In ‘Raven Rock,’ Garrett Graff describes the bunkers designed to protect U.S. leaders in the event of a catastrophe. One Cold War-era plan put the post office in charge of cataloging the dead. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews ‘The Big Sick,’ starring comic Kumail Nanjiani.
Alexie’s new memoir, ‘You Don't Have to Say You Love Me,’ is about his traumatic childhood on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Washington, his difficult relationship with his parents, and how brain surgery has changed him.
Gay has finally written the book that she "wanted to write the least." The moment she realized she "never want to write about fatness" was the same moment she knew this was a memoir she had to write. Her new book is ‘Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body.’
Before taking over the reins at 'Late Night,' Seth Meyers spent spent 13 years at 'Saturday Night Live,' first as a performer, then as head writer and the co-host of ‘Weekend Update.’ He talks about political satire in the Trump era and being a comedian without demons. Linguist Geoff Nunberg says people have been complaining about the overuse of the exclamation since Victorian times, but he thinks the exclamation point gets a bad rap. Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks with Terry Gross about President Trump’s tweets, and the effect racism had on the Obama administration.
Last night Jay Z became the first hip-hop artist to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He spoke with Terry Gross in 2010 about growing up in a housing project in Brooklyn, finding his identity in the recording studio, and misogyny in rap lyrics. Also, film critic David Edelstein reviews ‘The Mummy.’
Former Vice President Joe Biden has figured something out: "I learned how to become one of the most popular politicians in America," he says. "Announce that you are not running for president, and be authentic." In front of a live audience at WHYY studios, Joe Biden talks with Terry Gross about Donald Trump, his Catholic faith, and his plans on returning to electoral politics. Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Do Not Become Alarmed,' the new novel by Maile Meloy.
When it comes to comedy, 'Late Night' host Seth Meyers is clear about what drew him to the field: "I got into it because it looked like the most fun job in the world," he says. "And it has not led me astray." Before taking over the reins at 'Late Night,' he spent spent 13 years at 'Saturday Night Live,' first as a performer, then as head writer and the co-host, alongside Amy Poehler, of the show's 'Weekend Update' segment. This interview was recorded in front of a live audience on June 9, 2017 at Verizon Hall in Philadelphia to celebrate Fresh Air's 30th anniversary as a daily national program.
When 'Washington Post' correspondent Souad Mekhennet chooses to go and conduct an interview, it can be a life or death decision. She’s spent much of the past 15 years reporting on Islamic extremist groups, and she’s interviewed leaders of Al Qaeda, the Taliban and ISIS. Mekhennet was raised as a Muslim in Germany. Her new memoir is 'I Was Told to Come Alone.' Linguist Geoff Nunberg says people have been complaining about the overuse of the exclamation since Victorian times, but he thinks the exclamation point gets a bad rap.
Mark Bowden, author of 'Black Hawk Down,' talks about a turning point in the Vietnam War, the ferocious battle for the old imperial capital of Hue. He says "it was the bloodiest battle of its kind in the war." Communist forces took the city as part of the Tet Offensive of 1968, a coordinated set of attacks that soured many Americans on the conflict, and undermined the story US military leaders were telling the public and themselves about the war. Bowden interviewed dozens of participants in the battle as well as civilians who suffered terribly in the fighting. His new book is 'Hue 1968.'
Six years after the demise of his 'Breaking Bad' character, Giancarlo Esposito is back on TV as the vicious drug lord Gus Fring in ‘Better Call Saul.’ He likens his current work to taking the character "back in time." Book critic Maureen Corrigan shares her early summer reading list. Photographer Paul Nicklen gets as close as possible to the animals he photographs. Once he found himself staring down the throat of an leopard seal in Antarctica: "Her head [was] twice as big as a grizzly bear."
Author Jill Lepore uncovers the political history behind Wonder Woman. The comic book icon’s creator, William Moulten Marston, was inspired by both the women’s suffrage movement and erotic pin-up art. Marston also had a secret life: He had a wife and a mistress and fathered children with both of them. Critic-at-large John Powers reviews the documentary 'Becoming Cary Grant.' Film critic David Edelstein reviews 'My Cousin Rachel.'
In protest of Saudi Arabia’s de facto ban on women driving, Manal al-Sharif filmed herself driving and posted it on YouTube. She was arrested, but after expressions of outrage from around the world, she was eventually released. Her new memoir ‘Daring to Drive’ is about how she became a women’s rights activist after growing up in Mecca, and adhering to a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews ’Beatriz at Dinner,’ starring Salma Hayek.
Six years after the demise of his ‘Breaking Bad’ character, Giancarlo Esposito is back on TV as the vicious drug lord Gus Fring. He likens his current work to taking the character "back in time."
Nicklen gets as close as possible to the animals he photographs. Once he found himself staring down the throat of an leopard seal in Antarctica: "Her head [was] twice as big as a grizzly bear."
Law professor Sheryll Cashin’s new book ‘Loving’ chronicles the landmark SCOTUS case Loving v. Virginia, which overturned state laws prohibiting interracial marriage. Next week marks 50 years since the decision. Cashin also talks about growing up as the daughter of civil rights activists, and how her family integrated neighborhoods and schools in Alabama.
As a former 'SNL' cast member and writer, Franken tends to see humor in politics. Despite this, he says his gut reaction to the Trump administration isn't levity: "This guy is outside the norm in many ways." Also, humorist David Sedaris pulls from his decades-old diaries in his latest book, 'Theft by Finding.' In it, he revisits major turning points, such as the death of his mother, as well as more prosaic, everyday moments.
To mark the 50th anniversary of the U.S. release of ‘Sgt Pepper,’ we listen back to Terry Gross' 1995 interview with Ringo Starr, as well as her 2001 and 2012 interviews with Paul McCartney. David Edelstein reviews ’Wonder Woman.’
Producer Giles Martin says he included the Beatles’ outtakes and raw performances in the new box set to show "how human the making of Sgt. Pepper was." The original album was produced by Martin's father, George, 50 years ago.
Sedaris pulls from his decades-old diaries in his latest book, ‘Theft by Finding.’ In it, he revisits major turning points, such as the death of his mother, as well as more prosaic, everyday moments. Sedaris talks with Terry Gross about how his writing has changed, leaving Raleigh for the Art Institute of Chicago, and why he stopped drinking.
As a former ‘SNL’ cast member and writer, Franken tends to see humor in politics. Despite this, he says his gut reaction to the Trump administration isn't levity: "This guy is outside the norm in many ways."
Dion Francis DiMucci brought his guitar to the studio and performed old songs, new songs, and songs by performers who influenced him. He’s spoke with Terry Gross in 2000. Also, critic John Powers reviews the best-selling French novel ‘The End of Eddy.’
Ansari talks about his award-winning Netflix series 'Master of None,' acting alongside his real-life parents, and hosting 'SNL' the day after Trump's inauguration. Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews two solo albums from Harry Styles and Dan Auerbach. Also, Pamela Paul of 'The New York Times' talks to 'Fresh Air' producer Sam Briger about her "book of books," a list of every book she's read since she was 17 years old.
After working mostly as a behind-the-scenes guy on 'Chappelle's Show' and 'Inside Amy Schumer,' comic Neal Brennan is stepping out as a performer with his Netflix special, '3 Mics.' Brennan says he didn't get serious about stand-up until 'Chappelle's Show,' which he co-created and co-wrote, ended abruptly after Chappelle left the country. He talks with Terry about his friendship with Dave Chappelle, his family, and growing up with an alcoholic father. Film critic Justin Chang reviews ‘Berlin Syndrome.’
Matthew Rosenberg of the ‘The New York Times’ began writing about General Flynn in 2009 in Afghanistan; now he’s investigating Flynn’s role in Russia’s interference in the U.S. election.