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.

Episodes

Jeffrey Toobin On The 'Tragedy' Of The Mueller Report

In Jeffrey ​Toobin's new book, ​'True Crimes and Misdemeanors,​'​​ the CNN legal analyst ​examines how​ President​ Trump and his team out-maneuvered special counsel Robert Mueller. Mueller, he says, gave Trump "a free pass" on obstruction of justice.​ ​We'll also talk about the impeachment trial and the Supreme Court.
05/08/2049m 13s

Isabel Wilkerson On America's Caste System

In 'Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents', the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist examines the laws and practices that created a bipolar caste system in the U.S. — and how the Nazis borrowed from it.Also, John Powers reviews Raven Leilani's debut novel, 'Luster.'
04/08/2048m 49s

The Decline Of Local News

Since 2004, more than 2,000 American newspapers have gone out of business. 'Washington Post' media columnist Margaret Sullivan talks about the decline of local news coverage, a crisis she says is as serious as the spread of disinformation on the internet. Her new book is 'Ghosting the News: Local Journalism and the Crisis of American Democracy.'Film critic Justin Chang reviews the thriller 'She Dies Tomorrow.'
03/08/2048m 38s

Best Of: Poet Natasha Trethewey / Mike Birbiglia & Jen Stein

When Natasha Trethewey was 19, her abusive stepfather killed her mother. In the 35 years since, she says, "I wanted to forge a new life for myself that didn't include that past, but, of course, that was impossible." Her new memoir is 'Memorial Drive.' Trethewey was the U.S. Poet Laureate in 2012 and 2013.Kevin Whitehead reviews a newly unearthed recording by drummer Art Blakey and his band.When comic Mike Birbiglia and poet Jen Stein got married, they agreed they didn't want kids. But then Jen changed her mind. After their daughter Oona was born, Mike had difficulty bonding with her, and it put a strain on the marriage. In their book, 'The New One,' Mike writes "painfully true" stories about the first year of parenthood and Jen gives her perspective through poetry.
01/08/2050m 35s

Remembering Regis Philbin / Jazz Singer Annie Ross

We remember TV personality Regis Philbin, who died on July 24 at 88. He spoke with contributor David Bianculli in 2011 when his memoir, 'How I Got This Way,' came out. Also, we remember jazz singer Annie Ross, who died at 89. She sang in the trio Lambert, Hendricks & Ross and was best-known for the song "Twisted." Ross spoke with Terry Gross in 1990. David Bianculli reviews 'Muppets Now' on Disney+, and Ken Tucker reviews Taylor Swift's new album, 'Folklore.'
31/07/2048m 44s

The Legacy of White Supremacy In American Christianity

Robert P. Jones, author of the new book 'White Too Long,' talks about the history of white supremacy in American Christianity. His main focus is on the Southern Baptist Convention, the denomination in which he grew up. "There's so much work still to be done," he says. "White Christians have been largely silent ... and have hardly begun these conversations."Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews two new novels: 'The Aunt Who Wouldn't Die,' and 'Blacktop Wasteland.'
30/07/2047m 59s

MLB Analyst Tim Kurkjian On Baseball During COVID

Major League Baseball is back — but for how long? About half of the Miami Marlins' roster has tested positive for COVID-19. ESPN baseball analyst Tim Kurkjian explains the challenges Major League Baseball faces as play resumes amid the pandemic.Also, Kevin Whitehead reviews 'Just Coolin'', a newly unearthed recording by drummer Art Blakey and his band.
29/07/2047m 51s

Poet Natasha Trethewey

When Trethewey was 19, her abusive stepfather killed her mother. In the 35 years since, she says, "I wanted to forge a new life for myself that didn't include that past, but, of course, that was impossible." In her new memoir, 'Memorial Drive,' Trethewey revives her mother's memory and shares stories about growing up biracial in the South. She was the U.S. Poet Laureate in 2012 and 2013.
28/07/2047m 56s

Comic Mike Birbiglia & Poet Jen Stein On 'Reluctant' Parenthood

When Mike Birbiglia and Jen Stein got married, they agreed they didn't want kids. But then Jen changed her mind. After their daughter Oona was born, Mike had difficulty bonding with her, and it put a strain on the marriage. In their book, 'The New One,' Mike writes "painfully true" stories about the first year of parenthood and Jen gives her perspective through poetry.
27/07/2047m 52s

Best Of: Michaela Coel / Justice & Faith For The Wrongly Convicted

In the HBO series 'I May Destroy You,' Michaela Coel plays Arabella, a writer in London who goes to a bar and is drugged and sexually assaulted. She then has to piece together what happened to her. The series, which Coel wrote, directed and stars in, explores issues of sexuality and consent. She talks about how she drew on personal experience.John Powers reviews Zadie Smith's new collection of essays, 'Intimations,' written during the pandemic and completed after George Floyd's murder.Jim McCloskey, a lay minister, has devoted the past 40 years of his life to seeking justice and exoneration for men and women on death row or serving life sentences for crimes they didn't commit. His memoir is 'When Truth is All You Have.'
25/07/2050m 33s

Remembering Foreign Correspondent Christopher Dickey

In a career spanning four decades, Dickey authored seven books and reported from more than 40 countries, often covering war, conflict and espionage. He died July 16 at 68. Dickey spoke with Terry Gross in 1998 and 2002.Also, Justin Chang reviews two new thriller movies about terrors within the home: 'Relic' and 'Amulet.'
24/07/2048m 9s

Mary Trump, The President's Niece

Mary Trump was devastated when her uncle was elected president. Her book, 'Too Much and Never Enough,' describes Donald Trump as a "belligerent" youth who hasn't changed since he was a teen. Mary's late father Freddy was the black sheep of the family.
23/07/2048m 30s

Michaela Coel On 'I May Destroy You'

In the HBO series 'I May Destroy You,' Michaela Coel plays Arabella, a writer in London who goes to a bar and is drugged and sexually assaulted. She then has to piece together what happened to her. The series, which Coel wrote, directed and stars in, explores issues of sexuality and consent. She talks about how she drew on personal experience. John Powers reviews Zadie Smith's new collection of essays, 'Intimations,' written during the pandemic and completed after George Floyd's murder.
22/07/2048m 0s

Faith, Justice, And Freedom For The Wrongly Convicted

Jim McCloskey, a lay minister, has devoted the past 40 years of his life to seeking justice and exoneration for men and women on death row or serving life sentences for crimes they didn't commit. "I saw firsthand how police and prosecutors manipulate evidence, coerce witnesses into giving false testimony," he says. His memoir is 'When Truth is All You Have.' Ken Tucker reviews the new album by HAIM, 'Women in Music Pt. III.'
21/07/2048m 27s

Remembering Rep. John Lewis

The towering civil rights leader John Lewis died July 17 at the age of 80. Lewis grew up the son of sharecroppers and later became an associate of Martin Luther King Jr. He co-led the 1965 civil rights march in Selma, Ala., which turned violent when state troopers beat and tear gassed the peaceful protestors. The protest became known as "Bloody Sunday." He spoke with Terry Gross in 2009. We'll also hear from the first Black lawyer in Selma, J.L. Chestnut, who shares his memories of Bloody Sunday. Maureen Corrigan reviews Emma Donoghue's new novel about the flu pandemic of 1918, 'The Pull of the Stars.'
20/07/2047m 7s

Best Of Colin Jost / Matthew Rhys

'Saturday Night Live' "Weekend Update" co-anchor Colin Jost talks about telling jokes about race with Michael Che and why he prefers writing to speaking. His new memoir is 'A Very Punchable Face.' Film critic Justin Chang says 'Palm Springs,' starring Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti, is a perfect comedy for our current times. And Welsh actor Matthew Rhys talks about living out his boyhood fantasies in his new role as hardboiled detective Perry Mason.
18/07/2050m 21s

Charlize Theron / Danny Trejo

Charlize Theron spoke with Terry Gross last year about growing up in Apartheid-era South Africa and growing up with an abusive father. She now stars in the film 'The Old Guard' on Netflix. Also, we listen back to our 2018 interview actor Danny Trejo. He's known for playing menacing characters in 'Breaking Bad,' 'Sons of Anarchy' and 'Machete.' The documentary 'Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo' chronicles his unlikely journey from prison to stardom.
17/07/2048m 39s

Why The U.S. Prison System Makes Mental Illness Worse (And How We Might Fix It)

Dr. Christine Montross says in the U.S., people with serious mental illnesses are far more likely to be incarcerated than to be treated in a psychiatric hospital. Montross studied systemic change in the Norwegian prison system, and what the U.S. might learn from it. Her new book is 'Waiting for an Echo.'TV critic David Bianculli shares his thoughts on NBC's new streaming platform, Peacock.
16/07/2048m 8s

Jane Mayer: Trump Used Pandemic To Weaken Worker Protections

Journalist Jane Mayer reports the Trump administration has weakened federal health and safety regulations of the poultry industry as plants have become COVID-19 hotspots, and allowed managers to speed up production lines. She says the U.S. Labor Department is effectively supporting an effort at one Delaware plant — owned by a major Trump campaign donor — to expel the union that has represented workers there for decades. Her article in the current issue of the 'New Yorker' is called, "How Trump is Helping Tycoons Exploit the Pandemic."
15/07/2048m 4s

SNL's Colin Jost

The 'Saturday Night Live' "Weekend Update" co-anchor and writer Colin Jost acknowledges that his clean-cut image sometimes rubs people the wrong way. "When I get hurt or hit on camera," he says, "the audience really loves it." His new memoir is 'A Very Punchable Face.'Film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Palm Springs,' a nod to 'Groundhog Day' starring Andy Samberg.
14/07/2049m 37s

Matthew Rhys

Rhys says his version of the iconic criminal defense attorney Perry Mason is more hardboiled than the one Raymond Burr played on TV: "He's a man who kind of lives on whiskey and cigarettes." We also talk about playing a spy in 'The Americans' and growing up in Wales (and masking his accent in auditions). Kevin Whitehead reviews a new album from trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire.
13/07/2048m 14s

Best Of: Padma Lakshmi / Patrick Stewart

In her new Hulu series, 'Taste the Nation,' Padma Lakshmi explores the different cultures that contribute to American cuisine. Lakshmi spoke with Terry Gross about splitting her childhood between the U.S. and India and her early modeling career.Ken Tucker reviews Bob Dylan's new album, 'Rough and Rowdy Ways.'Patrick Stewart is back as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the CBS All Access series 'Star Trek: Picard.' He says he's changed as an actor over the years: "I am not averse to risk-taking and I don't judge myself."
11/07/2050m 32s

'Moonlight' Actor André Holland

Growing up in Alabama, André Holland's parents were voting rights activists and his father was a preacher. Holland is best known for his roles in 'Moonlight' and 'Castle Rock.' Next week he'll star in a radio version of Shakespeare's 'Richard II,' a co-production of WNYC and The Public Theater. Holland spoke with Terry Gross in 2018. John Powers reviews the action movie 'The Old Guard' starring Charlize Theron.
10/07/2048m 43s

Chaos & Healing In The ER

In her memoir, 'The Beauty in Breaking,' Dr. Michele Harper writes about treating gunshot wounds, getting punched in the face, and discovering evidence of child abuse. She's also drawn insight and courage from her patients as she's struggled to overcome pain and trauma in her own life — growing up with an abusive father, and coping with the breakup of her marriage. Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Mexican Gothic' by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.
09/07/2047m 21s

Why White Evangelicals Worship At The Altar Of Trump

Journalist Sarah Posner says while President Trump may not speak the language of faith and Christian values, he speaks the language of grievance — giving voice to legal, social and cultural concerns shared by the Christian right and the alt-right. Posner's book is 'Unholy.'Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews an album by drummer Chad Taylor and his trio. Film critic Justin Chang reviews the HBO documentary 'Welcome to Chechnya,' about atrocities committed against the LGBTQ community.
08/07/2048m 16s

'Demagogue' Draws Direct Line From McCarthy To Trump

Author Larry Tye chronicles Sen. Joseph McCarthy's infamous smear campaign in a new book, 'Demagogue.' He says both McCarthy and President Trump are "bullies" who exploit fears and "point fingers when they're attacked."Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel 'Want' by Lynn Steger Strong.
07/07/2046m 35s

Padma Lakshmi

In her new Hulu series, 'Taste the Nation,' the 'Top Chef' host and executive producer explores the different cultures that contribute to American cuisine. Lakshmi spoke with Terry Gross about splitting her childhood between the U.S. and India, speaking out about sexual assault, and her early modeling career.
06/07/2048m 38s

Best Of: Lin-Manuel Miranda / Actor Christine Baranski

A film of the original Broadway production of 'Hamilton,' taped in 2016, is now streaming on Disney+. Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, who stars in the title role, says the production is as timely as ever. "When you write a musical that brushes against the origins of this country, it's always going to be relevant," he says. "The fights we had at the [country's] origin are the fights we're still having." Christine Baranski started her career in theater and now stars as a progressive lawyer in 'The Good Fight.' "I was a passionate acting student and nothing was going to stop me," the Emmy Award-winning actor says.
04/07/2050m 25s

Remembering Carl Reiner

Performer, writer, director Carl Reiner died Monday at 98. Reiner began his career in showbiz as an actor and became second banana on Sid Caesar's 'Show of Shows' where he soon joined the writing team that included Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, and Larry Gelbart. He created 'The Dick Van Dyke Show,' one of television's most celebrated comedies. We'll listen back to our interview with Reiner, and we hear excerpts of interviews with Mary Tyler Moore who worked with Reiner on 'The Dick Van Dyke Show,' and from Mel Brooks, his longtime friend and collaborator.Also, David Bianculli reviews the film adaptation of 'Hamilton,' now streaming on Disney+.
03/07/2048m 13s

Sir Patrick Stewart On 'Star Trek: Picard'

Patrick Stewart is back as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the CBS All Access series 'Star Trek: Picard.' He says he's changed as an actor over the years: "I am not averse to risk-taking and I don't judge myself." Stewart spoke with 'Fresh Air' producer Sam Briger about 'Picard,' his love of Shakespeare, and his brief time as a reporter.
02/07/2049m 22s

The Militarization Of Police

Journalist Radley Balko, author of 'Rise Of The Warrior Cop,' says police departments across America are increasingly using equipment designed for use on a battlefield, including tanks, bayonets and grenades. We talk about the use of these weapons against peaceful protestors.
01/07/2048m 13s

A Doctor Confronts Medical Error

When Dr. Danielle Ofri was in medical school she missed a patient's critical brain bleed. Luckily, someone else caught the error and the patient survived, but Ofri lived with the guilt and shame for 20 years. Medical errors are very common, yet many in the medical community don't speak up. In her book, 'When We Do Harm,' Ofri looks into the flaws in the health care system that can lead to risky mistakes. Also, Ken Tucker reviews Bob Dylan's new album, 'Rough and Rowdy Ways.'
30/06/2048m 44s

'Hamilton' Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda

A film of the original Broadway production of 'Hamilton,' taped in 2016, begins streaming on Disney+ on July 3. Miranda, who stars in the title role, says the production is as timely as ever. "When you write a musical that brushes against the origins of this country, it's always going to be relevant," he says. "The fights we had at the [country's] origin are the fights we're still having." We also talk about 'In the Heights' and being productive (or not) during the pandemic.
29/06/2050m 2s

Best Of: A Call For Reparations / Treating PTSD With Psychedelics

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones says 250 yeas of slavery and 100 years of legalized segregation robbed Black Americans of the ability to accumulate wealth. Cash payments would help repair the damage. Her latest piece in the 'New York Times Magazine' is 'What Is Owed.'Ken Tucker reviews new albums by Lady Gaga and Carly Rae Jepsen.Psychiatrist Dr. Julie Holland has used psychedelic-assisted therapy to treat patients with post-traumatic stress disorder. In some cases, she says, MDMA or marijuana can help make treatment more efficient and effective. She discusses this "revolutionary way" to treat trauma. Holland's book is 'Good Chemistry.'
27/06/2050m 28s

LGBTQ Activist Cleve Jones / Novelist Marijane Meaker

After the AIDS epidemic hit San Francisco, gay activist Cleve Jones co-founded the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and started the AIDS Memorial Quilt. "I have these memories of great struggle and great pain and great loss, but I also in my lifetime have seen extraordinary progress and amazing change," he says. His memoir, 'When We Rise,' was published in 2016.Marijane Meaker wrote the lesbian pulp novel 'Spring Fire' in 1952, and was surprised when it sold 1.5 million copies. She went on to write other lesbian-themed books under pen names. She spoke with Terry Gross in 2003. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews Jon Stewart's political satire film 'Irresistible.'
26/06/2049m 5s

Actor Christine Baranski

Baranski started her career in theater and now stars as a progressive lawyer in 'The Good Fight.' "I was a passionate acting student and nothing was going to stop me," the Emmy Award-winning actor says. She talks about singing Sondheim, 'Mamma Mia,' and her grandmother who performed in the Polish theater.
25/06/2047m 35s

A Call For Reparations: Nikole Hannah-Jones On The Wealth Gap

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones says 250 yeas of slavery and 100 years of legalized segregation robbed Black Americans of the ability to accumulate wealth. Cash payments would help repair the damage. Her latest piece in the 'New York Times Magazine' is 'What Is Owed.'
24/06/2047m 43s

From 'Empty' To Satisfied: A Lifelong Struggle With Eating Disorders

For nearly 30 years, 'This American Life' producer Susan Burton kept her binge eating disorder a secret. "As long as I was bingeing, I didn't have to think. I didn't have to think about any loss or pain or wanting or yearning." Burton also had anorexia, though that was harder to hide. She talks about her difficult relationship with food and work toward recovery. Burton's memoir is 'Empty.' Ken Tucker reviews Lady Gaga's 'Chromatica' and Carly Rae Jepsen's 'Dedicated Side B.' And book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews the memoir 'All The Way to Tigers' by Mary Morris.
23/06/2048m 38s

Treating PTSD With Psychedelics

Psychiatrist Dr. Julie Holland has used psychedelic-assisted therapy to treat patients with post-traumatic stress disorder. In some cases, she says, MDMA or marijuana can help make treatment more efficient and effective. She discusses this "revolutionary way" to treat trauma. Holland's book is 'Good Chemistry.' Also, John Powers shares his favorite espionage thriller series, a French show called 'The Bureau.'
22/06/2047m 23s

Best Of: The 1919 Chicago Race Riots / Parenting 'Without Perfection'

Eve Ewing's poetry collection '1919' looks back on a century-old riot in Chicago, set off after Eugene Williams, a black teen, drowned because he was stoned by white people on the beach. Police refused to make an arrest. Ewing connects the systemic racism that plagued the U.S. then to what we see happening now.Kevin Whitehead talks about a film genre that many jazz fans gripe about — the jazz biopic. Blogger and licensed family therapist Kristen Howerton talks about how raising two white biological daughters and two black adopted sons helped her understand white privilege. Her new memoir is 'Rage Against the Minivan.'
20/06/2050m 45s

Rhiannon Giddens Sings Slave Narratives / Freedom Singer Bernice Johnson Reagon

Singer and banjo player Rhiannon Giddens' 2017 album 'Freedom Highway' includes songs based on slave narratives. She notes that the modern banjo draws from the African instrument known as the akonting, which is made from a gourd. "In the first 100 years of its existence, the [American] banjo was known as a plantation instrument, as a black instrument," she says.During the civil rights movement, Bernice Johnson Reagon sang freedom songs from jail, in marches and churches. She was a founding member of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee's Freedom Singers in the '60s. She spoke with Terry Gross in 1988 about the songs she sang as an activist.
19/06/2049m 6s

Kristen Howerton On 'Parenting Without Perfection'

Blogger and licensed family therapist Kristen Howerton talks about how raising two white biological daughters and two black adopted sons helped her understand white privilege. She reflects on motherhood, miscarriage, divorce and faith. Her new memoir is 'Rage Against the Minivan.'David Bianculli reviews HBO's new take on the courtroom drama 'Perry Mason,' starring Matthew Rhys.
18/06/2047m 50s

Assessing COVID-19 Risk As The U.S. Reopens

With certain states loosening restrictions — and others partially in lockdown — there's a lot of widespread confusion about COVID-19 risks. We talk with University of Minnesota epidemiologist Michael Osterholm about the safety concerns in terms of protests, indoor gatherings, touching surfaces, and why the antibody test is so flawed.
17/06/2048m 14s

The Lasting Effects Of Having — Or Being Denied — An Abortion

Dr. Diana Greene Foster interviewed 1,000 women over 10 years who either had or were denied abortions. Her study looked at the women's mental, physical and economic health. Foster says the data reveal, "95 percent of women who receive an abortion later report that it was the right decision for them." Her book is 'The Turnaway Study.' Kevin Whitehead says, while jazz fans like to hate on jazz biopics, there are plenty of interesting details embedded in the messy stories.
16/06/2048m 6s

Poet Eve Ewing Connects 1919 Chicago Riots To Today

Ewing's poetry collection '1919' looks back on a century-old riot in Chicago, set off after a black teen drowned while being stoned by white people. Police refused to make an arrest. Ewing connects the systemic racism that plagued the U.S. then to what we see happening now. Ewing teaches at the University of Chicago's Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture.Also, John Powers reviews a reissue of the novel 'The End of Me' by Alfred Hayes.
15/06/2048m 51s

Best Of: Jamiles Lartey On Racism In Policing / Pete Davidson & Judd Apatow

Journalist Jamiles Lartey ​writes about criminal justice, race and policing for the non-profit news organization 'The Marshall Project.' ​Terry Gross spoke with Lartey about systemic racism in American policing and how we might begin to rethink these systems. "Policing wasn't always this way. It wasn't always this big. It wasn't always this bureaucratic," he says. "Sometimes as a society, you need to rethink institutions."Film critic Justin Chang reviews Spike Lee's new movie, 'Da 5 Bloods,' a twist on a Vietnam War saga. It's now on Netflix.'SNL' castmember Pete Davidson plays a fictionalized version of himself in the new movie 'The King of Staten Island.' The film, directed by Judd Apatow, draws on Davidson's real life experience of losing his own father, a 9/11 First Responder. Davidson and Apatow spoke with Terry Gross about the film and healing from trauma.
13/06/2049m 5s

James Baldwin / Filmmaker Raoul Peck / Black Athletes & Social Justice

'I Am Not Your Negro' is the documentary about James Baldwin, one of the most influential black writers to emerge during the civil rights Era and address racial issues head on. We listen back to Terry Gross' 1986 interview with Baldwin, and we'll hear an excerpt of an interview with the director of the documentary, Raoul Peck. He was born in Haiti and was influenced by Baldwin as a young man. In 2016, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the National Anthem in protest against police shootings and racial inequality, essentially putting an end to his football career. Journalist Howard Bryant's book, 'The Heritage,' is about the history of African American athletes taking stands for social justice. Bryant spoke with Dave Davies in 2018.
12/06/2048m 50s

Pete Davidson & Judd Apatow On 'The King Of Staten Island'

'SNL' castmember Pete Davidson plays a fictionalized version of himself in the new movie 'The King of Staten Island.' The film draws on Davidson's real life experience of losing his own father, a 9/11 First Responder. Filmmaker Judd Apatow and Davidson talk about being comedy nerds, grappling with their parents' divorces, and the importance of talking about feelings. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews Spike Lee's new movie, 'Da 5 Bloods,' a twist on a Vietnam War saga.
11/06/2047m 32s

Rethinking American Policing

We talk with ​journalist ​Jamiles Lartey about systemic racism in American policing​. ​He writes about criminal justice, race and policing for the non-profit news organization 'The Marshall Project.' ​"Policing wasn't always this way. It wasn't always this big. It wasn't always this bureaucratic," he says. "Sometimes as a society, you need to rethink institutions."
10/06/2047m 41s

The Trump Administration's Response To DC Protests

'Washington Post' reporter Matt Zapotosky talks about Attorney General William Barr's role in the Trump administration's forceful response to the largely peaceful George Floyd protests in Washington, DC.
09/06/2048m 34s

The Brutal History Of The Texas Rangers

Their exploits are portrayed in countless movies and TV shows, but author Doug Swanson says the law enforcement agency has a dark history of abuse and officially-sanctioned racial oppression — including burning villages, hunting runaway slaves and murdering Mexicans and Mexican-Americans. Swanson's book is 'Cult of Glory.' Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead looks at what he calls the "stock jazz-movie ending," a basic plot element subject to many variations.
08/06/2048m 18s

Best Of: The 'New Science' Of Breathing / The Migration Of All Living Things

Humans typically take about 25,000 breaths per day — often without a second thought. We talk with journalist James Nestor about how breath work can affect your overall health. His book is 'Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art.'Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead looks at what he calls the "stock jazz-movie ending," a basic plot element subject to many variations.When living things cross into new territory, they are often viewed as threats. But science writer Sonia Shah, who has written a new book — 'The Next Great Migration' — says the "invaders" are just following biology.
06/06/2050m 19s

The 'Unresolved Legacy' Of Reconstruction

In the period after the Civil War, former slaves were made promises of equality and citizenship by the federal government. Historian Eric Foner analyzes the fate of those promises and how the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments relate to current issues around voting rights, mass incarceration and reparations for slavery. His new book is 'Forever Free.' (Originally broadcast 2006) Also, we remember award-winning author Robb Forman Dew, who died May 22. She wrote about intimate family life. Dew spoke with Terry Gross in 1994.
05/06/2048m 33s

Why GOP Leaders Back Trump's 'Proto-Authoritarian Cult'

Journalist Anne Applebaum says President Trump's threat to deploy the military on peaceful protestors is straight out of an authoritarian playbook. The 'Atlantic' staff writer says Trump has built a proto-authoritarian cult in the White House, with little to no dissent from the GOP. "There is nothing about our democracy that is magic. A person who is determined to destroy it can destroy it — unless people can fight back." Her new article is 'History Will Judge the Complicit.' Film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Shirley,' an unusual biopic about writer Shirley Jackson starring Elisabeth Moss.
04/06/2047m 26s

Wes Moore On Freddie Gray & George Floyd: It's Time To 'Change The Systems'

In his book 'Five Days,' author Wes Moore chronicles the uprising that occurred in 2015 in Baltimore following Freddie Gray's death. "We're basically reliving history right now," he says of George Floyd's death at the hands of police. Moore talks about the systemic injustices that have converged to create the crisis we're in right now.
03/06/2048m 29s

Rethinking The Migration Of All Living Things

When living things cross into new territory, they are often viewed as threats. But science writer Sonia Shah, who has written a new book — 'The Next Great Migration' — says the "invaders" are just following biology. Shah talks about the migration of people, animals and plants (especially due to climate change), and our misconceptions about "belonging."
02/06/2047m 26s

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams On George Floyd Protests & Police Reform

At 15, Eric Adams was beaten by police. The traumatizing incident inspired him to become a police officer to help reform NYC policing from the inside. He co-founded 100 Blacks In Law Enforcement Who Care, and after 22 years on the force, he retired as a captain. Now the Brooklyn Borough President, Adams talks about police reform and the protests against brutality and systemic racism happening across America. "Hitting the streets and showing your outrage and [that you're] not comfortable is something that's as part of America as apple pie and Chevrolet. We need to continue to hit the streets to move America where it ought to go." Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel 'The Vanishing Half,' by Brit Bennett. And David Bianculli shares his first impressions of HBO Max.
01/06/2048m 15s

Best Of: Comic Hannah Gadsby / Inside The Snowden Story

Since her explosive 2018 Netflix special, 'Nanette,' comic Hannah Gadsby has been trying to adjust to her newfound success. We talk about being diagnosed with autism and growing up in Tasmania. Her new special is 'Douglas.'Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews the road-trip novel 'St. Christopher On Pluto.'Journalist Barton Gellman shares a Pulitzer for his reporting about former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and the U.S. government's secret surveillance program. Gellman talks about his tense relationship with Snowden and getting hacked. His new book is 'Dark Mirror.'
30/05/2050m 20s

Margo Price / Remembering AIDS Activist Larry Kramer

Nashville singer-songwriter Margo Price spoke with 'Fresh Air' in 2017 when her album 'All American Made' was released. She plays songs off her two records, and talks about the heartache and beauty of growing up on a farm in a small town in Illinois.AIDS activist Larry Kramer, who died May 27, was an early advocate for aggressive research into the HIV virus. He co-founded both the Gay Men's Health Crisis and the protest group ACT UP. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1992.
29/05/2048m 53s

Inside New York's Citywide Effort To Bury Its Dead

In just a two month period, New York City had 20,000 COVID deaths. What happens to the bodies? 'TIME' reporter W.J. Hennigan visited the disaster morgues set up around the city, and spoke with the death care workers on the front lines. "The scale of it is incomparable to anything that we've seen," he says. Also, John Powers reviews the new AMC limited series 'Quiz,' about a British couple suspected of cheating at a game show.
28/05/2047m 24s

Deep Breaths: How Breathing Affects Sleep, Anxiety & Resilience

Humans typically take about 25,000 breaths per day — often without a second thought. But the COVID-19 pandemic has put a new spotlight on respiratory illnesses and the breaths we so often take for granted. We talk with journalist James Nestor about why breathing through your nose is better than breathing through your mouth, snoring, and how breath work can affect your overall health. His book is 'Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art.' Kevin Whitehead reviews a new album of Transylvanian folk songs by the trio Lucian Ban, John Surman and Mat Maneri.
27/05/2048m 16s

Comic Hannah Gadsby

Since her explosive 2018 Netflix special, 'Nanette,' Gadsby has been trying to adjust to her newfound success. We talk about her autism diagnosis, growing up in Tasmania, and her new special, 'Douglas.' Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews Nancy McKinley's road trip novel 'St. Christopher on Pluto.'
26/05/2049m 6s

Winston Churchill & Fearless Leadership In Crisis

In 'The Splendid And The Vile,' author Erik Larson details Churchill's first year in office, during which England endured a Nazi bombing campaign that killed more than 44,000 civilians. Larson says Churchill told his citizens the truth and inspired them to resist. (Originally Broadcast March, 2020)Lloyd Schwartz shares a collection of songs by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong that's particularly soothing right now.
25/05/2048m 4s

Best Of: Janelle Monáe / Meditation For Pandemic Anxiety

Musician and actor Janelle Monáe talks about the concept behind her 2018 album 'Dirty Computer,' and her identity as a queer woman in the entertainment industry. She now stars in the second season of the thriller series 'Homecoming,' as a veteran who wakes up in a rowboat and is unable to remember who she is or how she got there.John Powers reviews a recent restoration of 'Tokyo Godfathers,' a 2003 anime film by Satoshi Kon, about three social outcasts who find an abandoned baby. ABC News correspondent Dan Harris was broadcasting live in 2004 when he experienced a panic attack. He talks about how meditation helps him work through his anxiety and shares meditation practices for the pandemic. He's the co-founder of the meditation podcast and app '10 Percent Happier.'
23/05/2050m 16s

Remembering Beatles Photographer Astrid Kirchherr / Comedy Actor Fred Willard

German photographer Astrid Kirchherr, who died May 12, took the very first publicity photos of the then little-known Liverpool band, "The Beatles." She also gave the group their signature "mop-top" haircuts. Kirchherr spoke with Terry Gross in 2008 when a book of her Beatles photographs was published. John Powers reviews a new restoration of 'Tokyo Godfathers,' a 2003 anime film by Satoshi Kon about three social outcasts who find an abandoned baby. Comedy actor and improviser Fred Willard died May 15 at age 86. He was known for his scene-stealing roles in the Christopher Guest films 'Best in Show' and 'Waiting for Guffman,' and later films like 'Anchorman' and the series 'Modern Family.' He spoke with Terry Gross in 1997.Film critic Justin Chang reviews the comedy 'The Trip to Greece,' starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, a poignant end to their anthology of travel films.
22/05/2048m 55s

How The Pandemic Reveals Gender Inequality In The Household

For many couples, the pandemic has exposed inequality in the home: Many women take on twice as much housework and childcare as their male partners, even when both partners are home full time. We talk with Brigid Schulte about women's visible (and invisible) labor, and how to create a more equitable household. Schulte is a journalist and author and the founder of the Better Life Lab. Also, we remember filmmaker Lynn Shelton. She died suddenly last Saturday at age 54. She wrote and directed the award-winning indie films 'Humpday,' 'Your Sister's Sister,' and 'Touchy Feely.' She spoke with Terry Gross in 2012.
21/05/2048m 21s

Breaking The Edward Snowden Story

Journalist Barton Gellman shares a Pulitzer for his reporting about former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and the U.S. government's secret surveillance program. Gellman talks about his tense relationship with Snowden, getting hacked, and Snowden's lasting impact on privacy and security. His new book is 'Dark Mirror.'
20/05/2047m 57s

How Meditation Can Ease Pandemic Anxiety

ABC News correspondent Dan Harris was broadcasting live in 2004 when he experienced a panic attack. He credits meditation with helping him work through his anxiety — both then and now. He's the co-founder of the meditation podcast and app '10 Percent Happier.' "Meditation doesn't make the uncertainty go away. It's not like I meditate and I'm walking through this pandemic like a unicorn barfing rainbows all the time." Rather, Harris says, meditation allows people to "relax into the uncertainty."
19/05/2047m 19s

Janelle Monáe

The musician and actor spoke with us about the concept behind her 2018 album 'Dirty Computer,' her identity as a queer woman in the entertainment industry, and making her acting debut in the Oscar-winning film 'Moonlight.' She now stars in the second season of the thriller series 'Homecoming' as a veteran who wakes up in a rowboat and is unable to remember who she is or how she got there.
18/05/2047m 56s

Best Of: John Moe On Depression / Alia Volz On Growing Up 'Home Baked'

In his podcast, 'The Hilarious World of Depression,' John Moe talks with his guests (mostly comics) about their experiences with mental illness. We talk about his own depression (especially during the pandemic) and how humor gives him relief.Also, Ken Tucker reviews the new album, 'Alphabetland,' from the band X.Growing up in San Francisco in the '70s, Alia Volz's family ran a booming weed brownie business, back when growing a single cannabis plant was a felony. "I had this understanding of my family as an outlaw family from the very beginning," she says. Her memoir is 'Home Baked.'
16/05/2050m 28s

Remembering Actor Jerry Stiller / Cellist Lynn Harrell

Actor and comedian Jerry Stiller, who died May 11, was part of a comic duo with his wife Anne Meara and later played George Costanza's hot-headed father on 'Seinfeld.' He spoke to 'Fresh Air' in 1993. Also, we remember award-winning cellist Lynn Harrell. He joined the the Cleveland Orchestra when he was 18 and went on to perform as a soloist with orchestras around the world. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1987.TV critic David Bianculli reviews the genre-bending series 'The Great' on Hulu.
15/05/2047m 28s

What We Might Learn From The 1918 Flu Pandemic

John Barry's 2004 book about the 1918 influenza pandemic is a current bestseller. Barry talks about the parallels that are relevant to today's COVID-19 crisis. In both cases, he says, "the outbreak was trivialized for a long time." Also, we remember eccentric pop music figure Ian Whitcomb. Many people knew him for his 1965 novelty song 'You Turn Me On,' which was a top 10 hit. He died last month at 78.And classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz shares what he's been listening to during these difficult times.
14/05/2047m 31s

Doctor With Rare Disease Decides To Find His Own Cure

David Fajgenbaum was diagnosed with Castleman disease as a medical student and nearly died several times. In 'Chasing My Cure,' he recounts crowd-sourcing his own treatment with a global network of doctors, scientists and patients.Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews Benjamin Taylor's book about his friendship with Philip Roth, 'Here We Are.'
13/05/2048m 8s

Writer Michael Arceneaux Worries, 'I Don't Want To Die Poor'

Michael Arceneaux graduated from Howard University in 2007 with more than $100,000 of private student loan debt. His new essay collection, 'I Don't Want to Die Poor,' recounts how that debt has shaped his life. "I became a 'New York Times' bestselling author the same week I lost my health insurance," he says. "I do have a foot in both worlds, because I just really know how difficult it is to attain social mobility." Also, Ken Tucker reviews the new album, 'Alphabetland,' from the band X.
12/05/2048m 2s

How Will The Pandemic Affect Voting?

Assuming the pandemic has not ended by Election Day, will you be able to vote by mail? And if not, are you willing to risk your health? We talk with journalist Emily Bazelon about her new 'NYT Magazine' article titled, "Will Americans Lose the Right to Vote in the Pandemic?" She focuses on the financial and political obstacles that are likely to prevent many Americans from voting by mail. Bazelon writes, "The U.S. prides itself on its democracy in theory, but this year, not necessarily in practice."
11/05/2048m 41s

Best Of: Tim Gunn / Chef Tom Colicchio

Longtime fashion expert and mentor Tim Gunn returns to 'Fresh Air' to talk about how the pandemic has changed his mind about comfy clothes and his new competition series, 'Making the Cut.' David Bianculli recommends the 90th birthday salute to Broadway icon Stephen Sondheim, available online.'Top Chef' judge Tom Colicchio spoke with Terry Gross about broken food supply chains, food waste, and what the future of the restaurant industry might look like due to COVID-19. Colicchio helped form the Independent Restaurant Coalition to lobby Congress for relief for the industry.
09/05/2050m 29s

Steve Martin

We're revisiting one of our favorite interviews from our archive, with comic Steve Martin from when his memoir 'Born Standing Up' was released in 2008. When he started doing comedy in the 1970s, his audiences often didn't know what to make of him. His material was somewhere between vaudeville and performance art. As a kid, he sold guide books in Disneyland, and hung out in magic shops while spending hours working up a magic act. Martin tells us about his years as a stand up comic—and why he ended that part of his career. Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the recent 90th birthday salute to Broadway composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, which is available online.
08/05/2048m 38s

Chef Tom Colicchio On How To Save The Restaurant Industry

The 'Top Chef' judge spoke with Terry Gross about broken food supply chains, food waste, and what the future of the restaurant industry might look like due to COVID-19. Colicchio helped form the Independent Restaurant Coalition to lobby Congress for relief for the industry. "We're really looking at saving every restaurant, because we think that every restaurant needs to be there," he says.Justin Chang reviews 'Driveways,' starring late actor Brian Dennehy.
07/05/2047m 54s

Understanding Speaker Nancy Pelosi

'Time' correspondent Molly Ball says the key to the speaker's success is her mastery of the inside game in politics — building relationships, counting votes, plotting strategy and working around the clock. Ball's book is 'Pelosi.' Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the album 'Liberty' from the Dayna Stephens Trio.
06/05/2049m 22s

Exploring 'The Hilarious World Of Depression' With John Moe

In his podcast, 'The Hilarious World of Depression,' John Moe talks with his guests (mostly comics) about their experiences with mental illness. We talk about his own depression (especially during the pandemic), losing his brother to suicide, and how humor gives him relief.
05/05/2048m 34s

Fashion Guru Tim Gunn

The longtime fashion expert and mentor returns to 'Fresh Air' to talk about his new competition series, 'Making the Cut,' how to give constructive feedback, and why he's moved to tears by beautiful things.
04/05/2049m 25s

Best Of: Mindy Kaling / 'Notes From An Apocalypse'

Mindy Kaling's new Netflix comedy series, 'Never Have I Ever,' is based on her own experiences as a nerdy, confident teen who pined for a boyfriend. We talk about why she was hesitant to relive her high school years through the show, and why she wanted to put a different kind of nerd onscreen. John Powers reviews Hulu's TV adaptation of the Sally Rooney novel, 'Normal People.' Mark O'Connell went on what he calls "a series of perverse pilgrimages" while researching people who are preparing for doomsday. He talks about prairie bunkers in South Dakota, Mars as a "backup planet," and catastrophe tourism. O'Connell's book is 'Notes from an Apocalypse.'
02/05/2050m 21s

Remembering Bollywood Icon Irrfan Khan / Michael Cogswell

Irrfan Khan, one of India's most beloved film stars, died this week at 53 from cancer. He became internationally known for his work in films like 'Slumdog Millionaire,' 'Life of Pi,' and 'The Darjeeling Limited.' He spoke with Terry Gross in 2012. Also, we remember Michael Cogswell, whose life work was preserving the legacy of Louis Armstrong. Cogswell was executive director of the Louis Armstrong House Museum which archives thousands of artifacts including journals, trumpets, tapes and photographs.TV critic David Bianculli reviews Greg Daniels' new sci-fi comedy series 'Upload,' on Amazon Prime Video.
01/05/2047m 49s

Who's Benefiting From The Coronavirus Economic Relief Package?

As small businesses and individuals struggle to obtain federal aid, the wealthiest are poised to reap tens of billions of dollars in tax savings. That's what 'New York Times' investigative business reporter Jesse Drucker says. Drucker explains how the economic rescue package is benefiting the rich.French guitarist Stephane Wrembel talks about jazz great Django Reinhardt and plays songs from his new album, 'Django L'Impressionniste.' He spoke with producer Sam Briger.
30/04/2049m 17s

What The U.S. Might Learn From China's Approach To COVID-19

'New York Times' health and science reporter Donald G. McNeil Jr. points to China as a model of how to stop a fast moving pandemic in its tracks. "We're reluctant to follow China, but they did it," he says. McNeil talks about the challenges facing the U.S. as states move to reopen. "We're nowhere near getting on top of this virus," he says. Also, John Powers reviews Hulu's TV adaptation of Sally Rooney's novel 'Normal People.'
29/04/2049m 8s

Inside One Family's Marijuana Brownie Business

Growing up in San Francisco in the '70s, Alia Volz's family ran a booming weed brownie business, back when growing a single cannabis plant was a felony. "I had this understanding of my family as an outlaw family from the very beginning," she says. Her memoir is 'Home Baked.' Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Sigh, Gone: A Misfit's Memoir of Great Books, Punk Rock, and the Fight to Fit In' by Phuc Tran.
28/04/2048m 48s

Mindy Kaling

Kaling's new Netflix show, 'Never Have I Ever,' is based on her own experiences as a nerdy, confident teen who pined for a boyfriend. We talk about the new series, how being a diversity hire at 'The Office' inspired her movie 'Late Night,' and how the grief of losing a parent has impacted her as a mother.
27/04/2048m 57s

Best Of: Zoe Kazan / Trans Activist Jennifer Finney Boylan

Zoe Kazan co-stars in HBO's limited series 'The Plot Against America,' an adaptation of Philip Roth's 2004 novel. We talk about encountering sexism in Hollywood, how the new series made her think about her family history differently, and her experience with depression and an eating disorder. Maureen Corrigan shares some book recommendations for these challenging times. Transgender activist Jennifer Finney Boylan spoke with Terry Gross about finding her identity as a woman, the evolution of her marriage, and the dogs she loved along the way. Her memoir is 'Good Boy: My Life in Seven Dogs.'
25/04/2050m 54s

Remembering Actor Brian Dennehy / Catherine Russell In Concert

The notable character actor Brian Dennehy died April 15 at age 81. He was a recognizable face in numerous movies and TV shows, but he was best known for his work in the theater, earning Tony Awards for his leading roles in 'Death of a Salesman' and 'Long Day's Journey Into Night.' He spoke with 'Fresh Air' in 1999. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead shares a remembrance of trailblazing saxophonist Lee Konitz. He died April 15. We revisit a concert from blues and jazz singer Catherine Russell, who sang songs from her solo album, 'Strictly Romancin',' in 2012. Russell's latest album is called 'Alone Together.' Justin Chang reviews two movies that riff on real-life crime: HBO's 'Bad Education' and 'True History of the Kelly Gang.'
24/04/2049m 21s

Jane Mayer On How Mitch McConnell Became Trump's 'Enabler-In-Chief'

'New Yorker' staff writer Jane Mayer talks about how the Senate majority leader has thrown his support behind the President, and allowed the president to diminish congressional power — in spite of the fact that Trump and McConnell are opposites in several ways. Mayer says McConnell's refusal to rein in Trump is looking riskier than ever.Also, TV critic David Bianculli bids farewell to 'Homeland' and welcomes back 'Penny Dreadful' on Showtime.
23/04/2048m 54s

Author Shares His 'Notes From An Apocalypse'

Mark O'Connell went on what he calls "a series of perverse pilgrimages" while researching people who are preparing for doomsday. He talks about prairie bunkers in South Dakota, Mars as a "backup planet," and catastrophe tourism. O'Connell's book is 'Notes from an Apocalypse.' Also, critic John Powers tells us why he's been bingeing 'The Good Fight' and 'Bosch' while sheltering at home.
22/04/2049m 4s

Transgender Activist & Author Jennifer Finney Boylan

Jennifer Finney Boylan came out as transgender in her 40s. She describes her new book, 'Good Boy,' as a "memoir of masculinity, kind of told the way an expatriate might speak of the country of their birth." Boylan talks about finding her identity as a woman, the evolution of her marriage, and the dogs she loved along the way. Also, rock critic Ken Tucker reviews Dua Lipa's second album, 'Future Nostalgia,' a disco throwback that's perfectly timely and bursting with joyfulness.
21/04/2047m 36s

Actor Zoe Kazan

Kazan co-stars in HBO's limited series 'The Plot Against America,' an adaptation of Philip Roth's 2004 novel. It imagines a world in which aviator Charles Lindbergh defeated Franklin D. Roosevelt in the race for the presidency, moving the country toward fascism. We talk about encountering sexism in Hollywood, and how the HBO series made her think about her family history differently. Kazan also starred in 'The Big Sick,' 'Ruby Sparks,' and she co-wrote 'Wildlife' with her partner Paul Dano.
20/04/2048m 35s

Best Of: Sam Sifton On Quarantine Cooking / Jason Bateman

Sam Sifton, founder of NYT Cooking, talks about how to make meals that stretch, improvising with less-than-ideal ingredients, and the best vegetable for quarantine cooking. His new cookbook is 'See You on Sunday.'Film critic Justin Chang recommends some movies to watch at home while sheltering in place. Jason Bateman stars in the Netflix series 'Ozark' as a financial manager who has become the money launderer for Mexico's second biggest drug cartel. We'll talk about embracing his darker side on 'Ozark,' and his experience directing 'The Outsider,' HBO's adaptation of Stephen King's novel.
18/04/2050m 31s

Singer-Songwriter Iris DeMent

DeMent describes herself as extremely shy, but says that "when the songs started coming to me, I felt I didn't have the option to hide and avoid" the stage. She spoke with Terry Gross (and played songs in-studio) in 2015.
17/04/2048m 25s

How Dr. Fauci 'Changed Medicine In America Forever'

The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced millions of Americans to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. 'New Yorker' staff writer Michael Specter has known Fauci and covered his work for decades. Specter talks about Fauci's trail-blazing work during the AIDS epidemic, why Trump can't fire Fauci, and the structural changes and research that Specter says would make us more prepared for the next pandemic.
16/04/2046m 31s

The FBI, CIA & The Truth About America's 'Deep State'

'New Yorker' online executive editor David Rohde refutes Trump's claims about a "deep state" — and argues that the president is the one creating a parallel shadow government filled with like-minded loyalists. His new book is 'In Deep.' Also, TV critic David Bianculli shares what's on his current watch list.
15/04/2048m 27s

Jason Bateman / Remembering LGBTQ Pioneer Phyllis Lyon

Jason Bateman stars in the Netflix series 'Ozark' as a financial manager who has become the money launderer for Mexico's second biggest drug cartel. We'll talk about embracing his darker side on 'Ozark,' and his experience directing 'The Outsider,' HBO's adaptation of Stephen King's novel. Also, we remember one of the mothers of the gay rights movement, Phyllis Lyon. She died April 9 at 95. Lyon and Del Martin co-founded the first national lesbian group in the U.S., Daughters of Bilitis. In 2008 they became the first gay couple to legally marry in California. Terry Gross interviewed them in 1992. Film critic Justin Chang recommends some movies to watch at home while sheltering in place: 'Sorry We Missed You,' 'Green for Danger,' and 'My Neighbor Totoro.'
14/04/2048m 38s

The 'Big Business' Of Inequality

Nelson Schwartz, author of 'The Velvet Rope Economy,' says special privileges for the super-rich are dividing America: "The result is less sympathy, less empathy and a sort of a harder-edge society." Schwartz talks about private helicopter rides to the airport, concierge doctors, and elite college counseling — and their impact on our society. Schwartz writes about economics for the 'New York Times.' Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan recommends a few titles for troubled times: 'The Women in Black,' 'The Colossus of New York,' 'Last Night at the Lobster,' 'Are You An Echo?' and 'Everything Is Under Control.'
13/04/2048m 12s

Best Of: Kerry Washington / Stephen King

In the Hulu series 'Little Fires Everywhere,' Kerry Washington co-stars opposite Reese Witherspoon as Mia Warren, a bohemian artist/single mom with a mysterious past. Washington spoke with Terry Gross about how she drew on her own mother for the role. Even Stephen King is feeling like he's living in a Stephen King novel these days. The author of the 1978 pandemic novel 'The Stand' tells Terry Gross he understands why fans have said the COVID-19 pandemic feels like something out of his books.
11/04/2050m 29s

Remembering John Prine

Legendary songwriter, singer and guitarist John Prine died Tuesday from complications of the coronavirus. He was 73. Prine's best-known songs include "Angel from Montgomery," "Paradise," "Sam Stone," and "Hello in There." Among the many people who recorded his songs are Johnny Cash, Bonnie Raitt, and Bette Midler. Last year he was inducted into the Songwriting Hall of Fame. Terry Gross spoke to him in 2018 after the release of his album 'The Tree of Forgiveness,' his first album of new songs in 13 years. He was touring at the time, and had made a remarkable comeback from two bouts with cancer. We begin with rock critic Ken Tucker's salute to Prine.
10/04/2049m 14s

How San Francisco's D.A. Is Decreasing The Jail Population Amid COVID-19

San Francisco's new District Attorney Chesa Boudin's own father is 75 and in prison in New York. In 1981, his parents, who were radical leftists, were imprisoned for being getaway drivers in a politically-motivated armed robbery. "My earliest memories are going through prison gates and metal detectors," he says. Boudin is part of a movement of progressive prosecutors working for criminal justice reform. We talk about the spread of COVID-19 in prisons and jails, and the measures he's taking to reduce the number of people incarcerated. Since he took office in January, he's reduced the county jail population by nearly 40%.
09/04/2049m 0s

Stephen King

Even Stephen King is feeling like he's living in a Stephen King novel these days. The author of the 1978 pandemic novel 'The Stand' says he understands why fans have said the COVID-19 pandemic feels like something out of his books. King says he doesn't feel panic or terror, but rather, a "gnawing anxiety." He talks about his new book, 'If It Bleeds.' and how the current crisis is changing his writing.
08/04/2049m 14s

Cooking In The Time Of COVID-19

Former 'New York Times' food editor (and founder of NYT Cooking) Sam Sifton says the resurgence of family meals is one of the "precious few good things" that's come from the pandemic. Sifton talks about how to make meals that stretch, improvising with less-than-ideal ingredients, and the best vegetable for quarantine cooking. His new cooksbook is 'See You on Sunday.'Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews bassist Lisa Mezzacappa's album 'Cosmicomics.'
07/04/2047m 44s

Kerry Washington

In the Hulu series 'Little Fires Everywhere,' Kerry Washington co-stars opposite Reese Witherspoon as Mia Warren, a bohemian artist single mom with a mysterious past. Washington spoke with Terry Gross about how she drew on her own mother for the role, her 'Scandal' audition, and playing Anita Hill in 'Confirmation.'Also, critic John Powers recommends Netflix's 'Unorthodox,' the Hulu series 'Baghdad Central,' and the novel 'Abigail' by Magda Szabo.
06/04/2048m 43s

Best Of: Author Max Brooks / Playwright Terrence McNally

Author Max Brooks became an expert on disaster preparedness — from pandemics to nuclear war — through researching for his books, 'World War Z,' 'Germ Warfare' and the forthcoming 'Devolution.' Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz recommends some music to listen to that feels right for this moment: A compilation of all the songs Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong recorded together. It's called 'Cheek to Cheek.' We remember Broadway playwright Terrence McNally, who died March 24 due to complications related to COVID-19. He won Tony awards for 'Kiss of the Spider Woman,' 'Ragtime' and 'Master Class.' McNally was openly gay and wrote about the lives of gay men in his plays. He spoke with 'Fresh Air' in 1993.
04/04/2051m 7s

Remembering Bucky Pizzarelli, Adam Schlesinger, Ellis Marsalis

Today we remember three people from the music world who died this week of COVID-19. First, we'll listen back to two interviews with the great jazz guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli. He was 94. Then we'll hear an interview with Adam Schlesinger, who was 52. He co-founded the band Fountains of Wayne, wrote songs for the movies 'Thing You Do!' and 'Music and Lyrics,' and won three Emmys for his songs for the TV series 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.' Later, we'll hear what jazz musicians Wynton and Branford Marsalis said about their father, pianist and educator Ellis Marsalis, who has died at age 85.
03/04/2051m 17s

A 'War Doctor' Shares Stories From The Front Line

Trauma surgeon Dr. David Nott has spent decades volunteering in war and disaster zones all over the world. Now he's advising doctors on how to treat COVID-19. He spoke with Terry Gross about how fighting the pandemic is similar to working in a war zone, and shares harrowing stories from his time in the field. His book is 'War Doctor.'
02/04/2048m 45s

Masks, Vaccines & How COVID-19 Might End

Two years ago, 'Atlantic' science writer Ed Yong predicted a new global pandemic and how we might be caught unprepared. Now that so much of what he warned about in his reporting has come true, he's been covering how and why we failed to stop the spread of COVID-19, why the virus has been so successful in spreading, how the pandemic might end, and what the aftermath might be.
01/04/2048m 6s

Understanding The Origin Of 'Heaven And Hell'

Religion scholar Bart Ehrman says the notion of eternal rewards and punishments isn't found in the Old Testament or in the teachings of Jesus. Ehrman traces the origin of these ideas in his new book, 'Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife.'
31/03/2047m 37s

Winston Churchill & Fearless Leadership In Times Of Crisis

In 'The Splendid And The Vile,' author Erik Larson details Winston Churchill's first year in office, during which England endured a Nazi bombing campaign that killed more than 44,000 civilians. Larson says Churchill told his citizens the truth and inspired them to resist. Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'The Glass Hotel' by Emily St. John Mandel.
30/03/2048m 54s

Best Of: Marc Maron / Hank Azaria

Comic and 'WTF' podcast host Marc Maron named his new Netflix stand-up special 'End Times Fun' before the COVID-19 pandemic started — but now the title feels eerily apt. He talked with Terry Gross about how he's handling the crisis as a "recovering hypochondriac." Hank Azaria plays a colorful baseball announcer in the IFC comedy series 'Brockmire,' which is now in its 4th and final season. Azaria spoke with Dave Davies about the series, and why he doesn't voice the Indian American convenience store owner Apu on 'The Simpsons' anymore.
28/03/2050m 25s

Stephen Sondheim - Part 2

Sondheim, who turned 90 on March 22, composed the music and wrote lyrics for 'Sweeney Todd,' 'Into the Woods,' 'Company' and other Broadway shows. He spoke with Terry Gross in 2010 about his career in musical theater. (Part 1 of this interview was released on March 20.)
27/03/2053m 54s

Trump's 'War' On The Presidency / Remembering Playwright Terrence McNally

Journalist Benjamin Wittes spoke with Terry Gross about how President Trump has changed the presidency fundamentally — and how we're seeing the impact during the COVID-19 pandemic. He is the author, with Susan Hennessey, of 'Unmaking the Presidency.'We remember Broadway playwright Terrence McNally, who died March 24 due to complications related to COVID-19. He won Tony awards for 'Kiss of the Spider Woman,' 'Ragtime' and 'Master Class.' He spoke with 'Fresh Air' in 1993.
26/03/2047m 34s

Michael Pollan On The Drug We Use Every Day: Caffeine

'Omnivore's Dilemma' author Michael Pollan talks about his audiobook, 'Caffeine: How Coffee and Tea Created the Modern World.' He describes caffeine as the world's most widely-used psychoactive drug. (Originally broadcast Feb. 2020)Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a new album from guitarist Jeff Parker.
25/03/2049m 17s

How The Government Can Mobilize In A Pandemic

Author Max Brooks became an expert on disaster preparedness — from pandemics to nuclear war — through researching for his books, 'World War Z,' 'Germ Warfare' and the forthcoming 'Devolution.' He spoke with Terry Gross about how the federal government is designed to respond to crises like COVID-19 — and what is preventing the tasks forces from being deployed. He'll also explain why "panic is not preparation," and how to have good "fact-hygiene."
24/03/2047m 34s

Comic Marc Maron On 'End Times Fun'

Maron named his new Netflix comedy special 'End Times Fun' before the COVID-19 pandemic started — but now the title feels eerily apt. He talked with Terry Gross about how he's handling the crisis as a "recovering hypochondriac," and what he's doing to pass the time in isolation. Maron co-stars in the Netflix series 'GLOW' and hosts the interview podcast 'WTF.'
23/03/2048m 44s

Best Of: Octavia Spencer / Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin

Octavia Spencer stars in the new Netflix limited series 'Self Made' as Madam C.J. Walker, America's first black, female, self-made millionaire. She sold hair and makeup products to black women in the early 1900s. John Powers reviews the Hulu series 'Little Fires Everywhere,' starring Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon.The Philadelphia Orchestra has shuttered its doors in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin reflects on their final performance in an empty concert hall, which was livestreamed for more half a million viewers at home.
21/03/2050m 18s

Happy Birthday, Stephen Sondheim

Broadway is dark because of the virus, but that doesn't need to stop us from celebrating the 90th birthday of Broadway's best living composer and lyricist—and one of the best in the history of Broadway, Stephen Sondheim. His 90th birthday is Sunday. We're listening back to our interview from 2010, which we recorded on the occasion of his 80th birthday. He wrote the songs for 'Sweeney Todd,' 'Follies,' 'Into the Woods,' 'Sunday in the Park with George' and 'Merrily We Roll Along.' Revivals of two of his shows had to go dark because of the virus: 'West Side Story,' for which he wrote the lyrics, and 'Company.'
20/03/2049m 11s

How One Orchestra, Faced With A Pandemic, Played On

The Philadelphia Orchestra has shuttered its doors in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin reflects on their final performance in an empty concert hall, which was livestreamed for more half a million viewers at home. He spoke with Terry Gross about the unusual performance and how music comforts us in troubling times. Also, we'll hear an excerpt of our interview with the conductor from last year.
19/03/2049m 15s

The Case For Abolishing The Electoral College

Jesse Wegman, author of 'Let the People Pick the President,' says the Electoral College's winner-take-all rule is not mandated by the Constitution: "There's nothing keeping us from changing it." Wegman talks about how winner-take-all came to be, attempts to change it, and how the Electoral College disproportionately affects people of color.
18/03/2049m 54s

'Simpsons' Voice Actor Hank Azaria

Azaria plays a colorful baseball announcer in the IFC comedy series 'Brockmire,' which is now in its 4th and final season. Azaria spoke with 'Fresh Air' about sobriety, his flamboyant character in 'The Birdcage,' and why he doesn't voice the Indian American convenience store owner Apu on 'The Simpsons' anymore.Also, John Powers reviews the Hulu series 'Little Fires Everywhere,' starring Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon.
17/03/2048m 41s

Octavia Spencer

Spencer stars in the new Netflix limited series 'Self Made' as Madam C.J. Walker, America's first female self-made millionaire. She sold hair and makeup products to black women in the early 1900s. Spencer talks about Walker's legacy, playing a maid in'The Help,' and learning to speak up for better pay in Hollywood. Also, rock critic Ken Tucker reviews the K-pop group BTS' new album 'Map of the Soul.'
16/03/2049m 3s

Best Of: Writer James McBride / RuPaul

James McBride's new novel, 'Deacon King Kong,' takes place in 1969, in a Brooklyn housing project similar to the one he grew up in. "In this book and in this community, people generally love each other," he says.RuPaul describes his drag persona as "one-part Cher, two-parts David Bowie, one-part Diana Ross and two heaping spoonfuls of Dolly Parton." The reality show he hosts and created, 'RuPaul's Drag Race,' is now in its 12th season on VH1.
14/03/2051m 20s

Philip Roth On 'The Plot Against America'

Roth's 2004 novel, 'The Plot Against America,' is an alternative history which imagines Nazi sympathizer Charles Lindbergh beats FDR in the 1940 presidential election and the U.S. sides with the Germans in WWII. We'll listen back to Terry Gross' interview with Roth about the novel, and TV critic David Bianculli will review the new HBO miniseries that's based on the book. Film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Never Rarely Sometimes Always' about a teenage girl in small-town Pennsylvania who decides to have an abortion.
13/03/2048m 13s

How Trump's Mismanagement Helped Fuel Coronavirus Crisis

​Politico reporter Dan Diamond says dysfunction within the White House, infighting and the need to flatter Trump have caused distractions that have slowed the response to the new pandemic.​
12/03/2048m 51s

The Untold Story Of Saudi Crown Prince MBS

'New York Times' Beirut Bureau Chief Ben Hubbard says Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is full of contradictions: He ended a ban on women driving, but his agents also carried out the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Hubbard's book, 'MBS,' tells the story of the enigmatic leader. Hubbard says MBS could rule the country for the next 50 years.Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Writers & Lovers' by Lily King.
11/03/2049m 0s

RuPaul

RuPaul describes his drag persona as "one-part Cher, two-parts David Bowie, one-part Diana Ross and two heaping spoonfuls of Dolly Parton." The reality show he hosts and created, 'RuPaul's Drag Race,' is now in its 12th season on VH1. He talks with Terry Gross about his early punk style of drag, becoming a "glamizon," and the best advice his mother gave him. Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead shares a remembrance of legendary pianist McCoy Tyner. He died last Friday at 81.
10/03/2050m 36s

Writer James McBride

James McBride's new novel, 'Deacon King Kong,' takes place in 1969, in a Brooklyn housing project similar to the one he grew up in. "In this book and in this community, people generally love each other," he says. McBride is best known for his '95 memoir 'The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother.' Also, Ken Tucker reviews Best Coast's new album, 'Almost Tomorrow.'
09/03/2048m 51s

Best Of: Author Louise Erdrich / 'Watergate Girl' Jill Wine-Banks

Louise Erdrich talks about her new novel, 'The Night Watchman.' It was inspired by her grandfather, a chairman of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa who fought a Congressional initiative to move indigenous peoples off their land and into cities. Critic John Powers reviews the genre-bending film 'Bacurau,' about a small Brazilian town grappling with a series of mysterious events.In her memoir, 'The Watergate Girl,' Jill Wine-Banks talks about confronting Nixon White House insiders on the witness stand and enduring sexism in the courtroom.
07/03/2051m 0s

Biographer Robert Caro

Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Robert Caro was never interested in only telling the stories of great men. Instead, he says, "I wanted to use their lives to show how political power worked." He talks about his two most famous works — biographies of Lyndon Johnson and New York City planner Robert Moses. Caro's memoir about his process, 'Working,' is now out in paperback. He spoke with Dave Davies last year.Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews two new sci-fi/fantasy shows — 'Devs' on Hulu and 'Amazing Stories' on Apple TV+.
06/03/2048m 46s

Uncovering The CIA's Operation To Steal State Secrets

For 50 years, countries all over the world bought encryption technology from a Swiss company, called Crypto AG, to protect their communications with diplomats, soldiers and spies. What they didn't know is that the firm was actually owned by the CIA and German intelligence, which rigged the encryption products so they could spy on the countries that bought them. 'Washington Post' reporter Greg Miller tells the story. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews the Western 'First Cow.'
05/03/2049m 18s

Author Louise Erdrich On Native Peoples' 'Long, Brutal Fight For Survival'

Erdrich's new novel, 'The Night Watchman,' was inspired by her grandfather, a chairman of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa who fought a Congressional initiative to move indigenous peoples off their land and into cities. Erdrich says the policy amounted to tribal termination. "Termination was a way to finally resolve what Congress thought of as 'the Indian problem,'" she says.Also, critic John Powers reviews the genre-bending film 'Bacurau,' about a small Brazilian town grappling with a series of mysterious events.
04/03/2048m 28s

A Father Searches For His Son And Answers In The Costa Rican Jungle

In 2014, the 27-year-old son of adventurer Roman Dial walked alone into the Costa Rican wilderness. "I'm planning on doing 4 days in the jungle," he wrote in an email before leaving. "It should be difficult to get lost forever." Then he vanished. Dial talks about his frantic search for his son — and for answers to what happened. His book is 'The Adventurer's Son.' Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Scratched,' Elizabeth Tallent's new memoir about perfectionism.
03/03/2049m 17s

Former Parole Officer On 'Hardship & Hope After Prison'

As a parole officer in New Orleans, Jason Hardy was responsible for 220 individuals — four times the recommended caseload. He says the parole and probation system fails the most vulnerable.Also, Kevin Whitehead reviews a new album of ballads from trumpeter Jeremy Pelt.
02/03/2047m 55s

Best Of: Actor Ben Mendelsohn / Trump's 'Hit List'

In the HBO series 'The Outsider,' which was adapted from a Stephen King novel, Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn plays a detective trying to solve a murder — and resisting the idea that the killer may be a supernatural entity. Also, Ken Tucker reviews a newly released live album from Bryan Ferry, best-known as the lead man of Roxy Music.Axios reporter Jonathan Swan says the president has "crossed a psychological line" since impeachment, developing a list of disloyal officials to oust — and suggesting loyalists to replace them. "Experience matters far, far less to Trump than loyalty," Swan says. "It's not even close."
29/02/2051m 9s

Aidy Bryant On 'Shrill'

Bryant co-writes and stars in the comedy series 'Shrill,' based on Lindy West's book about identifying as fat and a feminist. Bryant is also a cast member on 'Saturday Night Live.' (Originally broadcast March 2019) Also, we listen back to excerpts of interviews with rhythm guitarist Marty Grosz. Now 90, he tells his story in the memoir, 'It's a Sin to Tell a Lie.' He spoke with Terry Gross in 1984 and 2004 and also played some of his music. Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews the dystopian novel, 'The Resisters.'
28/02/2049m 39s

Understanding Trump's 'Hit List'

Axios reporter Jonathan Swan says the president has "crossed a psychological line" since impeachment, developing a list of disloyal officials to oust — and suggesting loyalists to replace them. "Experience matters far, far less to Trump than loyalty," Swan says. "It's not even close."
27/02/2050m 9s

Actor Ben Mendelsohn On 'The Outsider'

In the HBO series, which was adapted from a Stephen King novel, the Australian actor plays a detective trying to solve a murder — and resisting the idea that the killer may be a supernatural entity. He talks about masking his accent, acting with his eyes and how his role on 'The Outsider' is a departure from the "baddies" he's played in the past. Film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Wendy,' a loose retelling of 'Peter Pan,' directed by Benh Zeitlin.
26/02/2049m 34s

Facebook: The Inside Story

How can one company be so wildly successful — and so thoroughly distrusted? 'Wired' Editor-at-Large Steven Levy reflects on Facebook's enigmatic leader and its reckless drive for expansion in his new book, 'Facebook: The Inside Story.'Also, Ken Tucker reviews a newly released live album from Bryan Ferry, best-known as the lead man of Roxy Music.
25/02/2048m 31s

The Supreme Court's Battle For A 'More Unjust' America

In his new book, 'Supreme Inequality,' lawyer/journalist Adam Cohen makes the case that the Supreme Court has been "a right-wing court for 50 years," siding with corporations and the wealthy — and against the poor.And jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews 'Life Goes On,' a record by Carla Bley's trio.
24/02/2047m 59s

Best Of: Claire Danes / Rachael & Vilray Sing Swing Standards

Claire Danes has played CIA agent Carrie Mathison on 'Homeland' for 8 seasons. As the last season begins on Showtime, she looks back on the series. She also spoke with Terry Gross about her break-out role on 'My So-Called Life' when she was a teen.Critic John Powers reviews the French film 'Portrait of a Lady on Fire.' The music duo Rachael & Vilray perform songs from their self-titled debut album, which draws on the music of the '30s and '40s. Rachael Price is also the lead singer of Lake Street Dive. They spoke with producer Sam Briger.
22/02/2051m 1s

Writer Recalls Her Mother's Secret Gambling Enterprise

Growing up, Bridgett M. Davis' mother booked and banked bets from their home in Detroit. She writes about her experience — and the role of "the numbers" in the black community — in her memoir, 'The World According to Fannie Davis.' (Originally broadcast Feb. 2019) TV critic David Bianculli reviews the latest season of 'Better Call Saul.'
21/02/2049m 24s

Claire Danes

Danes has played CIA agent Carrie Mathison on 'Homeland' for 8 seasons. As the last season begins on Showtime, she looks back on the series. She also spoke with Terry Gross about her break-out role on 'My So-Called Life' when she was a teen. "I remember just being amazed ... that somebody out there had been able to articulate what I was going through so, so perfectly," she says. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews the new adaptation of Jane Austen's 'Emma.'
20/02/2048m 49s

Chaos, Corruption & Trump's Secrets At Deutsche Bank

In his book 'Dark Towers,' David Enrich traces Deutsche Bank's shadowy practices, from laundering money for Russian oligarchs to the violation of international sanctions. Enrich, who is the finance editor at the 'New York Times,' also talks about the bank's long relationship with Donald Trump, and the suspicious activity that has gone unchecked. Also, critic John Powers reviews the Amazon series 'Hunters' starring Al Pacino.
19/02/2049m 3s

Rachael & Vilray Sing Swing Standards

The music duo perform songs from their self-titled debut album, which draws on the music of the '30s and '40s. "There is a timeless quality to these old standards," Vilray says. Rachael Price is also the lead singer of Lake Street Dive. They spoke with producer Sam Briger. Also, we remember Ernest Hemingway biographer A. E. Hotchner. He died Feb. 15. Hotchner spoke with Terry Gross in 1999.
18/02/2048m 18s
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