Fresh Air

Weekdays at Noon

Fresh Air opens the window on contemporary arts and issues with guests from worlds as diverse as literature and economics. Terry Gross hosts this multi-award-winning daily interview and features program. The veteran public radio interviewer is known for her extraordinary ability to engage guests of all dispositions. Every weekday she delights intelligent and curious listeners with revelations on contemporary societal concerns.

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Music Interviews
2:28 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Anat Cohen: Bringing The Clarinet To The World

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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Book Reviews
9:58 am
Wed February 6, 2013

A Mystery That Explores 'The Rage' Of New Ireland

Westbury iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 12:40 pm

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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Theater
10:54 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Rebecca Luker Has 'Got Love' For Jerome Kern

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

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 12:39 pm

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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Movie Interviews
10:17 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Michael Apted, Aging With The '7 Up' Crew

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

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 12:39 pm

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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Author Interviews
11:44 am
Mon February 4, 2013

A Barbados Family Tree With 'Sugar In The Blood'

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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Music Reviews
10:02 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Yo La Tengo: Decades In And Far From Fading

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

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 11:19 am

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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Fresh Air Weekend
7:03 am
Sat February 2, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: Spacey, Fincher And Macy

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

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 8:53 am

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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Movie Reviews
8:24 am
Fri February 1, 2013

'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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Author Interviews
8:18 am
Fri February 1, 2013

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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Music Reviews
11:13 am
Thu January 31, 2013

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

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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Television
8:56 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Spacey And Fincher Make A 'House Of Cards'

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

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 10:18 am

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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Music Reviews
2:22 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

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

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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Television
10:50 am
Wed January 30, 2013

William H. Macy Is 'Shameless' On Showtime

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

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 12:05 pm

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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Television
10:38 am
Wed January 30, 2013

'House Of Cards' Is Built To Last

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

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 7:06 am

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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Author Interviews
1:05 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

'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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Author Interviews
11:54 am
Mon January 28, 2013

'Anything That Moves': Civilians And The Vietnam War

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

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 2:06 pm

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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Book Reviews
11:54 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Jane Austen's 'Pride And Prejudice' At 200

Harper Collins

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 4:38 pm

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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Remembrances
9:37 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Remembering Journalist Stanley Karnow

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 1:22 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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Fresh Air Weekend
7:03 am
Sat January 26, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: Scientology And Jimmy Kimmel

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

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 9:41 am

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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Television
10:14 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Tracy Morgan: '30 Rock' Let Him Be Himself

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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Television
10:05 am
Fri January 25, 2013

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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Television
10:05 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Alec Baldwin Bids Goodbye To Jack Donaghy

Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin appeared in one of several parodies in one of 30 Rock's live episodes.
Dana Edelson NBC

This interview was originally broadcast on June 25, 2012.

For seven seasons, Alec Baldwin has starred as the TV executive Jack Donaghy on the NBC hit sitcom 30 Rock, which will have its final episode on January 31. Jack Donaghy is a far cry from Baldwin's more dramatic roles in the '80s, '90s and 2000s, when he starred in movies like The Hunt for Red October, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Departed and The Cooler.

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Author Interviews
10:32 am
Thu January 24, 2013

'Going Clear': A New Book Delves Into Scientology

The Church of Scientology building in Los Angeles on Sunset Boulevard on Aug. 28, 2011.
AK2 iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun January 27, 2013 4:50 am

In the introduction to his new book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief, Lawrence Wright writes, "Scientology plays an outsize role in the cast of new religions that have arisen in the 20th century and survived into the 21st."

The book is a look inside the world of Scientology and the life of its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, who died in 1986. A recent ad for Scientology claims to welcome 4.4 million new converts each year.

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Television
8:59 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Jimmy Kimmel: Making Late Night A Family Affair

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

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 10:04 am

This month, Jimmy Kimmel's late-night ABC talk show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, joins the 11:35 p.m. nightly lineup — which puts him in direct competition with two reining comedy kings: Jay Leno and Kimmel's idol, David Letterman.

Kimmel, who paid tribute to Letterman at the Kennedy Center Honors in December, didn't break the news to Letterman himself.

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Around the Nation
11:28 am
Tue January 22, 2013

'We Have No Choice': A Story Of The Texas Sonogram Law

iStockPhoto

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 7:19 am

Tuesday marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. But in some states, access to facilities that perform abortions remains limited.

In part, that stems from another Supreme Court ruling from 20 years ago that let states impose regulations that don't cause an "undue burden" on a woman's abortion rights.

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Around the Nation
11:26 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Involved For Life: Pregnancy Centers In Texas

Carolyn Cline is the president and CEO of Involved for Life.
Courtesy of Carolyn Cline

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 2:12 pm

While the number of abortion providers has been decreasing, the number of pregnancy centers has been increasing. According to The New York Times, there are now approximately 1,800 abortion providers around the country, compared with 2,500 pregnancy centers. These centers, largely run by Christian groups, discourage women from getting abortions and offer help during their unplanned pregnancies.

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Television
11:43 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Kevin Bacon, Seeking A TV 'Following'

Jeannane Goossen and Kevin Bacon star as FBI special agents tracing a network of serial killers in Fox's new crime drama The Following.
Fox

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 11:46 am

In the new Fox TV series The Following, Kevin Bacon plays a former FBI agent asked to help apprehend an escaped serial killer he once put behind bars. The show is from Kevin Williamson, who also created the Scream horror-movie franchise.

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Author Interviews
11:19 am
Mon January 21, 2013

'Double V': The Fight For Civil Rights In The U.S. Military

The fight to integrate the U.S. military began with the Revolutionary War, says author Rawn James, Jr.
Bloomsbury Press

In his new book, The Double V: How Wars, Protest and Harry Truman Desegregated America's Military, author Rawn James Jr. argues that if one wants to understand the story of race in the United States, one must understand the history of African-Americans in the country's military. Since the country was founded, he tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies, the military "has continually been forced to confront what it means to segregate individuals according to race."

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Fresh Air Weekend
7:03 am
Sat January 19, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: Ben Affleck And Dustin Hoffman

Ben Affleck as Tony Mendez in Argo. Affleck also directed the film, which is based on events surrounding the Iran hostage crisis of 1979.
Keith Bernstein Warner Brothers

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 9:59 am

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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Movies
10:32 am
Fri January 18, 2013

'Mama': A Good Old-Fashioned Horror Movie

Victoria (Megan Charpentier) and her sister, Lilly (Isabelle Nelisse), are near-feral orphans in the horror thriller Mama.
Universal Pictures

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 11:29 am

I was weaned on horror movies and love them inordinately, but the genre has gone to the dogs — and to the muscle-bound werewolves, hormonal vampires, flesh-eating zombies, machete-wielding psychos, etc. It's also depressing how most modern horror pictures have unhappy nihilist endings in which everyone dies and the demons pop back up, unvanquished — partly because studios think happy endings are too soft, but mostly because they need their monsters for so-called franchises.

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