Fresh Air

Weekdays at noon and midnight

Fresh Air with Terry Gross, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Each week, nearly 4.5 million people listen to the show's intimate conversations broadcast on more than 450 National Public Radio (NPR) stations across the country, as well as in Europe on the World Radio Network.

Visit the Fresh Air website for more information.

Though Fresh Air has been categorized as a "talk show," it hardly fits the mold. Its 1994 Peabody Award citation credits Fresh Air with "probing questions, revelatory interviews and unusual insights." And a variety of top publications count Gross among the country's leading interviewers. The show gives interviews as much time as needed, and complements them with comments from well-known critics and commentators.

Fresh Air is produced at WHYY-FM in Philadelphia and broadcast nationally by NPR.

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1:51pm

Wed February 13, 2013
Author Interviews

'Dead Sea Scrolls' Live On In Debate And Discovery

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 4:42 pm

A part of the Isaiah Scroll, one of the Dead Sea Scrolls, is seen inside the vault of the Shrine of the Book building at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
Lior Mizrahi Getty Images

The Dead Sea Scrolls are the ancient manuscripts dating back to the time of Jesus that were found between 1947 and 1956 in caves by the Dead Sea. Since they were first discovered, they have been a source of fascination and debate over what they can teach — and have taught — about Judeo-Christian history. In his new book, The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Biography, Yale professor John J. Collins tells the story of the scrolls, their discovery and the controversies surrounding the scholarship of them.

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12:27pm

Wed February 13, 2013
Music Reviews

Rudresh Mahanthappa: Bicultural Jazz, Ever Shifting

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 4:47 pm

Rudresh Mahanthappa.
Jimmy Katz Courtesy of the artist

Saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa's quartet can sound like it's cross-pollinating Indian classical music and vintage Captain Beefheart. That befits a bicultural saxophonist who grew up in Boulder, where his Hindu family had a Christmas tree. For a long time, Mahanthappa resisted combining jazz and Indian music — it was almost too obvious a trajectory. But then he got serious about it.

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3:17pm

Tue February 12, 2013
National Security

The Sticky Questions Surrounding Drones And Kill Lists

A French military drone takes off in December 2010 from a U.S. airbase in Bagram, Afghanistan.
Joel Saget AFP/Getty Images

New York Times reporter Scott Shane and colleague Jo Becker reported last year that the Obama administration has a list of terrorists targeted for drone attacks, and that the president personally approves such strikes.

The administration has been trying to keep details of its drone program under wraps, arguing that to make it public could threaten national security. Shane has reported numerous such stories.

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1:38pm

Tue February 12, 2013
Book Reviews

A Soured Student-Teacher Friendship Threatens 'Everything'

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 2:55 pm

Matjaz Boncina iStockphoto

Over the past week or so, I've mentioned James Lasdun's new book, Give Me Everything You Have to a bunch of colleagues; they've all heard about it already and they're all dying to read it. What Amy Chua's Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother was to parenting a couple of years ago, Lasdun's Give Me Everything You Have may well be to teaching: a controversial personal reflection on the professor-student relationship — except Lasdun, unlike Chua, really has no advice to offer; no certitude, nor help for pain.

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2:33pm

Mon February 11, 2013
Author Interviews

An 'Autopsy' Of Detroit Finds Resilience In A Struggling City

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 10:36 am

Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and Detroit native Charlie LeDuff says that the city must forget the future and instead focus on the present. His new book is called Detroit: An American Autopsy.
Carlos Osorio AP

For some, Detroit may be a symbol of urban decay; but to Charlie LeDuff, it's home. LeDuff, a veteran print and TV journalist who spent 12 years at The New York Times, where he shared a Pulitzer Prize in 2001, returned home to the city after the birth of his daughter left him and his wife — also a Detroit native — wanting to be closer to family.

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9:03am

Sat February 9, 2013
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Bradley Cooper, Michael Apted

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 10:49 am

Bradley Cooper has been nominated for an Academy Award for his role in the film Silver Linings Playbook.
Jojo Whilden The Weinstein Company

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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1:09pm

Fri February 8, 2013
Movie Interviews

Tyler Perry Transforms: From Madea To Family Man

Tyler Perry stars in the action thriller Alex Cross, which is now out on DVD.
Sidney Baldwin 2012 Summit Entertainment LLC

This interview was originally broadcast on Oct. 15, 2012.

Whenever Tyler Perry is in front of the camera, he's usually behind it as well. A screenwriter, director, producer and star, Perry grew up poor in New Orleans, but he has become a movie phenomenon — he was described in the New Yorker as the most financially successful black man the American film industry has ever known.

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11:53am

Fri February 8, 2013
Movie Reviews

'Caesar' Comes Alive In An Italian Prison

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 1:09 pm

Brutus (Salvatore Striano) fixes a wild stare at the witnesses and conspirators after Julius Caesar's murder, in a scene from Paolo and Vittorio Taviani's Caesar Must Die.
Adopt Films

In the early '80s, Italy's Taviani brothers, Paolo and Vittorio, made one of the true modern masterpieces, The Night of the Shooting Stars. Set in the last days of World War II, when Germans laid mines all over Tuscan villages and Fascists loyal to Mussolini killed their own countrymen, it was a very cruel film.

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11:04am

Thu February 7, 2013
Movie Interviews

Bradley Cooper Finds 'Silver Linings' Everywhere

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 1:14 pm

Bradley Cooper has been nominated for an Academy Award for his role in the film Silver Linings Playbook.
Jojo Whilden The Weinstein Company

Bradley Cooper, who is nominated for an Academy Award for his performance as the bipolar Pat Solitano in Silver Linings Playbook, tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that he and director David O. Russell approached the role with the idea that Cooper would "play as real and authentic as [h]e could."

The role is informed by Russell's son, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Says Cooper: "I definitely felt that anchor for [Russell]."

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2:27pm

Wed February 6, 2013
Music Interviews

Anat Cohen: Bringing The Clarinet To The World

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 4:28 pm

Jazz clarinetist Anat Cohen has a new album out called Claroscuro.
Jimmy Katz Anzic Records

Clarinetist Anat Cohen is one of a handful of Israeli jazz musicians making a mark on the American jazz scene. She's been voted Clarinetist of the Year six years in a row by the Jazz Journalists Association, and her most recent album, Claroscuro, showcases the range of her talents and musical influences, from New Orleans-style jazz to Israel to Latin music — particularly that of Brazil.

Cohen says that the clarinet's somewhat old-fashioned reputation may be the result of the very thing that attracts her to the instrument.

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12:11pm

Wed February 6, 2013
Book Reviews

A Mystery That Explores 'The Rage' Of New Ireland

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 2:40 pm

Westbury iStockphoto.com

The Irish novelist John McGahern once remarked that his country stayed a 19th-century society for so long that it nearly missed the 20th century. But in the mid-1990s, Ireland's economy took off, turning the country from a poor backwater into a so-called Celtic Tiger with fancy restaurants, chrome-clad shops and soaring real estate values. The country was transformed — until things came tumbling down during the 2008 financial crisis.

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12:54pm

Tue February 5, 2013
Theater

Rebecca Luker Has 'Got Love' For Jerome Kern

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 2:39 pm

Soprano Rebecca Luker made her Broadway debut as an understudy to Sarah Brightman in Phantom of the Opera in 1988.
Leslie Van Stelten Derek Bishop

For her latest album, Broadway soprano Rebecca Luker brings her live show — featuring songs by legendary theater composer Jerome Kern, recorded at the Manhattan club 54 Below — to the recording studio. The album, I Got Love: Songs of Jerome Kern, features 14 tracks and classics ranging from "Bill/Can't Help Loving That Man" to "My Husband's First Wife."

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12:17pm

Tue February 5, 2013
Movie Interviews

Michael Apted, Aging With The '7 Up' Crew

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 2:39 pm

Jackie, Lynn and Sue — pictured here at age 7 — are three of the children featured in the landmark 1964 documentary 7 Up. The series returns this year with 56 Up, checking in with a group of 14 men and women whose lives have been documented since they were kids.
First Run Features

Every seven years since 1964, in what's known as the Up series, Granada Television has caught us up on the lives of 14 everyday people. The subjects of the documentary series were 7 years old when it began; in the latest installment, 56 Up, they are well into middle age.

The original idea behind the series was to examine the realities of the British class system at a time when the culture was experiencing extraordinary upheaval.

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1:19pm

Mon February 4, 2013
Author Interviews

A Barbados Family Tree With 'Sugar In The Blood'

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 1:44 pm

SPrada iStockphoto.com

In her new book, Sugar in the Blood, Andrea Stuart weaves her family story around the history of slavery and sugar in Barbados. Stuart's great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather landed on the island in the 1630s. He had been a blacksmith in England, but became a sugar planter in Barbados, at a time when demand for the crop was exploding worldwide. Stuart is descended from a slave owner who, several generations after the family landed in Barbados, had relations with an unknown slave.

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11:58am

Mon February 4, 2013
Music Reviews

Yo La Tengo: Decades In And Far From Fading

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 1:19 pm

Yo La Tengo's new album is titled Fade.
Carlie Armstron Courtesy of the artist

Yo La Tengo wouldn't seem to be very rock 'n' roll, given that it's a very stable and long-lasting operation. Since 1991, the lineup has consisted of a married couple — drummer Georgia Hubley and guitarist Ira Kaplan, along with bassist James McNew — and all three play additional instruments as needed. Yo La Tengo has been with the same label, Matador, since 1993. But if the band lacks rock dramatics, I would argue that it knows as much about the modes and manners of rock 'n' roll as anyone who has ever played the music.

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9:03am

Sat February 2, 2013
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Spacey, Fincher And Macy

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 10:53 am

Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright star in the new Netflix original series House of Cards, which premieres Feb. 1.
Patrick Harbron Netflix

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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10:24am

Fri February 1, 2013
Movie Reviews

'Gatekeepers' Let Us Inside Israeli Security

The documentary The Gatekeepers examines Israeli security policy in interviews with six former heads of the secretive Shin Bet agency.
Sony Pictures Classics

The Oscar-nominated documentary The Gatekeepers centers on Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but from an unusual vantage — not the Palestinians or Israelis on the ground, but six men at the pinnacle of the country's security apparatus: the former heads of the security agency Shin Bet.

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10:18am

Fri February 1, 2013
Author Interviews

How The Glock Became America's Weapon Of Choice

This interview was originally broadcast on January 24, 2012.

Today the Glock pistol has become the gun of choice for both criminals and law enforcement in the United States.

In his book Glock: The Rise of America's Gun, which came out in paperback in January, Paul Barrett traces how the sleek, high-capacity Austrian weapon found its way into Hollywood films and rap lyrics, not to mention two-thirds of all U.S. police departments.

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11:10am

Thu January 31, 2013
Music Reviews

A 'Special Edition' Box Set Of Jack DeJohnette And Band

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 1:13 pm

Jack DeJohnette.
Chris Griffith Courtesy of the artist

On a new box set collecting the first four albums of Jack DeJohnette and his band Special Edition, two discs are gems and the other two have their moments. DeJohnette's quartet-slash-quintet was fronted by smoking saxophonists on the way up, set loose on catchy riffs and melodies. The springy rhythm section could tweak the tempos like no one this side of '60s goddess Laura Nyro.

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10:56am

Thu January 31, 2013
Television

Spacey And Fincher Make A 'House Of Cards'

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 12:18 pm

Kevin Spacey is the star and a producer of the new Netflix series House of Cards, on which David Fincher is a co-producer.
Melinda Sue Gordon Netflix

Ten months on the road playing Richard III in theaters around the world is a good way to prep for playing a ruthlessly ambitious politician and Washington insider — according to Kevin Spacey, at least.

Just before he took the role of Francis "Frank" Underwood, the fictional majority whip of the House of Representatives who hatches a plan to take down the president in the new Netflix original series House of Cards, Spacey spent nearly a year playing Shakespeare's murderously ambitious king.

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12:51pm

Wed January 30, 2013
Music Reviews

Paloma Faith's 'Fall To Grace' Is A Keeper

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 4:22 pm

Singer-songwriter and actress Paloma Faith's new album is titled Fall to Grace.
Courtesy of the artist

In culling through albums released late last year that I still play with pleasure, Paloma Faith's Fall to Grace was a real keeper. In contrast to my joy, Faith was singing about her agony: her broken heart, her wracked sobs about ruined affairs, her choked goodbyes to lovers who'd left her. She made all this sound tremendously intense and exciting. Not for nothing did she title her previous album Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful?

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12:38pm

Wed January 30, 2013
Television

'House Of Cards' Is Built To Last

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 9:06 am

Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright star in the new Netflix original series House of Cards, which premieres Feb. 1.
Patrick Harbron Netflix

This week brings two new high-profile drama series. One is The Americans, premiering Jan. 30 on the FX network; it's about sleeper KGB agents living in the U.S. during the Reagan era. The other is House of Cards, a new series premiering Feb. 1.

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12:01pm

Wed January 30, 2013
Television

William H. Macy Is 'Shameless' On Showtime

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 2:05 pm

In Shameless, William H. Macy is the dysfunctional father of six.
Cliff Lipson Cliff Lipson/SHOWTIME

William H. Macy is the first to admit that he has played his fair share of losers. His latest role, as the alcoholic, narcissist Frank Gallagher — the single dad of a dysfunctional six-kid family — on the Showtime series Shameless, adds to the list of hapless characters Macy has portrayed on screen and stage.

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3:05pm

Tue January 29, 2013
Author Interviews

'The Insurgents': Petraeus And A New Kind Of War

Gen. David Petraeus is the subject of The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War, a new book by Fred Kaplan.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

In a new book, The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War, journalist and author Fred Kaplan tackles the career of David H. Petraeus and follows the four-star general from Bosnia to his commands in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Central to the story are ideas of counterinsurgency. Kaplan says that while counterinsurgency is not a new kind of warfare, it's a kind of war that Americans do not like to fight.

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1:54pm

Mon January 28, 2013
Author Interviews

'Anything That Moves': Civilians And The Vietnam War

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 4:06 pm

Visitors take in a re-created scene at the massacre museum at Vietnam's My Lai village. Researcher Nick Turse says atrocities of all kinds were more common in the Vietnam War than most Americans believe.
Hoang Dinh Nam AFP/Getty Images

On March 16, 1968, between 347 and 504 unarmed Vietnamese civilians were gunned down by members of the U.S. Army in what became known as the My Lai Massacre.

The U.S. government has maintained that atrocities like this were isolated incidents in the conflict. Nick Turse says otherwise. In his new book, Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam, Turse argues that the intentional killing of civilians was quite common in a war that claimed 2 million civilian lives, with 5.3 million civilians wounded and 11 million refugees.

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1:54pm

Mon January 28, 2013
Book Reviews

Jane Austen's 'Pride And Prejudice' At 200

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 6:38 pm

Harper Collins

My favorite item from the growing mountain of Pride and Prejudice bicentennial trivia comes courtesy of an article in something called Regency World Magazine, which is going gaga over the anniversary. The article, "Albert Goes Ape for Austen," describes how a 200-pound orangutan named Albert, living in the Gdansk Zoo in Poland, insists on having 50 pages a night of Pride and Prejudice read to him at bedtime by his keeper or else he refuses to go to sleep.

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11:37am

Mon January 28, 2013
Remembrances

Remembering Journalist Stanley Karnow

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 3:22 pm

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and historian Stanley Karnow, whose best-selling book "Vietnam: A History," was the basis of an acclaimed public television documentary series, died Sunday at the age of 87. His work as a foreign correspondent was centered in southeast Asia, where he spent more than three decades, starting in 1959 when he began his reporting from Vietnam.

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9:03am

Sat January 26, 2013
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Scientology And Jimmy Kimmel

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 11:41 am

Comedian Jimmy Kimmel interviews Mel Brooks on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Randy Holmes ABC

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

'Going Clear': A New Book Delves Into Scientology: Lawrence Wright's Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief looks at the world of the controversial church and the life of its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, who died in 1986.

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12:05pm

Fri January 25, 2013
Television

Tina Fey: '30 Rock' Star And Creator Moves On

"I was worried about being the mouthpiece for anyone and being politicized personally," Tina Fey says about playing Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live. "It ended up being a lot of fun, but it did permanently politicize me in a way."
Platon HGB USA

This interview was originally broadcast on April 13, 2011.

Tina Fey grew up in a household with parents she has described as "Goldwater Republicans with pre-Norman Lear racial attitudes."

But, she says, her parents were always supportive of her career, even when she told them she was moving to Chicago to start a career in improv.

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12:05pm

Fri January 25, 2013
Television

Tracy Morgan: '30 Rock' Let Him Be Himself

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 12:14 pm

On on 30 Rock episode, Jon Hamm and Tracy Morgan appeared together in a sketch about racial stereotyping.
Dana Edelson NBC

This interview was originally broadcast on Oct. 22, 2009.

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