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Fresh Air

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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.
270 Episodes
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Hugh Grant

Hugh Grant

2020-12-0150:49

Grant co-stars in the HBO miniseries 'The Undoing' as a charming doctor suspected of brutally murdering his lover. We talk with Grant about the "blessed relief" of taking a break from playing nice guys, his activism about tabloid privacy, and how 'Four Weddings and a Funeral' changed his life. ​
A liberal voice in the U.S. Senate for decades, Senator Ted Kennedy led a life marked by tragedy and scandal. Historian Neal Gabler says Kennedy's career shaped the course of American liberalism. His book is 'Catching the Wind.'Film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Happiest Season.' It stars Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis as a lesbian couple trying to keep their relationship a secret during a Christmas family gathering.
Momofuku chef David Chang talks about his new memoir, 'Eat a Peach,' which details his struggle with bipolar disorder and how cooking saved his life. He also hosts the series 'Ugly Delicious' on Netflix. John Powers reviews the gripping Romanian documentary 'Collective,' about journalists uncovering a corruption scandal. 'X-Files' and 'Sex Education' actor Gillian Anderson talks about playing Margaret Thatcher in the new season of 'The Crown,' and then coaches Terry Gross on how to imitate the former prime minster's voice.
Carol Burnett

Carol Burnett

2020-11-2749:352

The celebrated variety and sketch comedy series, 'The Carol Burnett Show' aired from 1967-1978 and won more than 20 Emmy Awards. The series is going to streaming services for the first time. Burnett talked to Terry Gross in 2003 and our TV critic David Bianculli interviewed her this year about her signature ear pull, why she didn't do topical humor, and why the show stands the test of time.
Conan O'Brien

Conan O'Brien

2020-11-2650:131

After 28 years of hosting late-night shows, O'Brien will be starting something new at HBO. He spoke to Terry Gross in 2019 about his early days as a comic and how late-night TV has changed over the years. Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a newly discovered live recording by Sonny Rollins.
Chef David Chang

Chef David Chang

2020-11-2549:084

Momofuku chef and 'Ugly Delicious' host David Chang talks about fatherhood, mixing culinary traditions, and how depression led him to take his biggest career risks. "Momofuku was an exercise in combating depression," he says. "Otherwise, a 26 year-old with very little experience should never open a restaurant — and that's what happened." His new memoir is 'Eat a Peach.'Also, we remember travel writer and memoirist Jan Morris. She died last week at 94.
Dr. Peter Hotez is part of a team working to develop a low-cost COVID vaccine that could be distributed globally. "Vaccines are coming," he says. "We have to get everybody through to the other side." Hotez talks about vaccine development, the anti-vax movement, and what the year ahead might look like.
In a 2017 study of a rural area of Alabama, more than one in three people tested showed traces of hookworm, an intestinal parasite spread by contact with human feces, previously thought to be eradicated in the U.S. Catherine Coleman Flowers grew up in Alabama, and has spent 20 years calling attention to the problem of people living with no sanitary means of human waste disposal, so it collects in their yards, and sometimes seeps into their homes. Earlier this year, she was awarded a MacArthur fellowship to support her work. Her new book is 'Waste: One Woman's Fight Against America's Dirty Secret.' Also, John Powers reviews the documentary 'Collective,' about a team of journalists investigating the aftermath of a 2015 Bucharest nightclub fire that killed 64 people
President Barack Obama talks about birtherism and fake news, and reflects on what he misses most about being president — and why he still has faith in democracy. The first volume of his memoir about his presidency is 'A Promised Land.'Also, Justin Chang reviews 'Small Axe,' a series of five films by Steve McQueen. The Chicago 7 were anti-war activists who were charged with conspiracy to incite a riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. The trial is the subject of a new movie written and directed by Aaron Sorkin. We talk with author Jon Wiener about his book, 'Conspiracy in the Streets.'
Stephen Kinzer's book, 'Poisoner in Chief,' exposes how CIA scientist Sidney Gottlieb worked in the 1950s and early '60s to develop mind control drugs and deadly toxins that could be used against enemies of the U.S. government. Gottlieb believed the key to mind control was LSD, and is credited with bringing the drug to the U.S. He also experimented on unwitting people in prisons and detention centers in Japan, Germany, and the Philippines. (Originally broadcast Sept. 2019) Also, Justin Chang reviews, 'Small Axe,' Steve McQueen's new collection of five films set in London's West Indian community.
President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama

2020-11-1948:3315

In his first interview with Terry Gross, President Barack Obama talks about birtherism and fake news, and reflects on what he misses most about being president — and why he still has faith in democracy. The first volume of his memoir about his presidency is 'A Promised Land.'
The Chicago 7 were anti-war activists who were charged with conspiracy to incite a riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. The trial is the subject of a new movie written and directed by Aaron Sorkin. We talk with author Jon Wiener about his book, 'Conspiracy in the Streets.'Anthony Horowitz's novels about Alex Rider, a reluctant teen spy, have been adapted into a TV series for Amazon. Horowitz is also the author of 'Moonflower Murders,' a mystery for adults. He spoke with producer Sam Briger.
Donald Trump was scorned by party leaders when he ran in the 2016 primaries. But after nearly four years in office, he's so popular among Republican voters that few Republican officials dare to cross him. We talk with 'New Yorker' staff writer Nicholas Lemann about what influence Trump might have on the party going forward once he leaves the White House, and how the GOP will deal with the changes Trump has made to the party's identity and ideology. Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews 'The Book Collectors: A Band of Syrian Rebels and the Stories That Carried Them Through a War' by Delphine Minoui.
Anderson talks about playing Margaret Thatcher in the new season of 'The Crown,' and then coaches Terry Gross on how to do the former prime minster's voice. We'll also talk about Anderson's role as a sex therapist in 'Sex Education,' and her ongoing fight for equal pay for her co-starring role in 'The X-Files.' Also, Ken Tucker reviews the album 'The Otherside' from country singer-songwriter Cam.
USWNT soccer star Megan Rapinoe speaks with Terry Gross about her World Cup wins, the ongoing fight for pay equality in women's sports, and being an LGBTQ activist. Her new memoir about her life on and off the field is 'One Life.'Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'We Keep the Dead Close,' by Becky Cooper, a true crime story about the murder of a Harvard student in 1969 that went unsolved until two years ago.Harold McGee is best-known for his books about food science. In his new book, 'Nose Dive,' he writes about why things smell the way they do — and the ways different chemicals combine to create surprising (and sometimes distasteful) odors.
Jarrett is one of the most celebrated pianists in jazz — a musician acclaimed for his emotionally intense and physically energetic improvised performances. He was a prodigy who started playing piano at the age of 3. Now he has a new album, 'Budapest,' which was recorded during his last European concert tour. Jarrett recently revealed he had two strokes in 2018 and now he's partially paralyzed and unable to perform. Critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the album and we listen back to our 2000 interview with Jarrett.Also, Justin Chang reviews the new film 'Ammonite,' starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan.
'Politico' journalist Garrett Graff says presidents typically reserve their most controversial decisions for their last weeks in office. In a new article, Graff lays out some of the norm-busting actions President Trump may take in the days remaining in his presidency. Trump is already blocking president-elect Biden's access to classified information — and some worry he might destroy White House records and begin issuing pardons.
Harold McGee is best-known for his books about food science. In his new book, 'Nose Dive,' he writes about why things smell the way they do — and the ways different chemicals combine to create surprising (and sometimes distasteful) odors. We talk about stinky cheese, cat pee, mask breath and why cooking releases smells. Also, John Powers reviews season 4 of 'The Crown,' in which Princess Diana is introduced.
Writer Katherine Standefer tells us about long QT syndrome — and the implanted cardiac defibrillator that helps regulate her heart. In her new memoir, 'Lightning Flowers,' she writes about how the device changed her life, and about trying to get medical care with little income 11 years ago — just as Congress was trying to establish the Affordable Care Act. "One of the greatest gifts is to feel alive while you are alive," Standefer says.Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the new album from Susan Alcorn, a pedal steel guitarist who played in country and western bar bands. And book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'We Keep the Dead Close' by Becky Cooper, a true crime story about the murder of a Harvard student in 1969 that went unsolved until two years ago.
The USWNT soccer star and activist spoke with Terry Gross about her World Cup wins, the ongoing fight for pay equality in women's sports, and taking a knee in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. Her new memoir about her life on and off the field is 'One Life.' Also, we remember longtime 'Jeopardy!' host Alex Trebek. He died Nov. 8.
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Comments (265)

John Reed

Instant delete. Report on what's relevant.

Dec 1st
Reply

John Reed

I listed to about 2 min and just had to delete. Obama started with progressive rhetoric and hope was euphoric and ended with the realization that any corporate dem being paid by corporations will do what benefits corporations and not us. People need to actually study what he did and just compare him to the idiot tRump.

Nov 19th
Reply (1)

AJB

WOW that guy is B-O-R-I-N-G

Nov 12th
Reply

Vera

Listening to this interview should be mandatory. Megan Rapinoe is more than a soccer player and an activist. She is a deep thinker and a compassionate person. Thank you for this.

Nov 10th
Reply

Pete Ever

they are not militias but DOMESTIC TERRORISTS. don't be afraid to call them what they are

Oct 29th
Reply

Jeff B

ending free speech is not the solution. teaching critical thinking is.

Oct 21st
Reply

John Reed

Jesus work on some new material.

Oct 3rd
Reply

Tom Strouse

Wow. This is just an amazing human being. May you find joy and kindness in your life and may you find peace.

Sep 21st
Reply

Heidi M. Fanning

The smartest thing for students to do is to enroll in community colleges and go fully online this year.

Sep 17th
Reply

Marie Karlsson

Started watching The Looming Tower series 1 the other day so I'm looking forward to listening to this episode!

Sep 8th
Reply

Deanna Figurskey

eez

Sep 7th
Reply

Western intellect

What a lovely interview

Sep 4th
Reply

Western intellect

Great interview

Sep 3rd
Reply

Western intellect

People see so gullible

Aug 21st
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Laurie Klemme

what a tragic outrage. Thank you for the story. I do wish the interviewer used less complex syntax and spoke slower in his lesd up to the interview. some of the long sentences are hard to process when spoken so quickly and with a quirky rhythm. I cannot imagine that a non-native English speaker could understand.

Aug 19th
Reply

Paz Ibarra

Boricua!

Aug 18th
Reply

Western intellect

Touching episode

Aug 16th
Reply

Cynthia Colonna

Gifted, funny journalist..I so enjoyed this interview..thank you..

Aug 6th
Reply

Western intellect

Great insight

Aug 6th
Reply

Western intellect

Nice episode.

Aug 5th
Reply
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