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Fresh Air

Fresh Air from WHYY, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Hosted by Terry Gross, the show features intimate conversations with today's biggest luminaries.
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Now displaying: 2016
Jul 9, 2016

Journalist Larry Tye talks about Robert F. Kennedy's transformation from stalwart anti-communist to liberal icon.  Tye's new biography of Kennedy includes new insights on the early part of Kennedy's career when he worked for Joe McCarthy.  Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews Allen Toussaint's final recording and journalist Maia Szalavitz talks about new ways of understanding and treating addiction. Her book, 'Unbroken Brain,' is based on research as well as personal experience; Szalavitz was addicted to cocaine and heroin from the age of 17 until she was 23.

Jul 8, 2016

Jim Gaffigan talks about his TV Land series 'The Jim Gaffigan Show,' now in its second season, in which he plays a comic, who like himself, has a wife and five children, doesn’t swear in his act, and is a Catholic. Fresh Air remembers Holocaust survivor, witness, writer and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel. He died last Saturday at the age of 87.  Also, David Edelstein reviews the new film 'Life, Imagined,' and TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new HBO series 'The Night Of.'

Jul 7, 2016

Tough love, interventions and 12-step programs are some of the most common methods of treating drug addiction, but journalist Maia Szalavitz says they're often counterproductive. In her new book, 'Unbroken Brain,' Szalavitz argues against the notion of "addictive personalities" and instead makes the case that addiction is similar to a learning disorder. Her book is based on research as well as personal experience; Szalavitz was addicted to cocaine and heroin from the age of 17 until she was 23. Also book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Underground Airlines,' a new novel of alternate history by Ben H. Winters that imagines the Civil War never happened, and that slavery still exists in a few states.

 

 

Jul 6, 2016

'The Radio Adventures of Eleanor Amplified' is a new family-friendly podcast about an intrepid reporter (and radio host!) who foils devious plots and matches wits with cunning villains.  It was created by Fresh Air producer John Sheehan. Find it at: http://eleanoramplified.com

Jul 6, 2016

Warren Burger served as chief justice of the Supreme Court from 1969 until 1986. Linda Greenhouse, author of 'The Burger Court,' says those years helped establish the court's conservative legal foundation.  Fresh Air producer John Sheehan talks about creating "The Radio Adventures of Eleanor Amplified," a new adventure podcast for kids featuring an intrepid radio reporter who foils plots and outwits crafty villains.

Jul 5, 2016

Robert Kennedy’s political transformation is the focus of a new biography by journalist Larry Tye.  Kennedy began his career as an assistant counsel on Senator Joe McCarthy's sub-committee investigating communists. When Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in 1968, he was the liberal hopeful in the Democratic presidential primary. Larry Tye was given access to 58 boxes of private Kennedy papers, and interviewed 400 people, including Robert Kennedy's widow, Ethel Kennedy. 

Jul 4, 2016

Blake's songs are back on Broadway, in the adaptation of his 1921 show 'Shuffle Along.' It was an influential musical that was written and produced by African Americans and had an all African American cast. Our tribute features live performances of his songs and interviews with singer Vernel Bagneris, pianist Dick Hyman, theater historian Robert Kimball and historian David Levering Lewis. Originally broadcast in 1998.

Jul 2, 2016

After starring in Broadway shows like 'The Music Man' and 'Candide,' Cook struggled with addiction, then staged a successful second career as a cabaret singer. Her new memoir is 'Then and Now.' Commentator Mat Johnson reads his essay about the vanishing middle class. Matt Ross discusses his new film, 'Captain Fantastic,' which he wrote and directed, is about a father living with his six children in the woods of the Pacific Northwest.

Jul 1, 2016

A look back at the L.A. punk scene with three people who helped define it. John Doe and Exene Cervenka, co-founders of the band X, and Dave Alvin, who joined X for a few years as their lead guitarist. In John Doe's new memoir, 'Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk,' Doe brings together his own essays and stories from other musicians and scenemakers from that time. Film critic David Edelstein reviews 'The BFG.'

Jun 30, 2016

Matt Ross' new film, 'Captain Fantastic,' which he wrote and directed, is about a father living with his six children in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. "The movie is about choices we make, especially as parents," he says. Also, we remember Scotty Moore, Elvis Presley's first guitarist and manager. He spoke to Terry Gross in 1997. Finally, Ken Tucker reviews Maren Morris' new album, 'Hero.' 

Jun 29, 2016

New York Times reporter Eric Lichtblau discusses the FBI's investigation of shooter Omar Mateen prior to the Orlando attack, as well as the bureau's broader efforts to pinpoint suspected terrorists. Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'They May Not Mean To, But They Do,' by Cathleen Schine. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews Allen Toussaint's final recording. 

Jun 28, 2016

New York Times science and health reporter Donald. G. McNeil Jr. predicts that 2016 will be the worst for Zika transmission in the U.S. "After this year, a fair number of people will be immune, and ... immunity will grow," he says.  Also, we remember Michael Herr, whose 1977 book 'Dispatches' was based on his experiences covering the Vietnam War. He contributed to the films 'Apocalypse Now' and 'Full Metal Jacket.' Herr died last week. 

Jun 27, 2016

After starring in Broadway shows like 'The Music Man' and 'Candide,' Cook struggled with addiction, then staged a successful second career as a cabaret singer. Her new memoir is 'Then and Now.' Also, film critic David Edelstein reviews 'Wiener-Dog.'

Jun 25, 2016

Tony Hale played Buster on 'Arrested Development' and is Gary Walsh on the HBO comedy series, 'Veep.' "There's a reason why I do anxious characters," he says. "It comes from a lot of personal anxiety." Commentator Sarah Hepola had to rethink her sex life after she quit drinking. She shares an essay about that experience. Jonathan Balcombe, author of 'What a Fish Knows,' says that fish have a conscious awareness — or "sentience" — that allows them to experience pain, recognize individual humans and have memory.

Jun 24, 2016

The Grammy Award-winning bluegrass pioneer died yesterday at 89. Stanley spoke with Terry Gross in 2002, after his work on the 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' soundtrack. Also, the Broadway revival of the 1963 musical 'She Loves Me' will be streamed live on June 30. Director Scott Ellis and lyricist Sheldon Harnick talk about the show.

Jun 23, 2016

"Something really profound has changed in the way that we use guns," journalist Evan Osnos says. He estimates that 13 million people are licensed to carry a concealed gun in America. 

Jun 22, 2016

Hale played Buster on 'Arrested Development' and is Gary Walsh on the HBO series, 'Veep.' "There's a reason why I do anxious characters," he says. "It comes from a lot of personal anxiety." Also, Fresh Air commentator Mat Johnson reads his essay about the vanishing middle class.

Jun 21, 2016

Historian Wendy Warren, author of 'New England Bound,' says the early colonists imported African slaves and enslaved and exported Native Americans.  Rock historian Ed Ward tells the story of the little-known '70s band Eggs Over Easy.  Then, commentator Sarah Hepola says she relied on alcohol to give her the adventurous sex life of a strong, liberated woman. But when she gave up drinking, she had to figure out something else -- what she really wanted.

Jun 20, 2016

Jonathan Balcombe, author of 'What a Fish Knows,' says that fish have a conscious awareness — or "sentience" — that allows them to experience pain, recognize individual humans and have memory. Also, Ellie Kemper, star of the Netflix series 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,' talks to Fresh Air producer Ann Marie Baldonado.

Jun 18, 2016

Director Ezra Edelman and legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin discuss the 5-part ESPN documentary series about the O.J. Simpson case and L.A.'s history of racial tension.  Ken Tucker reviews singer-songwriter Margaret Glaspy's album 'Emotions and Math.'  Former restaurant worker Stephanie Danler drew on her experience in the industry for her debut novel, 'Sweetbitter,' about a naïve 22-year old who goes to NYC and gets a job at an upscale restaurant.

Jun 17, 2016

MLB's Mike Matheny talks about his playing career, managing in the big leagues and the pressures of youth sports. His book, 'The Matheny Manifesto' is out in paperback. Film critic David Edelstein reviews the Pixar sequel to 'Finding Nemo,' 'Finding Dory,' and we hear an excerpt of a 1996 interview with producer Nick Venet,  who recalls the story behind Bobby Darin's hit 'Beyond the Sea.' A version of the song plays in 'Finding Dory.'

Jun 16, 2016

Stephanie Danler's debut novel is about a naïve 22 year old woman who comes to New York City and gets a job in an upscale restaurant. Ken Tucker reviews 'Emotions and Math' from singer-songwriter Margaret Glaspy. John Powers reviews 'The Witness,' a documentary about the 1964 murder of Kitty Genovese.

Jun 15, 2016

'Ratf**ked' author David Daley says Republicans targeted key state legislative races in 2010 in an effort to control state houses, and, eventually, congressional redistricting. "It's like Moneyball applied to politics," Daley says. Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews Susan Faludi's new memoir 'In the Darkroom,' and jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews Matt Wilson's 'Big Happy Family.'

Jun 14, 2016

"He was acquitted of the crime he was guilty of and convicted of a crime he's innocent of," says legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin. He and director Ezra Edelman discuss 'O.J.: Made in America.'

Jun 13, 2016

Journalist Claire Hoffman grew up in a Utopian community in Fairfield, Iowa. At first, she says, "it was entirely magical." Then doubt crept in. Hoffman's memoir is 'Greetings from Utopia Park.' TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new series 'BrainDead,' from the creators of 'The Good Wife.'

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