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July 1, 2020
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.
June 30, 2020
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.'
June 29, 2020
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.
June 27, 2020
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.'
June 26, 2020
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.'
June 25, 2020
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.
June 24, 2020
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.'
June 23, 2020
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.
June 22, 2020
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.'
June 20, 2020
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.'
June 19, 2020
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.
June 18, 2020
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.
June 17, 2020
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.
June 16, 2020
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.
June 15, 2020
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.
June 13, 2020
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.
June 12, 2020
'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.
June 11, 2020
'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.
June 10, 2020
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."
June 9, 2020
'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.
June 8, 2020
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.
June 6, 2020
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.
June 5, 2020
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.
June 4, 2020
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.
June 3, 2020
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.
June 2, 2020
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."
June 1, 2020
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.
May 30, 2020
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.'
May 29, 2020
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.
May 28, 2020
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.
May 27, 2020
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.
May 26, 2020
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.'
May 25, 2020
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.
May 23, 2020
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.'
May 22, 2020
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.
May 21, 2020
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.
May 20, 2020
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.'
May 19, 2020
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."
May 18, 2020
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.
May 16, 2020
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.'
May 15, 2020
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.
May 14, 2020
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.
May 13, 2020
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.'
May 12, 2020
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.
May 11, 2020
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."
May 9, 2020
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.
May 8, 2020
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.
May 7, 2020
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.
May 6, 2020
'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.
May 5, 2020
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.
May 4, 2020
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.
May 2, 2020
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.'
May 1, 2020
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.
April 30, 2020
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.
April 29, 2020
'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.'
April 28, 2020
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.
April 27, 2020
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.
April 25, 2020
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.'
April 24, 2020
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.'
April 23, 2020
'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.
April 22, 2020
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.
April 21, 2020
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.
April 20, 2020
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.
April 18, 2020
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.
April 17, 2020
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.
April 16, 2020
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.
April 15, 2020
'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.
April 14, 2020
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.'
April 13, 2020
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.'
April 11, 2020
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.
April 10, 2020
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.
April 9, 2020
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%.
April 8, 2020
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.
April 7, 2020
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.'
April 6, 2020
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.
April 4, 2020
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.
April 3, 2020
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.
April 2, 2020
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.'
April 1, 2020
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.
March 31, 2020
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.'
March 30, 2020
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.
March 28, 2020
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.
March 27, 2020
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.)
March 26, 2020
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.
March 25, 2020
'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.
March 24, 2020
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."
March 23, 2020
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.'
March 21, 2020
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.
March 20, 2020
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.'
March 19, 2020
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.
March 18, 2020
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.
March 17, 2020
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.
March 16, 2020
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.'
March 14, 2020
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.
March 13, 2020
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.
March 12, 2020
​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.​
March 11, 2020
'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.
March 10, 2020
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.
March 9, 2020
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.'
March 7, 2020
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.
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