Why are medical bills so hard to read? How is the consolidation of hospitals affecting the price of care? Why is it that more competition in the pharmaceutical industry drives prices up rather than down? Journalist (and former physician) Elisabeth Rosenthal investigates the dysfunction of the American health care system in her new book ‘An American Sickness.’ Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new season of AMC’s ’Better Call Saul.’
Alec Baldwin talks about his impression of Trump on ‘SNL,’ growing up watching old films with his dad, and a regret he has about his early career. Ken Tucker reviews a new album from Tennessee singer-songwriter Valerie June. Laura Jane Grace, the founder of the punk band Against Me!, felt so conflicted about gender growing up that she thought she was schizophrenic. Grace transitioned in 2012, and speaks with Terry Gross about how her music and life have changed since then.
We listen back to two interviews with the great insult comic. He died yesterday at the age of 90. Rickles spoke with 'Fresh Air' in 2007 and 2008. Also, film critic David Edelstein reviews ‘Colossal,’ starring Anne Hathaway.
David Wood of ‘The Huffington Post’ says Russian jets are playing "chicken" with U.S. planes in international airspace with alarming frequency, and that a rash response could lead to all-out war. John Powers reviews ‘Tell Me How It Ends’ by Valeria Luiselli.
Baldwin says his 'SNL' impression of the president is purposefully exaggerated. "There's a kind of volume to it," he says. "It's kind of the Macy's Day Parade [version] of Trump." He talks about the ups and downs of his career, aging in Hollywood, and his favorite movies growing up. Kevin Whitehead reviews Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah’s album ‘Ruler Rebel,’ a mix of jazz and hip-hop.
The founder of the band Against Me! felt so conflicted about gender growing up that she thought she was schizophrenic. Grace transitioned in 2012, and speaks with Terry Gross about how her music and life have changed since then. The band’s new album is ‘Shape Shift With Me,’ and Grace’s memoir is ’Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout.’
Why is filing taxes in the U.S. so complicated, expensive and time-consuming? When it comes to taxes, author T.R. Reid says other countries have done "what the U.S. Congress evidently can't do — they've made it simple." His new book is ‘A Fine Mess.’ Ken Tucker reviews a new album from Tennessee singer-songwriter Valerie June.
After West Nile virus left her paralyzed, Chicago illustrator Emil Ferris had to relearn how to draw. She says that experience was key to the creation of her first graphic novel, ‘My Favorite Thing Is Monsters.’ Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews ‘The Devil and Webster.’ Tressie McMillan Cottom worked as an enrollment officer at two for-profit colleges, but quit because she felt uncomfortable selling students an education they couldn't afford. She says that for-profit colleges can exploit racial, gender and economic inequality. Her book is ‘Lower Ed.’
During World War II, the military worked with famous Hollywood directors to create movies to both boost morale back home and document the devastation overseas. Mark Harris’ book, ‘Five Came Back,’ is the basis for a new Netflix docuseries. [Originally broadcast March 2014.]
After contracting West Nile virus and becoming temporarily paralyzed, Chicago illustrator Emil Ferris had to relearn how to draw. She says that experience was key to the publication of ‘My Favorite Thing Is Monsters.’
‘New York Times’ reporter David Sanger talks about North Korea's nuclear program and warns that the regime, which has been "fodder for late night comedians for many many years," is no joke. Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel ‘One of the Boys,’ about a corrosive father-son relationship.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, DARPA, develops innovative technologies for the military. Its innovations led to the Internet, communication satellites, stealth aircrafts, drones, and driverless cars. Sharon Weinberger’s book, ‘The Imagineers of War,’ tells the untold story of DARPA. Also, we say goodbye to ‘Fresh Air’ producer John Sheehan.
Tressie McMillan Cottom worked in enrollment at two for-profit colleges, but quit because she felt uncomfortable selling students an education they couldn't afford. Her new book, 'Lower Ed,' argues that for-profit colleges can exploit racial, gender and economic inequality.
Pete Holmes' new HBO show 'Crashing' is based on his real life, after his wife left him and he struggled to find his voice onstage as a stand-up comic. He grew up a devout Christian and says he saw himself as a "Good Boy," not cursing or talking about sex in the early years of his career. "I was basically picturing [Jesus] in the back of the club." Author Ron Powers’ new book ‘No One Cares About Crazy People’ is both a memoir about his two sons with schizophrenia and a history of how the mentally ill have been treated medically and legally.
In the first half of the 20th century, American eugenicists used forced sterilization to "breed out" traits they considered undesirable. The Nazis borrowed from the U.S. eugenics sterilization program. Adam Cohen tells the story in his book, 'Imbeciles,’ now out in paperback. Film critic David Edelstein reviews ‘Wilson,’ adapted from a Daniel Clowes graphic novel.
Day was a champion of the poor and the co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement. Her granddaughter, writer Kate Hennessy, talks about her grandmother’s bohemian past. Hennessy’s new biography of Day draws from family letters, diaries, interviews and her own memories. Also, ‘Fresh Air’ remembers Chuck Barris, creator of ‘The Dating Game,’ ‘The Newlywed Game,’ and ‘The Gong Show.’ He died Tuesday at 87. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1986.
‘New Yorker’ staff writer Jane Mayer talks about Robert Mercer and his daughter, Rebekah, who have poured millions of dollars into ‘Breitbart News’ and pushed to have Steve Bannon run Trump’s campaign. Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews ‘The Devil and Webster,’ a novel about a New England college in turmoil.
Holmes’ new HBO show ‘Crashing’ is based on his real life, after his wife left him and he struggled to find his voice onstage. He grew up a devout Christian and says he saw himself as a "Good Boy” comic, not cursing or talking about sex in the early years of his career. "I was basically picturing [Jesus] in the back of the club."
"There is no greater feeling of helplessness than to watch two beloved sons deteriorate before [your] eyes," says Ron Powers. His new book 'No One Cares About Crazy People' is both about his sons and a history of how the mentally ill have been treated medically and legally. Also, rock historian Ed Ward looks back on Chuck Berry’s early career. He died Saturday at 90.
'Get Out' is about a young black man named Chris whose white girlfriend, Rose, takes him to meet her parents for the first time. Writer-director Jordan Peele (previously of 'Key & Peele') calls his movie a "social thriller." Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews Frank Carlberg’s meditation on Thelonious Monk. Author Sebastian Barry discusses his book ‘Days Without End' with 'Fresh Air' producer Sam Briger. It's about an Irish immigrant conscripted right off the boat, who falls in love with one of his fellow soldiers.
To mark the Broadway composer's 90th birthday, we’re replaying excerpts of his 1991 and 2015 interviews with Terry Gross. David Bianculli reviews ‘Julie’s Greenroom’ on Netflix, a children’s series starring Julie Andrews and Jim Henson puppets. Film critic David Edelstein reviews ‘T2 Trainspotting.’
‘New Yorker’ staff writer Elif Batuman talks about her Turkish-American roots and her new novel, which follows a young woman's first year at Harvard University in the ‘90s, and how she finds love through email. It’s based on her own experiences. Also, writer Daniel Torday reflects on the vandalism at a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia. Milo Miles reviews Sxip Shirey’s album ‘A Bottle of Whiskey and a Handful of Bees.’
‘Get Out’ tells the story of a young black man named Chris whose white girlfriend, Rose, takes him to meet her parents for the first time — without first telling them he’s black. Writer-director Jordan Peele (previously of ‘Key & Peele’) calls his movie a “social thriller.” He talks about his love of horror, his biracial identity, and making a film that would play differently to black and white audiences.
Rukmini Callimachi covers ISIS for the ‘New York Times.’ She just returned from Iraq where she was embedded with Iraqi soldiers as they battled to liberate the western half of the Iraqi city of Mosul from ISIS. She says ISIS is more fierce than ever.
Author Adam Alter says that technology is designed to be addictive, and that the gratification it provides is similar to that of other addictive behaviors, such as drug abuse or gambling. Alter’s book is ‘Irresistible.’ Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews ‘Monk Dreams, Hallucinations and Nightmares,’ from pianist and composer Frank Carlberg. Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel ‘Heretics’ by Leonardo Padura.