Fresh Air

Weekdays, Noon-1pm; repeat at 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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4:08pm

Fri January 31, 2014
Book Reviews

Midwestern Memoir Tracks 'Flyover Lives' Of Author's Forebears

The second best quality Diane Johnson has as a writer is that she's so smart. Her first best quality — and one that's far more rare — is that she credits her audience with being smart, too. Whether she's writing fiction, biography or essays, Johnson lets scenes and conversations speak for themselves, accruing power as they lodge in readers' minds.

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4:08pm

Fri January 31, 2014
Interviews

Pioneer Billie Jean King Moved The Baseline For Women's Tennis

Billie Jean King, seen here in 1977, learned to play tennis on the public courts near her Long Beach, Calif., home.
Kathy Willens AP/Press Association Images

This interview was originally broadcast on Sept. 12, 2013.

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1:53pm

Thu January 30, 2014
Sports

Sports Writer Ray Didinger On The Myth Of The 'Dumb' Football Player

A.J. Rich iStockphoto

On Sunday, the Super Bowl will draw a TV audience of more than 100 million people, spawn countless watching parties and generate a week's worth of chatter about the half-time show and the best commercials. But at the heart of it is a game — one that Ray Didinger has been covering for decades for a variety of media organizations, including NFL Films.

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1:53pm

Thu January 30, 2014
Sports

Ron 'Jaws' Jaworski On What It's Like To Play The Super Bowl

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. To find out what it feels like to play pro football and to play in the Super Bowl, we reached out to former quarterback Ron Jaworski who is now a football analyst for ESPN. Jaworski spent spent 16 years in the NFL, most of them with the Philadelphia Eagles, the team he took to the Super Bowl 15 in 1981. Jaws, as he was often known, had a great passing year then but a rough time in the big game.

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1:36pm

Wed January 29, 2014
Around the Nation

How Industrial Chemical Regulation Failed West Virginia

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 7:55 pm

Jonathan Steele, owner of Bluegrass Kitchen, fills a jug with bottled water from a tank he installed in the back of his Charleston restaurant.
Steve Helber AP

On Jan. 9, people in and around Charleston, W.Va., began showing up at hospitals: They had nausea, eye infections and some were vomiting. It was later discovered that around 10,000 gallons of toxic chemicals had leaked into the Elk River, just upstream from a water treatment plant that serves 300,000 people. Citizens were told not to drink or bathe in the water, and while some people are now using water from their taps, many still don't trust it or the information coming from public officials.

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1:36pm

Wed January 29, 2014
Music Reviews

Don't Pigeonhole Me, Bro: New Country Albums On The Borderline

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 4:20 pm

Jon Pardi.
Courtesy of the artist

2:17pm

Tue January 28, 2014
Author Interviews

Entrepreneurs Looking For 'Windfall' Cash In On Climate Change

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 2:48 pm

A boat skims through the melting ice in the Ilulissat fjord in August 2008, on the western coast of Greenland.
Steen Ulrik Johannessen AFP/Getty Images

2:17pm

Tue January 28, 2014
The Fresh Air Interview

Pete Seeger Remembers Guthrie, Hopping Trains And Sharing Songs

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 2:48 pm

Pete Seeger.
Joe Kohen WireImage

Pete Seeger believed songs were a way of binding people to a cause. He popularized "This Land is Your Land" and "We Shall Overcome" and wrote "If I Had a Hammer." In 1940s, he co-founded The Weavers, who surprised everyone, including themselves, when they became the first group to bring folk music to the pop charts — until they were black listed. Seeger refused to answer questions about his politics when he appeared before House Un-American Activities committee in 1955.

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12:48pm

Mon January 27, 2014
Author Interviews

'Pope And Mussolini' Tells The 'Secret History' Of Fascism And The Church

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 1:45 pm

It's commonly thought that the Catholic Church fought heroically against the fascists when Benito Mussolini's party ruled over Italy in the 1920s and '30s. But in The Pope and Mussolini, David Kertzer says the historical record and a trove of recently released archives tell a very different story.

It's fascinating, Kertzer tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies, "how in a very brief period of time, Mussolini came to realize the importance of enlisting the pope's support."

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12:48pm

Mon January 27, 2014
Book Reviews

On This Spanish Slave Ship, Nothing Was As It Seemed

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 5:14 pm

Detail from the cover of The Empire of Necessity.
Courtesy of Metropolitan Books

Shortly after sunrise, on the morning of Feb. 20, 1805, sailors on an American ship called the Perseverance, anchored near an uninhabited island off the coast of Chile, spied a weird vessel drifting into view. It flew no flag and its threadbare sails were slack. The captain of the Perseverance, a man named Amasa Delano, decided to come to the aid of the ship, whose name, painted in faded white letters along its bow, was the Tryal.

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12:32pm

Sat January 25, 2014
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Joaquin Phoenix And A Self-Help Skeptic

Joaquin Phoenix's Her character, Theodore, has a job writing intimate — and sometimes erotic — cards and letters on behalf of other people.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

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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10:31am

Fri January 24, 2014
Movie Reviews

Middle-Aged And Divorced, 'Gloria' Takes On Life's Uncertainties

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 4:23 pm

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. "Gloria" is a new film from Chile that centers on a late-middle-aged divorced woman whose life is full of uncertainties. She's played by Paulina Garcia, who won the top acting prize - the Silver Bear - at the 2013 Berlin Film Festival, where the movie was a surprise hit. It opens this week in New York and Los Angeles, and wider next month. Film critic David Edelstein has this review.

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10:31am

Fri January 24, 2014
Interviews

Tom Hanks Is 'Captain Phillips' In High-Seas Hostage Drama

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 4:34 pm

Prior to filming, director Paul Greengrass kept the pirate crew and the boat crew separate to make the hijacking scenes feel more authentic. "The hair did stand up on the back of our heads," says Tom Hanks, above.
Hopper Stone, SMPSP

This interview was originally broadcast on Oct. 7, 2013.

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2:45pm

Thu January 23, 2014
Music Reviews

On 'Hard Working Americans,' Songs For The Ordinary Joe

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 4:39 pm

Hard Working Americans.
James Martin Courtesy of the artist

2:45pm

Thu January 23, 2014
Author Interviews

Patchett: In Bad Relationships, 'There Comes A Day When You Gotta Go'

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 4:58 pm

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Ann Patchett is an award-winning novelist and memoirist. Her other books include Truth & Beauty, The Magician's Assistant and Run.
Heidi Ross Courtesy of Harper

The title essay of Ann Patchett's latest book, This Is The Story Of A Happy Marriage, isn't exactly what it sounds like. It's actually the story of an unhappy marriage that ends quickly in divorce and results in a strongly defended refusal to marry that lasts many years. But eventually, it does lead to the happy marriage.

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1:20pm

Wed January 22, 2014
Author Interviews

Skeptic Takes A Tour Of Self-Help's 'Promise Land'

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 3:29 pm

A lot of self-help books have simple formulas. They promise 30 days or 10 easy steps to having thinner thighs, landing a spouse, having a great sex life, starting a new life after divorce, climbing the corporate ladder while dressed for success, and, of course, finding inner peace. And while many swear by the power of their favorite self-help philosophy, there are still a lot of skeptics.

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1:11pm

Tue January 21, 2014
Movie Interviews

Phoenix To Self: 'Why Am I Talking About This? ... Joaquin, Shut Up'

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 5:56 pm

Joaquin Phoenix's Her character, Theodore, has a job writing intimate — and sometimes erotic — cards and letters on behalf of other people.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Joaquin Phoenix started his acting career in 1982, when he was about 8, on an episode of the TV series Seven Brides For Seven Brothers. (His brother, the late River Phoenix, was a regular in the series.) He tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that he still vividly remembers his first time on a set.

"I remember feeling like I was buzzing, like my whole body was vibrating, because it was just so exciting to experience this thing that wasn't real but at moments felt like it was real," he says. "It's basically the feeling that I've been chasing ever since."

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12:02pm

Mon January 20, 2014
Author Interviews

The Politics Of Passing 1964's Civil Rights Act

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 6:35 pm

Demonstrators march down Constitution Avenue during the March on Washington on Aug. 28, 1963.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Martin Luther King may not have had a vote in Congress, but he and the movement he helped lead were integral to getting the civil rights bill introduced. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of that bill, now known as the Civil Rights Act.

Among other things, the act outlawed discrimination in public accommodations — including restaurants, hotels and motels — ending the era of legal segregation in those places.

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12:02pm

Mon January 20, 2014
Music Reviews

Lafayette Gilchrist: An Old Soul, At Ease In A Modern World

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 1:57 pm

Lafayette Gilchrist.
Leo H. Lubow

For someone who came to piano rather late, at 17, Lafayette Gilchrist has dug deep into its history. He loves the old piano professors who'd pack the punch of a dance band into two hands at the keyboard. Players like Eubie Blake, James P. Johnson and Willie "The Lion" Smith could keep going for hours without exhausting their folkloric materials.

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5:05pm

Fri January 17, 2014
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Roger Ailes, Rosanne Cash And Sonia Sotomayor

Originally published on Sat January 18, 2014 12:34 pm

In addition to being the first Hispanic to serve on the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor was New York state's first Hispanic federal judge.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

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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11:59am

Fri January 17, 2014
Interviews

'Klansville, U.S.A.' Chronicles The Rise And Fall Of The KKK

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 3:07 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on Feb. 14, 2013.

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11:59am

Fri January 17, 2014
Movie Reviews

Jack Ryan Gets A Makeover, And A Quick Trip To Moscow

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 3:05 pm

Chris Pine and Keira Knightley anchor Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, opposite Kevin Costner as a CIA veteran and Kenneth Branagh as the story's big bad.
Larry Horricks Paramount Pictures

A franchise is what we used to call a Burger King or a Shell station, but nowadays the word appears more often in relation to movies: the Star Wars franchise, the Hunger Games franchise, the Jack Ryan franchise — or in the case of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, the Jack Ryan franchise reboot. I don't know what's more depressing: that what fires up studio execs is the hunt for a new franchise or that critics have adopted this business lingo uncritically.

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1:56pm

Thu January 16, 2014
All Tech Considered

Hackers? Techies? What To Call San Francisco's Newcomers

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 4:59 pm

Protesters in San Francisco block a Google bus, which shuttles employees from the city to its location in Silicon Valley.
cjmartin Flickr

"There goes the neighborhood." Every so often that cry goes up in San Francisco, announcing a new chapter in American cultural history, as the rest of the country looks on. There were the beats in North Beach, then the hippies in the Haight, then the gays in the Castro. Now it's the turn of the techies who are pouring into my own Mission neighborhood, among other places. Only this time around, the green stuff that's perfuming the air is money, not weed.

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1:56pm

Thu January 16, 2014
Author Interviews

Book Chronicles The Building Of Roger Ailes' Fox News Empire

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 5:00 pm

Roger Ailes is the subject of a new book by New York Magazine contributing editor Gabriel Sherman. He describes Ailes' rule inside Fox News as "absolute."
Jim Cooper AP

Fox News CEO and President Roger Ailes has succeeded in turning a television news network into an unprecedented force. Fox News is the most dominant media organization in America, generating more than a billion dollars in profit and earning the highest ratings of any cable news network.

Gabriel Sherman writes about Ailes' success with Fox News in his new book, The Loudest Voice In The Room: How The Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News — And Divided A Country.

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3:46pm

Wed January 15, 2014
Politics

Why The GOP Is Winning The Statehouse War

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 6:18 pm

Texas is one of 23 states in which Republicans have control of both the state legislature and the governor's office.
Eric Gay AP

While the federal government is divided and gridlocked, some states have become political monopolies where one party controls both the state legislature and the governor's office.

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11:54am

Wed January 15, 2014
Music Reviews

The Soul Singer Who Never Quite Made It

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 3:46 pm

James Govan (left) with producer and engineer Mickey Buckins in the studio.
Courtesy of Ace Records

1:44pm

Tue January 14, 2014
Book Reviews

Chang-rae Lee Stretches For Dystopic Drama, But Doesn't Quite Reach

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 2:04 pm

ilbusca iStockphoto

Dystopia is all the rage these days, especially in young adult fiction: There's the "Hunger Games" trilogy of course; Veronica Roth's "Divergent" series, in which Chicago has gone to the dogs; Cassandra Clare's "Mortal Instruments" series, inspired by a nightmare vision of Manhattan; and Stephanie Meyer's non-Twilight novel, The Host, where Earth has been colonized by alien parasites.

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12:55pm

Tue January 14, 2014
Music Reviews

Uneven But Vital, Bruce Springsteen Has 'High Hopes'

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 2:04 pm

Bruce Springsteen's 18th album is titled High Hopes.
Danny Clinch Courtesy of the artist

High Hopes is a different sort of release for Bruce Springsteen. It features original and cover songs that had been performed live over the years, some never recorded in a studio setting, as well as a few older songs reconceived with new arrangements and musicians.

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12:39pm

Tue January 14, 2014
Author Interviews

'What Everyone Needs To Know' About Today's Cyberthreats

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 5:46 pm

Even if cybersecurity isn't a subject you think about a lot, the data breach of credit card information from Target and Neiman Marcus customers has probably increased your level of cyber-anxiety.

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2:01pm

Mon January 13, 2014
Movie Reviews

Three Protesters, One 'Square': Film Goes Inside Egypt's Revolution

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 12:46 pm

Before protesting in The Square, Khalid Abdalla (left) acted in such films as The Kite Runner, Green Zone and United 93.
Noujaim Films

A revolution is a bit like a writing a mystery novel. It's hard to start but even harder to come up with a satisfying ending.

They're still working on that in Egypt. Three years after the toppling of dictator Hosni Mubarak — the crowning moment of the Arab Spring — the army's running the country again; the elected president, Mohammed Morsi, has been arrested and charged with treason; the Muslim Brotherhood has been banned; and Tahrir Square's secular protesters are getting arrested. All this in the name of order and country.

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