected president in the country's first democratic election, he asked Tutu to chair South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which examined the crimes of apartheid. Tutu preached the healing power of forgiveness. The Nobel Peace Prize-recipient spoke with Terry Gross in 1984 and 1999.
29/12/21·45m 20s

Fran Lebowitz

To close out the year, we're listening back to some of our favorite interviews. New York iconoclast and humorist Fran Lebowitz was the subject of Martin Scorsese's Netflix series 'Pretend It's A City.' She talked with Terry Gross about driving a cab in the '70s, her friendship with Scorsese, and being a lifelong germaphobe: "The truth is, if I dropped the Hope Diamond on the floor of a subway car, I'd leave it there." Also, podcast critic Nick Quah shares three shows that stand out from this year.
28/12/21·44m 50s

'Succession' Star Kieran Culkin

On the HBO show 'Succession,' Culkin plays one of three siblings vying for control of a media empire. The character, he says, "doesn't really know what [it] means to suffer consequences." Culkin also talks about witnessing child stardom via his brother, 'Home Alone' star Macaulay Culkin.
27/12/21·46m 9s

Best Of: Penélope Cruz / Alan Cumming

Penélope Cruz stars in Pedro Almodóvar's new film 'Parallel Mothers.' She plays Janis, a single woman around the age of 40, who unintentionally became pregnant. Cruz spoke with Terry Gross about how emotional the film was to make, and her own experience of becoming a mother.Also, Justin Chang shares his favorite films of the year.And Alan Cumming, a Tony Award-winning actor for 'Cabaret,' previously wrote about his childhood in Scotland and his abusive father. Cumming's new memoir centers on love, sexuality, career and mental health.
25/12/21·48m 16s

A John Waters Christmas / Susannah McCorkle

Terry Gross spoke to John Waters in 2004 upon the release of his album 'A John Waters Christmas,' collecting some entertaining and ridiculous Christmas records. Waters is famous for his films 'Pink Flamingos' and 'Hairspray.' Also, we'll listen to rock historian Ed Ward's 1992 review of the novelty Christmas recordings the Beatles sent their fan club. Finally, we'll hear the late Susannah McCorkle's 1988 Christmas concert.
24/12/21·46m 19s

The Sprawling Capitol Riot Investigation

HuffPost senior justice reporter Ryan J. Reilly says "sedition hunters" have used videos, social media posts and facial recognition software to identify individuals who participated in the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6. He talks with Terry Gross about the FBI investigation, and the trials of the accused. Also, Justin Chang reviews the new movie 'The Tragedy of Macbeth,' starring Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand.
23/12/21·45m 44s

Penélope Cruz

Cruz stars in Pedro Almodóvar's new film 'Parallel Mothers.' She plays Janis, a single woman around the age of 40, who unintentionally became pregnant. Janis is thrilled to be pregnant, but in the maternity ward, she's roommates with a teenager who is very unhappy about having a baby. Cruz spoke with Terry Gross about how emotional the film was to make, and her own experience of becoming a mother.Justin Chang shares his favorite films of the year, and Kevin Whitehead remembers jazz greats we lost in 2021.
22/12/21·45m 32s

Life In A Sex Cult

Faith Jones' grandfather founded the Children of God, also known as The Family. She was taught sex was a service to God and that women and girls should freely "share" their bodies, regardless of whether they want to. She spoke with Terry Gross about growing up in a cult and how she eventually left it behind. Her memoir is Sex Cult Nun.Also, John Powers reviews Vigil, a new thriller series about a murder investigation on a submarine, now on Peacock.
21/12/21·46m 21s

Alan Cumming Unpacks His 'Baggage'

The Tony Award-winning actor (Cabaret) previously wrote about his childhood in Scotland and his abusive father. Cumming's new memoir centers on love, sexuality, career and mental health. Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews Sea State by Tabitha Lasley.
20/12/21·46m 14s

Best Of: Rethinking How We Work / Memoirist Grace M. Cho

Journalist Anne Helen Petersen, co-author of 'Out of Office,' talks about how the pandemic has changed the way many of us work, and the opportunity we have to create a more sustainable work model. Maureen Corrigan shares her list of best books of the year. Writer Grace M. Cho tells the story of her mother's descent into mental illness, and her own quest to understand her family's past. Her memoir is called, 'Tastes Like War.'
18/12/21·49m 6s

J.R. Moehringer / Remembering Anne Rice & Greg Tate

J.R. Moehringer grew up with an absent dad and found a home, of sorts, in the bar where his uncle worked. His memoir, 'The Tender Bar,' has been adapted into a film directed by George Clooney. Writer Anne Rice, who died Dec. 11, grew up in New Orleans and hit it big in 1976 with her first novel, 'Interview with the Vampire.' She followed up with more than a dozen novels. Rice spoke with Terry Gross in 1990.Also, we remember culture critic Greg Tate. His whirlwind writing appeared in 'The Village Voice' and 'Rolling Stone,' often referencing pop culture, literary theory and the latest slang. Tate made an impact on New York's cultural scene in the '80s, at a time when the city was full of aspiring rappers and writers, disco DJs and punk rockers. He died Dec. 7.
17/12/21·47m 6s

Why Child Care Is The Most Broken Business In The U.S.

Bloomberg Businessweek journalist Claire Suddath explains why child care is so unaffordable in the U.S. and why attempts to provide federal funding for care keep failing in Congress.
16/12/21·45m 38s

Life On The International Space Station

The six-part Disney+ documentary series 'Among the Stars' gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at NASA as it prepares missions on the ground and executes them aboard the International Space Station. One of the astronauts featured on the series is Chris Cassidy. Our producer Sam Briger spoke to the now-retired astronaut about his time in NASA and on the space station.Also, rock critic Ken Tucker shares his stand-out picks for music of the year.
15/12/21·46m 26s

A Daughter's Search To Understand Her Mother's Schizophrenia

Writer Grace M. Cho tells the story of her mother's descent into mental illness, and her own quest to understand her family's past. Cho emigrated to the U.S. as a baby with her Korean mother and American Merchant Marine father. Living in a small town in the northwest, Cho says they endured racist taunts, threats and assaults. After her mother developed symptoms of schizophrenia, Cho learned more about her mother's hardships growing up under Japanese occupation, through the Korean War, and afterward in a shattered Korean economy. Cho would learn her mother was likely a sex worker catering to American personnel stationed in Korea. Her mother's traumas, Cho believed, likely contributed to her mental illness. Her memoir is called, Tastes Like War.
14/12/21·46m 43s

Rethinking The Way We Work

The pandemic forced offices and businesses to shutter abruptly, fundamentally transforming the way people work. Essential workers remained on the front lines, but millions of others lost their jobs. And journalist Anne Helen Petersen estimates that some 42 percent of Americans began to work remotely. Now, with vaccines and boosters broadly available in the U.S., employers are beginning to craft return-to-office plans — but many employees want to retain flexibility. We talk with journalist Anne Helen Petersen, co-author of 'Out of Office,' about the way the pandemic has changed the way many of us work, and the opportunity we have to create a more sustainable work model. Maureen Corrigan shares her top 10 books of the year.
13/12/21·47m 3s

Best Of: Mel Brooks / Kieran Culkin

Filmmaker and comedy legend Mel Brooks sits down with Terry Gross to talk about Jewish humor and the meaning of life. He's got a new memoir called All About Me! Film critic Justin Chang reviews the new Steven Spielberg adaptation of West Side Story. And Kieran Culkin, who co-stars in HBO's Succession as Roman Roy, one of the three adult siblings vying to take over their family's media conglomerate, talks about his role and the toxicity of fame.
11/12/21·49m 45s

Celebrating 'West Side Story'

Film critic Justin Chang reviews Steven Spielberg's new film adaptation of West Side Story, and, from our archive, interviews with two actors who won Oscars for their performances in the 1961 film: Rita Moreno, who played Anita, and George Chakiris who played Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks. Also, we remember Sen. Bob Dole, who died Dec. 5. He spoke with Terry Gross in 2005 about serving in WWII. And John Powers shares a list of things that surprised and delighted him in 2021.
10/12/21·48m 28s

The Possible End Of American Democracy As We Know It

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Barton Gellman says the Republican party is increasingly unwilling to accept defeat and, in fact, is "prepared to win by sacrificing the essential elements of democracy." His new Atlantic article is 'Trump's Next Coup Has Already Begun.'Ken Tucker shares his thoughts on Adele's hugely successful new album, 30.
09/12/21·45m 44s

Halle Berry

Berry makes her directorial debut with Bruised on Netflix. She stars in the film as disgraced mixed martial arts fighter named Jackie Justice, who takes on MMA's newest star. Berry talks with guest interviewer Tonya Mosley about breaking ribs and continuing to shoot, being a lifelong fighter, and the lack of roles for Black women in Hollywood for much of her career. Also, David Bianculli reviews Aaron Sorkin's new film about Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Being the Ricardos. And Kevin Whitehead reviews Craig Taborn's recording, Shadow Plays.
08/12/21·46m 41s

Mel Brooks

Brooks sits down with Terry Gross to talk about Jewish humor, therapy, and the meaning of life. He's got a new memoir called 'All About Me!' Also, Justin Chang reviews 'Drive My Car,' by Japanese director Ryûsuke Hamaguchi.
07/12/21·46m 4s

Kieran Culkin On 'Succession' & Child Stardom

Culkin co-stars in HBO's Succession, as Roman, the youngest of the Roy siblings competing for control of the family media conglomerate. We talk about how he got the role, learning from the ensemble cast, and witnessing child stardom via his brother, 'Home Alone' star Macaulay Culkin.
06/12/21·46m 16s

Remembering Sondheim (Part III)

On the final day of our tribute to Stephen Sondheim, we'll hear from people who worked with him, including James Lapine, who wrote the books for three Sondheim musicals: 'Sunday in the Park with George,' 'Into the Woods' and 'Passion'; music director Paul Gemignani, and Stephen Colbert and Lin-Manuel Miranda who each performed in Sondheim musicals.
03/12/21·46m 53s

Remembering Sondheim (Part II)

Stephen Sondheim fans, like Terry Gross, always wonder: How did he write those brilliant lyrics? His 2010 book, Finishing the Hat, provided a lot of answers. It collected his lyrics from 1954 to 1981, telling the stories behind the songs. In the second part of our remembrance, we're revisiting a 2010 interview with the Broadway legend in which he gave his take on other great lyricists — and some of whose lyrics he thinks aren't really so great.
02/12/21·47m 30s

Remembering Stephen Sondheim (Part I)

The legendary lyricist and composer who gave us 'Sweeney Todd,' 'Into the Woods,' 'Company,' 'Sunday in the Park with George' and other shows died last Friday at 91. We are doing a three-part remembrance of him. In 2010 he spoke with Terry Gross about his writing process, from rhyming to finding the right note.
01/12/21·48m 11s

Rebecca Hall On 'Passing'

Hall's new Netflix film centers on two light-skinned Black women — one of whom passes for white. The story is a personal one for Hall: Her grandfather and mother were Black and passed as white. Hall talks about her own family history, the burden of secrets, and her experience directing. Also, Lloyd Schwartz reviews the new Criterion release of a documentary about making of the original cast album for Stephen Sondheim's 'Company.'
30/11/21·46m 31s

The Story Of The Boeing 737 MAX

Investigative reporter Peter Robison chronicles the tragic story of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in his new book, 'Flying Blind.' He says Boeing failed to warn pilots that new software in the plane could cause its nose to repeatedly pitch down, a malfunction that led to two deadly crashes in the space of five months. Robison says the 737 MAX disaster is at its heart the story of a corporate culture that prized profits and shareholder value over quality and safety — and of federal regulators more committed to serving the airline industry than protecting the public. TV critic David Bianculli reviews the three-part Disney+ docuseries about The Beatles, 'Get Back.'
29/11/21·47m 10s

Best Of: Dave Grohl / Will Smith

Grohl talks about his journey from playing small punk clubs to giant stadiums in his new memoir, 'The Storyteller.' He reflects on how he taught himself drums, his friendship with Kurt Cobain, and reinventing himself after Cobain's death with Foo Fighters.Also, Justin Chang reviews the new Jane Campion movie 'The Power of the Dog.' And Smith speaks with guest interviewer Tonya Mosley about how he crafted a joyful image to cover up for a trauma that happened when he was 9. He saw his father beat his mother. He reflects on how that moment has impacted his life. He has a new movie 'King Richard,' and a memoir called 'Will.'
27/11/21·50m 14s

Stanley Tucci / Julia Child

With Thanksgiving, the season of cooking, eating, and getting together has begun. Tucci has published two cookbooks and hosted a CNN series about regional cuisine in Italy. Now he has a new memoir, 'Taste,' about his experiences with good food and cooking. Also, the one and only Julia Child, recorded in 2009.Finally, Justin Chang reviews the new Paul Thomas Anderson movie 'Licorice Pizza.'
26/11/21·45m 35s

Sir Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney talks about his life through some of his songs. His new two-volume book collects his lyrics and the stories behind them. We'll also talk about the new documentary, 'Get Back,' which has previously unseen footage from the period The Beatles wrote, rehearsed and recorded the songs on their album 'Let it Be.' The album was released just after The Beatles broke up.
25/11/21·46m 49s

Dave Grohl On Nirvana & Foo Fighters

Grohl talks about his journey from playing small punk clubs to giant stadiums in his new memoir, 'The Storyteller.' He reflects on how he taught himself drums, his friendship with Kurt Cobain, and reinventing himself after Cobain's death. "I was heartbroken," he says. "I didn't really know if I ever wanted to play music again, until I realized that music was the one thing that had healed me my entire life." Grohl joined us from his studio, and also played a few songs.
24/11/21·45m 52s

Remembering 'Schoolhouse Rock!' Songwriter Dave Frishberg

Frishberg was a prolific jazz composer, lyricist, and vocalist, best known for his songs on the series 'Schoolhouse Rock!,' such as "I'm Just a Bill." He died Nov. 17 at age 88. Many of his songs were witty, including "I'm Hip" and "My Attorney Bernie." But he also wrote beautiful ballads, like "Heart's Desire" and "You are There." Frishberg came to the 'Fresh Air' studio in 1998 to play some of his songs and talk about them.
23/11/21·46m 34s

Former Gun Industry Insider On His Battle Against The NRA

'Gunfight' author Ryan Busse was once a rising star in the gun industry. But he became disillusioned after Columbine when, he says, the NRA began to use "fear and conspiracy and hatred" to bolster sales. Busse talks about turning points within the NRA and his career, and the state of the industry today. Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews 'The Sinner and the Saint,' a new book about experiences in Dostoyevsky's life that led to his classic novel 'Crime and Punishment.'
22/11/21·46m 51s

Best Of: Dogsledder Blair Braverman / '1619 Project' Creator Nikole Hannah-Jones

Writer Blair Braverman takes us inside the world of dog mushing. Braverman and her racing partner / husband Quince Mountain have a book, 'Dogs on the Trail,' that profiles their team of Alaskan huskies. We talk about the Iditarod race and her experience on the Discovery reality show 'Naked and Afraid.'We also talk with Nikole Hannah-Jones, who created the '1619 Project,' marking the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery, when a ship carrying enslaved Africans landed in the British colony of Virginia. It started as a 'New York Times Magazine' edition and is now a book called 'The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story.' Hannah-Jones won a Pulitzer Prize for her essay in the project.And David Bianculli reviews a new documentary about Kurt Vonnegut that was almost 40 years in the making.
20/11/21·48m 54s

Choreographer Twyla Tharp / Photographer Gordon Parks

Twyla Tharp is one of the most celebrated and innovative dancers and choreographers of our time. Her work combines ballet, modern dance, jazz, tap, and other dance forms in a way that was initially considered radical. She's the subject of a recent PBS 'American Masters' documentary. Also, we revisit our interview with Gordon Parks, the photographer who chronicled the Black experience in 'Life' magazine. He also was the first Black director of a Hollywood film. He's the subject of a new documentary.Justin Chang reviews the new gothic Western 'The Power of the Dog' by director Jane Campion.
19/11/21·46m 52s

Why The Autocrats Are Winning

Historian and 'Atlantic' journalist Anne Applebaum talks about how authoritarian rulers have joined together, creating a network of economic and political support that counteracts the impact of sanctions, while suppressing the spread of democracy. Also, John Powers reviews HBO Max's comedy series 'Sort Of.'
18/11/21·46m 28s

Nikole Hannah-Jones On 'The 1619 Project'

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones says the contributions of Black people are often left out of the American story. Her mission, with 'The 1619 Project,' is to reframe U.S. history through the lens of slavery. She spoke with contributor Arun Venugopal about the project, the term "woke," and how she handles the backlash to her work. David Bianculli reviews the IFC documentary 'Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time.'
17/11/21·46m 1s

Dogsledder Blair Braverman

Braverman says you never ask a musher how many dogs they have, because between puppies, fosters and retirees, you'll never get a straight answer. "The secret" she says, "is to ask, 'How many dogs are you feeding?'" For Braverman, that number right now is 24. Braverman and her racing partner / husband Quince Mountain have a book, 'Dogs on the Trail,' that profiles their team of Alaskan huskies. We talk about the Iditarod race, her dogs' personalities, and her experience on the Discovery reality show 'Naked and Afraid.' Also, Ken Tucker reviews 'Breaking Point' by Jackson+Sellers.
16/11/21·44m 53s

Dawn Turner On Race, Fate & Sisterhood

How do two sisters, just 3 years apart, take extremely divergent paths in life? That's the story Dawn Turner tells in her new memoir, 'Three Girls of Bronzeville.' Turner grew up to be an author and a columnist at The 'Chicago Tribune.' Her sister Kim died of chronic alcoholism at age 24. Turner's childhood best friend Debra was convicted of murder and served over 20 years in prison. Film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Belfast,' Kenneth Branagh's semi-autobiographical film about growing up in Northern Ireland during the Troubles.
15/11/21·45m 30s

Best Of: Andie MacDowell / Gary Shteyngart

Actor Andie MacDowell co-stars opposite her daughter Margaret Qualley in the Netflix series 'Maid.' We talk about how her own mother's struggle with alcohol addiction and mental illness helped her understand her character, as well as her early films, like 'Groundhog Day' and 'Sex, Lies, and Videotape.'Maureen Corrigan reviews Louise Erdrich's new book, 'The Sentence.' Gary Shteyngart's new novel, 'Our Country Friends,' is about a group of eight friends who hole up in the country home of a Russian-born writer. He drew on his experience of his pandemic pod for the book.
13/11/21·48m 48s

Remembering Vietnam Veteran & Former Senator Max Cleland

We remember former Georgia senator Max Cleland, the Vietnam War vet and triple amputee who rebuilt his life after the war, but later lost his Senate seat when Republicans, led by Karl Rove, questioned his patriotism. Cleland died Tuesday at the age of 79.Also, we talk about the battle to keep independent local journalism alive in small-town America. A new PBS documentary profiles 'The Storm Lake Times,' which serves a rural community in northwest Iowa. We hear from the editor, Art Cullen.Justin Chang reviews 'Belfast,' Kenneth Branagh's autobiographical film, shot in black and white.
12/11/21·47m 4s

A Marine Reflects On War, Love & Finding Purpose

Elliot Ackerman served five tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, during which time, he says, he witnessed the absolute worst — as well as the absolute best — that human beings are capable of. Ackerman is also a journalist, novelist, memoirist and National Book Award nominee. This Veterans Day we talk about the lure of war, how war gave him a sense of purpose, the fear and heartbreak that went along with it, and the search for meaning when he stopped fighting. His Silver Star is for leading a platoon in the Battle of Fallujah in Iraq.
11/11/21·45m 55s

Will Smith

The blockbuster movie star, comedian and musician spoke with guest interviewer Tonya Mosley about how he crafted a joyful image to cover up for a trauma that happened when he was 9. He saw his father beat his mother. He reflects on how that moment has impacted his life, how he and his family have worked through this history, and his own parenting style. He has a new memoir called 'Will.' Also, podcast critic Nick Quah reviews Spotify's 'Music + Talk.'
10/11/21·45m 32s

The Impact Of Trump's 3 Supreme Court Picks

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Linda Greenhouse says the new Court has given conservatives less than they'd hoped for, though critical cases on abortion and other issues are still pending. Her book is 'Justice on the Brink.'Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews Louise Erdrich's new novel, 'The Sentence.'
09/11/21·46m 44s

Andie MacDowell

MacDowell co-stars opposite her daughter Margaret Qualley in the Netflix series 'Maid.' We talk about how her own mother's struggle with alcohol addiction and mental illness helped her understand her character, her early films (like 'Groundhog Day' and 'Sex, Lies, and Videotape'), and embracing her wrinkles and gray hair. Also, David Bianculli reviews 'Dexter: New Blood' on Showtime.
08/11/21·47m 16s

Best Of: Paul McCartney / Filmmaker Edgar Wright

Paul McCartney talks about his life through some of his songs. His new two-volume book collects his lyrics and the stories behind them. We'll also talk about the new documentary, 'Get Back,' which has previously unseen footage from the period The Beatles wrote, rehearsed and recorded the songs on their album 'Let it Be.' The album was released just after The Beatles broke up.TV critic David Bianculli reviews the revival of Dexter, called 'Dexter: New Blood.'Edgar Wright, director of 'Baby Driver' and 'Shaun of the Dead,' talks about his new thriller, 'Last Night in Soho.' It's about a young woman who is transported in her dreams into the swinging '60s of London: "The film is sort of about having nostalgia for a decade that you never lived in." Wright spoke with 'Fresh Air' producer Sam Briger about venturing back to the '60s.
06/11/21·49m 15s

British Actor Terence Stamp

Terence Stamp, who became an icon in London in the 1960s, is now in the film 'Last Night in Soho,' a ghost story that takes place, in part, in '60s swinging London. Stamp grew up in poverty in London and was one of the first working class British actors to make it in theatre. He's known for his film roles in 'Billy Budd,' 'Far From the Madding Crowd,' and 'The Collector,' as well as '90s films like 'The Limey' and 'Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.' Terry Gross talked with him in 2002.Film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Spencer,' starring Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana.
05/11/21·46m 32s

Before, During & After The Jan. 6 Attack On The Capitol

Why did our intelligence agencies — the FBI, the Capitol Police, the Secret Service — all fail to protect the Capitol from being attacked on January 6th? We talk with Carol Leonnig, a 'Washington Post' National Investigative Correspondent, who contributed to this week's three part series in the 'Post' investigating what happened before, during and after the Capitol siege. She'll tell us how Trump froze in place key federal agencies whose job it was to investigate and stop threats to national security. Leonnig is also the co-author of two books about the Trump presidency: 'A Very Stable Genius,' and 'I Alone Can Fix It,' as well as a recent book about the rise and fall of the Secret Service.
04/11/21·45m 8s

Paul McCartney

The 1969 film 'Let It Be' created the impression that McCartney was responsible for The Beatles' disbanding. Now, the forthcoming Disney+ documentary 'Get Back' revisits the same time — and tells a different story. McCartney spoke with Terry Gross about his songwriting process with John Lennon, the early years of Beatlemania, and how the band broke up. He also has a new book called 'The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present.'
03/11/21·46m 31s

Gary Shteyngart On His Pandemic Novel

There's the saying "write what you know," and Gary Shteyngart did just that. His new novel, 'Our Country Friends' is about a group of eight friends who hole up in the country home of a Russian-born writer. He drew on his experience of his pandemic pod for the book. We'll also talk about his work as a consultant on the HBO series 'Succession,' and the botched circumcision that left him with debilitating pain. Maureen Corrigan reviews 'My Monticello' by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson.
02/11/21·45m 19s

Filmmaker Edgar Wright On 'Last Night in Soho'

Wright's new movie, 'Last Night in Soho,' centers on a young woman who is transported in her dreams into the swinging '60s of London: "The film is sort of about having nostalgia for a decade that you never lived in." Wright spoke with 'Fresh Air' producer Sam Briger about the soundtrack, his vision of the '60s, and working with late actress Diana Rigg. Justin Chang reviews 'The Souvenir Part II.'
01/11/21·46m 15s

Best Of: Oscar Isaac / Katie Couric

Oscar Isaac stars in the latest Paul Schrader movie, 'The Card Counter,' co-starred with Jessica Chastain in HBO's limited series 'Scenes from a Marriage,' and now is one of the stars of 'Dune.' We'll talk about growing up in an evangelical Christian family that was preparing for the apocalypse and how the death of his mother was quickly followed by the birth of his first child. John Powers reviews the new documentary 'The Velvet Underground.'Former 'Today Show' anchor Katie Couric spoke with Terry Gross about her early career in news and why she's done trying to appeal to everyone. "My goal in life isn't to please people anymore. ... I think if you're just likable, you're not very interesting," she says. Her new memoir is 'Going There.'
30/10/21·48m 41s

Ricky Jay / Remembering Peter Scolari

This week Sotheby's auctioned off The Ricky Jay collection — a portion of the rare books, posters, and objects chronicling the world of magic, carnivals and eccentric characters — which the master sleight-of-hand artist had collected over his life. We're revisiting portions of our interviews with Ricky Jay. Also, we remember comic actor Peter Scolari, best-known for his roles in the 1980s TV sitcoms 'Bosom Buddies,' opposite Tom Hanks, and 'Newhart,' with Bob Newhart. Scolari died last week at the age of 66.John Powers reviews the new Netflix movie 'Passing.'
29/10/21·46m 58s

The Capitol Insurrection & Why Our Democracy Is In Peril

Robert Costa's book 'Peril,' which he co-wrote with Bob Woodward, goes inside Trump's "war room" on the eve of the Jan. 6 insurrection. Costa reports on Trump's calls to his team, the tension between Pence and the president, and the ongoing threat to our democracy. The strategy of calling for an alternate slate of electors didn't work in January, but next election it might. "Imagine if in January 2025 Republicans are much more organized and they have alternate slates of electors ready in many states. What happens then?"
28/10/21·45m 45s

Inside The Attica Prison Uprising

A new documentary goes behind the walls of the deadly 1971 uprising. More than a thousand prisoners organized to overtake the notorious prison, hold guards hostage, and use them as a bargaining chip to get better living conditions. Filmmaker Stanley Nelson and former prisoner Arthur Harrison reflect on the five-day revolt, and its lasting legacy. The film is 'Attica.' Kevin Whitehead reviews 'Skyline,' an album featuring trio Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Jack DeJohnette and Ron Carter.
27/10/21·46m 11s

Katie Couric

The former 'Today Show' anchor spoke with Terry Gross about her early career in news, the allegations against her former co-anchor Matt Lauer, and why she's done trying to appeal to everyone. "My goal in life isn't to please people anymore. ... I think if you're just likable, you're not very interesting," she says. Her new memoir is 'Going There.' Also, Ken Tucker reviews a new collection of Beach Boys tracks called 'Feel Flows.'
26/10/21·46m 54s

Actor Jonathan Majors

Majors was nominated for an Emmy this year for his role in the HBO series, 'Lovecraft Country.' He co-starred in 'The Last Black Man in San Francisco,' the Spike Lee film 'Da 5 Bloods,' and the Marvel TV series 'Loki.' Now, he's starring in the Jay-Z-produced Western, 'The Harder They Fall,' featuring an all-Black cast. Majors talks with NPR's Audie Cornish about being raised by a single mother who was a preacher, what he learned studying Shakespeare and August Wilson, and his thoughts on two beloved actors he worked with who died young — Chadwick Boseman and Michael K. Williams.Maureen Corrigan will review the new suspense novel by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Louise Perry.
25/10/21·46m 53s

Best Of: Billy Porter / Cynthia Erivo

Billy Porter has an Emmy for his starring role on 'Pose,' and a Tony for his lead role in the Broadway musical 'Kinky Boots.' Fourteen years after his initial diagnosis, Porter announced publicly that he is HIV-positive. He says being open about his health status felt like a rebirth: "I set myself free, honey. No more secrets." His new memoir is 'Unprotected.'Cynthia Erivo was nominated for an Oscar for playing Harriet Tubman in the film 'Harriet.' She played Aretha Franklin in the series 'Genius: Aretha.' She won a Tony for her performance in 'The Color Purple.' Now she has a debut album, 'Ch. 1 Vs. 1.' "I sing often with a bit of a smile," she says.
23/10/21·48m 40s

Lenny Kravitz On His Early Years

Kravitz talks about growing up the son of a Jewish father and Black mother, finding his musical style, and how Lisa Bonet changed him as a songwriter. His memoir about his life up until his breakout album is 'Let Love Rule.'Also, Justin Chang reviews 'Dune.'
22/10/21·47m 4s

Oscar Isaac

The actor is now starring in 'Dune,' 'The Card Counter' and 'Scenes from a Marriage.' We talk about his latest projects, grief and fatherhood, and his evangelical Christian upbringing. "We grew up with a very, very real sense of the impending doom of the apocalypse," he says.
21/10/21·44m 46s

Remembering YA Author Gary Paulsen

The Newbery Award-winning author, who died Oct. 13, wrote over 200 books, many of which were tales of adventure aimed at young adults. In 1994, Paulsen talked about Alaska's Iditarod dog sled race.Also, John Powers reviews Todd Haynes' documentary about The Velvet Underground.
20/10/21·47m 31s

Billy Porter On His New Memoir 'Unprotected'

Porter has an Emmy for his starring role on 'Pose,' and a Tony for his lead role in the Broadway musical 'Kinky Boots.' Fourteen years after his initial diagnosis, Porter announced publicly that he is HIV-positive. He says being open about his health status felt like a rebirth: "I set myself free, honey. No more secrets." His new memoir is 'Unprotected.'
19/10/21·45m 24s

Actress And Singer Cynthia Erivo / Remembering Colin Powell

Erivo was nominated for an Oscar for playing Harriet Tubman in the film 'Harriet.' She played Aretha Franklin in the series 'Genius: Aretha.' She won a Tony for her performance in 'The Color Purple.' Now she has a debut album, 'Ch. 1 Vs. 1.' "I sing often with a bit of a smile," she says.Also, we remember Colin Powell, who died Oct. 18 at age 84. Powell was the U.S.'s first Black national security advisor, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and secretary of state. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1995.
18/10/21·45m 28s

Best Of: Questlove / Tuba Player Richard Antoine White

In his new book, 'Music is History,' Roots co-founder Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson moves year-by-year through his life, writing about memories and turning points, and the songs he was listening to at the time.Richard Antoine White spent his early childhood in poverty in Baltimore, at times sleeping in abandoned houses. He's now principal tubist in the Santa Fe Symphony and the New Mexico Philharmonic. He recounts his triumph over adversity in a new memoir called 'I'm Possible.'
16/10/21·49m 48s

'Maid' Author Stephanie Land

Stephanie Land's memoir, 'Maid,' is about her struggle to make ends meet as a single mom while cleaning houses and relying on government assistance. Land, who left an abusive relationship and was homeless, talks about how she got out of poverty, went back to school and pursued writing. Her book was adapted into a Netflix series, streaming now.
15/10/21·45m 49s

Pandora Papers, Explained

Dictators, oligarchs, drug traffickers, crooks, and others with ill-gotten fortunes can hide their money from public scrutiny, creditors, and from the law — while at the same time avoid paying taxes. How? By stashing the wealth in opaque, complicated financial instruments in other countries. It's called offshoring. We talk with 'Washington Post' reporter Greg Miller about what the some 12 million documents of the Pandora Papers tell us about these hidden assets.
14/10/21·44m 55s

Tubist Richard Antoine White's Unlikely Path To The Stage

Richard Antoine White spent his early childhood in poverty in Baltimore, at times sleeping in abandoned houses. He's now principal tubist in the Santa Fe Symphony and the New Mexico Philharmonic. He recounts his triumph over adversity in a new memoir called 'I'm Possible.'
13/10/21·45m 26s

Questlove On The Soundtrack Of His Life

In his new book, 'Music is History,' Roots co-founder Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson moves year-by-year through his life, writing about memories and turning points, and the songs he was listening to at the time.
12/10/21·45m 24s

Inside The Thailand Cave Rescue

In June 2018, the world held its breath for 18 days as a group of elite cave divers risked everything to rescue 12 boys and their coach from an underwater cave in Thailand. The Oscar-winning filmmakers ('Free Solo') Jimmy Chin and Chai Vasarhelyi secured hours of never-before-seen footage from the underwater rescue. The filmmakers and diver Rick Stanton spoke about how an expert team of cave divers, Thai Navy SEALs and an international group of special service members and volunteers pulled off the harrowing mission and got all 12 boys and their coach to safety. The documentary is 'The Rescue.'
11/10/21·45m 45s

Best Of: The World Of Film Noir / Stanley Tucci

Eddie Muller hosts the TCM series 'Noir Alley.' A new expanded edition of his book, 'Dark City,' chronicles film noir from the '40s and '50s. We talk about the sexiness of the genre and why film noir flourished in the post-WWII era.David Bianculli reviews the Sopranos prequel film, 'The Many Saints of Newark.'Stanley Tucci's entire world, since childhood, has revolved around food. The actor was devastated when treatment for cancer put him on a feeding tube for six months. Now cancer free, his sense of smell and taste is stronger than before. Tucci's new memoir about his life and food is 'Taste.'
09/10/21·48m 48s

Nick Lowe In Concert

Lowe's 2001 album 'The Convincer,' considered by many fans and critics to be his best, has now been remastered and reissued. We listen back to his performances and interviews in our studio from 2001 and 2011. Lowe's best known songs include "Cruel To Be Kind" and "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding" which Elvis Costello made famous.Critic Justin Chang reviews 'No Time to Die,' the fifth and final film starring Daniel Craig as James Bond.
08/10/21·46m 0s

Life In Afghanistan Now

Award-winning Afghan British journalist Najibullah Quraishi is on the ground in Kabul where he has been interviewing Taliban leaders and fighters, women who have lost their rights, and citizens trying to escape. He believes that the country is on the brink of civil war. Quraishi is the correspondent for the forthcoming Frontline PBS documentary, 'Taliban Takeover.'
07/10/21·44m 37s

Fiona Hill, Former White House Russia Expert & Key Witness

Hill was a key witness at President Trump's first impeachment hearing. Now she's warning about the threat to American democracy that comes from within. We talk about her testimony, advising Trump on calls with Putin, and why she believes America is headed towards autocracy. Her memoir is 'There is Nothing For You Here.'
06/10/21·44m 45s

Stanley Tucci

Tucci's entire world, since childhood, has revolved around food. The actor was devastated when treatment for cancer put him on a feeding tube for six months. Now cancer free, his sense of small and taste is stronger than before. Tucci's new memoir about his life and food is 'Taste.' David Bianculli reviews the 'Sopranos' prequel, 'The Many Saints of Newark.'
05/10/21·45m 55s

The Lost World Of Film Noir

Eddie Muller hosts the TCM series 'Noir Alley.' A new expanded edition of his book, 'Dark City,' chronicles film noir from the '40s and '50s. We talk about the femme fatale, the sexiness of the genre, and why film noir flourished in the post-WWII era. Kevin Whitehead reviews a live recording by jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan.
04/10/21·47m 31s

Best Of: Anita Hill / Ben Platt

It's been 30 years since the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, where Anita HIll testified he'd sexually harassed her. We'll talk about the hearings, and how they changed her life.Her memoir is 'Believing.' Also we talk with Ben Platt, star of the hit broadway musical 'Dear Evan Hansen' and of the new film adaptation. Platt plays a high school senior overcome by his insecurities and social anxiety. We'll talk about going back to the role and separating his own anxieties from those plaguing his character.Ken Tucker will review a new Beach Boys collection.
02/10/21·48m 43s

Remembering Melvin Van Peebles, Godfather of Black Film

Melvin Van Peebles, considered the Godfather of Black cinema, died last week. He's best known for his 1971 film, 'Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song.' We listen back to archival interviews with Peebles and his son Mario. And we remember Bishop John Shelby Spong, who died earlier this month. In 1977, he became one of the first American bishops to ordain a woman into the clergy. In 1989, he was the first to ordain an openly gay man. David Bianculli reviews the new Netflix series 'Maid.'
01/10/21·46m 49s

What's Happening At The U.S.-Mexico Border?

'Atlantic' immigration reporter Caitlin Dickerson talks about Haitian immigrants at the border, and explains how both Trump and Biden immigration policies are based on a racist system created by the Founding Fathers. "The story of the United States being a nation of immigrants is much more complex than we often discuss and acknowledge as a country," Dickerson says. She explains how the legacy of racist immigration law is very much alive today. Also, Ken Tucker reviews remixed Pere Ubu albums.
30/09/21·46m 46s

'Me Too' Founder Tarana Burke

Burke says society often ignores Black girls' sexual trauma — and that the R. Kelly trial, coming after 25 years of allegations, highlights the "stark difference" in response to victims of color. "We are socialized to respond to the vulnerability of white women," she says. "[There's a] stark difference in what it takes to get attention around Black women and girls." Burke's new memoir, 'Unbound,' is about her activism and her own experience with sexual violence and healing. She spoke with guest interviewer Tonya Mosley.
29/09/21·45m 41s

Anita Hill

In 1991, Anita Hill testified that Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her. Thomas was confirmed regardless. Since then, another Supreme Court justice, Brett Kavanaugh, has joined the bench, despite Christine Blasey Ford's testimony that he sexually assaulted her. We talk with Hill about how her life and work has changed over the last 30 years, how she wants the confirmation process to change, and President Biden's apology for how she was treated in the '91 hearings. Her new memoir is 'Believing.' "There is victory in being able to come forward and state what has happened to you," she says. Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews Anthony Doerr's new novel, 'Cloud Cuckoo Land.'
28/09/21·44m 52s

Ben Platt

Platt stars in 'Dear Evan Hansen,' the film adaptation of the Broadway musical. He originated the role. We talk about anxiety, falling in love with another 'Evan Hansen' actor, and his upcoming project with Richard Linklater, filming a musical over the course of 20 years.
27/09/21·44m 16s

Best Of: B.J. Novak / Colson Whitehead

B.J. Novak played Ryan on 'The Office' and served as a writer and an executive producer of the series. His new FX/Hulu anthology show, 'The Premise,' deals with important cultural issues, like social justice, sex tapes, guns, and how we're shaped by social media. We talk about Novak's early stand-up and his friendship with Mindy Kaling.Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the reboots of 'The Wonder Years' and 'Scenes from a Marriage.' Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Colson Whitehead's new book, 'Harlem Shuffle,' is about a furniture store owner in Harlem whose sideline is fencing stolen goods. We talk about heists, how New York City has changed, and writing in the pandemic.
25/09/21·48m 54s

Ray Charles On Country Music

Last month, Ray Charles was voted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. That may sound odd to you since he's such a pivotal figure in soul music and rhythm & blues. But his 1962 album, 'Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music,' became one of his best known records, and included two of his biggest hits, "I Can't Stop Loving You" and "You Don't Know Me." Charles spoke with Terry Gross in 1998. Also, John Powers reviews two thriller films: 'Wife of a Spy' and 'Azor.'
24/09/21·46m 50s

The Facebook Files: What Leaked Documents Tell Us

'Wall Street Journal' reporter Jeff Horwitz says Facebook executives often choose to boost engagement at the expense of tackling problems like misinformation and mental health issues in teens that are rampant on their platforms.
23/09/21·44m 47s

B.J. Novak

B.J. Novak played Ryan on 'The Office' and served as a writer and an executive producer of the series. His new FX/Hulu anthology show, 'The Premise,' deals with important cultural issues, like social justice, sex tapes, guns, and how we're shaped by social media. We talk about Novak's early stand-up, doing the MTV prank show 'Punk'd,' and his friendship with Mindy Kaling.
22/09/21·45m 51s

Who Is Tech Billionaire & 'Contrarian' Peter Thiel?

Peter Thiel co-founded PayPal, invested early in Facebook, secretly funded the Hulk Hogan lawsuit that put the website Gawker out of business, and put more than a million dollars into Trump's campaign just after the appearance of the 'Access Hollywood' tapes. Thiel is also known for his interest in some unusual ideas, like independent city-states that float on the ocean, free from oppressive governments. We talk with 'Bloomsberg Businessweek' tech reporter Max Chafkin about his book on Thiel, 'The Contrarian.'Also, critic David Bianculli reviews two remakes of classic TV shows, 'The Wonder Years' and 'Scenes from a Marriage.'
21/09/21·46m 0s

Evan Osnos On The 'Making Of America's Fury'

How did Americans become so divided? And how did we come so close to overturning the results of a presidential election? These are some of the questions at the heart of the new book 'Wildland,' by 'New Yorker' staff writer Evan Osnos. Osnos bookended his coverage of Trump by reporting on Trump's white nationalist support during his 2016 campaign and the attack on the capital by Trump supporters after the 2020 election. Osnos is also the author of a book about Joe Biden, and has profiled Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin. He'll offer some insights into Manchin and his complicated relationship with Biden, now that Manchin holds the key vote on infrastructure and voting rights legislation.Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews 'The Fortnight in September,' by R.C. Sherriff.
20/09/21·46m 29s

Best Of: Banjo Star Béla Fleck / When Animals Break The Law

Béla Fleck is one of the most famous banjo players in the world. He's taken that instrument out of its folk and bluegrass traditions to play pretty much any kind of music, including jazz and pop to classical and reggae. But bluegrass has always been where he comes from — and he's returned to it for his new album, 'My Bluegrass Heart.'Science writer Mary Roach ('Stiff', 'Gulp') explores scenarios where animals are the ones committing "crimes" — and how society deals with it. We talk about bear attacks, drunk elephants, and monkey thieves. Her new book is 'Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law.'
18/09/21·40m 27s

Jean Smart / Remembering Newport Jazz & Folk Festival Founder George Wein

Jean Smart is nominated for two Emmys — one for her lead role in 'Hacks' and one for her supporting role in 'Mare of Easttown.' We're revisiting her May 2021 interview. Pioneering music impresario George Wein created the Newport Jazz Festival in 1954 and the Newport Folk Festival in 1959. He died Sept. 13. He spoke with Terry Gross in 2003.
17/09/21·46m 17s

The Battle To Keep Local Journalism Alive

In the past 15 years, one in four newspapers has shuttered in the U.S. We talk with Art Cullen, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, editor, and co-owner of 'The Storm Lake Times' in the meatpacking town of Storm Lake, Iowa. He and his family are the subject of a new documentary, called 'Storm Lake,' about the challenges the industry is facing as news moves to free digital platforms and ad revenues dwindle. The film is opening in select theaters and be on PBS Nov. 15.
16/09/21·45m 4s

Colson Whitehead On His Crime Novel 'Harlem Shuffle'

Whitehead's new novel 'Harlem Shuffle,' is about a furniture store owner in Harlem whose sideline is fencing stolen goods. Whitehead won a Pulitzer Prize for his novel 'The Underground Railroad,' about a 15-year-old enslaved girl who escapes a brutal Georgia plantation. The novel was adapted into a TV series that is now nominated for several Emmys. Whitehead won another Pulitzer for his next novel 'The Nickel Boys,' based on the story of the Dozier School for Boys, a segregated reform school notorious for its brutal punishment. We talk about heists, how New York City has changed, and writing in the pandemic Justin Chang reviews the film 'Blue Bayou.'
15/09/21·46m 0s

The Weird World Of Animal Crimes

Science writer Mary Roach ('Stiff', 'Gulp') explores scenarios where animals are the ones committing "crimes" — and how society deals with it. We talk about bear attacks, drunk elephants, and monkey thieves. Her new book is 'Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law.' Also, Kevin Whitehead reviews a new album from saxophonist Joel Frahm.
14/09/21·46m 35s

Banjo Player Béla Fleck

Béla Fleck is perhaps the most famous banjo player in the world. He's taken that instrument out of its folk and bluegrass traditions to play pretty much any kind of music: from jazz and pop to classical and reggae. But bluegrass has always been where he comes from — and he's returned to it for his new album, 'My Bluegrass Heart.' He's dedicated it to two musical heroes that died in the last year: Chick Corea and Tony Rice. Fleck joins Sam Briger to play his banjo, and talk about returning to his roots; his trip to Africa, the continent of the banjo's origin; and meeting his father for the first time in his 40s. Ken Tucker reviews, 'Dreaming of You,' a collection of songs by actor Karen Black, best known for 'Easy Rider' and 'Five Easy Pieces.' Black died in 2013.
13/09/21·48m 26s

Best Of: Michael K. Williams / Poet Laureate Joy Harjo

Michael K. Williams was best known for playing Omar on 'The Wire' and Chalky White on 'Boardwalk Empire.' He died Sept. 6 of a suspected drug overdose. In 2008, Williams told Terry Gross the story behind the scar on his face and his background in dance. In 2016, he reflected on his lucky breaks and what it was like to leave Omar behind. "When 'The Wire' and the character of Omar ended, I had zero tools, personally speaking, in how to deal with letting that go. ... I didn't equip myself with the tools of how to wash that off my psyche." Maureen Corrigan reviews Sally Rooney's new novel, 'Beautiful World, Where Are You.' Also, we hear from U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo. She's the first Native American appointed to the position. She has a new memoir, 'Poet Warrior,' that's in part about her family's history. She's a member of the Muskogee (Creek) Nation.
11/09/21·49m 38s

The Rise And Fall Of Osama Bin Laden

As the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks approaches, a new biography traces Osama bin Laden's path from a shy, religious teenager to the leader of a global jihadist group dedicated to mass murder. Journalist Peter Bergen, who met the al-Qaida leader in 1997, says that a series of events kept pushing bin Laden "further and further down the path of radicalization." We also talk about conditions in Afghanistan after the U.S. troop withdrawal, and the chances that terrorist organizations will flourish there as al-Qaida did in the '90s. Bergen's new book is 'The Rise and Fall of Osama bin Laden.'Also, Justin Chang reviews the new Paul Schrader film 'The Card Counter,' starring Oscar Isaac and Tiffany Haddish.
10/09/21·46m 6s

SCOTUS & The Future Of Roe V. Wade

Ian Millhiser covers the Supreme Court for Vox. He says the Court's decision to uphold the recent Texas abortion law was a generational victory for abortion opponents: "They've spent many decades working for this moment."Maureen Corrigan reviews Sally Rooney's new novel, 'Beautiful World, Where Are You.'
09/09/21·47m 4s

Remembering Michael K. Williams

Williams was best known for playing Omar on 'The Wire' and Chalky White on 'Boardwalk Empire.' In 2008, Williams told Terry Gross the story behind the scar on his face and his background in dance. In 2016, he reflected on his lucky breaks and what it was like to leave Omar behind. "When 'The Wire' and the character of Omar ended, I had zero tools, personally speaking, in how to deal with letting that go. ... I didn't equip myself with the tools of how to wash that off my psyche." Williams died Sept. 6 of a suspected drug overdose.Also, critic David Bianculli reviews the new reboot of Doogie Howser, M.D.
08/09/21·47m 4s

Poet Laureate Joy Harjo / Historian Tiya Miles

The nation's first Native American poet laureate has a new memoir in which she tells her own story — as well as the story of her sixth-generation grandfather, who was forced from his land in the Trail of Tears. It's called 'Poet Warrior.' "If my work does nothing else, when I get to the end of my life, I want Native peoples to be seen as human beings," she says.Historian Tiya Miles tells the story of an enslaved woman who, upon hearing that her child was being sold off, hastily packed her a cotton sack with a few personal items. That cotton bag remained in the child's possession and was passed on from one generation to the next, and at one point in the early 1900s, was inscribed with the family's tale. Eventually it ended up at the National Museum of African American History. Miles joins contributor Arun Venugopal to talk about what this story tell us about slavery. Her book is 'All That She Carried.'
07/09/21·47m 42s

Mavis Staples / Gladys Knight

We conclude our Summer of Soul series with Mavis Staples and Gladys Knight, two performers featured in Questlove's documentary about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. As a teenager, Mavis Staples performed with her family in the Staple Singers, led by her father, "Pops" Staples. By the late '50s, the Staple Singers was one of the most popular gospel groups in the country. In the early '70s, they crossed over to the top of the pop charts.Gladys Knight's Motown hits with the Pips included "I heard it Through the Grapevine," "Neither One of Us," and "The End of Our Road." She had one of her biggest hits after leaving Motown: "Midnight Train to Georgia."
06/09/21·48m 33s

Best Of: Sandra Oh / Aretha Franklin

Sandra Oh stars in the new comedy series 'The Chair,' as the newly appointed chair of the English department at a prestigious college-- the first woman and first person of color to hold the position. Oh co-starred in Grey's Anatomy and is currently shooting the fourth and final season of the spy thriller series 'Killing Eve.' Also, we'll listen to our 1999 interview with Aretha Franklin. She's portrayed by Jennifer Hudson in the new biopic 'Respect.' And Justin Chang reviews 'Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.' It's the first Marvel movie to feature an Asian superhero.
04/09/21·49m 10s

Best Of: Sandra Oh / Aretha Franklin

Sandra Oh stars in the new comedy series 'The Chair,' as the newly appointed chair of the English department at a prestigious college-- the first woman and first person of color to hold the position. Oh co-starred in Grey's Anatomy and is currently shooting the fourth and final season of the spy thriller series 'Killing Eve.' Also, we'll listen to our 1999 interview with Aretha Franklin. She's portrayed by Jennifer Hudson in the new biopic 'Respect.' And Justin Chang reviews 'Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.' It's the first Marvel movie to feature an Asian superhero.
04/09/21·47m 23s

Abbey Lincoln / Max Roach

We're continuing our "Summer of Soul" series with archival interviews with singer Abbey Lincoln and drummer Max Roach. Both were featured in the Questlove documentary about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. Abbey Lincoln started out as a seductive nightclub singer in the 1950s, but after meeting Max Roach, she started performing in a style influenced by modern jazz and the civil rights movement. She evolved into an introspective singer who wrote achingly beautiful songs about love and life. Max Roach was one of the inventors of modern jazz drumming. He helped formulate the language of bebop. In the early 1960s, he recorded some of the first jazz music inspired by the Civil Rights Movement.Also, John Powers reviews the PBS Masterpiece series 'Guilt.'
03/09/21·53m 50s

B.B. King / Hugh Masekela

We're revisiting archival interviews with some of the musicians featured in the documentary 'Summer of Soul.' The film is about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, a series of free concerts which reflected changes in Black culture and politics. Today we'll hear our 1996 interviews with B.B. King, perhaps the most famous blues singer and guitarist of his generation, and our 1988 interview with Hugh Masekela, the South African trumpeter who was described in the 'New York Times' as a symbol of South Africa's anti-apartheid movement, even as he spent three decades in exile.
03/09/21·47m 16s

Questlove Revives "Black Woodstock" With 'Summer Of Soul'

Today we begin our series Summer of Soul, featuring interviews from our archive with some of the performers showcased in the documentary 'Summer of Soul,' about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. The festival was a series of six concerts that reflected changes in Black music, culture and politics. Over the next few days, we'll hear interviews from our archive with B.B. King, Hugh Masekela, Gladys Knight, Mavis Staples, Max Roach and Abbey Lincoln. We start with Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, who directed the documentary. Questlove founded the band The Roots, the house band of 'The Tonight Show' and is known for his encyclopedic knowledge of hip-hop, funk, soul and R&B. Justin Chang reviews 'Shang-Chi,' Marvel's first superhero film starring an Asian lead.
01/09/21·45m 29s

Celebrating Aretha Franklin, Queen Of Soul

To mark the debut of the biopic 'RESPECT,' we listen back to archival interviews with Aretha, as well as with Atlantic Records producer Jerry Wexler, and songwriter Dan Penn, who co-wrote "Do Right Woman." We'll hear about Aretha's upbringing in the church, the iconic "sock-it-to-me's" in Respect, and recording at Muscle Shoals.
31/08/21·47m 24s

Sandra Oh

Oh stars as chair of the English department at a prestigious university in the Netflix series 'The Chair.' The 'Grey's Anatomy' co-star joined us to talk about her upbringing in Canada, breaking barriers for Asian women in Hollywood, and the sexual tension between her 'Killing Eve' character and the psychopath Villanelle. TV critic David Bianculli shares his first impressions of the Hulu comedy 'Only Murders in the Building,' starring Martin Short, Steve Martin and Selena Gomez as amateur sleuths.
30/08/21·46m 11s

Best Of: 'Schmigadoon!' Co-Creator / How Dopamine Works

Cinco Paul loves musicals — unlike his long-time writing partner, Ken Daurio, with whom he created the new Apple TV+ satire, 'Schmigadoon!' Their series centers on a couple who become trapped in a musical town. We talk with Paul about what inspired the series. Film critic Justin Chang reviews 'CODA.' Psychiatrist Dr. Anna Lembke's new book, 'Dopamine Nation,' explores the brain's connection between pleasure and pain. It also helps explain addictions — not just to drugs and alcohol, but also to food, sex and smart phones.
28/08/21·50m 16s

Remembering Chuck Close, Joe Galloway, Charlie Watts

We remember an artist, a journalist and a musician, each of whom made significant contributions to their respective fields: Known for his giant hyper-realist paintings of faces, Chuck Close was one of the leading artists of his generation. After a stroke left him partially paralyzed, he was able to keep painting. Former war correspondent Joe Galloway was the only civilian to be awarded the Medal of Valor in the Vietnam War. And Charlie Watts, the drummer for the Rolling Stones, who helped define rock 'n' roll.
27/08/21·47m 9s

CNN's Clarissa Ward On The Taliban & Afghan Women

Clarissa Ward, CNN's chief international correspondent, spent 3 weeks in Afghanistan, first with the Afghan military in Kandahar, just before it fell; then in Ghazni province, in territory that was taken over by the Taliban, and in Kabul, where the Taliban were celebrating their victory. After reporting on the chaos and danger at the airport, as thousands of people tried to escape on U.S. military flights, she got on an Air Force C-17 to Doha, Qatar, along with hundreds of evacuees. We'll talk about what she learned and what she experienced.
26/08/21·46m 34s
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