David Remnick and Evan Osnos of ‘The New Yorker’ say Russia was caught off guard by Trump's election. "This was like a bank heist that, instead of blowing the doors off the safe, they blew the safe up entirely," Osnos says. Also, Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews ‘Waking Lions’ by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen.
Author Kay Redfield Jamison’s new book describes how Lowell’s manic-depressive illness influenced his life and work. “His manias tended to lead him into writing a fresh kind of poetry,” she says. Lloyd Schwartz reviews a reissue of ‘Chimes At Midnight’ starring Orson Welles, and jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a new album from saxophonist Miguel Zenón.
‘National Geographic’ photographer Joel Sartore is on a mission to document every captive animal species in the world. So far he’s photographed about 6,500 species. He talks about some of the challenges he faces on the job, like getting an arctic fox to hold still, and being chased by elephants. Also, we remember actor Bill Paxton who died this past weekend. Paxton starred in HBO’s ‘Big Love,’ and in the films ‘A Simple Plan,’ and ‘Titanic.’ He spoke with Terry Gross in 2002.
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 new Netflix special, '3 Mics.' John Powers reviews 'My Favorite Thing is Monsters,' a new graphic novel by first-time writer Emil Ferris. Author Glenn Frankel talks about the Hollywood blacklist and the making of the classic film 'High Noon,' which was written as a parable about the blacklist.
Filmmaker Barry Jenkins and playwright Tarell McCraney drew on their own childhood experiences in making 'Moonlight,' a film about a boy growing up in a Miami housing project. 'Moonlight' is nominated for eight Academy Awards including best picture and direction. '20th Century Women' is nominated for an Oscar for best original screenplay. Writer and director Mike Mills was inspired by his desire to understand his mother. Set in Santa Barbara in 1979, it stars Annette Bening as a woman figuring out how to raise her teenage son on her own. David Edelstein reviews 'Get Out,' the new horror/comedy film by Jordan Peele.
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 new 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.
Mark Mazzetti of The New York Times talks about some of the national security issues he’s been following. He says that when it comes to national security, President Trump "doesn't trust the civilian national security establishment and they don't trust him." John Powers reviews 'My Favorite Thing is Monsters,' a new graphic novel by first-time writer Emil Ferris.
Journalist Glenn Frankel talks about a chapter of paranoia and persecution in America, in which the president, Congress, the courts and the press all played a part. Frankel's new book is about the Hollywood Blacklist and the making of the classic film 'High Noon,' which was written as a parable about the blacklist.
Author Mary Graham says President Trump has demonstrated a lack of transparency, in his refusal to release his tax records and health records, and in his immigration ban, which was issued without consultation from government lawyers, or agencies. Her book is ‘Presidents’ Secrets.’ Also, ‘Fresh Air’ producer Sam Briger talks to Sebastian Barry about his novel ‘Days Without End,’ about an Irish immigrant who enlists in the U.S. Army in the 1850s.
Actor Mahershala Ali talks about 'Moonlight,' converting to Islam, and why he didn't feel understood as a kid. Filmmaker Raoul Peck's documentary 'I Am Not Your Negro' features the work of late writer and social critic James Baldwin. "Baldwin was one of the first authors ever where I felt not only at home, but he was speaking directly to me," says Peck. We'll also listen back to a 1986 interview that Terry Gross recorded with James Baldwin.
‘Manchester by the Sea’ is nominated for six Oscars including Best Picture. We listen back to Terry Gross’ recent conversation with director Kenneth Lonergan. TV critic David Bianculli reviews the CBS ‘Good Wife’ spin-off ‘The Good Fight,’ and the HBO series ‘Big Little Lies.’ We remember jazz pianist and singer Barbara Caroll, and film critic David Edelstein reviews ‘The Great Wall,’ starring Matt Damon.
The Oscar-nominated actor talks about ‘Moonlight,’ converting to Islam, and why he didn’t feel understood as a kid. Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews the novella ‘Ghachar Ghochar.’
‘ProPublica’ journalist Andrew Revkin talks about President Trump’s possible cuts to the EPA, as well as the potential impact of pulling out of the Paris Agreement. Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews Tift Merritt’s album ’Stitch of the World.’ Also, we remember heroic Vietnam War commander Lt. General Harold Moore who died last week. Critic at-large John Powers reviews ‘Kedi,’ a documentary about the street cats of Istanbul.
Filmmaker Raoul Peck’s Oscar-nominated documentary ‘I Am Not Your Negro’ features the work of late writer and social critic James Baldwin. “Baldwin was one of the first authors ever where I felt not only at home, but he was speaking directly to me,” says Peck. We’ll also listen back to a 1986 interview that Terry Gross recorded with James Baldwin.
Consumers have grown accustomed to the idea of online retailers collecting information about them, but author Joseph Turow says now brick-and-mortar stores are doing it too. His book is ‘The Aisles Have Eyes.’ Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a new Count Basie sampler album, and writer Sarah Hepola shares her complicated feelings about Valentine’s Day.
The new documentary film 'Tower' tells the story of the 1966 University of Texas shooting that killed more than a dozen people. Director Keith Maitland says the incident was largely pushed aside for years. Maureen Corrigan reviews George Saunders’ first novel ‘Lincoln in the Bardo.’ Also, we remember writer Bharati Mukherjee who died last month. She spoke with Terry Gross in 2002.
Bridges talks about the lessons he learned from his father, actor Lloyd Bridges, the cult of 'Big Lebowski' fans, and how he calms his nerves. Bridges is nominated for an Oscar for his role in 'Hell or High Water.' TV critic David Bianculli shares an appreciation of the 1960s duo The Smothers Brothers, and John Powers reviews the Criterion reissue of ‘Black Girl,’ by Senegalese director Ousmane Sembène.
President Trump has vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but Sarah Kliff of ‘Vox’ says it's "an overreach" to say that Republicans have a plan for what comes next. Critic Maureen Corrigan reviews George Saunders’ first novel, ‘Lincoln in the Bardo.’
The new documentary film ‘Tower’ tells the story of the 1966 University of Texas shooting that killed more than a dozen people. Director Keith Maitland and survivor Claire Wilson James say the incident was largely pushed aside for years afterwards. “I think that cost people … an opportunity to deal with that trauma,” says Maitland.
Sheelah Kolhatkar talks about the investigation into billionaire hedge-fund trader Steven A. Cohen. Her book is ‘Black Edge.’ Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new FX series ‘Legion,’ based on the Marvel comic.
Once a bustling factory town, Lancaster, Ohio is now beset by unemployment, low wages and drug abuse. Brian Alexander chronicles the rise and fall of his hometown in his new book, ‘Glass House.’ Also, we remember writer Bharati Mukherjee. She spoke to Terry Gross in 2002.
Jarmusch's new movie, 'Paterson,' which was inspired by William Carlos Williams' epic poem, is about a bus driver who writes poetry. His previous film was a documentary about Iggy and the Stooges. Film critic David Edelstein reviews Asghar Farhadi's film 'The Salesman,' which is nominated for an Oscar. Dr. Haider Warraich talks about how advances in medicine have changed the dying process — and the tricky situations that can arise as a result. Warraich also shares his experience as a Pakistani Muslim living in the U.S.
'La La Land' hearkens back to Hollywood's glory days of song and dance. Director Damien Chazelle says he aimed to make a movie even musical skeptics would love. The film is nominated for 14 Oscars. Meryl Streep works hard to sing badly in her film, 'Florence Foster Jenkins.' In it, she plays the title role, a character based on an actual heiress and socialite who devoted her life to music — despite having a squeaky, screechy singing voice. Streep is nominated for an Oscar for the role.
Sarah Posner, a reporter with The Nation's Investigative Fund, talks about how the Steve Bannon-Jeff Sessions-Mike Pence nexus is influencing President Trump's policies.
Legal expert Jeffrey Rosen says of Neil Gorsuch: "If he thought that individual liberty was threatened by presidential or congressional overreaching, then he would step in." Also, we remember British actor John Hurt, who died last week. Film critic David Edelstein reviews Asghar Farhadi’s film ‘The Salesman,’ which is nominated for an Oscar.