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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.
242 Episodes
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Nicholas Christakis is a doctor and a sociologist who has studied the science of infectious diseases and how plagues of the past have altered societies. "Everywhere you see the spread of germs, for the last few thousand years, you see right behind it the spread of lies," he says. "Denial and lies ... [are] almost an intrinsic part of an epidemic." Christakis's book is 'Apollo's Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live.'Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews Jess Walter's new novel 'The Cold Millions.'
'Atlantic' writer Mike Giglio profiles the Oath Keepers, a pro-Trump militia group, in a new article. They have recruited thousands of police, soldiers and veterans. We talk about what they might do on Election Day and after. "We, as Americans, are so comfortable with the idea of sending people out into foreign wars. And now [these militia groups are] starting to look at America itself as a part of that battle space." Giglio also shares insights from covering civil wars overseas.
We talk with journalist Evan Osnos about the former vice president's long career in the Senate, how personal tragedy changed him, and some of the political missteps he made along the way. Osnos' new biography is 'Joe Biden: The Life, the Run, and What Matters Now.'
Samuelsson's new book, 'The Rise,' is a celebration of Black excellence in the culinary world — and the many Black cooks who have influenced American food, often without credit. He also talks about converting his Harlem restaurant Red Rooster into a community kitchen during the pandemic, and his roots in both Ethiopia and Sweden. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'The Witches,' an adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic children's book.
Psychologist Timothy Leary, who died in 1996, was the father of the psychedelic movement of the 1960s and its experiments with mind-altering drugs. In 1960, Leary joined the faculty of Harvard at the Center for Personality Research, where he analyzed the effects of psychedelics and personality. As part of his research, he introduced L.S.D. and other psychedelic drugs to many, and also used them himself. Leary was eventually asked to leave the university, and later served time in jail on drug charges. We listen back to Terry Gross' 1983 interview with Leary as well as our 1990 interview with spiritual leader Ram Dass, who joined Leary in some of his psychedelic experiments. And we'll hear from journalist Michael Pollan whose 2018 book 'How to Change Your Mind' explored the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics. Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews HBO's 'The Undoing,' starring Hugh Grant and Nicole Kidman.
Rumaan Alam's novel, 'Leave the World Behind,' centers on two families — one Black and one white — who are sharing a vacation home during a mysterious disaster. It explores issues of race and class, fear, and how we respond to crisis.Ken Tucker reviews a new deluxe edition of Prince's masterpiece 'Sign O' The Times.' Craig Foster spent a year diving — without oxygen or a wetsuit — into the frigid sea near Cape Town, South Africa. One octopus began coming out of her den to hunt or explore while Foster watched. He documents their unlikely friendship in 'My Octopus Teacher,' now on Netflix.
Nina Totenberg is widely regarded as the dean of legal journalists. She started covering the Supreme court in 1971 and became NPR's legal correspondent in 1975. We talk about breaking the Anita Hill story, her friendship with the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and her early career as a pioneer for women in journalism. This conversation was recorded from a live Zoom event for WHYY.
Novelist Sigrid Nunez

Novelist Sigrid Nunez

2020-10-2148:14

Nunez's new novel, 'What Are You Going Through,' is about facing mortality and the relationship between a writer dying of cancer and the friend she asks to stay with her. Lloyd Schwartz reviews a collection of performances by Leontyne Price, the first Black soprano to have a major career at the Metropolitan Opera. And John Powers reviews the Netflix miniseries 'The Queen's Gambit.'
'New York Times Magazine' writer Emily Bazelon talks about how the lies and conspiracy theories sweeping through American media are leading some scholars to question our faith in free speech and in minimal government regulation of speech. Bazelon says false content moves through the Internet unchecked — undermining the political process along the way.Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews 'El Duelo.'
Historian H.W. Brands' new book, 'The Zealot and the Emancipator' looks at two very different 19th century leaders, John Brown and Abraham Lincoln. Brown was a militant abolitionist who embraced violence and was hanged after he tried to spark an insurrection at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. President Lincoln resisted conflict as long as possible, hoping laws and reason would keep Southern states in the Union, and eventually bring an end to human bondage. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Martin Eden,' an adaptation of the Jack London novel.
Married Broadway stars Danny Burstein and Rebecca Luker both contracted COVID in the spring, just as theaters went dark. Burstein was starring in 'Moulin Rouge' at the time. Burstein's case was severe and he nearly died. Luker's case was mild, but it came soon after she had been diagnosed with ALS. They talk with Terry Gross about how their illnesses have changed their lives and careers, and their hopes for the future.Also, John Powers reviews 'David Byrne's American Utopia' on HBO, directed by Spike Lee.'This American Life' producer Chana Joffe-Walt says progressive white parents may say they want their kids to go to diverse schools — but the reality tells a different story. "I think white parents are pretty savvy at evading the explicit conversation around race, although it's clearly shaping our thoughts about schools." She examines the complicated history of gentrification in a Brooklyn school in her new podcast, 'Nice White Parents.' It's a production of 'Serial' and 'The New York Times.'
As a teen, Heidi Schreck debated the Constitution in competitions. Later she realized it had failed to protect four generations of women in her family. "I believed it was perfect. I believed it was a tool of justice. I did not realize as a 15-year-old girl how profoundly I had been left out of it. I didn't realize that it didn't protect me," Schreck says. Her award-winning Broadway play, 'What the Constitution Means to Me,' is now streaming on Amazon. Also, we remember Joe Morgan, one of the few second-basemen to make it into baseball's Hall of Fame. He died Oct. 11 at the age of 77. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1993.
Craig Foster spent a year diving — without oxygen or a wetsuit — into the frigid sea near Cape Town, South Africa. One octopus began coming out of her den to hunt or explore while Foster watched. He documents their unlikely friendship in 'My Octopus Teacher,' now on Netflix. Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the Netflix film, 'The Trial of the Chicago 7,' written by Aaron Sorkin.
Married Broadway stars Danny Burstein and Rebecca Luker both contracted COVID in the spring, just as theaters went dark. Burstein was starring in 'Moulin Rouge' at the time. Burstein's case was severe and he nearly died. Luker's case was mild, but it came soon after she had been diagnosed with ALS. They talk with Terry Gross about how their illnesses have changed their lives and careers, and their hopes for the future.
CNN host and 'Washington Post' columnist Fareed Zakaria says COVID-19 presents a chance to make positive changes: "We could well look back on these times 10 or 20 years from now and say, 'This was the turning point.'" His new book, 'Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World' examines the way COVID-19 will change everything from our trust in government to our relationship with technology. Also, John Powers reviews 'David Byrne's American Utopia' on HBO, directed by Spike Lee.
'This American Life' producer Chana Joffe-Walt says progressive white parents may say they want their kids to go to diverse schools — but the reality tells a different story. "I think white parents are pretty savvy at evading the explicit conversation around race, although it's clearly shaping our thoughts about schools." She examines the complicated history of gentrification in a Brooklyn school in her new podcast, 'Nice White Parents.' It's a production of 'Serial' and 'The New York Times.' Also, Ken Tucker reviews the album 'Private Lives' from Philly band Low Cut Connie.
Ethan Hawke plays 19th-century abolitionist John Brown in the seven-part Showtime series, 'The Good Lord Bird.' He says Brown's story feels particularly relevant today, as America confronts systemic racism and the legacy of slavery. Also, Justin Chang reviews the film 'The Forty-Year-Old Version.' Lenny Kravitz talks about growing up the son of a Jewish father and Black mother. His new memoir about his life up until his breakout album is 'Let Love Rule.'
We remember Bob Gibson, one of baseball's most intimidating pitchers. He dominated hitters from the mound for the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1960s and '70s and he holds the record for most strikeouts — 17 — in a World Series game. Gibson died last week at the age of 84. First we'll listen back to Terry's 1994 interview with Gibson when he had just published his memoir. Then, in our 2009 interview with Gibson and Hall of Fame slugger Reggie Jackson, we hear him talk about the classic confrontation between the player at the plate and one on the mound. Justin Chang reviews two new documentaries, 'Totally Under Control' and 'Time.' The former is about the Trump administration's handling of the pandemic; the latter chronicles the impact of long-term incarceration on one family.
As President Trump recovers from COVID-19 and candidates debate the issue of insurance for people with pre-existing conditions, we take stock of the nation's health care system. We talk with the 'New York Times' health policy reporter Sarah Kliff about the state of the Affordable Care Act, after 10 years of legal assaults and attempts in Congress to repeal the law. "Republicans have been trying to drive a stake into the heart of Obamacare pretty much since it was passed," Kliff says.Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the album 'General Semantics,' by the trio Geof Bradfield, Ben Goldberg and Dana Hall.
Novelist Rumaan Alam

Novelist Rumaan Alam

2020-10-0748:19

Alam's novel, 'Leave the World Behind,' centers on two families — one Black and one white — who are sharing a vacation home during a mysterious disaster. It explores issues of race and class, fear, and how we respond to crisis. We'll also talk about Alam's upbringing as the son of Bengali immigrants and why he has hope about his children's generation.
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Comments (258)

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
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Deanna Figurskey

eez

Sep 7th
Reply

Western intellect

What a lovely interview

Sep 4th
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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

Don Paine

l 1 2s e no o my kmmwm mMM Mc knight 7.XJ4@ mu

Aug 3rd
Reply

Western intellect

Cool interview...I really enjoyed this.

Jul 30th
Reply

Western intellect

I really enjoy listening to Terry. Her voice is so soothing and I always find her interviews intriguing.

Jul 25th
Reply (1)

Western intellect

Fascinating

Jul 24th
Reply
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