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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: Page 5
Mar 22, 2018

Journalist Anjali Kamat spent a year investigating Trump's business deals in India. Her report is in the ‘New Republic’ and on the WNYC podcast, ‘Trump Inc.’, which is co-hosted by Andrea Bernstein. Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews Judd Apatow’s two-part HBO documentary about comic Garry Shandling, ‘The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling.’ 

Mar 21, 2018

Wood says the years he spent performing in comedy clubs in the South and Midwest — sometimes in places where he felt unsafe as a black man -- helped him understand the psyche of the country. He grew up the son of a civil rights journliast in Birmingham, Ala., and joined 'The Daily Show' in 2015, after working for ESPN and as a radio personality. 

Mar 20, 2018

Religion scholar Bart Ehrman says that the early spread of Christianity transformed the entire history of the West — for better or worse. His new book examines how the once forbidden religion swept the world. 

Mar 19, 2018

Trump "has made nationalist policy into the policy of the executive branch," says ‘New York Times’ editor Jonathan Weisman. His new book, ‘(((Semitism))),’ details how he became the target of neo-Nazi trolls and the connection between white nationalism and Donald Trump’s campaign and presidency. Also, classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews a collection of recordings celebrating the New York Philharmonic’s 175th birthday.

Mar 17, 2018

Luis Alberto Urrea's 'The House of Broken Angels' borrows from the story of his older brother, who died of cancer. Urrea talks about being the son of a Mexican father and an American mother, feeling like there was a border wall in his own home growing up. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a box set of recordings of pianist Teddy Wilson. Writer and cartoonist Tim Kreider admits unabashedly that the longest relationship of his adult life was with the stray cat that became his companion for 19 years. His new collection of personal essays details his many unconventional relationships, which include the girlfriend he traveled with on a circus train, a married woman he fell in love with and his whirlwind romance with a sexual performance artist.

Mar 16, 2018

In 2017 binge-watch, humblebrag, photobomb, NSFW, truther, face-palm and listicle were among the new additions to the dictionary. The words must meet three criteria, says Merriam-Webster lexicographer Kory Stamper: widespread use, sustained use and meaningful use. Stamper’s book is ‘Word by Word.’  Also, rock critic Ken Tucker reviews the album ‘The Old Guys’ by Amy Rigby.

Mar 15, 2018

Over the past five years, artificial intelligence technology has evolved at a rapid pace. Computers can now mimic human language and drive cars. ‘New York Times’ technology reporter Cade Metz discusses how computers can learn on their own, what their limitations are, and the dangers of them making mistakes. Critic Milo Miles reviews two recent collaborations by the Kronos Quartet.

Mar 14, 2018

Trejo’s made a career playing menacing tough guys, from ‘Breaking Bad’ to ‘Machete.’ He says that his experience standing in the yard waiting for a prison riot in San Quentin prepared him for acting: "You're absolutely scared to death ... [but] you have to pretend you're not." Also, we’ll hear an excerpt of Terry Gross' 1993 interview with writer and former inmate Eddie Bunker, who was a mentor to Trejo. Film critic David Edelstein reviews ‘The Death of Stalin.’ 

Mar 13, 2018

Journalists Michael Isikoff and David Corn have been at the forefront of the investigation of the Trump campaign's ties to Russia. Their new book, ‘Russian Roulette,’ attempts to put all the pieces of the story together. Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews two books about cold cases.

Mar 12, 2018

Rania Abouzeid has been covering Syria since 2011 -- despite the fact that she's been called a spy, placed on wanted lists by Syrian intelligence and banned from entering the country. In her new book, 'No Turning Back,' she writes about rebel fighters, and families caught in the middle. Critic John Powers reviews ‘The Sparsholt Affair,’ by novelist Alan Hollinghurst. 

Mar 10, 2018

On his HBO series 'Last Week Tonight,' host John Oliver dives into often obscure stories, like NRA TV and the laws that govern televangelism. Oliver talks about how the show comes together, and his experience as an immigrant in America. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews ‘A Wrinkle in Time.’ Sarah McBride became the first trans person to speak at a major party's convention when she spoke at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Now she's the spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign. Her new memoir is 'Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality.'

Mar 9, 2018

Hamid's novel, 'Exit West,' is about knowing when it's time to flee your country, and what happens when you migrate to a nation that's hostile to immigrants. Hamid was born in Lahore, Pakistan, but has lived in New York and London. He talks about feeling like an outsider, and the power of language. He spoke with Terry Gross last year. Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a new CD-set recording of Charles Mingus, and film critic Justin Chang reviews ‘A Wrinkle in Time.’

Mar 8, 2018

Crimmins, who died last week, mentored Bobcat Goldthwait when they were up-and-coming comics in the '80s. The two men spoke with Terry Gross in 2015 about their documentary 'Call Me Lucky,' which details Crimmins' career, traumatic childhood and subsequent work advocating for survivors of sexual abuse. Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the second season of 'Jessica Jones' on Netflix. 

Mar 7, 2018

On 'Last Week Tonight,' Oliver dives into often obscure stories, like NRA TV and the laws that govern televangelism. He describes the show's style as "the slowest improv you've ever seen." 

Mar 6, 2018

‘New Yorker’ staff writer Jane Mayer tells the story of ex-spy Christopher Steele, the man behind the unverified dossier detailing Trump’s ties with Russia. We’ll talk about how the dossier was compiled, and why so little was done about its findings during the campaign — even after Steele told the FBI. Steele also wrote a memo after the election about the possibility that Russians blocked Trump’s first choice for Secretary of State, Mitt Romney.

Mar 5, 2018

Luis Alberto Urrea's ‘The House of Broken Angels’ borrows from the story of his older brother, who died of cancer. He says the book went through a dramatic rewrite after Trump became president.

Mar 3, 2018

Comedians Nick Kroll and John Mulaney channel the indignities of puberty in their animated Netflix comedy series 'Big Mouth.' Looking back on his own adolescence, Mulaney says: "I was always mystified." They're hosting the Independent Spirit Awards March 3. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews two new compilations of Nina Simone's early singles, and Doug Jones, who is a frequent collaborator of Guillermo del Toro's, tells ‘Fresh Air’ producer Sam Briger about playing the fish man in the Oscar-nominated film 'The Shape of Water.'

Mar 2, 2018

Set in 1950s London, Anderson's new film, 'Phantom Thread,' stars Daniel Day-Lewis as a renowned and obsessive fashion designer. The director says he was inspired by fashion icons like Christian Dior and Cristobal Balenciaga. 'Phantom Thread' has six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. Also, we remember sex and relationship columnist Cynthia Heimel, who died on Sunday. She was known for the humorous advice she doled out in columns for ‘The Village Voice’ and ‘Playboy.’ She spoke with Terry Gross in 1991.

Mar 1, 2018

The comics channel the indignities of puberty in their animated Netflix comedy series ‘Big Mouth.’ Looking back on his own adolescence, Mulaney says: "I was always mystified." The duo are hosting the Independent Spirit Awards this Saturday. Also, film critic David Edelstein reviews ‘Red Sparrow’ starring Jennifer Lawrence.

Feb 28, 2018

When she spoke at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, Sarah McBride became the first trans person to speak at a major party's convention. Now she’s the spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ organization. Her new memoir is ‘Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality.’ Also, critic John Powers reviews the new season of Donald Glover’s FX series ‘Atlanta.’

Feb 27, 2018

Psychologist and journalist Lauren Slater, who suffers from depression and bipolar disorder, has first-hand experience with psychotropic drugs; she's been taking medication for 35 years. "As a nation, we're consuming them; we're gobbling them down," Slater tells Terry Gross. "And we don't really know what we're taking into our bodies." Her new book, in part about the science and history of mood-altering drugs, is titled 'Blue Dreams.' Also, Kevin Whitehead reviews two new compilations of Nina Simone's early singles.

Feb 26, 2018

Writer and cartoonist Tim Kreider admits unabashedly that the longest relationship of his adult life was with the stray cat that became his companion for 19 years. His new collection of personal essays details his many unconventional relationships, which include the girlfriend he traveled with on a circus train, a married woman he fell in love with and his whirlwind romance with a sexual performance artist. "One of the few conclusions I may have reached from writing this book is that when we say 'relationship' or 'marriage' we all think we're talking about the same thing," Kreider says. "But I think there are a lot of different deals out there." And Maureen Corrigan reviews the debut memoir by Matt Young, a combat veteran of the Iraq War, titled 'Eat the Apple.'

Feb 24, 2018

Growing up, Tara Westover had no birth certificate, never saw a doctor and didn't go to school. She writes about her trying transition into the mainstream in 'Educated: A Memoir.' Also, critic David Bianculli reviews BBC's nature documentary series 'Blue Planet II,' which he calls a "dazzling piece of television." And Richard Jenkins wasn't cast in a movie until he was in his 30s. Now 70, he's up for an Oscar for best supporting actor for his role in 'The Shape of Water.'

Feb 23, 2018

Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina spent six years creating their Oscar-nominated animated film about the Day of the Dead. The movie is about how the dead remain alive in our hearts as long as we keep them in our memories and tell their stories. And critic David Bianculli reviews the BBC nature documentary series 'Blue Planet II,' which he calls a "dazzling piece of television."

Feb 22, 2018

New York Times reporter Scott Shane discusses special counsel Robert Mueller's indictment of 13 Russians who allegedly participated in a complex social media operation to undermine the 2016 election. And critic Ken Tucker reviews Brandi Carlile's new album 'By the Way, I Forgive You.'

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