Bruce Weber and Margalit Fox have written obituaries for thousands of people, ranging from heads of state to the inventor of the Etch-a-Sketch. They are featured in the new documentary ‘Obit.’ Also, Ken Tucker reviews Kendrick Lamar’s album ‘Damn.’
Rich says the HBO series is about the “craven desire for power.” Rich also writes a column for ‘New York’ magazine about the intersection of politics and pop culture. Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ which was released today on Hulu.
Dr. Elizabeth Ford treated mentally ill inmates in New York City for more than a decade. It was almost universal, she says, that they suffered abuse or significant neglect as children. Her book is ‘Sometimes Amazing Things Happen.’ Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead celebrates Ella Fitzgerald’s 100th birthday.
Ankiel entered the major leagues in 1999 as an extremely gifted pitcher, then one day he suddenly lost it. His new memoir, ‘The Phenomenon,’ describes his struggle with an anxiety condition called "the Yips," as we’ll as his unlikely comeback. Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews the book ‘Hourglass’ by Dani Shapiro
Alyssa Mastromonaco worked in the Obama White House for six exhilarating and exhausting years. She talks about running on adrenaline, planning for worst case scenarios, and wearing Snuggies on Air Force One. Her new memoir is 'Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?' Film critic Justin Chang reviews ‘A Quiet Passion.’ Merriam-Webster lexicographer Kory Stamper talks about how words (like "f-bomb") are added to the dictionary, finding the first-known use of a word, and how English continues to evolve. Her book is ‘Word by Word.’
Author Peggy Orenstein says that when it comes to sexuality, girls hear that "they're supposed to be sexy, they're supposed to perform sexually for boys, but ... their sexual pleasure is unspoken." Orenstein discusses the effect hook-up culture, porn, and pop stars have had on girls' lives. Her book ‘Girls & Sex’ is now out in paperback. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews ‘A Quiet Passion.’
As President Trump approaches his 100th day in office, ‘New York Times’ White House correspondent Maggie Haberman says "the magnitude of the job is sinking in for him."
Merriam-Webster lexicographer Kory Stamper talks about how words (like “f-bomb” or “bodice ripper”) are added to the dictionary, finding the first-known use of a word, and how English continues to evolve. TV critic David Bianculli reviews the Netflix series ‘Bill Nye Saves The World' and the return of the FX series ‘Fargo.'
Mastromonaco worked in the West Wing for six exhilarating and exhausting years. She talks about running on adrenaline, planning for worst case scenarios, and wearing Snuggies on Air Force One. Her new memoir is ‘Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?’ Also, John Powers reviews the film ‘Norman,’ starring Richard Gere.
Members of the Osage Indian Nation became very wealthy in the 1920s after oil deposits were found on their land. Then local whites began targeting the tribe, killing them off one by one in mysterious and disturbing ways. Journalist David Grann tells the story in his book ‘The Killers of the Flower Moon.’ Also, Ken Tucker reviews an album from The Menzingers.
In 1978, more than 900 followers of the Rev. Jim Jones committed mass suicide in Guyana by drinking cyanide-laced Flavor Aid. Journalist Jeff Guinn details how Jones captivated his followers in his new book, 'The Road to Jonestown.' TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new season of AMC's 'Better Call Saul.' Also, comic Sasheer Zamata speaks with ‘Fresh Air’ producer Ann Marie Baldonado about her road to ‘SNL.’
The British actor plays a reverend in ‘The Leftovers,’ the HBO series about what happens after 2 percent of the world's population vanishes in a mysterious event. Film critic David Edelstein reviews ‘The Lost City of Z.’
Journalist David Owen says that convoluted legal agreements and a patchwork of infrastructure determine how water from the Colorado is allocated. How can the river continue to support 36 million people in 7 states? His new book is ‘Where The Water Goes.’ Also, comic Sasheer Zamata talks with ‘Fresh Air’ producer Ann Marie Baldonado about her new special ‘Pizza Mind’ and her road to ‘SNL.’
‘New Yorker’ staff writer Jeffrey Toobin discusses Leonard Leo, the conservative lawyer who is responsible, to a considerable extent, for one third of the justices on the Supreme Court — Roberts, Alito, and now Gorsuch. Leo is the Executive Vice President of the Federalist Society. Also, Ken Tucker reviews Jessi Colter’s new album, ‘The Psalms.’
In 1978, more than 900 followers of the Rev. Jim Jones committed mass suicide in Guyana by drinking cyanide-laced Flavor Aid. Journalist Jeff Guinn details how Jones captivated his followers in his new book, ‘The Road to Jonestown.’
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.’