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September 21, 2019
In 2013, Edward Snowden showed journalists thousands of top secret documents about U.S. intelligence agencies' surveillance efforts. He's been living in exile in Russia ever since. His new book is 'Permanent Record.'Film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Ad Astra,' starring Brad Pitt. Andrea Mitchell, the chief foreign affairs correspondent for NBC News and anchor of her own MSNBC show, looks back on her career in journalism. She's receiving a lifetime achievement Emmy on Sept. 24.
September 20, 2019
As the 'Downton Abbey' movie opens in theaters, we listen back to our interviews with the series creator Julian Fellowes and star Maggie Smith, who plays the Dowager Countess of Grantham.Film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Ad Astra,' starring Brad Pitt.
September 19, 2019
In 2013, Snowden showed journalists thousands of top secret documents about U.S. intelligence agencies' surveillance efforts. He's been living in exile in Russia ever since. "People look at me now and they think I'm this crazy guy, I'm this extremist or whatever. Some people have a misconception that [I] set out to burn down the NSA," he says. "But that's not what this was about. In many ways, 2013 wasn't about surveillance at all. What it was about was a violation of the Constitution." Snowden talks about his first hack as a preteen, why he decided to leak the documents, and his 40 days detained in the Moscow airport. His new book is 'Permanent Record.'
September 18, 2019
Mitchell, the chief foreign affairs correspondent for NBC News and anchor of her own MSNBC show, looks back on her career in journalism. She's receiving a lifetime achievement Emmy later on Sept. 24. "It's very empowering to feel that you can ask questions and try to take on someone who is doing something wrong and betraying the public's trust," Mitchell says. Also, critic John Powers reviews the book 'Heaven, My Home,' by Attica Locke.
September 17, 2019
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Eric Foner talks about how current issues of racial inequality, voter suppression and mass incarceration relate to the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments. They were added to the constitution after the Civil War and gave black men the right to vote, gave people equal protection under the laws, and granted citizenship to all people born in the U.S. His new book is 'The Second Founding.' Also, we remember pioneering NPR journalist Cokie Roberts, who died today at 75.
September 16, 2019
In their new book, 'The Education of Brett Kavanaugh,' 'New York Times' reporters Kate Kelly and Robin Pogrebin investigate the allegations against the Supreme Court justice and what was omitted from the confirmation hearings. They discuss Kavanaugh's behavior at Yale, their interviews with Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez, and why the FBI didn't talk to witnesses Ramirez provided.
September 14, 2019
Stephen Kinzer's book, 'Poisoner in Chief,' exposes how CIA scientist Sidney Gottlieb worked in the 1950s and early '60s to develop mind control drugs and deadly toxins that could be used against enemies of the U.S. government. Gottlieb believed the key to mind control was LSD, and is credited with bringing the drug to the U.S. He also experimented on unwitting people in prisons and detention centers in Japan, Germany, and the Philippines.Critic Ken Tucker reviews Ken Burns' new 8-part documentary series, 'Country Music.'Tan France says he almost turned down the job of fashion expert in the Netflix series 'Queer Eye.' "The thought of being one of the very first openly gay South Asian men on a major show. ...That pressure was so hard to handle," he says. But then he thought it was an opportunity to change the narrative about his community. His memoir is 'Naturally Tan.'
September 13, 2019
The Mexican-American singer spoke with Terry Gross in 2013 about her career and her Parkinson's diagnosis. The new documentary, 'The Sound of My Voice,' traces Ronstadt's career from the late '60s onward.Also, critic John Powers reviews the movie 'Hustlers,' starring Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu and Cardi B as high-end exotic dancers who get involved in crime.
September 12, 2019
Now that China isn't taking our recycling anymore, where will it go? Environmental scientist Kate O'Neill discusses recycling and the global politics of waste. "Once you throw something away, you've got to think about where's it going to go next," she says. Her book is 'Waste.' Also, critic Ken Tucker reviews Ken Burns' new 8-part documentary series, 'Country Music.'
September 11, 2019
France, the son of Pakistani Muslim immigrants, says he almost turned down the job of fashion expert in the Netflix series 'Queer Eye.' "The thought of being one of the very first openly gay South Asian men on a major show. ...That pressure was so hard to handle," he says. But then he thought it was an opportunity to change the narrative about his community. "I've got to continue to show that Pakistanis are wonderful people, that we are caring people." His new memoir about his childhood in the U.K., marrying a Mormon man, and his career in fashion is 'Naturally Tan.'
September 10, 2019
'New York Times' reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, who broke the story of Harvey Weinstein's alleged sexual misconduct, talk about the obstacles Weinstein created to prevent their investigation, getting actors to speak on the record, and the final showdown at the 'NYT' before publishing. Their book is 'She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement.'Also, Kevin Whitehead reviews the album, 'Love & Liberation,' from jazz singer and composer Jazzmeia Horn.
September 9, 2019
Stephen Kinzer's book, 'Poisoner in Chief,' exposes how CIA scientist Sidney Gottlieb worked in the 1950s and early '60s to develop mind control drugs and deadly toxins that could be used against enemies of the U.S. government. Gottlieb believed the key to mind control was LSD, and is credited with bringing the drug to the U.S. He also experimented on unwitting people in prisons and detention centers in Japan, Germany, and the Philippines. Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews Margaret Atwood's highly anticipated sequel to 'The Handmaid's Tale,' 'The Testaments.'
September 7, 2019
Janet Mock made history as the first trans woman of color to write and direct an episode of TV for her work on Ryan Murphy's FX series 'Pose.' The show centers on the trans and queer ball culture in New York City in the '80s and '90s. Mock talks with Terry Gross about drawing from her own life to write for 'Pose' and growing up in Hawaii. Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'The Yellow House,' Sarah M. Broom's extraordinary memoir about the New Orleans home in which she grew up.Guitarist James Burton, who went professional at age 14, played in Ricky Nelson's band, and has been on hundreds of recordings, including those by Frank Sinatra and Johnny Cash. You can hear him on the new box set, 'Elvis: Live 1969.'
September 6, 2019
Gyllenhaal produces and stars in the HBO series, 'The Deuce.' The show centers on sex work, porn, organized crime, politics and feminism in 1970s New York. The new season, which begins Sept. 9, jumps to the 1980s. (Originally broadcast Sept. 2018)Also, Ken Tucker reviews Lana Del Rey's new album, 'Norman F****** Rockwell!' And TV critic David Bianculli reviews two recently released DVDs about entertainment and entertainers from long ago: one featuring a singing satirist from the '60s, the other profiling a long-forgotten female filmmaker from the silent era.
September 5, 2019
Pulitzer Prize-winning 'Washington Post' reporter David Fahrenthold says in the past, an honor system helped keep presidents from using the office to benefit themselves. Not Trump: "He exploits honor systems." Fahrenthold's beat is following the Trump businesses and the possible conflicts of interest that arise. Also, critic Kevin Whitehead reviews an album by Ben Goldberg that unites jazz and poetry.
September 4, 2019
'Fentanyl, Inc.' author Ben Westhoff says the synthetic opioid, while useful in hospitals, is killing more Americans as a street drug than any other in U.S. history. More than 70,000 Americans died from drug overdoses last year. Westhoff talks about how it moves from China to your corner. Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'The Yellow House,' Sarah M. Broom's extraordinary memoir about the New Orleans home in which she grew up.
September 3, 2019
Burton, who went professional at age 14, played in Ricky Nelson's band, and has been on hundreds of recordings, including those by Frank Sinatra and Johnny Cash. You can hear him on the new box set, 'Elvis: Live 1969.'Also, Ken Tucker reviews Chuck Cleaver's new solo album, 'Send Aid.' And Justin Chang reviews 'Give Me Liberty,' a screwball comedy by director Kirill Mikhanovsky. It follows the driver of a medical transport van and his passengers over the course of a busy 24 hours in Milwaukee.
September 2, 2019
Raphael Bob-Waksberg's Emmy-nominated animated Netflix series satirizes Hollywood using a mix of human and animal characters. "Part of the original pitch was like, 'What's Mr. Ed like behind the scenes?'" BoJack (a horse) is a depressed, alcoholic, sexist former sitcom star in the #MeToo era.From braces to bullies, middle school is a period of adolescence that might best be described as cringe-worthy.​ In the Emmy-nominated Hulu series 'PEN15,' actors Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle, who are in their early 30s, play 13-year-old versions of themselves in the year 2000.​ They spoke with Sam Briger about their physical transformation and reliving those difficult years.
August 31, 2019
Sister Helen Prejean is best known for her 1993 memoir, 'Dead Man Walking,' about her role as a spiritual adviser to a convicted killer on death row. The story was adapted into an Oscar-winning film starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn. Prejean has accompanied six prisoners to their executions and has been at the forefront of activism against the death penalty. Her new memoir, 'River of Fire,' details her spiritual journey up to that point.John Powers reviews the Netflix documentary 'American Factory,' about what happens when a Chinese company opens a factory in Ohio.Dr. Haider Warraich talks about advancements in treating and preventing heart failure, and explains how the understanding of healthy blood pressure and good cholesterol continues to evolve. His book is 'State of the Heart.'
August 30, 2019
Billy Eichner's Emmy-nominated series, 'Billy on the Street,' turns open ended questions about pop culture and celebrities into a game show. He talked with Terry Gross in 2016 about coming up with the concept of his man-on-the-street series. Randy Rainbow writes and performs satirical songs about President Trump set to the melodies of show tunes. "I always considered song parody kind of cheap," the Emmy-nominated performer says. "But ... I've gotten [such a] response from others ... that I'm appreciating it as an art form."
August 29, 2019
Natasha Lyonne's character on the Netflix series 'Russian Doll' keeps dying and coming back to life. It's a premise that strikes a chord with the actor; Lyonne had a near-death experience in 2005. She talks with Terry Gross about how that experience informs her work and wanting to be a "tough guy." She's nominated for two Emmys — one for writing and one for starring in the series. Christina Applegate is nominated for her role in the Netflix series 'Dead to Me,' opposite Linda Cardellini, as a woman grieving the sudden death of her husband. She speaks with Terry Gross about her own experience with grief and loss and what it was like being a teen actor on 'Married with Children.'
August 28, 2019
Ava DuVernay is the producer, writer and director of the Netflix series 'When They See Us,' which has 16 Emmy nominations. Told from the perspective of the "Central Park Five" — five black and brown teenagers who were wrongfully convicted of assault and rape in 1989 — the series examines how how officials manipulated the boys into giving false confessions.We'll also hear from actor Michael K. Williams, who's nominated for his performance in 'When They See Us' as the father of Antron McCray, one of the five boys. Williams became famous for his role as Omar on 'The Wire.'
August 27, 2019
Phoebe Waller-Bridge is nominated for 5 Emmys for creating and starring in the Amazon series 'Fleabag.' She plays a 30-something single Londoner who is navigating tense relationships with her family, grieving the loss of her best friend — and falling in love with a Catholic priest. Also, Ben Stiller talks about directing the Showtime series 'Escape at Dannemora,' based on a real-life prison break story. The series has a total of 12 nominations, including one for Patricia Arquette, who plays a prison employee who helped the two convicted murders escape.
August 26, 2019
Actor Bill Hader is nominated for acting in and writing the HBO dark comedy series, 'Barry,' in which he plays a hitman who enrolls in acting classes. He talks about coming up with the concept of the series and struggling with anxiety during his years on 'Saturday Night Live.' Comic John Mulaney spent five years as a writer and producer on 'SNL,' but was "absolutely terrified" when he came back to host. Now he's up for an Emmy for his episode. Mulaney talks about writing monologues for famous guests and his cameo in the series 'Crashing.'
August 24, 2019
Diver and photographer Jill Heinerth talks about some of her most dangerous and exhilarating experiences underwater — like getting trapped inside an iceberg in Antarctica. Heinerth also shares how she stays calm when things go wrong: "I take a really deep breath and try and slow my heart, slow my breathing, and then just focus on pragmatic small steps," she says. Her new book is 'Into the Planet.'Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Brittany Runs a Marathon,' starring Jillian Bell. And after appearing in nearly 800 TV episodes and 100 films, character actor Stephen Root received his first Emmy nomination for his role as a handler to a hitman in the HBO series 'Barry.' He also talks about his role in 'Office Space.'
August 23, 2019
The Oscar-nominated actor and screenwriter, who died Aug. 16, spoke to Terry Gross in 1998 about 'Ulee's Gold,' 'Easy Rider' and his acting philosophy of "doing less — and making more of it."Also, Ken Tucker reviews three songs that he says offer different takes on — and moods for — the summer.And John Powers reviews the Netflix documentary 'American Factory,' about what happens when a Chinese company opens a factory in Ohio.
August 22, 2019
'Washington Post' investigative journalist Scott Higham says recently released evidence shows the drug industry purposely shipped large quantities of pills to certain communities in pursuit of greater profits. "Small cities and counties in places like Ohio and Pennsylvania have just been devastated," he says. "The death rates just soared in those places where the pills were being dumped." Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Late Migrations' by Margaret Renkl, which she calls "a perfect book to read in the summer."
August 21, 2019
After appearing in nearly 800 TV episodes and 100 films, Root received his first Emmy nomination for his role as a handler to a hitman in the HBO series 'Barry.' He also talks about his iconic roles in 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' and 'Office Space.' Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the album 'Begin Again' from pianist Fred Hersch, and film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Brittany Runs a Marathon,' starring Jillian Bell.
August 20, 2019
In his new book, 'Gods of the Upper Air,' Charles King tells the story of Franz Boas, Margaret Mead and the other 20th century anthropologists who challenged outdated notions of race, class and gender. Also, linguist Geoff Nunberg discusses the language he calls "chatspeak."
August 19, 2019
Diver and photographer Jill Heinerth talks about some of her most dangerous and exhilarating experiences underwater — like getting trapped inside an iceberg in Antarctica. Heinerth also shares how she stays calm when things go wrong: "I take a really deep breath and try and slow my heart, slow my breathing, and then just focus on pragmatic small steps," she says. Her new book is 'Into the Planet.' Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews two mystery novels — Laura Lippman's 'Lady in the Lake' and Ruth Ware's 'The Turn of the Key.'
August 17, 2019
Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Colson Whitehead's new book, 'The Nickel Boys,' is based on the true story of a notorious Florida reform school where many boys were beaten and sexually abused. Dozens of unmarked graves were discovered on the school grounds, which the state shut down in 2011. Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel, and then the author speaks with contributor Dave Davies. Travis Rieder became dependent on opioids after a motorcycle accident in 2015 that crushed his left foot, and forced him to endure six surgeries. His book 'In Pain' draws on his insights as a patient, and his subsequent research into pain medicine, to examine the larger problems and dilemmas surrounding prescription opioids and the larger opioid crisis.
August 16, 2019
Groff stars in the crime-thriller series 'Mindhunter,' now in its second season on Netflix. He also talks about his roles on HBO's 'Looking,' and as King George III in 'Hamilton' on Broadway. (Originally broadcast October 2017) Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Where'd You Go, Bernadette?' starring Cate Blanchett, directed by Richard Linklater.
August 15, 2019
Hannah Shaw's job title is "professional kitten rescuer." Known on YouTube and Instagram as Kitten Lady, she has rescued hundreds of neonatal kittens, often orphaned and unweaned, who require a level of care that most shelters cannot provide. That's where Shaw steps in. Her new book about fostering kittens is 'Tiny but Mighty.'Also, we remember late jazz saxophonist and clarinetist Bob Wilber. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1988. And TV critic David Bianculli reviews 'Why Women Kill,' a mystery anthology series on CBS All Access.
August 14, 2019
Mock made history as the first trans woman of color to write and direct an episode of TV for her work on Ryan Murphy's FX series 'Pose.' The show centers on the trans and queer ball culture in New York City in the '80s and '90s. Mock talks with Terry Gross about drawing from her own life to write for 'Pose,' growing up in Hawaii, and doing sex work as a young person to save money for reassignment surgery.
August 13, 2019
In his new book, 'Kochland,' journalist Christopher Leonard chronicles how Koch Industries and Charles and David Koch acquired huge businesses, limited their liability and created a political influence network to remake the Republican Party. Leonard says President Trump is a threat to that vision.
August 12, 2019
Prejean is best known for her 1993 memoir, 'Dead Man Walking,' about her role as a spiritual adviser to a convicted killer on death row. The story was adapted into an Oscar-winning film starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn. Prejean has accompanied six prisoners to their executions and has been at the forefront of activism against the death penalty. "I read scripture to them. ... All I knew was: I couldn't let them die alone." Her new memoir, 'River of Fire,' details her spiritual journey up to that point.Also, John Powers reviews the documentary 'Honeyland.'
August 10, 2019
Rodney Evans is still making movies, despite having lost much of his vision. His new documentary, 'Vision Portraits,' is about how he and three other blind or visually impaired artists (a photographer, a dancer, and a writer) continue to do their work.Linguist Geoff Nunberg considers the use of the word "they" as a gender-neutral pronoun.'New Yorker' staff writer Jia Tolentino writes about how social media shapes identity, public discourse and political engagement, particularly for millennials like herself. She talks about growing up in a Houston megachurch, her devastating year in the Peace Corps, and how religion led her to MDMA. Her new book of essays is 'Trick Mirror.'
August 9, 2019
The Nobel laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of 'Beloved,' 'The Bluest Eye,' 'Sula,' 'Song of Solomon,' and other novels, essays and children's books died Monday at 88. She was known for her precise, poetic prose. Her books drew from the black oral tradition — African American folktales, and the ghost stories she was told as a child. Morrison spoke with Terry Gross in 1987, 1992, and 2015.
August 8, 2019
In July of 2016, Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was murdered in his D.C. neighborhood. Police think he was the victim of a robbery gone wrong. But Russian intelligence operatives planted a fake report claiming that Rich was the person who gave DNC emails to Wikileaks, and was then murdered by assassins working for Hillary Clinton. In the podcast 'Conspiracyland,' journalist Michael Isikoff explores how the murder of Rich was turned into a conspiracy theory — and how Russian trolls and Fox News fanned the flames. Also, John Powers reviews the second season of HBO's series 'Succession.'
August 7, 2019
The new documentary 'This Changes Everything' explores how women in Hollywood are pushing for more representation in front of and behind the camera. Actor Geena Davis and director Maria Giese talk with Terry Gross about the dramatic disparities on screen. Davis also discusses her career in films, including 'Tootsie' and 'Thelma & Louise.'Bruce Talamon has photographed Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Al Green, Diana Ross, Bob Marley, Patti LaBelle ... the list goes on. A new book shows his work from 1972-1982. He spoke with Sonari Glinton.
August 6, 2019
'New Yorker' staff writer Jia Tolentino writes about how social media shapes identity, public discourse and political engagement, particularly for millennials like herself. She talks about growing up in a Houston megachurch, her devastating year in the Peace Corps, and how religion led her to MDMA. Her new book of essays is 'Trick Mirror.' Linguist Geoff Nunberg considers the use of the word "they" as a gender-neutral pronoun, and jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the new album, 'The Balance,' from South African composer Abdullah Ibrahim.
August 5, 2019
Filmmaker Rodney Evans is still making movies, despite having lost much of his vision. His new documentary, 'Vision Portraits,' is about how he and three other blind or visually impaired artists (a photographer, a dancer, and a writer) continue to do their work.Also, we remember Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker, who died Aug. 1. He pioneered a cinéma vérité style of filmmaking with 'Bob Dylan: Don't Look Back' and 'The War Room.' Pennebaker spoke with Terry Gross in 1989.
August 3, 2019
Wanda Sykes' latest Netflix stand-up special, 'Not Normal,' is nominated for two Emmys. She talks with Terry Gross about doing comedy in the Trump era, getting booed for criticizing the president, and coming out publicly at an LGBTQ rally. Laura Lippman's new novel, 'Lady in the Lake,' set in the 1960s, centers on Maddie Schwartz, who leaves her marriage, gets a job at Baltimore's newspaper, and begins investigating the mysterious death of a young black woman. Lippman talks about her own experience in newsrooms as a reporter and losing her friend Rob Hiaasen in the 'Capital Gazette' shooting in Annapolis last year.
August 2, 2019
Paul Nicklen has spent decades documenting the Arctic, Antarctic and the effects of climate change. He talks about some of the dangerous situations he's been in while on the job. "I'm not really scared of death, I just want my death to be cool, and I guess being speared by a narwhal would be a pretty cool way to go." (Originally broadcast in June 2017) Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Luce.'
August 1, 2019
Sykes talks about coming out publicly at an LGBTQ rally, her double mastectomy, and her career before comedy — working for the National Security Agency. Sykes' latest Netflix stand-up special, 'Not Normal,' is nominated for two Emmys.
July 31, 2019
'Washington Post' tech columnist Geoffrey Fowler talks about how web browsers, phone apps, and smart speakers are tracking users, even when they're asleep. Fowler listened to four years' worth of audio that Amazon had captured and stored from his Alexa smart speaker — and was surprised by what he found.Soraya Nadia McDonald reviews the final season of Netflix's 'Orange is the New Black,' set in a immigration detention center.
July 30, 2019
Lippman's new novel, 'Lady in the Lake,' set in the 1960s, centers on Maddie Schwartz, who leaves her marriage, gets a job at Baltimore's newspaper, and begins investigating the mysterious death of a young black woman. Lippman talks about her own experience in newsrooms as a reporter, deciding to become a mother in her 50s, and losing her friend Rob Hiaasen in the 'Capital Gazette' shooting last year.
July 29, 2019
Conservation biologist Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson warns that the world's insect population is on the decline — which may have serious consequences for human beings and many other species. Sverdrup-Thygeson talks about eating insects for protein, the ripple effect of insect species dying off, and how cockroaches might save your life. Her book is 'Buzz, Sting, Bite.' Illustrator Lisa Hanawalt spoke with 'Fresh Air' producer Sam Briger about channeling anxiety into art. "Drawing is way of exorcising fears, and, for me, a way of controlling them," she says. Hanawalt's the creator of the Netflix animated series 'Tuca & Bertie' and creative designer of 'BoJack Horseman.'
July 27, 2019
When Lulu Wang's grandmother was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given three months to live, the family flew to China to see her, but decided not to tell her the prognosis. "I turned out to be a surprisingly good liar," Wang says. Her new film 'The Farewell,' starring Awkwafina, is based on her family's lie. Justin Chang reviews Quentin Tarantino's new film, 'Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood.' Neurologist Dr. Guy Leschziner, author of 'The Nocturnal Brain,' says sleep is not a binary state, and the brain can be in multiple stages of sleep at once. That can explain why people sometimes walk, eat, and even have sex while sleeping. He talks about insomnia, medication, and some of the more unusual disorders he has treated.
July 26, 2019
In 2017, three members of Ranky Tanky, a band that takes inspiration from the Gullah people, performed songs from their self-titled debut album. It builds on the music and culture of slave descendants. Their new album is 'Good Time.'Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews Quentin Tarantino's new film, 'Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood.'
July 25, 2019
The 'New Yorker' investigative reporter recently did a deep dive into the accusations of sexual misconduct that forced Sen. Franken to resign in 2017. Mayer says the chief accuser's story is full of holes. "I certainly knew that we were sort of kicking a hornet's nest by even doing this story," Mayer says, "I think that we ought to be able to report on everything."
July 24, 2019
When Lulu Wang's grandmother was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given three months to live, the family flew to China to see her, but decided not to tell her the prognosis. "I turned out to be a surprisingly good liar," Wang says. Her new film 'The Farewell,' starring Awkwafina, is based on her family's lie. Also, Ken Tucker reviews a new album from husband and wife duo Buddy and Julie Miller, 'Breakdown on 20th Ave. South.'
July 23, 2019
Neurologist Dr. Guy Leschziner, author of 'The Nocturnal Brain,' says sleep is not a binary state, and the brain can be in multiple stages of sleep at once. That can explain why people sometimes walk, eat, and even have sex while sleeping. He talks about insomnia, medication, and some of the more unusual disorders he has treated. Also, we remember Paul Krassner, who died July 21. He published and edited the magazine 'The Realist' from 1958 until 1974 and became known as "the father of the underground press."
July 22, 2019
Dr. Haider Warraich talks about advancements in treating and preventing heart failure, and explains how the understanding of healthy blood pressure and good cholesterol continues to evolve. His book is 'State of the Heart.' Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new Hulu revival of 'Veronica Mars,' starring Kristen Bell.
July 20, 2019
Emily Nussbaum, Pulitzer Prize-winning TV critic for 'The New Yorker,' talks about the art of "terrible men" in the #MeToo era and TV's revolution (from low brow to high art). Her new book of essays and reviews is 'I Like to Watch.'Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel 'Copperhead' by Alexi Zentner. Randy Rainbow writes and performs satirical songs about President Trump set to melodies of show tunes. "I always considered song parody kind of cheap," the Emmy-nominated performer says. "But ... I've gotten [such a] response from others ... that I'm appreciating it as an art form."
July 19, 2019
For the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, we're listening back to archival interviews with Michael Collins, who circled the moon in the command capsule while Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong were on the moon's surface; Alan Shepard, the first American in space; Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield; and test pilot Chuck Yeager, the first to break the sound barrier.
July 18, 2019
When Customs and Border Protection was formed after 9/11 (as a part of the Department of Homeland Security), many agents signed up for the job thinking it would be a quasi-military position, focused on catching terrorists and stopping drug smugglers. Journalist Garrett Graff says in recent years, the border patrol agents mostly have been doing humanitarian and administrative work for asylum-seekers. "It went out and built its ranks by recruiting Rambo, when it actually turns out that what the border patrol needs is Mother Teresa," he says. Graff talks about the leadership vacuum that's plagued the agency and worsened the border crisis. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews the new remake of 'The Lion King.'
July 17, 2019
Rainbow writes and performs satirical songs about President Trump set to melodies of show tunes. "I always considered song parody kind of cheap," the Emmy-nominated performer says. "But ... I've gotten [such a] response from others ... that I'm appreciating it as an art form." Also, we remember retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who died yesterday at 99. He spoke with Terry Gross in 2011.
July 16, 2019
The Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist's new book, 'The Nickel Boys,' is based on the true story of a notorious Florida reform school where many boys were beaten and sexually abused. Dozens of unmarked graves were discovered on the school grounds, which the state shut down in 2011. Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel, and then the author speaks with contributor Dave Davies. Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the book 'Jazz from Detroit.'
July 15, 2019
The Pulitzer Prize-winning TV critic for 'The New Yorker' talks about the art of "terrible men" in the #MeToo era, TV's revolution (from low to high brow), and what she calls "the bad fan." Her new book of essays and reviews is 'I Like to Watch.'
July 13, 2019
A new Yiddish language production of 'Fiddler on the Roof' is currently running off-Broadway. Steven Skybell, who plays Tevye, and Joel Grey, who directs the show, explain why the play still resonates.Film critic Justin Chang reviews the thriller 'Midsommar.'In 1989, 26-year-old skipper Tracy Edwards set out on what was considered an unthinkable journey for a woman — to sail the 33,000 mile Whitbread Round The World Race. She assembled an all-female crew, restored a shabby racing yacht, and took to sea. The new documentary 'Maiden' tracks their 9-month-long race and the sexism they faced at every turn. Edwards spoke with 'Fresh Air' contributor Dave Davies.
July 12, 2019
The former first baseman played on championship teams with the Cardinals and Mets, and made a memorable appearance on 'Seinfeld.' His memoir, now out in paperback, is 'I'm Keith Hernandez.'MLB pitcher Jim Bouton, who died Wednesday, spoke to 'Fresh Air' in 1986 about his 1970 tell-all memoir, 'Ball Four,' in which he drew on his seven years with the Yankees to offer an insider's guide to baseball.Actor Rip Torn, who died Tuesday, won an Emmy Award for playing the gruff producer Artie on 'The Larry Sanders Show.' In 1994, he told Terry Gross that he based his character on Johnny Carson's long time producer.Also, critic John Powers reviews 'London Kills,' about a Scotland Yard team led by a detective whose wife has gone missing.
July 11, 2019
NY Times reporter Caitlin Dickerson has been documenting the impact of the Trump administration's policies on migrants — and on the workers who deal with the large number of people held in detention. Dickerson talks about the squalid conditions at the Clint, Texas, border patrol center, where toddlers were living for weeks without diapers, and kids were living in cold, crowded holding areas without showers, clean clothes, toothbrushes, or enough food. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'The Farewell,' starring Awkwafina.
July 10, 2019
A new, Yiddish language production of the musical is currently running off-Broadway. Steven Skybell, who plays Tevye, and Joel Grey, who directs the show, explain why the play still resonates.
July 9, 2019
'Mother Jones' journalist Ari Berman says recent Supreme Court decisions on redistricting and the 2020 census will determine which party is in power in the next decade. Berman says while Americans are justifiably worried that Russia might try again to interfere in our 2020 election, we also need to also be focusing on homegrown threats to our democracy. "The Russians didn't invent voter suppression. The Russians didn't gut the Voting Rights Act. The Russians didn't draw heavily gerrymandered maps in the last redistricting cycle. The Russians didn't add a citizenship question to the 2020 census." Berman also explains how the gerrymandering decision and the citizenship question could determine the political future.Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel 'Copperhead' by Alexi Zentner.
July 8, 2019
Travis Rieder became dependent on opioids after a motorcycle accident in 2015 that crushed his left foot, and forced him to endure six surgeries. His book 'In Pain' draws on his insights as a patient, and his subsequent research into pain medicine, to examine the larger problems and dilemmas surrounding prescription opioids and the larger opioid crisis.
July 6, 2019
Parker is best-known for her role as the iconic single New Yorker Carrie Bradshaw on 'Sex and the City.' Now, on the HBO series 'Divorce,' she plays Frances, a woman navigating the dissolution of her marriage. Also, Ken Tucker reviews two country hits that are challenging traditional notions of the genre, by Lil Nas X and Blanco Brown.Amber Scorah was a third-generation Jehovah's Witness raised to believe that the Armageddon was imminent. Scorah talks about her decision to leave her marriage and her religion and start over. Her memoir is 'Leaving the Witness.'
July 5, 2019
At the age of 86, Nelson is still going strong. He's touring and has a new record, 'Ride Me Back Home.' We'll listen back to two interviews with Nelson and hear a review of the new album. When Terry Gross spoke to him in 1996 he told her why he had trouble fitting in to country music. "My songs had a few chords in them, and the country songs weren't supposed to have over three chords. My phrasing was sort of funny. I didn't sing on the beat. I just didn't fit the slots, you know? And I wouldn't take orders and so I became one of those guys that you know they had to call something else."
July 4, 2019
The flute-playing pop star celebrates self-love on her latest album, 'Cuz I Love You.' About 10 years ago, "I made the decision that I just wanted to be happy with my body," she says. Lizzo talks to Terry Gross about collaborating with Prince, feminism, and using music to help people find a positive place within themselves. [Originally broadcast In May 2019]
July 3, 2019
Parker is best-known for her role as the iconic single New Yorker Carrie Bradshaw on 'Sex and the City.' Now, on the HBO series 'Divorce,' she plays Frances, a woman navigating the dissolution of her marriage. Parker spoke with Terry Gross about growing up poor but engaged in the arts, the #MeToo movement, and how she doesn't relate to Carrie (or the other 'SATC' characters) at all. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews the thriller 'Midsommar.'
July 2, 2019
HBO's recent series 'Chernobyl' has renewed public interest in the 1986 explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear plant. Journalist Adam Higginbotham has spent years investigating the causes of the accident and the dramatic efforts to contain the damage. He says design flaws, human hubris and Soviet secrecy all contributed to the disaster. His book is 'Midnight in Chernobyl.'Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews 'I'm All Smiles' by pianist George Cables.
July 1, 2019
'Verge' journalist Casey Newton investigated working conditions for the moderators who determine what material can be posted to Facebook. Many are traumatized by the images of hate and violence they see. "I've talked to folks who will wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat. They will have nightmares about the content that they saw, and eventually, many of them get diagnosed with PTSD." Newton also talks about how Facebook is starting what's been called a "supreme court" for contested content decisions, and we'll discuss what the social network is doing to prepare for the 2020 election. Also, Ken Tucker reviews two country hits that are challenging traditional notions of the genre, by Lil Nas X and Blanco Brown.
June 29, 2019
The new documentary '5B' tells the story of America's first hospital unit dedicated to the care of people with AIDS. Nurse Cliff Morrison helped create 5B in 1983, and worked on it with Dr. Paul Volberding. They talked with Terry Gross about the early years of the AIDS epidemic, and how they sought to give patients compassionate care through human touch when most medical workers wore full body suits because they were afraid they'd get infected.Film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Yesterday' by 'Slumdog Millionaire' director Danny Boyle. In the semi-autobiographical Hulu series 'Ramy,' Youssef plays a first generation Muslim American who follows some — but not all — of the rules of his religion. Youssef, whose parents immigrated from Egypt, also co-created the series. He says he can relate to his character's "picking and choosing" approach to his faith. "Sometimes we would call it 'Allah carte,'" he says.
June 28, 2019
Green's latest novel, 'Turtles All The Way Down,' is about a teenage girl with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The author spoke with Terry Gross about his own experience with OCD in 2017. "It starts out with one little thought, and then slowly that becomes the only thought that you're able to have. It's like there's an invasive weed that just spreads out of control." Also, linguist Geoff Nunberg considers how the word "algorithm" has come to stand in for the power that technology wields in our life. And TV critic David Bianculli reviews the Showtime mini-series 'The Loudest Voice' about Fox News creator, Roger Ailes.
June 27, 2019
In 1989, 26-year-old skipper Tracy Edwards set out on what was thought of as an unthinkable journey for a woman — to sail the 33,000 mile Whitbread Round The World Race. She assembled an all-female crew, restored a shabby racing yacht, and took to sea. The new documentary 'Maiden' tracks their 9-month-long race and the sexism they faced at every turn. Edwards spoke with 'Fresh Air' contributor Dave Davies. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Yesterday,' by 'Slumdog Millionaire' director Danny Boyle.
June 26, 2019
The new documentary '5B' tells the story of America's first hospital unit dedicated to the care of people with AIDS. Nurse Cliff Morrison helped create 5B in 1983, and worked on it with Dr. Paul Volberding. They talked with Terry Gross about the early years of the AIDS epidemic, how they sought to give patients compassionate care, and the rampant homophobia at the time.
June 25, 2019
In the semi-autobiographical Hulu series 'Ramy,' Youssef plays a first generation Muslim American who follows some — but not all — of the rules of his religion. Youssef, whose parents immigrated from Egypt, also co-created the series. He says he can relate to his character's "picking and choosing" approach to his faith. "Sometimes we would call it 'Allah carte,'" he says. Youssef talks with Terry Gross about the series, feeling torn between wanting to fit in and his faith, and his stand-up comedy. Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel 'Ask Again, Yes' by Mary Beth Keane, which she describes as "profound, yet unpretentious."
June 24, 2019
Amber Scorah was a third generation Jehovah's Witness raised to believe that the Armageddon was imminent. As a teenager she was shunned from her religious community for having sex with her boyfriend. Scorah went on to marry an elder in the church, and she and her husband traveled to China as missionaries. But gradually doubt began to set in. Scorah speaks with Terry Gross about her decision to leave her marriage and her religion and start over. Her memoir is 'Leaving the Witness.' Also, John Powers reviews the HBO series 'Years and Years.'
June 22, 2019
Filmmaker Ava DuVernay's Netflix series 'When They See Us' tells the story of how five black and brown boys, known as the Central Park Five, were manipulated into confessing to a brutal rape they did not commit. DuVernay focuses on the boys' perspective — and the criminal justice system that failed them. Ken Tucker reviews Willie Nelson's new album 'Ride Me Back Home.'Bill Hader, who became famous as a writer and performer on 'Saturday Night Live,' now stars in the HBO series 'Barry.' Hader speaks with Terry Gross about writing the series with Alec Berg and struggling with severe anxiety while on 'SNL.'
June 21, 2019
The singer, songwriter and guitarist was recently inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Prine spoke with Terry Gross in 2018 when his album 'The Tree of Forgiveness' was released. He described how his voice changed after neck cancer: "It dropped down lower and feels friendlier." Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the final seasons of FX's 'Legion' and Netflix's 'Jessica Jones.'
June 20, 2019
Hader, who became famous as a writer and performer on 'Saturday Night Live,' now stars in the HBO series 'Barry.' Hader plays a Marine who suffers from depression and PTSD ever since returning from Afghanistan. While working as a hit man in Los Angeles, he discovers that he wants to pursue acting instead. Hader speaks with Terry Gross about writing the series with Alec Berg, struggling with severe anxiety while on 'SNL,' and his love of old movies.
June 19, 2019
DuVernay's Netflix series tells the story of how five black and brown boys, known as the Central Park Five, were manipulated into confessing to a brutal rape they did not commit. 'When They See Us' focuses on the boys' perspective — and the criminal justice system that failed them. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Toy Story 4.'
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