Fresh Air

Terry Gross

Opening the window on contemporary arts and issues with guests from worlds as diverse as literature and economics.

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Book Reviews
2:57 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Futuristic 'Bone Clocks' Encompasses A Strange, Rich World Of Soul-Stealers

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 2:56 pm

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Television
2:12 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

3 Roosevelts Come Alive In PBS Documentary, Ken Burns' Best Yet

In this undated photo, Theodore Roosevelt waves to a crowd.
Library of Congress

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 3:28 pm

Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered his most resonant and famous line during his presidential inauguration speech of 1933: "So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief, that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself." It was resonant because he was being defiant, and optimistic, in the face of the Great Depression β€” and it was famous because it was broadcast live, to the entire nation, on the relatively new medium of radio.

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Iraq
1:38 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Islamic State Was Fueled By 'Epic American Failure In Iraq,' Reporter Says

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Music Interviews
3:58 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

How The Four Seasons Clashed, Dealt With The Mob And Made Lasting Hits

Along with the Broadway play, the new film Jersey Boys highlights Bob Gaudio's role in The Four Seasons: writing most of the group's hits. In the movie, John Lloyd Young stars as Frankie Valli (left), Erich Bergen as Bob Gaudio (second from left), Vincent Piazza as Tommy DeVito (second from right), and Michael Lomenda as Nick Massi (right).
Keith Bernstein AP

Frankie Valli used to be the only name people recognized from The Four Seasons. But the Broadway musical and film Jersey Boys changed that: Now, more people know about Bob Gaudio.

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Author Interviews
2:07 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

How 'Gatsby' Went From A Moldering Flop To A Great American Novel

A first edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby was displayed at the London International Antiquarian Book Fair in 2013. Book critic Maureen Corrigan β€” who calls the cover "striking" β€” says she likes to think that if it landed on her porch today among the more than 200 books she receives a week, she would read it.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 2:53 pm

When book critic Maureen Corrigan first read F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby in high school, she was unimpressed.

"Not a lot happens in Gatsby," Corrigan tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "It's not a plot-driven novel and I also thought, 'Eh, it's another novel about rich people.' And I grew up in a blue-collar community."

She also couldn't relate, she says, because it doesn't feature any likeable female characters.

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Movie Reviews
1:47 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

In A Brilliantly Disorienting Film, A Teenager Is 'Starred Up' To An Adult Prison

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Fresh Air Weekend
12:09 pm
Sat September 6, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: Neil Oxman, The New Pornographers, Dana Goldstein

Dana Goldstein has reported on education for several years, including in The Atlantic and The Daily Beast. Her new book is The Teacher Wars.
Michael Lionstar Courtesy of Doubleday

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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Remembrances
3:51 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

With Age, Joan Rivers Learned To Say Anything: 'It Has Freed Me Totally'

In 2009, Rivers presented "Comedy Roast with Joan Rivers" in Cannes, southeastern France.
Lionel Cironneau AP

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 4:17 pm

Since the '60s, when Joan Rivers broke into the standup comedy scene aggressively and impressively, her act evolved into an intentionally brash showcase of "Can we talk?" confessionals. In her later years, she became much looser with her sharp tongue β€” sometimes even brutal and caustic.

Rivers died Thursday in New York. She was 81.

It was her age, she said, that opened her up to say whatever she wanted β€” without fear.

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Television
4:00 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

In 'The Chair,' Two Filmmakers Make Movies From The Same Script

One of the competitors on The Chair is Anna Martemucci, a graduate of New York University film school who has written and acted before, but never directed.
Helena Lukas Martemucci 2014 Chair One Productions

Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 11:18 pm

Here's where I stand on so-called reality TV. All those shows that are built around people misbehaving to get attention and claw for fame β€” in other words, all those Real Housewives shows, and every Big Brother and any show like it β€” I have absolutely no use for.

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Music Reviews
3:53 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

In Tenor Saxophonist Mark Turner's New Album, The Music Unfolds Like A Narrative

Mark Turner.
Paolo Soriani ECM Records

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 7:38 pm

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National Security
3:53 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Reporter Reflects On Obama's Stalled Effort to Close Guantanamo

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Book Reviews
2:27 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

'10:04': A Strange, Spectacular Novel Connecting Several Plotlines

I admired Ben Lerner's last novel a lot; in fact, I ended my review of Leaving the Atocha Station by saying that "reading it was unlike any other novel-reading experience I've had for a long time." I could say the very same thing about Lerner's brilliant new novel, 10:04, which leads me to wonder: Just how many singular reading experiences can one novelist serve up? And if every one of Lerner's novels is singular, doesn't that make them, in a way, repetitive?

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Politics
2:27 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Campaign Expert Neil Oxman Talks About How He Makes Political Ads

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Music Reviews
2:27 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

The New Pornographers Return With A 'Celebration Record' That's Fun To Figure Out

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Music Reviews
1:41 pm
Mon September 1, 2014

The Story Of Little Feat's Fame, Destruction And Revival

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Music Interviews
1:41 pm
Mon September 1, 2014

Dom Flemons Holds On To Those Old-Time Roots

Prospect Hill is Flemons' first album since leaving the band Carolina Chocolate Drops. By coincidence, the multi-instrumentalist recorded the album the day Pete Seeger died.

Originally broadcast July 30.

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DOM FLEMONS: (Scat singing). Oh, yeah.

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Author Interviews
1:14 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Florida-Grown Fiction: Hiaasen Satirizes The Sunshine State

Novelist and Miami Herald columnist Carl Hiaasen writes with passion and purpose about the state he loves. His latest book, Bad Monkey, is an offbeat murder mystery set in Key West.

Originally broadcast June 13, 2013.

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Author Interviews
1:14 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

John Waters Hitchhikes Across America, And Lives To Write About It

The 68-year-old film director hitchhiked from Baltimore to San Francisco for his book Carsick. He says hitchhiking is "the worst beauty regimen ever" and admits he always kept his luggage with him.

Originally broadcast June 10.

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Television
1:57 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Louis C.K. Reflects On 'Louie,' Loss, Love And Life

C.K. won an Emmy for outstanding writing in a comedy series for an episode on his FX show Louie. In 2011, C.K. told Fresh Air about making his comedy special and his relationship with other comedians.

Originally broadcast Dec. 13, 2011.

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Television
1:57 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Aaron Paul On Playing A Meth Dealer On 'Breaking Bad'

Paul won the Emmy for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series for playing student-turned-drug dealer Jesse Pinkman. In 2011, he said his character was supposed to die in the first season.

Originally broadcast Sept. 19, 2011.

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Interviews
1:57 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Sarah Silverman Discusses Her Movie 'Jesus Is Magic'

Silverman won the Emmy for best writing for a variety special for her HBO special We Are Miracles. In 2005, she spoke with Fresh Air about her movie based on her acts in New York and Los Angeles.

Originally broadcast Nov. 09, 2005.

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Music Reviews
1:45 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

At 71, Elvin Bishop Is Still Vigorous, And Can Do Wrong Right

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Performing Arts
1:45 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

From Walter White To LBJ, Bryan Cranston Is A Master Of Transformation

While Breaking Bad fans were watching him portray Walt in the series' final episodes, Cranston was already reinventing himself β€” playing Lyndon B. Johnson in the play All the Way.

Originally broadcast March 27.

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Television
1:25 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Allison Janney On Sex, Sorkin And Being The Tallest Woman In The Room

Allison Janney has been nominated for Emmys for her roles on Masters of Sex and Mom. She says her relationships with her family members helped inform her characters.

Originally broadcast Aug. 4.

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Television
1:25 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Seth Meyers' 'Late Night' Challenge: What To Do With His Hands

Meyers is hosting the Emmys Monday. In April, he told Fresh Air why he left a dream job at Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update to take over Late Night from Jimmy Fallon. Meyers says not having a mic in hand β€” like he did in standup β€” took some adjusting.

Originally broadcast April 23.

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Fresh Air Weekend
11:32 am
Sat August 23, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: 'The Simpsons' And Author Stephan Eirik Clark

FXX started airing all 552 episodes of The Simpsons Aug. 21 in the longest single-series marathon in TV history.
AP

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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Interviews
3:51 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Werner Herzog Talks About Madmen And Caves In Interviews From 'Fresh Air' Archives

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Music
3:51 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Benjamin Booker Is Raw, Yet Disciplined On Debut Album

There's something about a rapidly strummed guitar chord followed quickly by an urgent vocal that is one definition of an effective rock song, and Fresh Air critic Ken Tucker thinks he's found quite a few examples of this on Benjamin Booker's self-titled debut album. The 25-year-old guitarist-singer-songwriter has already served as an opening act on Jack White's recent tour, and he may be ready for headliner status.

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Movie Reviews
3:51 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Werner Herzog's Audacious Early Films Showcased In New Boxed Collection

Werner Herzog's 1972 film Aguirre, the Wrath of God was shot along the Amazon in Peru. It probes one of the filmmaker's themes: an unsentimental look at humankind's relationship to landscape and nature.
Courtesy of The Shout! Factory

There are lots of good filmmakers, but only a handful are always, unmistakably themselves. One of these is Werner Herzog, the 71-year-old German director who now lives in L.A. Herzog has done things nobody else would do for a film β€” like trying to tug a 350-ton steamship over a small mountain. This has made him notorious as a wild, love-him-or-hate-him monomaniac β€” an image he's been canny enough to milk.

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Middle East
4:17 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

GlobalPost CEO Shares Details Of Fight To Save James Foley

GlobalPost co-founder and CEO Phil Balboni says what he'll remember about Foley (above) is the way he showed "such incredible courage" as his captors took his life.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 4:00 pm

During the nearly two years that journalist James Foley was held hostage in Syria, before he was killed by the Islamic State this week, Phil Balboni worked hard to get him released.

Balboni is the co-founder and CEO of the online international news company GlobalPost, which Foley was freelancing for at the time of his capture, in November 2012. Foley also was freelancing for GlobalPost when he was captured in Libya by dictator Moammar Gadhafi's forces, in 2011, and held for 44 days.

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